Sunday, October 21, 2012

This Week was SAAAAWWEEEEET!!!

Auckland City

AJ and Elder Ward
Elder Loffhagen, my trainee
Red Hill Tracting View
Dear Family,

Man, that’s so crazy how much stuff you guys have been doing the past week or so... Haha…some of those pictures of the Kansas City temple hit so close to home and it's really cool you were able to see some parts of the mission that I use to cover in Missouri. You even ran into SISTER LISONBEE!!! That's my mission mom from Missouri. Man, she is like 25 or 26 years old and she is very authoritative….if that's even a word, but she was the best! I loved her! Haha…yup and that was true that Elder Bills was pretty serious all the time. Man I love him to death too! I found a new sense of appreciation for what he did for me when I first entered in the mission. Now that I'm on the other end of the spectrum I see just how good of a job he did and how much I owe him. Also something cool about that cornerstone of the temple that says Erected 2012, the Prophet and Jeffrey R. Holland stood in that same exact spot about 6 months ago. If you touched the top left corner of the box, that's where they put the mortar during the cornerstone ceremony.  Also, it was funny cuz seeing Ava there reminded me of a little girl that the prophet called up to put a little mortar in herself…it was pretty tender when she hugged the Prophet’s legs.

So, yes this week was SAAAAWWEEEEET!! Elder Fale left Tuesday and I got to spend the next 2 full days with Elder Bills, my zone leader. His companion, Elder Barney, was just made the assistant so I got to be a zone leader for 2 days. It was sooo nice being able to drive a car. I learned heaps from him and we had awesome days even though it was a little stressful covering both areas. One really cool moment we had was when we were working in his area we went to go teach Elder Bill’s next door neighbor. There was no other guy home so we couldn’t go inside, but she was keen to come outside and have a lesson with us. It was super sweet teaching the restoration to her, and halfway through the lesson when I finished teaching the Great Apostasy, Elder Bills started teaching the Restoration portion. Right when he started, I had a feeling that I was going to recite the first vision even though Elder Bills was teaching about Joseph Smith. In the lesson though when it came time Elder Bills explained that I would share the first vision... I started with a prayer in my heart hoping that the spirit would touch this ladies heart while I said it. It's probably the most I have ever felt the spirit and it was crazy because right when I said I saw a pillar of light, the heavens opened and it shined super bright all around us and on the lady we were teaching... when it had been rainy and cloudy 20 minutes earlier. THAT was cool!

So yup this week I got my new companion, Elder Loffhagen! It has made me reflect on how much I have learned and how much I have grown since being out on my mission. He kinda had a rough first day. He crashed on his bike, ripped his pants, and almost got hit by a bus. He felt really homesick, but Friday and Saturday we just worked super duper hard trying to find new investigators.  I had him do a pretty good amount of the talking to people which made him feel a lot better. He is great. I forgot to mention he is from England, oh, and guess what else... HE'S 18!!!! He is kinda like the English version of Benson Ferris (I mean that in the nicest way possible). I love spending time with him and teaching him how to be the best he can be. This morning we were going over how to teach the Restoration and how to really help investigators understand, and also working on how to transition (taking turns). So we took turns teaching different principles of the lesson while the other would sit on the couch right next to a picture of Joseph Smith. When Elder Loffhagen got to Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, he had a real hard time teaching that principle and kept freezing up. With a few attempts he started looking more and more discouraged. I told him STOP, okay, close PMG... “Elder Loffhagen, do you know that Jesus Christ lived and died for you”... Yes. “Do you know that he lived a perfect life and set a perfect example for us”... Yes. “Do you know that he lives and leads and guides this church today”... Yes. I then explained…”I know you know these things because the Spirit has confirmed in your heart and mind that it's true. Now what I want you to do is pass that same knowledge into my heart and mind, and pray for the Spirit to do that.” He prayed and after awhile I asked if he was ready. He then taught simple principles of what Jesus Christ did in his life. It wasn't anything really different on how he said it but I felt the spirit so strong!!!

Sorry, I got to go, but always listen to the spirit. You can't go wrong! I love you all extended family! :)

Arohanui Always,
Elder Ward
Part of my district, AJ, and Pita playing touch Rugby
Pita-King Planking Champ

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