Finishing Transfer 5 Update: The changes are fantastic

Playing "Don't Eat Pete"

Sept 19, 2010

G’day everybody,

How is September going over there?  Getting colder?  It’s getting warmer here.  I busted out my short-sleeved white shirt for the first time in months last week.  Pretty soon I’m going to be leaking like a faucet.  Let’s hope we get a car back when it hits.

So, this week, we finally hit some milestones for our work, and we learned a lot as well.  Hm, where should I start…

On Tuesday, we talked with Tanya, who has a 15-year-old son who has been depressed for 3 years.  She reads the Bible to him occasionally to get that spiritual grounding.  I explained the power the Gospel has to help and the Book of Mormon, with personal testimony. I then read an example from 2 Nephi 4:27+ because that’s one of my favorite comfort chapters that helped me out once.  She asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon and said she would read it with him, and we could teach more.  That was a really cool experience.  She was found when an appointment we had cancelled, and so we just started walking up the street, and I saw her in the driveway moving some rubbish bins, and I went up and talked to her.  Now she’s a progressing investigator.  That was awesome.

We have a Talent Quest (talent show) coming up in the branch which is actually more of a culture show, because each auxiliary is preparing several numbers from different cultures in the branch, with each auxiliary assigned one.  We, the missionaries, have New Zealand, so of course, this means we must do the Haka, even though we are thick palagis who hardly have a clue.  But we have it prepared, and it will be hilarious and awesome.  I will definitely record it for you.  KAMATE KAMATE KORO!!! (if you don’t know what the haka is, just youtube it and you’ll see.  try to find one with a rugby team)

We had something cool happen when we were eating at Hungry Jacks (which is what Burger King is called here), and this old man pulled out a ring and chain.  Then rubber bands.  Then coins.  One by one, he performed magic tricks to us, just right in Hungry Jacks after we had finished eating.  He was basically giving us a free mini-show a) for advertising and b) for fun.  It was a real treat.  His name was Mr Rex.  Elder Born got a photo from him, I’ll try to get a copy for you to see.

The branch here was going off aobut how we better not leave, and they got their wish.  We’re both staying.  That means I have to start giving Elder Bartle more stuff to do so a) I don’t go crazy and burn out and b) give him a chance to invest himself in the work and really grow.  It’s going to be really hard to balance and do, but that’s what this time is for.

We visited Lucinda again on Saturday, as we do, and she is really feeling the strength of the gospel.  She says she’s felt a change in her parenting and even in her relationship with Daniel; more patience, more understanding.  She loves it.  She can’t wait for us to get Daniel on the stop smoking program, because she really wants him to stop.  We taught them the Plan of Salvation, emphasizing the life of Jesus Christ.  We asked Daniel how he felt towards Jesus Christ, and he said he wasn’t sure.  It was funny to then see Lucinda say, “What do you mean?  What don’t you understand?  Ask them your questions!  It’s the only way you’ll get it.  They answer all of mine.”  Now she’s starting to do the work for us!  I love it when that happens.  Eventually, we talked about the blessings that she’s felt so far, and then we talked about baptism.  After clearing up initial questions about how it is done, we were able to commit her to be baptized on the tenth of October!  There’s something cool about this date: 10-10-10!  Haha!  It’s also her dad’s birthday.  Funny.

I think her daughter Claudia will also want to be baptized, but we haven’t taught her yet, but Claudia loves church.  And, yesterday, Lucinda brought her niece, who is 11, to church as well.  We asked Lucinda if she knows other people who could benefit from the Gospel, and she said, “well I think everybody could, I just don’t think they will.”  But it seems she’s already extending it to her family.  Remember Claudia’s friend Sammy who came last week?  She loved it.  I think that is just so cool.  There is serious potential in Lucinda’s family.  It could change their whole dynamic.  I think it’s incredible.

Speaking of that,  Remember Tuvao?  More of her family is still being taught.  So far, her baptism has led to another 4, and more coming.  It’s incredible.

We’ve also set dates with 2 other Primary aged kids, Jada and Ebony, who have been coming to church with their grandma and felt good.  So our leaders are really happy with us right now with 3 official dates, and another one coming.  So this will be a fruitful transfer.  I’m glad I wasn’t transferred because I really wanted to see Lucinda make that step, and see what happens to their family.  If it’s anything like Tuvao, it will be tremendous.

These are the really cool things about being a missionary is seeing these changes and having the skills to make it happen.  The dirty work is in finding them and wrestling together lesson plans and addressing concerns, but the changes are fantastic.

Talk to you again later, hope you like those pictures!  We’re having a good time.  Send me letters! 😉  I love you.

-Elder Scott Baker

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