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 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.

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.
Elder Justin Cederlof
Playing Cricket with the Shoobridges
Elder Hixon