Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 24, 2013

Moving to the New Zealand Hamilton Mission! Yes indeed. We haven't met our new mission president yet, but his name is Charles A. Rudd. Some people are thinking that it's the same President Rudd that ran the temple here a few years back, but I have no idea if it's the same person or not. I think he'll be coming in this week sometime, and making the rounds of the mission. It'll be interesting to see if anything changes being in this new mission with a brand new mission president. All of the zone leaders seem to think that it means as missionaries we're all going to get lazy and start breaking the rules. What? Talk about no trust eh?
One of the new senior couples that is going to be serving in the office is living within the boundaries of our branch, so they attended church with us. Elder and Sister Goodman. They're from Arizona, which is pretty cool. The good news about them working in the office and being in my branch is they said if they ever see mail for us, they'll just bring it straight to us, instead of sending it through our zone leader and so forth. I haven't met the other couple that'll be working in the office, but it's Elder and Sister Olsen, from Utah. 
We had our last training with President and Sister Lekias this past week, and everyone seemed pretty sad about it. A few of the sisters were even crying. It felt kind of weird to know that I would never see them again, but at the same time, it's extremely exciting to know that I'll be helping to open a new mission. Even though there aren't really that many new places we'll be going in to, it's still a new mission, and it's still pretty cool.
Keep it real. Love ya'll heaps.
E. O'Neal
the Temple View Zone

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

Good morning,
Let's see... Been a boring week. Especially when it's put up against everything that seems to be going on at home. Traveling the world, family reunions, etc.. I did manage to go into Hamilton for a district meeting, so that was a great experience. I also got the package that Betsy sent! Pretty awesome. It's so much fun  something from home. I think maybe with emails it doesn't really seem as real? But when a fat package shows up, it's like yeah, my family loves me. :)

One of the interesting things that did happen was with the new Elder in Te Awamutu. We have trade offs every Wednesday so that my companion can go teach the Samoans in one of their areas, so I spent the day with Elder Hester. He's from Auckland, North Shore. At first I was kind of curious as to why he was sent on a mission so close to home, and then I remembered Wes. So I asked him if he was serving in this mission because of medical reasons, and he said yep, he had digestive issues, aka, Crohn's. We talked about that whole deal for a little while and he was pretty surprised that I knew what was going on. Turns out he had to have a large chunk of his intestines removed about a year ago, and had to spend a couple of months in the hospital. He's the same size as me, and apparently he only weighed about 90 lbs. Ouch. Good missionary though. It was really weird to think about how he was brand new, and it wasn't me anymore. It was a "no way have I really been out for three months" moment.

The past few weeks have been really hard. It seemed like it was going so well, then one day it all just decided to cool off big time. We've knocked on so many doors and talked to so many people, all to seemingly no avail. Obviously, all there is to do is to knock on a few more and continue to talk with everyone, but it is quite exhausting. The one shining light is Owen. Granted, he's not an investigator, but he's the man. We've been working with him pretty much since the beginning. He's been coming to church every Sunday, reading the scriptures, praying. It's awesome! It'd be nice to find some new people to teach, and bring to baptism, but it is amazing being able to see a Less Active member get totally on fire like this. He's one of the ones that I'll miss for sure. Especially since he's one of the few worldwide that doesn't have a Facebook. Come on man.

Well, that'll about do it,

And in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.
   E. O'Neal

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013

Transfers were this past week.... I passed! Still here in good ol C-bridge. I'm not going to lie, I was sitting on pins and needles the entire beginning of the week. This should mean that I'll now be a part of the New Zealand Hamilton mission. The mission doesn't split until next transfer meeting, but I seem to recall President Lekias saying that where we ended up after this transfer was where we were going to stay. That is fine by me. I'm hoping that this means I'll be spending more of my time in rural parts of the country rather than the city. Hamilton's a pretty big city though too, so we'll see what happens. I think after this transfer I'll be about ready to move on to the next place. As much as I'll miss all of the members here once I leave, I imagine it'll be nice to get somewhere new, see some new things and talk to new people, rather than just feeling like it's the same old some days. 

We got four new missionaries just in our zone this past week; one new elder, and three new sister missionaries that are serving around Temple View, and in the visitors center at the Temple. I don't know how they fill the time of three sister missionary companionships in that area; it's this little area surrounding the Temple that's pretty much 100% active LDS. Almosty like a little piece of Utah.

Other than transfers, there wasn't a whole lot that happened. One of the women in the branch that helps us out a lot (she has FHE's with investigators and non-members, and has been doing a lot of missionary work at her job) had a heart attack this past week, so that was kind of scary. She's doing good, but she's about ready to get out, since one of her sisters is about to pass away from cancer. If this family is what getting old looks like, I'm not sure that I ever want to be there.

Other than that though, everything is about the same. It's pretty chilly here most days, and it's been raining for the past week. Thank goodness we don't ever use the bikes. Hopefully I'll have some more for ya next week. But until then, that's all for now folks.
  E. O'Neal

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June 3, 2013

Good morning!
 It's finally sunny around here! Well, most of the time anyway. It's been going from cloudy to sunny, but at least there hasn't been rain for a few days. It seems like it's harder on people to have this mild chill and lots of rain, than it is to have it be freezing cold and all snowy. I know I've been feeling kind of sick for the last few days, and it seems like everybody that we talk to is sick too. You'd think that living here your whole life would make you at least a little bit resilient to the weather 'n such. Guess not. New Zealanders must just be really sissy :)

Not a load of things different this week, but we did get two new investigators. They were a bit of a surprise to me, because they're dairy farmers, and are extremely wealthy. For the most part, people on that side of town or out there in the country don't like to talk to us. They're all comfortable where they are and they don't want to change. It was really nice to be able to meet a couple that has everything they could want as far as material comforts go, but are still open to hearing the gospel. Another thing that really surprised me was that they're a little bit older. Mid 50s. For the most part, the older people get, the less inclined they are to talk with us. It seems the younger the person is, the higher the likelihood they'll be open to talking to us, and learning about our beliefs. I'm going to chalk this one up to a tender mercy of the Lord.

Other than that, not a whole bunch to report, but I do have pictures!