Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dear #1 Mom,

Well for starting off the new year, our mission president is issuing an extermination order of old habits and the plateau of types of effort. Elder Bednar said: "If you only do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten." - A wonderful truth that President Back put in his letter. So our mission is to develop more faith that they may find more. I have seen how I can improve in finding, especially since I have the gift of finding, and increasing faith means increasing God's hand in your efforts, so our studies are going to focus on us increasing our faith, and I am excited for that and putting forth an extra amount of change in effort and faith. It'll be awesome. Our mission president was definitely inspired to be here and he is amazing.
 
As for this week, the highlight was definitely taking to you and the family on Skype. Afterwards I gave a prayer of thanks and love for the ability to have that, and to have such a wonderful family that I am privileged to be a part of, and for the covenants that we can make that bring greater happiness than anything else. I am not trunky though. I think it's such a bummer that Elder Z. Cederlof's Mission President thinks it will make the missionaries trunky. I think I would be a bit trunky if I were to only hear your voice and not be able to see you - that's my personal belief, but did the phone call work well? Hopefully much better than last time with the complications.
As for the rest of the week, lots of people weren't home and so we didn't get to teach many lessons, but we were able to see T, and he hadn't been to church for a few weeks, and he said that us stopping by made the difference for him coming to church this week because he probably wasn't going to, but then he did! Also, we stopped by a sister member's home just to say hello, and it turned out that she, just before we arrived, was thinking about not coming to church and was having a hard time reading her scriptures, and she did come to church the next day so that was a miracle. She's a single mother and is struggling a bit, but she's lovely.

Well that pretty much is my week right there. In the flat we are having a chess tournament, and we are getting another board from a member so we'll also be doing team chess, and it's going to be epic. I do have two questions:  When does Utah State start?  When do I need to start choosing the classes?
 
Love you, Mom, and you are so great, and great to Landon and Melissa, and a great wife to Dad.

Love,
Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dear Mommy,

The week wasn't the most productive with lots of cancellations, but we were able to meet with a recently new investigator named Miranda so that was good. I am still with Elder Hixson and the flat is the same. Lots of changes outside the district though, and now it's just my companionship and the other two sister companionships, Elder Gardner and Elder Katoa are no longer in my district which is a bummer. We are still looking for a host for Christmas skyping. Our ward just isn't the greatest when it comes to being involved with the missionaries, but we'd prefer doing the skyping on our boxing day, being your Christmas. Also, big concern, due to this nation being 1st world and lacking the hick look from the crocodile guy, there are no nativities that I've been able to find that show any resemblance of coming from Australia. I was told that if there was any, it would be obtainable from the internet. So do you still want me to get one that looks like a normal one not showing any Aussie touch to it? I did find Christmas ornaments, one for each of the munchkins. I sent out Christmas gifts. The swimmers are for Dad's B day and the rest is the ornaments and then what's left is for the family.

Thanks so much for the Christmas tree cloth and I am quite enjoying the calendar because of each new picture of Christ plus I do the study that is written on there for personal study. I'm definitely keeping that when I come home. Back to skyping. We will shoot for around nine o'clock in the morning here, which should be five in the evening for you.
Time is horridly short, I had this week and last week to view and type about, but love you so much, Mom, and I look forward to skyping. Hopefully you catch an accent in my voice. Will sent lots of pictures next week.

Love,

Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dear mom,
 
Time is very short.  I only have an hour for email due to scheduling and I had to take a missionary survey for about 40 minutes of it so I've got to be quick. As for the baptism, Tim has a few things to get over, so we've moved the baptism to the 4th of January, and he wanted to do it so he could be more prepared - he's wonderful. The 20th is a date that'll definitely be changed since she hasn't been coming to church and she's a few obstacles to get over, but she is also wanting to be baptised so much, it's fantastic. And tell Cynthia that I say "hello!" and that it's great that telling my studies has helped her.  I did get both packages with the great pondering of Christ calendar, the tree on the fabric, and presents.  Both decorations are really nice. The calendar is really good and I will definitely be using that down the road.
This week has been great! We were able to visit a lot of our investigators, re-establish the date for Tim, and able to see Vanessa, the investigator with the 20th baptismal date, since our phones were having trouble. I enjoy being district leader, and next Monday is transfers, so I will be emailing on Tuesday. I will be a little nervous if Elder Hixson, my companion leaves the area, since then it'll all be up to me and I've only been here for a transfer, of which this is one of the fastest transfers I've had for the mission; went by so quick. Besides that I can't think of anything else. For my studies now I am starting from the beginning of the Book of Mormon (I've finished) and marking each verse or part of the verse that testifies of the love and mercy and things about Christ that are why I love Him or how one can come to love Him. After hearing the apostles talk about how they've come so close to the Savior through the Book of Mormon, I've wanted to have that same experience. There is so much in the scriptures, especially in 1st Nephi, that testifies and talks about Christ. The Christmas calendar is awesome too about how it brings you closer to the Savior.
You are an amazing mother, and I cannot forget that, even being far away and having not seen you in person for  15 months. You have been a great example to me and someone I can look back on for help in my roles, whatever they may be.

Take care and love you so much!

Love,

Elder Justin Cederlof

Monday, December 1, 2014

This week we were indeed able to celebrate Thanksgiving and it was awesome. No members were celebrating, but missionaries can do great things when given the motivation. This past week wasn't so successful in regards to numbers of lessons, but this upcoming week will be great because of that which we did this past week. I have finished the Book of Mormon and so I am going to read it again with a focus on the Savior, marking all the good verses with Him mentioned. I can't believe how much He is mentioned in just the first several chapters of the Book of Mormon.

I am loving the area and it's great to have three sets of missionaries because there are so many members and the area is quite large. Elder Hixson and I are still waiting on bicycles, but walking is still good. There is definitely potential in the area, and we need to get these non progressing members to get moving along. And to do such, I will really need to do all I can and have the spirit in the lessons. I am continuing to enjoy being a district leader. I went on a trade off with Elder Katoa, a Tongan missionary in my district, and that was awesome because I was able to understand him more and to see how he is doing as a missionary.

I am now on only nine months left, but I am continuing to love the mission more and more, and when I leave it will feel like I am leaving home. The members are great. But I love that here even with the inconveniences and difficulties, you come to know the Savior more and more, and nothing can stop you. The end goal is continually in mind as you are thinking of it for your investigators, and then you see more how you can get closer and then you see the happiness that comes from this gospel and the restoration. I love it. This is the life of fulfillment, so I need to make sure that  I carry on in helping people beyond the mission. Oh how great it is to know the truth, to be able to understand such great things, and to know them. I am so grateful and can't wait to learn and understand and follow more. The mission is amazing and is the opportunity of the eternities.

Love you so much, Mom, and thanks for the pictures of family. Landon and Melissa look like they are doing great, though Landon can pull some evil faces, like in the zoo photos..creepy. Love all of the family and take care til next week.

Love,
Elder Justin Cederlof
 
The chess pieces are at the library. I lost but it was awesome.

Thanksgiving Dinner
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Octopus for Dinner!



Dear All,
This week was a special week. We did well comparatively with numbers, but there was a theme to the week which I have figured out today, being topped off with a bible video of Christ on the homepage of lds.org speaking on faith. I have been reading this week in Mormon and Ether, both of which are sacred records containing great things. I love how in the last chapter, hinting that that which lies within is of great worth since they are the last words of the book  - therefore, I really wanted to see what it was that would conclude it. I love the twenty-seventh verse: "O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him." I love that it speaks of us not despising and wondering, but needing to just ask the Father in Christ's name, and then does our understanding come about. Ask and ye shall receive. I love that it speaks of coming to the Lord with all your heart, for in our heart is who we are. Do we truly serve Him with our all? Do we fear and tremble before Him, truly honoring Him with our choices? I love this last chapter. Also I enjoyed studying the book of Ether, and the story of the Brother of Jared. His story is a great lesson of faith, even faith of a mustard seed which can move mountains. The veil could not hold him, for so great was his faith. Chapter four is great for it speaks also of faith, even faith unto our eyes being opened and our minds enlightened. "Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief." It is amazing what faith truly is and what it truly brings. How great it is that God does grant such unto us.

Jesus is the Christ, and the evermore that we come unto Him and learn of Him, evermore do the blessed heavens open and pour out revelations unto us, and evermore does our faith grow, until the day the veil cannot hold us from beholding Christ's glorified face. May we in the deepest reverence and humility strive to develop that faith of which the Father doth wish to give unto us. And I speak of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  
 
An excerpt from his letter to mom:
 
This week was a good week. On Tuesday we had a zone conference where the assistants to the mission president and the mission president and his wife speak to us as a zone. President Back spoke on the light of Christ and how everyone has it. We choose whether or not to let it grow and help us or to have it "seared with a hot iron" as people in the scriptures do, making it not work and us not being able to discern good and bad. It was really good. Sister Back spoke on the need to plan effectively along with the assistants to the president. It was great.
 
We were able to see both Tim and Hariri this week, and Tim has a baptismal date for the 7th of December, and he loves the church and comes to church every week. He's great. Hariri we are trying to help him see the need for the church and to have that desire to become a part of it. He's christian but doesn't belong to any church. We also have a new investigator named Vanessa, who was found by other missionaries but in our area so we will teach her. Elder Carter, a missionary in another area, and I went and taught the Restoration lesson, and she loved it and has a baptismal date for the 20th of December. It was an awesome lesson because you could feel the spirit and by the end she was really happy. We were also able to visit Harley, an investigator who had dropped us over a text, but we visited back and studied with the bible with him. He had seen some anti-mormon stuff so that really has hurt his desire to join the church, for before I came, he had had the desire to be baptised. Truly the devil does try to hinder the work.
 
Church was great though I still need to get to know the members, and there are a lot of them, and a lot of them that aren't in the area that Elder Hixson and I cover, for there are three companionships in the ward. We are the only Elders and the only one that lacks a car. It is getting in the 100 F too. Yesterday was over 100 F. We are surviving though, and yes I put on sun screen.
 
That was my week and it was a good one. Hopefully these people will continue on their way toward Christ and will see the happiness that comes from it.

Overlooking Campbelltown
 
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dear Mom,
This past week was good. We are still trying to meet up with people on our ward list because Elder Hixson has only been here a transfer more than I, and we've a big ward, so lots of people to figure out who they are and if they are active or less-active.  We were able to see Tim, an investigator who has been coming to church. He has a baptismal date of the sixth of December, and he loves the church. We just need him to develop a deeper testimony of the restoration and Joseph Smith and the prophet. We are now teaching the commandments in Preach My Gospel. New responsibilities are going well, just trying to get it all together and it will be good. I do have to reprove, but more just like reminding them of rules.
That is definitely sad that Jim is passing. That made me cry. Even though we didn't see him too often, he's still such a part of the family that it is tragic. Send my love to Heather. What is her email by the way.  Man, I cannot think of anything to report but all is well and I am sending pics so enjoy those.

Love you so much, Mother, and be especially safe on those hikes and be ever heedful to the whisperings of the spirit.
Love,

Elder Justin Cederlof
 
Note from mom:  Computer uploading was too slow - no pics this week...Bummer!
 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lots has changed since a couple weeks ago. I am sixish hours from Merimbula, and have gone to Campbelltown near Sydney. I am with a great companion and am in a flat of four, far more interesting than just two.
This'll have to be short because I am out of time, but love you all, the church is true, and I love being a district leader.
 
Ofa atu,
Elder J. Cederlof
p.s. I told my mother more so she can explain my week.
 
 
 
Dear Mom,
 
My new area is actually just below Macarthur, in fact, we are in the same stake. I saw some of those members from Macarthur since this past week was stake conference. Since I am a district leader, I will be doing splits with Elder Gardner and we'll go to one of the members from Macarthur for dinner because they are within the Tongan missionaries area, and Elder Gardner is now learning Tongan and in the Tongan ward. He's a great missionary, and this will be a great opportunity for him to be able to learn and grow. My companion, Elder Hixson, knows Chinese, so I think I need to figure out something here. I am still wanting to learn Spanish so I'll definitely take a class in college if I can. As for the college that I want to attend, I am going for Utah State University. I feel that that is the best choice and peace comes to my mind when I chose that (just barely, which came being quite helpful). And so yeah with that one.
So I am currently enjoying the area. We are on foot so we won't be able to do as much as much, but our days have been effective and I love it here already. We have some investigators and less actives, so we aren't starting from scratch, and we had a cool opportunity to get a potential investigator when we were walking and a man was doing some gardening. I remembered how I need to be bold, and so I walked up and said hello, asked if he needed anything, and we got talking. He served in Vietnam and talked about how awful that experience was. We were in the end able to give him a pamphlet on the restoration and he said that we could stop by when he's home and not sleeping (when he has night shift). So that was pretty cool.
In regards to my new responsibilities as a district leader, I take record of the numbers of the results in the areas under me, which is ours and three others. I am suppose to have the ideal area and qualities, so yeah there'll be growth in that. I am enjoying it so far and had my first meeting with the missionaries I serve on Friday. I talked about the missionaries needing to have a conversion experience alongside their investigators, so they can testify with power and authority with the spirit because they have learned by experience, and are deepening their testimonies. I fasted before and it worked and it was great. I enjoy it. The hard part will be when I need to boldly chastise or reprove, but it must be done. I want to make sure that the missionaries know that I love them so the reprove will be out of love and they will see that. There are great examples of missionaries that emanate that quality, and it's cool to think that I could have that too. It would really help other missionaries.
Besides that there's not much. But yes I feel that I am meant to go to Utah State University according to the whisperings of the spirit, and of course if that is to change, I will let you know. Thanks for being an awesome mother, which I know you are. It even says so in my patriarchal blessing so the Lord thinks so too (it spoke of how I have the wonderful example of a righteous home due to you two). It is my deepest wishes and desires to make the two of you happy, and thanks for putting up with me for eighteen years of multiples flaws and weaknesses. I love you so much.
 
Love you always,
Elder Justin Cederlof
 
p.s. behold, the typing mood 
 
 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Transfer to Campbelltown

Dear Mom,
Yes I got transferred out of Merimbula after six months there. Now I am in Campbelltown, which is actually right next to Macarthur, so I am pretty close to where I've served already. I am with Elder Hixson, and you've the picture, and I am a district leader. I am in a flat with one other companionship, and they are Elder Gardner - from those six months in Tuggeranong as flatmates - and Elder Katoa, an awesome Tongan elder. I am looking exceptionally forward to this upcoming transfer. As for the lesson with our investigators, it was good, for we were able to share the video of the restoration, but T had been drinking heaps and so he didn't feel the spirit and we didn't feel like inviting them to baptism. It was great though that we shared it and they'll just need to have lessons at the member's place so that T won't be drinking.
I can't think of much more, but I am happy. Lots of driving the last couple of days because of transfers, but now I can relax. We don't have a car, so I don't have to drive,and the walking will be a good workout and I'll lose some of my fat weight, which will be awesome.

Love you, Mom, and it's great getting your emails.
Love,
Elder Justin Cederlof
 
Playing Cricket with the Shoobridges
 
Elder Hixon

 
 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dear people,
 
Not much happened this week, but one marvelous thing was the branch activity where we did sports and had a barbecue. We are doing it fortnightly and a potential investigator, Lisa, came along. She loved it and will be coming along with her husband. This activity allows the members to bring friends, who we get to see and talk to, and get to know them so they feel more comfortable with us inviting them to learn, and also it's far better than just knocking doors.
 
I had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting. I spoke on the talk by Elder Allen F. Packer called "The Book". I actually learned quite a lot from it. It is about the vitality of members doing family history work and temple work. I will definitely be doing those things when I get home. I highly, highly recommend, exhort, whatever, that you read it. It is amazing what it teaches. 
 
I come to know over and over that our Savior loves us. He watches out for us, even when we seem to be alone. Our ancestors love us and need our help. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about proxy, with the atonement being the greatest example.
 
I love you all,
Elder J. Cederlof
 
 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dear People,
 
Not much happened in the area this week. I was actually back in my first area, Tuggeranong, Canberra watching general conference and doing splits with the missionaries there. I and my District leader also went up to Sydney which was interesting. Lots of driving though and that just tires me. 
 
This weekend though, we have been able to see a potential named Peter, who was busy cleaning his house, which is a semi-annual deal that's heavy duty because the house is so old, and we are planning on stopping by this weekend. We saw a less active who lives too far away to see unless we are going to or from Canberra. It was good, though she has big anxiety in crowds, but she still has a testimony and loves having us over. She'll come to church one day. Lastly, this Sunday we were able to catch Diane, an investigator in Bega. She opened up a lot actually and even agreed to having us close with a prayer, which before she hadn't felt comfortable doing. She's improving and it's great.
 
Well that sums up my week, but it was a good week nonetheless.

Love,
Elder Cederlof 

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Dear kindred,
 
This past week did not have much, but those things within were significant. One family who is less active doesn't go to church because they feel hypocritical since they drink and smoke. They have given up hope of changing it. We didn't have much time to teach them since there house was way farther than we were anticipating, but we were able to learn more about them and will schedule another time with them in the near future. I learned a lesson this past week: We are saved by what is in our hearts. We are weak and imperfect, so we stand condemned to the justice and wrath of God, and yet the mercy of the atonement of Christ can heal us. The thing that makes the mercy come is the intent of the heart. If we have challenges and we desire with all our hearts to fight them and overcome the sin, then God's hand will help us along with mercy, but when we come to the point of accepting sin and embracing, thinking that God will overlook such with any allowance, we are wrong, and by our evil desires to embrace sin in our hearts, do we stand condemned before God, fully exposed to justice. The heart makes the difference. I am not perfect, and far from, yet with the desire of my heart to change and forsake can I come unto Christ, the healer, the shepherd, and advocate. We are going to ask them in our next appointment where there heart and lies and if they still are fighting the temptations and doing their best, with faith in Almighty God that He can intervene. We must not accept sin, but accept that we are weak and not perfect, and that through the beloved grace of God are we made whole.
 
This week we were able also to head up to the Australian Capital territory for a zone meeting, consisting of missionaries serving in a large area of the mission. Great things were taught, including the need of good planning, and not necessarily good plans. It all goes to the effort and intent, having a vision, and planning a way to put forward that vision. That is the essence of missionary work and our growth. General Conference was a great, inspired, wonderful opportunity to hear the words of Christ through His appointed servants, and yet it is vain unless we plan to act on those things taught, and how can we do so unless plans are established. Behold, was not the plan of salvation and the creation of the world and its purposes planned "before the foundation of this world" as stated in the scriptures? What great planning must have been done, and that plan is working perfectly. If God plans out such, should not we, mere mortals, plan out our very actions and ways to achieve that which is ever so important. God gives us the vision through a patriarchal blessing and the plan of salvation. I love the words of Carlos A. Godoy: “If we continue to live as we are living, will the promised blessings be fulfilled?” Now we must live with those goals in mind, and by doing so we destroy the power of the adversary by putting the results in the long run as priority instead of momentary satisfaction, pleasure, and even temporal peace. Effective planning, and not just plans, is what brings us in line with who we can and ought to become.
 
Also discussed in the zone training meeting was the importance of working with members and how we can improve the relationship between the members and the missionaries, telling them about investigators and their progress. I loved how the zone leaders words were sustained by the talk by Elder Chi Hong Wong called "Rescue in Unity", for we must all work in unity and harmony, putting our faith together and our cause together. The scriptures declare:
 
 11And he gave‍ some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors‍ and teachers;
12 For the perfecting‍ of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying‍ of the body of Christ;
13 Till we all come in the unity‍ of the faith, and of the knowledge‍ of the Son of God, unto a perfect‍ man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Surely, we as saints of the church of God must come in unity, and that unity is not just "Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and this church is the true church", but rather, that we become unified in our actions, thoughts, and labors for Almighty God, unified together even as we are to be unified with Jesus Christ. Missionary work needs the members and missionaries to be unified, for how can a divided house stand, even, a divided missionary effort?

And lastly, evident with the quotations, we had General Conference this weekend, a truly inspired message. I loved the speakers and the topics chosen; they truly prayerfully planned that which they have spoken unto us. It was amazing, and it was interesting how a theme of this conference was to look upon the scriptures of old AND the words of the modern prophets - even an invitation to really focus on the words of Christ spoken in general conference and other published words by them.
I loved the words that showed ways for our personal improvement. I definitely have room for improvement, and to think for a moment otherwise would be a sad day, for such a day is a day of a lie, for the end is still yet to come. I will continually ponder their words and I know that through the spirit great things are made manifest, and that is because God understands all things, and wants us to know it too. I have learned so much as a missionary and I am grateful to have this humbling opportunity to serve the Lord, and to see that man is nothing compared to God, and yet we are everything to Him. Of these things I testify of in the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Hello everybody,

This week was pretty good. In the beginning of the week we were able to stop by and do service for a member family's adopted daughter who lives with them along with her two daughters. We’ll be stopping by tonight for family home evening and hopefully we'll start setting times to visit and teach. 

Near the end of the week was great because we were doing finding in Eden, south of Merimbula, and the second house we knocked on had his father in the hospital and wasn't having the best of time. We sympathized with him and told him about the message of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ being able to help him, and to help him know that there is a God out there and that he can know for himself. We gave him a Joseph Smith pamphlet and will be stopping by sometime this week or next to see how he is doing. That was really cool.

We were also able to plan to teach at a fireside for the stake young men's camp. Most came too late for us, but we were able to hold the fireside for a good bunch of them. We taught on the young men's theme: "Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness" or something like that (it's the beginning of a verse found in Moroni 10). That was a great experience because the spirit was there. I just hope the young men now feel more engaged in the gospel. 

We also had the opportunity to take some of the young men on rescue visits to less actives and those confined to homes.  I took one young man with our Elder's Quorum President and another leader and his car full, to visit the Gillies who are in a nursing home. It turned out that Sister Gillies was ill and so Brother Gillies and many of the occupants of the nursing home heard us sing some hymns in one of the eating rooms, with me playing the piano. We then talked to the elderly afterwards. It was great nonetheless. 
 
I learned this week the beauty of the scriptures and the important teachings found therein. I am studying and writing down all the doctrines which are discussed, so that I don't miss any. It really helps me read intently and I hope to find wonderful truths from it. This church is true and I've seen mighty miracles to prove so, especially when it comes to finding. The Lord is at the helm, and I serve as a privilege. He loves all of us, and I speak these things in the Savior's blessed name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wow - What a view!

Dear Mom,
Yeah we were in a hurry so I sent only four photos, and I am sending one attached to this, but that was a hike, or bush walk as they call it, with some members. The baby is Alexander, and is the cutest baby ever - super disappointed that we aren't allowed to hold them. The others are members except the older lady who is a mother of Sister Mandi, an American from Colorado, who lives here with Brother Sam, an Aussie. They're awesome, and the Shoobridges are really awesome. We are going to go on another hike with them today and with the returned missionary/branch mission leader Jared. He's awesome too. He served in New Zealand, but not in Andrew's mission unfortunately. I'll have to definitely get a picture of the Shoobridges for you. Such a great family.  

This past week was very good, though we weren't able to see Eve and Ben Daniel. Eve is still recovering, though we are shooting to see her this upcoming week and same with Ben Daniel, since he is not working this week. We were able to stop again at Gordon's place to give him the "Faith in Christ" DVD but he wasn't there so we left it in the door. We really want to help him to see the relevance for him or else we will have to drop him. We dropped Brandon. The mother came out and told us that they have the JWs visit twice a week and so that's enough for them. It's such a bummer to see people get deceived like that. 

I am doing well though and will miss the area when I leave, I have five weeks til the next transfer so I should be safe. We had a miracle find which was pretty cool. Her name is Nola, and it was truly amazing and inspired. I enjoy my Albanian companion and he cooks lots of food, so I am putting on weight which is just awful but better than starving. But enough about me, my life's the same, good though. How are you? How are the two little people? I will send Melissa an index card in the mail for her. That was a very good idea to have the people do that by the way. I really hope she gets diving into the scriptures. I've been doing some study and that has been good. I am still studying the general conference talks. There are some really good things from each one of them. 

My testimony grows every day and I keep learning just how much our Father in Heaven loves us and why I should love them. It's great. I haven't been to the temple yet, one year now since landing in Australia, so boy I can't wait until I do. 

Love you so much, Mom, and I love getting your emails and the beautiful pictures of you and the family!
Love,
Elder Justin Cederlof

P.S.  This past week we had a wonderful miracle. We were on our way home from giving the sacrament to an elderly couple in a nursing home and as we were leaving I felt the impression to go tracting. I thought, “It's getting late when you usually don't tract, but where should I?” And the thought came to my mind: a pink house with white flowers. I thought that was interesting and actually thought I just thought that and not from the spirit. Well as we are driving I notice a pink house with white flowers on a hill on a different street, and I was thinking: what if..? And so I turned the car around, we knocked, lady opened, and we shared about our church. She was interested and actually had felt like staying home that night, and a little bit before we came to the door she felt that someone might be knocking that night. Cool as!! That was really nice. The Lord works in great ways, even by telling me exactly what house he wants to be visited. Shows you that the Lord's hand is in the work. 
 

P-Day Bush Walk

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Dear Mom,

Time is very short this day, but pictures say 1000 words so it makes up. I am doing well. I am still in Merimbula with Elder Osmeni. We are currently working with our investigators, but have only been able to visit with Gordon, the old man who wants to believe. We gave him a restoration video, and hopes are he sees it and then gets that faith and deeper desire.

Eve and Ben Daniel we'll hopefully see this upcoming week. We need to do more finding, and are going to really focus on hastening the work of the Lord. Especially with the current dangers that are brewing across the face of the earth, namely ISIS, which, don't worry I am perfectly safe and six to seven hours away from, I think the missionary work really needs to be hastened.

I am so excited to hear from the General Authorities when we have General Conference and I've been studying the current conference ensign, relating it to my patriarchal blessing, which has been really amazing. I know that the church is true, ever more, and I ever grow in that knowledge every day.

I love you, take care, and know that I know this is ever true and that my calling is ever worth it.

Love, 
Elder Justin Cederlof

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear Mom,
 
By the way transfers coming up so will be on on Tuesday next week. It is great having Elder Osmeni as a chef, but a bummer because I have some tummy fat and that is just not acceptable for my coming home. Eve is recovering, and we hope that she will be well this upcoming week because we haven't been able to teach her for so stinkin' long. We are busy and there's great potential in the area. I was able to talk to Brother Shoobridge's friend named Lisa, who's the wife of Tom, and was able to talk about the plan of salvation. I think she's ready. Hopefully, we'll be at her mother's for dinner this week (her mom invited us which was pretty cool). Afterwards of teaching, Brother Shoobridge actually took her on a tour of the chapel, which was pretty awesome. We are stopping by today to invite them to an activity this weekend. 
 
That's awesome to hear that the talk was good for Melissa and the audience, and awesome that Zach sent a video. I'll have to do a video sometime. As for the area, we only saw one investigator that just isn't seeing the need for a true church and it's kind of sad. We might drop him unfortunately. We were able to see two less actives and two came to church which was great, actually three ha. I'm loving the area and it will be sad when I leave. I love this area the most out of all of them so far. 
 
I love you so much, and it's so amazing to think that now Melissa is baptized!  It's great. 
 
Love,
 
Elder J. Cederlof.
 
P.S. You are world's best mom ever still. And these photos are at an animal conservation place we do service at. 

 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

It's a Picture Week!

Beautiful Merimbula!


First Snow!

Elder Osmeni and the first snow I've seen in Australia - we were both super excited.
It was on the way down to our area, Merimbula, from Canberra. 

Merimbula

1st Zone Leader, now Assistant to the President


Dear World's Greatest Mom,
 
So Elder Balenaveikau is Fijian, and was the only Fijian down here. We had gotten a not so nice racist letter at the door of our flat, telling him to get out of there. The second one, and the last straw to which we called mission president, was along the lines of "we're coming after you" or something like that with not so good racist name calling. So he went up north and I got Elder Osmeni, the Albanian. That was sunday night we got the second one. We left the next morning up to Canberra. Wasn't the most fun p-day. He's okay. 
 
Elder Osmeni is from Albania, which is on the other side of the Adriatic sea from Italy. It's by Macedonia. He's a chef and worked before he came out at a five star hotel. So far he's been the cook, and I am glady stepping aside. He's been introduced to the members of the branch and talked a little about himself when bearing his testimony at sacrament meeting. This week we actually didn't really get to see our investigators. They were all not home or busy or whatever. Eve is now out of the hospital and is just resting and waiting for her results from the testing at the hospital. We left a note for her at her house. 
 
Even though the work here is very slow, I love it here and there is great potential. Right now the focus is the friends of Brother Shoobridge who have attended that game night thing. We were able to catch one of them in the parking lot of Woolworths (grocery) and talked about his beliefs and gave him a Book of Mormon, and since we knew him, it was easy to talk to him and talk about the church. 
 
Well, today we are going to build sandcastles at the beach. Time will come short when we aren't allowed at the beach so taking advantage while I can. 
 
Love you, thanks for the ring, and tell Melissa she's awesome and I am so excited for her baptism!
 
Love,
 
Elder J. Cederlof

 

Monday, September 1, 2014


Dear Mom,
 
This past week I can hardly remember. It wasn't the best of weeks - we only taught one lesson with all others not home or what not - but we did have zone conference in Canberra which was great. The assistants to the president spoke on listening and asking questions in teaching situations (which are found in Preach my Gospel). It was really good because you need the investigator and less active to talk and you need to really hear what they are saying so that you can come closer to knowing their needs and showing that you care.
 
For the highlight of the week we met Mitch, who came to stay with Brother Shoobridge's friend, Tom. We were able to see him at the gaming activity that happens at the family history center. Right before he left we visited Tom so we could see Mitch off, and we had the chance to give him a Book of Mormon as a gift, wrote our testimonies in it, talk about the Book of Mormon and the restoration, and he was open and said he'd read them. That was pretty awesome.
 
We're emailing late because we had to come up to Canberra today because Elder Balenaveikau is being emergency transferred so I'm getting a new companion, Elder Osmani, tomorrow and will drive down to Merimbula either tomorrow or the next day depending on if we do trade-offs.
 
Well that sums up the week.  
 
Love, 
Elder J. Cederlof 

 

Monday, August 18, 2014


Dear people,

I really don't know how to address yous, and I'm running out of ideas. Elder Balenaveikau is great and unfortunately has been sick since the day after we spent a full day back in our area after transfer. Thursday to Saturday were stay at home study days. That was the first time that I was bored in the mission. Studying is great and all, but whew, for three days in a row, challenge. I did learn a lot and I received some great insights to my patriarchal blessing and questions in regards to scriptures, which was an answer to my prayers. 

Sunday we had seven adults and around ten kids at church. Lots of sick people. I'm a survivor though. We were able to visit Ben Daniel after church which was great, and we have him planned for Thursday with helping him with service. That pretty much sums up the week, but I truly learned how wonderful the scriptures are and the truthfulness of the church with the heaps of extra time I was able to have.
 
Elder Cederlof

Friday, August 15, 2014


Dear Associates,
 
This past Thursday we headed up to Canberra because of zone training the next day. It's about a three hour drive, and we are pretty cautious considering the incident with the now rotting-on-the-side-of-the-road-with-us-seeing-it-a-couple-times-a-week-because-they-leave-carcasses-to-rot-if they-are-just-on-the-side wombat.
 
The amazing part of the week happened on Friday. On Friday, after zone training meeting, Elder Withers and I went on trade-offs together for the day. Two things happened this day that showed the hand of the Lord in my day. The first came about just after Elder Withers and I got out of the car to head towards an investigator’s house named Bruce. Behind us we noticed a man in his garage sitting at a table doing some sort of mechanics. We headed toward him, and Elder Withers didn't have any hesitation - what a great missionary. We had conversation with the man and brought up that we were missionaries. He told us of his experience with prayer and how he's received undeniable answers to them. With that, we taught of the restoration and how Joseph Smith prayed to know what church to join. We then showed him the Book of Mormon and had him read Moroni 10, verses 4 and 5. We testified of how by prayer we can come to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that by prayer we can know of the truthfulness of the things we had taught. We gave him both the restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon, invited him to read and pray about it, and we got his number to contact him and we gave him Elder Wither's number (since we were in Elder Wither's area). Miracle!!!
 
The nesx miracle was a wonderful lesson with Elder Withers again on the same day, in fact this was the investigator that we were walking over to meet when we saw the man in the garage - whose name is Tony by the way. Both the investigator and the partner were home. It was a great lesson as we taught of the restoration. We didn't feel that we should commit him to be baptized during the lesson, but we were able to help him understand how the gospel is for him. He's super humble and cheery.
 
Saturday was amazing. This fantastic day I was on splits with Elder Paterson, my district leader. The highlight of the day came about ten forty in the morning at a little after ten thirty, which was a lesson with a potential named Darcy. We stopped by and he was there and let us in. We started with the Restoration of the gospel. We had the pamphlet of it, and Darcy had read through it plus he did the "Additional Study" found in the back - super diligent! We started with God is our loving Heavenly Father and continued into Christ's personal ministry and the Atonement. I shared a story about the boy who took the stick whacking for the other boy who had taken the first boy's lunch. I related that to Jesus Christ and how He atoned for us - taking the beating - because He loves us, and that I love Him.
 
We continued on with the lesson and the spirit was there ever strong. It was amazing. At the conclusion, we both bore testimony and we invited him to be baptized when he came to know that these things were true. Yes was his reply. We then testified that through diligence he could be ready to be baptized by the 6th of September and invited him to prepare for that day. Yes was his reply. The spirit bore witness at those moments. I felt the need to give him caution about the devil not wanting this for him, and how he'd have trials and inconveniences as he prepared for that day, but through relying on the Lord and being diligent, he'd overcome. We then asked Darcy if he had any questions or concerns, and he spoke up of how he didn't think he could get an answer because he hadn't that faith like it spoke of as a requirement in Moroni 10: 4. Elder Peterson and I had Alma 32 come to mind, and so we invited him to read that and we shared a verse or two from it and testified that he could receive that faith. We concluded with prayer and he was willing to offer it, and we knelt as we did so! He is so prepared and willing, and the spirit made the lesson. The church is true.
 
On this last Monday evening, Elder Pederson and I had the opportunity to have dinner with the Landeryous. Brother Landeryou is the one who became active after inactivity for what I recall to be twenty years. He's awesome, and his wife isn't a member. Dinner was a 300g (or about 2/3 of a pound) of meat burger. Not just any burger, but a burger with jalapenos and chilies and spicy sauces of sorts. And when we put the burgers together, he had some more really spicy sauces to put on. I could only eat one and a half, but Elder Pederson had two. I actually got some sauce onto my finger and then put it on my tongue and my taste buds went crazy- I'd never before had the sensation of super spicy with super sour before. T'was pretty awesome. The best part was the lesson we had after. Kari, Brother Landeryou's wife, is an investigator but isn't keeping her commitments. The lesson we had, involved that new Mormon message of the guy who's going to commit suicide until he learn of fasting by prayer. The spirit was really there and we found out that she's actually had past experiences with the spirit. And we know that she felt it too. We gave her verses to read and boy that was an amazing lesson because I felt the spirit, and most importantly, I relied on it. When I don't, I teach to complicatedly and it doesn't work too well, but this was an amazing lesson. The spirit is amazing and should always be the senior companion in missionary work.
 
I know that the church is true and that when we truly rely on the Spirit and Jesus Christ, we are happy and guided. We feel contentment and we feel loved. Why seek for things that will be gone once we die and move on, when we can enjoy the love of God forever when we walk in the path of His Beloved Son. That is the way, and no other way will do, for by none other will come joy, and the joy of Him is everlasting. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
 
p.s. We had transfers this Monday and I have received a new companion who is referred to as Elder B. due his very long name. He's awesome and has been out 16 months. I am excited to work with him down in Merimbula.  
 


New Companion - Elder B
 






 

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Dear People,

This week wasn't as productive as other weeks, but there were great things from it. I definitely need to start bringing my journal to the family history center because I honestly can't remember much, which is really inconvenient when emailing home. 

We were able to make some visits. We saw Brandon with a returned missionary of a couple of weeks - Brother Jared, son of the Branch President. We invited him to pray about what we taught and commited him to be baptized - no date yet. That was a great lesson. Also we talked to an investigator who is having the idea that the Book of Mormon is just man made, but we are going to visit him again and invite him to pray about it. 

Eve is sick and Diane just got sick. Ben Daniel we haven't been able to see, but hopefully this upcoming week. The work is wonderful down here though and I love each and every day. The longer I learn and want others to learn, the more I know that this is the true gospel and that Jesus Christ loves these people and that He loves me. The spirit is real and is a sign, maybe the ultimate sign, that He truly loves us and wants our progression. I know these things to be true, and I unashamedly declare them in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 


Service - Helping to build a Chicken Coop
 
Elders Cederlof & Ee with Sister Beryl Parker


 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dear Mom,
 
The week did not go according to plan like we hoped, but it was still good. We weren't able to visit Eve because she was still sick, but we are hoping that she's going to get better. Cassandra is still isolating herself and we have not been able to contact her. Ben Daniel we are going to try to visit mid week this week and invite him to be baptized. We visited to less actives, one being an elderly less active lady and a Chinese lady. They have their concerns, and we will continue to help them all we can. 
 
It is good down here though, and I love it here. The branch is remarkable, especially with the inconvenience they have with travel and lack of numbers, but they are inspiring. Though it's a hard area, I won't look down upon it. The Lord sent me to this place, and so I will go where he wants me to go. We do have people to visit and that's good. I just really want to find out why he sent me here. It'll be great. I have learned so much here though, and I am grateful for being sent here. 
 
I love you so much and pray for you every day!
 
Love,
 
Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pictures!



 
 

Dear Mom,

Last week was definitely better than the week before. We were able to get two other lessons, one of them by miracle, and a member present with a very interesting lady named Ethel. We weren't able to meet with Brandon because we were going to see him Sunday but then the whole day was filled and so we weren't able to stop by, but we'll be likely seeing him Tuesday. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan and hope, we will have a lot of lessons this week and many of them member presents. We have dropped Cassandra--she went very weird, sent mean voicemail to member, and won't respond to our texts, and has recently put a chain on her fence to her house. Best of wishes to her and hopefully she'll calm down. She's bipolar and has struggles. 
 
I think that I will be here til December so until then I won't be going to the temple. I'm really bummed about that, but hey, I went to the temple every week back home, which is pretty awesome that I was able to do that. As for the rut, I am still in a rut, but if I really put effort into this upcoming week, it should be fantastic. It's just hard to get everything to work together, and finding is super hard down here, since the whole place is virtually tracted, and some places definitely more than once, and the people here are in a vacation spot so the are less receptive to the undesired topic of religion, which I think is a bit strange that people could be so against it, but I think perhaps it is because of the crazy things down in the name of the Lord in history, which weren't in his name truly. But there is great hope here and by faith shall miracles come to pass. There are many who can come unto Christ down here. 
 
That's exciting, but also sad for Ashley. No doubt she'll be missing her mission, but boy she'll be amazing and ever so converted. You'll be able to see the spirit in her and how changed and christlike she's come. My best of wishes to her. I'm glad our missions are two years, or I'd have seven months left and that'd be so sad, but alas it's two, which I enjoy. 
 
I did a lot of service for people (read landon's and Melissa's letters) and we were able to meet up with Diane, a new investigator, Philip, a potential, and Ethel. Diane is a listener but is not confident, and hasn't much experience with religion. She believes in God but has no testimony of Christ. So we are helping her to learn who God is. Philip is the husband of an investigator that's more of a potential, but he had opened the door because she wasn't home. It was great to then talk to him, give him a pamphlet, and invite him to read it. we want to see these three also this week and to help them come closer to Christ. 
 
And as a summation, I am good. Blessed far more than I can deserve. It's such a privilege to know that this gospel is true, and I love being out here. 

Love you more than words can describe too. Thanks for being my mother. 
 
Love,
Elder Justin Cederlof
 
Excerpt from Landon & Melissa's letters:
 
This week in Merimbula we helped a lot of people.  We got firewood from a huge tree pile, helped a lady move her garden, set up a chicken coop, moved wood from basement to upstairs place, hammered apart wooden pallets and cut them up for wood for a fire, raked up rocks from a families yard, removed weeds from a small cliffside/hill, tried to help a member set up a playhouse thing, and moved a concrete slab back into place.  It was great!  We were able to teach some people too, and I love it when we do that.