Sunday, September 27, 2015

21 September 2015 - Miracles, and Crushing News...‏

Probably one of the biggest miracles I have yet to witness on my mission. Borther Sam Randell is a great man. His brother was baptized into the Church a while back a few years ago and has made some amazing changes in his life. His brother Jeff is now a part the first counselor in the Ward he resides in. It just so happens that Sam his brother lives in the Hikurangi area and that he has been visiting with the missionaries for quite some time previously. Elder Hixon and I where able to start off with a great relationship. We visit the family just about weekly throughout the 6 week transfer. Teaching the Doctrines that we felt inspired would help Brother Randell progress. Everything from the Priesthood and how he would be able to bless his family with it, to Repentance and how we can change. Those are 2 lessons that really stick out in my mind. We had received a text form Brother Randell that told us that he really wanted to change and be baptized. We thought that was his wife's phone at first, however we later learned that it was him, and that they just share the same phone. Just after P-day, Elder Hixon went with another missionary in the District named Elder Thorpe, who is currently with my previous companion Elder Mahreza. We where on splits at the time. I let Elder Hixon go because I new that he would be powerful in the lesson and that he could certainly use some more wonderful experience, in leading lessons out. We did't fully know what was going on. I went with Elder Mahreza and tried to visit a few other people in the area and waited in anticipation. At the conclusion of the day we where elated to hear that Brother Sam Randell had been set with a Baptismal date of the 24th of October. He explained in the lesson that he was sick of his life style of addictions, and he wanted to let go of all that and strengthen his family in the gospel. It has been a shock for everyone in the area! It was a humbling experience for his brother as well. Through out the week it seemed like Heavenly Father was making everything fall in to place. Members visited on their own time and spoke with Brother Randell about his baptism. They gave him a priesthood blessing to help him put an end to his addictions. It was truly amazing to see his change of heart. He even could see the change within himself. He new that he now had a desire to be baptized! Later on in the week we went over to teach the lesson of the Restoration. It was great once again to see the miracles be poured upon all of our heads, as he gained a better understanding of where the church comes from and how it has divinely been restored! I think that it can be similar to Alma 19:14 and how the Lord poured his spirit out upon King Lamoni and all those who where converted. What a choice experience on the mission! I feel so privileged to be part of it as well.

There was a missionary fireside at the Stake Center here in Whangarei. It was probably the most powerful one that I have been to on my mission. Needless to say I saw lot's of good friends there at it and I loved it.We met an Investigator named Abraham who we have not been able to see for the past little while. It has been about 2 weeks since we last saw him. we just could not contact him. He was not responding to texts and calls. When I saw him at the Fireside I was so happy that he was there! The only thing was that he had cut all of his facial hair and the hair on top of his head. I didn't understand at first why he would do this. After the fireside I got up to talk to him some more. He explained to Elder Hixon and I, that he had just been diagnosed with cancer... I was shocked, my heart sunk! Abraham you would think is normal healthy 18 year old boy that looks like he is 26. He plays rugby and works hard to. He also mentioned that he had broken up with his partner which he had 1 child to. In that moment I was full of a dread. Abraham quickly woke me up and said "Bro I am not dead yet". I then realized that I needed to change my attitude and be positive around him, and encouraging. He was doing it so why couldn't I? That was some of the crushing news that I received. It was tough. But I hope and pray he will accept the gospel and be baptized!

Finally something that makes all of this so much harder for me. As I was typing this e-mail up, I received a call form President Balli, and he asked me to serve as a Zone Leader back in Auckland in a Stake called Penrose Stake. It is a newer stake and it actually has some of the areas such as Waipuna that I previously worked in. My heart is hanging between being smashed on the ground, and humbling accepting a call to serve more missionaries. I love Whangarei so much! I love the scenery and the people up here in the North Part of NZ. I am going to miss the people themselves as they are close and dear to my heart. I feel like I am at home up here and I really do not want to move. I wont have a chance unfortunately to finish training Elder Hixon. Being the prepared missionary that he is, he is now going to taking my place as a District Leader and also train another missionary! I am proud of of him for sure and he is certainly a missionary that will do a wonderful job needless to say! That was the double crush you could say. I is going to be good for me. Mainly because I was getting quite comfortable here in Whangarei. I knew the area, the people and the missionaries. The work as well was moving a long at a astounding pace! I guess the Lord saw fit to help me grow even more. I will need to get familiar with a new area and a new companion. We will be double shifted into the Zone as well, so we are going to have to get familiar with area and the missionaries.  I feel so inadequate. My heart was pounding when I received that call. I took ten minutes to let it sort through my mind. I will certainly need heavenly Fathers help in the fast approaching future.

Got a picture with the President Ashcroft and his wife Sister Ashcroft, and their daughter Marium. It was stake conference so I got a chance to see a lot of great friends!

These Elders are going home they are great friends. Elder Adams, and L'Hueruex (Laroo it is french, he is form Seattle though). Elder Adams served as a Zone Leader, and Laroo was the other District Leader. I learned a lot from them.

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