G’day my main mates!
A big hello & happy fourth from Sydney! My first Independence Day in a different country & it has been fantastic. Very Aussie indeed:) We started off the morning right with a stroll along the Opera House & Harbour Bridge. Oh and shopping. I think I have died & gone to Heaven! The shopping is so amazing here. It’s a very good & bad thing at the same time. I also saw a familiar face at a fireside at Hyde Park last night! Elder Litster is my new zone leader. How cool is that? We didn’t have time for a photo but I’m sure I’ll get one this Friday at zone conference. So fun seeing him briefly!
Sorry last week had to be so short but let me catch yous up on the latest news. I am serving in South Harbour ward as a UNSW missionary. We are right outside the city & are lucky enough to cover the University. When we go on campus we can’t proselyte and the badges have to come off. (It hurts every time taking it off.) We don’t go on campus a whole lot for those two reasons. In this area we find all day every day. 8 hours of straight talking to people anywhere & everywhere near the Uni. Majority are from China which is fun! This has been & will continue to be a great opportunity to stretch me & grow my faith. We have one investigator at the moment, but other than that we are starting from scratch. The perfect opportunity to witness some miracles!
My first 3 days here were hands down the hardest I’ve experienced. I missed my Coffs & my Sister Lewis! (Hi, Kyles:)) There are so many people surrounding us all the time & I didn’t know how I could come to love them the way I loved the people of my last area. Coffs Harbour & South Harbour could not be more different & I was so scared how I was going to be able to be a good missionary in this area. Thankfully I have 2 amaaazing companions that helped me through the rough parts & of course my Saviour, Jesus Christ has carried me the entire way. His love removed all the fear from my heart & replaced it with complete joy.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
I couldn’t be farther from perfect but my peace truly did become perfect. Peace that I am exactly where my Father wants & needs me. Peace that I am never alone & absolute peace that my Saviour is right beside me. Every single step of the way. He is sitting right next to me on the bus. Walking on the side of the busy streets & bringing peace & words to my mind when I don’t know what to say. He gives me the courage to do what I wouldn’t normally do. I wouldn’t normally wake up early every morning, talk to complete strangers who often time want nothing to do with me & repeat the exact same thing every single day. Of course, I wouldn’t normally go a year and a half without my mummy! But I love him. I love Him & I will truly try my best to do whatever it takes to follow Him.
We are all familiar with John ch. 21 when Christ asks Peter 3 times, “lovest thou me?” In district meeting we discussed the significance of Christ asking Peter the same question 3 times. We all had different answers that could be right but I liked what another missionary pointed out. In Preach My Gospel pg. 183 there is a section on asking questions & focusing on how Christ asked questions. It says, “His questions 1) prompted though, 2) soul searching, and 3) commitment.”
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter,Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
(finally the commitment)
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas,lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him,Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Christ didn’t need to know if Simon Peter loved him or not because surely He already knew the things that he would do. I feel like this is Christs way of asking His disciple to what end they will follow Him. In the moment how easy it is to say, “yea, Lord. thou knowest that I love thee,” but what about when it gets really hard? When the people mock, despise & in the end kill you as in the day of the early apostles? To what end would we follow our Saviour Jesus Christ? I truly believe that the love which Simon Peter had for the Saviour is the only thing that was strong enough to help him withstand the trials ahead of him. As it should be for you & me. I would presume Peter reflected back to this intimate moment with the Saviour. When he answered the same question for the third time & committed to feeding the Lord’s sheep.
In no way can I begin to compare my struggle with that of Peter or any of the apostles for that matter. There is no comparison, but like Peter my love for the Saviour is also what leads me to do what I would normally never do.
Thursday morning I had an experience that helped me understand a short verse in the New Testament better. We were on the bus & a man named Frank sat next to me. He was reading his bible & that was the perfect opportunity to speak to him! In the few minutes we were together I testified of The Book of Mormon & that Joseph Smith was a true prophet & restored Christ’s true church on the earth today. I gave him our number, a Book of Mormon & he was off! (and this morning he texted us to meet this week! Miracle!) But that morning I had read Acts 13: 57
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
In that moment I felt my heart being filled to the brim with joy & that joy hasn’t left me since. I love South Harbour & I love planting seeds every day for my Saviour Jesus Christ. It fills me with a joy I have never experienced before. Every day is a new day to answer the Lord for the third time, “yea, Lord. thou knowest that I love thee.” To truly commit to feeding His sheep.
I love you all so much & I hope you have an amazing week! You are in my thoughts & prayers constantly:)
all my love,
your sister denney:)