January 29, 2012 Awesome week!

Hey Everyone!
Finished my first full week in the city! It certainly feels like I have been called to asia. we are teaching mostly thai and vietnamese people, but also a lot of chinese, japanese, mongolian, philipino, laotian and pacific islanders (also a few peruvians?). We usually start with a seperate lesson just focusing on the godhead, basics of christs mission and the holy ghost/ how to pray. It is all news to most of them. I love that “gospel” actually means good news! we have had some really amazing experiences where the spirit has born powerful testimony to the people we are teaching, there have been many that have expressed how buddhism or other asian religions have never provided the peace and happiness they have been looking for, and through prayer they have found something they never knew was missing in their lives. I am so grateful to be here, it is so different from missionary work in USA. I am glad to have this chance to bring these good tidings to people for the first time in their lives. we have several people that are ready to be baptized and several more that are progressing tword that point. the biggest obstacle here is people getting work off sunday to come to church, but we have seen some miracles and have been fasting for them. we have a goal to see two people baptized this month, and we have about 5 who should be ready by next month. Really amazed at how humble and willing some of the asian people are. we can walk down the street for an hour and get 5 phone numbers of people who want to learn more. it is really a miracle, not sure if we will ever be able to send missionaries to china, but it seems that the lord is taking some of the best and the brightest here to sydney for school, and they are able to learn and bring the gospel back to china. Great to be part of that work.
This place is very expensive, when you go to a mcdonalds the food is half the size and twice as expensive. OK by me. haha, I am eating a lot healthier than was possible in America. but we have to be pretty frugal in our spending! I am really loving the city, so redically different from what I grew up with, but there is an energy, pace, and such a multitude of people which is a great help to missionary work. we never stop moving, if we are not teaching we are out talking to people on the street, such a great blessing to be here. I am learning a ton from my companion, Elder Rammell from South Jordan Utah, he has such a positive attitude and love for the people here, I was somewhat intimidated to teach people with no christian background who speak very little english, but he has shown me how to teach simply and powerfully with love for the people we meet. I am so glad to have hime as my companion.
I wish I had more time to take pictures because this place is really beautiful with some really cool wildlife. (especially bats that are enormous and the rainbow lorekeets) I will try to do better and send more photos next week!
Fun story, when elder rammell and I went out street contacting the other day, it was raining really lightly, so we did not feel the need to bring our umbrellas, we were out a few hours but when we were walking back, only about 5 mins away from the teaching center, the skys opened up and poured out some of the heaviest rains I have ever experienced. we got copmletely soaked in about 5 mins. Luckily we only had 3 more lessons to teach to tach that day. haha 😉
the Lord is protecting us. the Lord is guiding us. I love this area, I love the people, I lover this work.
Let me know whats happening back home, havent heard from you much the last few weeks ma, hows everyone doing!?
love you all!
until next week

Elder Faulkner

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