Tuesday, February 28, 2017

22nd -28th February 2017

So I'm not in Salt lake yet but it is P day today so I still get to email, I leave to salt lake in 5 and a half hours so plenty of time! I am really excited about finally getting into the field! I have heard a little about missionary work here..... I GET AN IPAD!! And there are even some stores (in Salt lake only, no where else in the world) where missionaries eat free! I just really want to meet my trainer and get started. I had lots of big goodbyes for everyone, getting their emails and I found out there is a zone tradition of giving the departing missionaries a blessing, so I got to choose the people giving the blessing. I chose everyone in my district (elders Gno, Johnson, Nordwald and Al-Rudhan) and my favorite two Mongolians elder Lambert and elder Coleman. I had elder Lambert voice the blessing and it was great! I feel ready. Yesterday I had a class with my teacher and because my two companions left for their mission early in the morning, I was the only class member. So basically it turned into a 3 hour question and answer session about missionary work and Indonesia itself. I will miss my teacher brother Rawle a lot, he really cares about his students and he just teaches with so much passion. I will get to skype him weekly though while I'm in the field so it will be OK. My zone has become like my family and it's so sad to have to leave them, but I will keep in touch with them though. Not too much new aside from getting ready to leave and I'm not too sure if I'll get to email again when I get there but I will arrive in Salt lake at 3:50pm american time. I'm grateful for my opportunity to serve and although I am very unsure of what lies ahead, I have complete faith that I will be in God's hands and that as long as it's His will he will provide a way.

Monday, February 27, 2017

26th February 2017

So I get to make an emergency email because I learned that because my visa hasn't come yet, that even if it does come I will still be serving one full transfer (6 weeks) in the Salt lake city Utah mission for one full transfer. I have been soooo sad saying goodbye to everyone and sister Bartholemew cried. I will be taking the train (or tracks as people in Utah call it) and my mission president will be president spendlove. For those who don't know, the mission president and his wife are basically mum and dad so this is a BIG deal! I know this is God's hand in my life and that there is no such thing as coincidence and I have no idea if i'll get to call in with my family when I get to America so I might just see you guys next p day (I don't know which day p day is in this mission).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

15th - 21st February 2017

So last Thursday I began hearing that my companions missionary portal online had changed from the Indonesia, Jakarta mission to the Logan Utah America mission and I had not yet checked mine. So I checked mine on the Saturday and it said I would be going to the Utah Salt lake City America mission. I had nobody to talk to about it because things were closed till today. Once I got to the travel office they notified me that until I get my visa, I am going to Salt lake and that the latest they can wait for a visa is 3 hours before the planned flight to Indonesia. So my flight is at 1:50pm on the 27th of feb (America time) and sometimes peoples visa's come on the day people are supposed to leave so basically I will have no idea which mission i go to until 10:50pm on the 27th. This is an extremely unexpected change but if it's what God wants then I will go and serve. If I go to America it would only be until my visa came which would be for one transfer at the most (roughly 6 weeks). Now that I have unloaded all my stress about that I can tell you how my week's been.

This is my last week so I'm trying to learn and take in all I can. On Thursday I will have this thing called in field orientation which is an introduction to the field basically. 

I got to see elder Rohner and received a hug from him on behalf of my family which was really great, the first taste of familiarity I've gotten since I arrived here. Nathan seems to be doing well and his language looks hard but he'll get it, his whole district are in it together so he will be o.k. He adjusted very quickly to MTC life. Our schedules are miles apart so I don't get to see him much. 

It seems I got my wish that I would get to perform lots on my mission, we are currently working on the 3rd musical item since I got here and this time it will be a version of 'brightly beams' which will be written again by elder Colman. The previous piece 'oh Lord my God' was rejected for performance for being too technical and not spiritual enough so they asked us to prepare another piece thus 'brightly beams' (which is my dad's favorite hymn). I have been trying to think a lot about my career and basically my future because i'm still fairly unsure. It's difficult trying to balance focusing on the missionary work and actually having a plan for when I get back home. I have just began making a study journal which is organised by topic (e.g baptism, faith ect.) full of scriptures and quotes I have learnt at the MTC, I hope to continue it and use it throughout my mission to help me teach on certain topics better because I am no master of the scriptures. 

A man who was the head of media for the Church spoke about MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA this week. The play 'the Book of Mormon' (the play mocks the church) had just came out when I left so the church took advantage of this and took up literally every single form advertisement available in the station from the stairs to the banners. It was cool for everyone to see such an iconic place of Australia. Today will be my last chance to go to the temple for the next two years so i'll make the most of it. I have loved my stay at the MTC and have learnt so much here. The mission is changing me and will continue to do so to help bring me closer to Christ whilst I help others do the same. For those who are contemplating a mission, read D&C 4, pray to God and begin preparing now! The mission is for you'r investigators and not you, so study up for yourself while you can before the mission. Love God, love other people, develop a strong testimony and God will aid you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

8th - 14th February 2017

This week has really been the week where I truly felt settled and 100% happy to be here. The most significant thing that happened this week was all of the international missionaries got to go and look at the Salt Lake Temple and some other significant church buildings. So the temple was breath taking and the photos you see cannot accurately capture the enormity of the building. We spent not much time around the temple, mostly we went to other buildings like the Joseph Smith memorial building where we sore some artifacts from his life like the bars on the liberty jail he was kept in, the first edition of the Book of Mormon and the printing press it was created on. So that was cool. We also got to go to the relief society building (yes one exists) where there were pictures of all of the previous relief society presidents all the way down from Joseph's wife Emma smith. The relief society is the largest womens organisation in the world. I made some new friends who will be added to my email list soon, one from Puerto Rico and one from china who taught me a little chinese which was really fun! I learnt to say thank you, why?, what?, brother, sister, father, mother and elder Colman actually knows Chinese because he worked at a chinese restaurant so he learnt the language and he will help me learn some.... I love languages.... a lot. 

The 6 part men's chorus is coming along nicely and elder Colman is a genius for writing this piece! We are auditioning this Thursday so I'll have a recording for you guys next week. Two of us from the group including me will be leaving before this piece is performed though so they will have to replace us which is unfortunate but it's been a lot of fun. I have also uploaded a rehearsal of 'savior redeemer of my soul' which I have grown to love so much. We rehearsed last Thursday and unfortunately the three groups before us sang THE EXACT SAME SONG and have already been assigned to performances so we were greatly thanked and told to work on another piece and try again so now I'm trying to organise if you could hie to Kolob but there is not much time for that so it might not happen. I have uploaded a photo of us four performers around the piano the pianist being elder Colman, elder Jhonson on the violin and sister Peterson and I singing. 

Nathan (or elder Rohner I should say) will get here today I was told which I CAN'T WAIT FOR!! Finally seeing someone familiar around here. Also on Wednesday there will be a new elder, elder Green who will now become elder Nordwald's companion which will split up my trio and he will be sleeping in our room too! He will be learning Mong and he will be the only Mong student. I hope he will be cool and I will miss elder Nordwald! He will still be in all my classes and in the same room but now he doesn't have to follow elder Al-Rhudan and I around. Only 13 days left until I go to the field so that's really exciting! I also learnt my new favourite Indonesian word.... WADU (pronounced wahdoo), it pretty much means wow. You could drop something and you'd say wadu. You could see someone do something stupid and you'd say wadu. It's such a funny word that one of our teachers love, brother Blaser. Wow my emails are so long, let me know if this is a problem! 

I'm meeting more missionaries, learning more 
indo, singing more, playing more piano, becoming better friends with my comps, loving the MTC life and I will miss it here. Next week we will hear from a general authority (there are 84 in the church and make up the biggest church leaders in the world) so that will be awesome! Last week we heard from elder Gong who gave a great talk on not bursting people dreams in the field, I loved his talk.

I'll see you guys next week so stay awesome and endure to the end!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

1st - 7th February 2017

Hi Everyone,

This week you guys will finally get a bunch of photos! I got my new camera from the MTC store last week and I've been given photos from others so go check out the google drive. 

So I have learnt so much in the past week particularly with how to properly teach people the 'injil' - gospel. It is only recently that we've been able to teach more effectively particularly because my companions language is getting so much better! At first I basically had to be a translator between the investigator and my companions which was not ideal... but now they can start to try and listen and answer for themselves. They say that they can understand what the investigators are saying now (because they speak slower) but not me... I might try to slow down too. We taught the lesson on the plan of salvation which has lots of new information for someone who didn't already know about it let alone in another language. I felt the lesson become cold and not interactive as we left little opportunity for questions and self guided learning. So now we have learnt to focus a lot more on customising every lesson to the individual needs of an investigator. We have learnt that every good lesson should have:
testimonies, questions, a commitment at the end of the lesson, scriptures and an atmosphere of love and understanding. 

I recently memorised my missionary purpose in both English and Indonesian. My purpose is to:
invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end.

Mengundang orang lain untuk datang kepada Kristus dengan membantu mereka menerima injil yang dipulihkan melalui iman kepada Yesus Kristus dan pendamaiannya, pertobatan, pembaptisan, menerima karunia roh kudus dan bertahan sampai akhir.

Next is memorising the first vision. Wish me luck!

The days are absolutely flying by now though! Today marks my 3 week anniversary of being here and that means I am half way done. I don't remember if I mentioned this in my last email but through the companion of the pianist for my musical item 'savior redeemer of my soul' I am now in a 6 part men's chorus which he wrote himself whilst at the MTC which is absolutely amazing! His name is elder Colman and he printed some staff paper on the computers here. The song has heaps of clashes and uses whats called clump chords. He finished composing and hand writing every part out for each of us today so we will practice tomorrow. The audition for the other musical piece is on Thursday so that's exciting, hope we get to perform in a devotional where all the missionaries are watching. I am loving the people so much here!! Recently I have gotten to know elder Lambert who I first met playing 4 square (he is amazing at it!). He is from Idaho and will be serving in Mongolia and he has started doing this thing where he hides in my room and scares me and it is hilarious because of his reaction to my reaction which is hysterical laughter. 

I am learning heaps of words here still and also some grammar which we have began learning more of in class. It's weird because before I'd have to study a word a lot to know it but now at them MTC I can hear a word and figure it out because of the context it is said in and then remember it from that point on, so I can feel God's hand helping me learn more and helping me to teach better. This week in TRC we taught on receiving answers to prayers and it really reminded me that if you ask for in answer in a prayer then you need to be willing to not only put in the work to receive that answer but you need to be willing to act on it. My testimony has grown immensely and I have also learned from the apostle elder Bednar that having a testimony is knowing what's true and being converted is being true to what you know (character of Christ talk). I loved watching the extended movie the restoration which I had not yet seen, I don't know what it's called but it goes for an hour and a half so I know I haven't seen it even though it's very similar to the 5 minuet version. 

I hope I'm not writing too much for other missionaries to read, just let me know. But for those missionaries out there, remember your purpose and stay true to D&C chapter 4.

Bye for now.
Elder Liam Winfield,