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