Monday, June 23, 2014

Paranormal activity?

Hello Everyone!
A lot of stuff happened this week like always so let me do the run through. On Monday during P Day we had district sport and we were playing basketball and I dunked for the first time in my life! It felt so good. I should be dunking with ease because of my height but its because I'm white. ;) Must be from all the biking we do. Later that night we went door knocking and met these 16 year old boy identical triplets. They were crack ups and we set up an appointment with them again. There names are Jake, Dylan, and Senna. I felt bad for the kid, his brothers are just normal names, and he is stuck with the name of a laxative. We had a good laugh about that. Their real keen on learning more so we're excited to work with them. I had two trade offs this week which is quite strange but I've enjoyed it. My first one was on Tuesday in my area with Elder Matekohi. We are in the same in take. We flew from mELBOURNE TO aDELAIDE TOGETHER. It was real cool to work together since we're both pretty new to the mission. The highlight of that day was when we visited a former investigator named Craig. Foprmer investigators are investigators who have been taught in the past but have been dropped. I felt like we should stop by and just introduce ourselves but we ended up being invited ijnto his home and we had a good chat. He's had a very troubled life. He use to sell drugs for a bike gang and because of that he has post traumatic stress from a home invasion. He has the coolest house though with his own personal theater. We took the opportunity to try out the fine theater by showing a mormon message on hope through Jesus Christ. Right after we watched it he sqaid that it sounbds like theres hope for him. He wanted to show us mopre of his theater so he showe3d like a 5 minute clip of Frozen. I know missionaries arent supposed to watch worldly things but we didn't want to hurt the relationship because he was so ecited to show us. Anyways, right before we l;eft I said a prayer for him and as we were walking out he said to us, "that was weird, I felt this sensation going up my mind when you said that prayer." I went on to say that that feeling was the Holy Ghost and he is determined to feel that again :)! The next day I had trade off with Elder Bush in my area. He's a zone leader from New Zealand. It was a good day too. So I guess there has been stories about our flat because Elder Bush refiused to sleep there. We had to sleep at the other elders house because I guess there has been stories of paranormal activity at our flat and I guess the mission presdient had to go there multiple times to cast off evil spirits. I'm not scared tho, I was kind of chuckling at Elder Bush cuz he's a big guy and he was scared. The next two days were pretty hard and we were struggling in our area. We went over to the Hackam West Elders flat and discussed how we all feel. I love these guys. I never thought that at sometime in my life that I would become so close to 3 guys with completely different backgrounds. An American, Samoian, Tahitian, and New Zealander. We may have differnt backgrounds but we are brethren in the Lord. They will always be close to my heart. I can always trust them in everything I do. We got to do some service for this guy in  our ward and did some painting, we then got to go to Pizza Hut Buffet. Man it was so good! We used to have one back home until it turned into a dentist office. Yesterday after church we got a call from the relief society pres telling us to go see a sister in the hospital who was just beat up by another patient to give her a blessing. She is an old lady and has been in the hospital for awhile and one of the dementia patients attacked her but she seemed fine, no bruises or anything. So we gave her a blessing. So that's whats happened this week. Love you all!
Elder Acker

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Importance of Sacrament

Week 9! After this week we will be half way through the transfer. Where the heck did time go? This last Monday we had a stake family sports day because it was the Queens birthday! It was real fun. We played basketball, volleyball, and netball. Me and my companion were killin' it in basketball and they had a DJ too so it was fun to play while being pumped up by the music even though it was pretty inappropriate, all the missionaries played! Let me tell you, netball is the weirdest sport known to mankind. Its basketball without a backboard basically, and it is the most confusing thing. I was laughing so hard at Elder Villierme cuz he's usually really intense with sports but during netball he was running around like a little kid. The next day we got to see an investigator family that I really love. their name is the Ricee's. the dad is Persian and the mom is American and they are very strong in their Bihi faith. But they always welcome us into their home and feed us and their kids are great. There boy reminds me of Michael Gannon, my cousin. We got to show them the Because Of Him video (which I reccomend everyone to watch) and Sarah, the mom said it was beatiful. It's tough because the father has a problem with the fact that we know God has a body of flesh and bones. But we will try our best to resolve that concern. The next day we spent the day in a nursing home with one of our investigators wife. Her name is Angie and she has dementia and is partially blind. It was so great to sit down and have lunch with her and her husband Andrew who is the investigator. Angie is a member. I don't know what it is but I love being around old people, just something about them makes me happy especially when I get to help them. The next day we met with another investigator named Ann who recently lost her husband to cancer like 3 weeks before we came. She opened up to us and told us what he said before he departed to the other side. this man was a nonbeliever and thought he was just going to be dead and done. But Ann said right before he passed, he said to her, "Ann, my dad is here to bring me home, I will see you later." The Plan of Salvation is true! That built my testimony so much. the way that a non believer in his last moments of life realized that there is indeed something more brings tears to my eyes. What a blessing it is to know we will see our families again. I once heard a story similar to Anns husbands but a bit dfifferent. there once was a Satanist who, devoted his whole life to praise Satan and on his death bed in his last moments he said with fear and trembling to his friends right before he died, "what have I done?" My brothers and Sisters, God is REAL. Satan is most definitely also REAL. We need to know this information. He has led so many people astray because he wants us all to be as miserable as he is. I see him working in people all the time especially on my mission. the other day I was struggling with some feelings that I couldn't hold in. I opened up to my companion, telling him how i feel like Satan is trying his hardest to break down myself and people around me, and he spoke these words to me, "Elder you should feel proud that Satan is working hard on you, he's doing that because he knows of your potential, he DOES NOT want you to fulfill that potential." We should ALL look at it in that way. Satan is sending his storms towards us right and left no matter who we are in life and he is only doing it because he knows of our divine potential. Brothers and sisters, remember this, and when those temptatrions come, remember the potential you have through your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He will help you! What a blessing it is to partake of the sacrament every week. I've noticed the power of renewing my baptismal covenant every week way more on my mission than any time. We are offered every week a new start, A chance to change. Take that opportunity seriously. Go into every sacrament meeting with something you could do better the following week and use the sacrment to help. you. This gospel is true. there's only ONE truth. And everyone will come to know of it eventually. Let's start now.
Love you heaps!
Elder Acker

Monday, June 9, 2014

Elder Acker is still our little Christmas Elf

Joseph Acker
To Me

Today at 7:51 PM
HELLO! Man, another busy week we had. On monday we had the chance to do some service for Sister Toker in our ward who is the relief society president. She is awesome. She's a convert of about 5 years and she has the strongest faith. She inspires me. We got to cut down some trees in her backyard. I really enjoyed it. It was kinda nice to just focus on that for awhile. We then went to go see her next door neighbor who needed change in his life. He wouldn't let us inside but we bore powerful testimony at his door. He still was accepting. As we were walking back home Sister Toker just started crying and said to us that she felt like she was "standing in Heaven" as we spoke to Mitchell. My first instinct was like "C'mon were not that great." But after she explained to us why she was crying I realized that my calling is much more than I ever thought it could be. We truly have the power and authority even above the kings of the earth. And it shows when missionaries use their power wisely. It's just like the quote from Peter Parker, "With great power comes great responsibility."
That day for some reason I had Christmas songs in my head so while I was chomping at the trees I was singing "Simply having a wonderful christmas time!" Haha Elder Villierme was looking at me funny. The next day we had district meeting and we had fish and chips at the place. Man was it good. I never really thought that i would like it that much. that day I was driving the elders and we had bikes on the back on a rack. And we stopped at a stoplight and this lady was yelling at us saying that we lost a bike wheel. It fell off while we were driving! So we had to turn back around, and we found the wheel chillin in the middle of the road. The next day we got to see and investigator named Andrew. It was a tough lesson. I didn't feel the spirit at all and we were teaching a lesson rather than teaching Andrew. I felt very discouraged. I got to admit, I was kind of mad, I was just wondering why I felt that way, and I didn't know what I did wrong to feel that way. I said a prayer for help because I didn't want to teach like that again and my prayer was answered. That night I gave the best lesson I've ever gave on my mission. We visited a less active and the spirit was so strong in the room, everyone could feel it. They haven't been to church in a year and they committed to come this Sunday. Fingers crossed. The next day some Elders cam over lunch and I made bu7rritos and of course it didn't fill us up. I should've expected that from having a Tahitian, Samoian, New Zealand eating lunch with me. We were good though. there's always food in the flat. Not much else to share this week. I'll talk to you all next week!

Elder Acker

Sunday, June 1, 2014

So much to tell! Don't know if I'll be able to include everything! Ha ha

Hello friends! How's everyone doing?? It's been two weeks since I last wrote so I may not be able to include everything that happened but I'll try my best. There is always so much that happens in any given day on a mission, I love it, every day is different and you never know what's gonna happen! First off, my birthday went great! It was P-day so we had a BBQ right next to the beach, I brought the frisbee and football that my parents sent me to throw around and my companion Elder Villierme threw it into a palm tree :( I'll have to buy a new one. But I'm actually thinking of buying a footie ball, we kick it around all the time and I'm starting to like it alot! We got to go down to the beach and I just had a moment where I just stared off into the sea, the voices of my district went quiet in the background, and I just had this overwhelming feeling that God is SO REAL. There is no other way, none of the nature that we see everyday could of just appeared. So amazing. I had my first interview with President Carter the next day, what an amzing guy he is. He is so in tune with the spirit and he most definitely receives revaltion for this mission. One thing that I love about him is that he calls me son all the time and tells me how much he loves me. He is so loving. One thing that I need to work on in my mission is accepting agency. I went into my mission thinking that if I just bare my testimony with the spirit powerfully, everyone will be able to recognize that spirit and they will accept us. But... now I know its not the case. I've had many many times when I have testified to people and they still reject. What a blessing it is that we have free choice. Everything we have and everything that is belongs to God and is His. But our freedom to choose, is OURS. We can choose death or eternal life. We decide our destiny. Always remember that. This life is a blink of an eye compared to the eternities, So I would advise you all to use that gift of choice that God has given us to Follow Him. It is the ONLY, let me emphasize that again, O-N-L-Y way to happiness. Not only in this life but in the life after. That's the reason we have missionaries. We want the world to know! One thing that I have noticed that is kinda strange about Australia is that I see men wearing Uggs all the time. haha . Must be for comfort or something cuz it definitely doesn't like right. We're working with a Vietnamese family right now named the Lams. The dad doesn't speak much English so his 12 year old son Tien translates for us. They have read the Book of Mormon fully through and they believe it can help them in their lives. Oh! and 2 days after we met a Vietnames man on the street named Andy who speaks English very well. We told him about the Lams and how Quac (The dad) doesn't speak very good English. We didn't even ask Andy but he just went out and said "I'll help you translate!" So now we are going to have a 2 in 1 lesson with Andy and the Lams. God answers our prayers and leads people to us! We got the chance to go to the temple on Thursday and it was great. I always love going to the temple. There is such a peace there. We then got to go shopping and I just HAD to get a new bike seat. My old one was skinny and hard, and it just hurt me so bad haha We've been biking alot lately which is goood because I'm afraid that I'm gonna gain weight because all of the food we're getting. Yesterday was fast Sunday and honestly I think yesterday was my first real spiritual experience with fasting. I just felt the spirit so much more that day and I know it was because I was fasting. We are more receptive to the spirit as we fast with purpose!
Can you believe it!? I have finished my first transfer. We found out this morning who is being transferred and I... am... STAYING. Me and my companion will continue serving the people in Trott Park.
I love you all. Stand steadfast in the faith. Just wanted to share a quote by Ezra Taft Benson that I love:
"Nothing will startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side then what we feel when you see Heavenly Father and recognize how familiar His face is."
I don't think that was the exact words but it is such an amzing quote. We Know Heavenly Father and He knows us. We lived with Him before we came to earth. Talk to Him. Because He knows His children and He IS listening.
Much love,
Elder Acker