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!
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
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