Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm a Rock

Jacob's baptism
Elder Ward and Jacob
Dearest Family,

Mom, are you kidding?! I’m a rock! Nothing gets me down! haha But in all seriousness, it sure is making me tired not being able to work as effectively as I have in the past... Elder Tafiti and I have really come to love and respect each other. That’s good because he still has another transfer after this one which is on September 5th. He goes home the same time as Trevor...

A funny thing too is that I realized Elder Tafiti is Futi's Cousin!!! Like BYU volleyball legend FUTI!!! haha Except he is 5'8” so I don’t know what happened there... I really have to say that I've come to love him and that there is a lot of good in him. But that is enough about that. MOM, DAD, family, I will have you know even though I’m a little more tired than usual I still am happy and am still trying to do my best to keep going strong...

Brother Armstrong... he is the man!!! Definitely go find his boy and give him heaps of Rolo cookies. Brother Armstrong is a champion at helping us with the recent converts in the ward and getting other members involved with activities and such. You might have to come stay with him if you make plans to come pick me up when I'm done :) but that’s still forever away so we won’t have to worry about that for now.

Well, this week we baptized Jacob Papuni!!! Jacob asked me to perform the baptism and man I chucked him in the water!!! and then threw him right out! I didn't mean to be irreverent in any way but I seriously just got so excited I couldn't restrain myself (oh and he is a little bit of a feather weight). haha It was a good program though.

This week let’s see, oh yeah, I will give you more deets on Micaella Wilson. She is 17 almost 18 and she is keen to be baptized on September 8th! She wrote President Leikas asking if some of her previous missionaries could come back for the baptism and the next day he gave her a call saying that they could come and that he will be attending himself... I challenged her to read the Book of Mormon all the way through before she gets baptized to make it more meaningful and that we would make it a race too! She had a little bit of a head start in Jacob two weeks ago but she has made it all the way to 3rd Nephi. That’s like 300 pages!!! I’m only at the end of Alma!!! She asked me to do her confirmation so I'm pretty stoked about that! Oh yeah, she also said that she found me on Facebook along with Elder Manewell. You should have Collin go find them both.

What else happened this week??? hmmm I learned how to break into my flat courtesy of my Zone Leader Elder Barney... I forgot my white tie and extra garments for the baptism... whoops and then we got there and I realized I didn't have a key. It turns out you just have to lift the door a certain way. It’s pretty easy... haha. Funny thing is I ended up forgetting an extra white shirt too for after the baptism, so my sleeves were a little wet after. J

Good news I’m sending the package today!!! In it I should have.... ah never mind. I will keep it a surprise. J

Also I forgot to mention about good husbands. haha I remembered the time Dad busted Jared’s shoulder and he almost got least-favorite uncle status. Uncle Spencer could break my shoulder and he still wouldn't sink lower. J But yeah, this week we had dinner at a member’s house and the husband was terrible to his wife... It made me mad. Don’t worry, Mom, I’m reading about the stripling warriors and I bet you anything they had mad hot wives... Jokes jokes. But seriously, I've been thinking about it and you and Dad both have taught me, Trevor and Collin to respect girls really well. Like for example the only time we really got hurt/spanked/maimed by Dad was because we were nasty to MOM.

Dad, I just read your letter. Sweet miracles! Angels definitely caught that boy. Little children are so special to Heavenly Father... I just watched “On the Lord’s Errand,” the video on Thomas S. Monson. There is a story about kids in Samoa who were told that if they prayed hard enough they would be able to shake the apostle’s hand. While President Monson was there he felt prompted to do it regardless of his lack of time and he shook each child’s hand... Heavenly Father is so quick to answer children’s prayers it’s unbelievable!

Go Collin and Jared!!! Karaoke at Costco!!! That definitely sounds like them. They will make great missionaries. NO FEAR. Oh, and good job Collin talkin’ to the ladies for young women’s. That was the opportunity of a lifetime!!!



Elder Ward

p.s. Thanks for the DVD. It has helped out heaps!!!
Jacob and his family with Elder Ward and Elder Tafiti


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sweet New Investigator

August 19, 2012


Dearest family,

Thank you so much or your letters of encouragement, support, and testimonies. Good news… I finally got the PACKAGE!!! It is so nice to have a clean pair of socks everyday. It makes me really happy. Oh and the candy was good. It lasted a day. I shared most of it with everybody. I figured it's more valuable seeing people get a kick out of "American lollies" then keeping them all for myself. It was also funny because of the way they pronounced “Mamba”. They also have a hard time saying my name "Conna"

TO answer your question mom…our mission kinda has a lame rule about eating dinner and being done by 6pm and no later. Sorry it’s not lame. I need a better attitude about this one. ;) Anyways, pretty much all of Auckland shuts down by 6:00 too, sooo a lot of families complain to us about it. We are only allowed 4 meals a week too. Sooo normally we have something dropped off which is alright. We just don’t get to talk with the members and help them with their missionary efforts, but on the other hand they usually fill our fridge or buy enough KFC to feed 6. When we do make it into member’s homes, which happens very rarely, I almost die every time... Yes I have had to stuff my rain jacket pockets before. Every Polynesian’s rule is NOBODY leaves until everything is gone and they like to pick on me because I’m the skinny white guy. :) Oh and a lot of members we seek referrals from or less active people we visit will usually offer us something to eat, or they just make it and then tell us to go eat. SO yeah I’m pretty well taken care of. I don’t think I will have to worry about losing weight on my mission.

Anyways this week had its ups and downs. We found a sweet new investigator named Alex. He was referred about a month and a half ago and we managed to contact him once. He wanted to get baptized but every time we went to visit, he was never home. Thursday night though I felt like we should head over there. He came to the door and he was in bad shape. He began to tell us how he was hit by a drunk driver. It destroyed 3 disks in his back and his left arm. Long story short, he lost his job and still has a family of 4 to provide for. He is a pretty rough character you know the type that likes to include obscenities in every sentence??? Well, that’s him. It was so cool though while we bore our testimony about the atonement and talked with him about Jesus Christ his whole countenance changed, even his language.

Brother Armstrong emailed you huh? That guy is so awesome. He used to be the previous mission president’s counselor. He helps us out heaps. Definitely go find his son in Mesa or send him cookies or something. That would be pretty cool. Funny thing is he played for Highland rugby. Remember the movie, Forever Strong? haha Oh and speaking of rugby, this Saturday Brother Armstrong helped start rugby touch as a ward activity that people could bring their friends to. We decided to skip our 5 o’clock dinner (we didn't have anyone assigned that night) to go play. At first I felt so out of place cuz I had no idea what was going on. I started to get the hang of it by the end though and actually started doing pretty good. They nick-named me the All-American All-American.

I love you guys so much... oh and hey I liked the questions mom. You should have everyone ask questions that have been on your mind.

Dad good job cutting down those tree branches. Happy Birthday!!! This year you get a chainsaw for your birthday next year you get a walker and adult diapers :) haha Just kidding. I appreciate you soo much dad and all the things you took the time to do with me. Whether it was teaching me a lesson by throwing me on a big stack of pillows asking me certain gospel questions, or serving others like Kirk Jones, Sister Wainsguard, or other family members. Everything you did doesn't go unnoticed by me and especially by Heavenly Father, and it still doesn't! I watched all 20 of those Mormon messages and one of them is titled “Be Ye Men”... I think. It was D. Todd Christofferson telling the story of the husband who skipped lunch for a long time so that he could buy that ironing board thingy so his wife wouldn't have to go in the other room and cry because her hands hurt so bad when she ironed from the surgery she had on them. Anyways, it made me think of you... you’re not perfect like mom but you’re sure the number 1 dad in the world and I think all of your priests would agree that you’re a pretty great father to them as well.

Love Elder Ward #2

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Spirit was Overflowing

Dearest Ward Family

I would like to start my letter by addressing that you are indeed my favorite Ward family and just behind you guys is the Gilbert 3rd, the Flemming Park, and Red Hill ward families. I couldn't help but think that as I read this morning from a small pamphlet on “our journey to eternal happiness” or something like that given by Thomas S. Monson. He had 4 main points and one was honoring our heritage. Man! President Monson is a champion! I watched “On the Lords Errand” which is a movie about him and it got me thinking about him and the cool experience seeing him at the cultural celebration and dedication for the Kansas City Temple. I just want to go give him a big hug someday or at least a handshake. ;)

Laura's baptism
Soooooo…. yet another GREAT week! We baptized Laura Lemalu and had her confirmed a member yesterday. It was so sweet coming down from the stage and looking out at the crowd as they watched Laura come down beaming in her white dress. The Spirit was just overflowing the room! A lot of moms had tears in their eyes, especially Laura's mom. Yesterday was a pretty special day for everyone. Also before church, the Papakura 1st ward had just finished while Elder Tafiti and I were sitting on a couch outside waiting for our investigators to come in. While I was sitting there, I saw a young boy about 8 or 9 years old staring and smiling at me. When I looked over he got shy and ran and grabbed his mom’s legs. With a little encouragement, she ushered him over and explained he really wanted to meet us. I asked him how old he was but I forget what he said.  I asked him what his last name was. He said, “Hall”.  After he said that, I took my badge off and put it on his suit and told him that one day this will say Elder Hall covering my name. Oh boy did his face light up!!

Haha! Anyways this letter might be a little short, but I forgot to mention my email subject is "Mission stuff aye". The Kiwi accent is so contagious…it’s hilarious! I find myself starting to use a lot of the words Kiwis use.  Also Kiwi’s vowels are funny so my “yeahs” are becoming “yeeehs” and my “nos” are becoming “nyos” (they slap a “y” in there somehow… its funny!)

This week we found Jacob Papuni.  His mom was a convert 3 years ago and is still active and her son Carter even left on a mission just recently to Fiji! So Carter and Jacob’s mom is having a real hard time having her oldest son gone. She has been crying a ton and was even out of work for about 3 weeks. iIt was such a miracle to be able to find her. We met with her first and encouraged her by telling her how much good her son Carter is going to do in Fiji. It made me miss my mommy and think about her a little and how she must feel and how often she cries for her boys. I love you mom. We are baptizing her son at the end of the month on the 25th. Jesus is so good.

I don’t have my journal and I won’t say anything negative in this letter to make up for last week. So I just want to express my thanks for your prayers and the good they did. Keep it up and I promise I will keep it up too. :)


Elder Ward

Connor's handiwork
p.s. No package yet...I should get it at zone conference this week or the mission conference the week after... either one.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Dear family...
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay maybe it was more than a "little" spilled milk but gee wiz. [This was in response to something Collin did that would take too much time to explain.] Anywho, this week was FANTASTIC let me start by telling you the two MAJOR miracles that happened this week.
Miracle #1
We have been teaching this couple named Mike and Linda. They are in their late 20's and are a super sweet couple! They pretty much already know the church is true and really want to get baptized but are not married and have a few Word of Wisdom issues. This week, Elder Tafiti and I, went over to their house unexpectedly and they let us come in. They hadn't been reading the BOM a whole lot so we decided to read the Book of Enos with them. It was good and it definitely invited the spirit and at the very end we started to talk about marriage. Elder Tafiti asked if they knew about Bishop being able to do it for free... They didn't. Then I asked if Mike had proposed yet. He said he didn't because he didn't have a ring. Elder Tafiti then took off his own ring and gave it to him. Mike then proposed in front of all of us. WOOHOO! The spirit was soooo strong. I cried and Mike and Linda cried too.
Miracle #2
Remember how I mentioned Daisy and how we met her at the chapel last week and we talked about the Atonement with her? Well she and her two boys Chevir and Zackary finally started to get taught at the chapel EVERY NIGHT this past week. We taught them everything, had them interviewed, and then baptized them on Saturday. It turns out they had a real bad situation at home so they would walk down to the church to come meet with us instead. The boys are awesome and they learned everything FAST! Then this Saturday was just crazy trying to call everyone for the SUPER late-notice baptism, find whites for everyone, and have the font filled and ready. The baptism was set up for 10:00 and Daisy was about 20 minutes late and the only people we could manage to grab was one member, Tobias, and one person from the Bishopric. haha Oh, and the best part was the APs showed up. It was a really small program but it was still so great!!! After we baptized everyone we only had two towels and one was mine. So we waited as Chevir got changed and we stood freezing with our feet still in the font... It was a little irreverent but Zackary even jumped back in and started swimming around. They were then confirmed yesterday at church.
Missionary work is the Greatest... I'm still struggling big time with Elder Tafiti. All I try to do is love him and try not to get on his case too much. Please pray for me I need your help big time. haha In fact, this week he tackled me into the couch and I somehow cut my toe big time on this metal tin thingy. But that's enough about that! Just know that I'm still SOOO Happy and the Lord is still blessing us greatly! I love yous all back at home.
CHEERs and G'day,
Elder Ward

Daisy, Chevir, and Zackary's baptism.
My injury
P.S. Did you get the pictures from last week?