Sunday, February 22, 2009

22 Feb 2009

Dear Family,

I am glad this week is over and that i can now work on this week. This whole week has been pretty exhausting, training a new missionary. I've also been suffering from fatigue and i fell asleep for a couple of minutes in stake conference. President and Sister Porter were there as well. I was talking to Sister Porter as well and she said that i need to take vitamins and that i might be deficient in iron. So we'll be buying some more vegetables and fruits and other healthy food.

We had quite a few neat experiences in finding people by talking to them and teaching them on the street. I really have been trying to work on that with my new companion, Elder Tham. On Saturday morning, we were biking down a street nearby our flat named Tongariro, and we biked by this YSA aged lady. I felt that we really needed to talk to her, so i told Elder Tham that he was going to talk to her. We did and she said that she knew who we were and wanted to learn more. She said that she is going to give us a call. She seems pretty choice.

One of the most touching experiences that was realized this week for me was a less-active brother in the ward that received the Melchezidek priesthood after Stake Conference. I had found him and his family with Elder Davis and almost the week after they had started coming to church. They are from Tuvalu and Kiribas. When they first came, they weren't partaking of the sacrament. Within a month or two they were coming regularly and they were partaking of the sacrament again. They are so humble. I was talking to Bishop last night and was saying how it was probably their very active home teacher that gave the real help in aiding them to return to activity, but he said that this brother had mentioned to the Bishop that they felt a very special Spirit when we came around, which wasn't as often as it should have been. That made me feel good. The worse feeling is to be working and to feel that it isn't helping anyone or that I'm wasting my time and the Lord's time.

My new companion is much like Jeff Howe and he's very fun to work with. We often have a good laugh about goofy things i mention or do or things that we experience during the day. He's also a great cook and loves to clean, like dad does :P

We had a very instructive Priesthood session of conference. I'm sure dad is getting trained on a couple new things that will aid in missionary at the ward level. Who is the ward mission leader in the 3rd ward? Are there ward missionaries? They did a demonstration in the session on how a MCM should be held and what is discussed in MCM. It was very helpful for our bishops and the ward mission leaders. I was surprised that our Chartwell ward mission leader wasn't there.

I love you all and have a great appreciation for the work that you do and the service you render. Thank you for your love expressed in your letters/emails. Just one more question, there is a recipe that dad made with apples that were stuffed with dried fruit. Could you get that to me? I tried it this week but the apples weren't completely cooked, which was alright, but i want to get it right the next time. Thanks.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, February 16, 2009

15 Feb 2009

Dear Family,

Thank you for your very uplifting letters. I am feeling a little bit better. But the last two days I've been very tired and this morning i awoke with a very painful headache. Last time sister Porter told me to drink as much water as i can. It seems like I drink a lot of water, but maybe I'm not.

This week was transfers, and i am still here in Chartwell and Rototuna wards, with a brand new missionary, Elder Tham from Melbourne Australia. He is a really neat missionary. His father is from Malaysia and his mother is from Hong Kong. He was born in Hawaii, lived in Singapore for about 8 years, and has been in Australia for about 5 years. So his accent is a mix between Aussie and American. He is the eldest in his family of four kids.

This last transfer was tough and many times i was overwhelmed in what i could do to work with my companion. I know that i was probably part of the problem, but President reassured me that he was with me for a reason. But he was a good missionary and we accomplished much in helping our investigators progress.

On Saturday, Maree was baptized by me at the chapel. we had a very good turn out. About forty people showed up. Elder Tugaga was instrumental in preparing the ward for her baptism and in the formation of her baptismal programme. She was confirmed yesterday and the ward is absolutely amazed at her humility and her desire and will to follow Christ and to join His church. We stopped by the Bishop George's last night and we had a chat with him and with his wife. She had said that she had given the closing prayer in Relief Society and that it was a pure prayer, one with complete sincerity and trust and all the ladies in Relief Society were amazed at how she prayed, that they all looked up at her in amazement after saying "amen". Bishop gave the confirmation.

I don't know if you know, but when people say "amen" here in New Zealand, they say the "a" the same way you pronounce "a" in "hawk". I remember that Mom had corrected me on it one time, but they do a lot of things differently here. Also, the words "damn" and "hell" have been said in church and in the home and it doesn't mean the same as it does back home.

The weather was very hot this last week. I would get a shower in the evening and be sweating after i got out. We stopped by a members house and we were so sweaty that he with all seriousness asked if we would like to get cold shower! When i went to Nauvoo, the humidity was quite bad. I am somewhat used to it, although i surely don't enjoy biking through it.

As for you, Mom, asking about me feeling a change, i don't know if i can recognize any change. It could be because of this last transfer. I've learned some things that have given me greater understanding and i've been using my study journal better, which could be making a difference. I've also just finished reading the four Gospels and am in the book of Acts right now. Been reading steadily through Jesus the Christ and will be done with it in a couple of weeks, i hope. It could be that that is what is making the difference.

Thank you again for the emails. Love you all. Pray for my companion Elder Tham as well. By the way, how have your FHE and family scripture studies and prayers been going?

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, February 8, 2009

8 Feb 2009

Dear Family,

How are things going? I almost put "2008" again when putting the date down. Things are sure flying by fast. This week is transfers and i have no idea who will be staying and who will be going. I am kind of hoping that they will be dividing this area (we cover two wards: Rototuna and Chartwell wards). They encompass a lot of the northern part of Hamilton and our only effective mode of transportation is our bikes.

I've been a little sick since Friday. I got up Friday morning with a very sour stomach and when back to bed, not feeling good enough to have any studies. I got a blessing from some of the Elders and then was finally able to rest for a couple solid hours. We didn't go out on Friday and on Saturday we left around midday. But every morning I've been waking up with severe headaches. I haven't been sleeping well either. I'll need to call sister Porter and see what else i need to do.

We have been working steadily with Maree who is going to be baptized on this Saturday. If i am still here, i will be the one baptizing her. She is so neat and humble. She had her interview yesterday and all went well with that. She would be one of those golden contacts.

It was good to read a little bit about the experience that Hermana Mortenson had. She is such a stalwart individual and comes from such a solid family. She'll do great.

Just a neat experience we had this week happened with finding an additional investigator. We received a referral last week and we contacted him on Thursday. He's only 10, but has been coming with a member family. We didn't really have lesson, but introduced the Book of Mormon and talked about what he could read. Before we left, he said he would read it. His father is Catholic, but he, Shannon, is not interested in learning about his dad's faith, but about his mum's faith. Very intelligent kid for his age.

Also, we were supposed to have a lesson with a part member family but they weren't home. We were waiting for a couple minutes to just wait to see if they were running late. I noticed the neighbors car was home. i had the thought that we needed to go and talk to the neighbors. We went over and talked to the YSA age lady, Lisa, and we're going to be having a lesson with her this evening. Choice.

Well, i gotta get going, my times almost up. We're doing our emailing at the Chartwell library, because you get 30 minutes for free, instead of having to pay 4 bucks for an hour.

Love you all and keep praying for me, especially that i can be more effective at teaching simply and also have a greater and deeper understanding of the restored gospel.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1 Feb 2009

Dear Family,

Again, thank you for you wonderful emails that keep me updated on progress of the family and friends. I just have a couple of questions. Is Marie Mortensen serving a mission right now? If so, when did she start and where is she? Also, if you could keep me updated on Kyle Cashmore and the aunties, uncles, and cousins.

This week has been quite interesting. Its funny that you mentioned putting my name in the temple and how my name came to your mind. I felt prompted to fast for the family this week. Usually i fast for myself or other people. So i hope all is going well.

Something i also wanted to follow-up with is how we are doing on our food storage in storing and utilizing it. I don't read the news or watch the TV but i certainly can hear from the members and others the things that are occurring around the globe. I am not fearful of what is taking place, but rather concerned in the what, how and when for our preparation for times of distress. Like it says in Doctrine and Covenants, "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear".

We had interviews with President Porter this week. I concur with what Scott Pitts mentioned to you, Dad. President Porter said that the companions that I've had are really preparing me for marriage. It sure can be a struggle at times and very testing of one's patience and ability to be still, literally. But things seem to be going better. I have found that most arguments come because of misunderstanding on the part of the individuals involved and also due to pride. I've been a senior companion for about 8 months now, which can be hard when things are going rough and I have to lead. It sure requires more humility and charity.

Transfers is next week, amazingly. I am thinking that one of us will get transferred. We cover two wards and i really am hoping that they will divide the area among 4 missionaries. But we shall see.

We had some good experiences with working with members this week. There is really no success without the members involvement/participation. We met with some families that weren't very promising in helping us find, teach and baptize. But there were a couple that were super missionary minded and they expected us to be asking them about what they are doing to share the gospel and how it is going. With one particular family, the Chang family, he was telling us of his conversion and missionary work in his homeland of Korea before we even started dinner and during and after. We simply just asked him and his wife what they were doing to share the gospel with others. There was no need in preparing their hearts to do missionary work, because their hearts were already aright. We were able to set up a time in which we will be stopping by "unexpectedly" when they will be having some Korean neighbors over for a noodle dinner.

Members shouldn't give referrals, but rather provide people for the missionaries to teach in their home. But it requires the members to be wanting to do it and to effectively do it.

Something you could talk about in a FHE or family council is preparing one individual or family to be invited to a FHE or a dinner. Take care and have a great week.

Love, Elder Cashmore