Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 26, 2016 Shepparton

"Thy Kingdom Come, Gold Medals Won"

Whoever can name what movie I quoted in that subject line wins a bucket full of pride.

Good Evening all you weirdies in the northern and western hemisphere. Who lives there anymore? that is so 11 months ago. For the cool people in the southern and eastern hemisphere, it's morning now. So good morning.

So Gritharan was baptized this week!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes! He was able to quit smoking and he is now a member of the church! I am really happy. he has a cool story of not being religious and then finding a bible and then reading a life changing scripture which gave him a testimony of Jesus Christ, then looking for the correct Christian church, then the missionaries knocking on his door the next day. That was 7 years ago! 7! So this is a big deal for him. He really wants to go to the temple soon. He is the man.

In other news, My mission President, President Maxwell, will go home this week. I love President and Sister Maxwell. They are amazing people and amazing leaders. I have learned so much from their examples and teachings. President Maxwell is one of the most loving people I have ever met. he just seems to be full for love for everybody. 

My new mission President is President Vidmar. Peter Vidmar. We will all get to meet him on Friday. But President Maxwell showed us videos of him during zone conference. He is an olympic gold medalist! What?! Who else has a mission president who has won gold medals? ...chirp chirp... that's right, none of you. He is so cool! he is a professional motivational speaker. He even spoke in General Conference when he was in his 20's! He is so cool. I can't wait to meet him.

That's about all for this week! Here's a picture of the baptism.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19, 2016 Shepparton

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016 Shepparton

G'day everyone!

This week was pretty interesting. A lot of stuff happened, but at the same time, not too much happened. I know that sounds like it doesn't make sense, but it does, I promise. 

So we had heaps of meetings this week! And in our zone, meetings are a big deal, because we have to travel for ages to get there. So my comp and I had MLC, a meeting with the zone leaders and stuff. So we had to go down to Melbourne for that. That was good. That was Tuesday. Then Friday we had Zone Conference, so we all had to gather at Wangaratta for that one. Then Saturday we had a District Conference, (like a stake conference, but for a district), again at Wangaratta, so most of the missionaries in the zone had to sleep over at other missionaries flats, which is only allowed with special permission, so we had to organize all of that and get permission from the AP's. Then Sunday we had the second session of District Conference, so another sleep over happened. Then on Monday we had an awesome meeting with the whole mission. Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Seventy, Sister McConkie of the Young women's General Presidency, and Sister Reeves of the Relief Society General Presidency along with their spouses were there. It was awesome. But I'll tell you about that later. So we had to organize more travel using the least amount of cars and K's (kilometers) as possible, more sleepovers, and get more permission. We ended up driving so much. I feel like being a Zone Leader is more like being a business man than a missionary sometimes.

Anyway, the meeting was so good! Elder Nielsen inspired me so much. They all just talked about missionaries. Each of them had been a mission president/ president's wife before, so they knew what they were talking about. The biggest thing that stuck out to me from that meeting was from Sister McConkie's husband. He said that we as missionaries are living the dream and we should 
always be happy. "There is no room for unhappiness in the life of a missionary." I totally believe it! I am living the dream! Honestly, I have been looking forward to being a missionary ever since I was a little kid, and now I am finally living my dream! It is pretty amazing.

So about the area! We have one investigator preparing for baptism!!! His name is Gritharan. He is Indian/Malaysian. I actually haven't met him yet! My companion saw him on exchanges with another missionary, so he is doing well, but I haven't met him. His Baptismal date is the 25th of June! He is smoking though. He would have been baptized ages ago but he couldn't quit smoking. So today we are meeting with him and we are going to start the Stop Smoking Program with him. I am so excited!!!! 

Miracle Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So it's a long story, but I'll cut it short. Elder Jeremia and I were reading about Abinadi and He said to King Noah that he had not finished his message. So Elder Jeremia thought of a former investigator named Crystal. He had taught her and she eventually texted and dropped them. But he felt strongly that we have not finished our message with her. So we said a prayer, called her, set an appointment, then said a prayer of thanks. I know that may sound pretty lame, but it was a total miracle! The Lord softened her heart. She was so keen to meet with us again! Miracle! After that happened, we felt so pumped to do more missionary work that we just wanted to go tracting! Too bad it was about 9:30 at night.

This has been an awesome week! I drove way too much, but this week we will actually be able to work in our area so I am really excited. 

See yous later!

Elder Calvin Chappell

This is me with an awesome dog, and this is a cow painted like a tiger. Shepparton has this thing with cows everywhere painted in funny ways. Kind of like Park City, Utah with it's Moose. I'll send more cow pictures next week.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

June 5, 2016 Shepparton

Hello everybody!

So this week was quite an experience!

My companion is Elder Jeremia from New Zealand. His parents are from a
little pacific island called Tuvalu. He is the man. He has been
serving for about 15 months. We get along really well! I really love
being his companion. Honestly I already feel like I am a better
missionary than I was last week. Also I love the NZ accent, and I am
hoping I'll pick it up from him.

So we are in the area called Shepparton, in the Wangaratta zone.
Shepparton doesn't have a ward, it has a branch. A very small branch!
We are not in a Stake, we are in a District. It is awesome! Each of
the areas is a branch. Our branch is pretty awesome. I'll tell you
more about them later. Wang zone is known throughout the mission as
the bush zone. It is seriously bush. Shepparton itself is actually a
pretty good sized city, but the rest of the areas in our zone are tiny
little towns. We are very isolated. It is a long way from our zone to
the rest of the mission, and it's a long way from our area to any
other area in the zone! This first week we spent so much time driving.
I am not sure how much time, but we had to fill up the tank 3 times
already. We went to each area in our zone to help the new missionaries
move in and help them get started in their areas. So our Friday was
literally, 3 hour drive, 1 hour help elders, 2 hour drive, 1 hour
help, 3 hour drive, 1 hour help, etc. It was pretty tiring. But most
of our driving is finished!

Actually I lied. This week we will drive heaps too. We have so many
meetings coming up! MLC, Zone Meeting, Zone Conference, District
Conference (like stake conference, but we are in a district), and a
special meeting with a couple of general auxilary leaders and one of
the seventies! I don't know who it is yet, but I'll tell you next

So about the branch, I am going to gain weight again!
Noooooooooooooooooooo! I have worked so hard to lose it, but It's
definitely gonna come back. Why? Because Samoans. The branch may be
small in numbers, but in physical size, it is large. Most of the
members are Samoan, and for those who don't know, the Samoan culture
very much includes, food, giving, giving food, missionaries, and
giving to missionaries. When you put those together, it means I will
gain weight.

For example. My first night in the branch, we had splits with a couple
of the men in the branch. We went to visit a less active Samoan
family. When we went there, they let us in, we talked, and as I have
become accustomed to with Polynesians, they invited us to sit down,
and put a table in front of us and the children began to bring food
and drink. I was pretty hungry, so this was a welcome sight. They
placed a MASSIVE plate of chicken, rice, and lamb chops in front of
me, and one in front of the Brother i was with, and instructed me to
eat. I did as I was asked. it was delicious. When I finished the plate
in record time and sat back satisfied, I noticed that they were
looking at me rather impressed. Then the Brother who was with me
informed all of us that he was sick and unable to eat. He then
proceeded to offer his plate to me. Looking at this plate, heaping
with delicious food, measuring my full stomach and trying to decide if
I was able to eat even half of it, but also considering the knowledge
I had of how to help the Samoan members like you as a missionary
(which is based on how much you enjoy their food), I decided I only
get to serve a mission once, so experiences like this are once in a
lifetime. I undertook to conquer the second plate. After I finished,
my stomach aching, my companion laughing, and the members smiling, We
taught a quick lesson and got to our next appointment. Then on Sunday
at church, the family came (Yay!) and the mother bore her tesimony on
the pulpit. From the pulpit she said, " This branch is paradise, eh
Elder Chappell? His first night here he ate two plates! I never
thought i'd see a palagi eat two plates. Everyone, feed these Elders."
For those who don't know, Palagi (pronounced pah-long-ee) means white
person. We now have 8 dinner appointments for next week. Yes I know
there is only 7 days in a week. This is the Australia Melbourne

Well that's about it for this week! We have a couple of solid
investigators but I haven't met them yet because I have barely been in
our area! But more info next week.

Happy Birthday Brent! Go date some girls and drive some cars.

Sorry I didn't bring my card reader... again. So no pictures this
week. More to come.

I love you all!

Elder Calvin Chappell