Monday, 3 December 2012

3rd December 2012 Christmas is coming

There is hope for photos yet :-) Here's this week's email

One of the Townsville members bought me a camera,  she'll be blessed and I am grateful.
Transfers is in 2 weeks. I really don't reckon President will keep me up here for another transfer. The work is going well but a lot of appointments seem to fall through. We just referred a pretty solid investigator to Cairns after only teaching them for a week. It's the District Young Women's president’s sister (who is less active) and her husband (who is the non member) they are great but were only down here to recover after a car accident (which is what made them decide to look to the Gospel again) so good things are happening. It's hard to tract a lot in this heat but tract we must; our teaching pool is kinda low. We are going to push for referrals as well though as that is the best missionary work, when the members are involved.

I think I want to go to the temple a lot when I go home, a 2 and a half hour drive isn't that bad compared to people in Townsville, some people can only go once a year and then they have to go to Sydney cos the Brisbane temple has no accommodation  It's going to be so bizarre at home after being here, anyway that's a long way off and there is still a lot to be done here.

The Brisbane mission might breach 200 with the big influx of missionaries, its already up to 180 and nearly half the mission is training new missionaries, I'll probs go down south and either train or be in leadership. Anyway I'll love you and leave you thanks for all your support with everything and your prayers.

Heaps of love Elder John Kay xxx

P.S no I didn't see the eclipse, I would have to wake up at 5 am so I was like BEAT IT!! hahahaha.

Monday, 26 November 2012

26th November

As the Adversary tries to thwart the Lord's work, often a good week is followed by a not-so-good one. Everyone has ups and downs - the downs help us to appreciate the ups.  Here's his email

How is everyone?  Last week was OK. We did a lot of tracting (i.e. going door to door telling people about the church) though because the people we are teaching were either busy or away (it's summer now so many people will be going on holiday), but we got heaps of potential investigators. Things are going to be good although there's some bad news, we got robbed, my bag got stolen and it had my scriptures and my camera in :( so I'm not sure what to do. I'll have to borrow some scriptures. Elder Powelson's wallet got stolen as well so we'll probably be on bikes the whole week because it had his driving licence in. I hope the things can be found. We filed a police report but I'm doubtful. It will be weird being a missionary without any scriptures. anyhoo I think that's about it, I don't really have anything else to say. I love you all 

Elder Kay

So there will probably not be any more photos to add to this blog unless he can download photos from his companion's camera and email them. We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Two months catching up

After 25 years of being a stay-at-home mum, now that I'm going out to work I'm having an interesting time trying to get the work/ home balance right, and this blog has been one of the things that has suffered, so rather than post all 10 of Elder Kay's emails I shall just pick out a few things that have happened since I last posted on 10th September. Sorry there are no photos - he hasn't sent any in absolutely ages

17th Sep
I was on a trade off with the district leader Elder fox, the other two Elders were in Bowen for a few days. Elder Fox and I were riding the bikes for ages as this area is massive, but we got a less active and her husband to come to a cottage evening we held. That was great. I taught a lesson on the Book of Mormon, we are so blessed to have the Book of Mormon, it is an inspired book and it testifies beautifully of Christ.

It's starting to get really hot now. The Branch did a clean up on Australia day for Helping Hands - we picked litter from a road and it was hot as! The Branch Presidency want us to really encourage the young men to serve missions (which I am only too willing to do) :P there are some good young men here.

25th Sep
I'm emailing a day late because it was transfers.  Elder Abel and I will be staying together, it's crazy cos I'll be sitting at 10 months of my mission with only two companions and two areas. The new missionary we have is called Elder Field (Elder Latu was transferred); he's the youngest missionary I've served around and it's weird to be on the other end of the stick.

8th October - at the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6th and 7th October President Thomas S Monson announced that the young men of the Church will be able to leave for their missions at 18 instead of 19 and the young women can serve at 19 instead of 21. Here is Elder Kay's reaction: -

About conference that everyone's been talking about, because we are ahead we don't get it shown at church till the week after but in a meeting President Ferguson told us about the age change for missionaries... AWSOME OR WHAT?!!!  I think the change is particularly good for sisters and I think that there will be an increase of missionaries in the Field.

15th October
This Sunday we went up to Ingham with Branch President and it was great. Ingham is a small town about 100 k's from here but they have no Branch and many of the members aren't able to come down every Sunday, but there is this couple who go round visiting old members and keeping the work alive. We are starting to have a sacrament meeting with them once a month of which this was the first. Not everyone we hoped turned up but it was great and the spirit was there, many of the people will have to be completely re taught, but we actually had a little Sunday School lesson and it went really well, so I'm glad we could end the week on a high note.

29th October

We are teaching someone who is awesome; he's a friend of one of the members and we teach him in their house, they are great fellowship. WOO HOO FOR MEMBER REFERRALS!!  That's how missionary work is supposed to work :D. Man I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel I have and for this opportunity to serve for two years. I'm going to be a different person when I get back. I'm learning a lot about myself especially.

5th November

This week has been pretty good. I'm still in Townsville, but Elder Abel was Transferred. My new companion is Elder Powelson. I've also been made the district leader. We're planning to get this area alive again. We set a baptismal date of 17th November for Sarah, one of the people we are teaching. I'm excited about the work up here.

The weather is getting hot now so work will be harder. Apparently in a month there will be days when it's like 48 degrees and 100% humidity.

19th November

On Saturday I Baptised a Filipino lady called Sarah. Her daughter really felt the spirit at the baptism service then came to church the day after. After the Baptism we had to bucket the water out of the font cos the pump is broken and the font is built under ground. man I was stiff yesterday. Have you heard about the two new stakes in Queensland? The church is growing here so much. They adjusted the Brisbane, Brisbane North, Eight Mile Plains, Centenary and Gold Coast stakes to create two new ones. It's about time - the Gold Coast and EMP stakes were massive.

We had our First District meeting last week, which went pretty good. We're getting a new senior couple this week, which is exciting. The Miles from Idaho. There are good things happening here. Me and Elder Powelson are excited; he's great by the way, he's just the companion I needed :D. The weather is getting hotter!! It was sooo humid on Sunday and it nearly stormed at one point. Man we're really gonna have to drink a lot of water. Pres Ferguson told us about a guy that died and his friend that nearly died in the interior. They got bogged 16 k's from their homestead, so left the 4x4 with all the water and everything and started walking, one was dead by 3 k's and one was picked up and is still in intensive care.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Here are Elder Kay's last two emails. If I don't post emails on Monday morning when I receive them it just gets forgotten! I have no idea why there are two different fonts and one suddenly gets smaller. I have just copied and pasted and taken personal bits out. Hope you can read it all!

On Monday 3rd September he wrote

It's getting hotter - about the mid 30's at the mo, but it will probs get hotter, the nights are not so cold anymore either.  Sometimes it just gets so humid. I saw a paper in McDonalds that said there is record breaking bushfire risk because of the wet autumn (so lots grows) then really dry winter, crazy! I'm doing well, we are slowly but surely rolling the work forward. Our main investigator family is so close to coming to church - they just say they can't because one of their kids doesn't like it, but we're going to invite him to Mutual to soften him up, we'll just jeep trying and hopefully they can gain a testimony!

This week we did a bit of service, we seem to do alot of it, especially moving people (that's what we did this week).  We almost got a referral from a member that we asked for, we just need the address, we need to follow up. We are also organising a cottage evening this month so that should be great.

Thanks so much for your emails it's good to hear from you all, you all sound so BUSY!! hahaha.
I miss the temple being up north but hey.

I love you all so much you're AWESOME!!! take care

Bye!! xxxxxxx

Then today (10th September)

Howdy peeps,

How's it going? This week has been good, I think I'm going to miss a lot of people in this area when I am transferred.  I dont know how people can leave their mission and never go back to visit if they are able to. The work is still going we are making good progress with our investigators; they are great people.

Every Saturday we play touch football with some non members and now that we've got alot of people coming I want to do a spiritual thought each week, I've also started excercising every morning and eating better so I might lose weight :P I'm getting alright at touch as well and I'm learning to kick. hahaha. 

We were talking about the signs of the second coming and the apocalypse in district meeting and Elder Mathews (senior Elder) was saying that when the world no longer accepts the missionaries message then there will no longer be missionaries, the time is not yet though - there are still wonderful people searching for the truth.

I know it takes a long time with some people. Sometimes we have to drop people just so we can focus our efforts but we always go back to former investigators in the area book, circumstances always change :) It is such an important work. hmm theres not alot really happening at the moment in particular. we're still teaching alot of less actives. sorry I forgot my memory stick and camera so I wont be sending photos this week sorry.

If you were a king what would you say to your people as your last address? I love the words of king Benjamin as he councils his people, It just goes to show his love for his people and his testimony in the gospel, what a great example. anyhoo, I hope you are all doing well I love you all. I testify of the truthfullness of the Gospel and I'll talk to you next week.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Here are all of Elder Kay's August emails. It's been a busy month for me with holidays and work so sorry it's taken me a while to update the blog

Monday, August 06, 2012

How’s it going all? My week has been pretty good; we got in contact with one of our investigators after an appointment fell through. They seem pretty keen and we also got a less active guy to church. We did a lot of service again this week and I GOT TO DRIVE A TRACTOR. The branch president is one of the managers of an aboriginal reserve and so we sometimes go help him cut the grass and stuff like that. I've been reading the Doctrine and Covenants and I'm really enjoying it, I love section 10. We are beginning to get the Branch excited about missionary work (heaps of thanks to the Branch President - he's awesome) Not a lot else has happened this week, I'll send some photos next week. Heaps of members are telling me England’s doing really well in the Olympics, gutted I can’t see it but I'm doing the Lords work. Man you learn a lot about dealing with people, sometimes it’s so hard to listen when they talk a lot. I've taken on a little project when I get time I'm drawing out the central Americas at the time of the Book of Mormon (about Mormon’s time) we had some 
training by Elder Matthews on it and he showed us one of the existing theories that makes sense the most to him and it's awesome, its mostly theoretical but he's been to the Americas and read theories and everything, he’s a scholar, I'm gonna make it more arty.
Give my love to everyone.

Love Elder John Kay

Monday, August 13, 2012
Hello everybody,
This week has been a good week for us here in Townsville, we taught way more lessons, the Branch is progressing as well, some less actives are coming to church as a result of the letters that we sent out from President Ferguson, we are also getting acquainted with a whole load of Niueans through an Ex member soon to be re baptised, hopefully we shall have some Baptisms this month. Transfers came and went with no changes its still Elder Abel and I in the east and Elder Latu and Elder Fox in the west, I might well be up here for 7 and a half months, man it's crazy, when I go back down south I'll nearly be at my year mark. It's going so fast. Elder Richards (my ‘dad’ i.e. first mission companion) is also going home this transfer as well. This mission is a really young one (i.e. most of the missionaries haven’t been out long – this is due to hold-ups with visas over the past year)  I'm gonna know hardly anyone when I go south... ah well, it makes my chances of training higher, I don’t particularly want to be in leadership, but I would like to train a new missionary.
This week there was an Elders quorum activity, it was well good we had a testimony in a park then Breakfast,
I'll know this area so well when I leave, I was surprised how quickly you get to know areas.

I can see how important companion study is, it's a great opportunity to get better at teaching if you're not teaching that often. The church is true, I hope you are all well
Much love Elder Kay

Monday, August 20, 2012

How is everyone? I hope this email finds you well and happy :) I'm great!!! Last week was great, with some slightly crazy experiences, but at the minute we're excited as the people we are teaching are getting closer to Baptism, there is also an excommunicated member being re Baptized this week so we're excited, he’s the Niuean fella I talked about last week, he got us into the Townsville cultural Fest free :P so we saw their performance, it was Brilliant. Afterwards when I congratulated him and the others they joked about how they were savages until the Brits came.  It was great to see them in all their costumes and painted faces, I tell you if I was attempting to invade Niue (see the History section of this link!) I wouldn't hang around long in those days. So yeah the work is progressing well, we came in contact with a less active who wants to come back to church, she's come two weeks in a row now and this week she brought a non-member friend who we started teaching last week :P it's awesome. Ok so the crazy experiences... we were delivering some of the last letters for less actives we have and we found out (from his wife) that this guy has been dead for three years and it shocked me that he had slipped so far off the radar, we felt really inadequate. Then another guy we asked if this woman lived at his address just ripped up the letter in front of us and slammed the door, sometimes it's difficult to remember they are all Heavenly Fathers children,  but that’s where the spirit comes in, I guess it's part of being a missionary.

well I think that’s about it, OH no. I almost forgot, we went up the castle hill last week - a big mountainous hill in the middle of Townsville (it's probably about the size of cheviot) and the view was awesome
Much love, Elder John Kay

Monday 27th August 2012

Hey all,
This week has been pretty good, we had District conference and we had a meeting with President Langeland afterward and had a training on the Doctrine of Christ (this month’s mission theme) basically he was sharing that if our investigators understand the doctrine truly then they will gain faith and want to change, obviously with the help of the Spirit etc. but it was a great training and it give me new drive for my studies. Sadly we haven't taught that many lessons this week as our main appointments fell through but we plod on. I think we need to find more people and look through our former investigators.
There’s a quote in preach my gospel by Elder Packer saying that true doctrine understood changes attitudes and behaviour better than a study of attitude and behaviour changes it.
I send my love and wish Heavenly Fathers choicest blessings on you all,
Until next week.
Elder John Kay

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

I can't believe it's 2 weeks since I updated. Where has this year gone? Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes in the post or on facebook.  Here are the 2 emails from 23rd and 30th July. We will be on holiday next week so I will be posting 2 emails the week after as I don't think the campsite has Internet and our laptop is on it's last legs so not worth the space in the car!

Hey Guys!!!

howdy diddley doo! man my first email as a twenty year old :P, This week has been pretty good, we've mostly done service, my back hurts from moving someone accross the street and playing Oz tag (tag Rugby) and someone's lawn broke our lawnmower hahaha. My birthday was really good I didn't tell many people till the day so it was a kinda off the cuff thing,  Sister Tupaitau got me a cheesecake from the cheesecake shop and we went to Macdonalds after practicing for a fireside which I'm singing at. It was great spending time with the Branch President  and family and some other few, we had the cake at the Orro's the day after because we always go to their house for dinner on Thursday. Oh also thank you for the package it arrived this morning mmmm minstrels, send my love to everyone in the Alnwick branch. I really liked the cards from the priesthood and the pen is lovely, thank you.

well anyhoo, thanks for all your emails and whatnot I loves you all,  bye!
Elder John Kay. xxxx

This week was good, we were mostly seeing less actives again but we did contact some people and gave them a pass along card and told them to visit the website. They aren't in our area, well, they technically are, they live in Ayr (a town with it's own branch about an hour south of here) but they dont have missionaries so it's kind of in our area, but we never go there. We would love to get floating missionaries in a town called Bowen about 2 and a half hours south that can cover Bowen and Ayr and Airley Beach (which is in the Bowen branch - called the Whitsunday branch) everything is just so spread out.  Elder Latu and I went to Bowen yesterday (Sunday), they are a small branch who are mostly Tongan but most of them were working yesterday. I think one of the biggest challeges is reactivation.

I hope everyone is doing well

love Elder Kay

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

18th July 2012
It's Elder Kay's birthday today. Or I should say it was as it is already 19th July in Australia. He is going to tea with Sister Orro and family and she is going to bake him a birthday cake. I emailed her a list of all the people who wished him a Happy Birthday on Facebook, since missionaries aren't supposed to go on Facebook so he wouldn't have seen the messages.

Here are some excerpts from his last few emails

25th June
Hows it going? This week has been a bit slow tbh because of moving (which we still haven't finished). We also got the news from our investigators that they don't think they will go to church again because of their kids, but  they are still receptive to us, so when they get back from camping we'll teach them the Plan of Salvation and they might be touched by the Spirit. Moving has been a faff, we have the keys to our flat but the Townsville West elders don't (we're getting split into 2 separate flats) so we cant move out till they do cos they need the fridge etc then they will get new stuff delivered to their flat I believe.
I gave two blessings this week;  a couple of members were sick. Sorry theres not much to say, hope you are all well, much love
P.S. talofa lave means hello in Samoan

2nd July
I just wrote a whole email and then the browser closed and didn't save my draft.
Sorry I dont have a lot of time. This week's been good we gave a blessing which was really touching. We're moved now. Thanks so much for your emails, I hope you're all good, I'm fine.
much love Elder Kay.

9th July
Hey All,
Apologies for last week's short email. It turns out I might have to buy a new suit with my birthday money :/ I'm getting abit big. I think I'm 75 kg's but I'm exercising and I can see a bit of a difference, I dont think I'll ever be as small as I used to be, unless I get really sick and lose heaps of weight, I've been wearing different trousers with my suit for two weeks of church now because I cant physically fit my suit pants, i'm going to see if I can get them let out a bit by one of the members before I buy a new one....

So, this week we completely got shot of our old house, turned out we needed to clean better, so we enlisted some help and got it squeaky clean, we also had to mow the lawn, (thank goodness we dont have one in this flat). We did quite a bit of service this week so we haven't done a whole lot of proselyting but we saw a less active member, who hopefully will come back to church and maybe we could teach his non member family, We can also contact a guy called Rhys.  He does security work and was doing alot of overtime wor a V8 race that was in town over this weekend called the Sucrogen Townsville 400. It was a huge event and you could hear the roar of the cars all day for three days, it was kind of annoying in the end. Last weeks fast and testimony meeting was really good, a new member of our ward spoke of his wife's experience when they moved up here and how much the branch presidency supported them, it was touching as she lost her baby :( but he has a strong testimony and I think they will be great to work with.

Thinks for all your emails btw, I got heaps this week.

One annoying thing about Australia is that it takes so long for mail, but I guess it keeps me focussed.

I hope your all doing well, The church is true, Jesus is the Christ,
 love you all

Elder John Kay

P.S the weather here has been unusually wet as well

16th July
Hey Guys!!!!

Hows it going? I hope everyone is all good! Thanks for all your emails It's great to hear from you all, thanks for the birthday money mum, and dont worry that my card will be late, I dont really have any plans, I wanna work hard on my bday.

Well this week has been pretty good but we've not been able to see any of our investigators. We found two new people and taught a doorstep lesson to one. When she offereed to say the prayer she thanked Heavenly Father for sending the missionaries because she wanted to "know about what the mormons believe". Hopefully she will gain a testimony of what we share with her :)

I also gave a blessing to the second councillor on the branch presidency, he said the blessing he received was just what he needed, I couldn't even remember what I said, the Lord truly speaks through us.

Elder Abel and Latu went to Bowen (about a two hour drive south) so me and Elder Fox were on a trade off from Thursday till Sunday, it was pretty good. 

love you all

Elder Kay

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Here are Elder Kay's last two emails and some photos

This one from 12th June

Good Morning from Townville,
Pday this week is on Tuesday as President Langeland came up yesterday so it was a normal work day. This last week has been pretty good, we saw alot of people. From Tuesday until Thursday we stayed in an old missionary flat in a little town called Charters Towers. We went up to see how fruitful the work would be there, it has a small Branch of about five or six active members and one of those is in the mines so isn't there sometimes, the Branch president was only baptised about two years ago so isn't very experienced, it has a wonderful little chapel, which tbh is one of the reasons it is still open as it's an old listed building. 

So yeah we went around seeing the active and less active members and did a little finding, it's a pretty small town, just smaller than Alnwick, I don't think they will get missionaries any time soon but we're allowed to drive out there if there are teaching appointments so yeah :D Mind the flat will need some cleaning up and the toilet fixed. So yeah everythings all good we have a few people we could easily set a Baptismal date with, a family being one of them :P so we're gonna get them to church if we can next time we see them.

The missionary couple have found two houses that are closer to the chapel which is good. we'll be moving soon. I hope all is well. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

all my love
Elder John Kay.

It looks like this photo was taken at the airport when he flew up to Townsville

On 18th June he wrote: -

Talofa lava
How is everyone this fine day? :P man the weather has taken a turn for the better, it's so clear and warm, I have more of a suntan :P  I compared my forearm to Elder Latu's chest and I'm just as brown hahaha. This week has been ok. We couldn't use the bikes this week because they were stolen. But we got the old bikes fixed (we recently bought 2 new bikes as the old ones were kinda small for a certain large Tongan missionary and a fairly large Maori companion of mine hahaha.) I can now fit some size 34 waist pants (I have a cool pair of dickies shorts that were in the flat) I've put on 14 kg's :/ I really need to  start excercising better. But anyway the work is going good, we have an investigator family who came to church this week and really liked it so, me and Elder Abel are excited :P they seem to be great people, theres no question they are interested the only thing is that Dennis smokes, but you never know he may give up easily when he gets a testimony :). We also got in contact with our next door neighbour who had a baptismal date but fell through because he and his partner had a messy breakup, but he is keen as and he LOVES the missionaries, he seems cool as and is gonna shout us a barbecue :P. So yeah, it's all good :) anyhoo, I'll be off now hope all is well. :D.

Spiritual thought: John 20:7

At the time of Christ, kings, when dining would use a folded napkin to show they were not yet finished, when they were finished they would wipe their mouth and throw the napkin away, if you read in John you see that the folded napkin in the tomb signified the work of the lord was incomplete, he would return, He certainly did return, he lives and he loves us, he is the only way we can return to our Heavenly Father

Monday, 4 June 2012

Here are Elder Kay's 2 latest emails. He has promised to send some photos to his brother as for some reason my email account won't accept them, so we will post them as soon as we can (his brother is away until Thursday)

28th May

Hello all from up in Townsville,
This week has been  overcast and rainy. I've been freezing hahaha.

It's been good to get to know the area a little, it's easier than I thought it would be. We've been delivering letters to less actives all over Townsville; the Branch President wrote a letter to all the less actives. It's a great idea. President is great, we go round his house every Sunday with some of the members of the ward to have dinner, it's awesome, there are some great families. The Branch president has high expectations (as he should). I decided that when we do deliver the letters we could knock a door either side of the house to find more people. Tracting is where you get all the funny experiences me thinks.   I love you all and pray for you, give my regards to the Branch and all, . HEAPS of love

Elder John Kay

4th June
This week has been such gloomy weather, it's been good but we bought some milo and timtams to get us through the glooms  so we had a timtam slam :P, which is when you bite the ends of the timtam
and then you suck milo through it like a straw until you can taste the milo then all the inside is all soft and the chocolate melts and its just deviiinee :P, 

The work has been pretty good this week, we've mainly been getting these letters to the less actives that I mentioned last week so I'm getting to know the area well. We found this great guy yesterday who is Catholic, I'm not sure how successful we'll be with him but I can see him as a member of the church :D we wont be going back until after the 13th though because he has exams. His name is David, he's south African and he's doing electronic and electrical engineering. It was funny actually because at first he wasn't all that
interested in even talking much about religion but then I asked for a drink (because it was the first hot day we'd had all week and we were on bikes) and we got talking and we gave him a book of Mormon so we
shall see. Townville is Beautiful but looks a bit gloomy in the rain so I've not really taken any pictures of the landscape or area but I'll send some pictures of us to Michael

One of the members of my ward said I would be good at remedial therapy, she was fixing Elder Fox's neck and I noticed the slight changes that show when you press the muscles and wait for the body to respond, so
maybe something to think about we'll see, she said you don't really need maths either,

I really don't know what I want for my Birthday, I don't want to accumulate alot of stuff while I'm up here because I can only take one suitcase back south when I leave Townsville,

We move out of our flat on the 1st of July I think - the owner wants top sell it. The senior couple are working so hard to find another one for us but flats are hard to come by up here,
I hope you are all well, my best wishes and love goes with you all. I know the Church is true, it contains the very gospel that our Lord and Saviour taught and I know that he lives as does our Father in heaven. I know the book of Mormon was translated by the power of God by a wounderful Prophet named Joseph Smith who truly saw what he said he saw - Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  In the name
of him who died to save us all, Jesus Christ Amen.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sorry there haven't been any recent posts. Elder Kay's emails were short and mostly directed at the family for a couple of weeks. Then last week he was able to phone home as it was Mother's Day in Australia. It was lovely to chat to him - shame his dad and brother had already gone to work/ college, but that gave me and his sister more time to chat to him :-) When I preview this post it says Sunday 20th May, but it's actually Monday now

Here is today's email

Hey all,
Sorry I didnt email last week due to calling home, really sorry. The past week has been good, we found quite a few potentials tracting. We also taught a member referral lesson (a lesson that involves inviting members to give referrals, it's great and really encourages members to get focussed on a specific person or family). That went well and hopefully the Centenary Lakes Elders will have success with  getting  in contact with their family to reactivate some of their children. We got in touch with some less actives who are trying really hard to get back to church; they are doing well and having scripture study and everything but the dad works away as he is a linesman. I didn't get to see whether they were at church on Sunday because I was transfered to Townsville.  I flew up on Saturday (if you go north you go up earlier).

The first day in Townsville has been great! My new comp is called Elder Abel, from Sydney, he seems like a great guy. It was good to have a first day in the area at church, its a branch of about 100 and I was welcomed with open arms (especially as there are a lot of English peeps up here). I'm so glad to be up here in the winter, its in the tropics so it is very hot in the summer apparently but it's normally in the high 20's in winter and it doesn't really seem to get cold at night. Townsville is alot bigger than I thought it would be, It's the biggest city North of Brisbane.  I've not seen that much of it yet. I'm going to miss some families in Centenary Lakes but I'll probs see them when I come back. There are currently five Elders here at the moment because Elder Auld isn't leaving till the 29th when he flys down to the mission home to finish his mission and go home. There are two areas in Townsville (I'm in Townsville East).  I need to write to a lot of people but I'm going to wait till we move house so I can put the return address on.

I hope you are all doing well and having wounderful lives, I'll email some photos of Townsville when I have some good ones.

love, Elder John Kay

P.S.  I left all my letters with the addresses at the mission home as I was only allowed one case, so I pretty much brought the essentials.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

From Elder Kay's email 23rd April

Hello everyone
We are plodding on slowly but surely, its been kind of disappointing this week because every time we've been to check up on a potential investigator, no one answers the door -_- aaaand Michelle has moved so we've lost track of her because we never could get hold of her to get her number. However, we got a referral from our ward mission leader this week and one referral we checked up on, on Bribie Island, is interested, the only thing is we don’t know when we'll be out there, we had to ask for more km to go out there in the first place.  Our new missionary in the flat is Elder Peaua (my district leader from the MTC), he's a nice guy. Alls well here in aussie land, the weather has been pretty nice at the moment, a bit of rain but not too much, this time of year is nice as!!! its not too hot and it only gets cold some nights.
Last week when we went fishing on p-day I caught my first fish EVER!!! it was a whiting and it was legal to keep, I didn't get any though cos everyone scoffed it :( but I got to eat some of Elder Peaua's flat head which was delicious, we used yabbies for bait (little half shrimp half lobster things) some of them were about 2 inches long and when we pumped them out of the sand you had to pick them up with your hand flat so they couldn't get you with the nipper. Was so much fun. There are some  great families in the ward. The Beaumonts have some friends who were taught the first lesson by the Redcliffe Elders (as they don’t live in our area) and Heidi is well keen and felt the spirit, the only problem is her husband isn't interested, but hopefully the lord will provide a way.
That’s just about it, hope you are all doing well, sending my best wishes and love
Elder John Kay
Spiritual Thought: As I was reading the Gospel of Matthew chapter 16 I pondered on the way the lord refers to Peter as the rock that he will build his church, then remembered something I had been told about this scripture that, after reading it again in context is quite obvious. Peter proclaims Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, Christ replies by saying that he is blessed because this was revealed to him by heaven, referring to... Revelation, and then goes on to say that upon this rock he will build his church. the view that Peter is the rock is a common misconception, looking carefully you can see that the reason he refers to peter is because he is talking to him in conversation so if you read the verse as "...Peter, upon this rock (revelation) I will build my church." this is a testimony of the importance of revelation or, the direct communication from God to man through the Holy ghost, as referred to as the rock on which the church is build upon, without which the church would fall and mutate to the opinions and learning of mankind. I know the church truly does have the Keys of the ministering of angels and of revelation today, as did the primitive church, I know my saviour lives, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Monday, 16 April 2012

Sorry for the delay in posting Elder Kay's last 2 emails. The Easter holidays have been very busy for us visiting family and holding a party for Elder Kay's brother who is now 18 and has started filling in the forms to serve a mission as his brothers have. So here are three emails - the last of which I received this morning.

Received 2nd April
 I hope you are all doing well, as always thank you all so much for your emails it's especially exciting to hear of the wonderful missionary work happening in the Alnwick Branch. 
Quite a lot has happened this week, although it feels like we've not done a lot. We went to see Michelle but there were these guys outside and we didn't feel right so we didn't go; it might have been nothing but I'd rather trust the Holy Ghost. We also had a member scheduled to teach Anthony with us but he didn't make it :(. Man the Help we've had from Brother Lawton is great. The Lawtons are awesome, they are very willing to help. We are trying to help the members as best we can. There are some awesome families in the Ward and the Bishop is filtering down from ward council and Bishop is really busy with work and stuff so we don’t want to bother him too much. He would help if he could.  I Baptised this week;  it wasn't a convert Baptism but a child of record -  it was nice. People seem to keep turning to us to organise Baptisms for their children.  I love the work.
Man I cant believe I've been here 3 months already. Transfers are next week and we don't really have any suspicions of who will be transferred or anything but everyone else is saying they reckon Richards will be transferred and I'll have to show a new companion the area, which would be cool but kinda scary. I'm getting used to how to do things and I know the area pretty well, but I still need to get better but I'll get better with practice. This week we're going to hit the goal of 14 hours finding so we planned 15 and fasted to find a family. We're also going cray fishing today with members of the Burpengary ward.  
Much love Elder Kay
Received 10th April
Hey All,
This week has been a bit crazy, we made a goal to do 15 hours of tracting and we made it, finding three families, so we have lots of potential investigators  to work with. Me and Elder Richards are staying together this transfer, (it's rare for companions to stay together for three transfers), so we are going to work really hard in Centenary Lakes this transfer.  I'm serving in the Centenary Lakes Ward in the Brisbane North Stake, it was just recently split from the Burpengary ward. The Easter holidays are useful as it's something to start a conversation while tracting.  We tried going round Michelle’s this week but she was out then while we were tracting the top of the estate she drove by -_- annoying. Appointments with our investigator Anthony also fell through a couple time but we'll see him eventually.The work is good and we are starting to work with the ward a bit better.
Elder Kay xxx

Received 16th April

Hows everyone in the land of Eng? Hope everyone is doing good. Elder Richards and I have decided to go megga healthy (or as healthy as can be with our budget and members feeding us). We were at a meal appointment and Bro Forstpointer was telling us about exercise and diet, it was so interesting, so on Saturday we ate at Macdonalds as a last time really unhealthy feed (as we cant buy Maccers on Sunday) and started a hard out workout session today! I've put on loads of weight so I really need to get in shape. So yeah, fun fun fun. We are going fishing this Pday (this time it's for real fish though and the member we are with knows what he's doing) so looking forward to that.
The work is still slow, we've been a bit frustrated because we've asked about the 15 names program (a program for reactivating less active members) and nothings happened. The ward council have it running but none of the members are contacting any of the people. We're gonna get it going this week though, contacting  members and investigators and getting this place rolling. Also one of the members told us that we are missionaries that she would trust with her friends, so we must be doing some good :).
I enjoyed General Conference this week (It's delayed in Aussie because of the extreme time difference and then it was Easter the week after) I especially liked the talk on Forgiveness by President Uchtdorf :P What wounderful council our beloved general authorities give us. It is especially important to forgive as the Lords work cannot move forward with strifes and contentions (see Book of Mormon).
I know the Gospel certainly does bless lives, I know that my Saviour is the head of this church which is truly and surely His and the one and only true church on the earth. 
All the best

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Here are Elder Kay's emails from 19th and 26th March - last week I forgot to update the blog.

This week has been interesting. We were at a Samoan birthday party on Saturday and I kid you not I've never seen so much food for that amount of people. It was great as Samoans treat Missionaries with a lot of respect so no one starts eating till we do. There was a whole pig and everything! There were a lot of non members and less active members there we were able to talk to.
We bumped into someone we'd been trying to contact for a while on Tuesday and his cousin is the son of a former investigator we were going to contact. His dad was a member so it could be promising. We're also going to do a mission fast to find  families to baptise. Thanks for all those suggestions about service Dad. 

It's interesting to see see peoples responses to us while tracting. I quite like tracting because of the crazy people you run into; also it forces you to become more bold. It doesn't work very well if you're not sure of yourself. I've also learned the importance of the Book of Mormon in testifying because it's the only thing we can claim that is different; if you claim Priesthood authority others claim to have priesthood and it's not something tangible you can prove, if you preach about the plan of salvation people believe they will return to God's presence anyway regardless and if you teach them about prophets prophets they say there are false prophets. I've also been studying Hebrews in response to something someone we tracted into said; turns out he wasn't quoting it correctly or was quoting out of context and he accused me of reading from a bible doctored by my church. Well you cant help it if people aren't open to be taught, it's still sad though. so yeah anyway I was reading in Hebrews and found a great chapter on faith - chapter 11.  

We visited a less active member at Redcliffe hospital (out of our area but we asked for permission to visit) 

Elder Moore and Elder Richards told me they spoke to the Zone Leaders and suggested I go up to Cairns  but I reckon they are joking. It will be interesting to see where I get transferred after training, but that might not be for a while yet so I don't really need to worry about it. We're going to hike up Glass House mountains today for Pday and last week we went 10 pin bowling - it was fun.  

Thanks for all your emails and your prayers hope you are all well. Love to all
P.s I  go to the temple on my assigned Temple day it; we go once every transfer so we won't be going for ages!

Hey Guys!!
This week we had interviews with President. I'm not sure if I've told you much about President Langeland. He's so funny and he gives some great trainings. He really cares about the mission and the missionaries and because he's been out for two years he's well experienced. His sence of humour is very dry and when I got off the plane when I first arrived I was kinda nervous cos he looked so serious and didn't smile (I think he did that on purpose) and then at dinner I was the only one that got his jokes hahaha!!!  I enjoyed interviews.
The work is certainly picking up but we still don't teach as much I'd like to. We finally had an appointment with someone we met ages ago called Anthony (I think I might have mentioned him) but we also met with his brother and his friend. He's a great guy who has had previous contact with the church. Our first lesson wasn't very long, but we had a member with us and so it broke the ice and I think we could go further. I'm actually really glad Bro Lawton was there as he moved from Townsville (which is where Anthony and his brother spent a lot of time) and he also loves playing touch rugby and stuff so he was really able to relate where me and Elder Richards didn't have much in common with Anthony.  

We are also going to ask and assess what the ward has in place in the way of Missionary work and if it even has a Mission Plan. We had a training on the responsibilities of the ward and stuff and I was surprised at how easy missionary work would be if the ward did everything they should. 

We haven't seen seen Michelle for ages, but I saw her in the mall last week and she said she's still interested. I think every time we've been round we've not been knocking loud enough (we didn't want to disturb her son) as I told her we had been round a couple times and she looked a little confused. 
Sorry I've not sent any pictures - the internet's kinda slow in the Library. 

Dad doesn't it always happen that way - you always get a cold after winter. Actually talking of cold, we woke up this morning freezing and it was like 19 degrees hahahaha!. I think it's partly because the air is moving because of the fans and  little air con unit we have but still, I'm not looking forward to coming home to winter, glad its another 21 months or so. 

Love you all I hope you are all well and are making good choices.
Byeeeee! Elder John Kay

Spiritual thought: I must apologise I would have quoted directly from the Ensign but I forgot it sorry.
Taken from the March 2012 Ensign of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A general Authority tells of a time when his commitment to the Lords church blessed him and his family. This man was in the American Air Force. Towards the end of the Vietnam war he was posted back and forth so was never in a particular ward for long, but while in Texas he was called to be Elders Quorum President and was promised that if he magnified his calling he would be provided with protection and blessings. One time while flying back from an assignment, stopping off to fuel the other pilot in his two plane squadron asked him to stay the night where comfortable meals and relaxing lying in the next (Sunday) morning would be available, but wanting to be at church for his calling on Sunday persuaded the other pilot to fly on. On approach to landing his waiting wife was prompted to kneel in prayer. As this man banked his plane an engine failure occured and he was forced to fly off course into clouds. Becoming spacially disorientated he was prompted to fly left, bringing him out of the clouds and in line with the runway. Because of his commitment to his calling and his families faith he was able to be provided with the Lords promised protection.
The Ensign Rocks and I have a testimony that the Lord blesses those who keep His commandments and their covenants and commitments to his church.

(To read the whole article go to The Ensign)

Monday, 12 March 2012

Here is Elder Kay's email from today - 12th March

Hi all,
This week has been quite a good one. 

A week ago we cut a member family's grass. We had a great time. They live kinda far out and we saved some Km so we could save them a trip to the train station to pick us up. Brother Beaumont is so  so nice, they are a great family. We're working with their daughter and family (who live with them) to get the daughter re avctivated and her husband baptised. Their  middle child just got baptised about a month ago (we participated in the confirmation).

Last week we went Fourwheeling on Bribie Island beach with Brother Phillips and the Opies.  Brother Opie is fun and Brother Phillips (Sister Opies Brother) served his mission in Russia.  We watched Brother Phillips surf and it was nice to paddle in the sea (as missionaries are not allowed to swim). We also had a 'walk in' last Sunday at church. His name is Hady and he's Baptist. He was pleasantly surprised at how friendly and welcoming the ward were, dispelling stories of 'evil Mormons'. He wasn't at church this week but we're going to get in contact with him and we offered to help him move house.
I found that info on Taro and laughed (according to what Mum found on Wiki it is supposed to give you kidney stones if you eat too much). Don't worry I've not had anywhere near as much as Elder Richards has (who served in a Samoan ward for 9 months) and he doesn't have kidney stones. When they are raw they also give you a rash but hey lol you dont eat them raw. We also got some cocoa Samoa a couple of weeks ago. Its basically roasted cocoa beans squished into a hard concentrated block that you grind and boil into a drink. So it's a warm drink thats not against the Word of Wisdom. I like it when you get to the end you chew down the bits of cocoa bean... YUM!!! :P
When you told me Amelia was the only one signed up to my blog I smiled she is so great!!! Will you be able to get her address, I would like to write her. 
I studied the Book of Abraham a couple of weeks back and it's great. It really gives a sense of the Old Testament times and how ancient the gospel is. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, Joseph Smith was a true Prophet and Thomas S. Monson leads and directs Christs Church in these last days.

Here is the new ABM (Australia Brisbane Mission)  slogan:.... RISE UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL! President Langeland told us the following experience : -

"This last week, a couple of excited missionaries called us with the following miracle.    Two missionaries were walking home from dinner and 2 drunks, sitting outside a home, called them over.  They weren't sure they wanted to converse with 2 drunks, but went over.  The men questioned them about what they knew about Jesus Christ, but also began to mock them.  A wife came out and said that one of the men had to go to court the next day and asked the missionaries if they would give him a tie because her husband didn't have one.  They said no and she said that Jesus would have given them one if He had been there.  So they gave him a tie, understanding that the Gospel is for everyone and they didn't have a right to choose who would receive it.  The next day, they were walking by this home and saw this man out in the garden.  They stopped to talk with him and he now wants them to come back and teach his family of four.  They have an appointment this Wednesday." 


Thursday, 8 March 2012

No photos from Australia yet, but this is Elder Kay at the New Zealand Temple Visitors' Centre as far as I know

This is the email from February 13th that went missing in the ether because there were too many photos attached so Elder Kay re-sent it to his brother this week.

Thank you so much for your emails one and all it's great to here from you. We had trade offs on Saturday and we walked about 10 miles. Nobody wanted to listen to us. It was a good experience though because I stayed in my area (Elder Richards went with the DL in Burpengary) so I got to know the area a bit better. Man it's crazy -  I put sun cream on and just sweat it all off so I have to keep re applying it. We are teaching a recent convert called Tiegan. She's cool, but she wants to know everything right now, we just teach her a bit at a time and have told her to let us know if she has any questions. We ask her after every Sunday School lesson if there was anything she didn't understand. She studies pretty good as well, but sometimes doesn't understand the scriptures so we have to help her.

Something I enjoyed this week was we bought MacDonalds and drove up to this lookout. Its an awesome view It looks over the Glasshouse Mountains (which are hills North of our area). It was gorgeous and we had a laugh. There was a banana plantation in the valley and you could just see the sea then it got dark and you could see all the lights below, I wish I'd taken a picture but never mind. We'll probs go up there again. 
 Send my love to the branch 

Week beginning Feb 27th was Transfers week. Elder Kay didn't move, but the District Leader did so there was no time to send an email. We did receive one this week though - March 7th

Hey all!!
We had another temple day so It's Wednesday Pday again, but dont worry it'll be back to normal again next Monday. 
Well not a lot has happened since last time I've emailed apart from we've not been able to do as much as we'd like or work with all the people we like due to Km  restrictions so we've asked for more because some smaller areas have nearly the same amount of Km and they can't use them all even when they never "car fast" [i.e. go on foot or public transport] We we can't actually car fast here because the two companionships in our apartment take turns using the car. We have a New District leader who replaced Elder Webster. He's called Elder Moore, This week we had a Ward council and Bishop gave us some less active members in the ward that we can go visit.  We're strengthening the members even though we have no investigators at the moment. Also we found some former investigators who might be related, we think so because we met this girl from Thursday Island knocking on a former investigator's door, who she said was her uncle (we think so cos there are very few no Aboriginals from Thursday Island, and we felt it a little more than coincidence) so we have three baptizms as a goal this month.  
Well theres not that much more to say apart from an investigator's member step son recovered from almost impossible odds from surgery so hopefully his heart will be softened. 

The nights are begginning to get a little cooler because the summer's pretty much over, but it's still rained quite alot. Oh and my trousers are getting tight. hahahaha. I'm also beginning to like Samoan food quite a bit :P I LOVE TARO!!! 

Monday, 6 February 2012

First Few weeks in Australia

Excerpts from Elder Kay's emails. Hopefully I will keep this blog more up to date in future!
6 Feb
Hey everyone!!!
It's so great to here from you all. Guess what?!!! FIRST KANGAROO SIGHTING!!!  I'll send you the picture (half of them were wallabies)  Elder Richards and I went exploring one day (he's not been in the area that long so we wanted to get to know it better) We went to a little garden and saw a few lizards. On  Wednesday we went down to the city to a new missionary training meeting at the Kangaroo Point chapel (which is the one right next to the temple). We walked from the train station along the river and it was a lovely walk, probably the hottest it's been so far. We saw loads of water Lizards just sitting there and Elder Taufa (who is training Elder Reiri) tried to catch one. The meeting got me fired up a little.

Someone asked if I'm in Sunshine Coast? I'm a couple of hours south. It's also only a 30 minute drive from the city. About the weather the summer is actually the rainy season so it's pretty humid most of the time. Today we're going to play lazer tag and theres not a cloud in the sky so it's pretty hot. I thought I'd lost my sunglasses this week but I found them in my bag this morning :P.
We taught Michelle this week who turns out to have a 23 year old son with Angelman syndrome. I think thats what its called, its like a severe brain damage so he can hardly talk and he's wheelchair bound. The first lesson went well so we're seeing her this Tuesday. In district meeting Elder Richards and I taught an awesome roleplay of the Restoration, but theres still alot to get better at.

 31 Jan
It was raining last week quite heavily for a time and parts of Burpengary had an evacuation warning. We didn't though -  it'll be really unlikely our flat is actually flooded. Rain here is so much nicer as it's warm although if it doesnt rain the day after it gets sooooo muggy. Apparently it's forecast to rain for the next couple of weeks but not as bad. It was only light rain this morning and I think it's stopped now.
My exercise consists of push ups.  We played touch rugby on P-day with most of the zone. It was great fun and I met alot of cool missionaries. These are the members of my district - Elder Taufa, Elder Reiri, Elder Caby, Elder Stuart and then of course the ones I've mentioned who are in my flat. Elder Richards is a good missionary, he is teaching me a lot. 
Our washing machine broke :/ but it'll be all good. Thanks about the journal I am trying to keep it. I made notes in a training meeting by Elder Person of the seventy, so they will be of great value.
The missionary work continues to progress, I'm getting to know the members of the ward, which is a great blessing. I met the Bishop and his family for the first time yesterday as he had been on a buisness trip to New Zealand. They are a great family. Me and Elder Richards are also slowly trawling through some less actives and former investigators. We found a lady called Miriam from central America who we think will accept the gospel. She also has two children. I am so grateful that the Lord has blessed me with health, as we do quite a lot of walking when it's not our car day, which reminds me of a time last week when I was on Trade off's with Elder Wallace. We walked for ages, but I did not faint. but when we got back to the flat I felt as though I couldn't have walked any further. The Lord keeps his promises for keeping the word of wisdom (run and not be weary, walk and not faint). The work is sometimes difficult but I feel blessed to be here. When Elder Richards and I were tracting, one lady was interested. We told her who we were and the message we share and asked if that would be something she'd be interested in (people nearly always say not really or try to dodge) but this woman just said plainly and boldy YES! We were taken aback a little but that day was one of the days we'd prayed specifically to find someone. Heavenly Father certainly answers prayers.
Send my love to the branch. "Onward, ever onward as we glory in his name. Onward, ever onward as we glory in his name. Forward, pressing forward as a triumph song we sing God our strength will be, press forward ever called to serve our king!" (Hymn no. 249)

23 Jan
My area is called centenary lakes but we actually live in the Burbengary area cos we're with the District Leaders. I'm in the Brisbane North Zone and I stay around Brisbane while I'm being trained which is two transfers. My companion is Elder Richards. This first week has been kinda quiet on the missionary front as on the first day (Thursday) we had a District meeting in the morning, and some appointments fell through in the afternoon but we did go and meet a recent convert and we talk with her and got a teaching appointment from her sister. On the Friday it was weekly planning so that takes up the whole morning, then we had to go into Brisbane to the office to pick up a form then drive back out to get it signed which ate up our time and we had to ask for more K's (km for the car).  I'm in a shared car area so we have the car every other day. Our area is huge. We'll be using the trains quite a bit so I need to get a GO card (which is like the queensland version of an oyster card).
I'm learning lots including that this is absolutely nothing like my missionary experience I had in England. The Centenary Lakes ward seems cool.  We had a dinner appointment with the second councillor and his family and on Sunday we had a meal appointment with an English family. I had probably my first and last Cornish pasty in australia. They were home made and delicious.  They  kept feeding us carrot cake.  The district leader is called Elder Webster and his companion is called Elder Wallace. I went on trade offs with Elder Wallace on Saturday and that was really good but I learned not to got tracting without suncream. Oh and I've put on weight! I dont know how much cos we dont have scales but I can tell.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

 Elder Kay at Newcastle Airport

Elder Kay with some of the Elders from his District at the Hamilton, New Zealand Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

MTC experiences

Elder Kay left home at 4:45am on Tuesday 27th December 2011 to serve a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He left from Newcastle Airport and travelled via London Heathrow and Los Angeles, arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December (having completely missed out December 28th as his flight left LA at 10 minutes to midnight on December 27th). To quote Elder Kay "On the flight to LA it was clear over the rockys and was so beautiful. The flight over was fairly uneventful apart from the fact LA airport makes no sense but I found the gate in time and waited... and waited... and waited"

He finally arrived at the MTC about 10am. MTC stands for Missionary Training Centre, where Elder Kay spent just over 2 weeks, from December 29th to January 17th, It's situated near Auckland New Zealand. Most of the missionaries there were from the Pacific area, with one or two from England and Ireland. Elder Kay made friends from England, Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and New Zealand. His companion in the MTC, Elder Kolose, was Samoan and at first struggled a little with the English language, but soon improved. He gave Elder Kay an i'a, which is traditional Samoan dress.

Time in the MTC is spent in intensive gospel study interspersed with sports, meals, household duties (washing clothes, keeping the room clean and tidy) and of course sleep and, on one day, a trip to the Hamilton New Zealand Temple. Elder Kay said the coach trip was incredibly beautiful and it was lovely to do some work in a different setting. He didn't say much about the food over there, except for some biscuits called Tim Tams which he thought were sooooo good.

Elder Kay said the MTC experience was over fast but he was looking forward to arriving in Australia.