Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 40

Hello all!
It's been a great week with my new companion. Even though we can hardly understand each other, we get along just great. He reminds me of Afui a little. Just speaks a different language. 
We did a lot of visiting Less actives and members. We have been GQing and door knocking on those hours that are slower and visit members when most people are home. We are slowly building up our ward and getting them to do missionary work and following up. Following up is vital, it shows your love and reminds the members to keep doing missionary work.
We had two return missionaries give talks this Sunday. One went to Perth(Western Australia) and one went to Portugal. Both of them opened my eyes to the difference between knowing the Savior and knowing about the Savior. Any one can do the latter, but not everyone is willing to actually know Him by applying His Atonement in their daily life(John 17:3). I can see that here in Australia and everywhere else. People use the Bible to prove others wrong and argue doctrine, but they are missing the point. We come to know Him as we exercise faith in Him, repent, being baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and try our best in being like Him. Just like the Pharisees in the Bible, many people just don't get the point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
We come to know and love Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven as we experience the cleansing effect of the Atonement. That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.
Love Elder Westbrook

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week39

G'day Mates
Pretty exciting week, we got a mini missionary this week. Brother Hillier from a nearby ward came with us for half a week. He is a 17 year old preparing for a mission. 
Also, I'm training!...again! Elder Etilage, he is from Tahiti and speaks French. His English is really good for just a couple months of learning. It will be exciting to see the Ward and Elder Etilage grow. We will be going Mountain Biking with the YM today after we email so it will be great! The kids in our ward really need a role model so I am glad that our bishop has asked us to get more involved with the youth. 
Door knocking has been a little easier after the new Christmas initiative began. People are more prone to listen even though they are still not interested in learning about the gospel. It's still good to plant seeds.
Hope everyone has a white Christmas!

Love Elder Westbrook

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 38

Hello 
We taught Tamara the Plan of Salvation this week, she is learning really well. We have been explaining very simply all the lessons because she is a slower learner. She has started reading the Book of Mormon and starting to pray, she is progressing really well.
Bishop has advised us to be more involved with the YM so we have been going to their activities and priesthood class. I miss those days when we used to be in the YM! Sadly the youth in the ward aren't that close. All of the YM go to different schools so it's hard when you only see the kids once a week. Other than that it is great being with the YM! We built fires during the activity and saw who could build the biggest fire. 
Elder Ho and I have been visiting some members more frequently instead of door knocking. Door knocking isn't the most effective here. We have been visiting a part-member family, the Browns. Phil is his name, his sister is the only member and Phil's family and the member's family(Regina) live in the same house, so it can get quite crowded there. Phil has been taught by missionaries in the past, but we have started teaching him again. He has committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We will follow up on Thursday.
This week is the last week of the transfer, hopefully I get to stay here!
Love Elder Westbrook

Week 37




Hello all , this week was a week of miracles. First off we got a referral from a recent convert and before finishing the first lesson with her, she just blurted out" I'm actually thinking about getting baptized." So now we have a date for Tamara for Dec 10. She has been going to church quite often and learning from the recent convert and her husband, Tammy and Julian. Julian is a returned missionary and has been teaching Tamara many of the lessons. She also said that when she comes to church, she feels peace. That is the Holy Ghost working in the life Tamara. 

There are people out there ready and searching for answers that the Gospel can give! Many of those people are YOUR friends! Members have to responsibility to find people for the missionaries to teach and missionaries are responsible to teach them. We have been working with members and gaining their trust and helping them in their missionary work. I invite all of you to read The Power of Everyday Missionaries. This book will inspire you just like it did me. 
We also bumped into some people this week that were actually interested in learning about the Book of Mormon. Torri is a single mother with a 14 year old daughter and she said she is looking for a congregation to go to. We invited her to come to church but she couldn't make it. Hopefully she comes next week. Graham is a Pentecostal, don't know much about him but we will follow up this Saturday.
Love you all
Elder Westbrook
Pics from Zone Conference 

Week 36

Hello all!
We just had Stake Conference this last Sunday. It was great! Elder Fatta from the 70 came and spoke to us. Since the missionary work here in Australia is slow, his talk mostly consisted of members doing missionary work. I was really glad that he spoke to the whole Stake about it because Elder Ho and I have been finding ways that we can strengthen the ward. 
Door knocking in Australia is probably the most ineffective way to find people. Almost all of the doors we knock on have do not knock signs. Although they are geared more towards sales people, Aussies don't like their door knocked at all. Most people don't even wait to hear our message they just say "not interested". When they do listen, the response is either "I have my own church" or " I'm happy where I'm at". 
I recently read a book called The Power of Everyday Missionaries. It is an inspiring book. I would assume that many members would want to do missionary work, but either don't know how or are intimidated by it. After reading the book, we now have some ideas about what we will be doing with the members to help with their missionary work. 
Many members are scared that they might offend their friend or damage their relationship. This book mentions that when you invite them in a loving and caring manner, your relationship actually builds because they see that you care for their well being. And when your non-member friends decide to listen to the missionaries but don't accept the message, again, your relationship with your friend usually is strengthened. Elder Ho and I will start working with the leadership of the ward and find ways we can get some baptisms!
Love Elder Westbrook

Week 35

Hello family and friends!
Elder Ho and I are now starting our 3rd week together. Couldn't ask for a better companion! We have been door knocking all week, and temple Pday threw our bodies of sync. I'm so relieved that it's Pday! We are still figuring out how we can best work with the ward. During church, we try to talk to as many members as we can. We have also been going to priest quorum and teachers quorum to get to know the youth. 
We met some weird people this week. One man named Richard is a hardcore Atheist. He is super nice but despises religion. He even admits that he contradicts himself...
We have been struggling to find people to teach from door knocking, but doesn't seem very effective since Australians don't even like anyone knocking on their door... Hopefully we can find an investigator through door knocking. 
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I love the people of Australia. I know I will baptize converts who need this message. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Love Elder Westbrook

Week 34

Hello!
The English program is awesome! Lots more dinner appointments! But that's not why it's awesome. I feel like in the Capalaba Ward, I can actually do missionary work. The ward is very cooperative. I am very excited to be able to work with them. Sorry no time today!
Elder Westbrook

Week 33

Hello!
Exciting news! I got transferred to the English program!! I will no longer be speaking Chinese. Sad day, but I know the Lord has other plans for me. My new companion is Elder Ho, from Hawaii. He just finished his training so we will have a blast together! I will be serving in the Capalaba area. So excited for some new experiences and new challenges. Looks like we will be having many more dinner appointments than in the Chinese program so that's exciting as well.
This week has pretty great. We found a new investigator named Larry from Papa New Guinea. He took everything well and accepted to be baptized. We have yet to give him a date but he seems to be pretty solid. My two old companions will be companions now. Elder Li and Liao will be together. They will have some tough challenges as both of their English skills aren't very good. Hopefully they will be able to teach our investigators well. 
Ryosuke now has a job. He has been super busy and unable to meet with us. I hope that he can receive a spiritual witness soon. God has answered his prayer by blessing him with a new job. He didn't immediately recognize that as an answer, we had to help him realize it. 
Other than that not much has happened. I have renewed energy to serve in this area and hope I can be an instrument in the Lords hands.

Love Elder Westbrook


Sorry no pictures this week, or for the next 6 weeks, for the computers' USB ports are disabled by the library.

Week 32

Hello

Pretty slow this week. We had dinner with bishop, that was great. We really got to know our Bishop a little more. He works for an explosives company. We did a lot of finding this week since it was general conference last week. I stayed awake through all the sessions for the first time ever! Taking notes on the talks really helps me to stay awake. 

Ryosuke's baptism date got changed to December 3 since we are waiting for his girlfriend to move out so he can live the law of chastity. All we have left is the 10 commandments and tithing. So far he is doing really well with everything we have taught. He continues to read the Book of Mormon every day. We will do a fast with him this week so he can receive an answer.

We have mostly been out GQing this last week with little success. We will be contacting some of our phone numbers this week.

Hope all is well back at home

Love Elder Westbrook




Week 31

Hello all!

Don't have much time this week, but here are some pictures.​




Week 30




Hello! 

We have a new investigator this week named John. He is a refferal from the sisters. He is Chinese and learning English. We are mainly helping him with his language test for this Saturday and teaching the Gospel in the end of our meeting. He says he feels peace when he prays so we hope he can progress.

Ryosuke has been doing well with commandments. We are helping him quit smoking. He is still waiting for his answer. He has committed to go from 20 sticks to 9 sticks a day. We have asked him to ask his girlfriend if she would like to learn about the gospel. We don't want Ryosuke to be the only one living the gospel if he is in a relationship. 

One of our members randomly asked if we are teaching a guy named Conor. We said we used to. Conor is an Aussie that we dropped because he wouldn't answer our calls our texts. He had a date and everything and was excited to be baptized. We don't know why he stopped answering us. But anyway, the member said he met Conor at a party and started talking and learned that he used to meet with us. So now we have contact with Conor again. Our prayers have been answered, and hopefully this is the right time for Conor to except the Gospel.

Sorry if I have any grammar mistakes, trying to hurry through emailing.

All is well, all is well!

Elder Westbrook

Week 29

Hello!

Not bad this week, one day we had 3 lessons on the street. We started talking to them on the street and then found a spot on some grass and taught some lessons. We got one investigator from that so far and will follow up with him.

Ryosuke has a date for the 22nd of October. He is progressing quite well and has been reading the Book of Mormon quite often. We are just waiting for a spiritual confirmation. Today we will be helping him to recognize the Holy Ghost. Right now Ryosuke is in the Lord's hands. We will be here to answer any questions and he will do all the reading and praying. We are excited for him to find an answer for himself. Church has been a struggle for him since he doesn't understand English very well. Baden in our ward has been a tremendous help in teaching and fellow shipping Ryosuke.

 Most of our other investigators don't answer their phone so it's hard to be able to meet with them. Our meal appointment policy has changed. It used to be we can go to a members house on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, without an investigator present and we need an investigator present any other day for meal appointments. Now we can go to a members house every day of the week with or without an investigator present. We got to go to Kieren's house and we real played the Plan of Salvation with him. Since he is a return missionary, we critiqued us on our teaching, it was really helpful.


Love Elder Westbrook

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Week 28

Hello! 

We spent most our time on bikes this week. I got really tired of GQing in the city everyday for 3 transfers so I figured we should go GQ on our bikes, it has been pretty effective so far. This last week we probably spent 20-30 hours on our bikes riding and GQing. We have some lessons set up for this week from bike GQing. It is actually really fun riding around town. We get to explore the area more; something new everyday. 

This week is also exams week so most of our lessons were cancelled. Many of our investigators are students right now and have "busy" schedules.

Ryosuke has been reading the Book of Mormon pretty frequently now, and says really good prayers. We identified that he needs to know what the spirit feels like. He has been looking at these things very temporally instead of spiritually. We will help him this week with that.

I got to drive a car in Australia for the first time; it's super awkward when everything is backwards.

Other than that, nothing really exciting happened

Elder Westbrook





Story Bridge and some fun with the camera​

Week27



Hello all,

Turns out I am staying this transfer. It will be my fourth transfer here in the city. I was supposed to get transferred to Gold Coast but I guess they wanted Elder Morris to go instead. I'm will my uncle Elder Li again!! So excited to work with him this transfer. He is a really hard and dedicated worker of the Lord. 

Conor is still on his way to baptism. We haven't taught him the commandments yet but will be this week. Hopefully we will be able to work with him to help him with commandments. He believes everything we have taught him. All he needs is a testimony of the Book of Mormon. 

We weren't able meet with many investigators this week. Only Ryosuke and Conor. Ryosuke is from Japan and has been meeting with us these past weeks. He has progressed so much since the time we first met him, even though he doesn't quite see it yet. This week on Saturday we will be fasting with him for him to receive a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I am so excited for him to gain a testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. This work is truly great.

Our GQing has been quite slow as well. We have only got 2 potentials these past few weeks. Hopefully with Elder Li things will start to change. I am ready for some more learning. 

It is starting to get warmer here in Australia... Summer in Australia is the time when all the Chinese students go back home. I heard it is super slow in the summer, But with the Lords help, anything is possible!


Elder Westbrook

​​

Pictures of the Chinese program and "the face you make when you get what you want for Christmas"​

Week 26

Hello all, 







Not much happened this week, haven't had lots of success finding. We figured we would try door knocking since GQing is probably isn't going to be any more effective. We knocked on this lady's door.. She had a "no salesman. Do not knock" sticker. We figured 1) we weren't salesman, we were missionaries, 2) we were going to use the doorbell instead. Here's basically how it went:
"Can't you read the sign?!! It says no salesman!"
"Oh sorry.. we're not salesman we are missionaries."
"You ARE salesman, you're selling me religion!! Your wasting my time! I put that sign on my door for a reason!  Where are you from?"\
"The United States...?"
"I know, I can tell by your accent, but where are you from? What group?"
"We're from the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints."
"Alright, now I know who to complain to... I have your names already! Don't even bother telling me to have a good day cause you've already ruined it!"
" K Bye"
So after that my companion and I were just laughing our heads off because she was going to complain to our church. Made me wonder if our church headquarters has a customer service haha.

We have been teaching a guy named Conor. He is 18 and is a competitive javelin thrower. His family is devout Christian but don't belong to a denomination. I contacted him about 2 transfers ago but he was on his way to Germany for a competition, so we didn't get to teach him until this week. When we invited him to be baptized, he said he already believes everything that we taught. So we set a date with him for the first of October! We will be teaching him the Gospel of Jesus Christ today. 


Love Elder Westbrook


Sisters napping in the office, a Lambo, trade-offs with zone leader, coocoobera bird(don't know how they spell it)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week 25




 
Dear All:
I think this week is week 25, I may have miscounted the weeks. 

Transfers are coming up soon. I hope I will be able to stay, I am just starting to like the ward, but I'll go where the Lord needs me. I may be going to the Gold Coast if I get transferred. Even though Gold Coast is the Celestial Kingdom, there isn't much Chinese people there. I hope I can be effective anywhere I serve.

Love you all,
Elder Westbrook

 a little video I made​

Week-24

Hello all!

Today was temple day so we didn't get a Pday on Monday. 

The baptism on Saturday was so great. There were a total of 3 people baptized this week. Our district leaders companionship baptized a lady named Serena and her mother. It was a miracle how they met. Elder Jackson ( our district leader) bumped into Serena after a lesson and taught her the Restoration right afterward. Then Serena's mom (Cai) started meeting with them too. Elder Jackson told me that they had only known Cai for 17 days before she was baptized. It is such a miracle to see all three of these people get baptized. 

I spoke again during the service. Luckily I didn't forget my talk this time. Since there were Aussie and Chinese people, I had to translate each of my sentences into Chinese and English. It wasn't that bad though. 

The hard part was when I had to translate for our mission president and two other bishops. Funny thing happened. I translated a sentence for President that I wasn't sure of, and I don't know why, but I look to President and say" Is that right?" The whole congregation starts laughing. It's ok though, it will be a memorable baptism.

We met a lady named Jayace (pronounced Jace). She is a biology student at QUT. She has a really interesting personality and she's super funny. After she said her prayer, I said "that was really good!" but she just replied" you have really low standards!" She has lots of questions of what we believe and told us she is looking at a website that has all of the answers to her questions. Now I'm starting to worry...

We met Mathew that same week. He is super genuine. He is an embryologist and grew up going to Catholic school. He was kind of blown away at the first vision, but he committed to read the Book of Mormon. 



I hope that's long enough for you mom.









Love Elder Westbrook