Elder Hixon and I have been working so hard in our area. I will mention, and I don't mean boast by any means. But we had a day where we literally had an appointment every hour of the day. Some went longer than others, however though we had not time in between to stop and talk with people on the streets and see how they are doing unfortunatly. It was good to have so many appointments, however you could say that it is better to have time to contact people and keep your mind open to impressions you might have or find new people to talk to in the area. Needless to say it was awesome. We had some powerful lessons, the spirit was so strong in a lesson with a LA Part Member Family. What really invited the spirit into that lesson was the Book of Mormon. We sat down and read about Nephi. You know the usual 1 Nephi 3:7 "I will go..." well we read the 7 verses from that chapter and we then related it to them. We talked about not only Nephis' courage, but also the commandment the Lord gave to Lehi and his Brothers. I had never really thought of this, and I am sure that it was the spirit, but each of us have agency. The Lord has given us commandments. It is hard to keep all of them and be perfect. However though we are improving and we are allowed to improve through his Atonement, as we go from grace to grace. Ask your self this question though. "What are my Brass Plates?" What is it that the Lord has asking us to do no that requires us to have faith like Nephis'. What do we need to show more faith in to progress and reach our goals? For the family that we where teaching it was powerful. We know that they felt the spirit. The children in the family are absolutely wonderful, they want to come to church, however their parents do have struggles of their own, there Father in particular who is a member of a gang here in NZ (LA still loves the church and knows it is true). It was a powerful invite to change. We hope and pray it will happen!
I have learned a lot form Elder Hixon for sure. He has taught me so much about being a good missionary. Honestly he is so prepared and loves the Gospel so much. Something that he has thoroughly demonstrated for me has been how much influence and power our own personal love for the gospel has on our ability to serve others, and teach them. There have been many other things that I have learned form him as well. The main point I would like to share here is that, a missionary who is just beginning his mission, is not in the least bit "lesser" than his companion who maybe is just about done. I have always had this inclination, however, Elder Hixon has shown me so clearly how that is so. Experience does help in the mission field, however when it comes to sharing what is closest to our hearts there is no difference in power and effectiveness in helping others to feel the spirit. It has been a privledge thus far to train him for sure!
We had another lesson with Martin Family again, and we where able to follow up on the invitation that we extended for him to take the missionary lessons. It is amazing to see the progress that we have made with him. We usually have a bit of a family home evening with them on Sunday evenings. We will open play a game, and share a lesson. I watch Brother Martin as we teach. You can certainly tell that he is listening and that he is trying to understand. He considering and pondering. Particularly last night he really opened up to us and we learned more of his position on church. He is a very spiritual person needless to say as the Maoris are, however though he doesn't feel a need to go to church. I guess on the other end of the scale you have those who go to church but are certainly not in the least bit active or spiritual. He has come from hating the church to loving the change he has seen in his children because of the principles that are taught there that help them live a spiritual life outside as well. Sister Martin is a member. She has come a few times however though she does seem to be on the LA side of things. She hasn't said to much though in our lessons. We are hoping to talk with her in the future and see if there is anything that we can help her out with as missionaries in the future. Elder Hizon loves the Maori culture here and also has done a wonderful job at building a relationship with Brother Martin. Another interesting fact about Maoris in their culture is that they don't particularly like to talk openly about spiritual matters. When they do it is often in their own tongue.(Not many speak it anymore, many study it though) So for Brother Martin to share a bit about it, was astounding and nothing but a miracle! He is thinking about going to some church sponsored Gospel Moari Classes. Hopefully he is able to find time to go and gain a better understanding. He use to challenge the missionaries and also bash a bit. But now with a bit of love, we can have a dignified civil conversation about simply principle that we can all relate to.
So there was soooooo much more that has happened to us this week, but those are some of the highlights. Also the Martin family's children are home schooled as well. They have been taught to play the violin to. They can play together, and Brother Martin asked them to play with for us. It was beautiful! I loved it. They were fine with me recording it so I do have the music form their masterful playing! Inspired me to learn to play one. I might have some time on my hands when I get back Mother... it will keep me busy and out of trouble.
So I wen t on trade off back in my old area it great and it was good to see some good friends again! Elder Thorpe form Utah is a fantastic missionary!
Thanks for all your e-mails, I do love them.
This is in Takihiwai! I love this area so many great members!