Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 31, 2016 Shepparton

Hello everybody!

This week was really good. Hows about I tell ya about it?

So we taught heaps of lessons which basically makes it a solid week
already. We taught Fili and his family a whole lot and had a dinner
lesson with "R" and "A", and then heaps of lessons with Muslim
people we found tracting! Only one of them was arguing with us too so
that was great!

Fili was baptized on Saturday! Yay! I baptized him and my companion
confirmed him. He and his family are making huge strides. I am very
happy for them. They are one of two families that we are really
working with to be solid active families. The branch needs more worthy
Melchizedek Priesthood holders. Fili's dad is on his way!

"R" and "A" are solid, but they need to get married, so her
baptismal date for the 20 of August won't work, but she is still keen
as to be baptized. Just need to work that out and then all good!

I don't know if any of yous remember me talking about "T"? We had
one lesson with her a few weeks ago then she dropped off the face of
the planet. Well we had a sweet little miracle with her. We were
street contacting and I saw this guy that was clearly an Islander.
(When you see Islanders, you talk to them. They are keen, Aussies are
not). So I made a V line over to him and introduced myself. Turns out
he is "T"s dad, and he is a member of the church! (about half of
the Samoan and Tongan populations are actually members, and 100% of
them know the missionaries already, whether member or not, so this was
only kind of a surprise). But he invited us to his home, and we
gratefully accepted the invitation.  Well, we finally saw "T" again! 
She is still keen, just busy. So we have an appointment with her tonight! Yay!

Another person we are working with is a woman named "B". She is
from the Congo! African people are probably my favorite. She is a
single Mum with 3 daughters, ages 14, 11, 9. Her English is not
very good, but we do our best to communicate. She speaks Swahili (if
any of you know that language existed, good on ya mate). So we went
through a lot of trouble to get a Swahili Book of Mormon for her. We
gave that to her on Saturday and then she read 3 chapters and came to
church on Sunday! She couldn't understand much of church, but she was
smiling non-stop so I think she enjoyed it. She is awesome.

"J" is still doing well, just preparing for her marriage and then
baptism, but that's not till September so there's not too much we can
do right now. Just keep teaching lessons, they keep reading and
praying and coming to church.

So this week I sang in 4 different Musical numbers at church! One last
Sunday, and then 3 in a fireside this Sunday! We had been asked to
prepare a song as the missionaries, so we did that, then last minute
we were thrown into another one with some sisters in the branch, then
the Elders Quorum needed help with theirs too! So yeah, my less than
professional singing skills are being displayed to all of the
Shepparton branch. I hope they all believe in forgiveness.

So that was my week! Here is an interesting cow... Not sure if it's My
Little Pony, or something else, but yeah, its a pink cow.  The cow things is 
an interactive art exhibit all over Shepparton and surrounding towns. 
It is called Moooving art. The cows are moved around routinely.
And here is Fili's baptism!

Elder Calvin Chappell

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 24, 2016 Shepparton

G'day everybody back the US of A! (and those of yous in weird places like the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and so on, Hello to you too.)

This week has been SOLID as. 

I'll start it off with the biggest miracle.

Her name is "R"! So Elder Jeremia and I chose a street last week that we wanted to tract. We have been praying for God to prepare the people on that street for a week, and then we tracted it! It is called Paterson road, if anyone wanted to know. Anyway, we found heaps of potential investigators, but most of them were not solid. One of them was "R". We met her on Wednesday. She opened the door while holding one toddler, one baby, and there was a very similar looking baby crawling after her on the ground. We spoke to her for a bit, gave her a pamphlet, got a return appointment and her number, and that was it. She seemed kind of sort of interested. So on Friday we called her to confirm our appointment on Saturday. She said, "yes of course, I just finished reading the pamphlet". 

..whoa.....that doesn't happen...

So then we got excited, then showed up the next day a bit early, and she let us in right away and introduced us to her husband, "A". As we were talking and trying to get to know them, "A" dropped this bomb on us. "Believe it or not, I was actually baptized Mormon!"


So long story short, we taught about the Plan of Salvation, both liked it, "A" wants to come back to church, and "R" accepted a baptismal date for the 20 of August! Wooooooooooooot!
Miracles are the best.

So for the rest of this week, well we had branch conference yesterday, which was incredibly awesomely fantastic. President Vidmar came and spoke at it! he is very interested in the Wangaratta district. He really wants to see it become a Stake. He is amazing. I can't wait to tell all of his stories, but I won't be able to tell them like he does. We had 5 investigators at sacrament meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That doesn't happen in this mission. Especially not in Wang. But miracles are happening in Shepparton! 

"F" is still on track for his baptism on Saturday. He is such a bright kid. He keeps all of the visual aids that we use in the lessons and pins them on his wall in his room. The man.

I was sick all week, just a cold, but a nasty one. The last three days, I have had no voice, which makes lessons difficult. It also makes singing in the church choir difficult.. but we made it work. If Sister Maxwell was still here she would have somehow found out that I was sick and made me stay in all day, but there's no chance of that! You can't have miracles when you're in the flat. 

So yep, this was a pretty awesome week. I am looking forward to baptizing all of Shepparton in the coming month, but maybe I'll try to be a bit more realistic. But it happens in the scriptures all the time, so why not now? (I used to have that argument with some of my companions, but you all know me, I never argue ;)

Anyway, here's a picture of a hot dog cow, or "Beef Frank" as I call him. And there's also SpiderCow and Skeleton Cow... I am struggling to find a clever name for this one.. maybe something to do with milk and calcium, but I got nothing. 

Love yous all,

Elder Calvin Chappell

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 17, 2016 Shepparton

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10, 2016 Shepparton

Everybody guess what day it is?  It's Hump Day!

That's right. This week I have my hump day, a.k.a. my one year mark. Whoa.

I really don't know how I feel about that. It's kind of a happy/proud
feeling, kind of a sad feeling, but mostly just a surprised feeling!
That's 1 Nineteenth of my life spent as a missionary! Crazy.

So transfer news is in, I am staying! Elder Jeremia is also staying!
Woot! We are happy to stay in Shepp. We are gonna smash this area next
transfer.  This week was good. We did a lot of organizing for transfers. We have
to organize all of the travel and everything for missionaries leaving
our zone or coming into our zone, which was only 3 swaps this time, so
that is small, but it still took ages to do it. I'll have to learn how
to do that.

Everyone here is telling us about shootings in America. It makes me
sad. But I am glad we live in Utah.

So this last week we decided to try to find all of the part-member
families in the branch. We have found 3 families that are really
promising! We may end up baptizing some 9 year olds. Also, our phone
has heaps and heaps of contacts in it labeled "investigator, (insert
name)" and we have no idea who they are. Just some old former
investigators from previous missionaries. So we took a few hours and
just called every single one of them, and set many appointments! It
should be awesome!

We are still working with Neal and Jana. They have had some setbacks,
but they are working valiantly towards Jana's baptism. They just need
to get married, and they want to, but Neal needs to work out his
divorce papers with his first wife, so we are just waiting on that.
But then Jana will be baptized! Yeah!

This week all of the companionships in the zone were grounded from
driving. The last month they all went over their allotted Kilometers,
so we are all grounded. We were good and stayed in the limit, but we
still were grounded cause we are the leaders and need to be the
example. At first I was a bit sad about that, but then I got excited
cause I really like working on foot. I like walking.  We were able to
talk to heaps of people! Cause there's no Public Transport in Shepp.
It was good!

Have fun!

Elder Calvin Chappell

Pictures:  Elder Chappell with President and Sister Vidmar
and the Wangaratta Zone

Sunday, July 3, 2016

July 3, 2016 Shepparton

Happy independence day everybody! I tried to re write the lyrics of
America the beautiful to make it about Australia, but I can't be

Well G'day! How are all of yous? This week was pretty awesome for me.

We met our new mission President! He is so cool! Man I can't get over
it. He is amazing! But he is really short, so that's kinda funny. I
love him already though!

I am totally getting an accent. The other day 2 different Aussies that
I met for the first time were shocked when I said I was American. They
thought I was Aussie. Yeah mate, it's real.

Elder Jeremia and I did heaps and heaps of finding this week and it
was totally successful! Well, in a way. We found 6 new investigators
which is really good, but most of them are not too keen. In Shepp
there are heaps of people from the middle east (Afghanistan, Iraq,
Iran, India, Turkey, etc) So a lot of them are Muslim. And generally
that means they will be super nice to us and listen to us, but they
kind of just believe all religions are good and it doesn't really
matter which one we are in, but they stick to their culture, so it's
hard to teach them.  But we did find a golden family! They are Samoan,
and the mum is actually a member. She said she was baptized when she
was 8 but she hasn't gone in years, except for once last month. She
visited her family back in the island and went to church with them.
She said the feeling there was so good and she missed it. She wants to
go back. So when we came to her door she said it was just what she was
hoping for. Which is really cool, cause her house was the last one on
the street we were knocking. We had planned to tract this street
(swallow st.) and prayed many many times for God to prepare somebody
on that street, and we've been tracting it in any spare time we've had
all week. We had had some small success, but then at the last door, it
was this family. She has a husband and 2 kids. We are keen as to see 
them again on Saturday.

Well, transfers are this next week, so next email I'll let yous know
if I'm going or staying, but I'll probably stay.

Have fun with barbecues and fireworks and summer and red white and
blue! I'll have fun with bush and kangaroos and copies of the Book of

See yous!

Elder Calvin Chappell