Sunday, January 25, 2009

25 Jan 2009

Dear Family,

This week has been fairly busy and also quite interesting. We found quite a few investigators and had nearly double the amount of lessons with a member present. It was good being able to increase our teaching pool. We currently have two set for baptism, both in the Rototuna ward. Most of the people we found this week were in Chartwell. We have been very blessed in that way.

During the week we had two trade offs, one with the zone leaders and the other and latter with my district leader. I had the opportunity to go to Huntly and Ngaruawahia with Elder Linger, our district leader. He is very humble and he's a great guy. He actually finishes soon. Note for Camille: he's from Idaho and will be going to BYU-I during the fall.

I had a neat experience on the trade off, that I wanted to mention. We went to Ngaruawahia on Saturday avo for just a couple of hours. We had some referrals to follow up with and we were doing that. We knocked on this one house that we both felt impressed to knock on. The lady wasn't interested. Then we saw a guy walking across the street with a tram and we went over and began to talk to him. Wasn't too interested either, but we kept talking to him about the Church college closing as we walked through an alley and onto another street. We walked by this one house with quite few people inside and we waved as we talked to the aforementioned man. We quickly cut the conversation off and went and talked to them. Went to the door, talked to a lady that said she had been set for baptism when she was a kid, but that she wasn't very interested in it. We then said,"Well if you're interested in your family, then this is going to unify your family and give you direction for you to raise your kids". We basically just promised the blessings of the Restoration in relation to her family. We then set a return appointment and at the end said that she really wants what we're going to share help her out with her family. It was a neat experience of following the Spirit, and being bold in testifying and making the Restoration realavent to her.

I wrote a letter to Grandma Cashmore, so hopefully she got it. Hopefully she's doing alright.

Love ya all, keep up the good work Camille with school. Keep reading the scriptures as a family and doing family home evenings as well.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

18 Jan 2009

Dear Family,

This week has gone quite well. We had some choice investigators come to church, but we were expecting more. We have also been having several less-actives return to activity in the Chartwell ward. It has been good working with Elder Tugaga as he works hard and is sincere.

Thanks Dad for the email you sent, discussing the results of the meetings concerning members trusting missionaries. I've thought a lot about it and we actually talked about it in our zone conference this last week.

I feel that the Rototuna ward is starting to pick up in missionary ward. We had one of our investigators, Marie, come to church the second time, and we had several members come and introduce themselves and chat with her before church started. I've really had my vision increased as far as how necessary the ward is to doing missionary work.

I usually don't just sit down but we usually make ourselves the unofficial greeters at the entrance to the chapel. But i sometimes feel like a dud in my effectiveness as a missionary and I'm sure the members can see it. But this challenge has been something I've struggled with for a while.

President Porter said in a zone conference a little while ago that the three main building blocks for success as a missionary are faith as a principle of power, obedience, and recognizing and following the Spirit. I know that you pray for me often, but if you could specifically pray for me to have and follow these things, i know it will help.

Camille, that is great that you have been employed at Orcutt Burgers. They have some of the best food. It will be good for you to work at a fast food restaurant. Just be patient with those you are working with and remember to stand tall for what's right. Its hard sometimes, and obviously follow the Spirit, but I've had experiences (such as at Subway) where i could have dealt with situations a bit better. But, you'll do fine. It will nice to have an income for yourself.

Dad, to expand on what you shared with me in your email, is there anything that can be done to help those missionaries in our ward become more effective? I've certainly had members correct me and recently we had a counselor in the Rototuna Bishopric tell us that missionary work in the ward isn't happening. So we asked him what we could do. He told us and we've been making some changes. I don't know if that's how its supposed to be done, but its helped in the past and recently. If they haven't made a move to get to know you, one idea i have would be to invite them over for a personal meeting and to share with them what the ward could do and how they could help the ward work together to find, teach, baptize and confirm, and reactivate less-actives.

Man, our house is going to be completely different when i complete my mission. How are those lights down the driveway doing? Speaking of lights, i turned on one of the lamps in my room and it blew a circuit in the house and turned off all the power. We looked at the box inside, but couldn't figure out what to do. We had a prayer and then went outside and found the other box and pressed this button and we checked the power and it was on. I've never been too lucky or good with electrical stuff.

Well, anyway, i need to get going, We've got a busy day ahead and i have set goals to read all the standard works by the end of my mission, as well as finish the missionary library, and others.
Thank you and i love ya all.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, January 11, 2009

11 Jan 2009

Dear Family,

This week went very well. We have found some good investigators and they are doing great. Both came to church on Sunday, and one of them is very ready (humble) and is quite prepared for baptism, despite us having only taught her twice.

Also, Rebecca was confirmed this Sunday, which was a great relief. I performed the confirmation with my companion, and several other members of the ward. I felt it was a good blessing, and it was actually my first confirmation. Last week i had been so nervous, but i was much more calm this week. If she hadn't shown up yesterday, then we might have had to baptize her again, which wasn't an easy endeavor, since she's in a wheelchair.

The fishhooks that i gave each of you have a little description of what each means. They are for good luck and prosperity and since the one that Mom has is a fishhook, it pretty much means the same thing. Hopefully you like the tie that i got as well. Ties can be quite dear, but i guess they weren't cheap back home either.

That is so exciting to hear about all the projects that are taking place at the house. When Dad was talking about the latter to the attic and the joke he made about it, i couldn't help chuckling and reminiscing on how Dad always likes to "joke about the junk".

I had some pretty neat experiences teaching this week. We taught this less active a couple times this week and both times we were quite bold in what we taught. He felt the Spirit and after reading the first half of Mosiah chapter 4, i asked him if he believed in the gospel. Then i told him to basically live up to that knowledge and then committed him to come to church. Unfortunately, he didn't come, but the power was there. Sometimes it takes time. We have had some other less-actives coming back to church and it is exciting to see them come back with greater enthusiasm and frequency.

Camille, that's neat that you had that experience at Zone Conference. We are having ours this week on Thursday. I have always enjoyed Zone Conferences. When one develops greater faith in God and Jesus Christ and in the restored gospel, the desire to share the gospel becomes greater and its easier to talk to friends and invite them to activities and to learn more from the missionaries. There is a girl that is about 16-17 who has invited her boyfriend to church these past two Sundays and will soon invite him to investigate the church. Put forth the faith with action, and trust in the Lord to say the right things.

Yesterday we met a less-active returned missionary (he served over 10 years ago). From the conversation we had with him about him returning to activity, i really started to think about what i need to do better as a missionary. One of my first companions told me that if as a missionary you aren't keeping mission rules, that when you return, its likely that you'll struggle in keeping the commandments. I haven't been willfully disobedient, but there sure is a lot of improvement, in the way of the many small things and my own weaknesses. I still am going to ponder on that and then work on what needs strengthening.

Thank you for your love, your prayers, and your encouraging letters.

Love, Elder Cashmore