Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hot as here!!! 18 Jan 2015

Well this week was tough but it was rewarding I would have to say. The summer heat has really been beating down on us and my goodness it is hot! The humidity is not to fun either. The Sun is very intense here and will burn you to a crisp if you don't put on sunscreen. I have been pretty diligent lately. I will take 5 min before we head out for the day and grease up pretty thoroughly. It has certainly paid off, especially as I reapply it throughout the day. I will come into the flat and and not be burnt. My companion, well he doesn't really put it on so I get to see what I would look like if I where not to put it on. It works:D I have a testimony of it :D

Any ways we had 4 investigators come to church this week! I think that is the most I have had come to church on my mission! We had Jodie, Semati, Michael, and Kristen come to church. Jodie and Semati are pretty steady, they are just waiting for marriages to be worked out and then they can be baptized as soon as possible! Jodie's wedding is in Early March so I don't know if I will be able to see her get married and baptized. :( depends on if the Lord decides that I should stay in the Area for 6 months. Elder Schetzel and I are together for another transfer! So I will get to finish training him! I am certainly grateful for that.

Anyways let me tell you guys about Michael and Kristen. The sisters that worked in the area before it was turned over to Elder Schetzel and I where teaching them before they had to leave. They are a married couple who both have faith in Christ. They have 2 children and they are palangi as well (white in the islander languages). I include that detail because not very many white people that we come across are humble enough to except us as missionaries. Most of the time here in New Zealand we teach Islander people. It's a bit different I would have to say for various reasons. It was not until after the Holidays that we where able to set an appointment with them. Michael is a very humble man who really wants to know if the BoM is true. We had a wonderful lesson with them this past week. We had a member family (one of the only white families in the ward) come along and join us for the lesson as a fellowship and it truly went wonderful! We answered a few questions, they had, and we taught a bit about the Restoration. We also invited them to be baptized and Michael was happy to except but first he really needs to know if the BoM is true. Most importantly we got get to know them a little bit. We invited them to come to church as well during that lesson. It was great to see them come along to church, they stayed for the second hour as well for our Gospel Principles class we had on service. This week we are going to try and set a date with them to be baptized, but first we will teach them about the plan of Salvation. Looking forwards to it a lot!\

During the week my bicycle had a complete melt down. the rear gear shifting system broke and got all caught up in it's self. It was pretty bad. Because of it Elder Schetzel and I where hoofing it all week on foot. We still had a very effective week though as we just focused on the most important goals that we wanted to accomplish. I was happy that we where able to meet our goals for the week even though we where stuck on foot.

Anyways thank you guys for the e-mails, sounds like things are working out well for you guys. Sorry no pictures this week, didn't really take any.

Elder Ward

Time Flies 11 Jan 2015

For this week a lot happened. 

So for this week Elder Schetzel and I worked pretty hard. WE visited a lot of LA Members, investigator wise we are falling short a bit unfortunately. There is some good news though. Jodie will be planning to have her wedding on March 7th. Unfortunately though, I will likely be gone before then and have moved on to a different area, unless the Lord sees fit to have me stay in this area for 6 months like Mt. Albert. All that matters is that she has a date and one day she will be baptized!

This week we had to stay in the flat for one day because a coconut totally wrecked Elder Schetzel and made him pretty sick. I spent the day updating records, and gathering names out of the area book to go visit in the near future. I also gave my bike a pretty thorough cleaning as well. Over a year of wear and tear and it is still holding up strong!

This week I also got to go to the mission home! It has been over a year, and they have since refurbished it actually. I went for a training that I was suppose to receive before training Elder Schetzel. A bit late, but I was grateful to be able to go and spend some time with the mission President in his home with a few other Elders and Sisters that where training in the mission as well. We had a great breakfast there. They had prepared Eggs and Waffles!!!! I haven't had waffles in over a year! I was pretty happy about that. But the training was enlightening and I was greatful for it. There are some things that could work on as a trainer. I don't think to many Elder's and Sisters get a chance to go to the mission home so it was a real treat! 

Well something that I have been doing in my personal studies is writing talks! They are great practice. They help you prepare to teach people and of course for future speaking opportunities as well. It's been pretty great. Just felt like mentioning that. reading the scriptures every day has been pretty awesome and I am learning lots every day!

For the pictures you have one of s going over the Harbor bridge to get to Presidents house, oh well we where actually driving back at this point. Took a picture, pretty cool!

and then me smiling with my clean bike gears and chain! 

Love you all and thanks for the e-mails!

Elder Ward

The weekly e-mail home! 4 Jan 2015

Once again it comes time to sit at the computer and send and e-mail home. This week for Elder Schetzel and I we have been busy. It has been a bit tough with some of the investigators that we have been working with, but yet we are still having good things happen. The holidays here in NZ can really make the work tough because everyone is going to the beach and busy with family and traveling. 

Needless to say we had a pretty great miracle. Elder Schetzel and I where biking back from one half of our area. Our ward use to be doubled covered but (I can't remember if I mentioned this our not but our ward use to be doubled covered and we covered the South part called Panama, but the Sisters who covered the North part called Mt.Wellington and where pulled out because one got sick and the other was need else where. Also the mission is beginning to shrink a bit because there aren't as many missionaries coming out now due to that big "18" surge.) now we are covering both which is a pretty big job. :D But I like more leg room for sure. Anyways, we had 5 min before 9pm and I was leading us back to the flat and we where almost home. If we have 5 min left in our day we use it, we go find someone to talk to. As I was riding I had the thought come to my head to go see Jodie, she has been very busy however she has been coming to church when she can. I didn't tell Elder Schetzel, I was just going to turn and go down her driveway because she was near by, but surprisingly Elder Schetzel called out, "Hey lets go see Jodie!" I replied , "That's what was on my mind as well" Clearly the spirit working with both of us. We knocked, and she opened the door and said "I was hoping you Elders would come by today I was thinking about you guys!" That even further confirmed that it was the spirit. We had a wonderful catch up chat. She told us that she and Lorenzon her Partner talked with Bishop and are making arrangements for the marriage very soon! She didn't tell us when but soon for sure! She explained to us that they where thinking of waiting for the baptism and marraige and putting it off a bit at first, but they both felt a change of heart and decided to get it done! It was great! I was stunned when she said that. To many surprises, it is truly amazing to see evidence of the spirit working in peoples' lives. He is pouring out his spirit upon the people and preparing them for us, as the scriptures say(Alma 16:16)! So I am excited, and I hope and pray things continue to go well. New Zealand is a small world, I have met several families and people that know other people in my past areas, and it is always fun to make those connections. However it is even that way with Australia. One Sister missionary named Sister Molli from Australia was in my District when I first came to the mission. She has since gone home now, and it turns out that she was cousins with Jodie to, so I was a bit shocked when we made that connection. They will be coming out for the wedding and Baptism as well. It truly is a miracle that Jodie is moving forwards so strong!

That's the big one for the week. Other than that Elder Shetzel and I have been teaching recent converts the lessons, as well as visiting members and working with who ever is not busy. One fella in particular is named Tio, missionaries have known about them for years, and they have never gotten anywhere because he hasn't been to interested. Because he has been off work though we have been able to sit down with him and just read the Book of Mormon, because it seemed to be the only way to get him moving in any direction at all. He has been enjoying it, as well as learning a lot. We are hoping that this will build up into a desire to take the lessons, which is what we usually start out with, but simply reading with him and explaining the scriptures to him has been a great experience. We are hoping to keep him moving!

Elder Schetzel and I had horse again this week! It was so good. We had it at Bishops house and he cooked it a different way which I liked much more rather than the curry. They cooked it in Coconut cream and with a bit of onion. It's a tough meat but they pull it to make it easier to eat. It was Elder Schetzel's first time, and he really liked it!

I am glad you guys are okay. When I read Mothers e-mail I could almost imagine what it was like. She good at narrating dramatic events. Thanks goodness you guys are ok. Our Father in Heaven does look out for us indeed! Answered prayers... Hopefully the BMW can be fixed up, it's probably my favorite car ever, competing strongly with the Merecedes >:D

Elder Schetzel and I eat like Kings! We cooked chicken Tacos, yes it is possible to cook them in less than 30min. It takes some good planning when it comes to grocery shopping.

I found this guy early in the morning of when I was grabbing clothes from my laundry. I saw a dark shady figure lurking the across laundry with various legs. I immediately went for the little mustard jar that I got form my last hickory farms and caught him. Boy was he a big guy! I let him go after we showed some other Elders During P-Day. Not to sure what kind or anything like that, but he was big!

Love you all and thanks for your e-mails,

Elder Ward

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas, Merry Christmas!

Well I have to say that it was great being able to talk to you guys! I was a bit worried about the call, but within the pictures I sent is the text that my mission President sent me, I thought it would be cool to show you guys the end result of how it got to me. None the less a miracle. Germany looks absolutely gorgeous! Wow that must have been a great experience and heaps of fun! Glad that you guys enjoyed Christmas as well, should be great to hear about how things went when you guys get back!

For Elder Schetzel and I we had a pretty good Christams, I think I told you guys about it a bit. Needles to say it was hot..... Kinda like last year but I was in the MTC. We had dinner with 2 memebers, and boy was I full! I have sent alot of pictures so hopefully you guys enjoy them.

Our investigators have been a bit busy with the Holidays, I think that I mentioned a bit about Sister Hinekoia. She has been wonderful! A golden investigator! She was suppose to come to church this passed Sunday however she was unable to. She is very busy (Kids), and they are busy with moving as well. So we aren't to sure at this point whether we will be able to baptized her in this area. :( None the less a great investigator!

I apologize about not writing more, but one thing I liked was drinking out of a Coconut on Christmas day! The Villiami's had a beautiful meal for us!

Love you all, doing well here in NZ,

Elder Ward

 OK so I know what this picture is. This is Brother and Sister Villiami, they gave us coconuts to drink on Christmas. They don't really taste super sweet or anything they are real nice!
 This is the message that I got on the phone!

And of course the hickory farms where great!


so I will do my best to e-mail, it has been a bit tough lately because the library that we e-mail at has been very busy lately.

The highlight of this week was probably seeing Brother Semati at church this week  I gave him a nice big strong hand shake and smile. he is Happy to back and things are still looking great for hium and Sister Guay. At this point they are just waiting on some marriage papers to be worked out and then they can be baptized right away! It could happen practically anytime so we are excited.

We have had a new investigator join our teaching pool this week. her name is Sister Henikoia. She has contact with members for quite a while and is great friends with a wonderful family in another Ward. Sister Henikoia went online and asked for the missionaries to come visit. We received a text with her name and address on it. When we first knocked she was not home. However when we came back she opened the door before we could even knock(Oh and on the ride over there to her home we got wet as, during a sweet thunderstorm that passed by, I was laughing because it was simple so exciting!) and she asked us if we where there to answer her question. We gave her a BoM and made an appointment to visit sometime later in the week. It was a great lesson and the spirit was there. She had kept her commitment to read about BoM. so after the lesson we committed her to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. We followed up a few days later and asked her if she had been keeping her commitment and she said"Yes, I have , and I fell as if it is true". She came to church that Sunday (She had all ready been once to church previously before we met her) And she stayed for all three hours. Elder Schetzel invited her to be baptized in the first lesson, we could not set a date due uncertainties in the family. That should not be an issue though, we are looking to set a Baptism date Early January!

So needless to say things are going great. It has been humbling to see Elder Schetzel ajust to the mission field. I have learned so much training him. I am certainly trying to become a more loving person as I can be a bit of a hard case, or a serious faced a lot of the time.

Thanks to everyone who sent a note to me, I really enjoyed all of them. Especially the hugs that where sent I thought that was pretty creative! I will write down all the names of those that wrote the notes and thank them in my next e-mail. 

Love you all Merry Christmas, I look forwards to the call??? oh and I still have the information for the cell phones, so I will probably call in the evening for you guys. I am not to sure of the times, but it will be on Christmas day though. If you want to get a hold of me and let me know of better contact info you could probably get in touch with the mission office and they would be more than happy to give it to me.

Take Care Merry Christmas again!

-Love Elder Ward

Well all right!

So things are going great in the field. My companion is Elder Schetzel, he is form Sandy, Utah. 18 years old and he is ready to serve the Lord! I am excited to train him and it has really been a blessing to be called as a trainer. I hope to give Elder Schetzel the best start on his mission. He is very Motivated to be obedient and do his best! I have been enjoying it personally for sure. I have learned so much form him and I really look forwards to giving him as much wisdom as I can.

We have the temple trip tomorrow! we are all excited and I look forwards to it as well. It has been pretty much a year since I have been in the temple. It will be my 3rd session ever... I have learned a lot since I have been on my mission for a year now.... Yes my year mark is coming up now! I am dreading it a bit. Time is really going by way to quick. I feel as if I am still a new missionary, and I still have so much more to Master on my Mission as I talk with people and teach them.

Another surprising thing that happened this week was having the Sisters move out of our ward... Elder Schetzel and I now cover both sides of the Ward now so there is a lot to do and to plan for my goodness! The Sisters where working with a girl named Selina, she wants to be baptized, however her partner is a pretty big slacker because he does not really want to get married. The bishop of the Ward apparently knows him, and he also has sad that he will take care of him. Our investigators, Semati, and Fernacis should be coming home form Samoa this week and we can get the Ball rolling again! Jodie unfortunately has stopped the lessons until they come back so they can take them together. She is also incredibly busy with work, so we haven't seen her as much this week really. So there is a lot to look forwards to this week!

This week we had an opportunity to use the priesthood. We actually visited a member who is a returned missionary. He has been back for 4 years. He served in Australia. As we where wrapping up the visit and had given him so cards to pass along to friends he had a thought come into his mind to ask for a blessing. He asked me to give it. What a privilege and a wonderful experience. We gave him a blessing of comfort and council. As he felt he really needed one to strengthen him He seemed a bit happier at church the next day.

So a bit limited on time this week. E-mailing has become a bit difficult because we are doing it at a library and don't have a consecutive 2 hours as usual. Sorry about last week. And thanks so much for the Birthday Present and the Christmas Package! I really loved all the goodies and the Christmas Tree!

Love you all got to go!

-Elder ward