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.

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.