Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2 letters: CHRISTMAS 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Feeling the Christmas Spirit

Monday, November 24, 2014

"No active members"

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Leaving Trott Park

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A nice tribute to his dad

Hi everyone! How are you all?!
What a week....
Start off by saying that I was dead sick with a fever half of the week, which was rubbish. It's no fun to be sick! But I'm feeling alot better now, thank you for all your prayers in my behalf :) It was kinda special though to have the time to ponder as I was sick in bed for 3 days. You never really get that time to ponder things when your missionary because your always running but that was definitely a good time to ponder all the many blessings my Heavenly Father has given to me. I'm so thankful for this mission and this gospel. It brings me so much happiness and purpose to my life. I want everyone to feel that so please if you feel like you need to find truth, happiness, light in your life, LIVE THE GOSPEL! Another thing I was able to ponder while I was sick in bed was apprecaite, love, and gratefullness for my Father... on earth! My dad is my best friend and he always will be. I have lived my whole life looking up to him and his example. It brings me tears thinking about my dad and his strength and faith in the gospel. I kept thinking of the hours on hours of pain he must've felt, but never showed... I pictured him in bed for days and days and yet he never complained.... My dad is a hero everyone. There's nothing wrong with righteous pride. My family is my life... FOR ETERNITY! WHAT A BLESSING! We can live with our families forever! I know this is true because I have felt the confirming witness of the spirit of God that it is. You all can feel that same witness too. Just ask God :)
Thursday Oct 30, 2014- This was our first full day proselytning during the week, it was good to get out working! Not much happened besides the fact that we met a man named Peter who was enjoying the sunset while drinking his wine and he let us inside his hokme. He was drunk but agreed to let us come back.
Friday Oct 31, 2014- HAPPY HALLOWEEN! As Elder Dass and I were roaming the streets of Adelaide, we saw few trick or treaters compared to America. It was still fun though to see some kids out there. That day we went to go see a less active family named the Dorn's. I used to visit them every week at the start of my mission but then they asked if we don't come back. But this week I really felt impressed to go see them and they were lovely! We got to catch up on things and they seemed really happy and friendly.
Saturday Nov 2, 2014- Day full of service. Helped the Watts move then had Hungry Jacks all together.
Sunday Nov 3, 2014- We had a great testimony meeting today, it was really special because everyone was testifying and showing appreciation for the missionaries around the world. We just felt grateful that the members in our ward love us as much as we love them. Elder Dass and I then had the chance to teach combined Elders Quorom on missionary work and it went really well!
Thats about it for the week, hope this next week goes well for you all! Elder Dass and I will be trying to find people to teach all week so please pray that people of Trott Park may be prepared!
Love you all!
Elder Acker

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another great week!

Good Morning Everyone! I hope everything is going well, it's been a great week here in Trott Park!
Tuesday Oct 14, 2014- We had Zone Training today and honestly everyone believes it was the best training we've all had on our missions! Usually trainings are given to improve our teaching skills but this training was all centered on pure testimony of God. We do "real" plays all the time on the mission where we role play/practice teaching in companionship. Me and Elder Dass role played with two Sister Missionaries and it was amazing. Our purpose was to not really blast with information but to teach how God is Our Loving Heavenly Father solely from bearing personal testimonies. We all we're doing this role play in this room and pretty soon enough the tears flowed. there was such a spirit in that room as we all testified of the Love and relationship we all have with our Father in Heaven. You know, I feel the spirit in a lot of different ways but during this role play, I actually felt that "burning in my bosom", an actual burning sensation in my chest, it felt like my whole being wasn't able to handle that wonderful feeling and yet I can't explain a better feeling in the world. I know God lives. We can all Know. Just talk to him. After the training we just had to go to Maccas (McDonald's) which is always fun. We then went to go do service for the Watts and then they fed us Domino's.
Friday Oct 17, 2014- We had lunch with Sister Chambers today, she fed us fish and chips! I've grown to love fish and chips haha. Sister Chambers is Bishop Chambers mother and she is literally like my grandma on the mission. She is always checking in on us, always sowing our ripped clothes, always feeding us, and always loving us. She's so great. We went finding after that and this day was quiet possibly one of the rudest people days I've had on my mission. People were just so rude! I don't get it sometimes how people can be so nasty but I guess Satan just really doesn't want us out here but when we have God behind us, who can stand against us? We were pretty upset that no one would talk to us so we said a prayer to find someone to help and as soon as we said the prayer we walked over to guys moving wood named Jim, he is from Czech Republic and he was so happy to see that we wanted to help. We moved the wood for him and after we finished he got teary eyed and said, "My whole life I have never ever had any stranger just come up and help me, I feel touched, thank you." I know that God was testing our faith with those rude people to see if he could trust us to walk in the path of Jim. He agreed to a return appointment so hopefully we see him next week!
Saturday Oct 18, 2014- We went to a former investigator named Craig today to introduce him to Elder Dass. Every time he has someone new over he just has to show them his "toys". So he went on to show us his personal theater which was sweet, his vintage car, and his knife collection, real good guy, hopefully someday he will decide to take the lessons. We went to go visit a few families that day just to get Elder Dass acquainted with the members which was great! We then had a lesson with David, he is still going off on which drugs are allowed because he's not willing to live the Word of Wisdom. Then later that night at about 2:30 AM he started leaving like 15 voice mails just chewing us out on a bunch of rubbish. That was the last straw. DROPPED.
Sunday Oct 19, 2014- Great news! We found a family! Ronnie and Mellisa Matthews who are both from New Zealand and have 5 kids. We met Ronnie a few weeks ago refurbishing a roof and we got to see them yesterday and taught them about the Book of Mormon and their more than happy to read and pray about it. Their Jehovah's Witness so we'll see how it all ends up but it's looking good so far.
That's it for this week. I love you all!
Elder Acker

Monday, October 13, 2014


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Building testimony and missing friends

Hey Everyone!
Thought I would let you know first off that I'm staying in Trott Park again... another 6 weeks. And my new companion is Elder Dass from Sydney. He has a Fiji background and is a real cool Elder, a lot different than Elder Tau though, I miss that guy. We had District Meeting today and something just felt off. I think its because Elder Tau has left and also Sister Christensen who is by far my favorite Sister of all time. She just went home to Washington. With them two gone today, I felt pretty down actually. You build such great relationships on the mission and then you just get separated all of a sudden. But I know that I've just got to stay patient and adjust myself to the circumstances now.
Nothing much has happened since the last time I wrote but we had a beautiful testimony meeting on Sunday. It was Sister Christensen's last Sunday. Everyone has always told me that they have had experiences where their sitting in sacrament meeting and their heart starts pounding and they get this feeling like they HAVE to get up and speak. I've never felt that before until that Sunday. I just had to get up there. So I got up there and bore my testimony, and showed my appreciation for the members and missionaries in my ward, and I could not hold back my tears. I LOVE these people and I don't want to leave them.
Me and Elder Dass started the Transfer today so I hope and pray it will go well. Please Pray that me and Elder Dass may be effective instruments in the Lord's hands.. we need it.
I Love you all and I'll talk to you Monday :)
Elder Acker

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The work goes on...

Hello everyone! Sorry for not emailing last week, its been a hectic 2 weeks, very very busy! Transfers are this Tuesday so I don't know if I'll be staying in Trott Park or not but I'll officially be here for half a year, crazy! 

I'll run you through the week to catch you all up with whats going on here in Adelaide
First off being that we 5 investigators at the moment. George, Andrew, David, Jim, and Mona.
George is a single man in about his 60's. He is a Seventh Day Adventist and he just talks our ear off, and he has a hard time focusing, we gave him a Book of Mormon but every time we ask him a question he always goes off on something and doesn't even answer our question. Like one time we asked him how he think God is going to answer his prayers and he started talking about American Presidents. But he's reading the Book of Mormon so that's good.
Andrew is a 60 year old man whose wife is a member of the church but she is in a nursing home so he is living on his own. He's come to church the past 6 weeks but still struggles with doctrine.
David is in his 40's and is meeting with us every week but he's always on drugs when we teach him :/ but he's been coming to church the past 3 weeks.
Jim and Mona are from Egypt, are Catholic and have a hard time accepting a modern day Prophet.
So here is our teaching pool so whenever I say their name you'll know who they are :)
Sep 19- We went to Davids house to teach him and when we knocked at the door his wife came to the door and said that he was arrested. He's gotten in trouble with the law a lot so it came down on him again. We helped his wife by cleaning the walls from all his drunk fits resulting in alcohol thrown at walls and smashed furniture and walls.
Sep 20- Had a ward activity doing service at a local primary school and Andrew came, he's really fellow shipping with the ward.
Sep 26- Had a trade off with Elder Orr from Canada in Victor Harbor, a beautiful area.
Sep 30- Had a trade off with Elder Beard from Utah in Hackham West, the ghetto of Adelaide, talked to quite a bit of drugged up people.
Oct 1- Did some service for Sister White in our ward by removing roots and and building rock walls around her garden, she then gave us a roasted chicken which was great! We then went to go see a brother in our ward named Brother Scott, he knows Andrew a bit and we were quites surprised about what he showed us, heaps of newspaper articles with Andrews face on it showing that he has been on the news for being sent to prison for some pretty bad things. I won't go into details because I feel like its quite inappropriate. But ya 2 investigators I have are convicts....
Love you all and I'll talk to you all on Monday.
Elder Acker

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Men of God and the Word of Wisdom

Hey Everyone! Yet another week to report (crazy week) :) Thank you so much to everyone who is sending me things, its always great to see the love from home and I can feel all the prayers so thank you!
Tuesday Sep 9- What a great day that was :) We had district meeting and President and Sister Carter attended. I don't think I've ever seen a more inspired man than President Carter. It kind of makes me sad to think that him and our "mission mom" Sister Carter are leaving in June. The next Mission President has big shoes to fill ;) It was a great meeting and we were trained on resolving concerns and bearing testimony frequently. Me and Elder Tau have been able to implement that training this week and we see the blessings of it. For all of you that plan on serving a mission, the way to be successful is to apply the trainings! We all had interviews with President after while Sister Carter went to go get us Hungry Jacks (Burger King in AUS) I got to talk to them both about the lovely Balli's. It is so amazing to seem them serving in New Zealand. The respect I have for Mission Presdients is big. They are most definitely MEN OF GOD.
Wednsday Sep 10- I think I've told you about David before but we taught him that day. We walked into his home and he was drinking beer and smoking a cigar. And it was just our luck that we planned to teach him the Word of Wisdom that day.. So I introduced a scripture to him about how our bodies are temples and he just stopped us right in our tracks and said "listen, I can't give up drugs, alchol, or smoke. The drugs help me" So then he started going off on a tangent and the Word of Wisdom lesson turned into a Law of Chastity lesson, and he started asking us all the things "Mormons" can't do. It wasn't an effective lesson. We left at the end of the lesson while he was still chugging beers. So then we went to a members home for dinner and from about 6:30 to 2 AM, David left about 40 voicemails, cussing us out, saying some really nasty things. He was obviously hammered. We didn't call him back, and by the next morning he was still sending through these voicemails, and eventually he sobered up and started apologizing. No wonder we have the Word of Wisdom.
Friday Sep 11- We helped the Idaho family named the Butlers move more stuff in. (They aren't related to the Shaytards by the way) but their seriously the best. Bro Butler is a Tai Kwon Doa teacher, recording artist, and a good chef. He's the man. And Sister Butler is hilarious and their kids are so cute! There a great family! We then had a lesson with an investigator named George and we gave him a Book of Mormon! He said that he has always wanted to read it so hopefully when he reads, he feels the power of it!
Saturday Sep 12- Hottest day of mah life. And guess what it was only 22 Celcius. Its supposed to get 44 during the Summer. Im gonna die. It was an unlucky day. It was hot, nobody wanted to talk to us, and a bird pooped on my head. But we have to have those days sometimes :)
We received instruction from Elder Pierson  this week, the Pacific Area President, and he asked this thought provoking question to us that I want you all to ponder this week. "What level of spirituality am I choosing?" We CHOOSE how spiritual we want to be. We CHOOSE how close we want to become to our Savior and Father in Heaven. Are we doing all that we can do increase our spirituality, or are we just being lazy.. If we want to be more spiritual, the answer is obedience. Are we doing all that we can to be obedient in our lives? And not only obedient, but exactly obedient? Are we doing the things that we need to everyday to keep the spirit with us, or are we too tired, so we decide to watch the game or the new TV show. If you are not personally and as a family reading your scriptures and praying everyday, I invite you to REPENT. CHANGE. You choose how spiritual you want to be. We're all not perfect but through Christs grace we can be. Choose this day to increase your spirituality. Its up to you.
Love you all. GOD BLESS
Elder Acker

Sunday, September 7, 2014


HELLO! Hope everyone is doing well, Happy Australian Fathers Day to all the Dad's out there!
Monday Sep 1- Got the haircut of mah LIFE. We went to this legit barber for P Day to get haircuts and he cut my hair just like in the movies. With just a comb and clippers, he was going crazy on my hair, super fast and it was one of the best haircuts I've ever had. He was from Scotland. Now I can tell the difference between a hairdresser and a barber! Even though I still miss Grandma Jeans haircuts :(
Tuesday Sep 2- We had a lesson with two investigators we have named George and David. Man they were powerful lessons! I was surprised to hear Elder Tau say "That was the best lessons I've had on my missioin" and he's been out 18 months! Crazy. The spirit was there.
Wednsday Sep 3- We did some weeding for a widow in our ward, and then she made us a chicken! I love weeding, something I have done alot on my mission.
Thursday Sep 4- Had a trade off with Elder Briscoe and I was training him. I feel old now :/ He's a great guy from Idaho. He's a plumber but he is really struggling with forgetting about his girlfirend so most of the day we just talked cuz he needed to talk! Talking fixes everything!
Saturday Sep 5- Had trade off with Elder Martinau. The ginger from Utah. He's probably my best freidn in the district at the moment. We boxed each other alot that day cuz they had boxing gloves and now I'm so sore haha but we basically went finding that whole day in his area which was fun. Got KFC for lunch and Fish and Chips for dinner. Everyone should watch Prophet of The Restoration too. An amazing movie!
Sunday Sep 6- We got Andrew and David both to church today! 2 investigators! David thought our church would be weird but after he went home, he texted us and said "SO COOL" :) He's progressing.
Scripture to ponder this week, Mosiah 9:3.
 And yet, being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as many as were desirous to goup to possess the land, and started again on our journey into the wilderness to go up to the land; but wewere smitten with famine and sore afflictions; for we were slow to remember the Lord our God.

Remember God in ALL THINGS! I promise if you look to our Heavenly Father in every decsion you make, you will be guided, and you will be able to reach your full potential as a divine child of God!

Love you ALL']

Elder Acker

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


HELLO EVERYONE. Hope everything is going well back home! It was a pretty busy week as the start of the transfer so I'll give you the run through.
Tuesday Aug 26 was transfer meeting. Me and Elder Tau obviously aren't getting transferred but we attended because Elder Tau is District Leader. Man, was it inspiring. During transfer meeting every missionary that is going home bears their testimonies and then President and Sister Carter speak. The spirit was so strong during that meeting and I just left it feeling so inspired. All of the missionaries spoke about 3 things that have helped them on their missions so I plan to definitely implement those. When President Carter speaks, I truly know he is an inspired man. I have so much respect for him and it makes me feel proud to know that President and Sister Balli have the same authority as them, and it is comforting to know that I have them as family right next door to me doing the Lord's work. President Carter told us that 2 Elders were beat up by 3 guys this past week... Satan truly has his guns out but we're NOT STOPPING. We are stronger on this side because we have that foundation of Christ that can withstand his attacks. ZAAM (Zion Australia Adelaide Mission) is ready to battle.
Thursday Aug 28- We did service for a members friend that morning. Mowed her lawn then cleaned her gutters.Then we came home and Elder Tau made crepes for lunch cuz he's french. Delicious :) At the moment we have 3 investigators. Andrew, David, and George. That day we taught Andrew and David both about baptism and we invited David to be baptized on Oct 4. He said yes and no at the same time. Frustrating. He actually needs mental help. He confides himself in his home all day, in the darkness, just sleeps and watches TV. We need to get him out of his home if he has any chance to progress. We taught ANdrew baptism but we didn't feel impressed yet to invite him. But we will continue to work with him.
Friday Aug 29- We mowed Davids lawn while he just sat their watching us, while somking about a thousand cigarettes. We always teach him inside and while we teach him he's always smoking so the house stinks horribly. But we just try to focus. My bike broke that day too. The chain changer thing just snapped so I had to take it to the bike shop. Now I treat my bike like a baby! I invite everyone to  recommend in their wards to sing "Beautiful Zion" on pg 44. That is the ZAAM anthem and we sing it all the time. I've never heard it before I got on my mission and now its one of my favorite hymns. We met George that night who is a new investigator this week and its tough for me sometimes to be patient and listen to people. Like with him I asked if we could come inside his home, and then he just rambled off about how he has prostate problems for about 30 minutes. I was suffering haha. People like to talk about themselves.
Saturday Aug 30- Was blazing hot! and it was only 23 Celsius. In Summer it gets about 40-45. Can't wait... We had another lesson with David that day about church and he commited to come to church. We were really glad to hear that.
Sunday Aug 31 we get a call from David before church and he says "I'm not coming to church. I feel offended. Elder Tau is always covering his nose in my home whenever I smoke." What a lame excuse. Theres really not much we can do with him but he'll probably end up calling us again in a few days.
Wanted to share a scripture before I go. Mosiah 6:3 "And again, it came to pass that when King Benjamin had made an end of all these things, and had consecrated his son Mosiah to be a king and ruler over his people, and gave him all the charges concerning his kingdom, and also had appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they may know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in the rememberance of the oath which they had made, and they returned, everyone according to his family, to their own homes."
In this scripture we need to relate ourselves to the priests. We are chosen to teach Gods children the gospel and also to "stir up in them the remembrance of the oath which they have made." This is the part I want to point out. This is all about reactivation. Everytime someone is baptized and receives the ordinace they make a covenant with God, or an oath. Our job as active members of the church is to remind less active memeber the covenant they have made to our Heavenly Father. Brothers and Sisters, It makes me sick and very very very saddened to see people leave the church. Not only is it sad to see someone leave such a beautiful thing, but more importantly they have broken a covenant with God. That is not something to take lightly. We need to bring them back into the fold. Work on the less active in your wards. They need this gospel.
Love you all! GOD BLESS
Elder Acker

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2 letters and some photos

Transfer Announcements Today! For transfer #4 I will be... staying in Trott Park, still with Elder Tau!
We've still got some work to do ;) One of my best friends in the mission Elder Matekohi is packing :(
i just wrote you all a few days ago so I don't have much to share but I'll run you through anything that has happened!
Well for starters Andrew came to church again! He just walked in and sat right next to Brother Whitrod. We hope to invite him to baptism this week so please pray for us that we may be able to invite powerfully and spiritually! He's our only investigator at the moment so we're having trouble finding people to teach but we're going to "hunt" (Jer 16:16) We helped a new family named the Butlers move in to the ward this week and man am I excited to hae them here. They are from Idaho and they love having missionaries over. Brother Butler is a convert and he has an amazing dream conversion story. he dreamed of his baptism and it happened exactly the way he dreamed. We helped them move in then they took us to Hungry Jacks which is the equilavent of Burger King. Thats about it for those few days.
D+C 100:4 gave me a lot of comfort this week. It says "Therefore, I the Lord, have suffered (allowed) you (Elder Acker) to come unto this place (Trott Park). for thus it was expedient to me for the salation of souls." Sometimes I may not feel good enough to do this work or that I'm not qualified enough but this scripture let's me know that God trusts me to work in this part of his vineyard. And this goes for all of us. We have been placed in the places and times we are today because Heavenly Father knew that these places and times were right for us to be a part in the work of salvation.
Love you HEAPS!
Elder Acker

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Spills, Spiders and Spiritual Revelations

Saturday, August 9, 2014

OOPS!! SKIPPED A FEW WEEKS!! Please insert accordingly!!

Hey there everyone, It's Lisa Acker.  Thanks to Brad Simler, I realized that I forgot to post 2 weeks worth of Joe's awesome letters.  Thank Brad!!  Here they are: 
July 20,2014:

Hello Everyone! 
This week was the start of transfer 3, and as I said before I'm still in Trott Park but I have a new companion named Elder Tau! And he is from Tahiti also! He's actually in the same home stake as Elder Villierme! Now I have two places to stay in Tahiti ;) Elder Tau is now the district leader of Onkaparinga and he is the MAN. I was so nervous for transfer meeting, even more nervous than leaving home for my mission but I shouldn't of been cuz this transfer is going to be great. I can honestly say that I've grown the most this week more than any week in my mission. We worked so hard and I loved it! There truly is joy in the work. When we first came back to the flat he seemed super stiff and I was scared that I wouldn't be able to enjoy myslef with him but now I realize3 that he is just exactly obedient and that is something me and Elder Villierme struggled with. We were obedient but not EXACTLY obedient. Obedience is key. If you want to be a better teacher, be obedient. If you want to find people to teach, be obedient. If you want to have joy and happinness in tyhe work, be obedinety. Because I know we are going to be exactly obedient, I know we are going to be blessed. 
It was Matthew (Sister Fields Sons) birthday this week so we got to have dinner at there house with the Whitrods! They are seriously family to me now, and it just still amazes me that they were in my backyard 5 years ago and I probably didn't even notice them! 
We have a new investigator family! I'm not sure what their last name is yet but the mom and dad's name is Ngona + Pam and they are from Zimbabwe! They have two boys and we taught the restoration to them last night. I felt like it went really well except for the fact I had a coughing attack in the middle of it... But really our focus right now is to find people to teach so please if you could please pray for the Trott Park Area that we may be able to find the people God has prepared.
Love you all heaps!

July 28, 2014:
Hey! Always good to be able to email you all every week! I hope everyone is doing well!
Every single Monday we have dinner as missionaries in the Happy Valley ward with our wonderful Mission Leader and his wife Brother and Sister Watts. We had hot dogs and banana splits that night which was great!
Every single day we get to have personal and companionship study, and on Tuesday we were reading about grocery shopping for missionaries and I got rebuked by Elder Tau for drinking most of the the Solo... Solo is a soda they have here in Australia. It's a lemon drink and its so good. I felt bad so I told him I would buy the next whole pack. We're actually going to get Dr Pepper today! We found a store that has them. I'm so excited! I know I'm fat. Later that day we did service for Sister Toker. Chopping up wood and such and she brought a non member friend to help us named Troy. We did the service and then had lunch with them and we got the chance to teach Troy so now he is a new investigator! We then went to go see an investigator we have named Rosland. But we first went to go see "his" neighbor. Her name is Celia and we talked about Rosland and she said that "she" is struggling. I asked her "she?" She says "yes, she. Rosland used to be a man but had a sex change operation." Uhhhhhh. ok. So we have been teaching a transgender for awhile now so... I talked to President about and he said to see if she is actually desirable to learn but I don't know what will happen haha.
The next day we visited a less active and they had these two cats. I was playing with them and when we were done talking to them I looked in the mirror and I had little bumps next top my eye. So it looks like I'm allergic to cats!
We found out the next day that we will be moving flats this thursday. We'll be moving to a house in a really nice area so that should be good!
That's all the fun stuff that has happened this week. We are real close to getting an investigator progressing named Andrew Shore. Pray that he will feel the spirit! I just wanted to share a scripture before I conclude. D+C 88:73 "Behold, I will hasten my work in its time". As I have pondered on this scripture this week I can truly testify that its time that the work of salvation is moving forward. We must work together to bring people unto Christ. We must work together as missionaries and members. We are all members. It's not like missionaries go to a different church. "We're all in this together" -High School Musical. Seriously though, people are ready to hear the gosple and it is up to us to fi8nd them. And we must recognize that Satan can say the same thing. "Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." His guns are out and he's gonna do all he can to stop this work. Be strong brothers and sisters.
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. And because I know that it is true, I know that Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is Christ's church restored on the earth again. IT IS HERE. We have it. Let's use it wisely.
Love you all!
Elder Acker