Friday, December 18, 2015

"Put the Pressure on Ourselves to Make Every Lesson Great."

Kia Ora Everyone!
               
Well we are one week closer to Christmas!
What a wonderful time of year this!  and what a wonderful time of year it is to be a missionary and be on the Lords errand!  It is such a blessing to be able to serve him at this time of year! I have always loved Christmas time as many of you know and so I love it even more that I can be serving the Savior full time this season! Because after all he is the reason for the season!

Well we had a very eventful week here and like I promised last week i will try to make this email a little bit longer! I do have a few wonderful experiences that i would like to share this week!  so since it was the first week of the Transfer all of the Zone Leaders in the mission traveled to Hamilton and we had a meeting at President Rudds house, and we pretty much just talk about how we as leaders can help the mission and what do we need to do to be better missionaries.  President Rudd gave a wonderful training and then the Assistants gave some wonderful trainings also ans everyone was inspired, we realized that sometimes we as missionaries invite people to be baptized and then we just kinda leave them in the dark and hope they figure out how to gain a testimony of the Gospel so we all practiced inviting people to be baptized and then telling them what they need to do to get to that point that they will want to be baptized and it is so simple what we need to do to help our investigators become converted and gain a testimony because its those Sunday school answers it is Praying(morning and night, and having a prayer in your heart throughout the day) Going to Church(and actively participating) and Reading the Scriptures(really reading not just reading) it is so simple sometimes we all try to look beyond the mark, but it is those simple things that bring about true and lasting conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

One other thing President Rudd said that really hit me was he said that we need to make every single lesson we have Monumental in that persons life every single lesson needs to be life changing or else they will lose interest and that is not what we want!  So President Rudd told us to "Put the pressure on ourselves to make every lesson great." And that is what Elder Gutke and I did this week and we had two incredible lessons right after MLC!

The first lesson was with one of our investigators who is really new to the whole believing in God thing, we were able to answer her questions that she had and we were able to tell her those simple principals of the Gospel that families can be together forever and you could tell she really started to feel it, then our ward mission leader bore his testimony of how he came into the gospel and it was perfect! the spirit was so strong and it was just what she needed to hear!

the Second lesson which was literally right after the fist lesson(interesting how that works haha)
was with two of our baptismal sets and the lesson was going good but it just seemed like they were not very interested or weren't really paying attention, but we got into one part of the Plan of Salvation and i cant really remember which part I think we may have been talking about agency and we asked our ward mission leader to bare testimony again and the spirit came and it was awesome because our investigators dad who is Less active was sitting in on the lesson and he started crying during the testimony and after he told us that it really hit home to him!  it was incredible to see the Lord just take over in the lessons and bring the spirit in!  It truly doesn't matter how smart we are how much we now or how well we speak the true teacher is the spirit and without the spirit we will fail in missionary work!

Last thing i want to share this week is on Saturday our neighbor(not a member of the church) invited us over to her place for a Christmas party so we thought why not so we went over and it turned out be like her church Christmas party but that was all good we had a wonderful time listened to their Pastor give a nice Christmas message and we got to talk to a lot of people and make new friends! They also invited us to their Bible study group on Thursday so we will be going to that, I think it will really help and they will be able to see that we pretty much believe in the same things they believe in so we will let you know how that goes next week!

I just want to finish once again by sharing my testimony.  I  know that this Church is true I know that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God, and I know that Thomas S. Monson is the current prophet on the earth.  I know that Jesus lives and that he is our Savior! I love you all thank you for all the prayers! I hope everyone has a wonderful week and continues to remember the Savior during this wonderful time of the year!
https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

 He finally sent some pictures!








Transfers

Kia Ora Everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well and hope everyone had a wonderful week

our week down here was a really good one and it was also just a little crazy with transfers, but that is how it always is on transfers week.

We have a lot of new missionaries in our zone and we can already tell that it is going to be a really good transfer.

We had a lot of good lessons this week which is good that we still managed to do really well with lessons because its is pretty hard to do that on transfers week but we worked really hard the last two days to make sure that we were keeping our focus on what we are here to do.

But this week is the first week of the new transfer and so we are super excited!  the best part of this transfer will of course be Christmas it is such an awesome time of the year to be able to get to remember the savior and his birth I hope everyone watched the videos on the links that i included in the email last week.  It is really nice because the church has given us as missionaries some cards that we get to pass around and we have been handing out heaps of them so hopefully everyone is watching the videos because they are really really good!  

But really there wasn't too much in our week last week we loaded everyone up for transfers and boy is that a mission up here when you only have two cars but we got it all sorted out and everyone got down safely and then we got back up safely and got all the luggage dropped off to the missionaries then friday saturday and sunday were just really me showing my new comp around the area so he can get a feel for the place.   we had some fun talking to people on the street though it is a little tougher now because elder noa could speak Samoan to all the Samoans but now that hes not here when we talk to the Samoans in english they just start talking in Samoan so then we usually just try to say something funny so they laugh and we can break the tension then hand them a pass along card.

Sorry not really to much to write about this week but there will be a lot more next week because tomorrow we will have our Mission leadership council and that is always a blast and we always learn great things from that and it will be a full week of proselyting so we will have some great experiences to tell i'm sure of it!

I think the best experience this week was getting my new comp Elder Gutke he is from Mapleton and the coolest part is he knows my cousins Kenna, Sandra, and Mitch what a small world!


Well I am super sorry that this letter is so short i promise next weeks will be a lot longer and we will have some cool stories!  Love you all thanks for all of the love and prayers I can feel them all the way down here in New Zealand! Love you all and hope you all have a good week!

#ASaviorIsBorn

Kia Ora Everyone!

I hope everyone has had a good week! and a good Thanksgiving, to be honest I totally forgot about Thanksgiving... I guess that is what happens when they don't celebrate it.

Anyways this week was just another normal week in the mission filled with lots of lessons and talking to lots of people.  We had a lot of really good lessons this week and a few of the members were able to come out with us right when we needed them too which was great!

One night we went to visit a family we teach and when we got there the Dad wasn't home so we couldnt go inside but luckily right when we got their one of the members who lives just down the street texted and said that he was available to come out for a visit with us! so we ran over to his house and then ran back to our investigators house started having a lesson and then the Dad walked in and so he was able to sit in on the lesson which was good, and the lesson was really great the spirit was super strong and at the end we invited the mom and the dad to baptized in January!


We now have 10 of our investigators set for baptism for the coming months which is super exciting since i should be here for most of them, we are going to work super hard with all of them and i know that when we do all we can that Heavenly Father will take care of all the rest!

Probably the highlight of the week was yesterday and Saturday our 9 year old Investigator Wiha got baptized and that was so awesome to see! She is such an awesome kid and was so happy after both her baptism and her confirmation, and now she is officially a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!  It was a really great day both of her parents are members but not active it was good to see her mom at the baptism it was a little sad though because her dad didn't come, that just shows how awesome she is she comes to church every week with one of the members and comes for all three hours! that strengthens my testimony!

There were also 7 other baptisms in the Zone this last weekend which was awesome!  I love watching people get baptized.  It is so incredible it literally saves lives.

Well sorry this is really really short it was a busy week and its going to be a busy week this week with transfers, nearly half of our Zone will be leaving so it will be a fresh start for a lot of areas i'm super excited for the transfer ahead.  I am especially excited for Christmas what a wonderful time of the year this is!  While we should always remember the savior every single day of our lives Christmas gives us that time to refocus on him.  I hope everyone will really make an effort to focus even more so on the savior this Christmas after all he is the reason for the season!  I love you all and hope you all have a good week!


Hope everyone visits this website and shares the video and all the other material there is to share  #ASaviorIsBorn

Count Your Blessings

Kia Ora Everyone!!!!!

Wow this week went by really quick once again it seems like i was just here emailing!

This week started out really good we had a family night at one of our members house and we were able to get a few of our investigators to that and they said they had a lot of fun which is good!  Also at family night we played charades and of course I was the Champion haha it was great my group won and it really came down to the wire it was really intense but I pulled through and my team was able to win!

Another awesome part about this week is we were able to have a lot of members come out with us and we were able to go on splits and double cover out area which was awesome that really helps to boost things up when you can split off and visit more people!  It is so wonderful to be able to have members who come out and go on visits it really does make a huge difference it helps people get a better feel for the church a lot of time their perception of the church is missionaries so thats how they think everyone is, and then it gives them a friend also and then they have someone to go to church with!  I want to encourage everyone this week to do all they can to help the missionaries serving in their ward especially those young men who are getting close to going on a mission make sure that you are going on splits with the missionaries a lot! it helps so much!

We had some really good visits with our investigators who should be getting baptized this saturday sadly we have had to push some back and some wont be getting baptized but we will continue to work with them and re-set them.  Those investigators who will be getting baptized on saturday are progressing really well and it is really good to see and the crazy thing is like all of them are like ten years old it is just so incredible to see such young kids wanting to learn about the gospel and also retaining it!  One of our sets said a prayer for us the other day and it was one of the best prayers I have ever heard it was so sincere and the spirit was super strong as this little girl asked her Heavenly Father to help her get baptized and to help her family get through hard times.  Except you become as a little child you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, once again the lesson was taught to me this week.

Also we had the opportunity this week to go and pick up a new missionary from the MTC he is straight from Tonga and is going to be a great missionary! He was pretty nervous but after seeing him throughout the week he just had the biggest smile on his face! it kinda reminded me of when i first came out into the field and how fun it was!

I know this email is really really short this week really has just blended together and i cant really remember anything that has happened because it went by so fast but the weeks are always full of miracles most of the time they are really small, and i don't think it is just because i'm on a mission that its that way but i really think my ability to see has changed, it reminds of  the song count your blessings, and it talks about how when you count your blessings it will surprise you what the Lord has done so i would like to invite everyone to throughout the week just look for those miracles that are around us every single day! I know as we do this it will surprise us what the Lord has done and is continuing to do for us.

That is all for this week I hope everyone has a great week this week! be safe I love you all!  I just want to thank you all for all that you do in my life and I would especially like to thank My Grandma Holmes for all the things she does for me! keep those letters and newspaper clippings coming grandma! and also my Grandma and Grandpa Anderson thank you for all that you both do for me! and for all of your love and kindness and all the prayers you say for me! I have the best grandparents in the whole world! thanks for your wonderful examples to me!!!!!!


Arohanui!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

You Must be as a Child

Kia Ora Everyone!!!!

Well i hope everyone has had a wonderful week it feels like just yesterday i was in this email shop! the week has just flown by!

We had so many wonderful experiences this week and we were working really really hard this week!  This week we went on exchanges with all of the District Leaders in the Zone and also on Thursday we went on a short exchange with the Assistants and that was awesome we had a really good exchange.

One of the big lessons that i have really learned this week and also that i have been learning throughout my mission and that i'm sure i will continue to learn for the rest of my life is how the Lord prompts us to do certain things and then we act on the prompting and the outcome is not what we expect.  For example this week when on an exchange with one of the Assistants we were walking down a street and we felt like we should go knock on a door, so we knocked the door and no one came to the door so then we felt like we should knock the next door so we did and same thing no one answered so we walked down the drive and looked to the right and there was a man standing on the sidewalk with his dog and he wasn't there before so we went and talked to him had a good talk and got a return appointment for some other missionaries because he doesnt live in our area.  After we talked to the man the promptings made sense the Lord needed us at that spot when that man was going to be there so he "sidetracked" us a bit and then we were at the right place at the right time.  Not the outcome we were expecting from the promptings but it is the outcome the Lord wanted.  

I think a really cool story that i would also like to share this week is about one of the missionaries who i was on an exchange with this week he is from Tonga and when he came out on his mission he didn't know how to speak any English and he also couldn't really understand it, so he said instead of using the material given to him in the MTC he decided to just read The Book of Mormon in English and then pray and fast and tried his best to speak the language and he has been out five months now and man he has probably the best English i have heard from and elder straight from Tonga.  It is incredible the power that The Book of Mormon and also praying and fasting has those simple gospel principals truly bring about wonderful and incredible miracles!

My testimony has really been strengthened this week of those simple gospel principals of attending church reading the scriptures and praying, by doing those three things a true testimony is planted and also made stronger, and faith is grown.

Well i think i will end this email by talking about our day yesterday!  we had a really good day yesterday, we had stake conference and it was really awesome there were a lot of really good speakers but the best part again was we had 4 of our investigators their and the best part two of them are 9 years old and they came again even though their parents didnt want to and they had a wonderful time!  I have so much respect for these kids when i was their age i probably would not have gone to church if my parents weren't going!  I for sure see why The Savior says that you must be as a child to enter into the kingdom of heaven because man these kids have some great faith!  

Well I hope everyone has a good week this week! I want to thank everyone for all of the prayers and love! I can for sure feel it all the way down here in NZ!
Remember the church is true! and I love you all!

No Such Things as Coincidences in this Work!

Kia Ora Everyone!


hope everyone has had a really good week! our week was pretty busy!

We started off the week on Tuesday with a trip down to Hamilton, we had a meeting with President Rudd and it was a really great meeting President Rudd is awesome and is such an incredible teacher! that was an incredible experience and really helped us to plan for our Zone Meeting on Thursday.

Then Zone Meeting on Thursday was really great we had an incredible discussion as a zone and everyone in the zone gave great input and the spirit was very strong in the meeting we all left the meeting feeling very uplifted and we all had that renewed desire to go out and serve with all of our heart might mind and strength and we are now expecting great things from the zone.  The zone has a lot of people set for baptism on the 28th of November and we are really excited about that so some extra prayers that those sets will stay solid would be much appreciated!

The highlight of this week had to be yesterday though we were going around and doing the rounds inviting all of our investigators to church and we went to one families house to invite them and the parents were not very keen on coming to church but the two boys who are 9 and 6 really really wanted to come and they were begging their mom to let them come and it was a pretty intense few seconds as she thought about it but she finally said yes and said that the boys could come! and we ended up having 9 investigators at church yesterday and that was awesome and we also have 9 investigators set for baptism and they are all doing really really well and it is looking really promising!  So we are going to keep on working hard with them and keep visiting them so they can continue to have their testimony grow and be strengthened!

Also yesterday when we were leaving one of our investigators home after inviting them to church we were walking down the drive when we stopped to talk to this guy and he told us that he had gone to a "Mormon" church last week and so we asked him if he would like to come again and if he liked the service and he said yes that he really liked the service and wants to come again! So we set up a return appointment with him and he said he wants to come to church next week! so we will visit him this week and hopefully it will pan out into something!  it was a really cool experience though, once again what are the odds of that happening us running into a guy right before church and he had just been to one of our services the week before! No such things as coincidences in this work!

I hope everyone will look for those opportunities throughout the week to share the gospel the news that we have to share is far to important for us to just keep it to ourselves! 

I hope that everyone will have a good week this week and that you all will be safe i would like to thank you all for all the prayers and for all the love and kindness that you all give me! I have the best group of family and friends in the whole world i am so very lucky!  I love you all have a great week everyone and we will talk to you all next week!

Exercise Your Faith by Serving

Kia Ora Everyone!

Well I hope everyone has had a good week! My week here in NZ was just wonderful!

we will just start off right into the week!  So one funny experience I forgot to tell you all last week, while we were tracting one day we knocked on this door and we wait a little while no one comes so we knock again and then just a little bit after the second knock we here a knock from the other side of the door and me and elder noa just look at each other and elder noa goes "well that's a first" then he goes "Come in" haha it was so funny if you don't find it funny I guess its just one of those things that you had to be there for haha.

Next experience that i want to share happened just yesterday since our church doesn't start until 12:30 we go around in the morning and invite our investigators to church and yesterday we were at some of our investigators house and they invited us in,(and that is like the first time that has happened with them) so we go in and are talking to them both and there step dad is also sitting in the room with us and he tell us that he is actually a member and he just hasn't been to church in a little while but that he does go on fast Sundays sometimes and then all of the sudden his brother knocks on the door and comes in and i start talking to him also then a little later on in the conversation he says I will never forget the elder that baptized me Elder Porter now for those of you who don't know one of the members of my home ward Brother Porter served here in NZ on his mission, but i still wasn't sure if it was brother porter from my ward until they said they still have his missionary card his name is Clint Porter and then i knew it had to be brother porter because well his name is Clint, what made this experience even crazier is that the brother hadn't come to visit his brother in nearly 7 months and then that morning he said he decided to come visit and right when he came there just so happened to be a missionary there who new the man who baptized him! coincidence? I don't think so!


Those are the experiences that i want to share for this week there were a lot more believe me and i just do not have the time to share them all!  But the work is moving a long great in this area we have a few of our investigators set for baptism on the 28th of November so pray for them that they may all be able to reach that day!

I guess what i want to leave with everyone today is always remember to exercise your faith by serving, when we do what the Lord wants us to do he blesses us because we are showing faith in him we knocked on so many doors this week and we were even knocking in the rain and that was well not very enjoyable at the time but after when we hit our goals it was incredible the feeling we got!  It is like the things we all experience in life though hard and and maybe not very fun at the time when you look back it is so much better to look back and see that you endured and kept the faith than look back and regret that you didn't do all you could have.  I know this church is true! Joseph smith was a prophet of god! he did restore the church to the earth! and the savior lives today! I know that! I love you all hope you all have a wonderful week!

Manurewa

Kia Ora Everyone!!!!!

Well i am now in my new area and things are going great!  it is really weird having to learn a new area again and having to learn everything, it is a nice break from leading the area though because now i just get to kinda relax... but not really because i'm the driver haha.

So we had a few mean experiences this week:
First one was a lesson we had with one of our investigators, this was only the second lesson that we have had with her and it went really well we taught her a bit about faith and what not and the spirit was super strong, and every time we would say something she would get this smile on her face, and when we gave her a Book of Mormon she just lit up it was so cool!

next one me and elder noa were just walking around and we saw this guy in his garage so we walked up and started talking to him, and elder noa just went right into a lesson it was mean and we ended up teaching him a bit and then we invited him to be baptized and he said yes! it was crazy i forgot that things like that could happen after being in Wairoa for so long haha.

but going back in time a little bit the last few days in Wairoa were so awesome! I love that place so much and it was really hard to leave, it is so amazing how much love you have for the people you meet, the members of the ward and investigators all have a special place in my heart now! they have all blessed my life so much!


I am super excited for this new transfer I cant wait to see what great experiences are in store here in this wonderful area.


One thing we have been leaving with everyone we have been visiting with these last few days is the commitment to pray, i would encourage everyone to evaluate your prayers and see where you can improve, my testimony of prayer has for sure grown these last few weeks it is so incredible how all our father in heaven asks us to do is be sincere and he answers our prayers and sometimes it is not in the way we expect but he does answer and the way he answers is so much better than the way we want him to answer!  sorry this is a pretty short email but i would just like to end by saying happy late birthday to my best bud Zac Millet hope you had a good day bud!  and also welcome to the family Cache Killpack congrats cass and aust he looks like a real cutie he must get that from his uncle dax haha!  Love you all have a good week everyone!!!

Service Opportunities

Kia Ora Family and Friends!

Well i hope everyone has had a wonderful week this week!
Our week down here in New Zealand was pretty good!  The best part of the whole week was our service opportunity that we had
So it was Friday morning and we were planning for our week and I really wanted to do service this week because we hadn't had a service in a while, then the phone rang and it was one of the members of the ward and she told us the her neighbour needed us to came help him in his garden.  We got to his house and saw his pretty good size garden and he asked us if we would turn all the dirt over for him, this was a job that you would normally use a tiller for but instead we had the pitch fork things it was a really hot day but we did it! it took a few hours but we did it, then we started talking to this guy when he was 15 years old he joined the merchant navy and on his first trip his ship was sunk there were a total of 27 men on board 13 made it off the boat and 9 survived he was one of the 9, he told us a few other things that i dont really have time to share but it was such a wonderful thing to help him he told us he has been in and out of the hospital 15 times since 2011 it felt so good to be able to help him out with his Garden!

So this week is transfers and I am getting transferred up to South Auckland and President Rudd has called me to be a Zone Leader,  I was a little shocked when i got the phone call but i do know that President Rudd is a very inspired man so I know this call comes from our Heavenly Father, but still might need you all to send a few extra prayers my way haha.

Sorry this is so short this week not really to much happened besides our wonderful service opportunity! this was a great week and i'm glad that this was my last week in Wairoa it was a good week to end on!


I hope everyone is constantly looking for service opportunities, after all the first thing Ammon did when he went before king Lamoni was told him he would be his servant and he served him! then he was able to do miracles and convert him and his whole household! miracles happen from service even if we cannot see the immediate effect!  I love you all have a wonderful week! Remember to Serve others and you will be blessed! 

The Way the Lord Wants

Kia Ora Everyone

Well not really to much time this week and not really any interesting experiences to share.  

We tracted into a less active family and so we have another less active family to visit,  We also had a visit on saturday with two of our new investigators, they go to the rock church but they don't really have a religious background at all so we really really have to simplify our teaching.

Other than that we had a few up and down days, one day even knocking on doors was not productive well to be honest in my opinion that is never productive haha but still it gives you something to do and there was no one home no one was interested and that made it a lot tougher.

General Conference was wonderful that was easily the greatest part of the whole week! we are so lucky to be able to listen to living prophets and apostles!  I left General Conference with a stronger testimony that ever before!  I loved every single talk and i felt like every talk was meant just for me!

Also I had the opportunity to do an exchange this week with elder landis which was pretty fun it was really weird being back with him for a day and it reminded us both of old times.  We had a really good exchange though and had some really good visits with people.

So last story for today on saturday we had an appointment with one of our new investigators we showed up at his house a little earlier than our appointment and we were sitting in the car then all of the sudden a car pulls up in the driveway and then pulls out and drives away, and in the car was the guy we were supposed to have the appointment with and me and elder brunson just looked at each other kinda like did that seriously just happen he looked right at us!  then we went to a less actives home and he had been having a rough day and we were able to help him out so that was good.


Sometimes in the moment it seems like everything is going wrong for us when in actuality everything is going the way the Lord wants it so that in the future absolutely everything will be going right and working for our benefit.  I love you all and hope you all have a good week! 


Oct. 4

Kia Ora Everyone!

Well i just want to start off by saying this week was absolutely wonderful!
As you all know we had a few exchanges this week all of which were really really good, by far the best was when we had the Assistants down here on thursday and friday we set a goal with them to double our teaching pool and we did it! we found 7 new people to teach this week! it was nothing less than a miracle!

On tuesday I gave my first training in District Meeting and I feel like it went pretty well so hopefully everyone who was there took something away from it.

Our exchange with the assistants was very good, I learned so much from them both and it was good that we were able to hit our goal of doubling our teaching pool!

One downfall of the week was we had a funeral for our Bishops son, but there were so many people there all three days the chapel was totally full on the last day there were over 700 people there! literally the  whole town of Wairoa was there!  It was a really wonderful service.  Scary part Wednesday night they asked me to speak at the service that was held at the house... there were a few hundred there that night also and I had no idea what to say!  But I said a quick prayer and Lord filled my mouth with words don't ask me to tell you what i said because i cant remember because it was not me speaking!

There has been some amazing miracles seen from the funeral though when we are talking to people on the street now they say "oh we saw you at the funeral" and then they ask us a question or we ask them what they thought of the service and we end up having a really great conversation with them!  Our Bishop also bore a powerful testimony yesterday of how he knows that they will see their son again and that everything will work out.

We also had 3 people at church yesterday which was wonderful we had a few people who we really thought were going to come not show up so that was a little disappointing, but we will keep working hard and we will see more miracles come our way!

Well that is about it for this week, we also set one of our Investigators for Baptism his name is Bon we haven't really taught him to much because he was taught previously by missionaries.  So he will be baptized on November 14th i probably wont be here because that is after transfers but its all good! i will just be happy that he has taken that step to come closer to Christ.


I hope you all have a good week thank you all so much for the prayers that you say for me I really feel them!  The Church is true and I love you all!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

John 16:33

Kia Ora Everyone!

Well sorry this email is coming so late we got to our chapel today to find that the power was out and it would be out until 4:30 in the afternoon so we scrambled up to Nuhaka to email at their chapel!

But we had a really good week down here in Wairoa the temple was absolutley amazing it was so wonderful to go inside there again, it really strengthened my testimony that the temple really is the house of the Lord! it is not just some nice building that is pleasing to the eye that the mormons build.  It is literally Gods House! and he dwells there! I know that without a doubt in my mind! The temple is such a sacred and wonderful experience, make sure you all are attending regularly.

After the temple we had an exchange with the Nuhaka Elders, Elder Gutierrez came down to Wairoa with me and we sent Elder Brunson up to Nuhaka with Elder Landis.  And Everyone said they had a good exchange so it sounds like it was a success!  Then this week we have an exchange with the Zone Leaders after district meeting on Tuesday and then on Thursday.... the Assistants to the Mission President are coming down on an exchange... scary haha jk.

Also this week we were able to start teaching a family that has already been taught a little by missionaries before, we found their names in our area book and we thought we would give it a try, we met them a few weeks ago but we just started having visits with them and then the dad and three boys came to church on Sunday which was awesome! and then we met someone else who had been previously taught by missionaries and then they lost contact and one of the Members of the ward that has just recently started coming back to church brought him to churchon Sunday also and that was really really unexepteced and then we had one more come to church so we had a total of 5 investigators at church on Sunday! that was a great way to end the week, after church it was a nice day so we decided to walk around and try to talk to people and that went well also we talked to lots of people and got to enjoy the wonderful weather after we almost got washed away by the rainstorm we had like all last week!

That was pretty crazy the town of Wairoa literally almost got washed away the rain was just pouring down there was so much water, the river flooded and i mean flooded!

Sorry this is pretty short but not to much to tell about this week except for that wonderful temple trip.  I know i have already said it but the temple is truly and amazing place! Because of the temple families have the opportunity to be together forever! Death cannot and will not separate us from those we love!


Thats all i have for this week, a scripture i want to share with everyone this week is John 16:33 it says: "These things i have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have over come the world."  Those are some beautiful words from the Savior to us all, we must remember that though life in this world is hard he has overcome the world for us!  I love you all and I know this church is true! 


Driving to Hamilton for their Temple trip

Handsome little guy

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Make Sure We Are Walking

Kia Ora Everyone!

I hope you all have had a fantastic week!  Life down here in NZ is just moving along!  

So we are going to the temple tomorrow but we just got news like just barely that the road up to Hamilton is closed because it has been raining like crazy the last two days! so we have to go a different way that goes out of our mission! so we get to see the outside of the NZHM this is a very rare opportunity!

This week was a little slower we were doing a lot of talking to people on the street this week and we found a few potentials but we didn't get any new investigators but we should have a few this week!

One cool experience while walking on the street the other day we saw one of the members of our ward and she was sitting with one of her friends so we started talking to them.  The member then asked us to share something we learned from our studies so we said ok and Elder Brunson started talking about his studies but we snuck in a little of the Restoration in there and I noticed when Elder Brunson said Joseph Smith restored christ's church to the earth she was kinda taken back a bit because she is presbyterian and she believes she is part of Christ's church so I said I noticed you were taken back a little bit when my Companion said this and she was like yeah and I said well here is the fact we have The Book of Mormon and if The Book of Mormon is true then the church is true because if its true then that means Joseph Smith really was a prophet.  She agreed We then told her that we are not asking her to leave her faith but we are inviting her to gain a better relationship with the saviour and we informed her she will grow closer to the Saviour by reading The Book of Mormon.  We then said we want to give you a Book of Mormon and she said well thank you i was actually going to ask for one! That was really awesome it is incredible the power that The Book of Mormon has!  

Another cool story while walking around town the other day I had the thought to go a different way then what we normally do and it was a bit weird because except for the place where we walk the rest of the down is pretty much dead haha but we went that way anyways and we say this guy  who was walking his dog and we started talking to him he has a few family members in the church and some cousins on missions so we asked if he would be interested in learning more he said yes ans so we will go see him this week because he went out of town this weekend!  The Lord really does put people in our paths we just have to make sure we are walking!

Well that is it for this week, I hope everyone has a good week and remember The Book of Mormon is central to this gospel if it is true and it is then that means that the church is the only true church on the earth! I know The Book of Mormon is true! Love you all have a wonderful week!



Pic of the week, good ol' Dax

Agents Who Act

Kia Ora Everyone

I hope everyone had a good week this week!  

This week was transfers for us here in the New Zealand Hamilton Mission but thankfully I was not transferred!

It has been a pretty busy week though we said goodbye to Elder Rios he has been transferred and the missionary that replaced him up in Nuhaka is none other than.... Elder Landis haha my trainer.  it will be good to serve around him again!

Well we worked pretty hard this week, we found 3 new people to teach who all were pretty interested when we first made contact but then when we went back for our return appointment they were not very interested.  But what made the week good was we got to have another boil up!  which was great!

But really this week what i was impressed with was how we have not been able to find new people to teach for some time and then this week we set our goal higher and we were able to accomplish it and we found new investigators for the first time in like 4 weeks!  and the secret to it was Work!  I remembered when David A. Bednar came to the mission he talked about being agents who act rather than objects that are acted upon, we need to be "agents unto ourselves"(D&C 58:28)  By applying this principle this week we were able to find new investigators and we will continue to apply it and we will continue to see miracles! 

The secret of this principle is we need to act we could pray for new investigators all we want and nothing will happen because that would make us objects waiting to be acted upon, but if we pray for new investigators then go out and act then we see the miracles!  A great example of this can be found in The Book of Mormon 1 nephi 16 while his whole family was murmuring because of the lack of food nephi decided to act(make a bow and arrow) and then go find food, instead of complaining like his brethren.  Nephi made the bow which made himself an agent, and then asked his father "whither shall i go to obtain food"(verse 13).  So what we learn from this is we have an immense amount of control over our circumstances because the Lord has told us that we are "Agents" so when we pray we need to be like joseph smith who prayed to know "what church to join".  We must act and then we receive blessings I can bear testimony of this because i have applied it in my missionary work and it works! The church is true!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week also i would like to thank everyone who wrote some notes in my birthday package i really loved reading all those notes i'm so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life! i love you all!



His beloved Chick-Fil-A Sauce from Lindsay and Skyler

Last pic with Elder Rios

Last pic with Elder Saville

Elder Homes' new ride

Friday, September 11, 2015

Everyone can partake

Kia Ora Everyone!

I hope everyones week was amazing mine was pretty good down here in the land of Aotearoa!

Well not anything really too interesting this week just the usual missionary work.  This weekend we did have stake conference so we had to drive up to Gisborne for that and that took two days out of our schedule, but the best part while we were up there we went on a little exchange with our Zone leaders and the Zone leader i went with his name is Elder Saville he was the AP that picked me up from the MTC and he ended his mission this transfer so i got to be with him for his very last exchange of the mission it was awesome we had a really good time and I learned heaps!

While we were walking around on the street there was a woman sitting on her porch, so we started talking to her come to find out she is a less active member and we ended up having a wonderful visit with her! so the elders up in Gisborne will be heading back there!

Then we had a dinner appointment at one of their Recent Converts house he has an incredible story and he is just amazing he has totally been prepared for the gospel!  We talked to him about Temple marriages and how families can be together forever by performing ordinances in the temple and he just lit up it was so incredible, his mom passed away two years ago so he really is eager to work towards taking her name to the temple! 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is absolutely 100 percent true The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Gods living church on the earth Thomas S. Monson is his prophet on the earth and he leads and guides this church!  And everyone can partake of the happiness that the Gospel brings! and you can know it is true by simply praying with real intent and you will receive an answer! it is that simple.  

Love you all thank you for all the prayers and support you send my way!


Arohanui!

"Here is a pretty, pretty picture," I would have to agree.

Forgetting yourself- Aug. 30th

Kia Ora Everyone

I know the first thing that is on all of your minds is how the goat was! but sadly we didn't get to have the goat but I still had a great birthday i wanna thank everyone who sent me bday emails that was really nice of you all! 

So this week was a little interesting on monday when we were going to have the goat we got out to Amy and Logans and stress was in the air one of their cows had given birth but one of the babies died in the mom which pinches a nerve and makes it so they can feel their back legs so we helped them lift up this cow!  obviously i had to do all the heavy lifting because of my nice big muscles i have haha.  But it was really awesome that i got to give service on my birthday, now giving service isn't really anything new out here on the mission but it was on my birthday and i was helping someone else and i could totally feel the savior's love when I in essence "forgot myself" it was such a wonderful day and i feel so blessed to have had that opportunity to serve on my birthday!

Then on tuesday i went out to nuhaka with the elder from the philippines on exchange it was really interesting to see how they do missionary work up there because that is the smallest area in the whole mission! but it was great i had a wonderful time and learned heaps!

Then wednesday night Elder Brunson and I decided to fast for some of our investigators so all thursday we were fasting and I can say just as nephi said that  "the tender mercies of the lord are over all those whom he hath chosen" 1 nephi 1:20.  and one of our investigators text when we were done with our fast and invited us over for a boil up! which is my most favourite Maori dish! it was incredible and without a doubt the best boil up ever!  and then to end the week we had several less active members that we visit with come to church on sunday two of which we weren't expecting to come at all so it was a really nice surprise!

Other than that not to much else this week, I hope eveyone has a wonderful week thanks for all the love and support you all give me i can feel the strength that comes from all your prayers!


And one last thing Happy Birthday on the 1st Dad! you're the best dad ever I am so grateful for you and your example to me I wouldnt be out on a mission if it wasn't for you!

He was very proud of his deviled eggs

Elder Holmes and Elder G in Nuhaka

Nuhaka

Nuhaka

"That sends a chill up the spine."

Birthday Boy- Aug. 24

Kia Ora Everyone!

Well first off I want to thank everyone for the Birthday wishes! thank you all so much it means the world!  and thanks to all of my wonderful Whanau who were in that video it was great to hear you all sing to me!!  But I think i do have to single out one performance... Thanks Ren for the best birthday song ever hahaha I loved the dance moves haha if that's what you want to call them i guess haha!

Anyways I want to share one really cool experience this week, we were helping Bishop Edwards move some firewood and he then told us to go see one of the Less Active members of the ward he said "I don't know why but i have just been thinking about him all day", so we took his name and address down and went to visit him on saturday after we had some good fish and chips :) haha anyways, we went to the house and we started talking to this member and he was really closed and reserved at first and you could tell he really didn't want to talk to us, but i like to talk so i just started talking to him about weird stuff haha but finally he opened up and just told us he has been having a really rough week with some trials that have happened to his family this week, Me and Elder Brunson said well we dont think its a coincidence that you and your family are going through this trial and we come along, and i mentioned you have have a heavenly father that loves you because bishop told us he has been thinking about you all day and he doesn't know why. by this time the spirit outside was strong and you could feel the love of our Father in Heaven all around us, we talked a little more bore testimony by this time he was a little teary eyed and then we left with a prayer.  It is wonderful to be able to be an instrument in the Lords hands it is wonderful to know that he needed a job done and he had enough trust in me and my companion that he sent us!  

Another good story we were out walking around the street on wednesday and we walk by this house and this older fella has a big huge trailer full of wood so i start walking up his drive way and say "good day" he looks up looks at me looks at my name tag then looks at me again and says "right you've come just in time" and so i drop my bag on the ground and i say yes we have where we taking it, and he informs us we need to push this trailer full of wood over to this little pad that he wants it parked on and he couldn't get it there with his car so we push away and get it where it needs to go, talked to him for a bit and then went on our merry little way so yesterday we decide to take this fellow an invitation to the movie night we are having at the chapel on friday so we go to his house knock on his door his wife answers and before we can say anything she says"not interested" and slams the door, so i yell is neil in there haha and we wait for a bit and nothing happens so they dont get to see the movie on friday... sad day for them.

Well hope everyone has a wonderful week be sure to celebrate my birthday tomorrow also! We are going to have a goat! yeah a goat it sounds kinda gross one of the elders in nuhaka is from the philippines and so he is cooking it up for us! i will let you all know how it goes next week!


Arohanui! 


Some oceanic scenery

"I don't know how this thing would even get here, but it's good for taking pics,"

Monday, August 17, 2015

Prayer

Kia Ora Everyone

Seems like just yesterday i was emailing crazy how the weeks just fly by!

This week well it was a little rough sometimes there are weeks where there is just nobody home.  We had the opportunity to go to a Tangi this week though that was really cool I hadn't been to one for a whole transfer so it was about time we were invited to one.  And we got to see a little performance of the Haka which was awesome cause who doesn't love that!

Anyways we really didnt have to many visits this week but the few we had were incredible, we had made a lesson plans for all our visits and each time the spirit took us some other way and they turned our way better than they would have, we had a visit with one of the less active members and we were going to talk about the oath and covenant of the priesthood, after talking to him for a little bit the spirit had us start talking about confidence and what not and we were just jumping from scripture to scripture in The Book of Mormon to help him, at one point in the lesson he stopped us and looked at me and said "how are you finding all these scriptures" and I said honestly i have no idea this all by the spirit.  it was a really cool experience for me personally to see how the spirit can work through me.  We were then talking to the bishop on sunday and he told us that in comparing his visit with this member last sunday to this sunday the difference was like night and day, he is so much more sure of everything this week its incredible.  That makes us as missionaries feel really good knowing that we are making a difference in the peoples lives that we teach.

Like I said really not to much happening this week, we were supposed to have a baptism this saturday but it had to be postponed because of some things.  But its all good because the lord know best and his timing is better than ours!

I want to end this email by bearing my testimony on prayer, I know that prayer works I know that Heavenly Father loves us and that he does answer our prayers. I know this Gospel is true it is absolutely 100 percent true and i can say that very confidently.  Thomas S. Monson is Gods prophet on the earth!

I love you all thanks for all of the love and support, and for all the prayers thank you all so much!  Have a wonderful week!

Those of you starting school this week hope you all have a good first week!

Dax and his companion, Elder Brunson

Dax and Elder Rios

Finally, some REAL fish and chips for this boy.



Raining Outside

Kia Ora Everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful week, this first week of transfers was a little crazy but nonetheless we hit our goals that we wanted to reach this week and it was awesome!

To start off we had emails with President Rudd on thursday and those were awesome I love President Rudd! Him and Sister Rudd actually came down to Wairoa on wednesday to pay us a little surprise visit so we went back to our flat to see them and when we were talking to them they told us they left us a gift on our porch, so after they left we look on our porch and there is a pringles can! And then we look inside and there was nothing in it!!!! hahaha that is classic President Rudd.

But because of interviews we were a little behind on some of the goals we had set this week so yesterday we still had heaps of things we needed to do so after church we took lunch and then went to work we were out tracting in the rain from about 3:30 to 5:00 and it was miserable nobody was home(or they knew the mormons were knocking...) we had planned to just knock one street and ended up doing the entire block!  

There were a few times while we were knocking doors that i was thinking to myself what am I doing I'm wet and I'm cold i should be inside instead of outside.  Of course that would be the logical thing to do its raining stay in side.  But on a mission we are not here to do the logical thing we are out to do what the Lord wants us to do! 

I can promise you all that sometimes it may be "raining outside" and it will be hard to go outside and we may get wet(in some cases very wet) and we may get cold but as we do what Heavenly Father wants us to do we will be warm and dry no matter what the conditions "outside" may be. 

Once again I want to share my testimony with everyone who is reading this from the group email or on the blog.  I know this church is true.  I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he lives today.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that i have to be a missionary and to preach this gospel to the people of New Zealand, I am also grateful for the trials that Heavenly Father places in my life because they make me stronger!


I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week, thank you for all the prayers, they really do give me added strength each day!

A little NZ snow

Wairoa sunset


Trials

Kia Ora Everyone

Well the big news of the week i am now training a new missionary down in Wairoa! his name is Elder Brunson and he is from Washington!  

I really dont have to much time this week so sorry this is going to be really short but we didnt get to visit our family of five this week because they were sick and they had some other things come up so pray that we can meet with them this week!

We had a really fun time driving up to transfers it takes about three days out of our schedule to get up to Hamilton but we made it there and back safely and we still had a really good week!

Sorry the events of this week are so short but my message for you all this week is about trials!

I know we all do not look forward to the trials that we will experience in our lives and i know alot of times it is hard to believe that anything good can come from trials.  But I testify that good things do come and that when the end comes we will look back and realize that trial made us grow that it changed!  And when we trust in God and do his will our trials will be made light because God will be right there with us helping us to bear the weight which has been placed upon our shoulders!  I know this to be true I know the Gospel is true!  I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he is our Saviour and Redeemer! I know it.


Last P-day with Elder Stephens

Friday, July 31, 2015

Sunday will come

Kia Ora Everyone

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and that everyone is doing well!  

Well this week started out a little slower appointments falling through and nobody to see! It a got a little frustrating!  So really nothing had happened this whole week, and then Sunday came and first thing one of our investigators came to church! it was awesome to finally have someone come to church! our prayers were answered! But it doesn't stop there after church We went with the Bishop and his councillors to do some baby blessings and when we got there we found out that two of the kids are over 8 and they asked us to come and to teach the kids, so we yes obviously but we also invited the kids to be baptised and they said yes! and then come to find out the parents are not baptised so we invited them also so we now have 5 new investigators to teach and 5 baptisms set for the end of August! it was incredible after a whole week of nothing working out on Sunday we get an amazing miracle!

This made me think of a talk that Joseph B. Wirthlin a former member of the quorum of the twelve gave.  In the talk he talked about the crucifixion of the Saviour, and the sadness that it brought to his apostles his mother and really all of the members of the church of that time.  But one thing they had forgotten was that in three days time Sunday would come the Saviour would rise from the dead, and all of the pain and suffering of those other days would be worth it.  Many of us now are passing through trials in our life that we feel we may never escape, but as Elder Wirthlin taught we must remember that "Sunday will come".


I testify that Sunday does come I know it because I have experienced it... Literally.  Hold firm trust in God have Faith and alawy always remember that Sunday comes.  I love you all hope you all have a wonderful week! 




Joy beyond measure

Kia Ora Whanau!

How was everyone's week? it seems like just yesterday that i was emailing this week flew by!

Well we will start of the email with a really funny story, well i thought it was funny, so we are at Amy and Logan's house making pizza and we decided to make four pizzas we ate one and we were like wow good thing we made 3 more so i go over to get the other two out and i open the oven and they weren't burnt but they were just a little crispy so i pulled them out and Elder stephens came over to cut them and he was having a really hard time cutting them and we had them on wax paper on the pan so me and elder stephens have the wonderful idea to carry the pizza over to the table by the wax paper and thinking it through i told elder stephens put your hands on the bottom so they don't rip through so he did and we are making our way across the kitchen and elder stephens goes "ah its like hot lava under there" and then lets go of the pizza the pizza then slid over onto one of my hands and it was like hot lava and long story short the pizza fell on the floor... we were all laughing really hard and then we burnt the other pizza haha but they all still were really good and we made them work haha.

Then on wednesday we went on an exchange i went up to the little town of nuhaka with elder rios and he was sick so i was in the flat with him all day.  Well i was in the flat while he slept all day, i had some really good studies though pretty much read the whole Book of Mormon haha.  

We have been having some pretty good weeks but there has been one problem we have been having and that is we haven't had one investigator come to church for the entire time that I have been here and that frustrates me a little, so we will for sure be working hard to get people to church because they need to come to church to get baptised!


Also I got to give a talk yesterday in church on repentance I used the parable of the prodigal son for the talk, that is such a wonderful parable and applies to all of us so well, I just think it is so wonderful that we have a loving father in heaven who is always willing to forgive us and loves us so much to send his son to suffer for our pain so we don't have to, and also for our older brother to love us enough to do that for us!  We are so lucky, and it is wonderful that it doesn't matter what we have done who we may have been in the past but as long as we like the prodigal son return to our father with a broken heart he will forgive us!  I testify that Jesus lives that he is the Christ and that he loves us and that the Atonement is real and we can be forgiven of our sins and we can through the saviour experience a "joy beyond measure" I know this church is true I know President Monson is Gods Prophet on the earth!


Have a wonderful week everyone I love you all!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pumpkin pie and Pizza

Kia Ora Everyone

I hope everyone had a wonderful week, Me and Elder Stephens have still been trying to get over our cold and we finally have kicked it in the butt and it isn't bothering us anymore which is good!

The highlight of this week was for sure when we went over to a couple that we go and do service for and what not named Amy and Logan, and we made homemade pumpkin pie and homemade pizza! and it turned out great! it was awesome because they don't have pumpkin pie here in NZ so the pressure was on me and i think i pulled through cause they all really loved it! in fact they loved it so much that we are doing it again tomorrow!  

I week wasnt really to exciting besides that but it was still a really good week we visited with lots of people and did a bit of service which is always good! 

One thing i will share for this week is last week after p day we were at the bishops house and when we were leaving this lady started talking to us on the street, she told us that her husband was an atheist and that it would probably be easier to convert the devil than him, and then she told us that she supposes she is an atheist now and the same thing it would probably be easier to convert the devil himself so me and elder stephens looked at each other then looked at this lady and said "challenge accepted" haha so maybe we will stop by and visit her this week!

but that is really all i have but before i finish this i have to give a shout out to my friend Zac Waters who is opening his mission call tonight! congrats man! cant wait to hear where you are going! you are going to be one awesome missionary!

have a good week everyone love you all!

He's been out 5 months!

Despicable Me footie pajamas

Elder Holmes and Elder Stephens

Having fun

A little NZ landscape





Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 5th

Kia Ora Whanau 
                                               
Sorry this is going to be short running a little low on time right now! so we will get right in to it!

First off this was a really good week other than me and Elder Stephens both came down with a cold or something and that gave us a nice kick for a few days but that didn't stop us from working hard!

We invited three people to be baptised and got two new Investigators! and so we will now work to set dates for those people that we invited to be baptised!

The other exciting part from this week is we again went and mustered some goats and we caught about 80 something goats this time which was awesome!  

One thing i would like to share with you all just because the experiences were so short today is that, I know there will be times when our faith will be shaken and people will try to tear the Church down, But I just want to bear my testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Saviours only true church on the earth today and that it is the only church that holds all the keys to administer all of the saving ordinances that are required for salvation!  I know that Thomas S. Monson is Gods living prophet on the earth today! I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth and translated The Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God!  This Church is true, I know it!

Have a wonderful week everyone and thank you for all the thoughts and prayers love you all!


Arohanui

Goat Mustering

Tena Koe Everyone

Well I hope everyone has had a wonderful week, it seems like just yesterday I was emailing so the time is for sure flying by!


This week was wonderful Elder Stephens and I worked super hard we talked to a lot of people and taught a lot of lessons! the best thing of the week we received a refferal from the office and when we contacted him he turned into a new investigator which is awesome he is a great guy and we hope to help him to have the desire to get baptised!

Also on Saturday we had a baptism! but it was a ward baptism Elder Stephens performed the baptism so we will take a little bit of the credit for that one! but it was a wonderful experience and it reminded me of the time I had the wonderful opportunity to Baptise my little brother!

One story from last week that i forgot to tell was, me and Elder Stephens went and did some service out at an investigators farm and we helped them muster some goats! cause there are heaps of them around here and they can sell them to the meat works for some cash.  So we went out and mustered some goats it was really fun a little scary but fun, we caught about fifty or so of them so it was a good day of mustering!

Now trying to think of all the other experiences from this week has made my mind go blank and i cant really remember any of them it was a rather crazy week and i am still trying to get used to the area so i'm not really even to sure what happened haha, but i will just close of this week by telling everyone that i know the church is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that we have prophet on the earth today who leads and guides this church!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! love you all!


Come unto Christ

Come unto Christ