Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 27, 2013

This past week was pretty awesome! We now have six people set for baptism within the next month, with three more that want to be baptized, and we're just working out Word of Wisdom issues. It's really making me nervous with transfers getting close here. I sure hope that I don't get moved somewhere, and not be able to see all of these people that I've been working with be baptized. I know that wherever I go is where the Lord wants me, but I'd really love to be able to see everything we've done work out.

Last night (Sunday night) we had this super awesome fireside with a man named Herewini Jones. We brought one of the less active members we've been working with, and one of our investigators. It's hard to explain everything that he talks about, but basically he ties the Lamanites and Book of Mormon history in with the Maori Whakapapa. Or their lineage and family history. He does lots and lots of work with Pacific Islanders, Maoris, and Native Americans. It made me want to do loads of research into what he was talking about. Since the fireside was over in Te Awamutu, the missionaries over there got a new investigator from it. She actually went over to Elder Toolson and told him that she wanted to have the missionary discussions. Then she talked to Brother Jones, and he came to us and said, "That woman is going to get baptized." Man! We need him to come and do a fireside in Cambridge. It seemed to really get the two men we brought thinking, and so we're looking forward to following up with them tonight. Who knows, maybe we'll have a new baptism set and another less active become active.

The weather here this past week was pretty dismal; it pretty much just rained every single day, except for Friday. Thank goodness we have a car. One thing I do love about it raining though is that everything is so green! When you drive out into the country, everything is just rolling hills of green grass. It's like looking out on an expanse of perfectly green carpet. Pretty killer. Not to mention that it's calving season right now, so there's loads of newborn calves in all of the fields, as well as the regular herds of sheep that are everywhere. It all comes together to make everything quite picturesque.

It sounds like stuff is pretty crazy back home, and I'm sure everyone's having a hard time adjusting since I've been gone, but everyone just hang in there till I get back.

Well, that's all for now folks.
Love you all,
Elder O'Neal

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 20, 3013

Crazy to think that we were talking on the phone only last week. Time seems to go by so fast, but at the same time, it just crawls along at whatever pace it sees fit.

We got a new family this past week; Reggae and Charlotte, and they have a 1 yr old named Jade. Reggae has been a less active member for the past seventeen years. Last he was in, he was ordained a teacher, then just bounced I guess. Interesting how many people we run into that left while they were in their youth. Usually because they didn't feel welcomed or it wasn't as much fun as their last group in the last ward they were in. Makes me wonder how much impact I did or didn't have on others while I was in the youth program. Kinda scares me a little bit, in fact. I imagine I'll have to account for the one way or the other once I'm on the other side. Charlotte is a non-member, but was apparently raised with LDS values. Talk about the Lord preparing those that we teach. None of her family are members, but she just found out from her mother that when she was little, the missionaries used to come around, so the children were all raised according to what they learned from the missionaries. They're an awesome little family, and Reggae even came to church this past Sunday. What a stud. It got me a little worried in priesthood though; the lesson started out on temple marriages, and somehow ended up going to a whole lot of stuff that seemed pretty shaky. Lots of stuff where I would like to see the resource page, you know? Thankfully, Reggae didn't walk out of there thinking we were all a bunch of quacks. To sum it up, they're very receptive, are basically living the values already, and we're planning on setting Charlotte for baptism coming up here. How awesome it'd be to see them one day become an eternal family!

 Kind of along the topic of what I was saying about youth, there are loads of people that we meet that are less active all because they got offended at church. It always surprises me that people are so cavalier with their eternal salvation. They'll say that they know the church is true, but that they were just too offended, and so they won't come back. For one man that we talked to, all that happened was that he was visiting a ward one week, and nobody came over to where he was sitting and greeted him. So he got up once church started, walked across the street to a pub and had himself a drink. Hasn't been back since, and that was in 1982! How can people be so easily offended? Instances such as that make absolutely no sense to me.

Something else cool happened this past week too.. One of the less active members that we've been working with got his KX450F brought down from Auckland. So I told him for P-day I'd come help him bleed his brakes and replace his fork seals. I'm stoked! I can't ride em, but at least I can still work on em, right? Funny how every other missionary wants to go play BBall, and all I want to do is tear into a dirtbike. Apparently it's just been sitting in a shed up in Auckland for about a year now.. Maybe I'll be able to talk him into letting me clean the carb or something. There's a whole world of possibilities.

Well, that'll about do it.
  Love you all
   Elder O'Neal

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 6, 2013

This past week was pretty interesting; at least the end of the week. One thing I've noticed is that it always seems like we're not doing enough. At the end of each night we go over the day as well as plan for tomorrow, and it never seems like we've taught enough, or contacted enough, or tried to find enough. We have the best numbers out of our entire zone, and everyone keeps telling us how good we're doing, but it still feels like there is so much more we could be doing. 
We had a baptism on Saturday, and it went really well. There were loads of people there, and the family had a huge feed afterward, which is always a plus. And then on Sunday, one of our new investigators came to church! We've only spoken to her twice, and both times not for very long. We invited her to come to church, and like all of our other investigators, didn't honestly think she would show, especially since we haven't even taught her one of the lessons yet. Right when sacrament started she came into the building with three of her kids, and I had to do a double take. It was really cool because not only was the confirmation for Brodie yesterday, but it was a Fast Sunday as well. All of the testimonies that were given were really good, and I just sat there praying the entire time that Dona would feel the Spirit like I knew I was. She had previously talked about how she was searching, and wanted the truth in her life, so all I did was pray that she would understand that she had found it. She stayed for all of the sacrament, then Gospel Principles, and even Relief Society! I was blown away. Not only did she show up, but she stayed there. It was a first. After church, all I could think about was how happy I was that she had shown up, and how thankful I am to have the help of the Holy Ghost. 
I've got a load of pictures this time.
One of the members in the ward is huge into restoring old cars, and building old timey memorabilia. All of the signs, gas pumps, airplanes and whatever else there is in the pictures, he made. He sells all of it too. If only he wasn't all the way over here, I'd buy some of it for Dad's shop.  Love, Kurt