Good thing I am so forgiving J [We were late getting our letters to him again.] I guess I will just send you an email without hearing from you guys first... But anyway, this week WAS AWESOME!!! The Chapmans’ son got baptized on Saturday!!! WHOOHOOO!!! I think there were at least 10 non-members there too. I tracked down most of them and got a few good potential future baptism candidates! So yes, finally baptized someone in New Plymouth! But at the same time I have come to realize how much success we have been having in this area. Remember how I told you that when I first came here our average attendance was in the low to mid 70s consistently the previous 4 months. Well, the past three months have been in the hundreds and now this month in November we had 117 attending the first week and just had 126 come this week! We almost had to open the back doors for the first time in YEARS!!!
So this week has been quite the week I have switched to the EAST side of New
and Elder Hammar came back to the West side. Elder Misbach and Elder Rasband
are now taking the role of senior companions. It was pretty hard to leave all of
the families I have grown to love, but it was for the best. Plus, I might be
leaving within two weeks anyway... So yeah, I am starting things over and
meeting all sorts of investigators and less active families. V and J
is a couple we have been teaching. V is Maori and J is Samoan. They are getting married
this weekend! J is a member and is sister to our branch mission leader
and V is keen on joining the Church. He has a few concerns which I am
having a hard time figuring out... he isn't married and he smokes, but he has
almost quit. He has never once prayed asking God if he should get baptized or
to ask if the Book of Mormon is true or anything like that. He still prays but
just not to find answers. We are planning on just asking him why he won’t pray
specifically for those things, but yeah that’s them! Also he went to the
Chapman’s baptism and HE FELT THE SPIRIT STRONG!!! Plymouth
What else happened??? OH yes, Elder Misbach and I started playing pranks on the other two elders... we think of the dumbest things! We planned to have the elders open the garage and the garage would make something fall yanking another string tied to an egg that would fall off a ledge and pedulum swing into the person opening the garage. We spent half of our lunch hour preparing it and doing practice runs... but IT DIDN'T EVEN WORK!!! It was still funny though.
I finally got your letters. It’s good to hear from you guys as usual. I like the random trip to
too. That sounds pretty awesome! WAY TO GO ON THE MISSIONARY EXPERIENCE!!! DID
you get a return appointment? Ask if you can have them come and be taught in
your house with the missionaries there! That is such an ideal situation! DO IT
DO IT DO IT DO IT!!!!!!!! In fact, let’s use the Preach My Gospel commitment
pattern. Mom and Dad will you invite them back to have a lesson with the
missionaries??? Awesome! I knew you would accept. I PROMISE YOU that if you do
that it will invite a powerful spirit in our home which will be beneficial for
not only you but for Ava, and Aubrey. Then your joy will be great as you
fulfill the Prophet’s call to RESCUE! I know that this will happen because I
have seen it time and time again and even you can remember how special it was
having Joey and his family taught in our home! I will follow up on how you guys
do next week! OH and have the missionaries come over before so that you can
inform them of where they are at. I know it's hard trusting 18 and 19 year old
boys but I just trusted an 18 and 19 year old with HEAPS OF PEOPLE!!! The
missionaries will do Great! J California
Oh and Mom, I think dad and president Nuttall was right. It would be better for you to appreciate the temple while you’re working there. SIGN ME UP!!! I will be keen to help out there! Put me in the Celestial ROOM!!! haha I saw the announcement of the temple on Lds.org. I am pumped! I was so sure it would be finished before I got home.
Anyway, I love you guys. The Church is definitely true and OH WAIT, I got this question/theory. You know how the three wise men came to see the baby Jesus? And how they said they came from the East and saw the star there (Matthew 2:1-3)? Do you think it's possible it could have been Nephites or Lamanites? Cuz Samuel the Lamanite disappeared and then Nephi did as well. I forget the chapter and verse but it mentions him randomly leaving and not being found anywhere in the land???
Also question number 2, in D&C 20:37 it talks about the qualifications of baptism and one of them is receiving the spirit of Christ unto a remission of their sins. Does that mean people are forgiven after they repent before they get baptized? All my sons think that is the case but that does not sit well with me. I always thought forgiveness came after baptism and confirmation. Anyway, things to ponder on.