Monday, August 31, 2009

Lows and Highs

31 August 2009
Dear Family,

This week has been a week of some lows but some great highs. I recall Sister Achiu or some other person that talked about missionary work saying that a sister that was serving mentioned the lows and the highs on her mission and how the highs helped them overcome the lows. I wholeheartedly agree that a mission is a form of marriage prep. Most problems that arise come not from the areas or the climate, but from the people we work alongside and for and from ourselves.

The greatest thing that happened was that Ainsley's baptism went very well. I had the opportunity to baptize her. She is quiet and calm but has a strong and growing testimony. She said in her testimony just after her baptism that the events that she has been through have this last year have prepared her for becoming a member of the church. It was good that she had most of the YSA from Mt. Albert present and her family, who at first were not all going to make it were there as well, and they really enjoyed it. Ainsley actually has family that are already members of the church up north, from the Busby family. Her mom is a Busby. She also wants to serve a mission. She just barely turned 21 so it will be a perfect time to do so. Chris McIntyre was able to go just after being a member for a year.

I think much of our success with conversions is that the members are being there before and after the first ordinances. I know it is vital that investigators have strong friends in the church, and hopefully before baptism. We have another sister in Balmoral ward that has been working very well with a neighbor and this neighbor and her daughter are getting baptised this coming month. We are being very blessed and so i must continue to be worthy and remain humble.

Last night we also had an amazing musical fireside and we had quite a few non-members there as well. I love music and i have been trying to play the piano more often on Prep days @ the chapel. I am going to have to play the piano more often when i get home. I am not able to devote as much time as i would like to practicing.

The tradeoffs went alright, but i have cancelled the other ones set for this week. The first one was great. I was with Elder Smith, who is from Hamilton, but was called to NZAM when he was in Aussie or Hawaii. He is a top guy and is dedicated to his work. I also had a tradeoff with Elder Malungahu, who is in the Tongan programme. He is also very dedicated and understands the importance of obedience. He was trained by Elder Lausi'i, who is my current companion.

I really do like the city. Parts of our area get quite close to the sky tower even though it is still far away. But its a spectacular scene at night. Certain parts of my body are missing the car, and i don't think I've lost any weight here...yet. They really feed us here. The members seem to get really upset when they don't or can't feed us regularly. We're trying to work on that one with our ward mission leader in Mt. Albert.

Our area is very diverse ethnically and religiously. We are teaching a muslim man, an Indian hindu (Eva), a Samoan family, a part Niuean family, some Maoris and this week we'll be teaching a family from the Congo that speaks french.

I believe you asked me about applying for schools for the Spring. I really do not know what degree i want to shoot for let alone what school i should go to. I wouldn't mind going to BYU Provo, but i don't know if i would qualify with the grades i have. I'm not too sure about the requirements. I am a bit lost as far as what to choose, since i would like to do several different things. But i guess i could pray about it.

Hey Blake. Say hi to Mr. Brickey for me. He was one of my favorite teachers in High School. Are you taking Spanish? When i get back, we'll have to learn it so we can speak in a different language. Remember the Jone's boys. They could speak to each other in German. Neat eh!

Will Camille be coming back from school for Thanksgiving? That is one holiday i really miss, besides Christmas with the family. I just realized i will home for Blake and Camille's birthdays.

Anyway. I love you all and i appreciate what you have done and what you do now for me. I really am aided by your thoughts and comments.

Love, Elder Cashmore

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