For over a decade, Elyssa Djurududuku Cameron smoked cigarettes at least twice a day. That changed when he met the missionaries earlier this year.
Elyssa his wife Irene and their four children, live in a small indigenous community in the Arnhem Land region in Australia. The family love their heritage and place strong emphasis in good cultural values.
While the family didn’t formerly belong to any religion, they did believe in Jesus Christ.
“They were very quiet and didn’t say much,” missionary Elder Richards said. “In the whole lesson Elyssa probably said 3-4 words; there were communication challenges because English was their second language.”
The family agreed to come to church although reliable transportation and enough petrol to meet his family responsibilities was a problem for Elyssa.
He knew, however, this was where he could partake of the sacrament and feel the love that his Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have for him and his family.
Through his faith and actions, and the kindnesses of others and tender miracles, he was helped to “find a way” to church each Sunday.
Over time, and because of his mechanical skills, Elyssa was able to rebuild a car that they now use to transport the family to church each week.
'Coming to church has brought much happiness to our family. We love following Jesus Christ,” Elyssa said.
Elyssa and Irene weren’t legally married when they met the missionaries, so they were married in their garden the night before their baptism.
Elyssa’s children Narelle and Duron, together with his niece Jaylin, were baptized on 11th May this year. Elyssa and Irene were baptised on 12th May along with another son Jaseph.
The baptisms were a landmark experience in the journey of the Cameron family.
“Their baptism had a massive effect on everyone and brought so many members closer to the Aboriginal culture,” missionary Elder Syme said. “The love was immense and unified as [these children] of our Heavenly Father were able to enter His fold.”
Elyssa has since received the priesthood and he recently baptised his daughter Karly.
“It was a joy to baptise her, and [I’m] happy for the blessings that have come to my family. By exercising my priesthood in baptising Karly, I know my family will be blessed. It brings me joy and happiness to be able to use the priesthood to bless others.”
Being active member missionaries, the Cameron’s also love to share the gospel with their community and have referred their entire family to the missionaries.
Elyssa helps to teach together with the missionaries and speaks in his language to provide clarification. Currently three members of his family that are being taught the gospel.
“The Church has been a great blessing to our family,” testifies Elyssa.
“The missionaries came to our home and shared the Book of Mormon, sharing stories and teachings.'