Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mission Life is Good!

Dear Family,


HAHAHAHA! NO way! Elder Lamb’s family actually came down to see you! Mom, I was laughing so hard because I was actually concerned when Dad said they visited that our house would have been messy and that Mom would be embarrassed. haha I was right... I sure do love Elder Lamb. We get along well and he is definitely a good missionary, and yeah we are pretty similar in a lot of ways. Other Big news is HOLY COW! Collin You did it!!! I never thought you would! Because I'm no dummy, we have been going to this school for over seven years. It is weird that our family has been doing volleyball for what? over 8 years? Or somethin’ like that? Plus another 4 to go from Aubrey? Anyways lots of crazy news! INCLUDING CARSON and EMMA being ENGAGED!!! They are getting married in November. How crazy is that? Okay, I take that back. Everyone kind of saw it coming, but still HOW CRAZY IS THAT?

Good on Clark and Wendel going to the temple. I love the temple so much... Collin, I hope you’re doing temple Tuesdays still! Also, funny thing too is Elder Lamb did temple Tuesdays as well in Canada. And, hold up…why are you going to Mexico??? Is it going to be like our Cancun trip? How come you’re doing all these strange Not-California vacations when I’m not around? Church History? Hawaii? Mexico? All good. No worries. I realize you might be going because you’re just jealous I am in New Zealand.
J haha Elder Lamb and I have decided to go play golf next Pday. I think we are both going to be embarrassed and put to shame, but at least I can say that I played 18 holes in New Zealand.

Mission life is good! I got to confirm L. R. yesterday!!! Finally! I sure do love that family. I am just sad they might move to Hamilton pretty soon. A is great. He stopped smoking yesterday and showed up again with his shirt, tie and suit... He even cut the mop off his head... He looks pretty decent and the ward actually came up to him, introduced themselves and the YSA even got his number and everything. Elder Lamb and I were almost in tears at how supportive the ward was.

A funny thing that happened this week is we found a new girl named S. Actually, she found us! We went by her house the week before without any luck so we walked by it and she calls out HEY are you Mormons?! If there is anything that perks up missionaries’ ears it's something like that! SO yup we went over and it turns out she made it halfway through the Book of Mormon and was really close to getting baptized but had to leave to go help her dad in Tauranga! We set her to be baptized on the fifteenth of June and I was just buzzing the rest of the day!

Another funny story is with this same girl, S, actually knows G because they live two houses apart... SO we brought him over for a lesson, and when we went to go teach her there was a guy sitting around the house. We invited him to join, but he said he was tired and going to bed. As he was leaving, G said so you won’t come? Then we’ll just teach her and she will go up to Heaven (and he raised his hand to show her going up to heaven) Then he put the other hand out and said, “And you will stay on the ground and she will say bye bye!” HAHA EVERYONE started busting out laughing, even the guy...In the long run he didn't join, but it was still a good lesson with S.

Sorry just a short letter today, but this week was great because we had an AWESOME zone conference with President Lekias. He even asked a few missionaries about their work before the mission and he showed us a cool correlation between that and missionary work. Between the job, the hours, and the pay we received it made me appreciate my job now so much more. haha Actually, I appreciate both my jobs, as a representative of Jesus Christ and as a measly pest control salesman. It definitely helped prepare me for this.

I love you so much Whanua! Be good!

Elder Ward

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sweet Revelation

Good Morning America!!!

Hahaha! That volleyball video sounds hilarious.... Way to go Dad! I liked your thoughts on all of that. Thank you Mom for that letter. I will try and get that off to her this week. That is absolutely nuts that Aubrey’s hair straightener almost burned the whole house down! That is crazy! Anyways Dad! I received some sweet revelation just now. I know you’re not allowed to receive revelation for those you don't have a calling for, but I think family counts right???? Check it out in the Bible Dictionary under revelation... It is one of the Grandest Concepts of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyways, Collin just emailed me and asked the question what he should study from during the summer. I told him the Book of Mormon, but at the same time PMG is pretty dang important and I was able to find 2 ways to help the Priests quorum use PMG more often than the yearly PMG mutual night! Idea number one is home teaching asking the families if you can teach them the missionary lessons in their home teaching visits! You can even ask to do trade offs with some of the boys and help improve their teaching. You can take this as far as you want to, but you can even have the families prepare to act like real investigators with real concerns and have them ask questions to the missionaries that investigators might ask. So that the priests can really learn how to use chapter 10 in PMG, how to begin teaching, teach for understanding, asking questions, listening, resolving concerns, using the scriptures, and teaching with your companion in unity. Also, idea number two would be coordinating with the primary president and letting them know that if they ever need a substitute teacher to go to you so that you can assign 2 priests to go teach a gospel subject like... Faith or the Atonement or Repentance. Just hope that your boys would be on it and would actually prepare... That's really where I first started learning how to really teach—in PRIMARY! So give that one a shot if it feels okay.

Anyways, sorry those ideas needed to be shared! Funny stories, Elder Lamb’s family is visiting Arizona so I gave them our address and told them to stop by! So keep that house clean KIDS!!! Their flight leaves at 330pm tomorrow. Haha speaking of Elder Lamb, something really funny happened this week. All of a sudden at one in the morning Elder Lamb wakes up, goes outside and turns our bedroom light on... Next minute the shower starts going!!! After his good ten-minute shower he comes back in and I asked what the heck he was doing??? He said getting ready... and then I asked if he had any idea what time it was. haha No he didn't. He is still trying really hard to wrap his mind around why that happened... Funny story number 2, I did a trade off with Elder Lee from England and we started doing all these magic tricks at night time after planning. We did a combined one on video tape where I was lying on our couch and he comes on screen and says he is going to make me levitate... He puts a blanket over me and while he does that I turn onto my stomach in a push up position out of view of the camera then when he starts to move his hand up I start to slowly push up so it looks like I’m floating and I start saying things from under the blanket like WHOA it's working!!!! I’m going tooo high!!! PUT ME DOWN!!! Then he drops me and mid air I flip back onto my back and pop out from the blanket surprised that I actually flew up in the air. It was pretty funny.

Now to the missionary side of things! We have some great investigators! One is named A. He is just 19 but he actually came very close to getting baptized. We found him talking to people in the street and he was super keen to see us. He actually stays with 20 other people in a house half the size of ours... We had a lesson with him and got to know him and his background a little, and he told us he still wants to get baptized, he just needs to work on a few things... We set goals with him and committed him to start reading the BOM and pray and do everything in his power to quit. I gave him a suit and pants that were given to me by another missionary, one of my white shirts, and Elder Lamb donated a tie. HE looked great at church on Sunday.

Golf is still awesome. We are just sad because he is leaving to Hastings in about 2 weeks. He is awesome though. He wanted to come out with us so he could share his testimony of the BOM and sure enough he did... He had no fear talking to random people on the street, and he told us he wasn't scared because he knew God would help him speak. He even found 2 German girls that live in a van and invited them over to his house to be taught by us. They listened to our message but weren't interested at all. They just wanted a place to stay rather than their van...

Then, last but not least, I got to speak at church on Sunday and share my testimony on modern day prophets... I explained my temple pin that I always wear on my jacket and talked about meeting Dallin H. Oaks, and singing for President Monson, and being at the same cultural celebration where the 3000 youth prayed to have that massive jumbotron work for the Prophet. I got a lot of nice compliments afterward, especially from some of the older ladies in the Ward. J

Anywho, gots to go. Love you heaps!!!

Elder Ward

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mum's Day!


Dear Family,

Sorry today will be a very short letter home, but it sure was great to talk to you guys yesterday! That sure was an awesome way to finish the season! YOU DID IT!!!! By the way, who was the State player of the Year???? I am still buzzing about that! Sorry it was the main thing we talked about, but hey it sure was great to talk to you guys again! I am turning into a ROCK! I didn't cry! Don't worry though because I still love you guys all the same, if not more.

A funny thing that happened this week is we went on a trade off and I actually lost one of my shoes or left it in the car.  So I had only one shoe and there were no others at the flat I was staying at for the night. So, I had to borrow a sister’s shoe that was luckily black and barely fit. It was awesome riding bikes with that on. Haha…the people we went to go teach got a real good kick out of that as well!

Oh, and advice for all the volleyball boys, NEVER FORGET how awesome it was reaping the benefits of THOUSANDS of hours of HARD WORK. If you can't learn to work hard in life, there is so many things you will miss out on….kind of like my team senior year. Whenever you are tempted in life to pity poo yourself or to slack off in the slightest, you remember how good that state championship tasted!! THEN you will be REMINDED IT TOOK WORK!!! I promise if everyone can put the work ethic they showed with volleyball into every aspect of their life, they will NEVER have any REGRETS.

Mom, dad, family, I feel old.... It's weird how accustomed I have become to NZ mission life. It's weird that I can't imagine black and white police cars (the ones here are blue and yellow), the smell of a good ole Walmart, or getting a hair cut at Becky's salon instead of running a razor through my hair every month or so. Though I do miss these things, I extremely fear how much I am going to miss mission life. It's definitely motivating me to work harder then I ever have before. I am really enjoying the work right now. Things are just working great and we are teaching a whole lot of new people... O, I C (she is Japanese) T, A, D, J, and A... If you can pray for these names that would be great. We need all the help we can get!

Anything else.... let's see.... sorry I am lame. Mum, you are the best. I love you so much and I definitely have the right to have what Elder Uchtdorf refers to as “righteous pride” in how awesome my mother really is. Thanks for your letter Mum. I will admit, when our primary got up to sing a few mother's day songs I had to fight the tears in thinking of my own mother. I am sure I already told you, but on my mission if anyone ever asks what do you miss the most I always say, “my Mom”. You are more important then volleyball…YES even a state championship. You will always mean the world to me.


Elder Ward

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Grateful to Play a Part

Dear Family,

Awhhh man…I started to get the butterflies just looking at the picture of those teams in the final 8! Good luck Collin! Play your little #1 heart out. First off though, Mom I think option number 1 would be the best. I will call at 5pm on my Sunday (your Saturday)….maybe even a little bit earlier like 4:30 or something. Just in case anything goes wrong, I will do the 3rd option on my Monday, and pssshhh I won’t even care if Collin won state!!! It is Mother’s Day and MOM is 9537983247528937458234756982685487648627 times more important than a state volleyball championship. Haha jokes…I will actually be thrilled to hear about how it went, win or lose. Just make sure you give mom the most time at the end (save all the water works for getting off the phone). Lookin forward to it!

Also, speaking of mothers, taped onto my missionary planner I have that picture of Jesus as a child saying a prayer next to his mother, Mary.  I had a lot of cool experiences running into mothers this past week who are either less active or random ladies on the street where I was able to show them that picture and say something along the lines of… “If Jesus was as awesome as he was, you could only imagine how great of a mother this woman had to be?” I don’t know why but there were at least 4 times this past week that I can recall just sharing my testimony that living the gospel can help any mother raise her family the right way. I am glad I have such an awesome mother who helped me gain a testimony of that. In fact!!!... Oh mother dearest…I have a favor to ask. We met an awesome lady named, M.  She is a mother of 4 girls between the ages of 8 and 14. She has been away from the church for ages, because of something that happened with one of her kids and she refuses to step foot in the chapel. Anyways, she likes the missionaries still and allows us to come over.  I felt prompted to ask you to send her a letter to help her understand the blessings she is missing out on and how much better her life could be with the gospel in it if she could find it in her heart to forgive. It’s kinda like a mother to mother thing. Can you please do that Mommy? Also, Ezekiel 16:44 is great. It says something along the lines of "As is the Mother, So is the Daughter."

What else? This week was just awesome! I don't even know where to begin... HAHA. Monday night, just after emailing you, we went to the house of somebody that was found by our ward mission leader to teach them. Right when we got in though, I could smell that we weren't going to be doing the teaching that night.  Sure enough, we were teaching D, the Pastor of the Revival Life group... Sighhh…here we go. He started off by talking about establishing truth and all these other things and as soon as he paused I asked what he hoped to gain out of meeting with us. He then said he wanted us to receive truth and the Holy Spirit and to be able to speak in “tongues” by the end of the night.  I responded really quietly, “interesting”.  I then began to explain that I have been coming to people’s houses to teach them for a year and a half now, and that I had ran into quite a few people who wanted to convince us that we were wrong. I then explained that we come in a spirit of peace and love and that we would give him 5 minutes to explain his views and that they would not be contended by ours if he gave us the same courtesy. He agreed and started talking about the day of Pentecost and pulled out 3 scriptures. Luckily, I knew all of them, so I quoted them after he asked me to turn to them in the Bible... John 3:5, Acts 2:38, and the story of Peter giving someone the Holy Ghost and the man trying to purchase that authority. HAHAHA…he must of thought I was actually smart. Anyways, after he explained his whole thing, I asked him what we needed to do.  He said we needed to receive the Holy Ghost.  I told him kindly that I have already, and he asked “how do you know because you won’t speak in tongues which is the only visible evidence of having that Gift?” I then said that we could explain and asked if we could start our 5 minutes. Then Elder Lamb and I POWERFULLY taught about the Restoration and challenged him to read the Book of Mormon. He was brought to tears and asked if he could be baptized by correct authority... Haha…jokes. After we asked him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, he told us all the reasons why what we were saying was ridiculous. So our ward mission leader just said, “I can stay but these boys need to get home.” Then I asked if we could leave on good terms with a prayer.  He said NO because that would put us on the same level as him and that we weren't Children of God. So I suggested he say the prayer instead. “Father in Heaven aieuwfgeaiorhjgopaFWEFIHAFIGFGNMAIRFEW IGFAEWGNAGERAGNEIJUGA jfhewaiufhjagnrerjkiagiuepurghajgnjeragl eriwtauityheriutyhret n asedujinaewf, ewrathiujarhtjiajtgrnjvru (tongues)…please help these boys find truth, etc., etc. Then we got up and gave him and his friend a big hug before leaving (that totally threw him for a spin). Then Elder Lamb and I busted up laughing in the car and went away glad that we kept the peace and there was no contention on our side.

Sorry…long story just for a dumb Bible bash, but it was pretty dang funny! Other cool things that happened this week….We did our first “Missionary Leadership Council” with the sister leader trainers. It was great! Normally we do it at President’s house, but we had to go into the chapel because there were so many zone leaders and sisters. Also, I don’t know if I told you that I got to give G the Priesthood last week, but this week he blessed the sacrament. Haha…also on the way to kneel down he crashed down on his knees really, really hard. It thundered throughout the whole chapel. He was in a lot of pain but said the prayer on the water prefect. He also shared his testimony that brought me to tears even though he didn't say a whole lot.  I was just grateful that I got to play a part in helping him know that Jesus Christ is the Light, the Life, and the Truth of the World.

Love you guys so much! Good luck this week!!!

Elder Ward