Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 11

Hello Everyone!
I just got transferred to the city last week. It's sad to leave the Sunnybank area. Elder Fackrell, Liao and I started that area from just one investigator. It was just starting to bloom right as Elder Liao and I left, but I know the Lord has other plans for me and the people I will be serving in Brisbane city. My new companion is Elder Sun Chen from Taiwan. He's really nice, and mature too. He's in his mid 20's. I'll send pictures next week.
The first two days were the hardest. Mainly because my legs were soar from riding up hills on our bikes, and I got transferred to a no-car area. The next day after transfers, we had a 24 hour mission-wide fast to prepare for Elder Anderson of the Twelve to speak . We forgot to eat before the fast so we were pretty much dead. I was about ready to fall on my face!

Most of the investigators here are non-progressing. I haven't been able to get to know all of them yet, but we visited a Chinese couple named Long and Tan. They expressed their desire to be as happy as the people they see at church, and they said they always felt happier when we visit. I was so happy to hear that. That means that the spirit is working with them little by little. I got to know them a little better, and see why they weren't progressing. They want to be baptized, but felt they weren't ready at this time to be baptized. We invited them to ask God if it is the right time to be baptized, and continue to read the Book of Mormon. Right now we are just waiting for the next appointment and follow up.

Love Elder Westbrook

Monday, May 2, 2016

week 9

Dear Everyone

It's crazy to think I would have been just barely leaving the MTC if I learned a language. But this week was pleasing.

We had 4 new investigators this week. We met a Mongolian couple. The wife is named Odnoo (pronounced odna) and Sharov is the husband. Odnoo has met with missionaries before in Mongolia, she already has a testimony of the book of Mormon. It was really fun to teach the restoration in simple English, and use the English Book of Mormon and Mongolian version to reference verses to communicate our ideas. The lesson went well. I just hope they understood the importance of priesthood authority, and why there had to be a restoration of it. They are such a humble family and they explained that God plays a big role in their rough life. I am glad that we are able to work with them.

We met another African family. They speak French and enough English to understand us. Jean and Lorisa are their names.  He is a true Christian. Even though he didn't belong to any denomination, he does have a sincere testimony of Jesus Christ. All he really cares about is eternal life. I was impressed when he already assumed that a restoration meant that something was lost and had to be restored to it's original place. People usually don't make that connection. When we got to the Book of Mormon, and prayer, I was even more amazed at how he had prayed to know if the Bible was true before. Of course he got the answer that it was true. When we asked him to know if the Book of Mormon was true, he was already willing to do everything that was necessary to gain eternal life. We have yet to teach the Plan of Salvation to them. This family is truly an answer to our prayers. They are so ready to receive the Gospel. 

We are really excited to meet with them again! Till next week!

Love Elder Westbrook

Sunday, May 1, 2016

week 8

Hello everyone! I'll try to type as fast as I can, I only have 15 minutes.

I'll start with the bad news. We taught about 4 or 5 lessons this past week with no return appointments. We tried to set up a return appointment, but none would agree to meet with us again. Oh well. People have their own agency, and we can only keep trying and caring for them. Hulk and Pei yun dropped us. As well as the lesson went, they expressed that they didn't want to join the church. All we could do was let them know we are not here to recruit but to invite. 

At least from these experiences I was able to practice my teaching skills.

We got one new investigator this week. His name is Reon. He is atheist and makes really good points. It's a good thing I had Elder Fackrell to save me. He wants proof for everything. He really does have a desire to know if it is true or not, from us instead of from the internet. At least he listens. Long story short, he is slowly changing his mind set from needing evidence to seeing the importance of faith in knowing if the Book of Mormon is true.

Love you all!

Elder Westbrook

enjoy the pictures

week 7

Hello Everyone!

I don't have much time today,but just wanted to share some answered prayers from this week. We have been looking for new people to teach and did a lot of finding. We prayed to find some people that are willing to hear the message and that are ready. We got so many numbers from people, which is a miracle because no one usually gives their number to missionaries. We have yet to contact them though. 

We found 4 people this week and taught them the first lesson. Each of them went well. The only issue was that they don't know their schedule, so we never got to set up a return appointment. They will be such great investigators. I noticed that they are really sensitive to the Holy Ghost, even though they don't know it. We met Claire, and Hulk and Pei yun (42). Hulk and Pei yun are a couple that just moved to Sunnybank. They are the nicest Asians that I've met so far on the street. We taught them about Heavenly Father and how he loves them. Pei yun said she felt something warm inside! I can't wait to tell them about the Holy Ghost! 

Time is running short, so see you all next week!

Elder Westbrook

Just some random pictures I took.
The little bird flew into our window.

week 6

Hello everyone!

This week wasn't bad. I had Golden Orientation this week. Basically we have an over-night training on the mission, their expectations and rules, and doing everything with the spirit. I was an inspiring experience, especially with President speaking; he always gives good training's. I learned so much from him this past week. We also had trade off's with our zone leaders. Elder Taylor lived in China before his mission in the Shen Zhen Branch. It's pretty amazing, the connections to different people we have. He is a great example to me, he has really good GQing skills and teaching skills. I was amazed at how he can connect with almost everyone he talks to and have a decent conversation. 

This week, we fasted for new investigators. Miraculously someone let us in after we pleaded with him a little. The statement my companion used was "we don't come out here for two years to have small talk with people. We would love to share this special message with you." Hans (the persons name) let us in after a moment of silence. Before we started, he bluntly told us that he just wanted to learn more about our church and has no intention of joining. We were more than happy to teach him just that. We taught the restoration, and answered all his questions. The spirit was definitely there, I know Hans felt it too even though he may deny it. Miraculously, he accepted the invitation to say the closing prayer. The spirit was so strong. I know he knew that there was something different about us. Sadly he denied the invitation for another lesson, and was satisfied with the little knowledge we shared with him. All we could do was give him our number and a copy of the Book of Mormon and invite him to read. We hope he will call us for another lesson.

We also met a guy named Peter at General Conference. I will be brief, since my time is running short. He had a lot of questions for us. He also had a lot of his own ideas. He had a genuine desire to find a true church. He came to the right place, but he wanted physical evidence to know how a church is true and how you know someone has Priesthood Authority. Sadly that's not how the gospel works. We told him over and over that the only way to know these things, is to exercise faith and read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. This answer was not what he was looking for but it is the truth. We encouraged him to continue to meet with the sisters. Hopefully he will eventually realize that the gospel is actually simple and we are the ones that complicate things. As we watched conference, we invited him to ponder about the questions he had during conference and find his answers there. I know I found answers to his questions, but he continues to deny that he found any answers.

Until next week!

Elder Westbrook

MVI: The size of bats in Australia