Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week 61

Hello all
This week was great. 
We had a coordination meeting with the bishop and ward mission leader. It was really great to see that the bishop and the ward want to work with us and help others come into the gospel. 
We got to share the Restoration on Sunday with the YSA. One of our investigators, Kalen, is progressing really well. He has read to Alma in the Book of Mormon. He came to the YSA fast breaker last night and we taught about Joseph Smith and how the gospel had blessed the lives of many. He is starting to have a different countenance about him, you could say he is starting to "glow". Don't know if it's just me, but he does seem a lot happier the last time I saw him. That's what the gospel does to you when you live it. So that's great. He's doing awesome. 
One funny story. Right before we were going to the fast breaker, we shared a quick message with a family about Lehi's dream. Their son was trying to remember what the fruit represented, he said" doesn't it represent... the flesh of God"? All of us just burst out laughing. He meant to say the fruit represented the love of God. 
That's all folks
Love Elder Westbrook

week 60

Hey Everyone!

The lesson with Kalen went really well, he has read a lot of the Book of Mormon so that's great. 
Bishop came with us to a lesson with a lady named Sarah. It didn't go as well as I thought, we could have planned better.

We met with all the bishops in the stake and talked to them about missionary work. The wards are doing ok, but they can do a lot more with missionary work. 

Not much time today. See you next week!

Love Elder Westbrook

Week 59

Hello All
I wrote down some things this week so I can remember to share it with you. 
It was an amazing week. The most amazing part of it was when Elder Nielsen of the Area Presidency came to our Zone Conference. That man is truly amazing. We mainly focused on Alma 17-24 during the conference. We talked about helping people awake from a spiritual sleep through the Holy Ghost. As missionaries we help people awake from that sleep and remember their first lessons in the Pre earth life. We help them to wake up to the reality of the Saviors plan. 
Also, a fun fact of the day... We were talking about repentance at the conference. In Hebrew, the word for repentance is Shub. It means to turn from or to change. In Greek, in means Meta neoa. Which means to become a new Creature. That's where the work metamorphosis came form. So in the Bible when it talks about repentance, it merely means a change from something. When the Bible was translated into Latin, it was paenitentiam. That's where the word penitentiary came from, to mean like punish, or prison. Repentance is supposed to be joyful, it's not supposed to have the negative vibe to it as the word has today. When we repent, we become a new creature in Christ, just like when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We also had a fun experience door knocking. This street we knocked was probably the most prepared street I have ever knocked. We knocked in to at least 3 - 5 homes that had a family member pass away, and about 3 houses with new born babies. Each time we would knock into one of those houses, they would politely ask us to leave. It is rather sad that they weren't receptive to the very message that would give answers and help them in their situation. One lady lost a son and blames God for all her hardship and wonders why he didn't take her instead or why these things happen. We started to teach her the message but she kept cutting us off and won't allow us to answer her questions. We tried the best we could to answer her questions and give her an opportunity to learn. 
Another lady just had a baby, so I ask the question of " How did you feel when you were holding your new born?" I was expecting something like" I felt so close to God" or " It was a really precious moment for me to hold something so innocent", but instead we got " oh... it was nice. Look, I'm not interested, bye." Just a another day in Aussie land.
Love Elder Westbrook

Week 58

Hello All
This week was pretty amazing. Elder Ray and I didn't do much proselyting. We spent most of our time meeting with the auxiliaries of the Redland Bay Ward. The Ward mission leader is wonderful. He is genuine and committed to his calling. He is the definition of one who magnifies their calling. The Bishop and Ward mission leader work together in doing missionary work. This is the first ward I have been in where the whole ward, Bishopric, and Auxiliaries are united together. We received more referrals from members the first week here than I had my whole mission. The Ward loves and is not afraid of missionary work. The ward hasn't seen any baptisms for almost 2 years. I believe that the ward is a the beginning of a harvest, as the ward mission leader says. The members are excited to invite their friends to church. Never have I seen a ward so excited for it. 
Elder Ray and I are grateful to be apart of this Ward and apart of hastening the work in the ward.
Elder Westbrook

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week57

Hello everyone
This week was a blur, honestly. It went by so quick. 
My companion Elder F got called as an Assistant to the President. That is now my third companion in the office now. I dodged the bullet 3 times! 
My new companion is Elder Ray, I will be Zone leader training him. At the same time, I guess the office decided to make us white wash a new Zone Leader area. We traded areas with one of our sisters in the zone, so they will also be white washing. (white washing is putting two new missionaries in an area.)
General Conference was awesome. I had many questions that were answered. My favorite talk was by President Utchdorf in Priesthood session. He talked about how leaders should serve whom they lead. That really changed how I look at leadership. 
 This next transfer will be great!
Love Elder Westbrook
The computers won't allow us to send pics...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week56

Hello people

Pretty good week this week. Lots has happened. 

To start off, we have a baptism date now. We found Robert a while back and followed up with him recently. We found out that he met with missionaries before and was on track to be baptized. But because of Word of Wisdom issues and him moving, he didn't get baptized. We set him on date for the 29th of April and we are working with him to over come his issues. 
We had a few fun experiences this week as well. This past Thursday, There was a category 4 cyclone just to the north of us. We got hit with the tail end of the cyclone. Many areas were flooded. Thankfully no one in our ward was hit too bad. We were having Missionary Leadership Council at the church by the Temple. Just as we were starting with opening prayer and spiritual thought, President announced that MLC will be cut short due to the cyclone. We had to call the whole mission and tell them to stay home for the whole day. The whole city of Brisbane was shut down and everyone was sent home from work. Honestly the storm wasn't bad where we were, it just rained all day, so we got permission from the Assistants to go out and work. 

The above story leads into the next part of the week. Since it was April Fool's on Saturday, we just HAD to pull a prank on the zone. So since the whole mission stayed home and did pretty much nothing, we sent a text out to the whole Zone, telling them that Pday will be shortened to 2 hours because we all stayed home on Thursday. By the end of the evening, we wished the whole Zone a happy April Fool's and enjoy their very very normal Pday. The Zone was not very happy about that, but we had a good time pranking them.

Then, on this fast Sunday, since none of the young men had shown up, Elder F and I decided to prepare for the Sacrament. The bread was set on the Sacrament table, and we covered up the Sacrament. During the Sacrament hymn, two very confused Priests uncovered the cloth only to discover that there was no bread on the trays. Now the confusion turned into panic. The First counselor got up and looked all over the place. Thankfully, the Sacrament bread was found and we were able to partake of the Sacrament. 

Turns out Bishop's son with down syndrome stole the Sacrament bread and hid it under one of the pews. The first counselor under Heavenly inspiration knew where to look and found the bread. Bishop apologized to everyone at the end of testimony meeting and we all had a good laugh.
 
So it was a pretty fun week this week.

Love Elder Westbrook
















Week55



Hello all.

This week was pretty great. We did a sports night this past Friday as a finding opportunity. 28 people came and 8 of them were non members. That was only the first time we did it, so we hope there will be more people this coming Friday. 

We had an interesting experience yesterSunday. We were street contacting to catch up on our contacts for the week. This was about 8 in the evening. We see one of our Ward members just walking and pacing back and forth. When she walked by us we said hello but she didn't seem to recognize us. So we thought that was a bit odd. We followed her a bit and asked her a few questions. She gave us some really odd answers. We thought she was sleep walking or something. She actually drove her car from her house all the way to the local library where we were contacting. She didn't know what was going on whole time. We called Bishop, but he said as far as he knew she was mentally stable. After making a few calls we had to call the ambulance to pick her up. It was my first time calling an ambulance ever. Glad that she drove around and got to see us so we can help her get to the hospital safely.

Another interesting less active family in our ward. The father comes to our church and his wife who is also a member(Both endowed and sealed) goes to another Pentecostal church. Since they have an 11 year old that isn't baptized, we wanted to work with the parents to get him baptized. But what is interesting is she texted us that she will be having him baptized in "her" church. Her 17 year old son was just ordained a priest, so we asked her if she knew that her son had the priesthood to baptize his younger brother. She hasn't replied, but we will use that to convince her to have her son baptize her other son.

​​things are happening in Manly...

Love Elder Westbrook


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Week54

Hello All! 
It's been pretty busy lately! Not much time on our hands. We have seen our zone as a whole improve in the work. The past two transfers, we have averaged about 2-3 new investigators per week for the zone, now in the past 2 weeks we have been getting 17-18 new investigators a week in the zone! now that we have the people to teach, we are working with the members to get them involved in the work as well. We will be having sports night every Friday so the members can bring their non member friends and our investigators can meet the members as well.
We found my companions cousin just street contacting, you know Polynesians, their all related... His name is Ta'a. He went to our church back in Tonga and loved it so he will be coming in the coming weeks. We were glad to see a whole less active family at church this week. One of the sons, Daniel, started going to seminary after we stopped by the family's house and a young women that goes to seminary invited him to come. He is the key to his whole family becoming active again.

What's funny is that the girl that invited Daniel, Skyla, isn't even a member. Her whole family is baptized except for her. We have tried talking to the parents about getting her baptized, but they feel she isn't ready. She is already doing more than a regular member would do.

Most our investigators are in part member family's. We average about 5 non members at sacrament a week, and some that go to church have been going for 2 or even 20 years. We are working with the Matiu family. The dad is a non member. He has been coming to church with his family but doesn't want to get baptized because he "wants to have a little more fun". He said he won't get baptized until December until he gets a "knock on the head". So we are taking our hammers with us in our next lesson and "knock him in the head". 
It is a challenge in the Manly Ward working with the part member families, but we are praying hard for them!

Love Elder Westbrook
 ​​​​











Week52

Hello All!'

A lot has happened this past week. Elder F and I got things done. We changed our focus from tracting to visiting part member families and less actives. It has turned to be really successful. If the family isn't home, we do 2 2 4. We knock 2 doors on the right and left and 4 doors across the street. We have found many potentials doing that. Door knocking is probably the least effective way of doing missionary work, especially in Queensland. There are less actives and part member families that are prepared to receive the message. 

Vincent Matiu, a non member father, came to church this week. His family are all members but him. The week before, he was saying how going to church was a big step for him. Two weeks later, he shows up to church. It was fast Sunday and the spirit was strong and after church he told us that he felt something while at church. He now has a desire to progress in the gospel and attend church regularly. We are so excited for him! 

We have a number of other less actives and part members to visit this week. Elder F and I are excited for this coming transfer.


Love Elder Westbrook

Week 51

Hello Everyone!This week is transfers. As of right now, I don't have my companion yet. He will be arriving off the Plane from the Northern Zone. Elder Fukofuka is his name.

The last transfer has been really slow in the Manly area. Hopefully with renewed energy we will be able to make things happen! 

We went on trade offs this week with our district leader Elder Tenney. He is in the Camp Hill area and that area is pretty slow as well. They currently have no bishop. He just moved and they are in the process of finding a new bishop.
We also went on splits with other members of our ward. It was a huge success. The people we went to visit were the members Home teaching families. The people we went on splits with are Sam and Andrew. They are brothers, recently got baptized, and are preparing to go on missions. They are also home teaching companions. Sam and Andrew weren't able to visit any of their home teaching families before, but when we went this time, we were able to visit four of them and have a lesson wit one of them. I went with Sam and my companion went with Andrew. Sam is 18 and just became an Elder. He got to give his first blessing to one of the members. It was great! 

President has been wanting us to work with the members. There is something called the Gestalt Theory. It means that the sum of the two parts is greater than the whole. Basically it means 1+1=3. He talks about yoking with members. When two horses pull a load, they can pull triple or quadruple the amount that one horse can pull. That is because when one horse sees the other pulling it gives the other more motivation. But when one horse isn't doing the work, the whole load will stop. It's a little hard to explain, but there is a video you can watch by Elder Boyd K Packer where he talks about it. 

Manly has so much potential, we just have to yoke with the members and things will happen!

Elder Westbrook​​​​​​​​​​​​​​






Week 50

Hello Everyone!

Solid week this week. We found a new couple to teach. They are older, and from Ireland. The wife has many questions and is confused about which doctrine is true. The husband just wants to debate. We are going to try to work with the wife as much as we can.

There was a baptism this Saturday for our zone. The sisters in our zone quickly baptized him because he was leaving to Italy the next day. They got permission from president, so it was all good.

Love Elder Westbrook




Week 49?

Hello! 

All is well here in the Manly area. Found a new investigator through a part member family. They are keen to have us over. 

Will keep you updated. 

Till next week!

Love Elder Westbrook