Kia Ora, So the first question I have is: What happened to the family tradition of camping every year on Memorial Day Weekend (Not that I knew it was Memorial Day Weekend cuz we don't have that here so I completely forgot about it.)? Well, anyway, this week was a really good week. It was a little bit un-organised but it was a lot better than weeks past. We had a huge miracle and were able to find a choice as investigator who was prepared by the Lord. We were just going through some of our lists that we have and there was a name on the "Men who haven't served a mission yet" list that we wanted to try and when we went by we were knocking on the door but no one answered but we heard someone in the garage and so we knocked on the garage door. He said that the person who we were looking for didn't live there but he said he would open the door for us. When we went in and talked with him he told us that his family members are members and he is not. He told us that he used to meet with missionaries back in 1975. He said he used to sneak out to meet with them and he even got baptised on a Saturday night. When he told his dad that he was going to church the next day, his dad told him that if he went to not bother coming back so he didn't get confirmed. We met him on Wednesday and set him for that Saturday. It was so cool because we taught him the Restoration and he just felt right then and there that it was true. The sad part is that the next day when we went by for our appointment, he wasn't there because his older brother unexpectedly got really sick and couldn't walk and so he had to take care of him. So he was not able to be baptised but we are looking forward to this weekend for him. Also, the boy we baptised the other week at the Stake Baptism didn't get confirmed this last week. They said they slept in. I was a little frustrated because we asked our Ward Mission Leader to go by but we think he just called the mom and talked to her instead of going by to make sure they were up. We did get to teach another person this week. Her name is A F. She is a single mother with 2 little girls. She is Catholic but she's been meeting with missionaries for a while. This last Monday we were able to get out of her, through inspired questions, that she basically knows its true but she's afraid of changing because of her family but we committed her to praying to know if changing is the right thing to do. We scheduled to come back today, but also to follow up and see what her answer was on this last Thursday. We went by on Thursday and she seemed very smiley and happy and she told us that she was going to make us wait until Monday for the answer. We were so gutted but at the same time excited and happy. We know she got her answer and I don't think she would make us wait until today just to tell us not to come back. So June is looking very good right now. Also, our set R is amazing. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and also the Law of Chastity came up so we taught him that as well. He is taking it well. He is so sincere about a change in his life. We took him some clothes to borrow for church until we can get him some he can keep. He was so happy. He really enjoyed church as well. It's just been a really good week. I say it was a bit un-organised because we missed out on a lesson on Saturday because we didn't have proper communication, but all is well. Hope everything is still going well back home. Love you all. Ofa Atu, Elder Lee
Kia Ora, It was good to hear from yous last week. I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Dad, given your families' reputation of hurting themselves you might want to ask if you can do something easier like the crafts at girls' camp. Haha jokes, it sounds like fun. Mom, what were the questions asked in Sunday School? Just curious, who knows maybe I know the answer. Grandma, thank you so much for writing last week. I only had time last week to check to see what time I should call so I didn't have time to respond. I really do appreciate the stories. Well this week was great because we had a baptism! I attached a picture of the Stake Baptism that we had this weekend. That was everyone that was baptized in the Stake. Only 2 of the 10 wards in the Stake participated. Our ward and our Zone Leaders ward. It was so good. It was one of the best baptisms I've been to. It was really cool to see 5 people get baptized in one service. So, the boy, who got baptized by my companion, his name is F I F F. He is a 13 year old boy whose record was lost but we were more than happy to re-baptize him. It was a lot easier than having them look for the necessary information. It's so good though because they are a returning less-active family. We also had a miracle this week. One day we were at the bus stop trying to get shelter from the wind to make a call and after we hung up we stepped outside and talked to the first guy that walked past us. His name is David (in English, his Maori name is R). When we talked to him he was going to the bus stop to catch a bus to the hospital. He just found out that his mom was in the hospital. We shouted (spotted) him some change so he could pay for the bus, but we also taught him about repentance and baptism. He was so excited when we talked to him about that because he was looking to change his life around for his wife and kids that he was separated from. We invited him to be baptized on the 9th of June. He agreed and we set up another lesson. We went later in the week and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We committed him to come to church and also read and pray. We picked him up early on Sunday so we could give him a tour of the chapel. We showed him around and when we got to the baptismal font he asked if it mattered if he was already baptized. We taught him the restoration right then and there. It was a very spiritual lesson because we had a random kid in there playing the piano at the same time in the background which was actually pretty good. He is so keen to be baptized and have a new start on life. We are so excited for him. We just pray that no challenges come up that will pull him away. Oh and this week was actually Stake Conference. It was a special broadcast from SLC specifically for NZ. It ended up being Elder David A. Bednar and some other speakers from the First Quorum of the Seventy. It was way good. It's things like that that make me think that I'm supposed to be in NZ at this time in my life because I felt like it was specifically for me. We also had Zone Conference which was amazing because we got to receive trainings from Elder Hamula from the Quorum of the Seventy. The biggest thing I learned is that teaching is a pattern. 1. Ask Questions 2. Observe (Watch/Listen) 3. Discern the needs 4. Act/Invite We were told that in the near future all teaching in the church is going to become like this and it won't be possible to read the lesson during Sacrament and then go and teach Sunday School. That just blew my mind. I just love the gospel. It is the medicine to everyone's illnesses and ailments. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I love you all and keep working hard. Ofa Atu, Elder Lee
He is doing well and is loving his mission. He says "Hi" to everyone. He has not picked up much of an accent yet, but is working on it. Could hear some every now and then. He has learned some phrases in several island languages down there. He has about 7 investigators right now. His area is small which is good since it's a biking area. He says it is mostly flat here too, which he likes while on the bike. Has not eaten any more strange foods, but is enjoying the food.
Kia Ora, It's so good to hear from all of yous. It's so crazy all the things that are changing. Congratulations, Brandon, on everything that you are getting done! It will bless you so much in the near future. I hope you keep working hard! So an update for this week. This week was transfers and I am happy to report that Elder Sorensen and I are still together for another 6 weeks at least. We are so excited because we get along so well and we are seeing a lot of success. This last week we were feeling like we weren't getting hardly any new investigators and so on Saturday we decided to go tract a neighbourhood that we hadn't tracted very much. It was awesome because the morning we talked to maybe 20 of those people and only a few said they weren't interested and the others we got heaps of potential investigators and about 7 return appointments for this week. We are so excited to go teach these people. Oh yeah so funny story, I got hit by a car this week. Well I'd say I got hit by a car. Some people might say that I hit a car. So we were just going to meet the sister missionaries in our district because they needed to use our phone and so we hurrying over. As we were going we were riding along the foot path and coming up to this driveway where there is a fence that is impossible to see around so right when I got to the end of it this car pulls out of the driveway and I didn't have enough time to stop cuz it was less than half a meter away. So I ran straight into it. I wouldn't say it was really either of our faults cuz there was nothing either of us could have done to avoid it. I'm sure that a pedestrian would even run into it. It was funny though because there was a girl and a guy in the car. The guy was driving and when I hit it, the girl started to scream, and the guy seemed unphased. Then they didn't even get out to see if I or the car was ok. They just resumed backing up. I was fine though. I didn't get even a scratch. It was just a funny experience. So that's the story of the week. As for the phone call. I will be calling on Monday here which is Sunday there. So please give me an email next week and tell me exactly what time you want me to call. Now for the spiritual thought, I would like to share a scripture that can apply to us all but especially for youth. It is the story of the 2000 Stripling Warriors.The key to understanding how the Stripling Warriors were so successful is found in Alma 56:47. The verse reads: "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." There are 2 keys to success found in this verse. 1) When our parents teach us in righteousness we can always turn back to the things they taught us for support. 2) When we do not doubt and put our trust in God, He will deliver us from our trials. I think the one thing that I have expressed most in my letters home is that we need to put our trust in God. This is so important. Don't worry about what is going to come ahead of you because God always provides if we put our trust in Him. Well I love yous all. Hope yous are doing well. And I would still like the Harpers address. Ofa Atu, Elder Lee
Kia Ora, It's so good to hear from you. That's awesome that Brandon finished his Eagle Project! Keep working hard, Brandon! It pays out in the end. Also, tell Rich and Ashley I said hello, and I need their address so I can write them. Send me pictures if you can. I love to see pictures. So just to tell you about my week: It was a great week. We have been working really hard to find more people to teach and we have found a few more people to teach that are solid as. They are asking the most choice questions. We had a dinner with the Tuala family this week. Brother Tuala's dad is not a member. It was funny though because they arranged it so that it would just be us and him. We went over and had a massive feed (It was delicious, but not new). We then found out that Sister Tuala (the Primary President and return missionary from Guam) was home as well. So we got to have a really good lesson with him after. He has been coming to church these last few weeks and is really curious. We had a commitment from our lesson to study the rest of the chapter in Gospel Principles, that we didn't finish, on the Life of Jesus Christ. We were reading through it with Brother Tuala Sr. and when we got to the part about Jesus calling his Apostles he started to ask some really good questions. He even asked us why we say that we are the only true church? So we were able to teach him a bit of the Restoration. It was a very Spirit led lesson. We also had a lesson with another Part-Member family, the Tufuga's, where the wife is a member but the husband is not. We again taught a very Spirit led lesson and invited him to be baptized and he said that he would prepare for it. He only said that after we pulled all of his concerns about baptism out through inspired questions. He asked us if you need to be baptized to be a member. We are planning to teach him tonight about the Gospel and how baptism is essential not just for the purpose of becoming a member but also when it's done through God's authority it actually cleanses us of all of our sins. It was a really good week. Unfortunately it's coming to the end of the transfer and so transfers is on Thursday. (Transfers happen every 6 weeks). I hope that neither of us goes because we get along so well and we have fun while working our hardest, but nevertheless God's will be done not mine. I will let you know what happens with transfers next week. Ofa Atu, Elder Lee P.S. the pictures of some members and recent converts that were killing some pigs to have a hangi.