So I know that I said I wasnt going to be emailing this week but I guess I lied! It is ANZAC day and everyone is on holiday but our hole in the wall Internet Cafe stayed open. I wish I would've known that I was going to email this week because I wish I got an update on how things are going but I'll just wait till next week. So first of all Transfers are here! I'm staying in Dee Why! Yeah buddy. I've been here officially for 6 months now. A quarter of my mission :). Its sweet as. I love it here. Elder Bills is going home. I'm going to miss him a lot but my new companion is Elder Vardeman and all I know is that he's from Texas and he's been out for 3 months. I'll get him tomorrow. I'm still Zone Leader and my Zone Leader companion will be Elder Cahigis and he's from Singapore. Crazy eh? I've heard great things about him and he served in the army before he came out so thats pretty cool. He'll help me whip the Zone into shape. So basically I'm getting two companions! ITs like christmas! BUt Elder Cahigis and I are in different flats so I dont know how its going to work. Its going to be interesting so please pray for me because I'm supposed to train Elder Cahigis on being a ZL. Anyways so basically this week...oh man this week.....where do I start....man its kinda cold in here...maybe its kuz I'm wet...why am i wet you ask? I didnt jump in Dee Why beach....oh maybe its because we had A BAPTISM THIS WEEKENED!!! YAYEAH! Filomena Del Carmen Ponce Pradenas got baptized this saturday. We've been trying to teach her for awhile. Richard Chavez(one of our Recent Converts from December) is her son and also her daughter, Maria chavez, is a ward missionary that we work closely with and so we've been trying to set up an appt. for awhile. Well she came to Muno's baptism and at the massive feed we just slyly asked so when are we going to teach you this week? And she said well tuesday would be a good day... DONE! lol hook, line and sinker. We went there on tuesday and took Johnny Teaupa( he just got back from his mission in Puerto Rico(served with Casey Browning) so he speaks spanish which is her first language since she's from Chile) and we also took Sister Miller (who is the coolest Aussie mum and apart of the relief society presidency) and together we had the most spiritual experience I've ever had. Honestly. As soon as we got there Filomena was telling us all these experiences she's had since we invited her to be taught where she knew it was satan trying to keep her from being taught. She even got stuck behind a broken down car just a block from her house before our appt. We went in planning on teaching the Restoration and I swear Elder BIlls and I didnt teach anything. We just flapped our gums and the spirit took over. Everything went so smoothly. It was like a dream. I wish you all could've felt it. The spirit was so thick in their house and as soon as we began teaching we knew that she needed to get baptized. Johnny taught prophets in spanish and she said she felt so peaceful and we explained how that is the spirit telling her that what we are teaching is true. We got to the Restoration and Elder Bills taught it powerfully and boldly and after he quoted the First Vision he asked" Do you believe Jospeh Smith was a prophet of GOd?' she paused to think and said, yes. Filomena, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?..............YES! I cannot describe the feelings I felt at the end of that lesson when she committed to be baptized. I'm not gonna lie I shed a tear or two. She said I know I need to get baptized because when I went to the baptism on saturday and as I saw all my friends from church I felt like I was in another place. She said she felt like she was in a higher place and that everyone around her weren't just regular people and she said she felt like she had finally come home. It was the most amazing experience and dont worry I wrote it down in my journal. After that lesson we taught her the rest of what she needed to know and she said you know ever since I said yes to being baptized I've been overjoyed and we again confirmed that it was the spirit letting her know that what she is doing is right. She even made the comment " I think I'm even happier than what I was on my wedding day!" LOL OPE GOOD THING HER HUSBAND WASNT THERE! we just kept that on the down low lol. She asked me to baptize her and I was greatly humbled by that. IT was a great baptism :). These past two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life. I've been blessed in ways and had experiences that I had never even dreamed of. I'm so glad I made the decision to go on my mission and I love being a missionary. I know GOD LIVES and LOVES US and KNOWS US and that Jesus Christ is always there for us with his arm stretched forth. We are at the door, all we have to do is knock and he will open. I love this gospel. I have seen it change lives and I know that it is real. I love you all and I hope you all have a great week! Cheers!
p.s. I'm going to the Rugby League game tonight! Go MANLY SEA EAGLES!! WOO!!(dont worry we got permission from Presidente)
So I told my mum that I wouldnt be emailing you this week but I got it confused with next week because next week is ANZAC Day. Everything will probably be closed so we'll see when I get to email home. Well this past week Elder Bills and I had a pretty darn good week. I mean it was a Fair DINKUM good week lol by the way thats not the proper way to use that word but thats how I use it. But first before I tell you about it I just want to say that today we went to the Taronga Zoo! It was SO FUN! I went to a Zoo in Sydney! and I could see the opera house and harbour bridge too! We went with Elder Dana and Elder Hill. They proselyte in the Manly Area so the beach right next to ours. You should look up pictures. Manly beach is gorgeous. Anyways we had a great time and we took plenty of pictures. We saw heaps of cool animals, a lot of the same animals in the states, but we saw some kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and other australian animals. We also went to the bird show and it was SWEET AS! They had the birds flying over our heads and everything. Totally worth it. Oh and the best thing about it....IT WAS FREE!! A family in the Manly ward gets passes for free so we got really lucky. But yeah back to my week. So I know you're just dying to know...the suspense is killing you...Did Muno get baptized?...I dont know did he? Aw c'mon!!........MUNO GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was SO AWESOME! It was pretty much the highlight of my mission so far. It just seemed like a perfect day. The Baptism started at 4...pssh well actually it was supposed to start at 4 but since we were on Tongan time it didnt start till 5. Mum you might want to do a gene check on dad and see if you find any traces of Tongan in him. So we got to the chapel at about 2 and got the font all filled up because it takes about an hour and a half. We got the chapel all ready and then Muno showed up and we took pictures and Elder Modlik and his companion Elder Fox showed up! It was really cool having them there and it meant a lot to Muno that Elder Modlik was able to be there. The spirit was so strong at the baptism. My heart was so full on saturday. I think Muno is one of the first investigators besides Akenisi and Kingi that I've taught from the very beginning. But with Muno it was really special becuase I got to see the change in him and see his coutenance change. We also did everything and anything to help him progress too like bake him cookies, help him move and other little things. It really made the whole experience that much sweeter though. Its been such a blessing being apart of his journey. Elder modlik bore his testimony, Elder Bills gave a talk on Baptism and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. To end my talk I bore my testimony in Raro Tongan. I wrote my testimony down and then gave it to Bishop Wolfgramm's friend that he works with that speaks Raro and then he translated it and gave it back. I was practicing all last week and Genevieve gave me some pointers. I gave it my best shot and even though I didnt exactly know what I was saying I could feel the same spirit as if I was bearing my testimony in english. Muno said it went straight to his heart. Man, It was a pretty emotional day but definitely a day to remember becuase all the tears that were shed that day were tears of happiness. The kind of happiness you can only feel from our Heavenly Father. Of course we had a massive tongan feed afterwards and then we went and played Uno with M-Uno (lol) at Genevieve's sisters house. We had such a great time and we prepared him for his confirmation. I'm so grateful for the gospel and how it blesses peoples lives. I know that the gospel is for EVERYONE too. Muno has come a long way. He has done a complete 180. Before we taught Muno he was what we usually classify as a "Gangsta." He's had a really rough life and he has been in a lot of dark places. He's had alot of bad friends, he would get in fights all the time and he used to drink and smoke. He's a rough tough Cook Islander dude. But now Muno doesnt have those friends anymore, he doesnt drink or smoke, he even Breaks up fights! He's someone that I have truly seen for myself have a "change of heart" and I know that this gospel is real. It is the most beautiful thing in this world. I wish you could all see how happy he is compared to what he was like when we first met him. I'll send pictures dont you worry. I'm so grateful to be a missonary and to have these amazing spiritual experiences. I'd just like to remind you all that you can have experiences just like this too and all it takes is for us to see our friends and those around us as children of our heavenly father and share the one thing that means the most to us, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God lives and loves each and everyone of us. Jesus is the christ, our Savior and Redeemer. The Holy Ghost is real and can help each and everyone of us if we will listen for that still small voice and those promptings that each of us can feel if we are listening and expecting it. I love you all heaps as! Cheers!
We recently recieved this letter from one of Michaels investigator family's. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
To Elder Nelson's Mum and Dad,
Every time I think of the enormous long awaited blessings that has entered our life I feel strongly to write a letter to the parents of such a marvelous son Elder Nelson and my heart knows also he must of had great Bishops, teachers, primary teachers, Aunties and Uncles, brothers and sisters who at one time or another influenced his decision into being a full time missionary in which every minute I am humbly greatful, and reckonise it takes more than one person to raise such an individual. I have been a member all of my life 5 generations. I married a non member and we have struggled tremendously. My only salvation was faith and in my battle Elder Nelson and Elder Bills walked in our tired and weary doorstep. All of the sudden I had the lord's warriors aiding me in my battle of 5 years and on 26 Feb 2010 my husband had a change of heart and the spirit of the Lord entered into a space that was once ravenous with the worldly guile, now as the spirit entered everything of the world left, Oh! how great was that day, I testify of our Saviour Jesus Christ he lives , he is real he is the way and with him everything is possible. My husband will be baptised on 3 April 2010 and now our future is eternal. A blessing I thank the Mum's for the examples the Dad's for the strength and endurance. Elder Nelson is our Eternal friend. I write these things in da name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Always with love,
Genevieve and Munokoarhi Pupuke
p.s. Please share with the ward everyone must know we are truly greatful.