30 March 2009
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.)