Monday, August 31, 2015

My first splits...and driving in Auckland!!

Hey Guys!! I'm back! This week has been fun! Lots has gone on and we have stayed busy and so that has been good. It really makes time go by so fast! It’s weird that I have already been out a month, it doesn't feel that long. So we really got into the real missionary stuff this week. So it has been awesome to get into the real mission stuff. It has been fun. We taught a few lessons. 

We were talking to a less active family and they invited us to come back the next day for dinner. So we went back the next day and we had dinner (Lamb stir fry, and Rice). The lamb was good! It was actually really good. So that was awesome! I didn't think I would like it but I did. It’s different but good.  Then we talked to them after about the church and their issues and why they stopped coming and so that was good just to get to know what I’m doing. I really like teaching that's a lot of fun. 

So we are supposed to get TWE, Talk With Everyone, we are supposed to get 20 a day. So basically we are supposed to talk to 20 new non-members a day. Which is double the normal Church standard. That has been really hard to do. Because we have the car we don't have to walk everywhere, so we don't see that many new people. We have to devote time to walking around and talking to people. We got 115 out of 140 this week. So that has been good, but we need to do better. 

I'm loving it here, and I’m loving all the missionaries. My companion and I have been getting along really well so it has been nice. Although he doesn't understand cars... so that’s been weird. I will comment on a cool car and he just sees it as another car.

We met a Muslim man this week. he called us across the street and when he found out that we were Americans he started to tell us all about how the U.S. has been killing his people (his parents are from Iraq, he has never been there) So then he started to tell us about 9/11 and the crazy conspiracy theories. But yep. Interesting week!

I love teaching about the BOM. Just showing the people the stuff it can do and it’s amazing. I haven’t really seen any changes or anything from my teaching but it’s ok. I read a book by Brad Wilcox. It was really cool to read. It’s called The Continues Atonement, For Teens. Go buy it. It’s so good. I loved the book. I loved what it said about how Christ has made up the difference for our mistakes and we just need to do what we can and then the mistakes are already fixed.

I got to go into the City on tradeoffs, I went with Elder Booth. There are people everywhere. We met so many people. I talked to a lot of people, and that was good training.  Elder Booth is my Zone leader. He’s a way cool guy, super funny, but he was sick and so that was hard. So he was like falling asleep while we were driving around, so then I DROVE!! It was so cool! I did really good. I didn’t crash or anything, we went on the freeway and there was a ton of traffic so it was like driving in Salt Lake. Its super weird to drive on the wrong side of the road but it’s different. I like it. It kinda just come to me. Like it just came natural. Thankfully! I’m fine to be driving. No worries. My zone leader had to approve me. So it’s good I was with him! I stayed in right side of the road. No worries!! 

 We have eaten out a few times. But last Monday my meal got paid for! Like I went to get cash cuz my mission card wouldn't work so then a guy just paid for it! So that was sweet! 
The bishop is cool. He’s an older guy. The ward mission leader is an older guy too. The members are really friendly! They feed us! Sometimes... haha. 

Actually we have had a lot of dinner appointments either cancel or bring the food to our flat because it seems like everyone is sick!  Remember…it’s winter here.  It’s good though. I’m trying to not eat very much. I don’t want to get fatter!! I though I might have been getting Pneumonia, my chest hurt, it hurt to breath, and it was bad, but I’m ok now. 

I love you heaps. Give my love to everyone else too! Love you guys. 
Elder Seelos

This is the Sky Tower.... the big needle you see if you Google Aukland
Another view of the Sky Tower
This is a drive we took yesterday. That is what the whole drive looked like. it was SOOOO cool! Trees everywhere and it was raining....and fog everywhere. I loved it!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Getting to Know Waterview...

Hey Guys!!!! This week was a lot of fun! It was good to actually get started on the missionary work. I really love working all day. It’s a lot of fun day to day

Monday: We emailed then we went on a way cool hike to a cave and it was so wet and muddy so that was great! But that was a lot of fun. We went with the zone leaders and the 2 sets of sisters in our district then we had FHE with a way cool family, the McKays. They fed us dinner, the only in home dinner of the week! Everyone else bailed. Then we started teaching a recent convert at FHE

Tuesday: We tried to visit the investigators and all the people the other elders were working with. Then we had a drop off dinner. We met some really cool people. My favorite thing to do is when we park the car and we just walk around and talk to everyone and anyone we see. It’s hard cuz it’s always raining but it’s good.

Wednesday: we just kept visiting people. We were really setting up stuff for this week. So that was good. We walked around some more and we handed out a few pamphlets.

Thursday: Same thing as the other days. We met with a man named Shiayad. He’s an interrogator. He says that he wants to learn but really just wants to talk. So that was my first "real lesson" (so that was good). We shared a lot about the Book of Mormon.

Friday: Great Day!!! We walked around all afternoon and it was sunny and there were people out and it was great! We gave a Book of Mormon to a 20 year old girl and she seemed really interested and said she would read it and would call us if she had questions. But no call yet. Then we met a member that is less active. He is a total gang member. He just got out of jail and it was crazy hearing his stories. That was about an hour of standing on the road talking to him.

Saturday: we met with a guy that lives down the road. He’s super cool and works at a car manufacturing place so we talked a lot about cars. I’m sure Elder Pennington is so annoyed with my car fetish. He’s getting used to it.  

Sunday: Church again. I have decided that I hate elder’s quorum. It’s soooooooooo boring. But the rest of church was good. Then we went to take some plates back to this less active lady and she sat there and we talked to her for 2 hours. She wouldn't let us leave, it was crazy. Then we had a lesson at 5 with a referral from the Tongan sister. He’s a super cool guy. He’s engaged to an rm that also is from Samoa, they both are. She went to Denver on her mission and got back in Feb. He seems super open and willing to listen and so we are really excited. So that was a great day.

The hike to the caves last week was way beautiful!! It’s so green everywhere!!! I loved it.  We went into the caves which were not that cool, just tiny little things, but the hike and county were great to see.
 The guy that we taught yesterday is a huge Samoan (he is so buff! and has Polly tats all over. they are awesome!!) he just kept saying I’m not here to test you guys but I have some questions that no one can answer for me. he felt so bad that he kept asking so many questions. we talked about the BOM and so that was good cuz I know enough about that to help out and answer questions and stuff. I love all the island people here. They are so fun and so nice.

We eat a lot of frozen patties and we eat a lot of beans, but we got some frozen meat pies (oh my gosh they are so good!) I love them!!

So my companion is awesome! I really like him but like I told Tyler I feel like I’m walking down the street with Austin (Mason’s Cousin). Like, I will think it’s him and it’s weird. They don’t look alike but it sure feels like I’m serving with Austin.

 So to answer your question, I can’t spend US money... but it’s ok. we are fine, I’ll use my debit card if I need some extra money. But speaking of money, I am getting my typhoid shot today so I have to pay for it. So when the $ comes out that’s why, just so you know.

You asked about what it’s like out here every day……it’s kinda hard sometimes, but we figure it all out. We will have plans then no one is home. (so that sucks!). We will get up at 6:30 then work out for 30 minutes. Then we just read out of a book or read a talk from conference or the ensign for personal study. I’m tired in the mornings and at night. But I’m usually ok during the day. We try to stay busy. But some days are hard and everyone is in bed by like 8 so after 8 it’s hard to get anything done... but it’s all good.

We are in only one ward so that’s fun. We get to know the people better and that’s a good thing. We can only do 4 meals a week (that’s a mission rule) and most the time they will just drop it off and we eat at our flat. We always like it better when we can be in someones home. I’m actually eating very little but it’s good. I do have some treats and things to eat. Thank you again for the stuff you sent I liked finding all the random candy stashes in my suit case.

I’m kinda mad... they can use backpacks here, so glad I spent all that money on a messenger bag. I’m using it for now but I think I’m going to use a backpack soon. There are a few random old ones in my flat I will just steal so it’s no big deal.

I write in my journal every day.  I’m sleeping better now. The first few days out were hard. I would just wake up a lot in the night but now I’m good!

We have to leave soon, so I better go. I sure LOVE you guys !!!!!!!!

At the NZ Temple

My MTC Roomies

One Tree Hill overlooking Aukland

Hike to the Caves. Elder Pennington (my companion) is in the black NZAM sweatshirt
New Zealand Aukland Mission (NZAM) in stone.... with sheep!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My First P-Day

So much has happened this last week that I'm going to just give a daily overview.

Wednesday: We left the MTC in the morning and went to one tree hill, its a way cool hill that looks over the whole mission, it was cool to see everything. then we went to the mission Office and we did training stuff and they did like an orientation for most the day. we all had interviews with President Bali and it was weird. He said tell me something that your best friend knows about you that i should know. Like what am i suppose to say?!?! that's so weird! then we had dinner at the mission home and did a testimony meeting and i talked about John Henry and it was super cool i loved it. Then we stayed in a motel for the night.

Thursday: We had breakfast at the mission home. We then went to transfer meeting where i met Elder Pennington, ( He is from Arkansas and goes home in 11 weeks) we sat there and we listened to the announcements and then we had lunch and we started to talk a bit. it was way cool to get to know him. Then we went to a Mission Conference. where a few random people were there, but Sister Dalton was there. it was way cool. they had a cool thing for the sisters where a bunch of people that were there, David Archeletta was there! apparently he sang like 7 times. but the Elders didn't get to go, that was on Saturday. But then we had to drive around to get Elder Pennington's stuff cuz he didn't know he was transferring tell right before the meeting. so we got his stuff and we went to our flat at like 9 and just went to bed.

Friday: We had to get up and go to the store cuz the other Elders left and went home before us so they left junk EVERYWHERE. there are clothes and boxes and books and crap all over. so we got just a bit of food. We got frozen patties and bread and hashbrowns. so when we don't have a meal planned we just heat those up and eat burgers and hashbrowns. its not that bad. but we have dinner most nights. we are only suppose to have 4 a week but where ever we go around dinner time we will always get fed. so we eat places most nights. then we went around and saw members and that was way fun. Elder Pennington has already served here so he knows a lot of people over here so it has been good and easy. WE HAVE A CAR!!!! So that's good. its kinda cold here so it has been nice to have the car. but i will usually wear my rain coat (thanks for that mom) cuz it rains daily here. its always raining. but its fine. we went to a really cool families tonight. 2 of the kids are baptized and the dad has had all the discussions and goes to church almost every Sunday but just wont get baptized yet so that's weird but they were really fun. we just talked with them for a while.

Saturday: We just did visits. We met with the ward mission leader and the Bishop. the Bishop asked us both to speak.... the next day... But whatever. we took like an hour and just wrote down some notes to give. I was asked to speak on conversion. so its not bad. we then drove around to see people and try to get into houses but a lot of people weren't home... but then we parked the car at about 8 and walked around the block a few times to see if we could meet people, we handed out a plan of salvation pamphlet. but that was it. 

Sunday: We had church at 9. so we gave our talks. they actually went well. i felt like i was rambling and it wasn't that great but it was fine. i was super nervous. then we had gospel doctrine and holy crap... It was so boring. the lady was just rambling and reading random scriptures about Paul and we had to say all these weird city names. it was so weird. but then we and elders quorum and it was just about the same... we read a chapter out of one of the prophets book things... idk. it was boring. then we went to see a family in the ward cuz we are doing FHE with them and teaching the new member lessons to a newly baptized girl. then we tried to visit people but again no one was home. we set up a lesson with a young girl who is going to get baptized next month and then we went to a less actives house. he served a mission like 8 years ago in SALT LAKE!!! He was in the salt lake mission. so we just went over to get to know him. 

There are a few small restaurants around us but they are freaking expensive... so we went to subway one day but that's it. Waterview is an average size town... lots of houses but some small shopping stuff. The food is normal... i haven't had fish yet!!

Our flat isn't bad. It just had clothes and stuff all over, both of the missionaries that were here before us went home, so they just left a ton of cloths and junk all over the flat (nice huh?). We have 2 bedrooms and one is now full of my bike and the other elders clothes the zone leaders will come get it later. We have the 2 beds in the other room and 2 desks in the living room and an ok bathroom and a little couch and an ok kitchen. nothing too good or bad.

One funny story is Elder Pennington was in Nieu before this and they drove there but there's like no one there so its super easy but here there are a lot of people and hes driving and one day we took a turn and we were on the wrong side of the road! there was a median so we couldn't go back over and there were no cars. one was close and he flashed his brights at us but we just turned down a little street right after we turned. but it was really funny.

So don't hate me but i forgot my camera cord so i cant sent pictures this week! sorry!!! i will send a ton next week! but i'm all fine and loving it here! 

I'm out. We are going to go see some sweet caves later and so that should be fun. We are going with the Zone Leaders. I'll take a lot of pictures! love you guys a ton. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's my Last Day!!! (.... in the MTC)

Hey Guys, its Elder Seelos again.

      It's my last day here in the MTC. I'm so done being here. I'm so ready to get out and get going. all week has really just been classes and the temple. the temple was so sweet. i had so much fun. the land is amazing and beautiful. i cant believe all the natural beauty here. its so green and its the middle of winter!! it's just rolling green hills. everything is farm land and pasture for the cows or sheep. It rains everyday here without fail, for some part of the day it's raining. No matter how sunny it looks you know that there is always rain coming. I can't send pictures here in the MTC so I will send them next week (I guess.) I have really loved it here and I'm really going to miss the people here that i have made such good relationships with. There are 3 guys in my room one is my companion who is going to Auckland and then the other two elders are both going to Sydney South Mission.
     One amazing thing i learned this week is how well the Book of Mormon really can answer every question that you have and it will bless you so much. one of my favorite chapters is 3 Nephi 11 because its when Christ comes and is telling everyone to repent and be baptized. I have used that so many times with fake investigators so much already. one of them actually committed to baptism. It's been so fun here. I love it.

I don't know what will happen tomorrow. We are going to the mission home and will be sent to areas. (that's all i know.) We did get to do a session at the temple. We also took pics outside, i'll send them later. The Celestial Room was amazing, it had paintings on the wall and it was so cool. It was amazing.

 I'm getting off soon. I love you all and will email you next week. I'm glad that you are all doing ok. Just know that I'm doing great and am loving it. I can feel of your prayers and your love every day. My emails will get better once I'm out of here (the MTC) and doing more then sitting in a classroom, I promise. love you all,
                            Elder Seelos

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lessons in Rugby and Humility

Hey guys!! Its Monday at about 8:30 we finally got to get on the computer to email you guys. It has been so fun. I got switched companions because one elder didn't come so i am now with Elder Heward. He's from Timpanoges, he's a huge Football/Baseball/Basketball Jock but we are actually finding a lot in common. He gets up every day at 5:30 to do an extra half hour of workouts but he's funny, and yes dad i am doing 30/60 every morning. He's really fun and i like him. We get along really well and its been fun to learn from him. We are really getting along great. We got into districts and our group is a ton of fun. we just laugh and joke around all day. 

Yesterday was fast sunday and it was really hard. I now know how dad feels on sundays. meetings from 6am to 9pm and our only break was Dinner at 5, so guys be nice to him on sunday nights. We watched The District 2 last week and it was actually really cool. you guys should watch it. its probably online somewhere, if the computer is still working. 

We had fish one day for lunch and i actually tried 2 bites of it and then i had to give it to someone else. in our room its me, Elder Heward, a kid from Samoa and a kid from Germany. They are really fun and its good to get to know them. every day after lunch they let us outside for a while to exercise and do sports. we got a Rugby ball and the Samoan Elders are teaching all us "White Kids" to play. they mostly just laugh at us the whole time. its a lot of fun here, i'm super tired, and miss moms cooking a lot, and sandwiches. but overall i'm liking it. i'm really ready to leave and go out into the field though. i learned on the first day that the principle i need to learn here is Humility. i opened one of the books i got and the 2 marked pages were both about being humble so i figured that's what i needed to learn.

the weather is good here! not super cold. it rains for a few minutes every day but never too bad. we haven't seen a lot of the country so idk what it really looks like but so far it feels kinda like home.
love you guys and i will email you next week.

Elder Seelos

My MTC arrival Group

My District (Nephi District) with my companion Elder Heward

I have arrived!

Hey guys. Its Mason, I am here in the MTC now. I landed this morning in Auckland. I met up with a big group of missionaries in SLC and we got on the smallest plane to San Fran and then got to San Fran and waited around for our New Zealand flight until we went at about 10. I got an Isle seat on both flights and i took the meds and went to sleep for a big portion of the flight. then we landed at about 6 and are now in the MTC for 12 days.

 I love the group of elders that are here. they are so fun. I am companions with on of the elders i flew with, Elder Bass from Florida. nothing has really happened yet and so that's all i have for you guys. 

i love you guys so much.