March 3, 2013

Hey Everyone,
 
IT has been a pretty Exhausting week! A lot happening, Monday we were in Sydney for Zone leader Council, It was pretty exciting because Elder Hamula of the seventy who is also the pacific area president was there to train us. He is a wonderful man, someone who I really know has been called of God just as the Seventy of old. I Learned a lot from him this week but Mostly just from His example. I could feel his love and support for us as missionaries in nearly everything he said, I cannot quite explain how, but there was something about this man that set him apart, which is something I hope I can be as well. He taught with power and authority, He was as I imagine the leaders from the scriptures would be, steadfast and immovable. I don’t know quite what else to say, but I am grateful to have had a few opportunities to brush shoulders with the general authorities of this church, I know there is something greater than this world that makes them who they are, and their example is coming to be very important to me in my life, and gives me hope that I can live up to heavenly fathers high expectations for me as I build upon His foundation.
Aside from that, Elder Wennerholm and I also trained the Canberra zone on Thursday in our monthly zone training meeting, followed the next day by a zone conference again with Elder Hamula and the south coast zone. Zone conferences are always fun because you get the chance to see old companions and missionaries you have worked with.
Right now we are in Merimbula (another 3.5 hour drive) for a two day companion exchange with the missionaries here. It is an incredibly beautiful drive! down here in southern New south wales is completely different from the rest of the state! we Saw the edge of the snowy mountains, miles of rolling green hills, to arrive at our destination in Merimbula which is a costal tourist destination with beautiful beaches. The Canberra Zone is pretty cool to serve in, Especially as the zone leader because we get to travel so much. I figured out that mt. kosiozco (the tallest mountain in Australia) is not too far out of the way on our trip to Merimbula, so next month we will arrange to climb it on our P-day prior to our exchange in Merimbula. I am pretty excited for that! but we better do it soon because it is starting to get a bit cooler down here, and it would not be ideal to climb in the middle of winter!
 
In other news, I learned that some people I taught in Dubbo almost a year ago will be sealed in the temple this weekend. They have a lot if family in Canberra actually so I will get to see them the next day. This is incredibly meaningful to me. After going with Michael klenka to receive his endowment a few weeks ago, and now to hear that my recent convert and her new husband are being sealed together forever has brought me a whole new perspective in my mission. I have always known that missionary work is really just a start that later leads to the blessings of the temple and eternal life, but it was not until just recently that I have begun to see this in the lives of people I have actually served and loved. I may talk more next week about this, but this has brought me a lot of happiness since I heard.
 
Um.. what else, ah, yes a family I taught in woden will be getting baptized next month 🙂 again, I am so happy that I am close and will be able to see these things happen, often being transferred means you do not get to be present when your investigators make these steps. I feel so blessed. Ill be honest though, it has been a bit hard in some ways being so close… When you serve in an area, you pretty much fall in love with it, when you teach people you feel a dedication and responsibility to serve them, I think I have said many many times in these letters home that the hardest thing about missionary work is being transferred, everything is out of your hands. fortunately it is usually easy to move on because you are in a new area! But in this case, I am blessed with constant updates on the progress of my last area, good and bad, But I am not able to visit them or teach them much any more. I think one reason Heavenly father wanted me so close is so I could learn to Trust Him more, and to trust His missionaries, and I am definitely learning that trust, I know they are all in His hands! But, I do miss woden heaps. I trust the Lord Knew what he was doing when he moved me across the lake. haha. I am glad that I still get to see many of those people in woden still. Perhaps there is a reason He needed me to move, and still be close and to see them often, I don’t know, I am always excited to figure out why the Lord Does what he Does, only time will tell.
I so appreciate your prayers, I definitely feel their influence when this work gets tiring and difficult, your support is so valuable to me.
 
 
Anyway. I love you guys. Hope to hear from you this week.
 
Elder Faulkner
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