Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dear People,

The week started off excellent - Mother's Day! That meant that I got to Skype my family and see them and talk. That was excellent and it's great to know that I have that support and love at home. Many people out here don't seem to have that, especially those that don't understand the gospel or don't have it. Families are so important and eternal. If there is a family member that is annoying or conflict, fix it, because you'll be getting that relationship for eternity. And the Lord has blessed me with an amazing family of which I am privileged to be a part of, being my immediate family and also the extended family members. What great unity is there and devotion to one another! What loyalty and love! My beloved great grandmother slipped away this past Wednesday into the embrace of family beyond this life, no doubt with joy for the good work she did while here. My mother used a wonderful phrase to describe her  - an "elect lady" - and an elect lady she was. 
Great knowledge of this life is one thing, but knowledge of things which are eternal and never ending is far, infinitely better. Praise God that He gives it to us so abundantly. I can see the influence it has had on my family, and the families of others as I have served out here. What we have stands forever, and we can make covenants and act according to them so that we can stand forever. 

I have learned here in Australia that people are important, very important. I continue to wonder why, and I doubt I will ever truly see until I can understand as the Father understands, but I know that people are precious, in such a true, undeniable way. Not all things last forever, but to bring one soul unto God does.
Now back to the week: We had the opportunity to have splits with the assistants to the President, Elder Pederson and Elder Shelton, who are fantastic elders. We then traded to other elders, our district leader and his companion - Elder Johnson and Elder Bell. That was great. At the weekend we had a recent convert named Michael do a mini mission with us, and that was awesome. He's too old to serve a mission, and so this was a great opportunity for him, and he loved it. 
Sunday we had church and Chloe, a recent convert who moved down to Canberra and was up here in Cowra for a little bit, brought her sister, Meg to church who isn't a member. That was great and she liked it and would go again. We then had lunch with them and the Paki family at a park so we could talk to Meg a little bit more. 
I know this church is true and the efforts we give to the Lord are ever worth it no matter what. God loves us His children and the way is straight, leading to eternal life. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Mother's Day

Dear Mom, I write this in between our skyping periods. Happy Mothers Day!! I am wearing your purple tie in remembrance of you this day. I also wore it yesterday because it was Mother's Day here. Our investigator pool is still small, so we are working on finding people to teach. We had a wonderful opportunity, like I said, with Heidi, a mother of four. Now, she is only a potential investigator at the moment, but I have high hopes for her and her family. We will be going over there on Tuesday in the afternoon.
As for the basketball, we are still doing that on the Wednesdays and also on Saturday we do it at a court place near us. One of the kids from the Wednesday basketball was there named Damon, and now we want to invite him and the other players on Wednesday. 
This past week, which for some reason it is getting harder and harder to remember my past weeks, we had some bike issues, which took forever for us to fix but now they are good...for now. Lots of stickers and all of our tires have been punctured in multiple places. We ended up getting goo to put in the tires and put twice the prescribed amount at least, and now they are good, though this morning we came outside to go to Skype our families, and Elder Smith's bike had a complete flat. It's good now that we filled it up and got the goo to spin around the tire. I was late to Skype you because of delay with Elder Smith and his family getting on and such, but now we were able to do a split so it's like we Skyped twice!!!

I am doing well out here. There are definitely different challenges with the work depending on the area that you are in. For this area the issue will be being effective and efficient because we are in a big area with bikes. I am enjoying it so far and have no reason to complain. One of my favorite parts about the area is the members. There aren't that many and some are a bit weird, but they are nice. I enjoy them and I love working with them to build up the branch. 
One awesome miracle that happened this week would be finding Heidi, and prayerfully we will be able to help her and her family come unto Christ. 
Love you and Happy Mother's Day once again!

Elder Justin Cederlof
p.s. Totally planning on sending pics because the wifi is good at Michael's house, but alas I did not put my camera in my bag! Sorry. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dear Mom,

I am doing quite well. It's great to hear that Melissa is having these deep concerns when other kids probably wouldn't ever think of such and would just focus on the entertainment part of life at that stage. That's a beautiful experience. How's Landon doing in regards to those things? I never hear of any cool experiences he has. 
As for Cowra, which is a wonderful area and I am glad to be here, we are working with some youth, which Elder Smith could relate to because he and they love basketball, so basketball is being used for finding, and we want to set up appointments and invite kids that play at this indoor court on wednesdays, which we attend. Currently we are teaching a 16 year old kid named Brandon, and he isn't per say progressing, but we are continually meeting up with him and he's doing well. 

As for my focus that I will be doing for the week, I'll be doing the forty-day fast, of which you fast for a day and while doing so you make a list of things you do that quench the spirit, and then you fast from those for forty days. I've just read an amazing experience and change that an elder had from trying it out and doing his best in it. 

A mission is definitely a growth zone where you are expanding and things make such great sense. You feel the stress of the work, but you realize that it is good; stress zone is the growth zone. 

While Melissa may not be fully sure, though I think now she is pretty close, I know that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, live. They love us so deeply and want us home. We can have peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. Families can be forever. Comfort comes to those that seek it in Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 
Love you, Mom, and I am in good hands, and ever desire to please the Lord and to serve him ever more. 
Elder Justin Cederlof