Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sweet miracles!

Dearest family,

Man it was so good to hear all your voices this past week on my Christmas day. I couldn't believe the spark of recognition behind Aubrey’s voice reduced me to tears so easily :) haha. I remember the days when I couldn't stand being in her presence for more then 5 minutes... The gospel truly does bless families. It really was good to hear from all of you and I think I laughed the most when Collin was telling me about the teachers coming in to the “hen house”. I could totally picture that whole scene goin down. Also, I appreciated how one of the first questions I was asked by mom was if I was eating good and staying healthy.:) After Christmas when I had eaten more than enough, my tummy was pretty upset with me and it sure did get its vengeance. This Christmas sure was different from any other experience that I have had on a Christmas day, but it was great being able to participate in the true spirit of Christmas. I pretty much gave away all that I possessed. I kept the personal things like the jammies and the Nicaragua shirt and the bolo game (WHICH WERE ALL SUPER AWESOME), but everything else was given to investigators. Oh, and I kept the mac and cheese and Crystal Light... SO maybe not ALL I possess, but it was still good especially because they appreciated the American lollies a lot more then I did.

As for my birthday, I would like to ask for a few things. #1…fresh underwear.  I am not in dire need but when I pulled them out of the wash recently, I realized that I would appreciate having some that are actually a little more white then they are brown….especially around the armpits. I know a tie or two is inevitable so I will make a challenge to get one that isn't blue, purple, or black. Then I am on the fence with this one, but I would like a Pro Touch indoor volleyball (the red, blue, and white Molten ones) for p-days. That’s all I can think of for now, but really I am pretty content. Oh and the last one is for Trevor to stay away from my friends!!! Don't you dare go there bro... they probably only hung out with me and Collin to get to you. Don’t you dare fall for it! ;) Jokes!!!  I just hope Collin gave you your “jersey” authority back. Or maybe it’s kind of like a patriarch deal where once you have the authority it never goes away.

But let’s move to a more serious note!!! I had a sweet miracle happen this week! We are teaching a mom named Kaa, and she was kinda interested. She has a daughter and a son in law that are living together all in the same house. At first the kids were not interested (in there twenties and have 2 kids of their own), but this week Renold, the son in law, explained his aunty passed away. So we offered to teach him about where she is now. They all listened and it was a sweet, spirit filled lesson! They all accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 26th of January. Now, the even more miracle part about it is that they are all smoking 20 to 30 cigarettes a day, or I guess they used to. We taught them the word of wisdom and I honestly didn't have a whole lot of faith going in, but the very next day they let us know that they were on their last pack before they gave up completely!!! They stopped on Sunday and came to church and BOY was I happy! They were spending loads of money a week on cigarettes and that would also lead to other sins and problems. When we sin, we truly do lose our agency bit by bit and literally become slaves to the sins we commit. When we taught the word of wisdom, I think they had a really good wake up call as to how VILE, FILTHY, SLIMY, NASTY, STINKY, and PUTRESCENT not only smoking is but SIN in general.

Another cool experience is we stopped by a recent converts house, Langi. We asked if there was anything we could help with and she explained she was asked to give a talk on prayer and she was terrified. She really is the shy type and she was not confident in her abilities at all. I just suggested her reading 2nd Nephi 32: 8-9 for the beginning of her talk on prayer and then just sharing her own testimony and personal experience with prayer. When she first got up she was so nervous and almost froze, but it was so cool to see the spirit give to her in the very hour what she needed to say. There was four talks given on prayer, but none came close to the one Langi gave. It really showed me that when we are humble and rely on the Lord we can accomplish wonders, but if we don’t we’re really just going through the motions.

I got to write Aubrey so gots to go, but I love you guys heaps and hope you have safe travels back home.

Elder Ward

p.s. The Church is true
Fireside...Kanahana's family, Brother Armstrong, Brother Aupori

Elder Ward and Elder Loffhagen teaching
Christmas present for Kanahana's family
P-day (Where did those humongous shoes come from?)
Sweet rugby boot! (cleet)

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