OK.....I don't even know where to start!...I have never been so exhausted my whole mission...this is by far the most physically and spiritually draining work, but I LOVE IT!!! I seriously have never been happier than I have been on my mission! We seriously like run out of houses and dance and hug we are soooo excited with all the miracles Heavenly Father is sending our way! This week with the Lords help, we found 10 new investigators and committed 2 of them to be baptized! The first one we committed, her name is Fiona! While going through the area book we found a "less active" lady who we wanted to see, so we called her set up an appointment, and brought a member with us so go see her a few days later. Come to find out, this "less active" lady, Fiona...is not a member! She met missionaries a while back, and read the Book of Mormon...she loves it, and she knows it's true! We immediately invited her to be baptized (since that's what we are here to do...;)) and she said yes. We have talked to her several times since, and she is so excited for the 23rd! I'm telling you...this work is not us...it is all the Lord! I know he is preparing the hearts of many people right now, but these people just need a little help and a little direction...that's why MISSIONARY WORK IS SOOOOO IMPORTANT!
We are working with HEAPS of less actives, and part member families right now! We have sooo ooo much work to do in this area, but it's just amazing! I wish I had time to tell you about all the lessons this week since they were all sooooo powerful and special, but I only have time to tell you of a few.
We met a man named Benjamin who we found out is less active...well not only less active, but now he is ATHEIST! He is a endowed returned missionary, and was recently released from being the gospel doctrine teacher!......what the heck right?! Well we started talking to him (in the blazing hot sun...I'm telling you it's getting SO HOT hahaha) and after like 15 minutes it was very clear that he was not going anywhere - changing his mind right now..so my companion and I took the opportunity to call him to repentance, and share our testimonies(our job as missionaries;))! We reminded him of the most abominable sin, which is to deny the Holy Ghost and invited him to very closely consider this decision he is now making in his life, to distance himself from God (yes my last companion Sister Kanee taught me to be BOLD haha). Just after saying that, we shared with him of the endless love and mercy our Father in Heaven has for him. We were moved to tears as we bore testimony of the reality of our Father in Heaven, and our Savior Jesus Christ. This week in zone conference my testimony increased enormously in this...I came to a better understanding that this truly is the Lord's work and he needs it done. He needs his children back, and the only way that can be accomplished is through repentance and baptism and this is something that needs to be taught to everyone boldly, lovingly, and simply! I love my Savior so much, and I know he is by our side everyday...he is always waiting for us to turn to him. But as we bore testimony to this man Ben, I felt soooo much love for him (thanks for teaching me about "love" Collie;)) and after having said what we needed to, I left feeling so mad at Satan! I hate him! Our testimonies are so fragile and unless we are nourishing them, Satan will take hold of them, and drag us down. We cannot be fence sitters, we need to choose today to feed the flame, nourish our testimonies, and give our will up for the will of our Father.
This week while following up on a former investigator, we met Frets...a sweet man in his 40's from Chile!!!! (when he told us where he was from I used my sweet Spanish to say hello and introduce myself as a Sister missionary...yes you would be proud of my Spanish that I learned in Washington haha). But we had a really good conversation with him...come to find out, his wife had just left, he had lost his car, and some of his children left as well, and life was just not in his favor. He then took the time to explain to us that just seconds before we knocked on his door he said he was sitting in his chair in the back yard, thinking in his head, "God, where are you?!?!" (as he was reflecting on how much he has lost recently, which had led him to being an atheist). As we talked with him he said in his sweet accent, that he thinks it's a sign from God that we just knocked on the door. We told him that he didn't have to tell us that, and that we knew it was a sign;) and then told him of the endless love and compassion that our Heavenly Father has for him. It ended up being really special and he just couldn't stop saying how much of a miracle it was that we came. My testimony keeps on getting strengthened in the fact that this is God's work. And when we follow the spirit, we can accomplish what he needs done. So many people this week have told us, "you have no idea how bad I needed this, you came right at the right time!". I can't tell you how sweet these words are to missionaries ears...I love God, and I love that he leads us missionaries to those of his children who need him most at this time. I know that God's timing is perfect, and that if we trust in it, be "patient in our afflictions", surely the day will come when we will "rest from our labors" and trials.
Australia is amazing! I love it because over here we can be totally REAL with the people...like robotic missionary status...... doesn't work . But as we are obviously obedient, but totally ourselves, the people eat it up. I've come to realize (and not only is this true for missionary work, but our everyday lives) that we are placed in certain peoples paths (and around certain people) for a reason, and we need to lift them. we shouldn't be one who needs others to lift them, but lift others...it is one of our baptismal covenants, don't forget it;) CHEERSSS!
I have felt the spirit so much this week and haven't been able to keep my eyes dry, holy cow! I know more than ever that Christ is real. The atonement is powerful, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints really is Christ's church..how grateful I am for this knowledge! Thank you for all your prayers, please keep them coming. We are now working with more people than I have my whole mission combined (jk;) but there really are HEAPS) and amazing things are soooo close (like I can't even begin to explain). But now more than ever, my companion and I are trying to have a lot of faith that things will keep going well because right now, things almost just seem to good to be true:) I love you and hope you have an incredible week! xoxooxox
love Sister Diondra Ensign