Monday, October 12, 2009

My Last Letter Before Going Home

12 Oct 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your wonderful letters this morning. I really feel appreciative of how you feel about my service. The apostles always are so humble in how they feel about their assignments and how they feel inadequate.

This week wasn't too bad. I still did my best to put forth as much effort as possible even though I will not immediately see the fruits of my work. I got sick this week. For the first time on my mission i spewed after shortly after receiving a blessing from Elder Jenkins. I am feeling much better though right now. I will just need to stay well so i am fine on the flight. I think it may have been some meat i cooked.

Elder Jenkins is doing well as usual. He's a funny character. He's been able to keep me going. President Porter said he's convinced that i can marry anyone and that I'll get along with her. But I will still choose the right one. Man am i going to miss the missionaries in this area and especially President Porter.

General Conference was amazing. I was able to attend all sessions. We had three sessions on Saturday and it was pretty long. The other two were on Sunday in the avo. I can't remember them all, but i enjoyed the ones by President Uchtorf, Elder Bednar, President Eyring, Elder Holland, and Elder Callister( who is the our area prsdncy). I am going to have to reread them all and take better notes. I get an idea and then try and write it down and then forgot how it was worded.

We had some investigators that we've been trying to get to church that were able to make it to the conference. They were able to come to the last session of both days. Patrick is a member and Moka is not a member. We are going to have another lesson with them tonight. They've been taught awhile. We also have another invstgtr, Lez Walden, who wants to get baptized this weekend. He said he was rereading the pamphlets and he said everything is really starting to click together even greater than before. He is just working on keeping some other commitments.

On Wednesday, I will be having my interview with President Porter for the last time on my mission. I want to have my packing done before Wednesday. Most likely i will be finishing the packing on Wednesday. I got an iefaikaga(don't know how to spell it) , but i won't wear it until i get home. I will be getting a couple more things today but i don't want to spend too much.

I love you all.

Elder Cashmore

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Full of Joy & Finishing Strong!

5 October 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you so much for your letters this morning. I am full of joy in reading your letters and desire to finish strong here and continue strong and faithful in the next stage of my life.

If we are planning on getting back from SB @ 8:30, then we might reschedule for the next day. But I would prefer to meet with him that night, if its possible. I guess he doesn't release missionaries every week, so he might be flexible, but i know he is busy. Of course, I'll be flexible. I'll leave it up to you and President Ridgeway.

This week went fairly well. It was a bit hard due to the many indicators that my mission is coming to a close.

The highlights of this week were our baptism on Saturday for the Tusa family. Monica, Maria, Jasmin, and Emmanuel were all baptized and confirmed and they are really solid. The mom bore a powerful testimony of her family coming to church and how happy she is.

The fast and testimony meeting was packed for Balmoral ward. I don't think i have ever seen so many people waiting on the stand to bear their testimonies. I hope the work continues forward in this area and that my last week and a bit I only help the work move forward and do not hinder it.

I also had a very wonderful interview with President Porter. I am going to miss him a lot. I probably got to know him a bit better than President Cook, but i love them both very much. President Porter has helped me overcome some of my challenges. He gave me some very wise counsel that i hope to follow every day. I have been working on trying to follow the Spirit better and understand impressions better.

I am also looking forward to Gen Conf. this Sat and Sun.

To answer Camilles question, i probably won't have much of an accent. The only time it comes out is when i am in lessons, teaching or reading from the scriptures. If you want, i will try to give an impression when i get back of how kiwis speak. I will definitely have some vocabulary that you will catch me saying that I've picked up. You'll enjoy that!

Thank you Blake for writing. We should exercise together in the morning.

The last thing i wanted to do was to write in my testimony. I know that God lives and that he knows me. I know who Jesus Christ is better than before. When i feel the Spirit i begin to think, feel, and act as the Savior would. I know Joseph Smith was and is a prophet and that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today. I love the Book of Mormon and know that it really is for our day. I am so happy and hope to remain humble and steadfast.

Thank you again. I should be able to receive your emails next week.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Zealand Temple Trip, Sept. 2009

This was Elder Cashmore's last time to go to the temple before being released. It was a wonderful day for him. This was one-third of the mission. The other pictures are on the mission blog link in the side bar. Elder Cashmore is on the top row, fourth elder from the left. Click the picture to see an enlargement.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Upcoming Baptisms

28 Sept. 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your wonderful emails. That was a neat surprise to hear that Brad Jarvis is dating someone from the Spanish branch. I remember going on splits with the Zone Leaders that covered the singles ward and we ran into some mexicans on the street and luckily we each had some skill in the language, but not much.

One of the missionaries was telling me that in the orientation for departing missionaries that they tell us how to give hugs properly. I don't know if he was fibbing or not. It just reminded me of what you said about Michael Kerns giving u a hug.

I really am enjoying my time in the area and having Elder Jenkins here. He is a great missionary. I was a bit discouraged about how our day was going on Saturday, but we kept going. The best companionships are the ones where we push each other and inspire each to remain diligent so that we can recieve the fruits of our efforts.

On Saturday, we went over to Ward St. to tract and we started talking to people in the area. I then had the thought that we should go see one of our part-member families on Paice St. We quickly visited and then left and talked to a lady outside who said we could come by Monday night. We didn't even get a chance to share anything with her, but she allowed for us to come back. Hopefully she is interested.

This week we were able to set 5 people for baptism for the coming weeks. First we set Faga(pronounced Fanga), for the 17 of October and her and her member partner will be getting married on the 9th of October. We also have another Samoan family we've been teaching, named the Tusa family. The mom is a member and the father is very supportive and apparently is a less-active member too, but has been going to another church. The four oldest kids, Monica, Maria, Jasmin, and Emmanuel will be baptized this Saturday. We have set a goal for 7 baptisms this months for our companionship. I am grateful that Elder Jenkins will be able to experience some success at the beginning of his mission. I did as well, but it wasn't until the end of my second transfer. But all good.

The weather has been pretty wet this last week. I was on a tradeoff with an Elder Luckhardt, and we got totally drenched! Within minutes of leaving the flat, it started a hard downpour of rain. We ran over to a porch and stood there for several minutes. Then we shot off again. There was a lot of flooding. There was water about a half foot deep on some of the sidewalks on a Mt. Albert Road, a main road in our area.

What is Blake sick with? It could just be the weather changes. Some of our investigators have been catching the cold or flu.

Are we planning any visits to the Los Angeles temple any time after i arrive back in California? I was going to buy new garments in my last temple trip, but didn't get a chance to; i need to get some when i get back.

Thats great to hear how the ward is doing with missionary work. I hope the singles ward is similar. I want to be as much help to the missionaries in whatever ward i live and serve in. I don't know how much time i will have, but i know that i need to spend some time every week. I think that is something i have learned more deeply is that missionary work is a combined effort of members and missionaries. Sharing the gospel is incomplete without one or the other. We have had some neat experiences with our ward mission leader in Mt. Albert ward in visiting families and organizing fellowshippers to support those we teach.

Thank you again. I love you all.

Elder Cashmore

Temple Surprises

21 Sept. 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your wonderful letters. This last week went well and it was also a bit tiring. The temple trip was inpsiring and the Zone Conference was probably the best one I've been to. I don't know if it was because it was my last one, but Elder Smith from my intake (and my MTC comp) said that he felt the same. The testimonies of the missionaries finishing this transfer were very touching. Another missionary from our intake, Elder Larson, had his father pass away several months back and it was extremely hard for him to keep on going. Another missionary, Elder Hausianthang (one of the first missionaries from Myanmar), got sick with diabetes on his mission and had to leave, but decided to stay. I really love the missionaries from my intake.

One of the neat things that occurred at the temple was that Gaye Miecklejohn that I helped baptize at the beginning of my mission was going through for her endowment for the first time. Of course, there were also many members from that ward and the stake in general. I really love my first area and the members of the Whangarei 2nd ward. I also saw Bishop Reti and he was surprised to still see me here. I told him when i was going and he said that whenever I come back that I will always have a place to stay! He is one of the funniest leaders I've met. I've mentioned before, but he reminds me of bro. Beazley. What nationality is Brother Beazley?

We had a lesson with the Tusa family and only one lesson. It went very well. They also came to church this Sunday, as they have for the last couple of Sundays. In our MCM, we were talking about how to get the father involved. We discussed that the best way is to get the mother fully active and have the children influence through their example. We told the mom that her kids are ready to be baptized. We are looking at setting a date with them within the next several weeks. We also had two baptisms this weekend with Tina Grove and her daughter Breanna getting baptized. It was a really good turnout from the ward. I think the ward is starting to pick up with these baptisms. They've mentioned splitting our area and putting a new companionship in the other ward. It probably won't happen until after I leave.

My new comp is Elder Jenkins. He is an American from Virginia and is also a "military brat". He has lived in Germany, Alabama, Texas, and some other states. He has also gone to school a little bit in BYU and BYU-I. He came in on Wednesday and then went down to the temple and Zone Conference on Thursday. He is still quite tired as i am. This last week i woke up at 4am two mornings. But then again President Porter and the APs have to do that for three days. I am glad to have a companion that wants to work. I just want to make sure that he starts his mission right and that he is instilled with urgency and purpose. He is much older than me and he is much more prepared than i was when i started. I am grateful to President Porter for giving me one last opportunity to train again. I know where my confidence is more now than before. I still get nervous doing some things, but missionary work is hardly convenient.

Thanks for the updated information about the schooling and the flight itinerary. I still haven't gotten it from the mission office yet. Oh well.

I love you all and have a fantastic week. I look forward to going to the temple more often when i return home. Our temple trips are infrequent and short. But they are still meaningful.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Lasts of My Mission

14 Sept. 2009
Kia Ora Family,

I really enjoyed your emails this morning. We are a bit late to getting to an email shop/cafe simply because we had a zone leader/district leader meeting. It was just our Zone Leaders, and one other district leader besides myself. It was a very spiritual meeting discussing needs of the districts and zone and what our focus will be this coming transfer.

Elder Lausi'i has been transferred to Papatoetoe. I am on an extended tradeoff with Elder Samani, who was in my district last transfer as well. I never got to go on a tradeoff with him last transfer just because i wasn't allowed to when Elder Hunter was there and i felt it wouldn't be good with Elder Lausi'i. Elder Samani and I are receiving our new companions on Wednesday. I don't yet know his name or where he is from. They were delayed due to visa requirements, but it will be good to have them here soon.

Tomorrow we have our temple trip and it will be my last one in New Zealand as a missionary. I am really excited and all the missionaries attending will be fasting during the time in the temple. It will be an experience of accountability to the Lord for the past few months since our last time in the temple and also for gaining greater knowledge and insight into our relationship with the Father and the Son. President Porter is really wanting us to gain that. Its interesting to note, and Elder Samani realized this, that President Hinckley mentioned this as the first gift that every missionary should receive from his/her mission.

The last couple of days Elder Samani has been sick and we have been in the flat for the majority of the time. But on Sunday we were able to do splits so that i could go to my wards in Balmoral and Mt. Albert, and he could go to his Tongan ward in Mt. Roskill 4th. A very willing member brother, Brother Karaitiana (karaitiana=Christian; in maori) was able to to come with me from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm.

Yesterday we had a miracle happen. While i was in Balmoral ward, Bro. Talisa from the Bishoprick came up to me and told me there was a sister who had some children that she wanted to have taught and baptized. We ended up talking to her and being able to set up a time with her and her four children on Wednesday. She has been just coming back to church and her husband is also a non-member so there is an opportunity to have the Spirit touch his heart and help him accept it as well. The Lord has been blessing us greatly. We just need to continue to be obedient, diligent, and humble.

Thank you for getting back to me with that information. I was just thinking that i don't know when they will be doing the class orientations. Thank you Dad for giving me some more information on what to do. Right now i feel doing a major in mechanical [engineering] would be the best and then plan on specializing more specifically when i get home. I was also thinking of doing a minor or having some other skills available as well.

I am also glad that i will be only going to LAX instead of up to Santa Maria. I was just thinking of staying the day in LA but realized that i still would need to be released. It will be good to see President Ridgeway again. I love him very much and respect him.

Also, tomorrow I will be sharing my testimony with the Zone Conference and it will be a neat experience since every Zone Conference, we see others sharing their concluding testimonies.

I love you all. Be sure not to always keep reminding me of getting home. I have plenty of reminders here. I need to remain diligent. I will try and not write as much myself in regards to asking about school and other things back home.

You'all are the best. Love ya's.

Elder Cashmore

Time Is Flying By

7 Sept. 2009
Kia ora Family,

How is everyone doing? The weather sure has been nice the last couple of days here in Auckland. The skys are clear and blue and hardly any clouds, which is different, considering that New Zealand in maori is Aotearoa, meaning "Land of the long white cloud". I love sunny weather and warm days.

Transfers is this week and I will most likely be staying here in Mount Roskill. I don't mind if i get transferred again, but it would be wierd finishing with only 5-6 weeks to go in a completely foreign ward where I'd need to get to know the ward again. It is quite likely that my companero will be getting shifted. He is quite a funny missionary. We are almost like brothers or siblings, one moment having a bit of disagreement and then in the next laughing about something ridiculous that occurred during the day.

We have this new Samoan investigator named Sifaga. She has been an investigator for one week and has been coming for the past 3 weeks to church and came to the Stake Conference yesterday. Her partner is a member. We invited her to be baptized and explained to her how to prepare for it. They are going to talk about getting married prior to our next visit on Wednesday. They are staying with his brother's family, who are fairly active. We will need to work on finding additional fellowship.

By the way, thats exciting to hear about Marty getting baptized tomorrow. Did i ever meet him? Does he have a family? That will be exciting for Dad to baptize him. Some of the neatest baptisms are when there is a close friend baptizing and for me some of the best have been in rivers and lakes. Unfortunately i didn't get a chance to actually be in the water, but just witnessing was enough.

Thanks for letting me know about the Christmas trip to NZ. I am not that fond of long flights. The last one wasn't the greatest experience. It should be better going back. I was probably a bit fearful on the way over.

What if we did a family trip elsewhere in the states during Christmas time. What about going to Arizona. We haven't seen family over there in ages. When we go down to San Diego, how long will we stay there?

Last night we had an awesome lesson with a part member family. This family is different because the less-active father is really coming back well and he is wanting his partner to participate and come to church with him. Our previous lesson was on the experience Enos had and how prayer can change our natures and how we can seek forgiveness and direction. But last night i felt we could move forward with the Restoration. We could tell the Spirit was there just by how smoothly the words came and she readily accepted the pamphlet and the copy of the Book of Mormon. We'll be seeing them on Wednesday. Bishop Halafuka is getting his records transferred from Hamilton for James and has invited him to ask his partner to marry him! Bishop gets right onto it and is very supportive.

I know these last weeks are going to fly by. I have much to complete and fulfill, but i must do my best. I love you all. Give my love to Grandma Cashmore and also to Grandma and Grandpa Dungy.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lows and Highs

31 August 2009
Dear Family,

This week has been a week of some lows but some great highs. I recall Sister Achiu or some other person that talked about missionary work saying that a sister that was serving mentioned the lows and the highs on her mission and how the highs helped them overcome the lows. I wholeheartedly agree that a mission is a form of marriage prep. Most problems that arise come not from the areas or the climate, but from the people we work alongside and for and from ourselves.

The greatest thing that happened was that Ainsley's baptism went very well. I had the opportunity to baptize her. She is quiet and calm but has a strong and growing testimony. She said in her testimony just after her baptism that the events that she has been through have this last year have prepared her for becoming a member of the church. It was good that she had most of the YSA from Mt. Albert present and her family, who at first were not all going to make it were there as well, and they really enjoyed it. Ainsley actually has family that are already members of the church up north, from the Busby family. Her mom is a Busby. She also wants to serve a mission. She just barely turned 21 so it will be a perfect time to do so. Chris McIntyre was able to go just after being a member for a year.

I think much of our success with conversions is that the members are being there before and after the first ordinances. I know it is vital that investigators have strong friends in the church, and hopefully before baptism. We have another sister in Balmoral ward that has been working very well with a neighbor and this neighbor and her daughter are getting baptised this coming month. We are being very blessed and so i must continue to be worthy and remain humble.

Last night we also had an amazing musical fireside and we had quite a few non-members there as well. I love music and i have been trying to play the piano more often on Prep days @ the chapel. I am going to have to play the piano more often when i get home. I am not able to devote as much time as i would like to practicing.

The tradeoffs went alright, but i have cancelled the other ones set for this week. The first one was great. I was with Elder Smith, who is from Hamilton, but was called to NZAM when he was in Aussie or Hawaii. He is a top guy and is dedicated to his work. I also had a tradeoff with Elder Malungahu, who is in the Tongan programme. He is also very dedicated and understands the importance of obedience. He was trained by Elder Lausi'i, who is my current companion.

I really do like the city. Parts of our area get quite close to the sky tower even though it is still far away. But its a spectacular scene at night. Certain parts of my body are missing the car, and i don't think I've lost any weight here...yet. They really feed us here. The members seem to get really upset when they don't or can't feed us regularly. We're trying to work on that one with our ward mission leader in Mt. Albert.

Our area is very diverse ethnically and religiously. We are teaching a muslim man, an Indian hindu (Eva), a Samoan family, a part Niuean family, some Maoris and this week we'll be teaching a family from the Congo that speaks french.

I believe you asked me about applying for schools for the Spring. I really do not know what degree i want to shoot for let alone what school i should go to. I wouldn't mind going to BYU Provo, but i don't know if i would qualify with the grades i have. I'm not too sure about the requirements. I am a bit lost as far as what to choose, since i would like to do several different things. But i guess i could pray about it.

Hey Blake. Say hi to Mr. Brickey for me. He was one of my favorite teachers in High School. Are you taking Spanish? When i get back, we'll have to learn it so we can speak in a different language. Remember the Jone's boys. They could speak to each other in German. Neat eh!

Will Camille be coming back from school for Thanksgiving? That is one holiday i really miss, besides Christmas with the family. I just realized i will home for Blake and Camille's birthdays.

Anyway. I love you all and i appreciate what you have done and what you do now for me. I really am aided by your thoughts and comments.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Enduring to the End

24 August 2009
Dear Family,

This week has been another interesting one. I have my new companion, who came up on Wednesday from Otara. He was a district leader down there in an all Tongan district. I don't know how long he will be in the area. He is pretty bummed about being in the English programme again. He may be here to just finish up this transfer with me. His name is Elder Lausi'i. He is also near finishing. He was with Elder Stephenson in Pukekohe before i arrived there.

Elder or Riley Stephenson is apparently at BYU provo playing football. I have been a bit concerned for him because he was sent home last year early and I wrote a letter to see how he was doing and he didn't reply. Sorry i never mentioned that, but it was quite a shock for me. But I've heard he is doing well.

We had interviews this week. I can't believe this was my second to last interview. President Porter had some reassuring words for me. I really love him and respect him and his counsel. He really doesn't mince words in Zone Conferences or interviews. In interviews while i was in Hamilton, he had us come in and within a minute asked each missionary "Are you clean?". He has done very well at raising a standard and putting the missionaries to it.

On Saturday, we had an investigator, Ainsley Marsh, interviewed for baptism by one of our zone leaders, Elder Nelson. She is so prepared. He said that in her interview, she talked about repentance and the Atonement and her experiences with repenting. She was found by friend inviting her to church and when she came she felt the Spirit and came up to the missionaries and asked to be taught. She is having her family come down from Whangarei. Hopefully this will be a great missionary tool for her family in the future.

We had a neat experience with finding and teaching a potential investigator. When Elder Hunter was here, we were heading back to our flat one night when i stopped to talk to some Indians that are YSA age. We got thier names and phone numbers and were able to set up a lesson within the next couple of days with one of them, her name being Ewa. She had to cancel on the day of the lesson, but it was my first suprise that she called us to reschedule. We set up another lesson and finally had one the day of our interviews. She brought a friend with her and we also had a member there as well. We were desperately needing to find new investigators this week and we did. Hopefully we can get one of our Fijian-Indian recent converts to fellowship her this week.

My district leader responsibilities can be overwhelming, but the Lord is supporting me and i know that i am being blessed despite the trials i am currently going through. Tonight i am conducting my first tradeoff. I am a bit nervous, but am looking forward to be able to work alongside the missionaries in my district. We've got some great missionaries in our district.

My departure date seems so close but with some of my challlenges it still feels like ages. I am doing my best to work all day every day. I suppose that happens when i am on assignment from President Porter, as i have been for the last transfer or so.

I love you all very much. I hope I will finish strong and that i will be able to share my experiences with the ward filled with the Spirit and that it will be an edifying experience.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Troubles Are His Concerns

17 August 2009
Dear Family,

This week has been a really testing one, but as my zone leaders have said, it is the way one develops into an effective leader. Right now i am with the zone leaders. My companion, Elder Hunter, was sent home on a medical release. He was struggling with some things and that is all i will say at the moment. I may explain in the future. So any way, i have been with the zone leaders since Friday evening.

We had a fairly good week with lessons and preping people for baptism. We have two coming up very soon. Ainsley Marsh and Sarah Carrington are currently set for the 29th of this month. We also have a Musical Fireside planned for the 30th, which will be a good way to finish off two baptisms and confirmations for that weekend. This area has a lot of potential.

I forgot to answer one of your questions in regards to Elder Love. He is actually be trained by Elder Fawson in Tauranga. If you recall, I trained Elder Fawson in Tokoroa. He is now a zone leader in Tauranga. I believe Elder Love is from Orange County. I briefly met him @ transfers.

I will be getting a new companion on Wednesday. He is a Samoan missionary who has been out about a year...nearly. I served around him in one of my previous areas. I am looking forward to having him as my companion and me being his comp.

Thanks Mom for getting the registration of my classes nearly completed. I hope everything works out as far as paying for the classes. I really don't want to be home a week early if i won't be able to go to school this semester. But it should all work out.

I have had a couple neat experiences this week, mainly with prayer. I have been praying a lot more fervently and more sincerely. I have noticed that i sometimes get into a pattern where i quickly rush through praying. But it is such a wonderful experience when i really pray and feel a sense that Heavenly Father is closely listening and that my troubles are his concerns. The few weeks that i was with Elder Hunter were a definite strain in different ways, but I did learn a lot and now i am learning a lot about Gospel leadership from my Zone leaders, Elder Davenport and Elder Nelson. They are great missionaries.

By the way Stacey, Elder Davenport had a sister named Amy that was @ BYU-I last year. She is nearly 25. I'm not sure if you knew her or not.

It was good to have Sarah come to church this Sunday, because she hasn't been able to the last couple of Sundays. She is working on some Word of Wisdom challenges, but she is improving.

Being a district leader is enjoyable but a bit strenuous as well. I love being in a calling where i can be of greater service. I look forward to serving more effectively in callings after i complete my mission.

As for the speaking assignment, I would like to speak on the talk by Elder Kevin Pearson. I really enjoyed it and it is probably based much upon the lectures on faith by Joseph Smith.

I was surprised that you got the pictures so quickly. I cant recall which ones i sent.

Well, i gotta get going. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ooops! Forgot to Mention the District Leader Thing

10 August 2009
Dear Whanau,

Its so good to hear from you. Sorry i didn't tell you about my assignment as a district leader. But i didn't realize that President Porter would send a letter about me being called.

As for the pictures, i will send them today. I printed them out in my last area. I don't know how to put them on CD. I suppose the Warehouse (similar to Walmart) could have done it. But i still keep the pictures that I've taken, so i will try another time to put them on CD. But the ones i have i will send off.

This week is Zone Conference, which i am looking forward to. I can't believe this is my second to last Zone Conference. I wasn't wanting to let anyone know when i finish, but its hard when companion from the same out-take let other missionaries know when i finish. Yesterday, i had a good chat with President Porter. He is such an awesome leader. I really do love both my mission presidents. Both have great qualities of leaders.

My first District meeting went well. I was a bit nervous before i got down to the city, but being here it is quite nice. I think i realized long before i became a District leader that i would make mistakes, like forgetting to call the missionaries in my district every day and knowing how to encourage, persaude and lift them.

As for my classes, these are the main classes i want to take:
-Speech 101 (Ticket #3586)and-Political Science 103
-American Govt (Ticket #3577)and
-WLD T 399 Basic Blacksmithing (Ticket #3766) I would like this class as well.

If the classes up above don't go through then these will do:
-Engl 103 Critical Thnkng + Compstn (Ticket #3619)and
-H ED 100 Health and Wellness (Ticket#3665)

Well, I hope all goes well. I don't have my transcripts with me. I hope you can register it for me on WEBREG. If you need some more information, i suppose you could call President Porter. But not unless you really need something.

Gotta go.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Transferred to the Big City of Auckland....Finally

3 August 2009
Dear Family,

I am in Mt. Roskill Auckland! I didn't think I would be sent down here so soon. My companion is Elder Hunter. He has been out about a year and a half, so a little less than me. He's been here for at least two transfers. We cover two wards, Mt. Roskill (18th ward) and Balmoral wards. I am on a bike again and there are heaps of hills. Most of the mountains around Auckland are inactive volcanoes? They have a lot of islander members here as well, which is always good. They always love the faifekau(tongan); or faifeau in samoan.

Elder Kelemete is still up in Kawakawa. His new companion is Elder Reese, who is finishing this transfer. Hopefully he may get his visa soon. He's been waiting for nearly a year. Their mission recently had a new mission president called, but the former mission president can't leave until the new one receives his visa. Elder Kelemete is an awesome missionary.

I got a chance to talk to President Porter on Tuesday morning about the schooling and he said to talk to one of the office ladies. I then got a call i think on Friday from Sister Sheperd and told her about the schooling. I didn't realize that they would give me two flights. If i knew that, i would have told them to include Santa Maria in the itinerary. They should be able to fix it.

We have been able to meet with some of our members and also some of our investigators. We have one baptism coming this Saturday, and hopefully two more later this month. There are two other companionships in our district, Chinese missionaries and Tongan missionaries. It should be a tight district.

We had a short lesson on Sunday with a part member couple. The previous missionaries have been working on them to help them get married. They told us they just recently got engaged. Their names are Stan and Joey(Josephine?).

As for the schooling, right now i would prefer going to Allan Hancock during the winter, so that i may transition. I don't know if BYU has any fast track classes. I will have to ask President Porter if i can check those school websites on Prep day. I have selected some classes that would interest me and go towads gen ed.

It sure is wierd being in Auckland for the first time, but its quite nice. We can see the sky tower quite well from any part of our area.

It is quite cold right now, so i hope it starts to heat up a bit.

Take care and i wish you all a good week.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Moving the Work Along - Olivia and Her Son Were Baptized

27 July 2009
Dear Family,

It was amazing that i received a letter from each of you. Its amazing that Camille is already finished with her semester.

To answer Mom's question about the ATM card, i got it. I'm glad i got it this week just because i was getting a bit worried about it.

As far as going to BYU, I would like to go, but im not sure if they have good engineering programs. BYU-I does, but its only for mechanical engineering. What Im going to do is just take general ed classes that would best fulfill CSU and IGETC requirements. Then when i get back i can start talking with the counselors to see where i can go and also do some shadowing.

Some of the classes that interest me are internet classes. Also, if i am going to take classes in the second term, i will probably have to leave the mission field a few days earlier than the scheduled day. I was talking to our zone leader who is also leaving from his mission early and he said i should that i should talk to President Porter ASAP. So I'll have to do that. What I'm thinking of doing is taking a few classes that are on the same days, so that on the free days I can either find work or do shadowing. I will need to earn some extra money. But enough of school.

We had Olivia Owen and her son Simon get baptized this Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. She is a very awesome recent convert. I had the privelege of baptizing her and confirming her, and Elder Kelemete baptized and confirmed Simon. That was my second confirmation that I've done and i felt it went well.

We had quite a good ward council on Sunday. They seem to be getting better at them here in Moerewa. They are focusing on things like getting the adults and youth to the temple and activities that can unite the ward members. One thing i realized is that every meeting should be centered around people, not activities. You tailor the activities to the people, not the people to the activities.

Dad, does the ward use the Progress Record in meetings such as PEC or Ward Council? Just thought i might ask.

Transfers is this Thursday. I don't know if i am staying or going. President Porter said in last interviews that i probably wouldn't stay up north too much longer. But Elder Kelemete is waiting for his visa to go to Papua New Guinea, and i dont think that they would put a new missionary in the area when he could recieve his assignment to report to PNG. So we shall have to wait and see. I would still like to stay up, but if i eventually get transferred, i would like to be there for more than one transfer, not just one. Que sera sera.

I love you all. Take care.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Upcoming Baptism This Week

Dear Family,

I really enjoyed your letters. I can't get over that school is almost out for Camille. I had better answer your questions lest i forget. In regards to speaking in sacrament meeting, i would prefer to speak as soon as i get back, simply because i don't want to wait and worry about it. What did Dad have in mind in regards to a topic to speak on?

To answer Camille's question, the most exciting thing that we had this week was preparing our investigators for baptism on the 25th of this month. It is a mother and her son, Olivia Owen and Simon. She is a most amazing woman, who really loves Jesus Christ and really loves coming to church. The doctors had said, because of her cancer, that she wasn't going to make it to her 3rd birthday. But she is nearly 30 and has two awesome kids. So we are looking forward to that. Bro Lawrence Horn, her uncle, should be the one performing the baptism.

This week feels like it went well, despite me being real crock on Thursday avo and much of Friday as well. Bro Tau Kaka made some Kumarahau (I think that's how it was pronounced) which is a drink that is supposed to "clear out" the sickness, especially ones due to congestion and throat soreness. I've been trying to drink it, despite it being the most bitter thing I've tasted.

So is Brother Larson the Bishop is 2nd ward?

This Sunday we were able to narrow down a bit on who we could plan to have baptized in the month of August. We were able to have six people come to church this Sunday. The two couples (George and Cynthia, and Elijah and Laviana) in Paihia are struggling to commit to some of the commandments. But for the most part, they have still been coming to church. But some of the Bishopric pointed out to us some that need to be followed up with. Part-member families and non-members that are close to members are the ones that seem to bring the most baptisms in this mission.

The following is just about school and prep:

By the way, i had a chance to look through that AHC class schedule. Term 2 starts on the 19th of October, but that is when I am supposed to be getting back. I think how it works is that on the 19th, we head down to the mission office and get things organized (passport, luggage, etc.). Then on Tuesday the 20th, we have a bit of "debriefing", last interview with the mission president, and it seems that they leave that afternoon or evening, and if I'm correct, should arrive in the states the same day they left.

If I were to sign up for classes that started either on Monday or Tuesday, then i wouldn't even make it, unless they could be notified that i ain't even in the country yet. I'll probably be pretty wasted on Wednesday, but that would be alright.

What my general feeling right now is, that if I don't do some schooling right away, that it will be a big "shock to the system" when i try in January. I would like to go back to work, but of course i don't have ne idea about that either. I liked working with Bro. Salvesen, but I'll probably need to find a job that pays more and also would be closer to my field of work.

I have picked out some classes that would help me complete more Gen ed. Is Cal Poly a CSU or UC, i couldn't tell? Last of all, if I am going to wards Cal Poly (which is what im thinking of doing right now), do i try and fill out the CSU or IGETC requirements. I would like to still keep my options open for other possible universities. Anyway, just some things to get off my mind. Please get back to me ASAP, so that if i can and should register for classes, that i can do so quickly. Thank you very much.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Unexpected Change in Companions

13 July 2009
Dear Family,

It has been an interesting week with a lot of new things happening. I have a new companion, Elder Kelemete, from Apia, Samoa. He just came up this morning from the North Shore, and we met halfway in Whangarei. He was called to serve in Papua New Guinea, but is still waiting for his visa. So that means that i may be here another transfer. I hope that i will be able to serve in another area. For some reason, i get anxious when i serve in an area for a long time, especially when i have a lot of companions but keep being the one that remains behind.

For the last half week I was staying in Kaikohe with the Zone Leaders, Elder Polo and Elder Lawton. It was tiring due to us having to cover both our areas, but it was also a great learning experience.

I am still a bit sick and will be going into the doctors to see how i can get better. Its been hurting in my throat. Most of the sicknesses I've had on my mission have been in my throat. I think i need to stop stressing over things that i cannot control and not worry so often.

I cannot believe that i have about three months left. I really do not want to get trunky to the point where the desire to work is gone, but i suppose that this will be a defining point in my mission as there have been many.

With the car situation, i just have one preference. Please make the car a manual transmission. I have been dying to drive a manual trans since every mission vehicle is an auto except for the van on Niue. But i almost know for a certainty that President Porter won't send me there, being this late in my mission.

I had a good Saturday this week. In the morning we were in Kaikohe, but then traveled down to Kawakawa for appointments that i had set up earlier in the week. We had a lesson with Olivia Owen, who is set for this month. She has been coming regularly for about a month now. I took our Elders Quorum Prez and his wife and taught a lesson. But we had a neater lesson later on during the day.

We went to visit a part-member family, and in fact the father of the family happens to be the Bishop's son. But the partner is not a member. When we first met her, she had appeared to not be interested, but had said something about us working on her partner, who is a member. During our lesson we focused on families and taught the restoration. She has some sincere questions and has actually been taught in the past. She said she wants to get baptized but first wants to get married. She then came on Sunday and brought the kids. Her eldest daughter is a member and was speaking in Sacrament meeting. Hopefully she comes next week as well. We've planned to come see them on Tuesday night.

By the way, i got some pictures developed, i just need to send them. I have almost no money left so I'll have to see how much it will cost to send it. I'm not sure when the pictures were taken, but i printed out about 60-70 pics. Pardon the wait.

Will i still have my old room back? Oh and that reminds me. I looked at the AHC catalog, and if I were to do fast track courses, there isn't really anything that interested me. I'll have to take another look at it, but at the moment, i may just start working and do some shadowing for career paths in prep for the next semester. But tell me what you think and I'll make a decision after some more pondering and praying.

Love you all and do your best.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hard Yakker Meeting Our Goals

6 July 2009
Dear Family,

Happy 4th of July! During our companionship study on Saturday, I sang the song "The star spangled banner", and then waved my flag. I havn't been able to raise it in our flat yet, but it is a beautiful flag made of excellent material.

In our district we've had some changes made and there are possible changes within the next two days. I'll have to tell you next Monday what happens.

This week wasn't as great with our "numbers" but we set someone for baptism who has been coming for the last month and some. Her name is Olivia Owen. She is related to the Horn family in Moerewa ward. In fact, she happens to be related to both the brother and the sister! When we talked about baptism and gave her the day of the 18 of July, she said that she wanted to get up and jump up and down for joy! She has an excellent capability of recognizing the Spirit. She has said that she has been to many churches and this is the only one that she feels the Spirit of the Lord. She also feels it when we are there in her home. In our lesson, she shared some personal spiritual experiences that were touching. They had helped her get through her cancer treatment.

We also had our investigators in Paihia come to church and they came on time this Sunday. George and Cynthia, and Elijah and Laviana were all ten minutes early. We'll have to follow up with them and see how they enjoyed it. They were able to sit with members.

I am really enjoying those discourses on Joseph Smith. One thing that has really stuck out to me is the faith that he had and the firsthand knowledge of the nature of God and Jesus Christ.

As far as the word "yakker", it mean work, but is almost always used with the word hard; thus, one would say, "hard yakker" or in American terms "hard work". Its an aussie term.

Our Zone Conference was really good as well. The Spirit was in abundance and we were there early enough to be calm and reverent as we prepared ourselves to be instructed. I reckon thats how it should be with Sacrament meeting. I think too many people take lightly how edifying it can be. I have been able to recieve revelation during Sacrament meeting simply by pondering over the covenants we make and then praying about what we can do better the coming week.

As far as the nation, I'm a bit worried about what is going on. I really hate how people can think one is racist simply because they disagree with a person's opinions or policies. Kiwis seem to love the fact that Obama is in and don't really care much about what he is doing but where he comes from .

Well, keep up the hard yakker. Cheerio.

Love, Elder Cashmore

P.S. I'll try and send the pictures today if possible.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Little Under the Weather

29 June 2009
Dear Family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I cant believe that you're 51. Did you do a big celebration last year for your 50th? Here in New Zealand, the 21st, 50th, and 75th are big birthdays. Do you like the tie i gave you for Christmas?

I'm sorry i haven't developed my photos yet, because its quite expensive to do it in Paihia. I will get it done next week.

Sorry also for forgetting to respond about Sister Howe's birthday card. I got it about a week and a half ago. I'll need to write a letter to her and express my thanks.

This week was a bit rough simply due to sickness. Both my companion and i got sick this week. On Tuesday night i pulled a muscle in my back and wasn't able to move it very easily. By the next morning it was feeling much better. Then i developed a cough and started experiencing flu symptoms. That took us out for part of Thursday and most of Friday. So our stats suffered this week as well. Some of our investigators were sick so they couldn't make it either.

One of the neat experiences that we had was the confirmation for Evan Richards. He was confirmed by a family member, Brother Reihana. His Grandfather was invited to bear his testimony and he bore a powerful testimony about how him and his family have come into activity. He thanked us a part of it. He said there were many times when we came over and we always asked to have him turn off his rugby. He said that he doesn't watch it as much because he is now more focused on his mokopuna (grandchildren). His wife is now coming actively as well.

There were a couple times this week where i was feeling pretty down. My companion was very helpful in keeping me going despite the hardships we had with investigators, and other circumstances. I had some longer and more diligent prayers than i normally have and it was comforting and helpful.

I was doing great last week at writing in my journal every night, and I'll have to continue again. When i was sick, we would quickly plan, and then i would konk out within minutes of lying down on my bed. I feel a lot better right now.

Tomorrow we have our Zone Conference in Whangarei. This will be exciting because its a smaller meeting and also i havn't had a Zone Conference in Whangarei since i started my mission.

I've been wondering if this will be my last transfer in the "country". I've served in the outskirts of the city for the majority of my mission. After this transfer, i have only two more. I am shocked at how near everything is.

We also had a great lesson with George and Cynthia. We were feeling that they need their faith to be strengthened, but we were unsure of how to approach the need. We ended up singing Joseph Smith's First Prayer, and read from JSH about the first vision and how Joseph Smith exercised faith despite the opposition. It was a very powerful lesson.

Where is Blake doing his Eagle Project? I believe this is the first time I've even heard it mentioned.

As for the schooling, I heard from Elder Burr that his trainer (who just finished last week) was allowed by President Porter to do a bit of research and preparation for his schooling during the time he would do his emails. I may consider that.

Something that i may want to do right when i get back is going into drafting. I did a bit in High School, and i really enjoyed it.

By the way, how is Brother Salveson doing and his work @ Creative Rents? I really enjoyed working there, even though it was min wage.

Also, how is Grandma Cashmore doing as well as Grandma and Grandpa Dungy?

Well, I think I've written more than enough for you to read. I love you all very much. Keep up all the hard yakker.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Companion and Still Set for Baptisms

22 June 2009
Dear Family,

It was really nice to receive an email from each one of you. That hasn't happened in a while. Thank you Dad for answering my questions about the college information. I also got the letter from Mom about the info on Cal Poly and BYU-I. I think now that i would rather go to Cal Poly for engineering. Maybe enter the military as well, but not too sure on that one.

To answer your first question, I did not get transferred, but Elder Burr did. He is now in Kaitaia training a new missionary from Nevada. His new companion is part Maori, has a lot of whanau down the line in the other mission's boundaries. Its crazy that Elder Burr is training and he's only been out 4 1/2 months. My trainer, Elder Alberts, trained his first companion during his fourth transfer. He'll do great.

My new companion is Elder Grant. He was just in Kaitaia. He has been in the Northland for the same amount of time as I have. He is from Melbourne Australia. He comes from a family of 10 kids. Hes been out about 9 months.

It gets a bit lonely up here and being so far away from other missionaries. Even when i was in Hamilton, we were quite a ways from other missionaries and they usually didn't involve us in activities on Prep days (then again we didn't try too hard to get involved). But I know i am in each of these areas for a reason. In one of my recent interviews, President Porter said that he usually doesn't leave missionaries in the country for so long.

Probably the best thing that happened this week was the baptism of Evan Richards. He was the only convert baptism, but there were two others that were baptized with him. He also had his cousin Liam and his grandfather's nephew Steven baptized with him. I had the opportunity of performing that ordinance. There were loads of people there all supporting the three boys. Next week will be their confirmation, since their baptism was on Sunday.

Last Monday, we had our FHE fall through, so we had to plan some other things. I had a thought to go visit a family that we were planning on seeing Tuesday night, and they were home. We had a great lesson with watching The Lamb of God. It worked out well, because they weren't supposed to be home the next night. They didn't come to church this Sunday, but hopefully soon.

On Sunday night, we visited a family in Moerewa that is less active and one of their sons needs to be baptized. The last couple of lessons have gone well, but the parents have somewhat refrained from participating in the lessons. We were able to have a family discussion on how the gospel blesses families and Elder Grant used a card trick to display how Satan wants us to stop and that he wants us to procrastinate. The lesson was a bit different than normal, but they all participated and we read some scriptures from Mosiah 4 and answered some questions. After the prayer, they all felt a bit better and are looking forward to our next lesson on Thursday (we are booked in the late afternoon for the next several days until then).

We still have some people set for baptism for the next several weeks. We are going to have to be focused and obedient to qualify and receive those blessings. I know you pray for me, but if you could specifically pray for me to be obedient despite the opposition and to have positive faith.

I love you all and thank you for your prayers and for thinking of me. I can't wait to be able to help Blake prepare for his mission so that i can help him. Blake, you can get far by studying the scriptures and recording what you learn and using Preach My Gospel, so that you become a missionary long before you go on a mission. Ka ki te ano. Chau.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, June 14, 2009

7 Investigators at Stake Conference

15 June 2009
Dear Family,

Good to hear from the whanau. We'll start off by answering mum's last question. Transfers happen to be this week. This transfer has been going so fast that i can hardly believe it. For some reason i feel i may be getting transferred to another area. We shall see. Also, i haven't received your college information yet, but i should be expecting it today. I usually seem to get my mail on Mondays, our preparation day. I will have to ask some questions about all this college stuff later on in my letter.

As far as receiving a birthday card from the Howes, i will have to check my drawer where i keep all my birthday cards and letters. I think i may have, but i can't remember if it was for Christmas or for my birthday. I am quite terrible at responding to letters, but i should have responded to hers if i did get it. I should send a letter to Grandma as well. She sent a beautiful card to me for my birthday.

We had a pretty awesome Sunday. We were able to have seven of our investigators come to church for the Stake Conference in Kaikohe. It was very uplifting, but to be honest it was a bit boring at first, possibly because we were so far in the back sitting with a less active family, and its hard to concentrate the farther one is from the pulpit. I actually had to put my glasses on so that i could see the people speaking. The guest speaker was Elder Smibert (i don't know if that is the right spelling). He used to be the mission president before President Cook. He was very inspiring and was able to correct some false notions that a lot of kiwi members have about raising kids. He basically said that parents don't retire or they shouldn't retire early.

On the way back to Kawakawa from Kaikohe, i had the thought to go see one of the referrals we had from a recent media campaign. We had tried to contact this person last Sunday, but she wasn't home. Again she wasn't home yesterday, but we decided to walk down the country road a bit farther and try a couple more houses. The next house didn't have any adults home, so they said. We then went to the next one. While walking up the driveway, this massive rottweiler comes tumbling off the porch and barking like mad. Then a lady came out and said "We were just saying the other day that we haven't seen Mormons in a while." She then let us in and she happened to be a member of the church and her partner was a non-member. We taught a half hour lesson on the Restoration, and it was one of the best lessons I've had. They were very open and Chris, the husband, had a lot of sincere questions. We gave them a Book of Mormon and taught a lot about how to receive an answer. It was neat how they were placed in our path, because we were supposed to have another lesson around that time and it fell through earlier, but then we found them.

As for the college questions, i would like a better understanding of the following: the different degrees (associates, bachelors, etc) and what each would be useful for; basic knowledge on the SAT and ACT and whether i should take one of them or; if i want a higher degree in engineering, then what are my options; and also, out of curiosity, are there schools that are in Europe and surrounding areas that would be good?

Thanks. Love you all for the great things you do. Have fun with the party.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, June 8, 2009

Comments to Each Family Member

8 June 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your thoughtful emails. I really enjoyed that story about Mom going to St. George and running into that family again. I had a good chuckle about that. Thank you for sending the information about the schools. I haven't received it yet, but will likely receive them today.

We had a fantastic week here in the Northland. We still have five people set for baptism, and will probably be setting a couple of other people. My companion has only been out for like four months but is so on top of it with the work. We had more than 20 lessons this week! But we'll need to remain humble and keep working and relying upon God for these blessings and miracles to keep happening.

I can't believe school is basically out for Blake. So he only has one more year of school, right? Blake, it was good to hear that your doing great in volleyball. I haven't been able to play much since I've been in NZ. My companion and I have been doing some intense workouts and I've been doing alright at it. Still keeping up with those history teachers, eh?

Camille, keep up the good work. Some things are more difficult for others, but I'm sure what you're learning will stay longer and will mean more as well. I'll have to catch up with you when i finish my mission. Right now i am in Alma 32. I am also in D&C. I've been learning heaps from both.

Stacey, its good to hear your enjoying yourself in your new abode. Are you still in the relief society leadership? If you are, how is that going? I miss talking to my friends in the singles ward. They are a good bunch of people. I hope they're still having those activities.

Mom and Dad, you're the best. I love your encouragement. It really helps. There have been many times when a letter or what is written in these emails has helped lift my spirits. You must be inspired when you email or write letters.

On Saturday, they had a welfare night at the chapel. We invited some non-members and some of them came. We learned about different things to make out of wheat. One of them was boiled whole wheat. It was like oatmeal but real nice with honey and milk. Hope your wheat stuff is going well.

I love you all. Keep improving and doing your best.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Asking Questions by the Spirit

1 June 2009
Dear Family,

I can't believe it is already June. It seemed like it was just last week when i last talked to you. It is sometimes tough when i realize how long i have been out and how long i have left to go. But i seem to be doing well at keeping my mind focused on the work. I know i look forward to seeing you all and getting back into a school and work routine, and again enjoying things such as music and videos, but i will only enjoy it if I do my best now.

We had another great week. We have been so blessed. I have been reading through the missionary chapters in Alma, and i am amazed at what those missionaries did to qualify themselves and thus qualify others for the blessings to come and the miracles to occur. I feel much the same.

One thing that i really seemed to improve this week was my ability or skill to ask questions as prompted by the Spirit. My companion commented on it last night and said that there had been a drastic change since the beginning of the week until now. Now that i seem to be doing well at that, i want to try and work on some other skills. I think my listening skills could improve as well. I think I have already been working on that this week, and that may be part of the reason for being able to ask effective questions.

We have several people set for baptism. We have three in Paihia and two in Moerewa that are set for baptism. They are already pressured by Satan, but i think it will only increase and become more frequent for them. I have often pondered that principle, of the righteous getting sorely tested and the trials that must be endured and the temptations that must be ignored. There is a less-active sister that is now fully active in Moerewa ward, and she commented that every time she didn't go to church, it was easy, but that her challenges or trials became daunting as she was coming back and as she is still now very active.

As for my companion, you are correct; he is quite new. But he is very dedicated and continually improving himself. He is a racket ball fanatic and would love to talk all day about it, but he doesn't. I also had a good interview with President Porter. He is stern, but very loving as well. He is quite animated and loves to have a laugh as well. His Zone Conferences are definitely planned by the Spirit and each one seems to build on the other. President Cook also was very good as well. Much like Dad said, they each have their differences and one cannot be the other, but each was and is doing his best and those efforts were and are being felt and appreciated.

If you're going to be sending a package anytime soon, if you could send some mints or gum, that would be much appreciated.

By the way, how are those fruit trees doing? Are they still producing a lot of fruit? I will have to bring home some feijoa seeds and grow this wonderful fruit they have here back home. Its really good; a bit tart but great with dessert and ice cream and also good by themselves. They produce heaps of fruit. Look em up!

Thank you for your emails. Hope to get one from Stacey and Blake next week. They are pretty busy though. I love you all and have a great week.

Love, Elder Cashmore

(Here's a picture of feijoa fruit Ramona found on the web)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Letting Go of Pride

25 May 2009
Dear Family,

Elder Cashmore, reporting from the Far North!

This week was awesome. We had quite a few good lessons and found some quality investigators. We also informally set someone for baptism. We had 5 investigators come to Sacrament meeting as well.

One of the highlights of this week was our Zone Conference and temple trip. We had our weekly planning on Thursday and then shot down to Auckland. Friday morning we left from Fergusson road Chapel (Check it out on Google maps. Its like the ones in Utah!), went for a session in the morning and had our Zone Conference @ Higgins road Chapel. We watched a cool video at the end of the conference. It was called "Only a Stonecutter", about one of Henry D. Moyles pioneer ancestors that worked on the temple. I learned a lot more in the temple during this trip. We were also able to set a goal for baptisms for the month of June. Its going to be challenging, but we're going to have to increase our faith and work hard and pray a lot harder as well.

When will you be sending that college information? I haven't heard back on whether you have collected it or not. Don't rush if you are getting it organized though. Thanks.

I really enjoy working with Elder Burr. He is a really hard worker. I've learned that its not bad to have junior companions that have strengths that i don't have. For some reason i would think that i needed to be at their level of understanding and skill, but that isn't always the case. I really feel this compelling force within me to keep obtaining as much knowledge about the scriptures as i can, as well as to do my very best. It can almost be a bit stressing, but it keeps me going as well.

Thank you for your informative letters and i quite agree with Dad, that i am looking forward to seeing you all in the coming months. Man the months are flying. But, I'll keep working harder and harder and hopefully smarter and smarter. Love you all heaps.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

79 People and 21 Lessons!

18 May 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your wonderful emails you sent me. It is a wonderful feeling to feel appreciated and loved by you all. I'm glad to hear of the things you are all accomplishing at church and school.

I was a bit surprised about Dorothy Crosby's passing. I always remember how Brother Crosby seemed so happy with her and it was neat how she would come to church with him. How did it happen?

We had a very good week in regards to reaching our goals. We had a total of 21 lessons (which is the most I can recall ever having) and we also talked to 79 people throughout the week. Yesterday was hard because we didn't have anyone come to church, and many of our planned lessons fell through. But we were still able to have about 3 lessons yesterday.

We were also able to help several members work on developing friendships with non-members and which will eventually lead to them investigating the church.

Last night my companion sprained his ankle pretty badly. It is a bit better today though. He's been keeping it elevated and iced. Apparently it has happened several times previously, so he's used to it and yet tired of it happening.

I was also surprised to hear that Stacey moved out! Where is her new residence?

This week we will be having a Zone Conference in Auckland and a temple trip during the conference! We will be driving down on Thursday, having the conference on Friday, and probably leaving Friday night, maybe even Saturday morning.

We are really praying for someone that we can have baptized soon. We have people that are closer to that goal, and some that are progressing now. There are loads of less actives in Moerewa. We ran into quite a few in just the last couple of days.

There is a scripture that i quite like. "I know that God loveth his children, nevertheless, i do not know the meaning of all things."Also, we sometimes need to choose faith.

I love you all very much. Take care until next week.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Mother's Day Phone Call (written by mom)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Well today we received our missionary phone call at about 3:10 PM (YEAH!!!) which was 10:10 AM on Monday in New Zealand. It was great to hear Stephen's voice and the Kiwi accent he's picked up. He is doing very well, loves his mission and can hardly believe that he will be home so soon. He wants to work the hardest he's ever worked and make as much progress as he can before it's time for his mission to end.

Since he will be home in October, some of our conversation dealt with his schooling options once he returns. Right now he is interested in engineering but the door is still wide open.

After about 40 wonderful minutes we had to end our call so Stephen could then call his sister Camille, at BYU-Idaho - they talked for about 20 minutes. That totally made her day since it was a surprise and not in the plans.

Well, that's it in a nutshell!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Working Hard to Meet Our Goals

3 May 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your wonderful emails. Hopefully i can remember to answer all your questions and give you an idea of how our week went.

The weeks are just flying by. Last Monday we had a FHE with two families, both of which are less active and have children that need to be baptized. Tuesday we had a good lesson with a lady named Whetu Kaka. She is related to Brother Kaka, our ward mission leader in Moerewa Ward (can you guys pronounce the Maori words yet?) We watched the Restoration DVD with her and she said that when she prayed about the Book of Mormon, that she just had the thought that she already knew it was true.

We had another neat lesson with a less active that was baptized roughly two years ago. He went less active because he didn't want to serve in a calling and he felt he didn't know enough to perform well enough in his calling. My companion has always been cautious to have a lesson with him, so i haven't pushed it. But earlier in the week we had visited him and he said that he was wanting us to come over and have a lesson or read through the scriptures. We then came back on Sunday, and had planned to read through Alma chapter 12, but before we were going to read through it, i felt it wasn't the right chapter, so we decided to read 1 Nephi Chapter 8. We had an awesome discussion. He opened up his concerns. He said that he wouldn't have but that something touched him while reading the chapter. Lehi's vision can be likened to so many people! We are going to be seeing him again on Friday, and will prepare him to come on Sunday, with his whanau.

The young couple didn't come to church for some reason. I hope everything is alright with them. They were supposed to be helping her sister move in to her new house on Saturday, and they may have had to do some moving the following day as well. By the way, transfer week is this week. I will probably stay, since i have always stayed at least two transfers in each area I've been in. We will have to see. The couple, George and Cynthia are doing great by the way. They have thoroughly read through the pamphlets and are reading the Book of Mormon about every day. We were also able to teach Cynthia's sister and her brother-in-law.

Unfortunately, we had to drop several of our investigators, due to the significant lack of progress. We are planning on working and involving more of the members. In Moerewa ward, they still do not have a ward mission plan, so bishop began the process on Sunday and committed each priesthood and auxialiary leader in PEC to make a list of five names of people that we can teach. Yes, finally. I am really wanting and praying that we may reach our goal to have at least 4 baptisms this month. This week we reached our goal of talking to 70 people and we had a total of about 10 lessons, better than last week.

It is getting really cold here. Our flat is like an ice box. I bought a wool duvet in Whangarei, and it really helps. Sorry i have used my credit card for such things, but we are not allowed to use the mission EFTPOS for such expenses. I also bought myself a pair of Hush Puppies today. They are really nice and comfortable. They cost about $189. Hopefully you don't mind. It just isn't worth sending some over. I had to throw away my propet shoes; the rubber was disentigrating and it was soaking water like a sponge; i could walk on wet cement and my socks would almost immediately get wet.

The flat is pretty damp as well. Several of my pairs of pants and a suit got mold on them. I got them cleaned and now i leave the closet door closed. It has happened in almost every flat I've been in. Sometimes i can't stand the amount of water in the air.

I'm sorry i haven't been able to send a letter to anyone yet. I wish Grandma Cashmore and Grandma Johnson a happy belated birthday, and for mom, i will probably call on my Monday morning, or your Sunday afternoon. I will only be on the phone for 30-40 minutes.

Thank you very much. Luv you all.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ten a Day and "Holy" Shoes

26 April 2009
Dear Family,

I really enjoyed your emails this week. It was good to receive an email from most of you. I wish i could have been with the family on your holiday trip.

This week we finally reached a goal to talk to 70 people, or about 10 people a day. Its one of our "standards of excellence". We didn't do as well as we could have done with our other goals, but we've looked at what we need to do to have a better week, and we're going to make sure we call everyone ahead of time to schedule and confirm appointments.

We had an awesome splits on Wednesday with a Brother Dixon and a Brother Smith in Paihia branch. We were able to have two lessons during that time. My companion and Brother Smith had an awesome lesson with a young couple that we found a couple weeks back (they are about 16-17 and a have a little baby!). They weren't able to come to church on Sunday, due to their baby being sick, but said they would come the following Sunday. They are really searching and wanting direction and peace in their lives.

Last night we were at a member family that is slowly coming back to church. His name is Roger Hohaia and his wife is Sara. We've mainly been working with Roger and he's been coming quite well. He used to be the branch president in Matauri Bay( I've heard its very pretty up there). He was telling us last night about how he was able to activate and find people for the missionaries to teach. He planned a Mother's Day banquet and had each sister in the ward invite two friends. Those friends were also invited to have their sons come and all the sons would be serving the meals at the mothers day banquet. The branch went from 10-15 attending to about 100 regularly attending. He also talked about his job as a train driver. It was pretty funny, because he animates everything. That job sounds pretty interesting too.

As for this birthday package, there is one thing i would like to request, and that is the Discourses on Joseph Smith on audio CD (the cars or cd players do not play MP3 though). I've heard a couple of them. They are inspiring and motivational. I will need to buy some new shoes. The ones i have are no good. The bottom is falling apart. Roger Hohaia suggested that i should buy gum boots! But that probably won't work.

As for the weather, its getting pretty wet. It floods in this area every couple of years. Our flat is built on a short hill near the area where it floods. Apparently, when it flooded, it filled up the whole open air garage (which is beneath the flat) and came up to where our back door balcony is! We'll have to see if it gets that wet.

Thanks for all your love.

ka ki te ano

Love, Elder Cashmore

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"There Is No Growth In The Comfort Zone"

20 April 2009
Dear Family,

We had a good week. It was great finishing the general conference sessions in Moerewa and the Priesthood session in Kaikohe. We were able to have quite a few lessons this week, which was uplifting.

We also had the assistants to the President go on splits with us on Thursday. It was really beneficial, because we both had some questions and concerns answered, and it was neat to see their faith in action. We were able to find a good number of investigators this week as well. I am doing much better about keeping at it and not getting upset with myself.

We did a splits Sunday afternoon in Paihia and we were able to have two member present lessons and found one new investigator. There was a really different feeling going with the members. They really want to help, I think, but they often are unsure of where to start. I think splits with all three units we cover will help us better cover the area we are entrusted with and help the members have missionary experiences and feel the great responsibility of sharing the gospel and the sweet Spirit that comes after a very successful lesson. We'll have to keep praying and putting forth more faith, being more obedient, and following the promptings of the Spirit.

We were going to go to Cape Reinga, but it got cancelled due to bad weather. It would have been an all day event, and probably quite taxing with the amount of traveling required to get to the destination spot.

It was good to hear how Camille is doing in her new environment. She'll do great there. I have been able to be more social, i think, being on a mission. Like I've heard before "there is no growth in the comfort zone" or "there is no comfort in the growing zone".

Keep up the good work.

Kia kaha
Love, Elder Cashmore

Neat Experiences This Week

13 April 2009
Dear Family,


We had a pretty good week, but it sure went by fast. Some of the highlights included Zone Conference down in Auckland on Wednesday. It was really good. President Porter talked about such things as how to work with the members, using the Book of Mormon in answering peoples concerns, and also learning about what pride is and how we overcome it.

We had another neat experience with an investigator that we've been working with. Her name is Robin Hati. We first went over to just share a little message from the Book of Mormon. My companion did that and she still didn't seem "phased" or "softened". I had noticed prior to us sharing with her that message that she had been peeling her potatoes. So I persuasively offered for us to help her peel her potatoes. She opened up so much more after that. She seemed really excited about the General Conference. We don't know if she went though, but she seemed a lot more committed to come. She had even suggested getting her sister to babysit her seven kids while she went. We will have to follow up with her. Service really can be a good way to allow others to trust us.

The other very neat experience we had was visiting a less-active family, the Thomas's. They haven't been in a while. The wife really wants to come, but feels uncomfortable coming by herself (which is understandable), but the husband works on Sundays, but also wants to come. We went over there, had a 10-15 minute yawn and then Brother Thomas askes us before we were going to leave to share a spiritual thought. I invited Elder Stevenson-Haumono to share something. He ended up reading from Alma 32:28 where it talks about faith as a seed and then applied it to how are faith is either growing or dying. I then had a thought to share Alma 36:3 where Alma is talking to his son Helamen. I felt a strong Spirit guding me in what i wanted to say and how to make that scripture relevant. They said they would come as well to the Conference. Hopefully he will try and quit the job that requires him to work on Sunday, and keep to his job that he has during the week.

By the way, we went to Waitangi treaty grounds. Man that was awesome. The guide, Brother Napier, did an excellent job at explaining such things as where the Maori come from and how they got thier, a detailed look into their waka (it was massive as), and eventually on what occured when the colonials arrived and what the treaty is and everything else about it. We were also able to go into a marae and take pictures in it. It is the only marae where you can do that respectfully. There are so many similarities between our temples and the maraes. The carvings on the maraes represent their ancestors and their geneology or as they say their whakapapa. I will have to learn more about it as time goes on. I would recomend going there after i finish.

That is so cool that Camille has started here semester in BYU-I. I cant believe that she got a Mac. I suppose that i would get that one too, considering i am helpless when it comes to troubleshooting with computers. Thank you for all your love, advice and inspiration.

Mauri ora

Love, Elder Cashmore

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Correction on Where I Live....But It's Still Beautiful!

6 April 2009
Dear Family,

It was really good to get an email from each one of you. Just a reminder: I just realized when i was typing the date that today was the day Christ was resurrected and the Church organized.

Today we went up to Kerikeri to do some shopping. Unfortunately, it is not in our area, but even without it, our area is still quite large. We had to get permission to go, so that i could get a better blanket for my bed. Our flat is pretty cold in the morning. We also did a little bit of grocery shopping @ New World (a higher end grocery store).

Tomorrow is Zone Conference. I am really excited for it since it will be in Whangarei. That was where i had my first Zone Conference. It will be good to have a smaller Zone Conference compared to the ones in Auckland and Hamilton.

Our week went pretty well. We didn't have many lessons, but we had more planned than actual, so a couple of people fell through. We taught one of our neighbors last night. It wasn't a bad lesson, but it could of been better. We brought a member who is a convert, Brother John Ripi. We invited him to bear his testimony about the Book of Mormon and also about how the gospel has blessed his family. He shared a very powerful testimony and also made Noelene see how the gospel could bless her family and help her raise her two kids. She will be moving up to Kerikeri in about a weeks time. When we were organizing a time to visit her, she had said that some of her family are already baptized and that she wants to get baptized as well. She is awesome!

We were also able to meet the Bishop in Maromaku ward during the week, Bishop Going (most of Maromaku ward consists of either the Going family or the Horsford family; also, look up Sid Going: he is a famous rugby player who is currently in the stake presidency).

In regards to your question concerning a family trip to New Zealand, right now i would want to do it after i return (that flight is suuuuuper long!). That way I can participate more. I definitely don't want to make it a financial burden for the family. To be honest i haven't put much thought into it all.

One correction I needed to make was this: I don't actually live in Paihia. We live in Kawakawa, which is about a half hour away from Paihia and a half hour from Maromaku. It is definitely one of the most beautiful areas i have served in, but there isn't much shopping here.

Something else i was thinking about was where i would go to school after my mission. I would prefer going to BYU-I, but im not sure what i want to do yet. In regards to the engineering studies at BYU-I, i would only be interested in taking mechanical engineering. I think going into the engineering field would be best, but if that doesnt work then the medical field might be my next option. If you could help me out with this, that would be great. I want to be able to get started ASAP when i return.

Thank you. Can't wait for general conference as well.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just Transferred to Paradise

30 March 2009
Dear Family,

Today I am writing my email in a place called Paihia, which has the same feeling as Taupo, but is so much more beautiful. You should take a look on the web and see how pretty it is here. I have been transferred up to the Northland. I am very excited to be back up here with the Maori people.

We are staying kawakawa, a small town of about 1,000 people. We cover three units. Moerewa Ward, Marumaku Ward, and also Paihia branch. I really like the branches that I've served in. My new companion is Elder Stevenson-Haumono. His dad is Tongan, mom is Australian. He was baptized into the church only two and a half years ago. He has a very thick Australian accent. Whats funny is that he knows exactly where Santa Maria is and know his geography better than anyone i know. When we talk to people he is very capable of starting a conversation and getting the people that we meet to talk and open up. I've been able to do that a little better since I've been with him.

We didn't do too well on our goals this week, but we are going to pick up our teaching people by the way. The work is going well here, or so it seems, but i can already see the ward needs to be more involved with the work; it seems rather stagnant in some areas. But the Brethren have been implementing plans that will move missionary work more powerfully in the ward.

I will answer some of your questions that you posed in your emails. Last transfer i finished "Jesus the Christ". I absolutely enjoyed the book and it was enhanced because at the same time i was reading through the Gospels. I really like how the book ends. I didn't get a chance to teach that Spanish family from Colombia before i left, but i hope the other Elders will followup with their family.

Thank you for your supportive emails. I can be pretty rough on myself, but i just need to be more organized and set goals for myself. It sure is good to hear how the others are doing on their missions. I was a little surprised about Maria's actions. But i have felt that way sometimes and it takes a lot of patience and fortitude to stand still and not make things escalate. Have a great week!

Love, Elder Cashmore

(Here is an overview of the Bay of Islands in the area of Paihia that Ramona added from the Internet - WOW - that really is beautiful!!)

(Another beautiful waterfall in the Bay of Islands area!)

(One more of the Paihia area.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Walking in Their Shoes....

22 March 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your good emails. Thanks for answering my questions. The reason i asked about the refereeing was that i might be interested in doing a little bit of that after i return from my mission.

This week has been a very rough week with us not having as many lessons as we had planned. The majority of the planned lessons we had did not go through. It was quite upsetting. We finally had a lesson last night and it didn't go well either. It was a lesson with a family from Colombia, a mother with eight year old twin girls. They are really funny kids. She is quite a neat lady. It was quite awkward having everything you said translated and we both felt that we missed quite a few of the principles that were supposed to be taught. I guess i am upset because I've been a year + out and can't seem to teach with clarity or teach for understanding. This isn't what i expected and I'm pretty disheartened about it all.

Elder Tham is doing pretty good. He is good at analyzing our teaching and helps me keep going. He is very stalwart and loves to be bold.

I really enjoyed Sacrament meeting this week though. I really tried to find direction and peace and it came more powerfully than it normally does. Something i did prior to one of my studies this week was that i sang one of the Sacramental hymns and then had a good prayer and I really felt the Spirit more that study than i normally do. I somehow always feel like i need to play catch up with the many things i cant seem to get done. I wish i were more organized.

We were at our ward mission leader's home and as we were leaving yesterday i noticed all his different shoes and i asked where I could buy some new shoes. He didn't tell me where, but just gave me a pair! I don't know if i should have accepted them, but i did. They also gave us some canned food and other foodstuff. That is one of the greatest feelings of having someone give you something that is needed. I have never asked for anything, but usually make a comment, and then end up with an offer. For example, in my last area when i was with Elder Ta'ulelei, we had ran out of firewood and were relying upon oil heaters, but it was still really cold. We were at a members house and i joked that our flat was so cold that we should just turn off the fridge and save power! He then offered us a supply of firewood and Elder Ta'ulelei accepted. For the most part, the members really take care of the missionaries temporal needs the best ones are the ones that trust us enough with their friends and family to teach. I want to be that way and do those things for Elders when i get home. They give up a lot and it is much appreciated when they provide us with those basic necessities.

How are the others missionaries that are serving from our ward doing? I have not heard much about them or how they are going. Please update me.

I honestly cannot think of anything i need or want for my birthday. I don't have to worry about the shoes. Maybe a very unique but not distracting tie would be good. I've been thinking of getting a new watch, because the face of it is cracked almost from the top to the bottom. It has let in any water or anything. I don't even know how it cracked. I 'll probably just wait till i finish. I'm not allowed any knives or tools either. Well anyway, that isn't that important.

Have a fantastic week.

Love, Elder Cashmore

P.S. I can't believe how many people are getting married back home. Is there anyone else from my seminary class that is getting married soon or is already married?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

All Pumped Up

15 March 2009
Dear Family,

Thank you for your wonderful emails. I am excited about how things seem to be running. Something that i heard recently that comes to mind is this : " There is no growth in the comfort zone".

We had an interesting Sunday...none of our investigators came to church. We know that at least one of them was sick. We went over and a gave a blessing to her and her daughter, Tennessee.

Last night we had dinner over at a Korean family's home and we had some authentic Korean food. We had Kimchi and some soup with noodles, onions, and sea weed. They only gave me chop sticks and i was able to use them quite effectively. Elder Tham misses using his own back home and he said its weird to eat noodles without them. Whenever i am with Koreans, i often recall Grandpa telling me about his stories when he served there during the Korean war. He said that he had learned a bit of their language, but that he couldn't remember much.

We also had interviews with President Porter this week. I have always enjoyed having interviews with both President Cook and President Porter. They are very different individuals, but i have already learned much from both of them. That reminds me; i wrote a letter to one of my companions and I've been expecting him to write back, but he hasn't. Anyway, President Porter says i am doing good, but he said that i am often too hard on myself.

With the blog, please change the picture that is in the top right corner with another one. I will need to send more. i am taking more pictures with Elder Tham. The batteries always seem to die quickly (the rechargeable ones). There have been several times past that I've wanted to take pictures but haven't been able to.

Just a question i had: mom, how much do you make @ your volleyball officiating?

Another question: how is Kyle doing with work and further schooling?

Also, what is Brother Hohaia's first name?

Something i am near to finishing is Jesus the Christ. I have less than ten pages left. If i stay on track, i will end up reading D+C, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Old Testament. I have read all of the standard works but the complete Old Testament, so that should be interesting.

As for food, we eat several nights (about four to five) with the members. We do make our own lunches the majority of the time. Elder Tham is definitely the cook in this companionship.

I love you all and continue to follow the counsel in Mosiah 18: 8+9

Love, Elder Cashmore

P.S. Those singles ward missionaries are setting quite a standard. I need to pick it up. More member missionary work, coming our way. Chau

Monday, March 9, 2009

8 Mar 2009

Dear Family,

It sounds like things are going well and you all staying busy. Right now i am in the Internet cafe in town, near the council building, which would be similar to the Santa Maria city hall. I don't have a time limit since we haven't gone back to that library. I don't like being pressured for time when it comes to reading and responding to emails.

This week went okay. We had some high goals set, and we were able to exceed some of them. We had a total of 16 lessons this week, which wasn't too bad. What was a little disappointing was my teaching this week wasn't too good. Elder Tham and I practiced teaching this morning so that we could refine the way we teach and remove any vocabulary that is hard to understand. I seem to do okay when it comes to writing emails because i can change what i right before i send it, but i really want to be more articulate and deliver the message more effectively, thus enabling the Spirit to testify to the individual of the truthfulness of the message.

We have one person set for baptism this month. She is set for the 21st. She had been doing alright. She kicked out her partner a week or so ago, and when we had a lesson @ the fellow-shipper's house, we went around to her house, and he was home. We were pretty bummed out. But when we talked to her about it later, she said that he got upset with her when he came back and she told him that she is going to keep the law of chastity. We will just have to continue to gauge promptings from the Spirit and be sure that she is being honest. We finally got some better fellowship involved on Sunday.

We had a pretty fun service project on Saturday. It took about 2 hours. This lady and her family from Colombia South America that we've been teaching wanted us to clear these bushes and shrubs in her backyard. She almost had a thief (ladron) enter her house because he was hiding amongst the trees and bushes and he couldn't be seen from the road. We decimated those bushes and filled their entire backyard with the cut limbs and bushes. We thinned it quite well and it looked quite good.

Well, keep doing your best. Camille, you seem to be pretty excited about going to BYU-I. You'll do great. I really have no idea what i am going to go into after i return. I'll need to do some fasting and praying about that. Maybe dad could send some options for me to look at as far as studies go. Its good that you are cleaning the garage and organizing the food supply.

Love you all. Take care.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, March 2, 2009

1 Mar 2009

Dear Family,

This week went quite well. Had quite a few highs but also a couple of lows. We taught quite a few lessons this week, a total of 15 lessons (member presents lessons, other lessons, and less active and recent convert lessons). Actually, we also taught a part member family (the dad is quite anti) but the mom wants her 8 year old son to have the discussions, so we gave one of the them this week as well.

We also attended both ward council in both wards. It was a long Sunday partly because we got picked up at 7:20 for ward council, but also because we were fasting. We finally have ward mission plan in Rototuna ward, but they are still developing one in Chartwell ward.

We had 3 investigators attend church this Sunday. One of them, Rebecca Mika, is set for baptism. She is doing fairly well. She has come to church now three times.

Just a question for dad: did you ever baptize anyone on your mission that ended up becoming less active or moving away from the church, or doing things that disappointed you?

On Sunday, we also had a Proclaiming the Gospel committee. It went quite well, because we had a couple people in the committee that had recently returned from their missions. They were very helpful in bringing forth ideas that would help the ward promote missionary work. We came up with families having FHE where they invite a non-member individual or family. Also, they are planning a sport activity (rugby) in a month or two. Apparently, one out of every two non-member that participates in a FHE will get baptized. That sounds very good!

Its crazy that i will be turning 21 in a couple of months. Here in New Zealand they make a "key" for those that turn 21. It is usually made out of glass or carved wood, with a picture of the person on the key. They don't have things like that back home, do they?

I was a little disappointed that i didn't receive any other emails from you.

Take care and have a fantastic week.

Love, Elder Cashmore