January 7, 2013

Hello All,
My week has been good. Things are improving slowly in this area but things are getting better and the work is progressing. Some disappointing things happened this week, but it was followed by some great things happening!

First, Qayyum our investigator that was supposed to be baptized on Saturday informed us that his vacation to Tasmania had turned into him moving there. I was really looking forward to his baptism here, but his fellowship in the branch talked to him and told him that he found where the church was in Tasmania and he was going to be going there next week and he is going to talk to the missionaries there about getting baptized. So I am really glad that he is going to be baptized. The Australia Melbourne Mission doesn't baptized very many people so it will be a good experience for the missionaries there to baptize such a solid person. He told us that he is going to raise his family in the LDS church no matter what. He said he would keep in touch with me, so I will hopefully be able to be in contact with him once he gets his mission call in a few year. I am just really happy that he is going to be baptized. I don't really care much that he isn't going to be baptized here in Townsville. That one door closed for us to baptize him, but 2 doors opened after that one closed.

The first person we found while tracting was an 18 year old named Pierson. He said he is trying to find a place to put religion back into his life. He used to be Catholic, but he is really open to what we have to share with him. We have already taught him 2 lessons and we have another meeting scheduled with him on Wednesday. He is pretty solid. He said he will be baptized if he received a witness that this is true. So we are hoping and praying that his prayers will be answered and that he will come to know that these things are true. He said he was coming to church, but he didn't end up showing up. So we will talk to him on Wednesday about that, but I hope he is able to receive that answer.

The second family we found was someone who lived about 6 houses down the street from where we live. They are a family that has just moved here from China. So when they told us to come back another time, we did and we brought a member of the branch who could speak Mandarin Chinese. So we taught the restoration and the member was able to translate some of the things we were saying. We invited them to come to church, but they didn't show up either. They are also being taught by the Jehovah Witnesses. So she will have to make a choice and we are trying our hardest to help her make the decision to come to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The only was we can do that thought is to help her feel the spirit and feel and come to know that the things we share are true. I hope and pray that she comes to know that the Book of Mormon is true. I hope these investigators stay solid because the ones from previous weeks have stopped having interest in us. I hope and pray that the area will grow and we will be able to find more people who are willing to follow Jesus Christ.

Now for a very interesting thing that happened. We were walking to a members house in the neighborhood that we live in and there were these 5 people having a social gathering outside of their house. 4 of the 5 people were drunk and as we walked by they told us to stop. They wondered why we always walked past their apartment in white shirts and ties and what we did. So we told them that we taught people about Jesus Christ and they thought it was great and they started telling us how much they loved the Mormons. The two males that were in their group were pretty drunk and started giving us hugs. It was pretty awkward. One of them even kissed my companion Elder Sio on the cheek. So it was pretty crazy. The story short was that a group of mostly drunk people came running out towards us as we were walking by and starting hugging us and one of them kissed my companion. So that is a pretty crazy mission story. But the next day we decided to go knock on that house and 2 of the females who were there that night, now sober talked with us and said we could come back another time and share the gospel with them. That just goes to show you that finding people to teach can be disguised as something very unusual.

Those were the highlights of the week. We taught a few more less actives and things, but those are the good things that happened this week. I have come to learn an important mission lesson and have created a quote "When one door closes, many more doors open, but we are usually spending more time looking at the closed door that we don't notice the open doors" - Elder Powelson. Lots of missionaries get discouraged when things don't go as planned and as baptisms don't happen with certain people, so they get lazy and don't try to find the open doors. It has been shown to me time and time again during my mission that when something bad happens and something doesn't go as planned, if you keep working and not worry about the bad thing that happened then the lord will bless you with more things to replace that one bad thing.

I am having a great time on my mission and I am learning a lot. I know that the church is true and that this is a very important work. I miss you all and I hope you have a great week!
Elder Kyler Powelson