Sunday, March 2, 2014

February 16, 2014

Hello Family!
Things have been going well. Unfortunately, it has been a bit of a slow week. School has started up, and there aren't so many people out on the street as their use to be. It has been tough teaching lessons. Me and Elder De Kock are on bikes, and without a cell phone, so it is really difficult to make sure that people remember appointments, and are there and ready to learn about the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ! It gets really frustrating, when you have knock on all the doors of the people that have expressed some form of interest, and none of them are home, or are really keen on learning it anymore. The people here are quite religious as I have mentioned before in previous letters. It can be difficult to get them to recognize that are church is something more than attending on Sunday. Often times they say "Oh we all pray, and believe in the same God, so go save someone else that doesn't!" Makes me want to say  "Ephesians 4:5 - One Lord one faith, one Baptism," ! and a whole host of other scriptures! Haha but no that's not what we do as missionaries, often times I just tell them about the Book of Mormon and how precious is it is to our church and how it can really continue to build upon the faith that they all ready have. Many times they have family remember or friends who are member's of the church. We often ask what they have learned from their family members, and then try to explain more so they have a better understanding of what are church is all about. There are a number of ways that we try to talk to people. I think people here are so stuck with the church that they have been brought up in, that it can be difficult to look at other churches, and see what they believe in. That's why am grateful for our church and how we are encouraged to study other faiths, and see what they believe. We have spoken with a few people that have been instructed to not look into other faiths, and hold up their hand a say go away when we try to just have neighborly chat with them. My favorite people to talk to are those who listen to what we have to say, ask questions, and then explain what they believe themselves. That's when they learn, and I learn a ton. Both I and the investigator, get to learn so much more.

Ok well needless to say, Elder De Kock and I are always striving to be more effective in our teaching. We do have tough times, but we are always elated when we see a miracle happen! 

My studies in the Book of Mormon have been very good, I learned heaps about the Book of Mormon. I have never studied so carefully, and it really does seem to speak to you!`Look into Stuarts e-mail, for more on what I have been doing to study it.

Well jeez I wish I could be there to "help' with Eric's pinewood derby car. That was so much fun to build them. Good times. Hope fully he really enjoys making a really cool car! I need pics to of it!

Well am I glad that I brought that Leatherman. I have used it numerous times to tune up the brakes on the bikes real quick. But yesterday, there was an fellow that spoke a different language, a bit aged, and another lady who was in her 50's or so. They had a pitch fork, and where fiddling with something at the chainlink gate that surrounds their community of houses. In New Zealand, they provide housing for those who are unable to afford it, and quite poor. So there are many people who often are not well off in life that life in these government built houses which aren't to nice usually, and populate our area wuite a bit. Here in our area, there are many people with mental disorders, who receive lots of benefits from the government, to help them out in life.(as viewed by many)This includes medical, housing, and money for living. We have met a few people who are not to well off, and it has really been truly saddening to see them in such a condition. I have often tried to help, but it often backfires and things can get a bit scary. Aaaaannnnnnyyyyways these to people where trying to break a peice of chain that had been wrapped and locked around their gate so they could not get out.  We came over and tried to help them, the pitch fork  simply was not going to work. I thought of what else I could use and remembered that I had my leatherman on me. I grabbed it and used the file on it to cut the chain within about 5min. It was the kind of chain you find on a household swing set, a bit thin but still strong enough to really be a pain. I was felt like a hero and they where quite glad to have it off. I was impressed that it worked so well, at first I didn't think it was going to work but I kept going and it did! Later on though I discovered that there where other gates to the community, and I didn't dell so much as a hero. haha.

Love you guys so much!

-Love Elder Ward
Hello Dad!
It is great to hear from you and the advice that you have for me! Certainly, having been encouraged to physically work hard while I was young has been of a great help on my mission so far.... No task really seems to difficult when it comes to biking up hills. I always look forwards to the down hills for sure! But one example is the bathrooms. I remember doing some big work in the bathrooms numerous times as a kid. Well I wont say to much, but considering that teenage boys have lived in the flat(apartment) for quite a while, you could say that it did not smell to pleasant... and I imagine you know exactly why. Anyways, on one of my P-days I took it upon my self to do some deep cleaning. Now it smells much nicer, and since I have stayed at the flat, me and Elder De Kock have really cleaned it up since we have stayed in it. So all that hard work really has payed off. I am hoping that the tenants are pleased with the work that we have done with it.

But yes for the missionary material, they encourage us to read "Jesus the Christ", "Our Search for Happiness", "Our Heritage", and of course the standard works. But we have over books laying around the flat that I peek in every so often, like the "teachings of the prophet books". I have started to read "Jesus the Christ" and I am slowly working may way through it. and the other missionary books are quite small, and I have almost finished. But I have learned a lot through reading those books. We also read the Ensign, and General conference talks.

I love hearing stories of your mission, and most certainly I always try to make sure that I don't miss an opportunity to serve those around us. I think I may stress a bit to much about thinking that I am not doing enough. So I have relaxed a bit on that, however I am still on the ball with looking for people to talk to to and invite to learn more about what the church is about, and to serve people. Just as long as I do my best at all times!

Thanks Dad Love you!

-Elder Ward

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