21 Sept. 2009
Thank you for your wonderful letters. This last week went well and it was also a bit tiring. The temple trip was inpsiring and the Zone Conference was probably the best one I've been to. I don't know if it was because it was my last one, but Elder Smith from my intake (and my MTC comp) said that he felt the same. The testimonies of the missionaries finishing this transfer were very touching. Another missionary from our intake, Elder Larson, had his father pass away several months back and it was extremely hard for him to keep on going. Another missionary, Elder Hausianthang (one of the first missionaries from Myanmar), got sick with diabetes on his mission and had to leave, but decided to stay. I really love the missionaries from my intake.
One of the neat things that occurred at the temple was that Gaye Miecklejohn that I helped baptize at the beginning of my mission was going through for her endowment for the first time. Of course, there were also many members from that ward and the stake in general. I really love my first area and the members of the Whangarei 2nd ward. I also saw Bishop Reti and he was surprised to still see me here. I told him when i was going and he said that whenever I come back that I will always have a place to stay! He is one of the funniest leaders I've met. I've mentioned before, but he reminds me of bro. Beazley. What nationality is Brother Beazley?
We had a lesson with the Tusa family and only one lesson. It went very well. They also came to church this Sunday, as they have for the last couple of Sundays. In our MCM, we were talking about how to get the father involved. We discussed that the best way is to get the mother fully active and have the children influence through their example. We told the mom that her kids are ready to be baptized. We are looking at setting a date with them within the next several weeks. We also had two baptisms this weekend with Tina Grove and her daughter Breanna getting baptized. It was a really good turnout from the ward. I think the ward is starting to pick up with these baptisms. They've mentioned splitting our area and putting a new companionship in the other ward. It probably won't happen until after I leave.
My new comp is Elder Jenkins. He is an American from Virginia and is also a "military brat". He has lived in Germany, Alabama, Texas, and some other states. He has also gone to school a little bit in BYU and BYU-I. He came in on Wednesday and then went down to the temple and Zone Conference on Thursday. He is still quite tired as i am. This last week i woke up at 4am two mornings. But then again President Porter and the APs have to do that for three days. I am glad to have a companion that wants to work. I just want to make sure that he starts his mission right and that he is instilled with urgency and purpose. He is much older than me and he is much more prepared than i was when i started. I am grateful to President Porter for giving me one last opportunity to train again. I know where my confidence is more now than before. I still get nervous doing some things, but missionary work is hardly convenient.
Thanks for the updated information about the schooling and the flight itinerary. I still haven't gotten it from the mission office yet. Oh well.
I love you all and have a fantastic week. I look forward to going to the temple more often when i return home. Our temple trips are infrequent and short. But they are still meaningful.
Love, Elder Cashmore