September 15, 2013

Dear Family,
I hope all is well wherever you all are in the world.
It has been an alright week here in Bathurst, a bit of disappointment and struggle to be honest, but I wont dwell on that. Life is good.
Not a whole lot of updates to share! But a few highlights for the week:
-We helped some kids catch their dog, haha, they were pretty desperate, so I think they were grateful!
-The weather is finally starting to warm up a bit! thank goodness, its not quite summer, but there are a few times this week that we could put away the jackets and heaters!
-In a lesson on Wednesday one of the less active members said a prayer! I was so amazed! They were not all that comfortable with it, but they did it 🙂
-We were able to identify a few concerns of a few people we have been teaching, its amazing how much easier it is to plan for and teach people when you know their concerns!
-we did some more service for our investigator Andrew child, learned how to install a water heater! He is also making some great progress with the missionary lessons.
-we had a district meeting this Friday which was good since we don’t get to see the zone all that often! It was pretty funny, during the meeting I got a call from Elder Thompson who is one of the Assistants to the mission president. I wouldn’t usually leave a district meeting to answer a phone call, but since it was from him I thought it was important. Well, he was just calling me to let me know I had a Letter in the mission office, haha. What a good friend. I have not got the letter yet, and he said there was not a return address on it, so I am not sure who it is from yet, BUT, It made my day and lifted my spirits before I have even gotten it! 🙂 haha. so thank you to whoever wrote me! hopefully I will get it this week. Hopefully there is a return address somewhere inside the letter so I can reply! (there are a few letters I have received in the last few weeks that have no return address :/ I’d love to reply, but its hard without an address to post to!) but anyway, I am so greatful for all the support and love that has been sent to me on my mission, you have no idea how much it has blessed and helped me. especially this week.( Actually, thank you to everyone who has ever written me, you have no idea how exciting it is to get letters as a missionary and hear from you guys. Just a note on that in case anyone who reads this does not know… its now authorized for us to receive emails from anyone! not just our family, so, to save on postage and hassle, and to eliminate risk of letters being misplaced or taking forever to get to australia, you can send an email instead to ryan.faulkner@myldsmail.net 🙂 oh and parcels can be sent to the office at 2 breakwell street, mortdale, nsw 2223, Chad said he updated the mailing address already on the blog, thanks chad for keeping the blog updated by the way.
-Speaking of elder Thompson, he is really a great leader, I am not sure he would know how much he has helped me out, this week I was speaking to him and he said how appreciated and important the work is that we have been doing out here in the country, and how impressed and happy with what has been happening in the zone. He even said “this may be bad to say, but you are the only one in the mission we thought could do it” speaking of opening the zone and area etc. I am glad he has that confidence in us, because it really has been a tough gig, haha, been finally getting to me this past week. But the counsel he gave me was so spot on, I am so grateful to have leadership! I have also heard in some emails and letters reccently from loved ones about bishops and leaders that have blessed my family and friends with their counsel and support, they have done much more than they know. I am just so grateful for the church, this organization the Lord has prepared to administer grace and hope to me and my family. I will bless and praise forever these great leaders who have impacted and touched my life. my mind is just panning through my life and all the great men and women who have helped me out of the difficult seasons of life and been there to smile and share in the good seasons. I hope everyone has read the first presidency message this month, It came at a good time for me!! (http://www.lds.org/liahona/2013/09/saints-for-all-seasons?lang=eng) its funny how the Lord has blessed me this week, with my leaders, the message, and also the church recently publishing a new handbook for missionaries on how to manage stress! haha, (https://missionary.lds.org/m-content/bc/PDFs/AdjustingMissLife_Booklet-LowRes_6-7-13.pdf) It is aimed at missionary work, but I think this could help anyone out! so check it out! anyway, I am full of gratitude for the blessings we have received, last night elder skinner and I spent some time counting our blessings, like I said at the beginning, life is good 🙂 Hoping to continue in the strength and spirit of this gratitude, and I am sure we will begin to see more fruit from our efforts.
-Church was really good, one of the members brought their friend to church! hopefully they had a good experience…what else, I gave one of the kids a pass along card and he carried it around all day 🙂 haha. I miss all the primary kids in the bigger wards, and the kids that I have got to teach and all the families I have been close to on my mission, and of course my little brothers at home! Children really brighten up your day…. Oh also, one of the teenagers in the branch who we have been working with, after the priesthood lesson that elder skinner and I taught, he asked if he could borrow the manual so he could share some of the things we talked about with his father who is not a member! I thought that was the coolest thing ever, It is great to see a young man using his priesthood to bless his family…
Anyway, I love this work, I love the Lord, I love all of you, I hope you all are happy and healthy! If there is anything I can ever do for you, please let me know, Its hard not being able to be in closer contact with all of you, but you are in my prayers, I love hearing from you all, I send my love and blessing.
Love Elder Faulkner
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