Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Gospel Brings Families Closer Together

Dear parents...

Assuming the rest of the family won’t be there to receive my letter, I guess this is just more for you. Boy am I happy that you guys aren't dead yet. Those roads in Nicaragua sound dangerous! In NZ the roads are generally safe because even when people get in accidents the usual speed limit is 50 KMH which I think is about 35 mph. Mom would probably get lots of tickets here. ;) I'm not really too worried about Trevor because the Lord protects his missionaries. :) I joke around from time to time that we can jump out of airplanes without parachutes, but I don't think I will try that one. Keep praying and I forgot to mention the whole fam is on the prayer roll in the Hamilton, New Zealand, temple pretty cool aye?

So just yesterday a missionary named Elder Taotua, a Samoan who actually just returned from his mission, spoke in our sacrament meeting. Before sacrament meeting, he passed by and I shook his hand and boy it sure was easy to tell that he had served as a missionary, but not only that, but I could tell right away that this Elder had served a very honorable mission. 3rd hour was combined and we watched Elder Bednar’s 3 part series talking about LIGHT on Go watch the video. It's sooooo good! Anywho, I went and talked to Elder Taotua and I just let him know that I could tell he served a really good mission. I also asked him if he knew my friend Dalton Brough. He said "Elder Brough!!" He spoke really highly of him and I tried to figure out how he knew him but he was too humble to let me know that he was an AP for the Adelaide, Australia mission. I know that when you get to go give Trevor a big fat hug and talk to him all the way home, you will be able to feel that same light coming from my awesome brother. :)

So what is there to tell... This week we had an awesome lesson with a lady named Tania and we had a guy named Pita King come out with us. The Houia/King family I have probably mentioned in the past but they were baptized a year and a half ago and missionaries have been coming over ever since. They have 19, 21, and 25 year old sons who have a ton of time on their hands, so we usually have one of them come out with us almost everyday. Anyway, Pita is the 21 year old and he was with us when we had a lesson with this lady, Tania. She is afraid to get baptized because she is afraid it will hurt her family. Pita jumped in and asked, "can I share my conversion story with you?", and he talked about how when he moved back home he didn't even recognize his family (who had just been baptized a couple months earlier). They were just happy and got along with each other which never happened in the past. Then he bore powerful testimony that the gospel brings families closer together while on the brink of tears. After the lesson, he realized what that true kind of happiness really is…. He said, "You know I really want to go serve a mission now". That made my really, really crappy week a whole lot better! :)

Dad, thank you for your advice with prayer. I will have to let Kanahana know about that. She is progressing well. We were going to have her baptized on the 13th of October but that's actually our general conference weekend, so we had to push it a week back to October the 20th along with her son, Miami, and little girl, Kaniehana.

So, I got some crazy news! This is kinda just going to be one big cliffhanger, but my companion is going home today. He is getting picked up by the AP's at 3:00pm. My new companion's name is Elder Fal'e. I definitely just had the worst week of my mission. The spirit was pretty much gone... I felt completely alone as I taught Kanahana and then again while I read the BOM with a less active member, and at other times throughout the week.  NOT what you were expecting, huh?! I am happy though cuz I’m back to my old cheerful self and I will let you in on more details next week... for now I got to do emails to PREZ

Love you guys heaps,
Elder Ward


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sweet Experience-Hamilton NZ Temple!!!

Hamilton New Zealand Temple
Dearest Family,

Darn I look forward to emailing you guys every week. I love all of you soooo much! Trevor!!! What the heck in the world?! I don’t even know that guy anymore. :) I just took a peek at some of his pictures he sent me and it kinda gave me some flashbacks. There’s no doubt I fought with him a lot and I could probably quote some of the nasty things I've said about him like, "I don’t want him to be my brother anymore!!!" and "I hate him so much I just want to punch him in the face!!!" Make sure when you go pick him up or when he gets home that I send my love and appreciate all the good he has done in my life by being a good example and that it is an honor to wear a name tag just like his... ahh darn…I just realized his is in Spanish.  It's still an honor though!

Happy anniversary parents and good job making it this far! I suppose we owe you some serious props for accomplishing a feat that is not so easy in days like this. Haha…dad you’re right…I think I’m learning a thing or two about what the future holds in store. Remember how I used to get really annoyed at people who would eat loud (sorry about that everyone). This week I finally realized that my companion chews his food SUPER LOUD and I almost cracked up laughing at how much that used to bother me. Sure it can still be annoying but I’ve realized just how foolish I had been telling my own family TO GET AWAY FROM ME!!!

This week on Wednesday I got to go to the Hamilton, NZ, temple and boy, oh boy, was it a sweet experience! It was so much needed and I was so grateful for the Spirit I got to feel there. Something really stuck out to me this time around. I guess I will just share with you when I get home or something when we can be in the temple together. It really helped me to go to one of my favorite places in the whole world, THE LORD’S HOUSE. Thank you so much mom and dad for getting married there and for being good examples for me on the way I should live.
Mission Temple Day

This week we have been meeting with an investigator named Kanahana and her boy Miami and her girl Kaniehana. The mom is Maori and she explained to me that she is having a real hard time. She has tried everything pretty much and nothing has ever worked for her... she said even anti-depressants are worthless. Haha. She is a typical Maori lady. She is super straight forward and is not afraid to speak her mind. She explained that she will read the scriptures and that she will go to church, but she won’t pray for this, that, and these reasons. I just said I'll be straight forward with you... “You WILL NOT be able to get out of this hole and find peace and happiness without help from Heavenly Father, which comes through prayer. We have taught her all the lessons and she came to church yesterday! We’re looking to have them baptized in October but not sure about which date yet.

Also, we went to go contact a referral given to us by one of the members and a really nice lady opened the door and invited us in. She had been taught by missionaries in the past and pretty much received an answer that it was something she needed to do and that it was all true. We had an awesome lesson with her, and she was in tears by the end. She let us know that we were supposed to come that night, and it made me feel so grateful for the Spirit! I hadn't even planned on going there that night, but somehow we got led to that house. I realized sometimes we might not even realize how much God directs us in our lives. It's kind of like Nephi when he went to get the plates. He didn't know what he was doing he just did what he felt like he needed to do, and sure enough it all worked out.

What else hmmm... haha trying to stay positive here. :)

OHHHHHH!!!! I got a letter from Jessica Barney this week along with her graduation announcement. It made my life! Haha…she told me about how she is going to be a nurse and stuff at Utah Valley. She even had a quote from President Hinckley on her announcement.  She will be a good catch for somebody…someday!

Anyways the work is going good. Sorry dad…you’re wrong! My companion has got 3 weeks (not 1 week) left…23 days left to be exact... haha. It's not me counting but I sure do hear it everyday.

Sorry this letter is kinda lame...

Elder Ward
AJ (Cool guy that helps us out) & a Cool Rainbow
Cool Glasses we Found
Awesome Rugby Field

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Consider on Your Blessed and Happy State

New Zealand sacred grove
Dearest Family,

Man, your comment about Trevor coming home and getting the house clean made me realize just how everyone might be feeling back at home. Please let Trevor know that the first thing I will do is slap him if he isn’t working his hardest the last few weeks of his mission. I know he wouldn't do that though.:) Give him my love.

So here are the answers to your questions:

1. Q:  Why exactly did that jersey that you sent Collin smell so bad? (Dad) 

    A:  The jersey hahahaha what do you think? I pumped out hard core during my 30 minutes of exercise every morning for 3 weeks with that thing on all in honor of Collin.... He should be proud.
2. Q:  How many missionaries serve on the island of Niue at one time? (Mom) 

    A: Niue…only 2 missionaries get to serve there but there is only like 2000 residents there. The missionaries get a van and pretty much know everyone by the end of the 2nd transfer. All the missionaries dream of going there.
3. Q:  What’s the funnest thing you’ve done on a P-day? (Mom) 

    A:  P-day experiences??? Uhm…nothing too cool. We went to a sweet waterfall and took pictures once but mostly we go play vball with the Tongans. Last week some Samoans came and they take vball pretty serious. I went up and housed there best hitter and everyone was dying on the floor laughing. I could only make out palangi as they pointed and laughed at the guy. I didn't know whether to be happy or offended. :)
4. Q:  Will you ever get to go to the temple there?  (Mom) 

    A: Temple!!! We’re actually going as a mission on Wednesday! I’m pumped for that. We go twice a year.
5. Q:  How much do you think the biggest person you’ve met weighs?  (Collin)

    A:  Fatties? America is way more obese. Sure there are a lot of bigger Polynesians, but people are usually more fit here.
6. Q:  Have you had any language barriers like with Maori, Chinese, Tongan, etc.? (Collin) 

    A: Uhm some Samoans and Tongans have broken English and the Aussie/New Zealand accent is sometimes hard to catch everything.
7. Q:  It seems like it’s always raining there when I check the weather.  Is it miserable or are you getting used to it? (Collin)

     A:  The rain is not too bad. I won’t lie…there are a few days where I get drenched, but it's crazy in NZ. It can be black clouds and pouring 1 hour and bright and sunny the next.
8. Q:  Have you seen any beaches? (Aubrey) 

    A:  To be honest, not really. Elder Tafiti said there are some really, really nice beaches up on the north shore, but I haven't been to any yet.
9. Q.  How many times have you fallen on your bike?  (Aubrey)

A.    Just that one where I flipped over the bars. :) I’m totally pro

10.  Q.  Should I play volleyball? (Aubrey) 

A: I don’t know. If you want to, then yeah, but you have to commit to it and practice hard. Sorry, I don’t have a good answer for that one. Dad and your other brothers would be able to help you out. At the same time though, a lot of the girls your age have been playing since they were like 2 and might not be so nice.

11. Q:  Where did you get that green stone (jade) that you gived to me? (Ava)

      A:  The green stone was just from a store. The rule with getting green stone is you have to give it as a gift before you get your own or else you will have some serious bad luck.
12. Q:  What is the best food you’ve had there and the worst? 

      A: Best foods…I haven't had anything super crazy spectacular but their fruit is a little more fresh. Fish and chips are pretty good and I don’t like fish. Meat Pies are sweet and I'm about to go eat famous chicken kabobs.
The Worst... to be honest I haven't had anything too nasty, but I have had dinners (especially with Samoans) where it gets to the point where every bite is NASTY because your about to EXPLODE! haha I'm about to eat some horsey next Monday at Brother Taukiaho's house.

I hope those were good answers. This week was good. I have kind of been holding on to a lot of Eternagators and we kind of let them go to refocus our finding efforts. We were able to find some pretty sweet families and new investigators. I don’t think we will have any baptisms the rest of this month, but that's okay. We are lining up a lot for October. One funny experience that happened this week was we went to Ann Marie's house. She is 18 and we met with her once, taught her L3, and invited her to be baptized on the 29th of September. She was keen, but this week when we came over her less active friend started getting us off track after reciting the first vision in L1. Then out of nowhere she gets up and leaves and takes a shower... haha. Maori's…they sometimes have a lack of manners.

Elder Tafiti and I made good progress this week. We talked a lot about honor and finishing his mission strong.  I told him that I would be a failure if I didn’t do my part to him do just that. Long story short…there have been heaps of improvement. 


Elder Ward and his district

I’m trying to think... what else happened this week. Uhm we started reading scriptures at night time with a less active family in our ward. At 8:00 we go over and read from the BOM as a family. It has reminded me of how important it is to do that and I hope you’re still faithful to Trevor's challenge even after he gets home! To be quite honest, I think that's what makes the difference in a lot of families.

I just want to bear my testimony that Jesus Christ sure does love all of you. No matter what you might think your self worth is, He obviously thought you were worth enough to sacrifice His own life for you. Never take that for granted... NEVER. Everything unfair or hard in life will one day be made right and we can find so much hope and security in following the gospel of Jesus Christ not only in the life to come, but in this one as well. (Mosiah 2:41) Today I just want all of YOU, my family and whoever reads my e-mails back home, to consider on your happy and blessed state! And BE GRATEFUL!!! If you aren't blessed and happy, that probably means you have got a little repenting to do.:) My advice...don't wait. Life is too short to be miserable, and Eternity is way too long to not be prepared for it. I guess that's why wickedness never was happiness (Alma 41:10)

Elder Ward #2 (soon to be #1)

p.s. I'm bringing my journal back with me next week when I write.  I like giving you details day by day it's a whole lot easier with my journal. GOOD QUESTIONS!

Ancestors protect me!  (Maori butterflies=ancestors)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Absolutely Coolest Priesthood Experience Ever

Dearest Whanua,

(Whanua= family in Maori) Haha stupid Moxie! They taught me good things but stink at killing bugs. You might as well fire them by the sounds of it. My man stench could probably scare bugs away better than they can. I am pretty sure our contract with Moxie is over now unless you renewed it, but if you want to switch I would suggest Blue Sky. They probably do the best. That's enough about that though. So guess what?! I was right. The Lord did want me to serve another Transfer with Elder Tafiti.

Micaella's Baptsim-Elder Ward and Elder Manewell
Awh man… I’m kinda at a loss of what to talk about. I’ll start with Micaella! That's cool that she is talking to Collin, Terri, and now Anna and Mariah. She was baptized this weekend which was a pretty cool experience. Collin should be able to find some pictures of it posted on Micaella’s Facebook. Then I got to confirm her yesterday. I will tell you that was one of the absolute coolest Priesthood experiences of my life. First, it was cool giving the Holy Ghost to someone who has waited so long to have it be their constant companion. Halfway through the prayer I realized it wasn't me talking at all. I noticed it when I promised her that according to her faith, prayers, and example her parents would one day accept the gospel in their lives. It was when that was said that I realized the significance of those promises Heavenly Father can make. Grandpa Peart knows all about that as a Patriarch. It's so awesome that I have awesome Priesthood holders for examples. Whether it’s my brothers, dad, or my grandpas, I have so many reasons to strive to be like them. Thank you for all that you do for me.

So, you’re right dad. I kinda forget now what you quoted exactly about obedience, but it sure is right. This week I read a talk titled The 4th Missionary. I remember you mentioning complete surrender and that is mentioned in this same talk as well. Basically in a sense, the 1st and 2nd missionaries are the disobedients and the 3rd and 4th are the obedients. In this talk the 3rd is obedient, works hard, baptizes many, and serves with all his might and strength, but withholds in his mind and his heart. The 4th missionary gives complete surrender. The way of the 4th is the easiest. Why though??...because they allow themselves to progress and change. If you withhold your heart, you withhold blessings. Because the Lord can't work with something he doesn't have, it's up to us to give it to him. You should look this talk up. It's centered for missionaries, but it opens your eyes on obedience.

Yesterday also was a sweet day because we went to a less active member’s house to kick there butt to church, but her friend that stays at the house asked if we would come in and have "studies" with her. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and committed her and her niece to baptism on the 29th! Our teaching pool was kinda at zero at the start of this week, but we did heaps of finding this week. Anyway, one cool miracle that happened this week was we left a members house and these kids came running down the street… WAIT! WAIT!!! We were kinda in a hurry, but they asked if we could come over and talk to their mom. That’s how we found that less active member and her friend Ann Marie. The one that is set for the 29th.

This is kinda a lame letter. I will have a better one for next week. You’re right…I can help my companion finish strong this last transfer. I know I can do a lot more for him. I really do love him even though this is the most tired I've been my whole mission. Things will get better. Especially because I'm totally calling it now haha... but I’m going to Nuie (New Way). It’s a Polynesian island that’s part of our mission. I heard it's the coolest place to go. Its about 1500 miles away and there are only about 1500 people that live on the island. Sorry this letter wreaks as bad as the jersey I sent Collin. I hope all is well. Know that I love you guys heaps and think and pray about you a ton. Feel free to ask me any questions that have been on your mind I will answer open and honest. Be good, read your scriptures, go to church, love others, go to the temple, be obedient, have faith, hope, and charity, follow the prophet, be good examples, bear your testimony, smile, never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved, honor your priesthood, and always strive to be more like Jesus Christ…He is the man.

Elder Ward

p.s. Something cool I heard this week…There is a million and 1 different reasons to be worthy of the Holy Ghost, but one really important reason is by doing so it's literally an act of service to others. I learned that from Micaella’s talk that she gave after she was confirmed. When she said that, she mentioned her gratitude towards those in her life that were worthy of the Spirit. It brightened her day and made her happy. When she went home where the Spirit wasn't really there, she would long to have it back. I'm grateful for years and years of service my family and friends have given me by being worthy of the Spirit. Keep up the good work and I hope you can keep that perspective with you when it comes to keeping the Holy Ghost with you a priority in your life. Aren't you just that much more excited to take the sacrament next week now?!

p.s.s. sorry that was a long p.s. now for serious I love you guys

Micaella's Baptism
Elder Ward
Elder Tafiti, Micaella, Elder Ward


Sunday, September 2, 2012

I Couldn't Be Happier...

Beloved Whanau,

I can't believe Trevor is 10 days into his ARK. Elder Taufa back in Missouri taught me that one ARK = the last 40 days and 40 nights of the mission. Speaking of him…has he stopped by? He is done with his mission now and he lives in Mesa, Arizona. I gave him our address and said my mom will feed you. :) Knowing Tongans, he shouldn't pass up any offer that has to do with food. haha Speaking of which… a member in our bishopric, Brother Tauki'aho, is Tongan and he came out with us to visit all our investies before church. When we visited Tobias Fox (the guy with the dog that bit me when I first got here), I warned him not to pet the dog or it would bite him... He just laughed and said, "If that dog bite me... I BITE HIM." I also forgot to mention that that dog and I have become quite good friends now. I have to play tug of war with him every time I go over but I can pet him now without him getting angry or biting me.

Anyway, this week is tranfers week. As my subject line said, I’m a little transfer trunky but I'm feeling like the Lord is going to want me to stay here a little longer. This week I got to go on trade offs with the zone leaders and it was great! It's crazy how many miracles followed Elder Barney wherever he went. Obedience to God's laws whether they are commandments or mission rules brings a lot of power, and having two missionaries who have that same desire to GO and DO brings even more power. I'm so glad I decided to work hard and be obedient during the pest control days... to be honest whenever we are less diligent or less obedient, IT FEELS NASTY. If I could stay diligent doing something as pointless as killing bugs, I’m pretty sure I can stay diligent helping others achieve eternal life, the greatest of all gifts. (D&C 14:7) I shared this with my companion by writing it in my journal which he reads while I’m in the shower, which I think helped him to be a little more motivated this week. We did splits twice and are desperately trying to find people to teach. We found a few people and even a WAY less active family that we have started to become friends with. :) I think the work should definitely pick back up this upcoming week. I'm just a little bit bummed because one of our best member fellowships, Percy King, left town to get a job! He helped us out pretty much every day and was an awesome help! He is Maori, 20 years old, and is a Rugby League Legend. He and I were pretty good buds and it hurt to say goodbye to him yesterday. The good news though is he got a job so he could pay for his mission. He plans to leave midway through next year.

Other news... lets see, oh YEAH!!! Micaella, man she is so Cool!!! I have told her a lot about Joey and Terri both and I was so glad to think about having her talk to Terri (and by me I mean the Spirit)! I challenged her to read the whole BOM and I told her I would join in too. She has read from 2nd Nephi all the way to Ether in 3 weeks. Not bad... but not good enough! :) I finished the BOM 3 days ago. I think it’s the 6th time around, (3rd on my mission). Oh wait, maybe the 5th time around. Anyway, family this Church is so true!!! I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting and quoted 2 Nephi 33: verse 10 or 11 I think??? Man even though this is probably the most difficult my mission has been, I couldn't be happier knowing that I’m doing what the Lord wants me to do.

Your letters were all awesome and thanks for your love and support. I’m sorry about the spiritual filth and man that physical filth description was pretty dang descriptive and funny! Aannnnnndddd I hesitate telling you this to get you all anxious, but I did send the package and it should be there someday within the week. I tried to copy a sweet CD that Percy gave me of the Utai brothers for Dad but it didn't work so sorry! Happy Father’s Day though!!! It was NZ Father’s Day yesterday.


Elder Ward

p.s. I love you Ava.