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Saturday, May 31, 2014

we got rejected a lot..... but feel more grateful for the miracles

My new area is amazing! Greenwood has been known to be a "dry" area and they haven't had a baptism in one's sad haha- but we all know that there are no dry areas, just dry missionaries- so I'm so excited to be here! Well,  my companion Sister Tupuna (half cook island / half Tahitian) is amazing and I love her to death! We have been able to feel the spirit so much this week;) my love for the Savior and His work has grown as my companion and I have set many goals! I am so grateful that she is not just satisfied with where she is at, but that she wants to be better and so do I...this will be another transforming transfer! That's something I love about certain companions...they just make you want to be makes me realize that I need to marry someone who will make me feel the same way, that I need to continue growing spiritually! Anyways, my comp and I have set a goal to read the Book of Mormon before the transfer ends (which is about 15 pages a day- yes this will be our 2nd time doing it 15pg per day, I'm so excited) and will be focusing on faith in Jesus Christ and humility as we read; two things I will always need to work on:) I love the Book of Mormon and I have seen it change our mission so much, so I am excited to read it again with my companion and have it change us even more. As my companion and I have set high goals, we know the Lord will help us reach them...this is HIS work, and so with HIS help, great things can be achieved, I know it! ;)
There are so many good things happening right now and I can feel that Heavenly Father has big plans for us! This past week Heavenly Father prepared a lot of his children to receive us and our message, and so after someone had committed to be baptized on June 21, we called president with our miracle and he told us that when he assigned my companion and I to this area, he knew that the Lord had many good things in store for us and that he needed us to bring forth those miracles! It was so reassuring to hear that from our President and the confirmation from the Holy Ghost! The Lord is amazing. All powerful. All knowing, and I am so grateful for his mercy towards us missionaries, and to all his children! I love Him, and I love this work!

This week my companion and I trained in zone meeting about our purpose as missionaries...many people say we are here to bring people back to God. to help families be together forever. to plant seeds. Yes, yes and yes, those are things that we can try to do as missionaries...but the REAL REASON WE ARE HERE, IS TO BAPTIZE! People cannot live with God, nor their families, UNLESS THEY ARE BAPTIZED BY THE CORRECT PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY!

Well over Christmas one of my friends emailed me telling me of a time on their mission when they invited EVERYONE they talked to be comp and I took the challenge...and set someone on date that day...more and more people started committing. Then as we gave commitments to our sisters in our zones we would invite them to do the day some sisters called us, (one companionship) and they had set 3 baptismal dates....'THE FIELD IS WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST" ...the people are literally waiting for the invitation from the Savior to be baptized, cleansed, and welcomed back into Heavenly Father's presence! So this week my comp and I invited our whole zone to invite EVERYONE that day to be my comp and I lived up to our own commitment, and invited everyone to do it...we got rejected a lot, of course:) but SET ONE BAPTISMAL DATE! and the next day set another! But that same our district leader and his comp put someone on date, and our zone leaders set 3 baptismal dates!!! They were all so surprised as well, but it's true, the Lord is Hastening this work! We are doing our best to be inviting machines!  It's been so fun!!!
One lady who is committed to be baptized is Natalie:) She is an Aussie in her 40's and has been taught by missionaries for 2 years...well this week my companion and I went over...taught her one of the most powerful lessons (Thanks of Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost) and she began to ask us..."so about baptism?"...the rest went from there! She is committed and finally ready!!! I am so excited for her but more grateful for the miracles heavenly father has shown!

 love you!

Sister Ensign


Monday, May 19, 2014

The Savior lives!

Wow! I am so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ! This week has been incredible! We have seen so many miracles and the Lord has blessed us so much! After having dropped a lot of people, things were a bit tough, but the past two weeks have just been amazing and I'm so grateful for the tender mercies from our loving Heavenly Father!
I just want to share my testimony that Jesus Christ lives! That we are nothing without him! Just having God in the picture is wonderful,  Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to not only stand in the presence of God (Brought to pass because of the resurrection), but live in his presence (through the atonement/when he overcame spiritual death!). We have so many people in our area who just believe in "God" and "being a good person" and that's it!...Those things are important but as I have bore testimony of the Savior and studied about Him and the "need for a redeemer" my testimony is strengthened ever more! His atonement has played such a large role in my week! I can't even begin to explain certain experiences, but I'm almost brought to tears as I write this, at infinite sacrifice our older brother made for us so that we do not have to suffer alone! He has not only helped me so much, and changed me so much while serving in Wembley, but also so many others we have taught! Speaking of Wembley, I'm getting transferred to Greenwood with Sister Tapuna (a Samoan sister from NZ- I'm so excited she is amazing) and we are staying Sister Training Leaders..hahaha. I've been sister training leader my whole mission except one transfer and I know that I have been in this position, so I could learn from the other sisters! They have taught me so much, and I'll be eternally grateful for them and the examples they have been to me!
Speaking of exchanges, I got to go on my FIRST ONE with Sister Wyatt! Thank the Heavens! I have been with her companions like 3 times, and so finally serving with her was amazing! She is such a good missionary and I love her so much:) We were able to teach some really powerful lessons, find new investigators, eat super spicy rice from one the investigators that Sister Wyatt took one bite of and almost died haha, get pet rocks from this older man who is mentally hill from getting hurt sky diving (yes Hunter I thought of you when he told us, I'm so grateful you are not going any more before your mission haha) and experience one of the sweetest tender mercies I have experienced all transfer! So that morning we were working and of course...randomly got dropped by one of investigators who had a baptismal date ;) haha (as you know the trial always comes before the triumph) and all of a sudden we get a text from President Metcalf (EQ president) about Abraham....OK,  do you remember Abraham! The miraculous man who had  a dream about us the night before the morning we met him...he read 300 hundred pages of the BOM in like 5 days, passed his baptismal interview and then...MOVED TO SYDNEY for work and then we unfortunately lost contact with him after about 2 weeks of him being gone...saddest thing....Well,  President Metcalf sends us a message that ABRAHAM IS BACK IN PERTH AND WAS TRYING TO GET A HOLD OF US! I read this and just dropped my head and cried...I was speechless! I had lost hope the first few weeks after he left because he said he wasn't returning to Perth...but for some reason (which reason I now know) the past two weeks I have been praying so hard for him and for some miracle to happen! Sure enough he is back! Sister Wyatt and I got out of the car and knelt to pray a prayer of gratitude! I know with no doubt that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and cries, and he is anxious to answer us...but that he has His own timing for everything! Greatest tender mercy ever!
There have been so many experiences this week when the Lord has told us to go talk to someone who is out of our path, but within sight...that has led to miracles! These were miracles that not only happened in our own area but IN THE SISTERS!!! As zone leaders and sister training leaders we decided to do everything we could to help our zone not get transfer trunky, so we went and worked in almost all the sisters areas, helping them keep their fire bright! While with Sister Billy  ( a sweet, short, quiet sister from Micronesia whom i love dearly) we had been to see many people, and have some REALLY good contacts..and just as we were driving home to meet the sisters...I saw this man with a big head of hair ;) walking down this side road....we quickly pulled over the car and MIRACLE!!! This boy Niu (21 yr) is from the Islands and is cousins with one of the elders here!!! HE is way keen! He is excited to read the Book of Mormon and come to church, so I can't wait to see how he progresses! He will make a wonderful member of the church..I can already see it:) I was really grateful that the spirit told us to go talk to him and told us many other times to go talk to random people because it led us to new investigators, as well as less actives who have "gone missing" from church records who are now, no longer "lost sheep"! I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost! IT is the greatest gift we could be left with, here on this earth! IT truly is the guide to everything we do in this work, and we would be nothing without it!
Well when I first got to this area I saw this family of a single mother and teenage daughters at church who looked...unhappy to say the least. I asked them where they lived...and it was in the elders area so I was bummed! Well each Sunday i would look at them and think...."they need our help"...well finally I just asked the District leader for permission and we got to go this week!! miracle! This family was in dyer need of a visit and so I'm so glad the spirit told us to go! The oldest daughter is 17 and is now less active! 4 years ago she was on a motorcycle with her dad when they were hit by a car, and he was killed. Ever since she has lost her faith, but boy is she willing to try things again! She says she really wants to know is God is real, and if the Book or Mormon is true! We will begin teaching her and also her family! That night we shared with them about prayer, and speially family prayer (something the Savior himself taught- 3Nephi 18:19-21) and when we had finished the mum said to us, "Ya know somethign has been missing in our house, and we have all just felt off...And family prayer is what has been missing!" They are so willing to try things again and to bring the spirit more into their home. Another tender mercy with the family, is the step dad is a non with full confidence I know he will feel something change as the family begins to live the gospel more fully which will in turn rub off on him. Speaking of a similar story, In Kwinana we worked with a less active family (whose dad was not a member)....some of my greatest misison memories were with the White-Wallace family because they changed so much...well whenever sister bailey and I went the dad was never there, but in the mines...well I just recently heard taht the family is doing incredibly well and that the dad is reading the BOM and recieveing the Misisonary discussions! When each family member progresses in the gospel, it truly has an effect on the whole home and family! It lifts other family members and others around you! So many miracles every day, that I am eternally grateful for!
I wish I could tell you of so many other miracles but my time is out! Just know that I am feeling all your prayers now more than ever and i am so grateful for them! I want you guys to know that you are some of my greatest motivation and I can't wait to hug you again! The Savior lives, and is the greatest source of help...he shouldn't be our last chance...but he is our only chance! Heavenly Fahter loves us as his children so much! As I have born testimony of this this week the spirit has again testified to me, that that statement IS TRUE! We are literally.....His children! We are much more glorious that we even realize!
Love always,
Sister Ensign


    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    My companion and I cried and cried........

    Wow! What an amazing week full of learning experiences! This week i have seen so much how the power of fasting is real when it comes to softening and changing hearts! My testimony of the scriptures has increased as each night before i get in bed, after saying my prayers, i open the Book of Mormon to read a few verses! There has not been one night when I have been let down, but literally every single scripture I have read has been just what I need! It is so reassuring to know that Heavenly Father is so aware of me, my needs, and what my circumstances are! Prayer has saved me as well! I ask the Lord what I need to work on or what I need to do, and words come clear as day! I feel so blessed!
    When I say that this week was full of learning experiences, I really mean it! Tuesday was a bit tough(to say the least) because my sweet friend, Paulo told us he couldn't be baptized! He said he knows everything is true, he knows the book of Mormon is true and he loves it...BUT  his family who is catholic (back in Brazil) does not want him to be baptized! His dad died when he was younger, so he just has him mom and does not want to ruin anything with her so will not disobey her by being baptized!!!! My companion and I cried and cried...I was then reminded by Collies words of how when we hurt (over someone were teaching), so does our Father in Heaven, because they are HIS children! So when i went home, we planned and then i spent the remainder of my night on my knees crying to Heavenly Father about his sweet son Paulo! I was so comforted by the atonement and knew that we had done everything we needed with Paulo, but that he was using his own AGENCY to make up his decision! (I then realized why the word "agency" was stuck in my mind that morning in District meeting, Heavenly Father was trying to prepare me!) Through this experience i was reminded that sometimes our will does not always line up with Heavenly Fathers', but that he does still hear and answer our prayers and has promised to help us through any heartache! This experience along with many others this week, have deepened my conversion a lot. Trials seem to do that, i love it! I love Paulo, I love Heavenly Father for helping us with teaching Paulo and comforting us when we found out he couldn't be baptized! And I LOVE that trials are just a learning experience, they are not the end....
     Paulo along with many others, we have had to drop, but have been praying to find the elect and find those who will keep commitments! And guess what?!?!? Heavenly Father has so led us to them! One of them we met on Easter Morning, Allison! She is from Australia and is 31 years old:) She let us come back to teach her and we taught the restoration, which was really powerful! We went back this week with Bishops wife and taught the Plan of Salvation! OK, oh my goodness...we sat down and she pulls out this notebook...she had taken notes on everything she learned and she LOVED IT! She is now committed to be baptized on June 7 :) She came to church yesterday and loved it! She participated more than the active members, ah ah I love her! Many other people have been placed in our path and the Lord is MERCIFUL! Our ward mission leader told us yesterday, that some areas (that are pumping) are for the mission...and other areas are for our own learning and growth! It was just what I needed to hear:) I know that the Lord has a lot for me to learn right now! I have loved this area, and things are a roller coaster here but there are on an upward slope which I love! We found some good families to teach this week, and so be ready for some good miracle reports next week:)
    I am grateful for the FULL TRUTH, and knowledge of God's plan for me! I know that this gospel is true! It is the way to peace and happiness and they more fully we live it, the more blessings we receive! Just as Amalickiah asks Lehonti to come down from his mountain several times, and finally on the third he does come down and is killed...I know that we must never lower our standards! Never come down from where your at, hold your ground and keep moving forward! Reading the scriptures, praying and studying Preach My Gospel everyday will allow us to change and become stronger in this wicked world! I testify of the healing and changing power within the atonement.  IT.IS.REAL! I love you guys and pray for your everyday!!! xoxoxox
    Sister Ensign