Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lessons in tithing, the tree of life, and watch where you're going when biking.....

So it was a great week and we got a lot done. It was just random things this week.

    So lets just start off with last Monday! We went out to Muriwai.  It's a cool beach. I went there the last P-day with Elder Willardsen and loved it so we decided to go out there again. After that we had a lesson with Alyshia. We got there and the family said that she had a question about tithing and they wanted us to go over it. Well we spent about an hour talking about tithing and service and what the church does with the money. So that was pretty cool! Aden (The friend) committed her to pay her tithing when she is baptized.  Aden also committed herself to paying her tithing too!  So that was really cool! We are able to bring a less active back as we are teaching an investigator!   

     Now we will move to Wednesday. We go and visit Maui and Vienne on Wednesday nights. So we got there and asked them if they had read the chapters we had asked them to in the Book Of Mormon (3 Nephi 11 - Where Christ comes to the Nephites). Well they didn't read it. So we started talking about the Importance of Scriptures and their daughter Tabitha walked in and she said that she had read it. And she said she started reading the B of M from the beginning. We asked her about it and she loved it! She read all about Lehi's dream and loved it and was thinking about whether or not she would have been one of the people holding on to the iron rod or if she would have been in the great and spacious building.  So she really enjoyed it. During that lesson we decided to read the story of the Tree of Life with all 3 of them. So we read it and Maui told us that he would start The Book Of Mormon from the beginning and read some this week. So that was a really cool lesson. 

    So now lets fast forward to Saturday. Maui and Vienne invited us to a Ceremonial Cook Island Hair Cutting. So some of the Islands have a tradition of not cutting a boys hair until they are older. So their hair grows out really long! So this was for their nephew, he's  7. So his hair was pretty long. Well they had the Hair Cutting party and heaps of people went up and cut off pieces of hair. After that they had a bunch of dances and stuff for him and the whole thing! So we got to stay and see all of the cool traditional dances! I LOVE the Poly culture! Its sooooosooooo cool!

     Now back to Wednesday! We got to have trade offs with Elder Long and Elder Saulo. They had MLC which only the Zone Leaders go to. So their companions came with Elder Chi and I. Elder Chi was biking in the Samoan Program and then I stayed in my area with Elder Pradana. He's been out for like 2 weeks now. He's from Indonesia. So that was pretty fun. Well we were suppose to meet at the Zone Leaders flat at 5 so we could go to dinner and finish trade off. So when Elder Salanoa (Elder Chi's comp for the day) was biking up the driveway he wasn't looking and he ended up running into a wall of the other house. So in New Zealand people use a lot of this useless stuff called Cement Board. Its like plywood but made out of like cement powder or something. Well this stuff breaks SO EASILY!!!! Well Elder Salanoa ended up going right through it and made a huge hole. Well it was sooooo funny! Sooooo.....the mission will be fixing that!  But it was great! 

    So that's my Email this week!  Hopefully you all get it this time! Love you! Talk to you soon!

       Love Elder Seelos!

P.S. from Mason's mom- Mason has had a little trouble with his latest companion.  He shared a story with us this week about an incident he had with Elder Chi, and as infuriating as he sounds, it's kind of a funny story.  I'm sure Mas will laugh about it some day.  In a long....long time :)  I guess there are lots of lessons to be learned on a mission, patience is one Mason is working on right now! 
     Well Monday we dropped of Elder Long and Elder Pradana at their flat. Elder Chi and I were ready to go and then Elder Chi sat there. But he had to back me out of the driveway. So I said "Hey will you back me up?" He just sat there. Again I asked him to back me up. I did that a few times then Elder Long come out and asked why we hadn't left yet. Then he said "Elder Chi you have to back him up".  Again he just sat there. It literally felt like a power struggle with a 5 year old! Well we both now had told him to back me up so we could go. Nothing. So Elder Long starts to come down the driveway to back me up so we can leave then Elder Chi gets out of the car and slams the door and storms down the driveway. Well I back up and he then sits in the Back seat... I was like whatever... Well we start driving and I turned the music up so I could just calm down and not freak out and he then sits up and reaches up to the front and turns the music down!!! I was like what the heck!!!! Well then I asked him if his seat belt was buckled... Well it wasn't. So I told him to buckle his seat belt. He didn't. So I PULLED OVER! Remember, this is an 18 year old boy. I sat there and told him its a law to be buckled so get buckled. He sat there. I then said ok.... I'll sit here all night if I have to, but I'm not moving until you buckle. So we sat there. Well A FEW MINUTES later I say again you have to get buckled. Then he looks at me and says "Are you talking to me?" That is the point I almost killed him. He was THE ONLY other person in the car!!!! And I looked right at him when I was talking to him! I was like "Your the only other person in the car! Who else would I be talking to?!" Finally he buckles. and we are off. Well I turned the music back up so that I wouldn't kill him. So then a few minutes later he sat up again and turned the music down again! I PULLED OVER again!!! I was like " Ok Dude! You HAVE to sit down and buckle your seat belt!" I was soooooooo mad! I just drove. We drove to our appointment with Alyshia and he was pretty quiet like always. Then we went home and we barely planned and I just was done... So then I went to bed at like 10.... Yep... Thats the crazy day....

Elder Long and me on our p-day beach trip

Me and Elder Chi

I love the beaches here!!

The Cook Island ceremony

and the dancers

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stake conference and trade offs...

Hey everyone! Apparently there was some confusion last week... I totally sent an Email last week but apparently no one got it... So I apologize for any confusion. So first off last weeks Email!
Well hello there! 

     This week has been... interesting. So we found out that one of the Elders had to go to the Doctor this week because he hurt his knee a while ago and it has been giving him a lot of problems. So because of that I had to figure out how to get him there because they had appointments they had to go to and so I went with his companion and we stayed in his area and then Elder Chi went to the Doctor. Right after that we slept over at their flat, after a long talk with Elder Chi about his insane flea obsession, then we had trade off the next day also. So it was great to be with them and get a bit of a break and hang out with another missionary!

     So me and Elder Chi are doing ok. We are getting better. Elder Chi is starting to open up more and so that is helping. During the trip to the doctor Elder Chi opened up to Elder Chatwin and talked to him about what is going on and then he said he wanted to talk about it and I completely opened up and he didn't say anything. So that made me a bit mad but I guess its up to him now... He's just different... Its ok though. We are figuring it all out. We are getting better. To be honest he's kinda lazy... So its hard to get to work when he doesn't want to... So there are days when I literally go and sit in the car waiting for 15 minutes for him to come out of the flat... So I'm trying to be obedient but its hard when my companion doesn't have the same mind set... So I'm just trying to work through things...

    So an update on our investigators, Maui and his family, we were able to meet with them and teach The Restoration. We talked about it all and I was able to testify about Joseph Smith and it was amazing the Spirit that was there with us. At the end Elder Chi invited them to be baptized. Almost immediately Maui's wife said NO! Then Maui said that they are content with their church. But their daughter was there also. She had been taught by missionaries before and said she would get baptized but her mom said she couldn't. So I then asked her. She said that it would be like betraying her family by changing faith. The amazing thing was that when she talked about it all it brought her to tears. So I KNOW that she felt something! She was moved! It was really cool! She didn't say yes or no to the question but we were able to testify of the truthfulness of this gospel and committed her to read The Book Of Mormon. So we will see what happens there! 
      Other then that we didn't see many investigators because they were all either gone or they canceled our appointments. So that was pretty sad. But that's what happens I guess...

     Well we got to have Stake Conference this weekend! It's always great to have Stake Conference because we get a bit of a break and get to hear cool speakers! So we were able to listen to Patriarch Snyder talk at the Saturday Session. He is INSANELY smart on just about everything! He talked about young people and the fact that teens make bad decisions because their brains aren't fully developed yet and so they don't have the full reasoning capacity that a full grown adult would have. So just a thought for all parents out there! He told us that we don't have the right to get mad at them because it literally isn't their fault. So parents just remember that! 

      Now something serious about Stake Conference, a Returned Missionary spoke about some experiences that she had on her mission and what it taught her. She talked about one time she talked to her Mission President about what Exact Obedience means, She then said that his answer surprised her. He said that we have to be perfect to be with God again. She then said that, that didn't help because she couldn't even be obedient so how will she be perfect. He then said that because of Christ we are not expected to be perfect. We are only expected to progress. So Exact Obedience is doing better next time. If you wake up at 6:32 that doesn't mean your the worst missionary. But what Christ wants is for us to wake up at 6:31 the next day then 6:30 the day after. So we just have to progress. Not be perfect. So when you fall down and are feeling like you've failed remember that Christ expects Progress, not Perfection. 

     Sorry that this Email is a bit boring this week but ill try to make it better next week! Love you!
                  Love Elder Seelos

So now this week!

      This week we had an interesting week. It was a week full of service. So I guess that is a trade off. We did some good but it made our numbers and lessons drop a bit. A member called us asking for some help painting their house. So we spent 2 days helping them paint a good amount of the outside of the house. So that was really fun! I liked that we were able to take some time to do some service! Its nice to get a change of beat!

        We had a Specialized Training this week also! So that was really cool! We got to go and be taught and trained by President Balli. The training was about our 2016 Baptism goal of 950! So that is really cool! He brought up that we would need to increase 4 things in the mission in order to hit this goal. So those are 1. Obedience 2. Vision 3. Preach My Gospel Skills and 4. Faith. So it really made me thing about myself and my missionary work. So the thing I decided I personally need to work on is increasing my Faith in my Investigators. At times I am caught saying or thinking that "So and so wont actually be there for our appointment." or "They aren't actually going to do what we asked them to do." Just Negative things and I'm not showing the Faith I should. So that faith was tested yesterday. We have a Fireside for the whole mission every 3rd Sunday of the month called the "Come and See fireside". So we get to bring an investigator with us to the fireside. So we invited Maui and Vienne to come and they said that they would. We asked if they wanted a ride they said they would just drive themselves there. So that is where Faith came in!  We arranged our ride with our Ward Mission Leader Brother Wihongi and we made it there. Then we waited and they weren't there and so we waited... And then they came!!!!! It was such a relieving feeling seeing them drive up. So that is where I had to show Faith this week.

            Then this week Elder Chi and I had an interesting experience.  One morning Elder Chi was hungry so he was making some noodles in the Microwave. In his noodles he also put in an Egg. So he cracked the egg into the bowl of noodles and water and put it in our nuclear microwave for about 15 minutes.... Well he finally pulled it out and put it on the counter and started stirring it. Not even 2 seconds after I turn away I hear a BANG and a scream. Well... Elder Chi's noodles BLEW UP all over... There were noodles water and egg all over the kitchen... I just started to crack up! It was the funniest sight ever! So that was really interesting! Well we then cleaned it up and we got him some Burger King. 

           So now an update on our New Investigator Alyshia. Last Monday we had a member (Sister Olsen) call us and say that she had a girl for us to teach named Alyshia. She's 19 and has been asking her friend Aden (The members Less Active daughter) questions about the gospel. Since the beginning of the year they have been reading the Book Of Mormon and Praying everyday, and has now been to church twice. We set up an appointment Tuesday night at 7:30. So we talked to her and started to teach the Plan Of Salvation and then went into Baptism the Holy Ghost and Repentance. Well we ended up being there until about 9:15 and we committed her to be baptized!  She is SO AMAZINGLY PREPARED!!! Its amazing. So we will get to teach her again tonight with the Olsen Family. 

        Well that's my week! So I shared a way that I had to show my Faith this week. So what is a way that you have had to use Faith in the last few weeks? I would love to hear what you have to say!

Love you so much!! 

Love Elder Seelos!
Elder Long, Elder Willardson, and me at the beach from a few weeks ago

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fires and investigators...

So this week was pretty fun! I have been getting to know Elder Chi better, well at least trying to. I'm still working on opening him up, but its been fun. He is a really great teacher so that is great. English isn't his first language so he is a bit self conscious about it. So unless he is confident in what he is talking about he usually wont say much. But I'm doing my best to get him talking!  He kind of grew up learning English. But Malaysia is a non English speaking country. So there was never a huge need to learn it. But he knows quite a bit!!! He is not too bad. At times he can be a bit lazy and he doesn't really listen to me so I can't really tell him to get up and get going. Its just a culture thing... The other issue is the fact that he came from the Chinese Program. They do things a whole lot different there then they do in the English program. So its just past area's and idea's clashing a bit. It was really nice to spend some time with Elder Long and Elder Saulo. It has been nice to be around missionaries I get along with. Being with more missionaries seems to help Elder Chi open up more also. So its just been good!

    My Zone Leader Elder Saulo had his appendix out last week. He was suppose to be resting all week but honestly hasn't. Up until the last few days he hasn't been resting at all. Because of that his cut opened up and so he now really has to rest. Because of that I went on trade off with Elder Long this week so that we could do some work in his area because he has had to rest. So we have slept at their flat like 4 times this week just because we had fun things we wanted to do and we just were trying to help them out.

    The first fun thing that we did was that they DEEP cleaned their flat and because of that they found a whole lot of old clothes, dress shirts, garments and socks and things like that. So to rightfully dispose of them we decided to burn them. So we went over with some lighters and we had a big fire in their back yard. Which I have to say was pretty epic!!! Well because we were already doing a fire I decided that I would burn my Tie, because I have been out for 6 months (Stupid Missionary Tradition.). So we got some Gasoline from the lawnmower and soaked the tie in it and then Elder Saulo told me to try to light the Bottle that had the gas in it on fire. So of course I did and then it was just burning the fumes, until the plastic melted and a flaming piece of melted plastic fell onto my gas soaked tie. Well of course it went up into flames... But it was on the grass burning so we had to put it out and so I ran inside and grabbed the Fire Extinguisher, I really wanted to use it because I had never used one before, I then sprayed it on the tie and it was a HUGE cloud of stuff. Then I turned to Elder Saulo who was recording the whole thing and I sprayed him. It was actually really funny! He was mad for like 2 minutes then we were all laughing about it!

     My cool experience this week came from an Investigator we have. His name is Joe, he is a Fijian guy who is married to Laura, who is a less active member. She doesn't really classify herself as a member though. Its strange. So we were teaching them and while we were trying to talk about Repentance and Baptism the kids were running around and talking and it was hard to focus. Well right when we got to the point of Baptism (Which is one of his biggest concerns) The kids quieted down and one of them fell asleep. So we were able to really talk about Baptism and we promised him that if he prayed sincerely he would know it was the right thing to do. So he is praying to find out what to do.

       We were able to see  Our Investigator Maui on Wednesday night. It was cool because his whole family was home. So we taught them about the importance of families and how the gospel will bless their family and we were able to talk to them and their daughter about the gospel. One cool thing I found out after was that the Daughter Tabita is a Former Investigator. She was taught by the missionaries a while ago and she stopped because her mom, our investigator, wouldn't let her get baptized. So it amazing to see the change that has happened in them.

    So that is my week in a nutshell! It was fun and exciting and we had a lot of great things happen this week!  I am so happy! Its really weird! Like I have been so happy the  few last weeks. When things get hard... I just know that it will work out. 

Thanks for your love and prayers!!! Love you!

Love Elder Seelos

Tie burning

The mighty Hendersen Zone!

ME and Elder Chi