Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Glimmer of Hope

Dear Family!!!

HIYA! HOW YOU DOING?! I will answer Mom’s questions while they are still fresh in my head. My companion’s name right now is Elder ILAI (ELI). He is from Samoa and he has been out on his mission for 18 months. He left shortly after me in February. Elder Lamb did not move and he is actually flying solo as a zone leader as well... Sooo yeah, I had interviews with President Rudd and he let me know he had a lot of faith to put me here. Oops, also I meant there are 6 from the Wellington Mission, 3 from Tauranga came in (including me), and another elder... So yeah. Other news, I might already be losing Elder ILAI within 2 weeks. President explained that heaps of missionaries are going to need to train and it sure would be nice to have the zone leaders be companions with zone leaders but in the MTC the apostles and the First Presidency made it very clear that missions thrive off having good trainers. So he let me know I will be training next transfer which is in 2 weeks. SO that is kind of why a lot of zone leaders are starting to fly solo because a lot are going to be called to train as well! I AM GOING TO BE A DADDY AGAIN!!!!

So yeah, my email situation is lame. We are in a big library and the computers only get a half hour on them so we have to get off, wait in line, and use them again. There are only like 10 computers too so it is pretty frustrating... All good though.

Sorry to hear Ava is sick but it sounds like everything else is pretty peachy over there... It's crazy that summer break is almost over for you guys. It feels like it just started, but what do I know. It's not even summer over here... SO yeah, it is true Mom…you can snowboard and surf the same day here in Taranaki. The mountain is pretty beautiful I will send you some pictures next week hopefully.

Thank you family for your extra prayers. They have been well appreciated. Keep it up even though you have been doing it for the past who knows how long since Trevor left like what 3 years ago or something like that? Good news. In the short time since I arrived, the area went from having absolutely nothing to a little glimmer of hope! We found a couple named C and C! They are soooo awesome! They came to church yesterday and stayed for all three hours even though they had a younger newborn baby crying during the meetings and stuff. But they are keen to get married. We taught them the law of chastity and everything is running super smooth. They are set for August 17th. It just might be a little difficult to arrange a wedding in that time.

Tell Trevor good job!!! By the way, does the Bulls jersey still exist? Is Collin still its crowned possessor or did he relinquish his powers back to Trevor? And sorry Dad, it was definitely justified. J Keep being good, family. The Church is true.


Elder Ward

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Transfers....I'm in Taranki/New Plymouth

Dear Family,

Elder Ward with President and Sister Rudd (his new mission president)

I AM NO LONGER IN TAURANGA!!!!!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.... Haha I am not super excited about leaving. I really started to love that area and Elder Lamb and I were catching fire. But as most of my mission goes, as soon as I start getting a little comfortable the Lord likes to throw in a little trial. So, yes, I had a few goodbyes that would have been tearful if goodbyes still fazed me, but after 367,451,826,547 of those it gets overrated. J So, yeah, I have had a lot of funny experiences this week—good and not so good. But the hard part is I think I only have like an hour to email from now on when I used to be on for about an hour and a half so I will try to get everything done that I need to get done.... and still write a halfway decent letter to my family.

First off, Collin You TURD!!!!! That is sooooooo funny!!!! I don’t think it has anything about that in the Bible but Jacob 6:12 says, “O be wise, what can I say more,” so you can leave that to your own discretion if that was wise or not. J It sounded like it was an emergency so I deem it justifiable. J That was a mean looking [state championship] ring by the way... Oh and Ava, GOOD JOB! Way to go on the zipline adventure! That is impressive! And, yes Dad, dolphins are a very strong incentive and I have no idea why you would not pay for such priceless pictures. Aubrey, good luck losing your two front teeth. Just make sure you ask for new ones for Christmas. J haha It could be worse. A lot of people in New Zealand are lucky to have two teeth left in their whole mouth and more often than not those two teeth are charred black or yellow.

Big MIRACLES HAPPENED this week. Before I left, we talked to L who has been taught for years. He has gone through at least 18 missionaries and is practically already a member, but we invited him to the Ps’ house for a Family Home Evening. It was SO AWESOME!!!!!! We left after an hour cuz that’s the mission rule, but L stayed behind for at least another hour and a half talking about him getting baptized and other gospel subjects. It was awesome!!! And even better, he decided to set his own date to get baptized on August the 30th. KINDA far away but still huge progress!!!

Before we left we had the Whakatane Elders order our transfer trailer and we asked them to get a covered one just in case it was rainy. haha But the only covered trailers that they could get were MASSIVE. It was sad. They called for every little detail that we couldn't even really help them with but when they could not reach more than 80ks with their engine spinning at 6000 rpms (the speed limit on the freeway is 100ks by the way). So needless to say they were running behind a bit. Good news. We had lots of room in our spacious trailer to take all our stuff.

I felt the earthquake big time! It was the first one that I actually noticed and it lasted for a good fifteen seconds. I wasn't really afraid, but It kinda made me stop and wonder at how much power God really has and pictured a big set of hands shaking the Earth like a snow globe. I don't know how far away New Plymouth is from the earthquake but it was still pretty cool.

In my new area I am flying solo as a zone leader and have seven missionaries who came from the Wellington mission in my zone... I stay in an apartment with three other missionaries. Some of the missionaries here are still adjusting to this mission’s standards and things are a bit of a challenge for them. That makes things tough for all of us. So yeah, I will need some extra prayers. To be honest, I really don’t feel cut out for this job... Don’t worry. I won’t quit or ask to get transferred and I will do my best to have a good attitude. It will just be a good chance for me to gain a lot of experience and bring me that much closer to Heavenly Father.

Enjoy your Sabbath day! Also, Mom or Dad or someone, can you please ask someone who knows the past attendance in our ward? Maybe like the past three weeks because our cute little branch gets about 60 to 90 every Sunday... The Church is true no matter where you go and no matter how crazy the people are or how small attendance is at church. It is all true! Thanks for raising me in this gospel Mommy and Daddy. I am not super grateful for inheriting a high risk of colon cancer, but I sure am Grateful for being able to inherit you guys.


Elder Ward




Sunday, July 14, 2013

Farm Life

Good Morning Mexico!

Giving a calf a bottle...trying to make it look like a tough guy job

 Well I just hopped on a little late to the computers because this morning we went out to go do some good ol’ fashioned farm work!!!!!!! A recent convert from Opotiki named Tennis Fourie invited us out to do some calving. It was awesome! I will send you some pictures of all the stinky cows we got to feed and pick up and stuff... I'm definitely not cut out for farm life.

Elder Lamb holding calf straight from the womb...The Miracle of Life

Anyways yeah, we are sitting in the chapel and Elder Lamb is pretty depressed because he just learned his mission is ending in September. He got cut short by a month or so because of the whole transfer date change thing... So yeah, he is pretty devastated. He sure is a great missionary. I don't know if I have told you but he is one of my favorite companions so far. Transfer day happens two days from now and we still don't know what is going on but I am really starting to hope that I won’t be called to leave.


I think I am going to keep this relatively short but to respond back to some of your letters NOOOOOO!!!! Not the Mazda! [Someone smashed into it while it was parked and didn’t stop.] That is frustrating as heck. Good job on the three sales though, Trevor. Collin, tell the Chapmans they all looked great dressed up and stuff. Aubrey, thank you for writing me. It’s good to hear from you. I hope you enjoy Mexico. Mom, YES, I would like a copy of that Reflections of Christ DVD to show as an interlude at baptisms or something. I don't need any more ties. haha I tried to do a trade with the stake president in Tauranga. He had a cool tie but it was his favorite so he said no...

Other cool news, I think I mentioned them in the past but the J Family!!! They are doing great! They love having us come over when at first it was probably only the mom who cared if we existed... The oldest brother and the 2nd oldest brother’s partner came to church yesterday which were both massive miracles and they both enjoyed it too. Everyone in the house wants to get baptized. We just have a few issues to sort out. On Saturday, the second oldest, J, tried on an old suit and made his own name tag that read ELDER DAWG and then told his younger brother to tell the rest of the family the Elders were coming up the driveway. So all of them gathered into the living room and J or Elder Dawg knocked on the door and came in holding his Book of Mormon and said, "All right, who is getting baptized?!" I wasn't there but it had the whole family on the floor rolling with laughter.

I hope Mexico treats you well the rest of your stay! Be careful about what you eat there. I don't want anyone getting food poisoning. And tell the rest of the family that Elder Ward says HI! and sends his


Elder Ward

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Presient Rudd is the MAN!!!

Goodbye to President and Sister Lekias
Dear Family,

Sorry I was a little cheeky last week saying your beach vacation would end before mine... I was right though wasn't I? Haha But I think that my side is a whole lot less of a vacation. I have some good up-and-coming stories for you guys this week. But to respond to your letters, it's good to hear from you once again!

In response to some of your letters, Dad you forgot the spiritual message in World War Z to not pray to be seen of men (or zombies)... We brought an up-and-coming missionary out with us and he couldn't stop talking about the zombie movie. He told me the part where all the people started praying really loud and the zombies kept running into the wall until they all stacked up really really high over the wall into the city. Sounds awesome...

Well, I am a little bit jealous of all the good volleyball that was played, especially Collin playing with the champion lady person... Collin, was she good looking??? Trevor, did you try and get her number? Apparently, I am really close to Mount Manganui which is where A LOT of the professionals come to play and do their tournaments and stuff. But enough about volleyball.

Thank you Mom for managing to pop out a quick email to me via da iphone... That is not an easy thing to do so I don’t mind that it was incredibly short because with the time that probably took you and the concentration it must have required with all the screaming children in the back it probably would have come out as a novel without all the distractions. I sure do love my family!

Just yesterday a family in the ward I’m serving in the mom has severe cancer and has a 10 percent chance of living... in testimony meeting the husband shared their experience doing a skype call with their son to explain the situation... Of course it was rough for him (as I know it would be for me) but a few days later he shared his testimony with the family letting them know he was comforted by the fact that he knew Heavenly Father has a plan for the whole family and that includes their mom. IT WAS POWERFUL... Me being the hard man that I am was nearly brought to tears. So yeah, I am grateful for the gospel and how much it has helped our family... and seeing both ends of the spectrum every day has definitely helped me appreciate my family that much more.

So yes, I told you I have some good stories for the family. First off, PRESIDENT RUDD IS THE MAN!!!! We met him on Tuesday this week and he is sooooo funny! He has absolutely no idea how to do what he is doing! I didn't recognize how little training mission presidents receive... He was only in the MTC for a week and he doesn't get told by a single soul how to do his job. And the Quorum of the Twelve and the 1st Presidency want that to be the way it should be done. So yeah, NOT AN EASY JOB! He is a great man and explained right off the bat, “I can't replace President Lekias and I have not come to change everything. So everything will stay the same for now and I will make small changes as I see fit.” He is a great man though. I already love him to bits. Even cooler though, his mission home is right next to the temple basically! So Every month I get to go see the temple now!!!!!!! WHOO HOOO!!!  Maybe even twice a month depending on where transfers happen.

But let me tell you why my week was not a vacation at all! SO of course we did the usual crazy busy finding, teaching, meetings, you name it! And I am not sure how much I am meant to let you know about but I might as well tell you... On Tuesday, we got a call from a missionary who was on the verge of sending his companion to the hospital for being lazy and doing things he is not supposed to be doing and he demanded that we have an all-day trade off... so yes we accepted so nobody would get sent home and to whip the other missionary into shape... I went with the missionary that wanted to smash the other and talked to him and had a good conversation with him... I asked him what he was doing to fix the problem and then I told him I understand. I told him I had a companion who fell well beneath the standard of what missionaries should do and then I asked him, “What would the Savior do if He were the companion of that missionary?” Things have been sweet since then.

Now thinking about it I will tell you the other trade-off experience some other day. I got to hurry we are in the family history center and they are closing down soon... So yeah I will end with some positive stuff!!! Good news. There was a really really big fight at A’s house and almost all the bad influences moved back home to Hamilton!!! And to make things better, A and J’s cousins/brothers moved in and now they are set for baptism!!!! WHOOO HOOOO! Great things are happening in Welcome Bay!

Another cool experience this week was on Friday. We had to turn the car in to get serviced and we had to go on foot for a couple of hours. So yup we started walking down a street we have been down a lot and I said, “Elder Lamb wait! Let’s say a prayer.” So in the middle of the street we offered a quick prayer to find someone to teach. We kept walking and what do you know a door is wide open and we see a lady in there and we started talking to her!!! Then she said no... But right before we left a car pulled down a long driveway right next door so we figured might as well go talk to them. We went on down and sure enough five people were sitting outside smoking and drinking coffee. Two used to go to the church, one didn't believe in God and the other two did believe but didn't care at all... We sat down on their steps and started talking to them, got acquainted and then taught them about the gospel for an hour. It was really cool helping everything just make sense for them. Fifteen minutes in they stopped smoking and drinking coffee as well. It's cool when you have strong spiritual experiences like that on your mission. The lady who didn't believe in God even said, “You know, I think I am starting to believe in everything now.”

Have fun in Mexico!!! Be careful out there! Glad nobody got stung by stingrays! Don’t fight in the car and keep being good!


Elder Ward
Bay of Plenty Tarangua

Elder Ward, Roomi and Golf

Elder Ward and Elder AfaMaa

Elder Lamb with kids we ran into from Utah


Cool as Waterfall

Goodbye to Elder Bills (staying in Auckland mission)

Elder Lamb and kitty

Huge pile of rice we ate for dinner