Dreams come true. Tuesday I was transferred to the International Branch in the City.
The Melbourne 2nd branch consists of us, a set of English speaking Elders and 4 sets of Vietnamese speaking Elders. The Melbourne 1st branch is Chinese! Oh how I love every second. At church, those passing the sacrament were from Mexico, Iran, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is TRULY International.
I am with my dear Sister L.! She is darling, has so much faith and intelligence, and is such a blessing to me. Life is beautiful!!!
The majority of the people we teach are students from overseas and speak broken English. I am learning to teach more simply, purely and more powerfully than ever before...we generally teach people who God is, and how they can have a relationship with Him.
"Talk to everyone" has never had such a profound and literal meaning. As soon as we step out the door, we open our mouths to any and everyone. We have a car for exchange purposes, but our transportation in the city includes foot and tram (occasionally train or bus). There are HEAPS of people, predominately Asian. We talk as we walk, we talk to those on benches, we talk to people on the tram, we talk to everyone. I love it.
We start exchanges up this week...most missionaries never get a chance to visit the city. I feel that it will be so beneficial for our sisters to get to experience the pace of missionary work here and feel the spirit in the branch.
This week Sister L. and I have raised our vision regarding key indicators, we are building our faith and are fully relying on our Heavenly Father. Miracles are happening.
As I mentioned before, the branch is mostly students. It is hard because most are not here for long. The sweetest girl did not pass an exam and is having to leave Australia and go back to Vietnam next week. It is devastating :(
The students are so loving. No matter who you are, they accept, love and fellowship you. Most of the branch is here by themselves and they make the branch in the city (!23 Lonsdale Street) their home. It is a FAMILY and is so special.
Sunday was perhaps one of the most powerful Sacrament Meetings I've ever been apart of. A boy from Vietnam who is not a member played the piano so beautifully...he will go to Berkley soon to be a composer! The spirit is so strong in the Branch.
Remember me telling you about M?!!! Well he is so wonderful! I'm not sure how to send pictures from this computer , but imagine a Japanese anime teen boy with shaggy black hair ;) We have been teaching him every other day and he cannot wait to be baptised on the 20th. He is a branch ENTHUSIAST andis there more than we are! Although so quiet, he has fellow shipped every investigator in the branch, haha. He went to a baptism Friday and asked the Elders 3 times if he can have some white clothes to get baptised. Last night we taught a boy called Tom. from Japan as well, M. came too and in his very broken English taught Tom. how to pray...it was so incredible.
Our apartment is itty bitty! In the bathroom you can easily touch the shower, toilet, sink and washing machine without stretching your arms too much :)
I have had so many interesting foods while being here!! Dried jack fruit, proper Japanese ramen, bamboo shoots, Japanese black fungus, taro roll, seaweed and tofu soup, herbal jelly soy drink etc.
It has been quite the week. I love how I fall asleep within 30 seconds every night,. I love working. I love testifying to everyone I meet that God loves them, and that Jesus Christ's church is on the earth today.
This week so many great missionaries left, it was heavy on my heart saying goodbye to 5 in particular that changed my life. I am so blessed to be here. I am getting back so much more than I give. I love my mission. I love serving Jesus Christ. I deeply believe that it is only though Him that we can feel true peace, and true joy. It is only through Him that we can live with our families for ETERNITY. I know it.