Email September 23, 2013

Hello from Sista Hemull (Australian pronunciation)!

Well, you guessed it! I have survived my first transfer! YAY!! Haha Sister Eldredge and I are still companions for at least another 6 weeks so transfers didn't affect us but I am proud to say that I have been in Australia for 6 weeks! This week was pretty good and very stressful! I saw the mission psychologist again and I cried and cried and cried...but then I got better and things are good now! I got 4 letters this week from my daddy, Mama P, Haleigh, and Grandpa Petersen and I got them on the perfect day so thank you so much! I didn't get any letters out this week because of our zone activity on Monday but I should have time to write today! (fingers crossed) We have two baptisms this coming Saturday for Ajor and Brother Bills! Ajor is an absolute miracle! She is the one who did not have permission from her husband to be baptised but this week we saw her and spoke with her husband and he told her that it was her decision! You should have seen her face light up! Ah! It was so amazing! She was interviewed after churchyesterday and she is set and good to go! I am so excited! Brother Bills is getting married to Sister Gilbert (member) on Friday and then he is being baptised on Saturday and then he is baptising his children next Friday so it's absolute chaos in their home this week but it is beautiful, fun, exciting chaos! Oh, and he also had his gallbladder removed on Thursday...so yeah. CRAZY!!! It is pretty miraculous.

So Michael that I told you about last week was given to the Elders to teach since he is a single man and we found out that he had impure motives and only talked to us because he thought we were pretty. So that is a bummer but our district got a good laugh out of it! I taught a training in district meeting on Thursday and it was the greatest experience ever! I was so nervous but I walked up and totally rocked it! That may sound prideful but I call it confidence...haha which has been a major struggle for me so it is kind of a big deal! But yes, it was great! I taught about how we can get the ward involved in helping our investigators attend church and I talked about ward families and how awesome it would be if they treated our investigators like family and I got super pumped and excited. It was kinda silly but it was really fun!

We had a really cool experience with this one family who has been taught by missionaries for over a year! They are the Atac family and they are a gorgeous African family. The three daughters come to church every week and mutual every Tuesday (yes Tuesday) and they want to be baptised but their parents haven't been on board! So long story short, we went and visited their family and their dad told us that he has a feeling that the church is true and he has only let the missionaries teach him ONCE!  He said he had been thinking about it for a long time and he is ready to learn more! We are hoping that the entire family will be baptised on the26th of October! It is so incredible the impact that one conversation can have on a person! So I want to give you all some advice :) Every time you meet someone, talk to them like they are your family. We are all children of our Heavenly Father and the divine identity that we have truly connects us all in very special and specific ways! Everyone we know is there for a reason!

One more story!! So yesterday I met my dad. Yes dad, I met you!! It was awesome! So every week we are given a list of 5 people who are inactive and we only had one left! His name was Chris Hewitt and he lives in the suburb called Globe Derby Park which is a suburb that we had never heard of and had no idea that people actually lived there but actually the BEST people live there!! It is all huge mansions on horse property and it is green and gorgeous! Chris was baptised at 18 in the year 1975 and has been inactive since then but he has always known that God is looking out for him. He just got out of a messy divorce and he has really started to reflect on the important things in life. Anyway, I had the best conversation with him and I told him that he reminds me of my dad and it was just the best conversation! We are going to visit him later in the week and he is coming to church on Sunday! He is very wealthy but he doesn't care about money! He actually WANTS to pay tithing! He is so cool and down to earth and he wears jeans and a tshirt and it is just so great! Haha so yeah! I like Chris a lot.

I don't have much else to report other than the fact that there are dog cleaners here. There are little stations that are open 24/7 where people go to wash their dogs. It is hilarious! I will take a picture of one today and send it in my email next week! Things down under are remarkable and I am doing quite well! Heavenly Father always makes up for it when I fall short! The gospel of Jesus Christ is real! He lives and loves me!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all so much!

Sister Shailyn Diane Hamel

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