It has been so good to hear from you and read your emails! Dad I am jealous you are in Nicaragua! That sounds like so much fun! I remember the good times we had there serving others and working with CFH. I loved it. Thank you for your emails and words of advice. They truly helped so much! They really did strengthen my testimony. What would I do without all of you!;) The Frosted Flakes have been fantastic!! I haven't had an upset stomach since I have been on them!! I do agree mom, President Howes and Sister Howes think you are crazy sending $100 worth of Frosted Flakes hahhaa! Sister Howes said, "It seems like your Mother really loves you".. I teared up of course and said yes, She really does. It is true. Thank you Mom. I love you.
(Jana got a little crazy with her latest care package. Alex Loves Frosted Flakes)
This week has been full of miracles!! Our lesson with Justin went really well. We had a great lesson with him but mainly just answered a lot of questions that he had. He is Golden! Except he is gone so much! He works all the time and is really hard to catch and he apologized for that.. He really is awesome. But what I wanted to talk to you about today was some actually pretty sad, crushing news we got Sunday. So we have an Investigator named Joe. Our first Investigator we got since we have been here. He came to church yesterday and told us that he wasn't coming back and he couldn't meet with us. He said that his family was really frustrated with him because they all go to a Christian Outreach church and wanted him to come with the rest of the Family. We were crushed. It was really bad news, but!! Right at that moment I felt so strongly Heavenly Fathers love for him and I had a reassurance that everything would be ok. He told us he knows this is the true church and the Book of Mormon is true, he just needs to work out the family problems. We had a really good role play or practice teaching "Joe" this morning. We are planning on seeing him at the end of the week and talking to him. We both received revelation on what to say and what to help him understand. I have such peace in my heart and such a sure knowledge that Heavenly Father will provide a way for him to come back WITH his family. One of the things that I have thought about as this has happened is in 2 Nephi when it talks about opposition in all things. No matter what there is opposition in everything. If there weren't, life would not be possible. I think we need to help Joe realize Heavenly Father will prepare a way and that there will be opposition because he wants to be baptized and wants to progress. Opposition will occur because he is trying to do the right thing.
After all that had happened on Sunday at Church we were talking with our Ward Mission Leader and he told us of a less active girl that had recently moved back to her home here in Taree with her family. We went over and visited them. We drove down this long dirt road to find 6 massive dogs, barking and growling at us. All Chained up.. so we thought haha. We got out of the car and started walking toward the door when this massive Mastiff and Rottweiler mix broke the chain and was dragging this massive tractor tire it was supposed to be connected too. We started walking faster and faster towards the door scared out of our minds that this dog would eat us!!! I turned around and gave it a good "Bah"!!!!!! hahahaha It stopped barking and just stood there haha. Thank you Bark Busters Home Training! They did one thing right! We knocked on the door and the mother answered and let us in. We met the whole family and the girl that had moved back from Sydney. 3 New awesome Investigators we added and this girl said she needs to change her life around. She is back in Taree doing community service and unfortunately taking care of her 18 month old baby.. They are an awesome family! They are super Aussie Bush people. They have some 80 thousand acre's out in the bush where they go pig hunting every couple weeks! These pigs weigh over 250 pounds!! We saw a few of the ones they had caught and the tusks on those things are nasty!! That really was a blessing following our trial with Joe. I really see it as two blessings happening in one day. Everything with Joe will work out.
I hope you all have an amazing week and know how much I love you. The Gospel is true. Jesus is the Christ and suffered for each of our sins. I love the talk I studied this morning. Tad Callister says that Heavenly Father isn't going to just let us be complacent where we are and not be stretched. He will keep throwing trials in our lives and give us things we don't like to do so we can get better. Ether 12:27! If we let heavenly Father into our lives and accept the trials then those weaknesses will become our Strengths. That is so true.
I love you and have a great week!!
A couple more Pictures from Australia: