Sunday, May 31, 2015

24 May 2015 Big Day at Church!

This week we had transfers. Elder Donaldson, my last compaion, unfortunately was sent down to Auckalnd to serve. My new companion is Elder Mahreza, and he is form Indonesia! I don't think that there is another missionary here in this mission form Indonesia which is pretty cool. He is a humcle Elder and very kind. He has been out for 5 months and has served in Auckland for those 5 months. It's a bit different for him, he is use to there being lights keeping the streets light and the surrounding area. We are often drving in the the country getting form place to place.

Reuben is doing well. his baptism is going to be this Friday. He asked me to perform the baptism... certianly a privledge and a honor. He asked simply because I was the one that had been around him the longest. Many people have been involved with teaching Reuben. Our Branch President, Elders Qourem Pres, and our Branch Mission Leader, and Brother Mills. He has some great friends that are part of the church and they have all been part of the conversion process. I am spoiled with the privledge of being te one that performes the baptism. Reuben didn't make it to church this week however. There have been some real big inconvienes that have popped up. Reuben has attended church many times in te past (His wife is member however LA), so he is familiar with it. He also has the right motivations behind it as well, and that is simply to come closer to the Lord. He understands the the importance of the promise that he is going to make with his Heavenly Father. It should all work out well though. I will call President Balli and seek further guidance.

DJ made it to church yesterday as well! He was happy to be there and he said that he would like to come to church every Sunday from now on. Now that is the commitment that is needed! He is progressing well and he has been reading the BoM with his older Sisters. Elder Mahreza and I have spoke with the parents, and they are happy for him to make his own choices, and wiill support them in whatever decision that he makes. Things are looking good for DJ and we look forwards to teaching him more.

Just to give you guys an idea of what it is like teaching DJ, being a little boy of about 11 years old, he often gets distracted. Asks silly quesitons that are a bit off subject. However with a bit of patience it is possible to help him understand. We start the lesson off by singing a hymn, and saying a prayer. His Sisters are present and are there to help him and learn as well. We may ask a few questions to see what DJ can remember form our last lesson. When teaching him we simply explain the principles that he needs to know and understand (We teach each the priciples found in PMG Chapter 3 for each lesson). Sometimes we can't get though them all because he or we get a bit distracted, but we love to end with a video that goes along witht the lesson to really help out with the understanding. We just downlod them onto a USB and plug them into the TV. Thats an indepth discription of what it is like to teach a lesson. We often try to do the same for each investigaotor, however, everone has different needs though.

Also at church we had a member come who had not been to church in many years. He is the Komata (leader manager) of the local Moari (a Moari building used for religous worship, and culture activities ) which is a big deal. He hadn't been to church in about 12 years. He also came with his wife, who is a former investigator. We had visited them the night before Sunday (we have visited them many times in the past to say hello and share a thought), and invited them to come to church because we had a linder longer afterwords. They didn't say they would. So I was shocked to see them at sacrament meeting and as well as many of the long hauling members in the branch because they had never seen him come before. Needless to say, it was a combined effort on all our parts as members and missionaries to help them get to church. Not to sure if they are here to stay, but we will certainly come say hello this week see what they thought and felt about there visit and encourage them to keep coming.

There is a lot that happened this week. However I just can't e-mails it all back home. :( 

Here are some pictures though, got a sweet senic picture in front of Mount Mangia (Mania) and then we also got a bad tire this week... It went oblong and it started to bump as we drove down the road... That was an adventure. Thanks you Boy Scouts, nothing to it if you know how!

Thats great what they did for Grandpa and I am happy for him. I hope to see him when I come home! Tell him I say hi and that I love him!

Elder Ward

17 May 2015 Alright!

Boy it sounds like things have been busy at home I must say. Thanks for your e-mails, I don't know if I will get around to responding to them. I hope to get a lot in a general e-mail.

For this week we had another lesson with DJ. He has been keeping up on his reading in the BoM. He is learning has the beginnings of a strong testimony. In his family, DJ has 2 older Sisters, Marama, and Mandy. Marama is YSA and Mandy is at the end of being in the YW program. So they are great for helping DJ with reading the Book of Mormon and also teaching him. At the moment, we do have a good relationship with their parents who are non-members. They relaxing after work with alcohol and smoking, but they are great people. So we are hoping to one day teach them. It may take a good amount of time for them to warm up. Many was baptized about a year and half after her older Sister. DJ, didn't make it to church unfortunately. He instead decided to go shopping... Our next lesson with him is going to be on Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.

Reuben, we have been keeping in touch with. We should be seeing him this week on Tuesday. We are itching for it because it has been a while since we have seen him, and June is right around the corner as well. Big things should be happening as well.

We had a bit of a miracle happen for as well. It was late at night and Elder Donaldson and I didn't have to many people to see at this time. People here in NZ are not to keen on getting visits late at night, especially in the country areas. Despite not having anyone with an appointment, we did remember one family that we where hoping to work with in the near future. We decided to go say hello. Surprisingly the family was awake and all the kids where up. We where invited in surprisingly and we got to know the family a little bit. They have had missionaries over in the past, however the time was simply not right for them. The wife is a member, however due to some bad experiences, she is not active. The husband is not a member, however he has been around members all his life and has had interest in it. We showed a small clip of meet the Mormons, they thoroughly enjoyed the video, and now we are planning on having dinner with the family this week. Maybe the time is right now we will see and we will follow the spirit and do our best!

The new home looks exciting! I love the makeshift lift that the Italians have. Boy that must have been fun. Fixing it with packing tape? not dodgy at all. Haha.

Stuart the prom looks like it was awesome. Looks like your making good memories.

Eric it is awesome that your pinewood derby went so well. It's a pretty great car! I think that we have a total of about 4 now or so? The red rocket, the blue and white one that I made, the marshmallow toaster, and now Eric's car!

It is pretty awesome that you are getting good with the trumpet, I think that I may need to learn to play the piano when I get home. Keep working at it!

Dad thanks for your e-mail. It must be quite an experience with serving in South America. Thanks for the encouragement. It tough when you get to the later part of your mission, but I am determined to remain diligent and continue to improve.

Thanks for the wonderful e-mails!

Elder Ward

 This is a picture of our zone up here in Whangerei. Great Elders and Sisters.
A beautiful sunset.

Still eating like a king. Stuart don't let the missionaries in your mission keep you eating Ramen.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

10 May 2015 Phone calls were great!

Hey thanks for the awesome phone call I really did enjoy it! I have attached a picture of me calling. 

I went on a trade off with our District Leader Elder Adams. Unfortunately I got sick and so we stayed in the flat for part of the day. I don't know what it was, but I was able to feel well enough by the end of the day to go out and visit DJ.

Well for this week we taught DJ some more. He is doing well and he is quite a bright boy with lot's of desire. We reviewed the plan of Salvation with him again and he almost got all the little pieces in order. It was a great teaching opportunity to really help the principles sinking in to his head. At the end of the lesson we watched short little video to sum up the plan of Salvation. That was a pretty great lesson.

We kept in touch with Ruben this week. We should be starting up the visits by the end of this week.

So I am a bit short on time sorry, but next week will be some good e-mailing!

Also Mother, do you guys read the BoM together often? I could help Eric build interest in a mission possibly.

Anyways Love you all,
Elder Ward

3 May 2015 - Reuben is still doing good...

This week was a good one for sure. Ruben is donig great. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and also the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved both of those lessons. He also asked about tithing and wanted to know more about it. Missionaries just simply love it when investigators ask questions. We then know that they are seeking for a deeper and better understanding. We also know exatly what their concern/ what they would like to know. For the 2 lessons we had a our Branch President with us. His name is Prsident Aschcroft. He is form England originally and boy is it great to have him come out with us to teach. We started with a song and a prayer, and then went on in teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. Ruben all ready is familar with the church, so it wasn't difficult for him to get a grasp on it. (When we teach people that they have a loving Heavenly Father, and that they lived before this life, sometimes a blue screen comes over their minds.) We taught simply, and it was greatt to have President Ashcroft there to bear testimony about the Plan of Salvation and the principles that are within it. Teaching him the Gospel of Jesus Christ was wonderful as well. We had our Elders Qourem President with us President Lynton. He is a convert of about 4 years, and it would amaze you to hear about his background. He grew with a pretty rough back ground, but needles to say, he is now a memeber who is sealed in the temple with his wife and children. He is the only member that comes with a pretty sweet Gotye to church as well. :)- Ruben is busy with work right now. Here in the small town that we live in, most of every one works at either the Port, The Oil Refinery, or the wood Mill. Ruben works at the Refinery, and at the moment they are doing some Heavy maitenence work on it while it is shut down. He is current working 12 hour shifts for 10 days right now. Ruben did tell us that things would finally clear up enough for around June. So he will be a wonderful addition to Bream Bay Branch in June sometime. 

That's the latest on the area atm. There are some smaller things happening on the side but unfortunatly to much to relay right now.

So I am looking forwars to calls. It is a shame that Dad won't be there... but none the less it should be great! I will likely call on Mothers Phone. I think that I have been calling in the morning for me, so the earlier the better because it will be late for you guys. I will call 7 o'clock or so. I will call Monday here so it should be Sunday there. 

Last P-day we went a saw a waterfall in town. Needless to say it was very nice. I took a few pics. By the way the camera I have is probably the best camera I could have got for my mission, it just works great!

So I love you all, Take it easy and send some pics of the home.

Elder Ward

Elder Deardon is in our District, he pulls the best faces!

And the other one isn't funny but just a good pic of the falls. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

26 April 2015 - Pictures!!!! Ahhhh!!

Oh boy so I am going to be sending a lot of pics. For this week we had some good things happen with our investigator Ruben. He wanted to learn more about President Thomas S Monson, so Elder Donaldson and I setup an appointment and met him at the local meeting house. We played a video of President Thomas S. Monson at General conference. He loved and he was amazed at the simplicity and clearness of his message. He really enjoyed the message. I think as members at times we can forget the reality of having a modern day Prophet. Ruben really enjoyed it and he is certainly preparing himself for baptism. Lot's of good things happening but I will upload the pictures now!

Also, phone calls area on the 10th! So I figured that I would likely call in the morning here, or late for you guys as usual. I don't know if that will be a bit difficult with the move as well. So send me phone numbers and what nots so I can contact you guys. This is my last phone call of the mission... It has gone by quick, still lot's of time to work though, I don't want to slow down!

It sounds like Stuart had fun with Battling the Marines with nerf guns, that sounds like buckets of fun! The mission is coming up soon and now the wisdom teeth are out! It is getting close! Exciting for sure!

Elder Ward

 Elder Donaldson is form Melbourne Australia, he is a great Elder, we get along wuite well. He has been on his mission longer than me.
 These are pictures in our flat I thought they where crack up. The minion one especially!
 This is Waipu River, it is great driving through the Country side and driving over it! 

I had to take a picture with the fence. I think they do this on purpose in some way, because it is simply not on every fence. But this moss is going nuts. It is a living fence you say if you want to make it really corny. I thought Auckland was green, but out here in the country it is really green and lush!
We rent a large home in the area where everyone meets for church. We have sacrament in the garage and we then use the various rooms for classes. I think you would have received and e-mail form one of the Sisters in the Branch Mother. She went ahead and took a picture with the her Ipad and asked for your e-mail. so I hope that it got to you! I had to tell her the e-mail of the top of my head.
 a bit of a map of our area.
on the drive to the North. It took about 2 hours, very beautiful! 

We live in a small village called Rukaka, if the wind is really blowing it gets the waves going! We can hear the ocean from our flat! The waves where really nice, reminded me of the beach in Cali, those where good times! We did not go on the beach. We are not allowed to. Oh how I wish we could go for runs on it in the morning!
The one with the rainbow is my favorite by far. It worked out so perfectly. The rainbow and the area. This is Bream Bay hence "Bream Bay Branch". We where driving a long a road that runs a long the bay and we had to immortalize the scenery.