Sunday, February 28, 2016

"I'm the only one that stopped to see if he's dead."

Transfer week and I am in my 6th area!!!!

Because of the problems that have been happening in my new area the past couple of transfers, President Rudd gave me a call on Tuesday telling me that I am being transferred to clean up a mess that the previous missionaries have caused. I am now in the Paeroa Branch with Elder Niu'unga who is from Tonga. A few months ago I was serving in Te Aroha which is only about 10 minutes south of Paeroa so we got to know a few of the locals so I was able to hit the ground running and make connections with people because of my past areas and the people that I have been around.

I had a great last couple of days in Gizzy and got to see some of my investigators before leaving. I was kinda sad to get the news that I was leaving but I decided to put my head down and work. When I left we had 6 people that are super close to baptism and on my last night in Gisborne, I had the chance to set Allie and Nathan for baptism on the 19th of March. They asked if I could come down and baptize them when the date comes but I said our mission president probably would not allow it. I have had a really bad streak of baptisms my whole mission. Every time I set an investigator for baptism, I always get transferred before the date comes.

The Branch up here in Paeroa is a really good little group of people. The area covers several small towns including: Paeroa, Waihi, Whangamata, Thames, Ngatea, Karangahake, Kerepehi,and Puriri. We spend quite a bit of time driving everyday but it is good because we get to work in a lot a different areas and see a variety of people. This next transfer is an 8 week transfer so we will be here for a bit longer but hopefully that will be long enough to see some baptisms!!!!

Elder Mitchell

Pics are of Allie and Nathan on my last in Gizzy and of me with a bronze statue here in Waihi. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Leave those poor sick monkeys alone."

From now on, you must refer to the missionaries in Gisborne as the Justice League okay?

We had a crazy week here in the Gisborne Zone! Since I am the DL here and since transfers is coming up, I had to do one last exchange with the Elders in my District and the Zone Leaders. On Monday I drove up the coast to go do a short exchange with the Bay Elders who cover a couple branches up in the northern part of Gizzy. The exchange went pretty good and I definitely understand the problems that they have with visiting people regularly. 

We switched back Tuesday night and then they stayed the night at our flat because it is a 2 and a half hour drive up to their flat and it was really dark by the time we got back to Gisborne. The exchange with the ZL's was good because we got to do heaps of work and go out to Manutuke and visit some of their investigators out there. We had plenty of opportunities to talk about how the last transfer has been and what we want to do to help our district and zone for the next transfer.

Now to my exchange with the Tongan Elders.... When we opened up our exchange we walked outside and I saw a bike that looked like one of our mission bikes but not being ridden by a missionary. Turns out it was stolen from one of the previous elders and we ended up getting it off the guy after the cops came. Then later when the Zone Leaders were taking the bike back to their flat, they saw the bike that got stolen off Elder Fesolai when I was on exchange with the Zone Leaders. We ended up getting that bike back as well so now the Zone Leaders have all the serial numbers for the bikes in Gisborne so that no one will be stealing our bikes anytime soon!!!!

We are bringing justice back to the streets of Gisborne, one bike at a time!!!!!

Ofa Atu!

Elder Mitchell

Planking on the pier.

Sometimes it's sad being the only white guy.

Monday, February 15, 2016

"Silence! Destroy Him!"

Gonna be a really short email this week because we are going up the coast with our Zone Leaders to go sight-seeing and to take some mean-as pictures.

This last week went pretty well. Although I don't think there was much of a difference in the work that we got done, it made it much easier because I came into the week with a better attitude which allowed us to work a little bit happier in our conditions. We have been having a few problems here in Gisborne with trying to find new people to teach and with helping our current investigators progress toward baptism which are problems that most of the world is facing as well so I know its nothing new. It has been really warm over here in New Zealand (haha sucks to be you guys in Utah #SnowAllDayEveryday) and since our flat doesn't have AC we have had to find people we can go and teach during the daytime with AC. 

Barry got his answer and it came to us in the form of a text we got from him on Sunday morning telling us that he is going to busy for the next month for a boys club thing and that he would let us know when a good time we can come over. I have been out on my mission to know that when people say they will text you to give you a time, it probably won't happen. But I have been trying to work on being more hopeful and trying to avoid being negative so that is something that I will definitely need to pray for help on. We are disappointed that he has lost interest but everyone has their agency right???

Here we go again!!!!

Elder Mitchell

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Have you ever been told you got a weird shaped head?"

The title of this email finally has something to do with my week!

I got a haircut last week on Monday from one of the members and while they were giving me a cut, He told me that my crown was so big that he originally thought it was 3 crowns. He went and got a cup and was able to place it on my crown. It made cutting my hair in the way I wanted pretty difficult but he still managed to give me a decent cut.

Other than people making fun of how my head is shaped, my week was pretty good! We had some really good lessons with our investigators. On Wednesday after Zone Conference, we had our exchanges with the Mangapapa Elders so we went to go see Barry and Lucky and set up an appointment for the next day when I would be with Elder Fesolai to teach them about the Law of Chastity. Barry and his partner Lucky have been really struggling with this commandment ever since we started coming over because they know that eventually they will have to get married or split up. 

As we taught Barry about the Law, we explained to him why these things are so important to God and why we need to keep ourselves free from all sins of that nature. The Spirit was so strong in that room as we taught him that he couldn't say much at all except look at the pamphlet. As we left he thanked us for coming and we committed him to pray about what we taught. He texted us last night and said he has got his answer so we will go over tomorrow to see what he has been told. I hope that he got the answer we have been praying for but we love him all the same!

Allie also came to church this Sunday!!! She knows one of the members so we will have a FHE with them tonight. Loving it here in Gisborne!

Sorry its kind of a short email, we need to drive up the coast to go give the Tokomaru Bay Elders forgot their flat key in their flat and we have their spare. #FunThingsYouGetToDoOnPDay.

Elder Mitchell

Kia Kaha! (Be Strong)

"You can't sit down because you sold your chair, so you just stand there."

What a week....

After a really boring first couple of days. We got news that we were having a special trip up to Auckland to see Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles! This was the 3rd Apostle I have met since I have been on my mission (Elder Bednar and Elder Cook) and it was such an amazing experience. 

We did run into one problem though, The trip was on Friday and Saturday the 29th and 30th of January which means we all had basically no money for food because when you travel you have to either have take-aways or bring food to eat while you drive and since we didn't have much food at the flat anyway (We are always on the struggle here in Gisborne) we had basically no other way of getting food. Our Zone Leaders realized this problem and found out that the rest of the zone was in the same situation as us so they called the mission office to get some help for the trip up. They couldn't give us money right then but they would have it by the time we got up to Hamilton so we decided to just leave it to the Lord and we made our way up to the conference. 

We had one thing that happened to us that can only be described as a miracle and it took place as we were driving into Tauranga. We were all really hungry but since we didn't have much money we thought we were going to have to drive all the way to Hamilton (another couple of hours) to get our money. Elder Fellingham (one of our Zone Leaders) felt prompted to go drive to this Fish and Chips shop and see how much it costs. When he stepped inside there was a member who gave us $20 for dinner but not knowing that there was 8 companionship's that needed to be fed she thought it was enough. It turned out to be just enough. We ordered as much food as possible with that money and then divided it to the other missionaries. After a blessing, we ate and were filled! As we left, one of the sisters said to me, "I prayed that there would be food enough for us all, and there was! God really does answer prayers!" I am so grateful to be apart of a miracle, even though it was something quite small in most peoples eyes.

The conference went really good and we came out of it with a lot of spiritual insights that we had never before seen. It gave us some things we can use to help our investigators receive the restored gospel!

Thanks for all the support and I will talk to you all later!!!! 

Elder Mitchell

These are pictures he took at a museum that he went to on P-Day