Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Autobiographical Raps (Things that happened to us)"

Hey everybody!!!!!

This week we saved some souls!!!! I was still struggling with my ankle over the beginning of the week but at around Wednesday I eventually started to do better but we had already wasted a good couple of days that we could have used actually working. It was kind of crappy because we didn't get our car back and probably won't for another couple of days but the doctor also told me that I should try and avoid walking long distances because it can just make my foot worse. We tried to schedule all of our appointments near our flat but ended up calling the Zone Leaders whenever we needed a ride some place else but I can tell it is getting kind of annoying for them so we have tried to find other people to give us rides when we have to go across town.

Other than that we had a lot of success with just the few people we were able to visit. We saw Keeda and Madi (two of our 'investigators' whose mother is a Less-active) and had dinner with them and afterwards we taught them the 10 commandments which they then taught to their mother. They are such funny girls and are a lot smarter than you would think they are but they are partially deaf so have struggles with when we say things we have to be really clear with what we say and how we say certain things. It brings up some challenges in teaching but has helped Elder Fesolai and I grow our teaching skills. We tried to re-set them but they said they need to decide where they are getting baptized before they re-commit to a date. 

We also saw Berry but his partner, Lucky was not home. We are hoping that she is still interested but Berry is always super keen on learning and is really accepting with the commitments that we leave with them. 

I got a call on Friday night telling me that I am the new District Leader over the Gisborne area which was very surprising to me because I knew that one of the other Elders was the DL. It turns out that they did something stupid which got them in trouble and since our district is pretty big, they couldn't just let the Zone Leaders do it. President Rudd called me and talked with me about what had happened and that I need to be super vigilant with disobedience and that if I see anything wrong that I should call him and the Zone Leaders immediately.

I was not super excited about this call because of all the stress that has come when I have been District Leader before but after spending most of the night praying for help and guidance I felt a sense of peace come over me that made me know that although it would be difficult, it could be done and that I would receive help with my duties. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers and that he truly does love his children and want to help lift their burdens.

I hope you guys have a nice and cool week because it going to be hot here in Gisborne!!!

Elder Mitchell

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"Be more constructive with your feedback."

This week we had transfers!

Monday and Tuesday were alright but we didn't get a whole lot done. We found out about transfer news on Tuesday and that Elder Christensen is going to Taumarunui and that Elder Fesolai from Apia, Samoa will be replacing him here in Gisborne. I have had a few Samoan companions so far on my mission and I will just say that this will be an interesting transfer. Later, Elder Christensen and I went around and said all of his goodbyes which was really hard for him because leaving your first area is always difficult and we had a few people that he got really close to but he managed to get through it all. I am definitely going to miss Elder Christensen, he is one of the best missionaries that I have ever served with and hopefully I get the chance to serve around him again before I leave. 

While we were playing basketball Wednesday morning, I landed on one of the other Elders foot which made my ankle go all funny and sprained it pretty bad. I thought that it would be alright after resting and icing it for a while but it still wasn't getting any better. We went to do service and while Elder Fellingham and Elder Christensen were working I was sitting off to the side resting my ankle. We did service for this South African Lady and while I was sitting around, I taught her about the Restoration. She confided in me some stuff about her past and how she has done some pretty bad things but I testified to here that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, she can be made clean from those past mistakes. I am so thankful to be able to teach people like her about repentance and how our Older Brother has already paid for those mistakes.

Elder Fesolai came in on Thursday and we got directly into........ sitting down and icing my ankle. I went to the doctors on Wednesday and they told me I need to stay off it for at least 48-72 hours and that I need to make sure to be doing the whole R.I.C.E. ( Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) and all of that jazz. We didn't get hardly any work done the next couple days.

Saturday was mean!!!!! We went and saw Cathy and had an awesome lesson with her. We shared with her C.P.R. (church, prayer, reading) and how important Sabbath Day Worship is in keeping God's commandments. She has had a problem keeping the Sabbath Day but said at the end of it that during this next week she will try and schedule things so that they don't conflict with church or do things on Sunday that she shouldn't do. We also saw Berry and Lucky and taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a focus on Repentance and Baptism. They are not married but are living in the same house so that will definitley need to change before getting wet but I have Faith in them that they will be able to make those commitments to one another and to God. 

Then.... Berry and Lucky came to church on Sunday!!!!! After a pretty awkward arrival they had a good time in sacrament meeting and after the people were so nice to them that they decided to stay for the full 3 hour block! In Gospel Principles, Berry got and bore his testimony and he made most of the people in the room cry including himself and our Bishop. He is such a humble guy and has such strong faith. 
This week has gone much better than last week and hopefully we are able to make some progress with our teaching pool over these next couple of weeks. I want to have a baptism here before I leave!!!

Elder Mitchell 

Flip.... I forgot my cord. I promise I will send pics next week!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"Did Steve tell you that by chance. Steve."

This was a pretty disappointing week.

We spent all of last week setting up appointments and making arrangements so that we could have an awesome week before transfers but for some reason everyone just decided to either cancel out on us, dodge us, or drop us. When we hit about Thursday, Elder Christensen (the elder I am training) was moments away from tears because some of the people that we had been working really heavily with just said that they didn't want us to come back, some of which we had set for baptism. Elder C was about to throw in the towel when it got to Saturday because of some people that were giving us a hard time and one of them chased us with a baseball bat across town. I had to give him a blessing so that he wouldn't just give in and go home because of some of the challenges that have come up. I hope that this next week is better for us because he is really struggling to deal with some of these things.

It seems that while I become a better and better missionary, new and difficult challenges keep getting in the way. I was reading in the First Book of Nephi chapter 16 lately about how Nephi dealt with problems when they arose. Instead of murmuring about how his bow broke, he went out and solved the problem and made a new bow. I have felt a lot like Laman and Lemuel over the past couple of days as they come out with all these new rules and with all of the challenges we have been facing but I realize that all that I am doing is making myself bitter and getting no work done in return. 

I know that Faith is a principle of action and all I need to do is to go out and work and solve the problems instead of complaining about them. 

This email may be kind of short but it has taken me quite a while to realize how stupid I sounded while complaining about some of the new rules. I have definitely been able to see that the problem was not with the rules or with other people but with me. I know that this probably doesn't make sense to a lot of you but I hope you all have a good week!!!!

Kia Kaha!!

Elder Mitchell

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year & Contacts & Stuff

Our flat is on 220 Wainui Road. If you look on Google Maps at our flat you can only see part of it because it is behind other houses but if you move over a little bit you can see more of it. We live close by the Ghetto of Gisborne so you will probably see some pretty run down houses on some of the side streets but we live on the main road. Gisborne is a beautiful place and there is a lot of really cool things to do around but I mainly just like the beach which is really close by to our flat.

We had a small party at our Zone Leaders flat on New Years to celebrate one of the other missionaries birthdays as well as the New Year. We had a really slow week just trying to get everything back to normal but even with all the interruptions we were able to get the best numbers in the Zone. This mission has taught me so much about hard work when it seems like no one is watching even though some times it may not feel like you are being held accountable. The past 2 transfers have definitely given me a new taste of missionary work and shown me what I need to do to become the best missionary I can be. I have been missing you guys like crazy the past couple weeks but I will be home before you know it! 

Thanks for the package for Christmas! It provided some much need help as I have been wearing out my socks like mad over the past couple of weeks. One of the Elders in Gisborne right now will be going home next transfer so I am going to send him home with a package for you guys. I'm not going to send a mass email to everyone this week so just send my love out to everyone and that emotional stuff!

Elder Mitchell!