Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dear beloved brother and sisters,
One thing that was emphasized this past week was that there is no regrets with diligence, only in the lack thereof. And furthermore, with diligence comes the spirit. I experienced that as my companion and I really focused on following our planned schedules. And though lots of things fell through or didn't work out, there was still the great feel of doing the best we could. Yesterday we tried to follow the plans diligently, and though all pretty much didn't work out, at the very end of the day we were able to have the best opportunity we've ever had with an investigator. He's interested and his family not so much, but they left to go somewhere so we were able to share a message with just us and him. The spirit was indeed there, which was fantastic. We focused on the Savior and His atonement, and how we can learn of Him through prayer - such an important tool. We committed him to be baptized and he said yes. Now he's hesitant on a date, but he's moving along. We invted him to start praying daily, to which he said he would. 
So diligence is the key. A beautiful quote from Preach my Gospel, by President Ezra Taft Benson says “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
The same can be applied to our areas of stewardship, and to our studying of the gospel, our sabbath worship especially, and our repentance. Diligence makes all the difference. Love you all, and take care at this time.
Elder J. Cederlof

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dear beloved brothers and sisters,

An awesome scripture that our Mission President stated in his letter was this: "And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor,we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." I thought it was a great scripture to have as my theme for the rest of my mission, and of course the mission of my life that follows this one, because you are never released as a member, only set apart when you are baptized - to declare the gospel to the ends of the earth in the sphere of influence you have, or the sphere of influence God is expecting you to develop. Lots of missionary work in this life! It is good though because of the incomprehensible joy that follows. And the efforts can be forever recorded because of those of God's children that enter the kingdom with the missionary work, they enter for eternity. 

Love you all and have a happy week!

Elder J. Cederlof

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dear Everyone,

 Another week gone in the town of Cowra with some changes. I have a new companion, fresh from the MTC and from Samoa. He's great and definitely ready to be serving. He's eighteen too, same age when I came out, fair dinkum. The beginning of the past week I was in Sydney with a Spanish elder who was going to be training as well. The new missionaries were going to be arriving in Australia on Wednesday and transfers were on Monday so after losing Elder Smith, I was put with Elder Edmondson, who was currently in the Spanish ward and waiting for his new companion as well. 

 The missionaries did arrive and we had a conference but since it went so late we stayed at the senior couple's place, Elder and Sister Hill, and then on Thursday got to our area. That day was slow because Thursday is also weekly planning day. But I promised that we'd tract, and were so busy so we tracted one house and the person wasn't really interested, but was very nice about it and accepted a pamphlet (really good since it doesn't intimidate the newbie, elder Schwalger). And we visited a member family that night, which was good. We also made sure to visit the Branch President to introduce the new elder. 

The rest of the week involved tracting and street contacting. We're trying to increase our pool of investigators since we've not that many. We have had some success, and one of our members has been great with giving us referrals and doing missionary work. We're going to be seeing a potential who is golden and very keen about growing his faith in Christ. Big miracle there. 

The field is definitely white already to harvest, but we just need to look and try in faith to find it. Definitely true out here and no doubt back at home. The Church is true and ever stands. Love you all and take care.

Elder J. Cederlof

Elder Schwalger


P-Day Soccer

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I am doing well.  It's transfers, and I am with an Elder named Elder Edmondson from Utah as we wait til our new missionaries get to Australia. We meet them tomorrow. I was indeed able to tell Elder Pearson that I was his relative, but wasn't able to converse because the only opportunity I had was when we got to shake hands with the visitors, including Elder Cook, and there were around four hundred missionaries to shake hands, so we lined up and just said hello. It was good though to finally tell him. 
Yellowstone definitely looks and sounds like such a fun trip. There isn't anything of the sort like that out here in Australia that I know of. Thanks for the pics. Awesome rivers and waterfalls. And scary that you saw a black bear. I haven't ever seen one in the wild. 

There is actually a focus from the Pacific Area Presidency, of which Elder Pearson is the president, about making sacrament meeting better. I definitely have come to learn more on the mission how important the sacrament meeting is and how reverent I should be acting during it. To think that it is a meeting practiced by the saints in America when the resurrected Christ ministered unto them, and then the first one with the apostles just makes it more and more amazing to me. It is a wonderful thing. 
Great hearing that you are seeing miracles, especially with getting help with the float. I have really come to feel the Lord's hand in my life on the mission. He's very kind and loving, and truly understands us. 

Love you so much, Mom, and tell Ashley and her fiance my wishes are with them and that I say hi. I need pics of them, and I love you and take care!
Elder Justin Cederlof