Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Work Proceeds

Hello Mom!,
One of the many ways our Heavenly Father Blesses the lives of his children is through Families! I know that to be true! It is great to hear that you guys got my letters. I will look into sending a package back to you so that you guys can enjoy a bit of New Zealand. Hopefully it doesn't cost to much, but it should worth it no matter. The tandem Bicycle sounds like so much fun. It would be great to have one of those on a mission!! haha but ya you guys are not allowed to sell until I come back.

Things have been going great here. There is a guy named Mace, he is 19, and has a partner, who is pregnant with someone elses baby. Probably before they met of course. Anyways he is looking forwards to helping his partner raise the child, and actually wanted to have it baptized. Which is really touching, and shows you how sincere he is. but we had to kindly explain that babies are perfect when they are born and that we only baptize when they turn 8 years old. His partner is actually a less active member, and she is looking to get back into he church, and hopefully getting married in the temple. So It has been a wonderful experience showing with him the Book of Mormon, and then also talking about how he can still bless his baby after it is born with the Priesthood.  He is amazing, and his partner has all ready taught him so much about the church! Pray for him and that he may continue to have a burning desire to learn more of the church and its wonderful blessings!

Oh had we did have a baptism! A less active member brought her grandson the ward mission leader with the desire for him to be baptized. He is 11 and he had all ready had the lessons, to me and Elder De Kock went over the lessons and we where blessed to be able to witness and help with baptism on the 19th. I don't have pictures, but my companion does so I will have to get them from him.

I have sent some pics, One of me and my companion, after we had gotten our hair cut by a fellow named monga, hes going to be going on a mission soon!

And then there is one of a plate of food that was given to us by the members.

and of course I got to go through the NZ Temple!

Anyways so much to talk about so little time. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jan 13, 2014

Sounds like things are going ok for you guys. Well I would like to send pictures but there isn't an SD card slot on this computer so I cant transfer the photos. I will probably try to buy an adapter next P-day so I can send some home to you guys. To be honest I havn't taken to many because I have been so busy with the mission! There really isn't enough time to stop take the camera out of the bag and then take the picture and then keep on riding! Ah ok well I will try to take some when I can for sure! The area reminds me of Henderson NV, yes the houses are kind of similar, a bit run down maybe, but a whole lot greener!

Well me and Elder De Kock have lots of investigators. The trouble has been not being able to see them at their appointments! about 80% of the time they are not home. So we can end up spending a whole day just riding around just trying to catch people in their homes. But needless to say we do have a few progressing investigators. Ya its been good out here in the field. We haven't baptized anyone yet. We have met a lot of people on the streets, that say they wouldn't mind having us come by, but then the challenge is actually seeing them at their house. We have "set" a few younger boys for baptism. "Setting" is where you basically ask the investigator to be baptized at the first lesson... Ya it seems a bit much. But it is what the mission president wants us to do. But most importantly it gives something for the investigator to work for, if they are truly motivated. The problem with the 3 boys that we currently have set is.. That they are boys, so they are often busy, and they all ready have a catholic background, so they don't really feel the need to find a new religion,or  have religion in their life at all. Also ya, we are just really working on trying to meet up with them again, and get them truly excited about it. So thats a little taste of missionary work. Even though they are boys, we are still putting our best foot forwards because they are important to Heavenly Father to!

 I have improved alot with my teaching, and just being able to draw people to want to know more about the gospel. Thats something about missionary work, you cant just start reciting paragraphs form PMG. You teach to their spiritual needs, and make them want more. Then you can have the spirit their to help them to understand and know that it is true. So ya no baptisms yet, but it will happen! The people are very friendly here.  

Got to go take care, lots of love!

-Elder Ward

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Warm" Wishes

Yes I am out of the MTC. The MTC was great experience, and I learned a lot. One of the blesings that I have received is the ability to sit through Church, or any meeting with out a single thought of how long and boring it is. In the MTC we probably had about 9 hours of class time a day. They gave us Christmas day and Eve off so we did miss out on some good learning opportunities. I was the only American Elder in the MTC, there where 3 Sisters from America. other than that there where Tongans, Samoans, Tahitians, all a jolly bunch of saints. At times they where a bit rowdy, but that is part of their culture. They will eat food right off your plate if your not watching!

Anyways I am now in the field in an area called Onehunga. The church is strong here, and the non-members are kind torwards us. I am with Elder De Kock (Hes form South Africa, and is white). He has been out weeks, so he is still pretty darn fresh to. A complete training time is 12 weeks! so he kind of got the short end of the stick. He loves rudby so he is a pretty well built guy. I have been doing my best to help him out so I am not as much of a burden on him. We bike everywhere we go, and Elder De Kock is quite amazing with sharing the gospel with people. I have tried a few times, but it's a bit difficult, as expected, I often don't know what to say or know how to get them talking. Any ways it has only been 5 days, so I think that is expected. I have helped teach few lessons to investigators, however most of the time when we setup appointments, we knock on the door to find that no one is home. So its a lot of riding around, which I do enjoy. The sun is intense here, 

I am glad that you got to go back to the states and attend Grandmas funeral. It sounds like it was a good experience. Tell Grandpa I love him and that I wish I could spend more time with him playing checkers and learning from the best! It sounds like the kids had a good time building an igloo, except for maybe Eric.... He needs some better snow gear so he can be happy in the snow! But he will grow quick though. Oh there is so much to tell but so little time. I am just a "little" jealous about the fireworks.

That's to bad about your phone! hopefully it can be fixed and be as good as new! Surprisingly I haven't missed the phone to much, I have just been really focused on the mission and trying to do my best. Ok well I have to go, I look forwards to telling you more next week and hearing about what is going on! Hopefully I will have a few miracles to tell you guys about also.

Lots of Love,
Elder Ward

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Headed into the Field

We got an e-mail from the mission president today letting us know that Elder Ward has been assigned to an area and has a companion:)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Letter from Elder Ward 12/30/2013

Hello Mom!
It is great to finally hear from you guys! I think it has been something like 2 weeks since I have heard anything from you guys. Well the MTC has been good. I have had lots of ups and downs. I kind of had to rebuild my testimony for a bit and strengthen my own a bit better, as I relised that I kind of needed to strenthen mine so it could be up to par with missionary work. I think once I finally get out into the feild it wont be hard for me to get lost in the work, and the sky will be the limit form there. I hope my eyes will be more open to the miracles that are happening around me. But tommorow I leave the MTC, and get assigned with my trainer companion. I dont know who he is or where I will be in Auckland till tommorow. I think that they will let me e-mail, again when I arrive in the feild.
It is very saddening to hear of Grandma. I will miss her so much. I remember going over to Grandma and Grandpas house when I was little, and always loving it. Those are cherished memories for me, and I will certainly miss her dearly. I am thankful for the comfort that the gospel gives, it's comforting to know that she is with family now. And I do pray for Grandpa that he can be comforted. I do miss him very dearly, and cherish all the memories that we have made together as family.
I will contiinue to serve my mission of course as that is what they would certainly want me to do. Serve the Lord to my fullest ability.
Lots of Loves,
Elder Ward

Letter from Elder Ward 12/22/2013

Hello Family!
It is so great to e-mail you guys! I 'm sorry for not e-mailing right when I arrived at the MTC. I just wanted to let you know that the flight was rather smooth. All the transitions, security checks and find ing all the gates went quite smooth. The only hard part was sitting on the plane for soooooooooo long. I did get a chance to talk to a few peopel about what I am doing and what our church is. One fellow reconized me as missionary, and he asked a few questions and I was able to help him gain a better understanding of our church. He had an interesting back ground. He had dual citizenship in America, and Switzerland, and he lived in Tawain, for work. It was very nice to talk to him, I was feeling quite alone being surrounded by people who where form tawian and only spoke Manderin, and people form India. They have the strangest language, and it amazes me that they can communicate by it.
Anyways right when I walked into the MTC they fed us. They do feed us very well here! The food is good, but it is also different, they have bread with cream cheese and jam every meal here. THey say that it is a "filler". I think we where part of the last group to arrive the MTC to arrive so they had allready started all the lessons and devotionals. Our days are so busy here, they plan our days down to the minute! We are so busy that it is difficult to find time to even plan for a talk that we have to give! It hasn't been easy being here at the MTC, I have lots of mixed emotions, especially with being away from home. It's not easy, and I am really trying hard to become a strong missionary that has the spirit as a companion constantly. The missionaries here are amazing as well. There a missionaries from France, Tongo, Mongolia, Austrialia, Tahiti, Papa New Guini, nad so many more places. The Tongans are probably the funniest, they laugh at everything, and are very joyous. Ok well I have so much to tell but they are telling us that we are out of time! I sent a letter yesterday so Merry Christmas. Love you so much!
Elder Ward

Send Off December 17, 2013

Elder Ward was scheduled to leave from the Catania airport, but due to a very active Mt. Etna, the airport was shut down for several days.  To be on the safe side, his flight was changed to leave from Palermo.  James and I drove with Elder Ward across Sicily to reach the new departure place.  It was a beautiful drive.  He called Grandpa from the airport to say good bye, then we sent him through security...watching until we couldn't see him anymore.  From the time we said good bye to the time he set foot in New Zealand, the total travel time was 36 hours!!

December 16, 2013

Elder Ward was set apart by the Sicily Stake President the night before leaving to New Zealand.  Elder Hatch is a missionary serving here in Sicily.  He served as interpreter for us.  It was a beautiful setting apart and afterwards, the Stake President embraced Elder Ward in an arm hug around his head.  He was a very kind and loving man.