Sunday, December 23, 2012

Divine Intervention

What a beautiful Christmas Eve day for me and a Christmas Eve Eve day for all of you. I am uber excited to give you guys a call!!! Thanks Mom and Dad for your faithful e-mails each week. Come with questions and with stories, and I think I already told you, but I only have 40 minutes to talk so it would be nice to do 5 minutes with each family member except Collin. I only want to talk to him a minute…just kidding…love you bro. Then just the last ten minutes as a family. Sound good? Well it better sound good because I don’t think I will get a response until next week. Sorry to hear Dad that you lost to Wendel but you could take comfort that you probably didn't lose to the same Wendel that I remember from a year ago. WAY to go Collin taking the whole thing with Sean Chapman! You two make a killer team! Mom, I never thought I would hear you say those words "I'm sick of shopping"…that has got to be some form of apostasy for woman code. :) Oh and one last comment…talk is cheap dad. Don’t be the boy who dipped his toe in the water and went swimming it is good to say you’re going to go the gym but actually going and working out is better.:) I love all of you!!!

K, so let me inform you on this week a little. Tuesday I did a trade off and went to Pukekohe which made me appreciate my area so much more. We had a sweet day filled with cool miracles, but we also had a freaky experience going down the "dark side". We went to go talk to a lady and some gangsters started yelling from across the street all manner of profanities and threats to give them the car keys and stuff. Then when we got rejected by the lady, one threw a beer bottle at us. I didn't see the throw but I honestly feel there was some kind of Divine intervention there that stopped the bottle from hitting its designated target. That freaked me out a little, but the rest of the day was honestly GREAT!!!

A cool miracle experience we had this week was when we were driving and we saw a mom pushing a baby in her pram (stroller in kiwi terms). We got out of the car and I started to talk to her. Our conversation lasted about 15 minutes as we did our best to explain why God loves us and never cheats anyone out of anything. She is a divorced mom who is losing custody of her pride and joy (her almost 2 year old daughter). She had a hard time being convinced, but she really liked talking to us so she gave us her address on 26 Opaheke and we set up a return appointment for 3 days later. 2 days later, the day before our appointment, we were driving down Opaheke which is a main road and we were about to turn into a roundabout. I noticed on the side of the road the same baby that lady was walking 2 days earlier, and that their gate (which she mentioned is supposed to be closed) was wide open. So I flew around the roundabout in a complete loop and slammed the car in park. Elder Loffhagen was asking what was going on and I explained that the baby shouldn't be there!!! So the baby was really close to the road and normally the story would go that we swooped in, picked up the baby, and took it to the house... well that is against mission rules. So we looked sad as we tried to tell the baby to come back to the house. I told Elder Loffhagen to wait there as I frantically pounded on the door and yup anyways, long story short, a lady stopped because I’m sure Elder Loffhagen looked like a pedophile standing next to the baby. I eventually found the mom working way in the backyard and she said "HEY!!! I thought you were coming over tomorrow???" I explained well yeah, but we saw your baby playing out close to the road with the gate open. Then the woman and Elder Loffhagen came around the corner holding the baby. Sorry I didn't do the story justice, but the mom was sure grateful. It made my day!

Other Cool experiences that happened…let’s see…we had zone conference and I got to sing with my district “I Stand All Amazed.” We got to do the same thing you did at FHE with our mission president (share our favorite miracle or story from Luke). The whole thing was super uplifting. Haha…I made a mistake in front of our mission president. We received our packages at the conference and my car was parked just behind President Lekias's car. As me and Elder Loffhagen loaded everything into our car,  I closed the trunk and went OOOHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOO!!! acting as if I had locked the keys in the trunk. I got Elder Loffhagen with that one along with President. He said that was a good one, but he didn't look impressed. ;)

A really good lesson we had this week was in Pukekohe with Elder Galt as we met with Sam and Mike, a Maori couple. Mike has been taught everything and is super onboard with everything, but he was always afraid of Sam’s reaction to everything. So Elder Galt and Elder Toani didn’t realize he hadn't informed his partner, Sam, that he was working to get baptized. While we were there, Sam came out from her corner and started asking us all these really good questions and I could tell Mike’s happiness had definitely been making an impression on her. So I mentioned something about him getting baptized... apparently Sam didn't know and she wasn't impressed that he didn't let her know. We fixed things and explained this is something that is awesome when experienced individually, but it's really something extraordinary as a family does it together. Her heart was softened big time and it was cool teaching them about the restoration. We committed them to be married and baptized on the 19th of January.

This week was a stressful week in the district doing tradeoffs and then interviewing 2 people the sisters were meant to baptize. Both passed but I got a call from the sisters who heard that the girl who was meant to be baptized broke the law of chastity the night after her interview. So I had to come back down and reinterview her. She didn't show up and the sisters were too afraid to call and ask her straight from the source if that was true. It turns out that it was just a rumor and it wasn't true, but the days before both the sisters had a serious emotional break down. They called me crying in the middle of companion study asking for a priesthood blessing.

Those are some of the interesting things that happened this week. . . It really was a good week and I enjoyed every second. I am super excited for Christmas and I look forward to giving you guys a call tomorrow (my Christmas Day-your Christmas Eve) at 5:00 pm my time, 9:00 pm your time. Have a safe day until then!

Elder Ward

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