Oh..man..this week was so awesome. Like, almost too awesome for words. (: It started out on Monday with Mission Conference! There are now 201 missionaries in the New Zealand Hamilton Mission and all of them gathered in Hamilton for a Conference with President and Sister Rudd. We met at Hammond's Bush (forest) and it was absolutely stunning. Roger Hammond has been cultivating this bush for over 40 years and now the church has asked him if they can take it and turn it into a camp for families and youth and YSA. It is going to be so awesome when they finish it! Well, anyway! We had a lot of speakers come, one of them being Roger Hammond. He told us about his journey in growing the bush and such. Then....ya'll might wanna sit down for this next part....like, seriously, it's too cool for school...you know the famous rugby player that there is a Mormon Message about? Sydney Goins? Yeah, international rugby star, return missionary, and now temple president? It's no big deal or anything, but he and his wife came and spoke to us. NBD. They spoke to us about the temple and the sacred covenants that we make there. They did a really good job. They are such a cute couple and they tease each other relentlessly! It's so cute. Anyway, that was really awesome. (: Then President Rudd spoke to us for a second and then we listened to Elder Ballard's talk to new mission presidents about companion unity. It was an answer to my tripanionship's prayers. It helped us so much. Then President Rudd told us that we were going to be rededicating the mission. So, the stakes, the flats, the areas, the zones, and the mission as a whole. He gave the elders permission to come into our flats and rededicate them for the use of missionaries. It was really awesome and since we did that as a district and zone we have seen heaps of miracles happen! Totally blessed. (:
So, some of our investigators, Sonie and Jazz, they're India Indian and they are super super awesome. (: Yesterday was Jazz's birthday party and so we went to support her. Best idea ever. First of all, Indian music is really awesome, second of all, Indian food is really delicious, and third of all, Indian dancing is really hard. (: Jazz made us get up and dance with them and it is a serious work out. They had on their Indian garb and so they were probably hotter than we were, but it was hot as! but so fun. (: I am really happy that we went. I have faith that we can bring them closer to Christ, but Sonie loves his weed. (; It'll happen one day.
Tainui is one of the members we're helping prepare for the temple. We walked past her on our way to emailing today and she told us to tell all of our peeps in America, HI! (:
So, this week we went out tracting in the wop wops of our area. Like seriously in the middle of nowhere. We found this country road that had a mailbox in front of it, so we assumed that there would be a house at the end. So, we walked down it! There were two houses and the first one that we went to had a huge as dog that started barking at us, and a girl came out of the door and she got this happy look on her face and told us that her sister's boyfriend was a member of our church and that she was thinking about getting baptized! She wasn't home when we were there so we decided that we would come back after dinner. So, after we ate dinner we walked back out into the middle of nowhere and knocked on her door. Her dad answered the door and was like, "We're all Catholics here, go away." He was just super rude and so we just kind of walked off all dejectedly. We were about 8 meters away from the house and these little girls ran after us and said, "WAIT! OUR COUSIN WANTS TO TALK TO YOU!" So, we went running back and there was Anne, our golden investigator, waiting for us. They were all apologizing for their dad and uncle and the way he treated us, but anyway, Anne is now set for baptism on the 15th of February and she came to church yesterday. She's golden as! (: We love her!
A couple of emails ago, I talked about the Howard family and how they're less active recent converts and Sister Howard is really struggling to get a testimony? Ya'll remember that? Well, anyway, they are now going to temple prep class! WHOO!! We were so excited when we saw them going to temple prep yesterday, we about did Sister Miggin's happy dance...which isn't publicly displayed..ever... (:
So, here in the lovely country of New Zealand, you have to buy stickers to put on your rubbish bags, otherwise they won't take the bags on rubbish day. Well, we ran out of stickers, so we just set our bags of rubbish in the garage. They were tied up tight and junk, so we didn't really think anything of it. Well, on New Year's Eve, we were sitting in our flat and all of a sudden Sister Holmes goes, "EW!" And flicks her foot. And there was a little maggot just minding it's own business in our flat. Then we started looking around and there were about 6 just in our flat. So, we went into attack mode and started killing maggots. I don't know how many of you have had experience with maggots, but they don't die. Ever. I hit one maggot probably 57 times and it didn't even faze it. Grossest thing ever. EVER. So we got out our bug poison and even that didn't kill them, so we started shuttling them out of our flat via papers.......grossest thing ever! So, we continued to kill maggots for the next couple of days, our garage was seriously overrun. We spent over an hour one night just trying to kill and poison them. NASTY AS. So, we bought heaps of rubbish stickers, so we won't have that problem again. :/
Pretty much all of our investigators right now are golden as. But one of our best is Teno. Her goals for the new year include quitting smoking and drinking and finding faith in Christ. So, yeah, we're here to help her with that! She is really really keen on learning all that she can about the gospel. She has read every single pamphlet that we have available for her and she writes notes on them. She prays every night and is starting to read the book of Mormon. The first night that she prayed, she wrote it down and then the next time we met with her she let us read it. If I thought my prayers were improving since being on my mission, I have some serious lessons to learn. Her prayer was so sincere. So heartfelt. And the first line was, "thank you for sending the sisters to teach me." So, of course that made us all tear up. Man, it was seriously the most awesome prayer ever. (: She's so awesome.
IMG_4283 -> Sister Klundt, Sister Mann, and I at Mission Conference. (:
IMG_4305 -> This is the country road that we found Anne's house on. (:
IMG_4309 -> This is Sister Miggin, Sister Holmes, and I on the country road that we found Anne on. (:
IMG_4310 -> This is a bridge over a railroad track that we found and Sister Miggin and I tried to make it look like we were falling off the bridge...it didn't really work, but Sister Miggin's face is pretty priceless. (:
IMG_4315 -> These are some crazy cows that were eyeing us and following us around. They were seriously just walking with us along the road, but if we tried to get close to them, they'd like turn and run the other way. But we had some friends for a while. (:
IMG_4319 -> This is the sunset...yeah, be jealous. (:
IMG_4333 -> This is Jazz dancing in her beautiful Indian dress. And all of her Indian friends that are sitting behind her. They all eventually started dancing, but my camera lost power, so I didn't catch that.