Sunday, December 7, 2014

"Suite as..."

Today we are a bit tight for time, so I will do my best!

So investigator wise. Semati and Fernancis are currently in Samoa visiting family. They will not be back till the 16th. Jodie is still doing great. She came to church last week but had to go home because she wasn't feeling to well. Dallas unfortunately is dropped. We tried having come to a baptism that was happening in the District. However he flaked on us once again and wasn't home to be picked up for the baptism. He has done it with several activities now. I think however we will keep in touch. you never know.

SO some crazy news, President called me last night and said that I would be training next transfer! I am a bit nervous. You never know what a missionary will be like.... I think that is the only thing that I am scared of on my mission. Who is your next companion. Because it is really up to him as to how the transfer will go. I know that from experience simply put. Being a trainer though and introducing him to the field will be an interesting experience. Kind of a snapshot of what I was like just on the other side when I was being trained. I will be missing Elder Fougerouse, it has been great to serve with him for sure. I will miss him a great deal for sure. The most interesting thing is that I had the impression that I would be training, I was thinking a lot about it before the call came.  I told my self that it was just me wanting, or fantasizing but I got the call and was surprised!

For Thanks Giving we didn't really do anything. A few members talked about it but yah nothing really to notable. Didn't really feel like it. A bit sad I guess. :/ But that's ok because you I got my Christmas package! Yes!!! I got it yesterday from the Zone Leaders. So I don't know exactly when it got here, but that was pretty quick!

Looks like the Temple trip was amazing! must have been a great experience! The spider man was crack up! ah he is great!

Pictures:

We had trade offs this week! I was with Elder Ziegner from Germany. He is actually going home tomorrow on Tuesday. Pretty sad. I will miss him for sure. He is a great missionary! Maybe when I get back I will be able to go visit him since I will be so close!

Those poor flowers would eventually die. Elder Fougerouse thought they where pretty cute so I joined him. :D


Hey Love you all,

Elder Ward
And this flower was absolutely beautiful. It was in our backyard. This camera a does a great job of getting good photos of them.


So you got a picture of me with the Christmas package! I actually got it just before we wnet to church.
One of the Sisters Missionaries found this in the Library. She went ahead showed it to Elder Fougerouse..... Pretty crack up!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Letters are great!

Well I am glad that you guys got the letter so soon! I will be sending them more often as they do have a bit more meaning to them. I think that I expressed that idea in the very letter that I sent to you guys! 

Thanks for e-mailing! I enjoy them a lot. Even the smallest things are great to hear about. That's part of the reason why I never got that story in the e-mails home because it was just to much to type up in one sit down with everything else that happened in the week. I do always try to write in my journal everyday. That is the best way that I have found to preserve memories.

For this week Semati and Jodie are still doing great. Jodie didn't make it to church again but that was because of a funeral event going on in the family. It was great though because we had just taught her the Plan of Salvation that week. I felt impressed to ask her if she was thinking about it as she attended the funeral. She said yes she was thinking about it as she was there. She found great comfort in understanding that there is more to God's plan than just simply this life. Really great teaching opportunity. It is also great when you are able to apply things that you have taught to the investigators real experiences. You are able to make that mental bridge form just a teaching to really applying it. Personally experiences are great and wonder teaching tools, whether they be your own, or you identify it from their own personal challenges and experience. 

Fernancis is doing well also. We got a small moment this week to teach her and Semati together about the law of Tithing. That was it for the week because things where busy for everyone this week. We had Brother Criton there with us for the lesson. The 2nd counselor of the Bishop Bishopric. He was able to bear testimony of it which is great when it comes form a member. We invited Brother Semati to pay his tithing after he is baptized and he said yes right off the bat. He is so prepared! We could baptize him this week really if they would just get married as soon as possible. That is still getting run through the machine. The baptismal date for him and the 19th of December, as well as Jodie. We are hoping that Fernancis will be prepared by then to be baptized. It will really be a great day for the family and as well as the Waipuna Ward. I guess you could say it is going to be a great Christmas! Speaking of Christmas, phone calls are coming up...

Dallas, if I remember correctly I told you guys about him. Unfortunately he was unable to make it to church. Nor where we able to sit down with him and teach him because he was so busy. But he still has great potential!

Elder Fougerouse and I have been walking in our area for the past 2 weeks, because my bike broke due to the hangar for the gear shifter in the rear being abused for it falling over so much. finally got the parts to day. It was the first time that I have had technical difficulties with a bike have had to admit defeat with trying to fix it so we can continue riding for the day. Walking has been all right though because our area is quite small. We cover half of the Waipuna Ward (why-puna) Sisters cover the other half. but still having the bikes makes it so much easier to see more people and be on time for appointments.

Guess what I ate this week on Sunday at a members house??? Hosi! Or horse in English. Hosi is Tongan. It was pretty good. It tasted a bit like pork. Everyone says that it is amazingly good, but I was slightly disappointed thinking it was going to be better. It was in a curry which was nice but not preferable in my opinion. I was expecting a bit more of like a steak type meal but it was still pretty good. Brother Naeata (Nie- ahtah) our Ward Mission Leader, as well as his son Hafen where expecting me to hesitate at eating or scare at it. I put it straight in my mouth and had 2 bowls. Tasty.

So for the pictures you have our district again. It was Elder Ziegner's last district meeting. We have special trainings for the rest of the transfer. He will be going home on Tuesday of Next week, all the way back to Germany. It's so sad really :( He is a great Elder.

And then you have got a picture of the horse. That was pretty good, of course and then you have got Hafen showing off his Tonga shirt. He does speak English and Tongan. Here in New Zealand just about every one knows English except those that have grown up in the Islands and have not bothered or haven't had a chance to learn English well. Sometimes Islanders only speak English because there parents didn't teach them growing up here in NZ.

That is a bit about the week. Had a lot to write about and got some good stuff in this letter I think! I will be sending other pictures as well! 

Love you all glad that you are doing well!

Love,
Elder Ward

Elder  Fougerous and I had a chance to sit down and have dinner at a inlet where they practice rowing. We where eating subway. The members could not feed us at their home because they where busy and they said that they would buy us some food. They asked us to pick and I said "Subway!" Because we have had to much McDonalds and Wendy's Lately. They dropped it off where we we're at again and we sat and enjoyed all the rowing. Many different kinds! I got some cool video to, but that is to big to send. I really enjoyed it and it was very relaxing. Elder Fougerous did rowing back in Tahiti so he was loving it as well.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beautiful Flowers

I will certainly be missing the Fomby's. I probably mentioned it several times, that I really liked listening to Pres Fomby give talks. I learned a lot form him. I was looking forwards to returning home and saying hello again.

Something that I have noticed is that in the past my testimony has often leaned slightly on others. I have noticed or recognized that on my mission. Sometimes we lean on others to get the motivation that we need to "keep our faith up I guess".  Something that I am taking away from my mission is having my own testimony that I can hold up on my own. It is be great to have bright testimonies shared by others, but ultimately I need to have confidence and faith in my own testimony. I don't bring this subject up as a concern, but more as something that I have come to know and learn. I have learned so much on mission it truly has been a blessing!

Well for this week Elder Fougerouse and I where very busy. And I loved it! We have some really wonderful investigators. Semati came to church. He is planning on being baptized on the 19th of Dec along with there Daughter in Law Jodie is also a wonderful investigator. They could be baptized now..... But there are a few things to work out such as Marriage, and also they are going on a trip to Samoa, or at least part of the family will be. you can't baptize them with out the family being there! We have been teaching the quite consistently now. Our evenings are often very busy. Also Fernancis has been doing well. Another soon to be Daughter in Law as well. She has been very interested, but she is very shy in the lessons. We ask to see if she has any questions after the lesson, and she says that she has none. But her her partner says (who is a member) that right when we leave she asks all the questions in the world! 

We also are planning to Baptize a 16 year old Boy named Dallas. He wants to join a Church and has been looking for the true church as well. His friend "Hafen" is a member and invited him to take the lessons. He is very teachable and wants to learn, so we are excited to see him progress. We are hoping that he can be baptized on the 29 Nov, it will be amazing! He is very interested in the BoM after we taught him the Restoration. We brought him to a fireside yesterday called a "Come and See" Fireside. He really enjoyed it. It is one of those rare occasions, where missionaries from other zones get a chance to see each other. So it is always a priority to get to it... with and investigator of course. It has been the first time that I have been able to go to one in more than 6 months. In Mount albert Elder Rogers and I never where able to get investigators there so we could never make it. But this time I got to go and I saw some great old friends. Including Bishop Lavelua form my first are in Onehunga, they where happy to see me, which made me feel happy because they actually remembered and missed me me! It was great! I wrote a letter that morning to Rob, One of the first investigators that I helped teach and get baptized on my mission. I felt a strong desire to figure out his address and write him a letter, and I did that morning before church and the fireside. Because Bishop Lavaula was there I was able to ask about Rob, and he is still going to church! I was going to have to research his address but I was able to give them the letter right there. It worked out perfectly. Certainly a prompting from the spirit.

So many good things are happening. Truly, when the members just simply invite people to learn more about the restored gospel, the spirit is able to then be present and touch hearts. So many times as a missionary I wish I could get dressed as a normal person and go talk with people and then lead them into a gospel discussion. Many times us being all dressed up with a name tag immediately puts them off because they have seen or talked with missionaries before, and think that we are there to just simply preach preach preach. It then makes it difficult to get anything done or even just ask them how there day has been. Just remember to invite!

Elder Fougerouse and i have gettting along well. He speaks Tahitian(which is similar to Moari, and Cook Island) and as well as French. I often ask him how to say things on French but often they are not to different or they are the same! He says that back in Taihiti fishing is a big thing. They often eat raw fish and go spear fishing even. (I was ridiculously jealous when he told me that). funny thing is that he asks me about American Highschool and if it is like the movies. It's not just him, every loves to ask about that. It's interesting how the Grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.

Things are great I have sent a picture of Elder Fougerous and I as well as the place where we played a bit of touch rugbie for our First Zone P-day ever! They got special permission form President, and now we might be able to have one every so often now. We played a bit of American Football, but I will have to admit myself it was a bit boring compared to touch. The Islander Elders thought it was pretty boring to. Mainly because there was a lot of people playing. Touch is still way better in a big group.

Hope you guys enjoy the e-mail I am short on time. Got to go!

Love,
Elder Ward

I wish that I had time to take pictures of all the dutiful flowers here in NZ. This reminded me of the purple snow back in Cali. I also thought that it was cool how you have to different kinds as well.



A Handwritten Letter from Elder Ward

1 Sept 2014
Dear Family,
So today is P-day.  Unfortunately it is pouring buckets of rain outside so we aren't really able to do anything other than stay in the flat.  It's not a bid thing but I do like to get out and run around!  P-days are too short.  Generally, we get to the e-mail shop around 10:30 am or so.  We then e-mail for about 2 hours.  We always try to go less because that gives us a bit more flexibility later in the day.  So with 2 hours we get out of there about 12:30 pm or so.  Usually 1:00 pm though if all goes well with writing the letters swiftly and with focus.  It is easy to get distracted and start looking things up on the church website or watching "I'm a Mormon" vids.  They are always uplifting especially after a hard week.  So within the letters that I send home I try to tell you guys about the miracles that happen,and what it is like to be a full time missionary here in New Zealand.  It isn't easy but I hope that I do at least a half way decent job.  All right so we get out of the internet shop (usually other Elders and Sisters are there as well and it is always great to see them and say hello) then ride our bikes up to the Pak n Save.  I have a big box strapped to a bike rack that I got for $25.  Elder Rogers and I usually have a list made out so we can get in and out with little to no time wasted.  Probably about 45 min.  We ride back to our flat which isn't to far really.  It's fun having about 30 lbs strapped to the back of your bike.  It can really send you flying down the hills!  We then unload everything into the flat and then get ready for sport.  We may do a bit of cleaning if necessary.  Sometimes it is, but we usually try to take care of most of it by maintaining it wee throughout the week.  Usually what then happens is we will go play some sport with our District.  Within our district there are 3 Elder companionships and one Sister companionship.  Within the Zone there are 3 districts which may have more or less Elders/Sisters depending on what's needed within the individual Wards and Stake.  So we play sport with each other.  We've played Basketball (The American Elders are always pretty decent, the Aussies/Kiwis, not so much...lol), maybe Touch (or Rugby just no tackle.  Like you have got tackle football and then just touch football), or soccer,  we have only played that once.  Elder Rogers is a soccer player, so he loves it.  At about or just before 5:00 pm we all break and head back to the flats get showered/dressed, eat a quick dinner, then it is out to the area to go see people and meet new people.
So that right there is a pretty average P-day.  Today is a bit different because of the rain.  Transportation is a bit difficult because Elder Rogers and I no longer have a car now.  That mad P-days really easy, especially with groceries.  Instead of sport I have used some time to get a bit more organized and write a letter as well.  I am going to write weekly now I think that will make it very enjoyable for all of us !   I usually try to tell all you guys about what happens in my e-,ails home but somethings don't quite make it in or I just don't have enough time to tell how i feel about everything.
2 Sept 2014
Dear Family,
I don't think I told you guys about one of our investigators name Bhenhilda.  I am certain that I may have mentioned her name and told you guys about her.  Bhenhilda (Ben-hilda, kinda weird) is from Africa.  Lots of people from Africa immigrate here to New Zealand.  They are usually of the Christian Orthodox faith. She herself is a Christian, I don't think she was of the Christian Orthodox.  Elder Rogers and Elder Lloyd (our District leader a the time) bumped into her while on the streets.  (She would often carry her smallest child on her back by wrapping a towel around her and the child.  I looked like it worked really good).  We visited Bhenhilda and taught her on the door step many times.  She would often times have trouble understanding us because English is a second language.  We had been working with Bhenhilda for a while now.  We really wanted her to come to church and that had been a goal of ours for quite awhile.  She was in the backyard hanging up the laundry.  We visited with her for a bit and chatted with her a her children played in the backyard.  Our backs were facing the house when she pointed to a window with a gasp.  We turned around and saw smoke coming from the open windows.  My first thought was that something on the stove was burning.  Bhenhilda ran into the home and I went in to make sure that everything was okay.  First thing that I saw was flaming blender of doom!  The chord was on fire and its was burning like crazy.  I was tempted to try ad fight the fire, but no hose was available or bucket of water.  The fires seemed a bit out of hand as well since the room was really starting to fill up with smoke.  I called out to Bhenhilda that she would need to come out it is much too dangerous.  She came out panicking.  I asked her if there were any children in the home or if anyone was in there.  She said no.  I was call "111" (that's what it is here in New Zealand)  I gave the address explained the situation over the phone, while Bhenhilda remembered that the passports were in the home..  She ran inside to a different area of the home and dragged out a big white dresser.  Elder Rogers helped her get it out at the door while I continues to give out details.  Just after she got out, the house really started to fill up with black smoke.  I was glad I called and everyone was out.  With about 5 min the firemen arrived (or the "fire brigade" as they call it here in NZ).  The fire had not really spread to much, it didn't seem to be getting to much bigger either.  The firemen didn't seem to be to rushed to put it out, but they got everything set up and went in.  Within just a few minutes the fire was out.  Elder Rogers and I stayed around in case they need to talk to us about happened, which they didn't for some reason, I thought they would have approached us about what happened especially me, as I was the one who called!  Bhenhilda did not call because she was panicking so much,  even after I had called the fire department, and we where standing outside waiting she asked me to call her mother as she could not dial the number herself,
12 Oct 2014
because she was so shaken by what was happening.
Bhenhilda's mother came of course to comfort her thankfully they were actually going to be moving in just a few days, so it was all good.  That the house was smoke damaged and several appliances were destroyed in the kitchen.  I was thinking that it was mine and Elder Rogers fault because we distracted her from what was cooking on the stove as she hung the laundry to dry in the backyard.  He was determined that a curtain near the stove had blown into an electric burner. Catching fire and then blowing over various areas (including the blender) and starting the fire.  This was a bit of a relief to me as I came to to know that it was a sincerer accident.
After learning about that I remembered how Bhenhilda was unable to dial the number and ran in the house as the smoke grew thick.  I remembered how I was able to call"111" and Elder Rogers and I were able to help keep her and her family safe.  Bhenhilda and her mother called us "angels" sent from God.  I was like sure and I thought to myself about how we were there just at the right time and was able to assist in a potential dangerous or even life threatening accident.
Our Heavenly Father does look out for us.  He looks out for us and gives us opportunities to serve others whether they be small or big.  We simply must be prepared to do, and to act!  It was a blessing to be able to assist in helping with Heavenly Father's plans, and children.  This was certainly a pretty significant experience and event on my mission.  I have never e-mailed because it was such a huge thing!  I have got on paper now so I hope that it is a great story to read.
As you guys may notice by the dates, this has taken me a very long time to write out.  I haven't been super diligent with try into get it in the mail.  For me mail seems to be a lot more meaningful and I hope that you guys will enjoy the letter.
Today's date is 19 Oct 2014 (Sunday) and I will be getting in the mail tomorrow.  I just want to let you guys know how much I love you.  I certainly do miss being around he family.  Eric and Madelyn are going to be so much bigger when I get back and Stuart will likely go on his mission before I am able to come back.  That's OK though.  I have learnt a lot on my mission.  My testimony has grown vastly and is improving everyday.  A mission has not been easy for me, but I know that these challenges will help face even bigger ones in the future with confidence and a strong determination to conquer them.
Well, I hope that the family is doing well.  I will be e-mailing you guys tomorrow so that is always exciting.  I love hearing about the adventures you guys have.  Last week I was able to tell my companion about how "my family got into a train that was monkey proofed, and then drove out to be swarmed by them...in Italy."  That was a pretty interesting story and always amaze them when they hear about what is happening.  It's not the usual with most families back home!  Also I hope that dating machine is still around...(the tandem bicycle).  I think I will be inquiring of it tomorrow in my e-mails.  I guess this letter will be a bit of a reminder.
I don't have much else to say.  I am pretty sure I will get better at writing letters as I do it more consistently.  E-mails home does kind of take the buzz out of writing letters home.  But for good stories that don't get e-,ailed, I will write about them and tell you guys all about it. 
Take car I love you all!

Love, 
Elder Ward

Also just now in personal studies I read a General Conference address given in April 2012, by Elder David F. Evans.  He said in one paragraph of his talk "We can write of Christ by writing letters to those who are away.  Missionaries serving, sons or daughters in the military, and those we love are blessed by the letters we write.  Letters from are not just quick e-mails.  Real letters provide something tangible that can be held, thought about, and cherished."  I very much agree with his statement.  So I think I will send a letter home as often as I can.  The rest of his talk is very good and it talks a lot about how we can do missionary work as missionaries.
Just wanted to add that in the letter.  Hope you guys enjoy it and take care!

Love, 
Elder Ward

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blessed...

Well all right it feels like yesterday that I was e-mailing you guys1 the mission is really going by way to fast! 

So we had some great things happen this week! I think that I will have to start off with the Set that Elder Fougerouse and I have now. Her name is Jodie, and she is so awesome! She wants to be baptized, it really is a privilege to teach her. I think that I mentioned in the last e-mail that I sent to you guys. We finally had an appointment set up with her and everything, so we could teach the message of the Restoration. Probably one of the most important lessons that helps the investigator understand why the church even exists. We went through all the points. "God is our Loving Heavenly Father", "The Gospel Blesses Families", "God Reveals his Gospel in Every Dispensation", "The Saviors' Earthly Ministry","The Great Apostasy", and of course the "The Restoration". As missionaries we don't memorize or teach a wrote lesson. Our goal is to almost have a conversation about what we are teaching. We always encourage investigators to ask questions, because that really helps understand what need to teach and what they need to know to progress in their understanding of the gospel. Needless to say Jodie loved the lesson and understood what we taught well. Lorenzo her LA partner was having flash backs of attending church when he was younger as well. He seems to be excited to come back as weel. At the end of the lesson we invited Jodie to be Baptized on the 29 Nov and she accepted. She felt a bit uneasy about it, but we explained to her that it would be a goal for her to work towards, and that it would help her progress quicker. We also talked about the need to get married. They where suppose to talk to Bishop Tui'Polotu about it however for some reason they left church just after sacrament. Not to sure why but something must have come up. We are excited and we are going to be having another appointment with her this Wednesday.

Semati, is doing well also, he has been coming to church and he has been excited to learn more. He will be baptized, there are just a few things such as marriage that need to be straightened out. I think I mentioned him a bit in the last letter as well.

So for morning exercise I has to show Elder Fougerouse something cool. Ice blocking... I had found a large tupper ware container in my last flat and had actually froze some blocks in my last area hoping that we may be able to do it for a P-day activity. That didn't work out though because we where very busy with other things. Conveniently there is a huge playing field in front of our flat with steep grassy hills. I could not resist. I told Elder Fougerouse that we are going to be ice blocking for morning exercise, and I froze a huge block. I am pretty sure that he thought that I was half crazy. Sliding down a grassy hill on a block of ice. We walked out there I sat down and flew down the hill, Elder Fougerouse immediately wanted a turn... Needless to say it was a blast! Running up the hill was good exercise as well! Elder Fougerouse figured out a style he liked. Similar to surfing.. what he did back in Tahiti a lot! I got some good pictures. Even videoed myself going down the hill but it's to big to send though... Maybe in the mail.

So ya it was a great week. I love the ward and they want to feed us all the time! 

The Weather here is ridiculous, some days the sun is out and is hot as! Other days it is cloudy and cold. And sometimes it just can't make up it's mind! 

Great to hear about the tandem bike! 

Love you all and take care,
Elder Ward

This a picture of our District. Our district Leader is Elder Ziegner laying of the ground. he is from Germany. Elder Rogers my last companion is in our district! We where so happy to see each other when I arrived in the district. We had a great time talking about the things that happened in our last area. 




Sunday, November 9, 2014

Good Investigators

Because of the baptism that happened last week we had some awesome things happen. As missionaries we are encouraged to encourage the family to invite all there non-member families to the Baptism. At the baptism son (Lorenzo) of Mother who had her children baptized, who is less-active, came with his partner (Jodene, still not sure how to spell her name). Turns out that she is interested in learning about the Restored Gospel! We had a lesson this week with her, and got to know her and her partner. We had Brother from the ward with us as well. We wanted to talk a bit about the BoM, however  our member got us on the subject of the temples.. Not really where we where planning on going but, it was still good.Much was learned and questions where answered. We invited Jodene to be baptized if she came to know that the Book of Mormon is true... and she said yes! So now we have a lot to teach, has come 2 church twice all ready, and we are hoping and praying that she will embrace the Book of Mormon with open arms and let it build her testimony of Christ.

Semati, Sister Guay's (Pronounced "nauway" But the end sound is in the back of the throat"  Tongan for ya) partner, is also investigating, he has been to church as well 3 times now. He is a bit quiet so it can be difficult to teach when they don't give you a whole lot of feed back about what is being taught! But still though, we know that he is sincere because he explained to us that he was going to inform his parents, who are devout Catholics that he would like to be baptized as well. It is out of respect for them. We still have a lot to go over with them though as he hasn't been taught directly though yet. He sat in on many of the lessons that Jared and Mia had together apparently, so he has had a chance to become at least been introduced. 

Both of these families need to be married however... but that is easy to take care of though because our Bishop is really onto that stuff. Elder Fougerous and I have been getting along great! We have had some great things happen as well. There are a few other people that we are currently teaching as well, or seeking to teach as they are interested, or have children who have not been baptized yet. It can be difficult as people are very busy! I guess you can say it's a work in progress but they will be on board one day in the near future

My area is actually quite small.My last area was quite large we did a lot of biking and big hills to climb! This area is smaller and  flat. It is actually quite close to the shore line.As we bike we can see the jetties or bays, I guess to can call them behind homes. It's not clean water, just muddy wetlands, I will have to get a few pictures. 

Lot's of Less-Active members. Often times, we meet people who where baptized as children, however grew up and went their own way and joined other churches. Most of the time they are not interested, but sometimes of course they want to come back and have unbaptized children like in the case Sister Guay.

Let me know if you guys still got questions. I don't think I really understand what it's like to be getting my e-mails and to try and learn what is happening in my life. Let me know if there is something I could talk about more often and clearly. 

Also, do you guys still have the tandem bike?

Look's like Halloween was fun, Eric with the Charmander costume was great. Oh a classic indeed. They must be growing so much! The potato head costume must have been great! That is probably the best costume ever. Nice and warm inside.. Halloween isn't to big hear in NZ. It is just starting up actually. No one, and I mean no one had decorations up for it. But there where kids out trick or treating. There weren't and flash costumes or anything like that, some face paint and maybe a mask with a weapon. They didn't get nearly as much candy as we do in the states!

So the pictures are of a feed we had at Tongan Families home. That is a fried green banana with coconut cream on it. There is also a dish called "Raw Fish" on the plate. I love it. and it actually has chucks of raw fish in it. Pretty chewy! And Chop Sui, noodles and rice with soy sauce. And of course the green is meat wrapped up in a Taro Leaf. It is wrapped in tin foil and then baked. It is very good! If it isn't cooked right the leaf will actually irritate your tongue. They call it an "itchy tongue". I had it once at a members home, it was pretty interesting. It wasn't terribly painful but certainly uncomfortable. Had to just smile and eat more. :D

And then also our members love us.... they knocked on our door one evening while we where in the flat planning and they gave us 8 of these cones! I was happy.


I love you all so much!

Take Care,
Love Elder Ward




Sunday, November 2, 2014

The New Area

SOO much has happened in the past week. Leaving the area was not easy, not only that it was difficult to say good bye to some of the amazing members of the Ward. IN particular it was tough having to say good by to The Tua'aho Family, the family that fellow shipped Faa. They where so sad to hear that I was leaving the area. We got their e-mails and we are going to be keeping in touch for sure. I didn't get to say good by to Faa, he has been so busy with work. But he is doing well. He is reading the scriptures and really doing well though according to his Girl Friend Si-i. Said good bye to the Bishop of the ward as well. Didn't think that we had a good relationship because it was previously strained just a little bit by some other missionaries, but he gave me a hug which warmed my heart quite a bit. It also made Elder Fell feel a lot better about the area knowing that things where pretty good with the Bishop. We as missionaries work very closely with members. Times have changed, and really the best way to find someone that is interested in investigating the church is through members that have had a powerful influence on them as they live the gospel.

The new ward... Well needless to say it is AMAZING. there is a totally different spirit about missionary work here. I got to baptize someone on the mission! The previous missionary in the area and Elder Fougerous had taught a Less-Active families children. unfortunately the previous Elder that had a pretty good relationship with them was transferred. So I walked in and was able to baptize Jared. These children are amazing. Their parents are as well. Their mother(or Aunty for Mia the little girl) is a strong member now after being re-activated. Her partner is a humble man who has been coming to church recently. He is probably the next person to be baptized in the near future. He has been to church 2 times all ready, and stood up in priesthood and said that "He is here to stay". We have got some teaching ahead of us to do. The Bishop and the Aux leaders are on the ball with missionary work I was blown away with how involved they where. Now it is up to me (I am Senior Companion now) to catch the train and make sure that I can keep up with the Ward in the work that they are doing! It has been a bit of a whirl wind of new names and faces to keep track of, a new area book to work with and new investigators. I love my companion of course, we are getting along real well. His name I have mentioned before is Elder Fougerous, and he is from........ Tahiti! He is real cool, and has been out on the mission just a little bit longer than me. He speaks pretty good English. His native tongue is French and Tahitian. Pretty neat to have such a cool companion. He has been in the area for a while so I have been letting him show me area a bit.

Needless to say things are pretty good here. I am excited. It is certainly nice to be in a new area, but I do miss the people in my last area for sure. I wish I could tell you guys everyhting that has happened but it is simply not possible. There are some great missionaries in the Panmure Zone and some great things happening. I haven't moved to far geographically. I am actually pretty close to the other side of my first area Onehunga. Lots of people here in the Wuipuna Ward know people for my first ward. A few relatives live here as well form my first ward. New Zealand is a pretty small place. It is not unusual to think of it as a small world because we meet so many people that all ready know people that we have met before! 

I am happy that the family is doing well. Thank you for the e-mails as well. The carnival must have been a blast! 

Oh and just a side question, do you guys still got the tandem bicycle with you? I think I am going to give it the code name... "the Dating Machine". Hope that gives you guys a few chuckles.

You got a picture of the Baptism, Jared and Mia. I baptized Jared and Confirmed him. The picture of the cat is "Precious" she is just a big fat cat that the Tua'aho's own. She is the best. She would climb on our laps during the lesson and she would always want attention. Elder Rogers wasn't to keen because he was Allergic to cats! But they took that picture and sent it to me, so I figured I would send it home to you guys.

Love You All!

Love,
Elder Ward


Elder Fougerouse and I with Elder Johnston poking his head in.(Our Zone Leader)




Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sadly...

Well I built up this week quite a bit in the last letter that I sent home to you guys. unfortunately Frankie didn't work out. She wanted us to meet her outside of the area which doesn't really work to well for us at all. We may try to have missionaries in that are try and visit her, but for some reason doing it at home or at the chapel just simply does not work for her. That was a bit of a disappointment. Also as well as Michael. We have not had any contact with him. People work to much here in NZ!

We had interviews with President this week. I got to got into the City! Pretty cool stuff. I didn't see anything to cool but, The chapel was neat. I think it was the first chapel built in NZ form what I have heard. I was able to talk with President Balli for a little bit. he gave me some wonderful council in various things. I was feeling a bit depressed having not had any success in the Mt. Albert. Area, he also notified me that I would be transferring out of the area. It has been 6 months of tough work. Needles to say missionary work isn't just about the baptisms only. I have made some wonderful friends with the members here, and as well as the recent converts to. I hope to keep in touch with them after the mission as well. Hopefully I will be able to get pictures so that you guys can see some of the people that I have been working with. I know that I have helped the members and that the recent converts that I have met are still going strong. 

It's not like we haven't been teaching anyone either. Faa is progressing slowly but steadily, and Howard as well has slowed quite a bit but yet he is still doing well, he is also stuck in that mud hole of work. I guess you could say that I have planted the seeds. Faa was suppose to come to church this Sunday, but unfortunately work jumped in the way so he was unable to make it. I hope I get to see him before I leave the area. Once again people really work way to much here in this area of NZ. He is doing awesome though. He has been reading on his own, and has been praying as well. His Word of Wisdom has been coming along slowly but surely, according to his Girly friend Si-i. I am pleased about that. I have also kept a very diligent area book. Some missionaries don't really touch it, but I know that having a good area book really helps missionaries who are coming in to the area to get an idea of what has happened in the past, and what there is to do. I know that it can be great finding tool for the future missionaries. Especially those people who may not be quite ready but in the future will be.

I have no idea where I am going. I won't know untill Wednesday, so it is exiting but I am dreading it a bit because I am so use to the area. It feels like home. I am great friends with Land Lady who is a devout Catholic and loves having the missionaries stay in her lower flat. It's going to be like starting all over again. I guess you could say this will be my first big transfer of my mission. I have only been transferred once and that was within the same Zone. I often talked with the Elders Serving in my first area to see how things where going with a few of the people that I knew. There is a chance I could go back to my old area! you never know. Recently a lot of missionaries have been moving back to there old areas or near. So you never know. I have got an adventure ahead of me for sure.

Sorry for the short e-mail I am a bit short on time. We are going to the Auckland Museum Lots of picture taking for sure! Take care and don't have to much fun exploring Europe. You guys have been everywhere my goodness.

Love,
Elder Ward

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Goodness!

Well this week was a bit tough once again. Elder Fell and I had very few teaching opportunities. Which stunk. Haven't had any contact with Faa, and Howard is really getting caught up in life. We will keep trying and praying none the less! Michael I think I mentioned him last week didn't work out they where busy all week long. As well as that Pentecostal family that we spoke with. They where there for the appointment that we had set up with them. We are hoping to bump into them in the near future again and see if they are willing to be taught.

We did have one really wonderful miracle happen. Elder Fell and I where biking back to the flat to end our day. I saw a woman walking of the the foot path and went ahead and then decided to talk with her. Frankie was coming home from working at Pizza hut. Turns out that she was high School age, which can be a bit awkward at times because doesn't really look good. But none the less I wasn't to sure what was going to happen, as we talked she mentioned that she had been on the website of the church and had actually chatted with people online about the church. She said that she had some really great answers there. She was keen to learn and we gave her a BoM right there and got her contact information. Frankie's parents are Catholic, and they no longer live together. She lives with her Dad who apparently won't really care if we come around. So we are excited as she would like to learn more. We think that we have the greatest fellowship with for her, who also was of a Catholic background, a young lady, and a recent convert. We are hoping that we will be able to set as well this week for Baptism. Miracles always happen when you are least expecting them!

Well for Elder Fell and I we are getting along all right. It has not been easy or very pleasant at times. But we are doing our best to work together and accomplish the work that the Lord would have us do. We are having interviews with President this week. about every 3 months we get to an interview with him which I always look forwards to. It's the best being able to spend about 15min with him. Just you and him that is it.

I absolutely loved and enjoyed General Conference. It was such a blast. Because of 3 sessions on Saturday we hardly got any Proselyting time in. It was a bit of a bummer because Saturdays are pretty good days usually, but during one of the breaks. (The Morning and Afternoon) We got a real treat and went out west in the Zone for a bit of sight seeing I loved it so much! It was nice to get out of the suburb area and see some amazing scenery. I got some really great pictures. It was very refreshing and we had a good time. Nothing like it. New Zealand is very green, while driving by the forests I doubted you would be able to walk very easily through them because they where so greeen! I would really love to upload the pictures but all these computers seem to be bugged, and I don't wan't the memory to get ruined again so now I am trying to figure out which ones do and do not have it. Real sorry about that, maybe I can print them and then send them home.

Other than that I felt so uplifted by the messages that where shared. I really liked the Saturday morning Session with Elder D. Todd Christofferson. He is probably my favorite apostle and I really enjoy his talks as they are simple and straight forwards. I have found a number of his talks in the flat lately and ahve studied them. I also liked President Uchtdorfs talks as well of course(bet you can't guess why). They really talked about sustaining the prophet on Sunday! Boy they really emphasized that and it certainly gave me a better understanding of it for sure.

So I will be sending a letter home this week to you guys. I might be able to get some pictures of the onsie event of the sisters. We will have to see though.....

Thanks for sending the picture of Grandpa, I really loved it, I do miss him! Tell him I love him!

Thank you all so much,

Love,
 Elder Ward







Sunday, October 12, 2014

Family Letter

I don't really know how to start off this letter for the week other than by acknowledging it. haha. Anyways we have seemed to have lost all of our progressing investigators. Faa, Howard and Caroline (as mentioned last week) Yes Faa we no longer consider progressing because we simply have not been able to see him! even our weekly appointments are no longer happening on a regular basis. it has probably been about 3 weeks since we had a lesson with him. He is still working really hard on the word of wisdom, but until he can come to church, he can't get baptized, so that is probably the biggest hurdle. 

Howard we had a really great chat with Saturday Morning. We really uplifted him and we where able to help him feel the spirit. Whenever we are with him he says "I real want to go to church!" but once we leave, he returns to his world of taking care of his family and work and then he becomes tired and the motivation to go to church is gone. We popped by his place just before church to make sure that he was up and ready to go, like he wanted us to, but he unfortunate didn't come for some reason. :( Elder Fell and I aren't to sure of what we should do. Just keep loving and encouraging him. Maybe it just isn't quite the right time our it's going to take a bit longer than I think. We will keep seeing him though for sure.

We have found a few people though this week. There is a guy named Michael that we talked to as he sat on his porch, he himself is 7th day Adventist, but he does have family who are members. He was interested and expressed a desire to learn and investigate the Book of Mormon thoroughly. We got high hopes for him, got to do our best with teaching and making sure that he feels the spirit. 

We met another really kind family who has invited us over for the week, they are Pentecostal, which is a bit of a worry because they often times love to bash. And you can never bash when you have different interpretations of the same Bible. But they as well (including all the people here in New Zealand) have family that are members of the church. They said that they have a copy of the Book of Mormon so I think they are going to have some really good questions about it. We are going to need the spirit in the lesson for sure. 

So alot of our training for us missionaries lately has been on Family History. The church is providing familys with "My Family" booklets that we fill out and we can then use to show people what family history is all about. I think it is great because I have met some amazing people that are really interested in this sort of thing. It gives us an opportunity to teach them about temples and the importance of them and the significant role that they play in our lives. So I have been filling mine out. I have logged on to familysearch.org and have filled out most of the dates and names for everyone. Except for those like the Children of Grandma and Grandpa.. Those names and dates are not entered. As well as on Dads side. It isn't super necessary information, its just that even just the names would be great. I can remember most of my Aunts and Uncles however I want to be sure that it is right. As well as for pictures, there aren't any pictures for Grandma unfortunately and some are in a format that I am unable to printout here at the print shops. So I wondering if you guys  could maybe enter that information in, or just send me the names. And then could you send me the pictures (It just needs to be the face or the picture form the portrait view of the individual) in a jpeg image format. you may have to ask Stuart about that. They are the ones that can be printed off at the photo shops. I know its a lot, I may need to further clarify what I need. So all the images of my Grandparents, and great grandparents,  in a j peg format. you can get the images off the website they just need to be in a jpeg format. some are not I think and I can't convert them because I can't scroll through google and get converting software. and then the names of the children on Dads parents side, and Moms parents side. I don't expect it all by next week, see what you can do and if works out that would be great!

Things have been better with Elder Fell and I. Not perfect, but better. We had a chance to talk with president this week, and helped my companion out quite a bit. Since then things have been better and improving. I have been felling a bit stressed lately with the area and what not. 7 months without baptizing anyone, it feels normal now to not baptize, because I haven't had happen for a while. I don't like it, but I am doing my best to remain postive and give everyone a chance to feel the Saviors love. 

Yesterday I had a chance to help a Lady out. She has talked with missionaries before. Not super interested but she is Christian. She tolf how her partner drinks a lot and savors the fact that he does not follow God as his parents did who are Pastures. It was interesting, but I was able to bear testimony that the Savior knows how she feels, and cares for her. She was smiling by the time we ended the short conversation. That was probably the highlight of my week. I really enjoyed it, and I could feel the spirit when I talked with her for sure. That's my goal for everyone that I talk with just let them walk away feeling better about themselves and God. I love it when people do that for me. :D

Anyways, a bit of a shorter e-mail this week. I am looking forwards to general conference this week. Missionary Christmas! Ahhhhhh! I will probably be talking about it a lot next e-mail.

Got a picture of Elder Fell and I in there! Camera is back up in running.

Take Care,
Love,
Elder Ward

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Well:/ but:D

This week I would have to say was a bit rough. Elder Fell is a bit different than what I am use to. You could say that he gets annoyed very easily at the littlest things that I I don't even mean to do. Which annoys me in return... Needless to say I often try to have very open discussions to really break up the issues so we can work it out and move on with out any contention in the companionship. Things haven't been all terrible, we have had a few funny moments for sure. I have been praying quite fervently because it hasn't been easy! I have seen them get answered though have we have been able to work through things.

But it wasn't necessarily the contention that made the week rough, it was more of the lack of people to see! Caroline... don't know what happened to her. She doesn't answer her door nor her phone. So we are saddened by that. We think that it may have been some family issues. Not to sure. what happened.

Howard has been struggling a little bit. At the moment there has just been a lot going on with family and he has just been very busy with work! So he has often relied on smoking to keep him awake while driving. He gets little sleep, and his life style isn't to supportive of him trying to get in line with the gospel. So we are still seeing him. He has read through 1 Nephi which is awesome! We encouraged him to keep reading and working on getting things adjusted so he can attend church consistently. Other than that he is doing well, it may just take sometime for him to finally be ready.

I went on a trade off with a Samoan Elder who has been out for 3 months. Loved every minute of it. He is form the Island of Samoa, they always have great stories! But being a young Elder I had a bit of a look back into what I was like in the past. Pretty cool. I loved him, he was full of energy and just loved the work, kept up with me just fine on the Bike and we just had a great time serving! His name was Elder Tonumeipia, hope I get to go on another one with him soon.

This week we spent a lot of time talking with people on the streets and did end up knocking a few doors. It was just inevitable. It was either that, or riding around the area knocking on doors of people who weren't to interested that we knew would not be home. We simply did our best. We are encouraging the members to do some work. Invite there friends, and family, we have given them commitments to hand out pass along cards to there friends when a missionary moment comes up. Hopefully some good stuff happens!

All right so for general conference here we watch it a week late because of the time awkwardness. Because when general conference is given, if we where to watch it live it would end up being on Monday because we are a day ahead! So you guys will have to tell about it and how it was. I certainly be paying close attention. I remember the first one that I went, I felt like it was so short! This was because I came "seeking" I was looking for answers to my questions and for further enlightenment. Kind of the same idea with having 3 questions in mind. However certainly though having specific questions is probably best, you will then in turn have have a specific answers. Including finding answers to questions that you didn't even have.

I was unable to tell you guys of a baptism of an 8 year old that we had in our Ward. We tried getting a few of our investigators there but unfortunately it did not work out to well. I was invited to give a talk on Faith, Repentance and as well as baptism. Which was a real privilege. She was excited and it was great to be at a baptism. It has been over 7 months I think, so it has been a real challenge I have to say.  It was pretty cool because this family name is Winitana, and brother Winitana is actually brother with Poara Winitana. Who has a Mormon Message. Turns out that his brother came so I got to meet him and as well as took a picture with him after the baptism, because I couldn't really help myself, not usually a fan person, but I mean ya he was a real nice guy and it was pretty cool. Anyways the Baptism was great and I really enjoyed it. I took a picture with the mother and London the little girl baptized as well. So that was a really great experience attending a baptism and as well as speaking at one.  The pictures where not taken with my camera, I am still getting the memory fixed, a member is working it out but he is a very busy guy and so I don't want to rush him or be pushy, it is all almost worked out so I should have my camera by next week for sure.

http://www.mormonchannel.org/Im-a-mormon?v=1377542447001 His Mormon message

P-day last week was pretty fun. Well, at first it was a bit of a dud because it had been raining a lot and the fields where muddy as could be. Our district came to a park and we sat around and had a chat ate some snacks and what not. A few of the  sisters and missionaries came in there onsies, or the full suit pajama jumpers. Ya... they have become a bit of a fad around here in NZ and of course among the missionaries. I don't have one. I have been tempted to join the party, but they are like $30, and I am trying not to spend to much money out here, as I feel like I have all ready spent a lot. Making wise purchases. Often when I buy something I consider if I really need and whether I will be able to take it home with me or not. On P-days we will sometimes walk though the mall to get various things, like getting a watch fixed, and they will have kiosks and they will have poke-mon, movie characters and what not. So they are a bit of a craze. So a few missionaries where in there onsies and we where all standing around and asked ourselves, "why not go for the mud?" So we started playing touch (Touch football, same as Rugbie just no tackle) in the mud, and some of the Elders and Sisters played in their onsies. Our Zone Leaders showed up later on and they are both very tall missionaries, one of them had a giraffe onsie I thought it was histarical. My district leader is a real cool big Samoan Elder, he had a pikachu onsie which was fantastic. We where all sliding and getting dirty, it was pretty great stress relieving for sure. We where all dirty as could be, but it was totally worth it.

Hope you guys enjoyed the stories, cool things are happening, not as much spiritual experiences or great teaching experiences, but none the less a great e-mail about the mission I think!

Thanks for the advice Dad, being bold is something that is often talked about in the mission, and not being shy and timid. It can be really hard with asking people to change when has been there life style for their whole life! But none the less they are changing for the Lord not us! I think for temperature it gets up to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, not to hot but humid as! and December/ Jan would probably be the hottest parts of the year.

Thank you guys so much, I loved the e-mails this week. Take care and love you all!


Love,
Elder Ward



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Elder Ward's Miracle Moment

For my miracle it would have to be working with one of our most
faithful, investigators. When we first started teaching him he was a
bit shy and timid. Didn't say to much, but I do certainly remember the
spirit that we felt as we knelt down and he prayed after the
Restoration lesson that my companion and I taught. It was strong, and
everyone in the room felt it. Something that I will never forget.

Ever since then, our investigator was faithful with keeping his
commitments to pray, and read the scriptures everyday. He did and you
could see within him something changing. It warmed my heart of the
experiences that he would have, and how he felt as he would pray and
keep the commitments that we gave him. In particular the Word of
Wisdom was challenge for him. Not being able to attend Church has also
been a challenge for him as well, making it difficult for him to gain
the spiritual recharge that he needs to over come the challenges that
he has had to face. He struggled for the longest time but focused on
reading from the scriptures, and praying faithfully. he came to church
when he could. Our YSA representative mentioned to us that in an YSA
activity he bore his testimony about his experience with the Restored
gospel and how it has blessed his life. It stunned everyone when he
mentioned that he was simply an investigator. "It was so simple and
yet so powerful" it was described to me.

Our investigator really let the spirit in his life work and the Lord
blessed him so much, because of his simple desire to follow the
example of the Savior. He failed a few times, we kept up lifting him
and encouraging him to keep trying. He kept improving and changing. I
can only imagine how hard it must be to break a lifetime habit that
has been used to make someone simply feel normal and happy. Last
Sunday (21-Sept-14) our faithful investigators was able to come to
church. Something that he is still working on, as work is very tedious
and demanding. Having not seen him for while, he told us that he had
not smoked for 1 whole week, and he thanked me for helping him change
his life. I simply said "It is not me it is our Father in Heaven". Our
investigator thanking me for the gospel in his life really touched my
heart, and I felt like I had really fulfilled my purpose as a
missionary in bringing him closer to his Savior, and becoming more
worthy to one day make an eternal covenant with his Father in Heaven.

Spaghetti....

Teaching wise things have been a bit of a struggle. We have lost contact with Caroline since our last awesome lesson. Not to sure what happened. We have knocked nearly everyday, and we know she is home and busy, however no one comes to the door. We are suspecting it is the Family. Not sure we will have to find out for sure. Howard we got to talk with him as well he said that he would be coming to church for sure this week, he even promised! But he didn't come..... so that was a bit disappointing. Pretty sure that something came up, but Howard is still doing alright he is struggling with the Word of Wisdom but he is making improvements.Still a long way to go, because in order to get baptized he is going to need to get married as well. And his partner doesn't seem to excited about coming back to the gospel as well. I think a lot of comes down to his work schedule as he is very busy, and gets little sleep. Often times has to rely on smoking to keep him awake. So we will get there but it may be a long path. This week I would have to say is a bit tough. Didn't get a whole lot of chances to teach. I send another e-mail with my "Miracle moment" They have us send one in for a book that they make at the end of the year for all the missionaries. So this is what I sent in about Faa. He is doing really good and it has been a privilege to work with him for sure. He came to church last Sunday which was great. Now the only hurdle that we have to jump is getting Sundays of work. Then he should be able to get baptized as long as the Word of Wisdom is in order which so far he is really doing great! That was certainly the highlight of my week.

So for what happened with the experience similar to Dad's. Well I was on trade off one time with another Elder.This was the day before transfers last about 1 1/2 weeks ago. We where biking when all the sudden my poor 1/2year worn and torn bike decided to freak out on me. The chain slipped behind the gear sprockets in the rear and got stuck. This has happened before and I have fixed it. I had recently installed a breakable chain-link as well because my chain kept braking at one of the links that had gone bad. So I was going to take apart the chain and then slide it out and back into position with my trusty Leather man. When I took apart the breakable chain link one half was flung in the street because of the chain tension gears! I heard it bounce in the street... My companion only saw the direction that it flew. I looked for it in the street and couldn't find it. It probably was not 5 min when 3 YSA aged girls pulled up in a car and asked if we needed help. I explained what I was looking for and they parked and came and helped us look for it. Within less 2 min on of them found it and I was able to put the bike back together. Turns out they where members, and one of them was an RM as well. They watched me put it back together to make sure that we where all good. They saw that my hands where black and they ran and grabbed a bottle of water to rinse them of with. I thought we where in trouble and that we where going to be walking to our next appointment with a LA Lady, but within 5 min help was sent. within another 2 min the part was found, and we where back on the road. Elder Utia my District Leader was amazed at what happened so quickly and easily. Certainly an answer to a heartful prayer. I was certainly amazed as well. Clearly he was watching.

Elder Fell and I are not use to each other at all. He really liked his last area a lot and is certainly missing it. I have been doing my best to show him around the area, and continue to teach the investigators that we have. We don't really get along mainly do to obedience. He isn't as gun hoe as me. I will usually set the alarm 10min early and get up then at about 6:20 to make sure I get up on time and get a jump start on shaving and brushing taking care of all that daily stuff before I go exercise. My companion doesn't really like that, and doesn't like getting up on time either. This bugs me a bit. All of my companions in the past have had no issues with that so I have never had issues. I have talked a bit about it with him. But its not really a big deal to him. Anyways I have tried to show love and ask if there is anything I can do to help out, but haven't really gotten anywhere. He is improving, he is using his planner and he hasn't really used it much before. We do have our laughs though, he does teach well. So all I can really do is set the example and show love and encourage him.

Anyways things are good, and as for the spaghetti on toast question... I think i have been served 1 time. I don't think it is to popular among the Islanders. So I am not to sure. Maybe in other areas that I will serve in the future. I haven't heard that about that the Moari language doesn't have curse words either.... Haven't been around them to much though in the Central area of Auckland.

Hopefully the car gets worked out, that must have been real scary! Weird to.....

So glad Eric is ok, that must have been really scary! 

Take care love you all and thanks for the e-mails,

Love, Elder Ward

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Progressing Still Miracles as Well...

This week has been crazy. We had transfers and Elder Rogers
unfortunately had to go. It was great to have him as a companion
because he was just as motivated and hard working as me. He supported
me in my personal goals to become better and I did as well. I can't
say that we liked each other all that much. We both did things that
just annoyed the stuffing out of each other, but we had some really
great moments on the mission that I will cherish most certainly.

My new Companion is Elder Fell. He is an Aussie, and he has been out
in the mission just a transfer( 6 weeks) more than me. So I am showing
him around the area doing my best to introduce him to all the
investigators and Ward members that we have. It's different.. Elder
Fell and I are gonna need some getting use to. I was with Elder Rogers
for 4 1/2 months so ya you do find your comfort zone after a while.
Well I have a new District and Zone Leaders now because our ward that
we serve in is now part of a different Stake. So I can say now that I
have served in 2 different Zones! and only 2 areas, haha. But that is
all good, some really great things are happening.

We saw Howard last week, and he has been working hard to get in line
with the word of Wisdom, it has been a challenge. After all you are
asking them to change life time habits. But he has been trying for
sure. Last week at the lesson we taught him more specifically getting
a witness that the Book of Mormon was true. Because we know he wants
to quit for Health Reasons, and as well as financial reasons(If you
thought they where expensive in the States, you should see how much
they are here, like $20 a pack), but we want Howard to quit also
because he knows God is out there and he loves him. Reading and
praying about the BoM is one of the best ways. So after a whole week
of practically hearing nothing form him(He is always losing his phone)
We saw him last night. He was happy to see us, he even introduced
himself to Elder Fell which says something! But we chatted for a bit
to find out that he had relapsed quite hard, we didn't condemn him or
tear him down, we told him his Father in Heaven still loved him and
wanted him to keep trying. He said he wanted to be honest with us
which we appreciated because it makes it so much easier down the road.
Anyways, I guess you could say we re committed him to it and to keep
trying. We did ask him about the BoM and if he has prayed about it.
The answer he gave was amazing. He said "Ya I did, and I felt peace
inside, the only way I can describe is like rough water becoming calm,
and I just felt peace full inside". That really humbled me, he then
went on to describe that he felt as if Joseph Smith was giving us more
to apply to our day and learn from, he gave us more than the Bible. I
was amazed that he came to this conclusion, because we haven't really
even taught him that! He also mentioned how it has applied to his
life. He talked about how it says that we should not rummer against
our fathers in relation to Laman and Lemuel, and how he thought of it
one time when he was murmuring against his own Father. I though it was
great, because he is getting a testimony of how the scriptures apply
to our lives. We are going to be teaching him this evening. Probably
the biggest hold up is the partner. She is Less Active and she isn't
very motivated to do anything at all. Hopefully she comes because we
want her to get involved of course. Tonight we are going to teaching
bit about the temples, as well as raising our children in
righteousness. It should be good, we have taught Howard just about
everything, we are now just filling in the cracks, and giving him a
more full picture of what we are teaching towards.

Caroline has been doing well. We had a lesson with her at a members
home this week and we also had Katrina there (a really strong recent
convert), this was the day Elder Fell got transferred into the area,
and we taught more around the gospel of Christ, we talked a bit about
baptism. Eventually during the lesson Caroline mentioned that she
wanted to be baptized, and that she simply wanted to understand more
about how whether "Mormon" is for her. Thats where Katrina butted in
and bore a beautiful testimony about how she felt and how she came to
know it was true and was for her. The main reason being because it
brought her closer to Savior. We are excited, we have been able to se
her and how she has been doing. But we do need her to come to church.
In fact we need all of our investigators to come to church! Faa,
Howard, and Caroline. That has been an issue. But we know that once
she does, things will begin to click a lot better, and will straighten
there testimony.

Faa is doing good, we just need him to come to church. We should be
seeing him this week, we will be finding out how things have been
going for him and work as we did fast that he could get Sundays of or
find a new job. but church is what all of our investigators need right
now! We have been working with them for a while now, especially Faa,
sometimes I feel like they will never get there! Just got to have
faith, and keep working, and serving. That's all that we can do.

I had a miracle similar to Dads this week I don't have much more time
to type though so I will right about it next week for sure it was
really cool, and it was obvious that it simply was the hand of God in
what happened, similar to what happened with Dad. Next week for sure.

No pics, I am getting the camera memory fixed because of the viruses
finally. Next week for sure!

Love you all take care,

Love, Elder Ward

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ahhhh they're Moving!‏

This week felt a bit interesting. I felt a bit stressed this week in
regards to a lot of things. I have been praying a lot on my own time
(When Elder Rogers is in the Shower hehe) because the mission is
tough. It's crazy, the mission is really just about finding that
perfect balance between all the principles that we are encouraged to
follow. "All goods though I am doing" as a New Zealand Yoda would say.
I am trying to be funny, an attempt I would suppose. haha!

For this week we saw some good things happen. Faa, Howard, and
Caroline are are progressing! We did have some bad things happen. Ana
I think I e-mailed you guys about her last week unfortunately dropped
us. Since the beginning I thought I could tell that there was a little
something off. We had a chance to teach the restoration last weekend
that felt real good. This week however we received a text saying that
she wasn't really all that interested, and just wanted to know what we
had to share. She expressed that she wasn't really willing to act on
what we have showed(the acting would be to be baptized, or follow the
commitments that we give her) That was a pretty big bummer. I felt
like she was pretty sincere, but at some points it did feel like it
was a bit to sincere, Ah to be honest I can't really describe it, but
anyways she dropped us, we may pop around and say hello, ask if her if
she felt a bit to pressured, or see if she is still interested.

For Caroline this week, her countenance has changed a bit. Caroline
has always been shy to us, but we think that she has warmed up. As we
have continued to teach her she has pondered it quite a bit and
considered what we have taught. We asked on one of our door step
visits if she has been praying much at all. She expressed to us that
she had not been really. We encouraged her to continue to continue to
exercise her faith in reading the scriptures and of course begin to
pray on a more regular, and sincere basis. She also described to us
that the Kids can be a bit crazy with her at times, and we committed
her to do her best to have family prayers in the evening because that
always unites a family in there standing with there loving Father in
Heaven. Even if it was just her and her little ones. Doing so would
invite the spirit and will let Heavenly Father work in the home to
make it a happier and more loving place. She is doing great, and we
are planning on having a lesson at a members home this week with her
where we discuss a bit more on the covenant of baptism and what it can
mean to her, especially as she strives to build her relationship with
the Savior. She was unable to make it to church though. Her sister was
in the hospital for unfortunate reasons and was a bit occupied,
speaking of church we had stake conference!

Stake conference was a pretty big deal, the stake boundaries where
adjusted. I have spent my mission in Mt. Roskill my whole mission so
far. They adjusted the stake boundaries and had the Mt. Albert
Ward(the one that I serve at) join Water View Stake. So now I can say
that I have served in 2 different Zones! haha! So that was a neat
change. Transfers is coming up this week so this area will have
different Zone Leaders as well as a different District Leader. It is
going to be an interesting week. For what we know Elder Rogers or I
are going to be staying in the Area. Most likely me due to the fact
that Elder Rogers ahs spent 6 months of his mission her in the Mt.
Albert area. Lots of little interesting things happening in the area.
Oh! did you know that here in New Zealand the first Stake was
organized outside of the United States? It was of course called the
Auckaland Stake, but I thought that was a really cool little fun fact.
It is suppose to have happened around 1958 when the New Zealand Temple
was built. Pretty cool stuffs. Oh and President Sid Going was at the
conference as well, I got to shake his hand, as well as his wife hand
Sister Going. President Going is the temple President for the New
Zealand Temple. Pretty cool! I remember watching this video before
going on my mission!
http://www.mormonchannel.org/youth-videos?v=1450710916001

Back to investigators. Howard has been doing well also. He has been
struggling with the word of wisdom. But he has made some great
progress. Because of the word of Wisdom not allowing Tea(what he has
used in the past to try and replace smoking when he has tried to quit)
he now just drinks a glass of water and he finds that helps him out
quite a bit. Really good stuff. We should be having a lesson with him,
bu the Tonga Family is a bit busy though this evening so we are going
to have to work out those details today. Fun!

Faa has been doing awesome. His main concern is getting church. There
is no point in baptizing if they can't come to church to be confirmed
a member of the church the next day, or continue to come to nourish
their testimony. When we had the lesson with Faa that day I was on a
Trade off with Elder Smith our Zone Leader, we had a 24 hour trade off
so it was like a sleep over. The best. Elder Smith has been a Zone
leader of the Mt. Roskill zone for quite a while. I have had chances
to go on trade offs with him before. He has been an awesome example
for me to follow and look up to. He was great to have in the lesson,
and the day went really well, we had 3 great lessons with
investigators other than the progressing ones that I have been talking
about. Each with there different out comes. There are a few in our
area that haven't really progressed nor are willing to. Faa was
highlight. it had been a while since we had seen him last due to the
fact that he has been working so much. He is still facing challenges
with the word of wisdom. Elder Smith and I taught that coming to
church each Sunday is very important, not only in renewing our
baptismal covenants, but keeping our selves more unspotted form the
world as it says in D&C 59. That was the only part that we emphasized
with him. We didn't read the section or go into more detail we simply
told him that he would be strengthened if he could make it to church
in his desire to come in line with the word of wisdom. That was
something that I learned form Elder Smith is just teaching simply and
plainly, I think sometimes Elder Rogers and I try to go into the
doctrine and pull out all the scriptures and through them at the
investigators. During the day I found out that Elder Smith was
actually on his last week in the mission. I was so surprised and a bit
shocked, because I didn't know that he was going home so soon! I happy
though that it was such a great day and did thank him for spending one
of the last days of his mission with me on a trade off. He thanked me
for providing him with such a great day, which I was very happy about!
Anyways so we fasted for Faa this weekend that he would work it out
with work or find a new job that would let him come to church, we will
be following up with him soon!

That's about it for our really good investigators, it has been a
blessing to actually find new people and teach them and watch them
exercise there faith in the gospel, and continue to build more of it.
It builds my testimony of the gospel and the power it really has.
Especially as I and the people we teach really on the Savior more and
more.

So for questions, how far form the mission home? I don't really
know.... Not to far maybe about a half hour drive if I remember
correctly. I have only been there once and that was at the beginning
of my mission! But I know that I am not far. that one tree hill
monument they took us to at the beginning of my mission has always
been near by where I have served

The Temple? probably about 2 hours. It is outside of the NZAM
boundaries actually. It is in the Hamilton mision, as well as the MTC.
I went through it in the MTC as some missionaries, a few from Papa Nue
Guini had not received there endowment. and then at Christmas I will
have the chance of going to Temple, I should be able to go at the end
of next year just before I go home as well. That should be cool!

Thanks so much I love you all! Glad to hear that things are going
well. I think the change with Seminary is brilliant. I wish that it
would been like that for me, because I would have been much more
diligent with my reading and gathering of scriptural knowledge.

Love, Elder Ward