Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! This past year is great, and this upcoming year will be perfect with the whole thing in dedication to the Lord.
The more you are trying to represent the Lord, the more you realize what needs to happen. I came out here different than I am now. The Christlike attributes in Preach My gospel are excellent because those areas of your life can use such improvement and that chapter shows you how. I have seen such growth and I see so much growth yet to be done.
Pride is such an interesting thing because it is just so tricky. No wonder pride is the core for sins. The cool thing about my mission so far is to see how much I need to be more humble, more submissive, more patient, loving, faithful, etc. The mission truly is the opportunity of a lifetime.
This past Sunday was excellent with an investigator, Eustina, coming to church. She loved it and we'll be expecting her next Sunday as well. We even had a former investigator come to church, who we've invited many times. We were excited to see her. She wants a church that focuses on Christ. My companion gave her our General Conference Ensign to read,  and by that she'll come to know that we have a true prophet this day named Thomas S. Monson. She also enjoyed church. Gwen was having pain with her back so unfortunately she wasn't able to come.
The mission has been good so far. I am still with the same companion I started with. We are tight, though it is interesting how different two people can be. There are those imperfect times, but what a great opportunity to humble myself and prioritize, sacrificing, and serving more.
I had the privilege of skyping my family this past week. What great joy; what great tears. That time was sanctified to me. Families are so sacred--pity not all know such or act when they know. It was a time of homesickness, but also a time to see those things you treasure most upheld by God and His truths that reign. I am ever far from home, but I am home in the service of God, and seeing my family again, coming home proud that I gave it my all; that is my reward.
I testify that we must treasure that which is in heaven, which can be forever ours. Heaven has sealed the family, so may we treat our families as treasures in heaven, for they are sealed in such.
Pretty cool eh? And I am thankful for it. These things I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dear whomsoevers,
This was a good week. My companion and I have gotten our best key indicator actual for other lessons, and that was good. Key indicators really help you focus for the week. Goals, goals, goals--by what other way is there better achievement?
This week has been great as we have been able to make visits with potential investigators and turn them into investigators. A man named Puteho, found in our former investigators, was called by me. Now I am not good at calling people on the phone, but through prayer, I called, was still not so great, but he still wanted to have us come over. What a miracle there.

Gwen is doing good. Boy can she talk; she has the history to talk about. She's just so well rounded even with the unfortunate happenings in her past. She is golden, and I am looking forward to seeing her get baptized. Unfortunately, Jessie, another golden investigator, is up north with family for a few weeks, so we won't be visiting with her for longer than desired.
Maria is still doing great. She's a little bit shaky about the idea of being baptized, but we talked about it more, discussing its purpose and why she would want it, and she is looking at it far better than before. She loves to read the scriptures; she does it at work even. She'll be a great member. Bummer is that she won't go to my ward, but another one due to circumstances.

Thanks for all your prayers. Prayer works so much. My prayers are answered. I see my fellow missionaries receiving answers. He listens to us. It is so humbling to think that he would take consideration of me to listen and answer. How precious I must be, which means, how precious others must be to Him. No wonder we are to love one another. What greatness lies ahead.  May we keep that in mind.
The work is going forward. What a privilege to be here, for forever shall I remember it, and forever are the blessings from it. Keep in mind the eternities that lie ahead, for they will come and yield the blessings by our action of each day. However worth it is this work. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Monday, December 2, 2013

The gospel is Love

This past week was great. I can't remember much about it, and I don't have my old planner which contains this past week but there is some that I can relate and was ever worth writing down.
I was able to give a blessing to the mother of a lady in our ward. That required faith, and I could have been perhaps fearful like in the past, but when that fear was cast out with faith, I accomplished it and I have grown from it.
I was also able to see the hand of God in this week with an other elder who is with Elder Howse and I in our flat. At first, I did not like this elder, and so I turned to the Lord, praying for love towards him. I sought opportunities to serve him, that I may come to love him, like the scriptures say. I was able to do splits with that elder this past Friday, and now I do love him. He's great. We are ever so different, but now I am so happy to have gotten to know him. Now I need to focus on those whom I teach. It is easier to love some more than others, but may we always pray to love them all, for all should be loved, even as we are loved.
The work is centered on love, and without that, what is the point? Is not the gospel love? Is not the greatest commandment about love? Our sure foundation that shall withstand all things must be centered on love--a godly attribute. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have seen the Lord bless me with love towards those I have needed to love more, and I know that by him I can continually grow in love. That is my testimony, and these things I testify of in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weeks fly by when you are in the service of the Lord

Weeks just fly by when you are in the service of the Lord. This week has had some not ideals, but was a good week nonetheless.  Ian believes that all churches have pieces of the truth that God wishes to give each of them, so we have given him a Book of Mormon and have committed him to reading it and praying about it. Not ideal, but he is ever worth the effort.  Jesse is doing wonderful, and is a progressing investigator. Now we need to commit her to reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. She enjoys church, and that has been a miracle. Maria is doing well and is just amazingly honest and will ask questions--the best kind of investigator. She's been reading and praying; now we are going to commit her to coming to church.
This week I had the privilege of doing splits down to Merimbula. At one point there is a steep incline till we were at the top of a mountain, and then there was a 10 kilometer descent down the side of the mountain. It was at the cloud level, so it looked like Jurassic Park with the mist.  The pictures of our trip back at night are amazing.

I've short time on the computer but I know that this is the true church. It just amazes me how we are privileged with not only knowing what's currently going on, but what lies eternally in the future. Wow! We must share that, for we know what to prepare for and most don't. Time here is just so short compared to the eternity following. Now we must act. The gospel is not just a good idea, but the truth. Not just a religion to go and worship with others, but the eternal truth of who we are and what reality is. It's just so important. The parable of the pearl of great price is great because we must be willing to sacrifice all we have for this church with Jesus Christ at the head. It will all be worth it. Of that I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 Elder Cederlof, Firstborn

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Golden Investigator

    This week was magnificent. Such results have not been seen thus far. I can testify that lessons with members can make great difference. Having a member present at a meeting with an investigator named Jesse gave the perfect opportunity to have her be given a ride by them to church. She went to church the same week that we gave our first lesson; that is a miracle; members make all the difference. Just like Alma and Amulek--Alma's words may have been great, but the testimony of Amulek made the difference. So it is the same with missionaries and members.
       There was an extraordinary miracle this week. There is not enough time to write about it, shall do next week, but we received a golden investigator. That experience was a miracle truly, and my faith has grown from that alone. It is amazing how much our eyes, as members, are opened. Truly we can see, and I testify that that is true, and I can see that out here. It's amazing that we'd be given such knowledge. Knowledge here is of here, but Knowledge of God is of all. We can see true purpose beyond anything. It is just amazing. Let it be shared, and not forgotten. I testify that it is a privilege and an honor to proclaim such. These things I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Miracles can be seen....if one is looking!

Once again time is crazy here because time flew by this week but I can't believe that I've only been here for a month and a half. So confusing !  But this week has been a good week despite some occurrences. Unfortunately, this week had many appointments that fell through. The plan of teaching about the Sabbath fell through to Susi and Ricky, henceforth to be called Steve and Rachel, to keep confidentiality, and that was a disappointment.  Illness can just be a pain when you had an appointment set up.

     I did have the wonderful privilege of meeting a lady with the code name Raima and her daughter, who previously hadn't been receptive to the message. But now she has been wondering about what is the purpose of all that is around us, and the purpose of God, or whatever lies out there greater than us. She has been praying and has been honest with us, and I am looking forward to seeing her enter the waters of baptism (not invited to yet, but we shall no doubt).      

     And guess what? I encountered another Muslim, who invited us in and we chatted about the two different religions--he had missionaries before. He let us borrow a little Quran and that has been interesting. They believe Christ was only a prophet, that Muhammad is the latest prophet and the one that was speaking to all. It's crazy how different scriptures can mean to different things to people. He is a great person though, and he even showed us how they pray, which was cool.

    The people are wonderful here. Many don't accept at all, but there are those who are ready among them. People are just so different from one another in all aspects and experience, no wonder God can love each one.

    Out here faith is tried. There is much rejection and disappointment, yet miracles that can be seen if one is looking. My faith has been tried, and yet it conquers, and after times of trail of faith, your witness comes, and your faith grows. That makes the weeks go by quickly, and even each day, despite difficulties. That makes the mission great. Also those moments when you get to see how wonderful the gospel could be in the lives of those yet to have it are just magnificent and make your week. There are people to find and bless, how great is the call. To think that you will glimpse back on this time in the eternities really can motivate you when you begin to understand the impact of this short time, and its purpose. It is beautiful. I testify it is joyous and ever worth fulfilling the call of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings to be a missionary. It is great, and I have yet to experience greater. I speak these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Huntsman Spider - Ahhhhhh!!!!!

Dear fellow people of all types,
     It has been wonderful out here. Time just goes by so quickly for each week. On Tuesday my companion and I had seven lessons scheduled with the last one being dinner with a family. Four of those appointments cancelled and yet the day was still a good day. They have you plan out backups for your plans--that saved us big time.
     What I have not noticed until now is that in the scriptures it really discusses how those who served missions in the Book of Mormon times did not have such convenience as we perhaps imagine. I've now seen that there was a lot of teaching where people weren't receptive, even whole cities. And yet the Lord says that if they continue patiently, they will have success. That is ever true here.
     This week we are going to give the "Keep the Sabbath Day Holy" lesson to Susi and Ricky. That will be the miracle of this upcoming week, since Susi has been against going to church despite her testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the gospel. She great though and I would love to see her come back to the gospel.
     While my companion and I were taking down a wooden fort thing in a member's backyard for service, I was knocking off a piece of wood and the piece came off, revealing a huge huntsman spider. I was less than an arm's length away when I saw it and I screamed. The member came outside, thinking that one of us was hurt. The spider was huge. Look up a huntsman online and you will understand. Just huge.
Time is short but I want to say I love you all and it will be joyous at our reunion.
Elder Cederlof, Firstborn.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Members are so important!

The weeks definitely go by faster here. It all feels like one big smear--my memory is whacko since I've been here.

Chris and Elena, we are having difficulty contacting. We did not get their number on our door visit, so we've just been stopping at their house over and over and haven't had success yet. The visits with Susi and Ricky have been good as we have been establishing a habit with them for reading the scriptures each day and having family prayer each day. We got them a calendar and stickers. Ricky was actually excited for that, which made both my companion and I happy.

Last Monday was great because my companion and I, along with a few other companionships, went to visit a reptile zoo. There were awesome snakes and lizards. I was able to have an anaconda on my neck and that was a bit intense. We were able to touch many of the creatures, even a few snakes. They had a cuckooberrow bird, whatever that is, which made the coolest noise.

Transfers were this past week, and I am staying with my companion, with him being made District Leader. Elder Gardner, who's in the flat with us, lost Elder Mautaake and got a lad from Idaho named Elder Van Orden. He's a newby. It is good to still be with Elder Howse especially with the people that we are currently visiting with.

This past week we've been working on visiting members to get them more engaged. What we have yet to do is splits, which no doubt will get the young men involved greatly. There have been members who've been doing missionary work, and it has been wonderful. Not to the point of us teaching investigators from them, but still good, and hopes for the future.

It is good here. Never before have I been so humbled with the acknowledged reliance I need on the Savior and the spirit. The work doesn't move forward when just man teaches and preaches. The spirit is ever so vital. I've been privileged with more investigators from contacting old ones, or potentials, and it has been wonderful. We just really need the ward to be involved. That will greatly help the work. Members are so important. Remember that at home. The missionaries need you more than you think.

Love you all, and see you one day!

Elder Cederlof, Firstborn


Monday, October 21, 2013

Faith...and then the Miracle

The longer I have been here, the more I have realized the ideas people have in regards to what religion is. Many profess their belief, but deny likewise. People think that religion is just a guessing game, and therefore picking what they believe on convenience or what suits them, not considering truth. It is sad, for we know that the purpose of church is to find the truths of God and life, not just to congregate and worship, but rather to come to a closer understanding. So many don't believe in church, but rather having faith, believing in Christ, and thus having the full religion and satisfaction of life. There is so much enlightening to be done. There is such need to teach, to preach, to find, to save. This need is domestic as it is foreign, and I loved hearing those who spoke in conference talk about how the missionaries must come together with the members, and how the members can be missionaries, or are rather called to be such already. What great news, to shed light on this darkened world, where religion and church are wrapped in lies and confusion.   

It has been wonderful here, though there are times where it is hard. Faith can even be tried, but following comes the miracles. It is humbling to come out and see the need to rely on the Lord. It has been ever so humbling. Conversion is not by us, but by the Spirit, who is of the Godhead, which I think I didn't put as heavy emphasis on in my life than I should have. Being out here, I've seen more how deeply blessed we are.
My companion and I were blessed as we were guided to two new investigators while walking to another house to visit. We discussed a few things, and then the young man let inside his home where his mother was too. We shared a short message, and are now going to find Burmese or Karen Books of Mormon for them and their family. I pray that they will have the Spirit to guide them in this important step of their lives.

We were also led to a potential investigator who actually arrived back in Australia from Fiji the day that we knocked on her door. We will be visiting her in a couple of weeks after she has settled back in and we hopefully will be seeing her at church. She said that she'd attend.

Currently, my companion and I are trying to find ways to bring us and the members together. We've been visiting members more often, leaving commitments and asking for referrals, but do you have any ideas? 

I testify that I know this church is the true church. We may have times where our faith is tried, but "joy cometh in the morning" regardless if we remain faithful and true to what we know, for that is conversion, and true conversion brings forth the blessings of salvation. Of that I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  

Elder Cederlof


Monday, October 14, 2013

"It is written"

The issue with emailing home is that all my days mesh together. I feel like I've been here for months, but also that those months have whipped by, so I am not sure if I repeat myself ever. Time is just weird on a mission. Fortunately, each day is planned out so I can figure out what happened.

So at the beginning of the week my companion and I had another visit with Susi and Ricky. They were struggling with keeping the commitment of everyday studying of the scriptures and praying. We taught a lesson and re-invited them to read and pray. That was Tuesday. Thursday, we weren't planning on visiting, but Susi, Ricky's mother, called and invited us over. Ricky had read the night before and wanted to tell us. We were very excited to hear that. We taught a lesson based on what he read, and talked more on how to get into the habit of reading and praying. What wonderful people they are and these small changes are going to shape them.

Missionary work, as you are all aware, is taking a turn as the call is not anymore for missionaries to go forth, but to go forth with the members at their side. I am reminded of Alma and Amulek.  Alma may have been a called man with great experience and testimony of the Lord, but his duty was only fulfilled by having Amulek to testify, to be a second witness of the truth spoken of by Alma.

It is great because my companion and I are trying to figure out how to get the ward involved. I went into General Conference with that question in mind. Now I have the resources to find my answer. Diligent studying and pondering  will reveal further light and knowledge that is and will be vital to this mission. The talks are getting interesting. It seems that they are now focusing on everyone needing to testify and that we are about to face darker, greater storms in the days ahead.  A testimony must be shared or it is lost like the muscles in the body.

As to the new potential investigators, there is an issue of coming to their houses when they are home. We were able to visit a potential investigator named Chad. He has kidney failure or something like that because three days a week he has his blood cleaned through machine for four hours and he puts in the needles himself--gives me the butterflies just thinking about it.

General Conference was wonderful. I saw it only yesterday and the day before, for here it is shown a week after. The power there was great. The spirit dwelled in that meeting. It is great to have this recorded. Remember how Christ spoke, while being tempted by Satan, "it is written"? I believe that is applicable this very moment. We will have temptation and harsh times, but we have the words of this General Conference, which is scripture, and we can use it, for "it is written".

I testify that God lives, and dwells on high, and that we may be below, but well within His sight. It is great to know that "Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold." (Orson F. Whitney). What great comfort it is to know the truth. May we be converted by acting in accordance to the truths we know, this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Cederlof

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tracting - not as scary as you think!

     I am soon coming to being here for three weeks. It has been wonderful. Tracting is not as scary as you think. I actually look forward to it. Even if the people aren't interested, you still enjoy talking to them. Me and my companion have had great success with tracting. From it, we've handed out two Books of Mormon. The first man, Rhammel, was very interested--here's the miracle: we knocked on the door and he came to get it and we talked and he expressed interest and wanted the book and even was willing to pay but of course we gave it for free, and it turns out that the house was his sister's. He lives among his siblings and just happened to be at her house and answered the door though not the host. There are many miracles out here.

     The other time we handed out a Book of Mormon, we were making a return appointment to a house we had tracted earlier with the wife answering and expressing interest. When we got there, she wasn't home, but the husband was and had interest as well and so we gave him the book and he said he'd read it.
     Those games of Laser Tag for Mischele's birthday really paid off.  For our zone P-day, we headed out to a laser tag place. The zone was separated into 3 teams, of which would verse each other in the arena. I was DragoN on red team. My team won all 3 games that we played. I also got first place out of everybody score wise! It was way fun.
    Well if I have not mentioned earlier, I have two 13 year old kids with baptismal dates. There's that issue with going to church, for their mothers aren't for it for different reasons. Please pray for them.
     It's been great here. It can be hard, but forever worth it. I have tried Vegemite, which tastes like extremely salty soy sauce, and have eaten kangaroo meat as a burger. It tastes good but beef is far better. US beef is better than the beef here but the chocolate is better here in my opinion.
I love you all and miss you all. Fairfarren.
Elder Cederlof, Firstborn


Monday, September 30, 2013

Many Miracles...

This week has had its rewards. This Sunday me and my companion had the treat of seeing an inactive of 16 years come to church after being invited. She even enjoyed it and said she'd come next week! Prayer does work my peeps. Also I had the experience where my companion and I had two places to stop by. We felt prompted to visit one of them first, with no one answering the door. But as I went up to the door, knocked, waited, left back to the car, I felt the Spirit testifying that this was the right thing to do. So we headed back to the car and drove to our next person, a young 13 year old named Charlie. Just as we arrived, guests and family were heading out. We were able to visit with Charlie. If we had come to Charlie's first, we wouldn't have been able to see him since family and friends were over. That was a miracle right there. There are many miracles here. The spirit testifies.

My first baptismal commitment was a success as the young boy named Ricky said yes. The spirit was very strong, and I am sure all in the room felt it. Miracles happen when we pray for love. Love should abide forever within us. I also saw the first spider in our flat. It was huge--a recluse on steroids it looked like. I am a survivor though.

The church is true, and we can be vessels of truth if we strive for it. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Elder Cederlof, Firstborn


Monday, September 23, 2013

Australia is Wonderful!

Dear Everyone,

        Australia is wonderful. Everything is different here: the vegetation is immensive, the cities are chopped up into villages separated by trees and trees and trees. The clouds are different, the humidity is different, and the mountains are different. The birds are pretty here, but sound awful. There is a black bird resembling a large raven and it sounds like a messed up goat.

       I have seen many kangaroo, though there aren't as many as I thought there'd be. The accents are also not as crazy as I thought they'd be, though the accents are thicker in the north.

     I am adjusted to the sleeping hours now, though there are times in the day where I feel like crashing, and nine-thirty at night is killer.

     The main work to be done here is to help the inactive members. At least 40% are not active--crazy. My companion and I, his name is Elder Howse, are doing great and we enjoy each other's company--I hope. He is from Michigan and is from a family that makes candy, chocolate, and fudge. He's excellent at knowing and talking to the people. I do hope I can get to know the people, for that's not one of my best skills.

       The Lord's hand is evident here, and I have been praying and praying to love the people. And now I do. That can make all the difference in the work, whether or not you love the people, and because you love them, you want to serve them, and to bring them closer to God through the missionary purpose: to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

      I hope I will learn how to serve these people and to be the best tool in the hands of God that I can be. I think of all of you and can't wait to see you once again, for that day shall come.


Elder Cederlof, Firstborn


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

He made it!

Hey mom, I am in Australia right now.  The fifteen hour flight wasn’t so bad and dinner and breakfast were actually pretty good on it.  I have met my mission president and he is wonderful.  So is his wife.  Australia is like the brother of California separated at birth.  I am excited to be here and will enjoy the time serving the Lord.
Love you,

Elder Cederlof

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Still here....

Dear All, 

      If you have not received the news yet, here it is: I am still in the MTC because my visa has not yet arrived. In fact, I have a re-assignment until it does. I will know that re-assignment by the end of this day, Thursday.  How much longer I will be in the MTC, I know not. This week was actually an extra week--It was planned that I'd be leaving last Sunday. It is all right however. 

      I think the MTC is an experience that cannot be simulated. I have learned such mighty things, have felt the might of the spirit, and now can declare the word far better than if I hadn't come. 

     We have had some unexpected things happen. In our residence hall on our floor, which is our "zone" or group that we associate with, there is an Elder with autism. He is very awkward and has some emotional issues. His companion struggles with patience with him--man what patience is needed. He has had fits and such but since my district, or the elders in my dorm, were delayed another week, we were able to help the other district with the problem. We all felt like this was a reason we did not leave last Sunday.

   I love you all and can't wait to tell you my re-assignment. Until then, Fairfarren!


 Elder Cederlof

Thursday, September 5, 2013

1st Letter!

Hello Everybody,

    The MTC has been a wonderful experience. The spirit is so strong here. I may have been taking mission preparation class virtually every Sunday, but there is so much more to learn. Our focus is our purpose: To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Yes, oh yes, Melissa may sleep in my bed as she requested. The food is good, it's not "saucy"ish like rumor says. You just need to eat sides of fruits and vegetables. 

     I think the MTC will be like Zion, where the work goes forth as top priority. There is a lovely feel of the spirit, and the scenery is fantastic. I've been practicing with mock investigators and it can be pretty hard to teach. I was completely wrong about how to teach. I had this idea in my head before I came to the MTC about how it would work, but at day one, I found out how wrong I was and how needed it was to have the spirit. Before the MTC, we learn the doctrine; in the MTC, we learn how to preach it. Our focus is to invite others to come unto Christ by first finding their spiritual needs. Teaching doctrine-easy. Teaching doctrine in a personal and receptive way-only by the spirit. 

   The spirit is wonderful here. I've felt it as I testify unto mock investigators and as I've been learning things in my classes. I've given a blessing to one of the sisters in my district, and that was terrific. Scary, but great. 

   If you wish to grow in the gospel, than you must read Preach My Gospel on page 1 and read your purpose. That purpose and executing of that purpose is where we learn as we find out how to teach the gospel that we may fill the spiritual needs of our investigators. By preaching, we grow. It is a doctrine and gospel of sharing. 

     I do see the other Elder Cederlof quite a bit, everyday in fact. I am still looking for Elder Drishinski since he arrived Wednesday. It will be great to see him here since seldom do I see him at all. 

      It's great to know that you all are praying for me and I am praying for you. 

      Melissa, I love you and am so happy to have seen you grow up to how smart and loving and cute you are. I love the cards you've been sending me. And I will never forget you. 

      Landon, take care of your sister. I love you too and think about you every day. I do miss you. 

      Mom, I think of you always in my heart. I am praying everyday for you. You've made me into who I am. Thank you. 

      Dadeo, you have been a great inspiration to me and it will be great to see how a mission can change me just like yours must have changed you.

    Well, I cannot think of much else to say so I'll say this. I testify of the truthfulness of the gospel and how it can change our lives for the better. What better way to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ then by sharing what you do know. 

     The MTC is very humbling. When all is said and done, by the Spirit are people converted. I am an instrument in the mighty hands of God. Humility, humility, humility--for how blessed we are and will be.

Love you all!

 Elder Cederlof, Firstborn.