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