Tuesday, January 29, 2013

21st January - 29th January 2013

Hi everyone

Here are the next 2 installments from Elder Duffus.  My questions are at the begining of the paragraphs - i guess he found it easy to respond and not forget anything lol.

Email 1: 21/1/13

Mum, you remembered to email this week!!
So how are you going??
I'm going good! the work is going strong and we were able to find and teach a lot of people. Elder Vanisi is now giving me the lead and I've started leading the lessons and leading the contacting. he's a good trainer like that! shows me how it is done then slowly makes me do it so i can learn.
How's the work?
The goal for Darwin branch is 46 baptisms this year!! seems crazy but you divide it out to 5 companion ships and that's 9 each over the year, and people are really receptive to the message up here. everyone is so friendly and they are always up for a chat even though they don't want to hear the message! the investigators we have are very good at keeping commitments as well. before i came Elder Vanisi and Elder Sextons committed a couple to get married so Lauren can get baptised... so they are getting married in 3 months!! that's just one story!
How are you coping with the weather and the humidity?
At first the weather was hard to get used to but now i love it! especially now it's wet season and we have been having monsoons for the last few days. its cooled down heaps and hasn't been to humid! all the locals said when it gets to dry season it doesn't get very humid and the temperature doesn't usually reach past 30, so I'm looking forward to that... if I'm still here then! it's fun because most nights it's raining heavy so the ride home is always fun.
Have you seen anyone that you know up there yet??
I have not seen anyone yet. I don't know if i will, i haven't seen aunty Debbie either. you will have to find out what suburb she lives in so if I'm there I can say hi to her. At the moment we are one the bikes! And my legs are going to be huge after! but there are 3 cars up here and they always pick us up if we need to go places like church and emails. Elder Vanisi is still good and no I can't speak Tongan because he tries not to speak it because he doesn't feel it will help him on his mission.
it's crazy how so many people are going out now. I'm excited to hear where everyone is going.
That's all I have to write about this week!
love everyone lots
Elder Duffus
Email 2: 29/1/13
Mum! you ask too many questions hahah!!
Australia day was hot and I was on trade off with the zone leader. we worked and talked to heaps of drunks! the branch did have an activity day on but we didn't go to it. Yes Brother and Sister Matua are here in Darwin, I talked to them when I first got here, I knew they looked familiar! (Jene - This couple were from Hebersham Stake and taught institute last year - and it was the class Brendan attended - shows how much notice he took!!)
the weather is good here. very humid but always sunny. Got a nice watch tan already. it's nice when it rains, the water isn't cold so we just sit in it at the end of the night. No the bad weather isn't hitting us, although they did put us on cyclone warning last weekend but nothing happened.
We are teaching heaps. we are focusing on former investigator this week and we got 2 or 3 solid potential baptisms from one family and some referrals for others. We have one baptism date at the moment and that is on the 9th of march.  We had a 17 year old named Lance who had set the date to be baptised but we got a text off him to say that his parents wouldnt let him be baptised, and whats really weird is that we got another baptismal date for another investigator.
I got mail of JayJay today! and i know mum i make sure you get an email because I'm to close to home to not send one. it's very easy for you to 'accidently' come to Darwin and hit me hahaha. (Jene - you may have guessed that I have told him that he cant forget to email home each week!!)
I got a new camera its going good.  I got one that is water proof, freeze proof shock proof with 1 year extended and a memory card! bargain i say. it would probably be best if you sent some usbs up and i will download it onto them and send them back.
man YSA sounds fun! It's good to hear everyone is going well. I was excited to hear that jj Richard, Iyrah and Andrea are all doing mission prep!! Any new mission calls this week. Man everyone will be married or on their missions by the time I get back.
Elder Williams if the man! helooks like the type that would play cricket and thats probably why you chose him for your team lol (Jene - Scott ran into a missionary at a Liverpool activity that was in the MTC with Brendan)
I wont be emailing till next Friday. P day has changed because President Carter and Elder Watson are coming up so they changed it to Friday.
I want everyone to serve a mission so encourage them all. Thank you for everything you did for me and continue doing for me! get everyone to write to me!!
Love you Lots
Elder Duffus
for those that would like to write to him, hes address is:
Adelaide Australia Mission
PO Box 97
Marden SA 5070
Hope you enyoy
Scott and Jene xxx

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Finally arrives in the mission field

It's all systems go now.  he has hit the mission field running.  it's been an exciting time for us over the last week to see if he made it and where he would be serving.  as mum I was hoping he would call me from Melbourne airport as he had a stop over there - but of course he didn't, so then hoped he would be able to call when he reached the mission home - again nope!!

but we have heard from him and he is safe and sound and very excited.  hope you enjoy

Email 1

Hi Mum And Dad!!

This is the last day in the MTC and I have loved every bit of it !! Feels like only yesterday i said goodbye and hopped on the plane, but at the same time it feels like I've known all these people for ages. It was hard saying goodbye to a few that had to go home and wait for their visas so I don't know how I'm going to be after a companion! or 2 years!!

We had scales to weigh our bags so everyone decided to way themselves as well. I've put on 3 1/2 Kilos since being here :(   

You two working together? Just make sure you are still married by the time i get home! (Jene - Scott has started his new job in the same office - and floor level - as me!!)

I haven't really been bothered learning Spanish because I know it won't help me so there wasn't really any point. (Jene - I had asked him if he was picking up any words from his MTC companion). And yes Marina did come! she bought about 4 kilos of lollies and chocolates for me so that was good hahah. tell her i said thanks! And i met her brother, and we talked for a bit.

Yer we did hear Elder Groberg, he was good to listen to. He just talked about his mission and the stuff that wasn't on the movie (the other side of heaven) and how us as missionaries can greatly affect people's lives. he told a story of a investigator he had that the ward didn't approve of but he kept at it and baptised her, she moved away and had 12 children. All of them served missions and now her grandchildren are starting to serve. It made me realise the chain reaction you can have in people's lives.

We had a few people come (Church Leaders), but the people that matt got to see were the Quorum of the 12 but it is still good to hear from General Authorities.

It's crazy!! everyone is going all over the world on their missions, tell them all I said congratulations!! I told all the Melbourne elders to look out for Elder Wood.  It's good to hear that he is going so well on his mission!!

Have fun at the wedding. Tell them that I love them and hope the day goes well.

Before I go I have some requests! Can you please put some money into my account? and the Camera is broken. I charge it for hours then I take one photo and before the photo is processed it says battery low then turns off, but when I turn it back on it says full battery! and I can't take any photos, and when I could there the photos were blurry and I couldn't fix it. Feel free to send the SLR camera :)

I love and miss you and everyone else. Tell them to love me back... and send letters!! (Jene - sounds so like Matt on his mission!!)
Love Elder Duffus

Letter from mission home

Dear Parents of Elder Brendan Scott Duffus,

Thank you for sending your wonderful son to the Australia Adelaide Mission. He will be a wonderful missionary. He arrived safely on Wednesday, 9 January. His new companion is Elder Vanisi and he will be serving in the Malak area of the Darwin Zone in the Northern Territory.

Email 2

HELLO MUM AND DAD!! thanks for emailing me!!

This week has been crazy, being shipped to Adelaide then straight up to Darwin the next day!! And for dad (I know he wants a specific place) I'm in Malak! it has been good and the work has been pretty productive! We have a few baptisms coming up in the only branch here in Darwin. there are 5 missionary companionships in the branch and I think there are about 5 scheduled baptism over the next 6 or 7 weeks! Everyone is so friendly up here, everyone talks to you!! I'm loving it so much!

My Companion, Elder Vanisi from Tonga, and he is the man! Matthew served in his ward so he already knew of me before I got here. He is a good trainer and we have been stopping everyone and talking to them, because that is the only way to get new investigators because every house here in Darwin has a massive fence with massive locks or dogs so it is hard to get in them. All the missionaries up here are so loving, everybody loves everybody and the members are all nice. the only thing is during sacrament, no one sings so it is really quiet and sad :( haha. But I'll change that :).

The humidity is slowly getting easier to handle. Every time you walk outside you start sweating straight away! it's crazy, but everyone gives you drinks. the storms here are better than down in Sydney, lots of lightening, wind and rain.  there was a  big one that hit in Saturday night while we were at an appointment and so we got to ride home in it!!  it was so much fun and then we pretty much just showered in the rain.

Man Darwin is so much fun and I'm glad I got to be here to train. Hopefully I stay up here for a while, because even the non members and less actives feed us. Nanna Sue and Mary (less actives) always feed us and always give us heaps of food to take home.

I don't know what else to write about because I've only been here for 4 days but I'm sure I'll have more to talk about next week!! I'm thankful for the example that dad and matt set for me in serving a mission and I'm grateful to you, mum and dad, for bringing us all up in the gospel. I know that the message we share is true and can improve the lives of all those around us. I use our family when teaching and tell people how happy we are together and that the gospel can do that for them.

I love you all heaps!!!!!!!

Elder Duffus

Now I have to say in our defence, we thought his p-day was Wednesday lol.  luckily he was still on line and we were able to email back and forth for a little while.

His Trek Ma, Alyssa Carroll, is over in Adelaide and was hoping that he would be around for her to see him.  She took a bag of clothes that we couldn’t fit into his case over to him and took them to the mission home.  She was able to find out that he had been sent to the Northern Territory before we heard from the mission home. 

there are lots of people that both she and I know up there, including the Branch Presidents who said she freaked him out on Sunday, as she knew so much about him lol.  when Alyssa went to the mission home they said that they took everyone passports, except for Brendan's and told him the mission president will speak to him.  he then got a huge smile on his face and said ''you know I really want to go to Darwin while I'm here''.  he knew that he would be sent there.  it's so nice to know how he is being looked after.

till next week

Scott and Jene




Monday, January 7, 2013

First contact

We have had a couple of emails and a letter so I will combine all of them. Hope you enjoy the start of the journey.

Email 1

Hi Mum and Dad

We just got back from the temple after 2 sessions! My room mate and 3 others went through for the first time, it was a really good experience. the MTC (Mission Training Centre) is hard but am enjoying it. The classes are none stop all day but the District I'm in is heaps cool, because there are only 53 missionaries in this MTC everyone is really tight and good friends. It's good to know that there is always someone to turn to and rely on.

Over the Christmas period we has a heap of General Authorities come here. I was hoping it would be more physical activities and games but then I realised we are not in YSA here!! They all had great points to give to us and good tips for being a great missionary.

I'm glad I came on a mission, I'm glad for the example that you all set for me and the support you and everyone have given me. I'm glad I made the decision to serve my Heavenly Father and through hard work I will become a good missionary.

Love you all heaps.
Elder Duffus

whilst it was great to hear from him it left us with more questions, thankfully a few days later we got a letter from him, which answered a few of our questions.



I'm so glad that I chose to serve a mission, I can feel the blessings already. The first Sunday away from home is the hardest.

Its so cool here in the MTC. There are so many going to serve in Adelaide with me. The MTC president scared my by pulling me into his office and said "well Elder you must have done something wrong before you came because my counsellors and I were up all night praying for you and you have been called as a District Leader while in the MTC, almost had a heart attack!! Sister Salanoa is going well, most of the Sydney people have callings here, Elder Shaydon Wirehira is a Zone Leader.

you know how i wanted to go to Spain for my mission, well i got the next best thing - i got the next best thing - a Spanish companion!! He is serving in Sydney, but another one of my room mates is also serving in Adelaide as well.

We got to teach a lady yesterday and that was a great experience to see how Elder Moncho and I would work together and I feel we did ok.

President told us that Elder John Groberg will be coming to the MTC to talk to us - I hope Matthew will be jealous haha. (Jene - Elder Groberg was a missionary sent to serve in Tonga in the 1950s and a movie called the Other Side of Heaven was made about his experiences.) We also have Elder Hamula coming soon, so the next few days will be packed with great experiences and i cant wait.

We just got news that Evan might hit Auckland as well so we are preparing for that at the moment.

I love and miss you all but I cant wait to get out into the field and start teaching. I am safe, happy and doing well. I love the example that you all have set for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Love Elder Duffus

Jene - In my email i had told him that he didn't tell us very much and left us with many questions. We also told him that we were told that one of his teachers was a cousin from a YSA from Hebersham Stake, as well as telling him about convention and our upcoming cruise.

Email 2

Mum and Dad

There really wasn't much to write. Yes Ruth's cousin was our teacher for 2 lessons. I totally forgot about convention and that it was on till New Years Day, but you guys would be used to having no sleep by now haha. It good that dad is always on Facebook now but he does have us as sons!!

Mmmm yes the cruise - i thought that was a joke haha I hope you guys have fun being by yourselves because as soon as I get back you have to take me everywhere with you hahahaha

Thats so crazy about all the calls and I cant believe they leave so soon. tell the all I'm so excited for them.

and I cant really think of anything that you can send me at the moment but as it gets closer to going to Adelaide I'm sure I will think of something.

My companion is from Valencia and another is from Columbia who also speaks Spanish.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH to those who became engaged (Sarah Krix to Alex and Daniel and Cheri) thats great news.

love you
Elder Duffus

On top of the letter and emails, Marina a lady I work with, is currently visiting her family in NZ as her brother has just finished his mission. He is the only member in his family. Marina and her brother took the time to go and visit Brendan in the MTC and take him some treats. They got him out of class and managed to get a photo with him. It was so so good to see him in his current environment and he looks every bit a missionary, thank you Marina and David for doing this.

 Elder Duffus arrives in Adelaide this coming Wednesday, so we are praying that the weather cools down a little bit by then. Hope you enjoy his update.

Scott and Jene