This will be a shorter email because not much here happened because of the holiday. I have been working pretty hard here but around Christmas the people here just leave and we had about 1/3 of the visits we normally have. On Christmas we went and played some rugby in the sports ground and while we were there some birds came and were swooping down at us so we started to chase them away. But I had decided to jump over one of the barriers but I missed and caught my leg on the edge and cut my shin open pretty deep that it went to muscle. I landed on my shoulder which hurt and I thought that I had hurt my shoulder pretty bad but it was fine and then I noticed my leg and all the blood coming out and it was pretty gross. We went to the hospital (because all the stores were closed because of Christmas) and filled out some paperwork and after 30 minutes they finally fixed my leg up.
Other than that it has been pretty boring, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of yours:)
That's it for today!!!
The Ward Mama, Ana Matekohi took good care of him and got him all doctored up for me.
Its been a pretty slow week here in Tokoroa but we had our Christmas Conference and a baptism! At the Christmas Conference I got to see a bunch of the other elders that I were in my intake such as Elder Lingwall. We heard some really good talks, got some small gifts, and met some interesting missionaries. I took some pictures and video of the event but the video didn't turn out very well.
The rest of the week was pretty basic here in Tokoroa and not much happened except for exchanges where I took the lead on the lessons/discussions because my companion was too nervous to talk to the people. I am surprised that I haven't really gotten homesick yet but we are so busy that I hardly have time to think about stuff like that. I get frustrated when I am shopping on my P-day and I am looking for something like strawberry flavored cream cheese or something else that seems pretty common and they don't have it but yet they have hundreds of different types of candy and chocolate.
Tara's Baptism was on Saturday, December 20th and was also Day 30 out in the field for me. I met with her for the first time and I invited her to be baptized and although she seemed hesitant she agreed. Not many people came to her baptism but she didn't care because she knew that it was the right thing to do. I am so proud of her and all the progress she has made and just thinking back at who I was 30 days ago is pretty freaky. I am so glad to be here in Tokoroa even though I can't get my companion to stop singing ;).
We had stake conference and met with a lot of new people this week!
At Stake Conference we had Elder Pearson of the First quorum of the Seventy come and talk to us and Elder Coward who is an Area Seventy which was pretty cool and I got to talk with Elder Pearson for a few moments afterwards. The meeting went really well and we got 3 of our investigators to come and most of our ward came as well and many of our Less-Actives came with them. Since the beginning of the month we have been told as missionaries to try and get as many people to come to church and to give out at least 10 of the special Christmas cards to get the word out.
We visited with Tara this week and she seems really excited to be baptized and has been studying her scriptures and praying everyday. We have her set for the 20th but we are meeting with her at least twice a week to get in all the lessons and last week she asked me to baptize her which was is an honor. We have been teaching Jake once a week but everytime we come and visit him he keeps trying to find inconsistencies with the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and what we are teaching him so he keeps getting held up on different things like since Jesus fulfilled the atonement we are all saved and don't have to do anything as long as we confess that "Jesus Christ our Lord". Its been pretty rough and after talking to the Zone Leaders they say that we should continue meeting with him regardless.
Its been pretty good here in Tokoroa and I love the people but sometimes they can be so stubborn! We have been working out everyday at this field near our house and I set a goal to do one lap(I'm not sure how far it is but its definitely longer then 400m) in 75 seconds last weekend andon SaturdayI ran 71.11 so I beat my goal so now I want to run 68. Its been nice to see improvements in not just my athletic but social and spiritual life as well and I know that they are all blessings.
This week has been pretty basic so there is not really much to say. We met with Jake again and he had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and whether or not its doctrine clashes with the bible. He struggled with the thought that as God was once a man, men may become gods and thought that just a foolish dream but I guess we just need to explain some of that stuff a bit more. I started the Book of Mormon when I got into the MTC and I'm in Alma now and I have noticed how much more stuff I am picking up on now that I'm actually studying it and all I've got to say is that Teancum is a BOSS.
There isn't much to do down here so we go and run laps around this field we have for our workouts and I set a goal to run a1:10for one lap but I have only ran1:20so I have a lot of work to do but I've been doing intervals and core trying to keep my fitness up but the people of this country are just set on getting me fat. We are going over to the High School and doing some workouts with the track team after emailing today so that will be fun.
Everyone in this country loves the All-Blacks and while I was at a members house talking he brought up a statistic that domestic violence increases by like 30-40% when the All-Blacks lose. I want to get some All-Blacks stuff but its so expensive here. I have been working on my rugby skills so that the people here don't laugh at me because even the little kids are better then me.
There has been a couple things going on here and we might have a new baptism coming up in 3 weeks!!!
We did exchangeson FridayandSaturdayand all I'm going to say is that I am so thankful for my companion today because some of the other Elders in our district have 0 discipline and it shows in their work and numbers. We have been teaching Tara this week and got through the 10 Commandments and CPR (Church, Prayer, Read) and it seems to be sticking finally! The food here is so much more expensive then it is in America, for example for a can of pringles it is 4.50 (by the way the tax is worked into the price of food so the smallest coin is 10 cents). I haven't had a whole lot of opportunities to take some pictures but I did get one of the Thermal Pools in Turangi. It is so beautiful here and the KFC and chocolate is 100% better here then it is in America. There is also like a total of 13 churches in Tokoroa and only one is LDS, the Pacific Island Church is huge here but the LDS Church would be too if it allowed you to drink, smoke, and fed you every other day.
We met with a guy named Jake McKernan this weekon Thursdayand let me just start off by saying that he is something else. He was not a member but when he was a kid his best friend was and served an LDS mission. Jake stopped Elder Lukens in a grocery store a week before I got here and said that he was keen for visits. We went and visited him and he pulled out a notebook and started to take notes and after we had finished the Plan of Salvation ( we were impressed to share that first) he asked "what's next?" the whole time asking some next level questions that most investigators never ask. We ended up sharing the first 3 lessons (Plan of Salvation, Restoration, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ) and he told us about his past.
He had a rough childhood and was really into crystal meth but one night he was reading the scriptures he read 1 Corinthians10:13where it says "...God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able..." and he prayed to God to help him with his addiction and woke up the next morning and " it was like the addiction of meth and alcohol had just been taken from me". His friends all thought that he was just hiding his addiction but once they saw him at parties drinking a coke they knew he was legit. He met his wife at a party a few years later and after talking about God for a couple hours they started dating and got married because " it is better to be married then to live in lust". He might be one of the greatest people I have ever met and I know that Heavenly Father prepared him for us to meet him.
Its been a great week here in Tokoroa and we have been working all day everyday to tell these people that "Y'all need Jesus".