Sunday, July 19, 2009

Upcoming Baptism This Week

Dear Family,

I really enjoyed your letters. I can't get over that school is almost out for Camille. I had better answer your questions lest i forget. In regards to speaking in sacrament meeting, i would prefer to speak as soon as i get back, simply because i don't want to wait and worry about it. What did Dad have in mind in regards to a topic to speak on?

To answer Camille's question, the most exciting thing that we had this week was preparing our investigators for baptism on the 25th of this month. It is a mother and her son, Olivia Owen and Simon. She is a most amazing woman, who really loves Jesus Christ and really loves coming to church. The doctors had said, because of her cancer, that she wasn't going to make it to her 3rd birthday. But she is nearly 30 and has two awesome kids. So we are looking forward to that. Bro Lawrence Horn, her uncle, should be the one performing the baptism.

This week feels like it went well, despite me being real crock on Thursday avo and much of Friday as well. Bro Tau Kaka made some Kumarahau (I think that's how it was pronounced) which is a drink that is supposed to "clear out" the sickness, especially ones due to congestion and throat soreness. I've been trying to drink it, despite it being the most bitter thing I've tasted.

So is Brother Larson the Bishop is 2nd ward?

This Sunday we were able to narrow down a bit on who we could plan to have baptized in the month of August. We were able to have six people come to church this Sunday. The two couples (George and Cynthia, and Elijah and Laviana) in Paihia are struggling to commit to some of the commandments. But for the most part, they have still been coming to church. But some of the Bishopric pointed out to us some that need to be followed up with. Part-member families and non-members that are close to members are the ones that seem to bring the most baptisms in this mission.

The following is just about school and prep:

By the way, i had a chance to look through that AHC class schedule. Term 2 starts on the 19th of October, but that is when I am supposed to be getting back. I think how it works is that on the 19th, we head down to the mission office and get things organized (passport, luggage, etc.). Then on Tuesday the 20th, we have a bit of "debriefing", last interview with the mission president, and it seems that they leave that afternoon or evening, and if I'm correct, should arrive in the states the same day they left.

If I were to sign up for classes that started either on Monday or Tuesday, then i wouldn't even make it, unless they could be notified that i ain't even in the country yet. I'll probably be pretty wasted on Wednesday, but that would be alright.

What my general feeling right now is, that if I don't do some schooling right away, that it will be a big "shock to the system" when i try in January. I would like to go back to work, but of course i don't have ne idea about that either. I liked working with Bro. Salvesen, but I'll probably need to find a job that pays more and also would be closer to my field of work.

I have picked out some classes that would help me complete more Gen ed. Is Cal Poly a CSU or UC, i couldn't tell? Last of all, if I am going to wards Cal Poly (which is what im thinking of doing right now), do i try and fill out the CSU or IGETC requirements. I would like to still keep my options open for other possible universities. Anyway, just some things to get off my mind. Please get back to me ASAP, so that if i can and should register for classes, that i can do so quickly. Thank you very much.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Unexpected Change in Companions

13 July 2009
Dear Family,

It has been an interesting week with a lot of new things happening. I have a new companion, Elder Kelemete, from Apia, Samoa. He just came up this morning from the North Shore, and we met halfway in Whangarei. He was called to serve in Papua New Guinea, but is still waiting for his visa. So that means that i may be here another transfer. I hope that i will be able to serve in another area. For some reason, i get anxious when i serve in an area for a long time, especially when i have a lot of companions but keep being the one that remains behind.

For the last half week I was staying in Kaikohe with the Zone Leaders, Elder Polo and Elder Lawton. It was tiring due to us having to cover both our areas, but it was also a great learning experience.

I am still a bit sick and will be going into the doctors to see how i can get better. Its been hurting in my throat. Most of the sicknesses I've had on my mission have been in my throat. I think i need to stop stressing over things that i cannot control and not worry so often.

I cannot believe that i have about three months left. I really do not want to get trunky to the point where the desire to work is gone, but i suppose that this will be a defining point in my mission as there have been many.

With the car situation, i just have one preference. Please make the car a manual transmission. I have been dying to drive a manual trans since every mission vehicle is an auto except for the van on Niue. But i almost know for a certainty that President Porter won't send me there, being this late in my mission.

I had a good Saturday this week. In the morning we were in Kaikohe, but then traveled down to Kawakawa for appointments that i had set up earlier in the week. We had a lesson with Olivia Owen, who is set for this month. She has been coming regularly for about a month now. I took our Elders Quorum Prez and his wife and taught a lesson. But we had a neater lesson later on during the day.

We went to visit a part-member family, and in fact the father of the family happens to be the Bishop's son. But the partner is not a member. When we first met her, she had appeared to not be interested, but had said something about us working on her partner, who is a member. During our lesson we focused on families and taught the restoration. She has some sincere questions and has actually been taught in the past. She said she wants to get baptized but first wants to get married. She then came on Sunday and brought the kids. Her eldest daughter is a member and was speaking in Sacrament meeting. Hopefully she comes next week as well. We've planned to come see them on Tuesday night.

By the way, i got some pictures developed, i just need to send them. I have almost no money left so I'll have to see how much it will cost to send it. I'm not sure when the pictures were taken, but i printed out about 60-70 pics. Pardon the wait.

Will i still have my old room back? Oh and that reminds me. I looked at the AHC catalog, and if I were to do fast track courses, there isn't really anything that interested me. I'll have to take another look at it, but at the moment, i may just start working and do some shadowing for career paths in prep for the next semester. But tell me what you think and I'll make a decision after some more pondering and praying.

Love you all and do your best.

Love, Elder Cashmore

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hard Yakker Meeting Our Goals

6 July 2009
Dear Family,

Happy 4th of July! During our companionship study on Saturday, I sang the song "The star spangled banner", and then waved my flag. I havn't been able to raise it in our flat yet, but it is a beautiful flag made of excellent material.

In our district we've had some changes made and there are possible changes within the next two days. I'll have to tell you next Monday what happens.

This week wasn't as great with our "numbers" but we set someone for baptism who has been coming for the last month and some. Her name is Olivia Owen. She is related to the Horn family in Moerewa ward. In fact, she happens to be related to both the brother and the sister! When we talked about baptism and gave her the day of the 18 of July, she said that she wanted to get up and jump up and down for joy! She has an excellent capability of recognizing the Spirit. She has said that she has been to many churches and this is the only one that she feels the Spirit of the Lord. She also feels it when we are there in her home. In our lesson, she shared some personal spiritual experiences that were touching. They had helped her get through her cancer treatment.

We also had our investigators in Paihia come to church and they came on time this Sunday. George and Cynthia, and Elijah and Laviana were all ten minutes early. We'll have to follow up with them and see how they enjoyed it. They were able to sit with members.

I am really enjoying those discourses on Joseph Smith. One thing that has really stuck out to me is the faith that he had and the firsthand knowledge of the nature of God and Jesus Christ.

As far as the word "yakker", it mean work, but is almost always used with the word hard; thus, one would say, "hard yakker" or in American terms "hard work". Its an aussie term.

Our Zone Conference was really good as well. The Spirit was in abundance and we were there early enough to be calm and reverent as we prepared ourselves to be instructed. I reckon thats how it should be with Sacrament meeting. I think too many people take lightly how edifying it can be. I have been able to recieve revelation during Sacrament meeting simply by pondering over the covenants we make and then praying about what we can do better the coming week.

As far as the nation, I'm a bit worried about what is going on. I really hate how people can think one is racist simply because they disagree with a person's opinions or policies. Kiwis seem to love the fact that Obama is in and don't really care much about what he is doing but where he comes from .

Well, keep up the hard yakker. Cheerio.

Love, Elder Cashmore

P.S. I'll try and send the pictures today if possible.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Little Under the Weather

29 June 2009
Dear Family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I cant believe that you're 51. Did you do a big celebration last year for your 50th? Here in New Zealand, the 21st, 50th, and 75th are big birthdays. Do you like the tie i gave you for Christmas?

I'm sorry i haven't developed my photos yet, because its quite expensive to do it in Paihia. I will get it done next week.

Sorry also for forgetting to respond about Sister Howe's birthday card. I got it about a week and a half ago. I'll need to write a letter to her and express my thanks.

This week was a bit rough simply due to sickness. Both my companion and i got sick this week. On Tuesday night i pulled a muscle in my back and wasn't able to move it very easily. By the next morning it was feeling much better. Then i developed a cough and started experiencing flu symptoms. That took us out for part of Thursday and most of Friday. So our stats suffered this week as well. Some of our investigators were sick so they couldn't make it either.

One of the neat experiences that we had was the confirmation for Evan Richards. He was confirmed by a family member, Brother Reihana. His Grandfather was invited to bear his testimony and he bore a powerful testimony about how him and his family have come into activity. He thanked us a part of it. He said there were many times when we came over and we always asked to have him turn off his rugby. He said that he doesn't watch it as much because he is now more focused on his mokopuna (grandchildren). His wife is now coming actively as well.

There were a couple times this week where i was feeling pretty down. My companion was very helpful in keeping me going despite the hardships we had with investigators, and other circumstances. I had some longer and more diligent prayers than i normally have and it was comforting and helpful.

I was doing great last week at writing in my journal every night, and I'll have to continue again. When i was sick, we would quickly plan, and then i would konk out within minutes of lying down on my bed. I feel a lot better right now.

Tomorrow we have our Zone Conference in Whangarei. This will be exciting because its a smaller meeting and also i havn't had a Zone Conference in Whangarei since i started my mission.

I've been wondering if this will be my last transfer in the "country". I've served in the outskirts of the city for the majority of my mission. After this transfer, i have only two more. I am shocked at how near everything is.

We also had a great lesson with George and Cynthia. We were feeling that they need their faith to be strengthened, but we were unsure of how to approach the need. We ended up singing Joseph Smith's First Prayer, and read from JSH about the first vision and how Joseph Smith exercised faith despite the opposition. It was a very powerful lesson.

Where is Blake doing his Eagle Project? I believe this is the first time I've even heard it mentioned.

As for the schooling, I heard from Elder Burr that his trainer (who just finished last week) was allowed by President Porter to do a bit of research and preparation for his schooling during the time he would do his emails. I may consider that.

Something that i may want to do right when i get back is going into drafting. I did a bit in High School, and i really enjoyed it.

By the way, how is Brother Salveson doing and his work @ Creative Rents? I really enjoyed working there, even though it was min wage.

Also, how is Grandma Cashmore doing as well as Grandma and Grandpa Dungy?

Well, I think I've written more than enough for you to read. I love you all very much. Keep up all the hard yakker.

Love, Elder Cashmore