Sunday, September 25, 2016

Trade offs and a duck....

 Man! What even happened this week...?! I'm pretty sure that its still like Thursday! This week went by fast to say the least. Its honestly insane thinking that I have like 10 months left... I remember thinking that I would never see home again. Time goes so fast.

        Sorry to inform that the Good News Train is out of commission this week. It went too fast last week and broke. So it's in the shops.

       I felt like I wasn't even in my area all that much this week. We had 2 trade off's this week and I left the area on both of them. So it was awesome to get to see the other area's and to get to spend time with other missionaries! I was with Elder Ponce from the Philippines and with Elder Mahina from Tonga. So it was an international week! It just made things go by even faster!

       Now for the crazy story time! While we were on trade off I was gone, of course, and Elder Boyack stayed in our area. So they went out and worked for the day and then got back to the flat about 9:30. Well Elder Boyack went for his normal end of the day bathroom break and as he walked into the bathroom he soon realized that he was not alone. Someone had broken into our flat during the day and filled the bathtub with water and had then gone and caught a duck and put it into the bathtub full of water! So the duck was swimming around the bathtub! Well they grabbed the duck and took it outside, then emptied the tub, and Elder Boyack cleaned the tub top to bottom for like an hour! So now we have a clean as shower!  We just let the duck go. There are like a million ducks everywhere! They just wander the neighborhood! I'm sure the duck has found a mate and is mating. There are baby ducks everywhere!  Yeah! Ill include some pics of the Duck!

       Dora made a BIG step this week! We saw her on Friday last week and talked about baptism and talking to her parents. Well on Tuesday we went over and she told us that she talked to her mom right after we had left on Friday about baptism. Her mom originally said no. Then she talked to her about it and she was worried about what Dora's Nan would say. Well Dora worked it into a maybe..... Not necessarily a yes, but not a no! She told us that she wanted to be baptized on the 15th! Then asked what she needed to do to have that. The biggest hold up with her is getting her to church! She has White Sunday coming up in her Nan's church, Efakasa, Its a Samoan Church! Well her Nan has been pushing really hard to get her and her family to that and so they have been going to that. Which is hard. We are really seeing how Satan is working hard against her... He defiantly doesn't want Dora to be baptized... Its amazing how hard he will work. We just have to work harder! It really is a battle out here every day. There is a real war going on in the world. The only difference is that we know who is going to win! 

        Our big miracle this week happened at church Yesterday! We were waiting and we had NO ONE come to church. We were kind of bummed, but moved on. Well about half way through Sacrament meeting a 13 year old kid named Roko walked in with his 12 year old cousin Timothy. So Roko just moved over from Tuvalu. His family send him over from Tuvalu to go to a better school. In Tuvalu he was active as in church. But the Family he lives with are not members so he hasn't come to church since being here. Well he came Yesterday! It was really cool to see him at church! He was referred to us by a member who is one of his teachers. So now we are going to teach his cousin who LOVED church! I LOVE NZ!!!

There is my Email today! Thanks for everything!

         Love Elder Seelos

Our duck!

Hanging with Elder Maughan

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Where did my sleep go??

  I just have to start out saying that this week was a very exhausting week!  We had meetings, appointments, and just plain old work this week.  Looking at the numbers it was a slow week, but looking at my energy meter it was a fast as week! I have honestly loved this area! It has been a good one to go to from Favona. It would have been VERY demotivating if I had gone to a crap as area. This is definitely not a crap as area!

        So first stop on the BIG NEWS train. Malachi (The 9 year old kid in the Part Member family that I talked about last week) during our FHE on Monday we talked about Baptism and tried to make it look fun for him and not scary! So after a bit of coaxing we asked him if he wanted to get baptized. Well he said maybe, and his mom said "How about Friday? Nan is coming down this weekend anyways!" So yeah... That definitely happened... So another surprise Baptism. Its amazing how the Lord works... We had set our baptism goals at 0 the weeks before but we decided to set it at 1 in faith that something would work out, God answers our prayers as long as we show him the faith and the work that go behind it!

         Now the next stop on the BIG NEWS train! We have an investigator named Grace, she is the 16 year old Niece of our Relief Society President. She has been Investigating for a while and isn't able to be baptized because her dad is saying no. Well we have gotten her and Dora to be friends from Youth and Church. So we had a combined Lesson with Grace and Dora on Tuesday Night right before Youth. So we had planned to teach the Plan Of Salvation. Yeah, that didn't happen. We were following up with Grace and Dora on the commitments that we had left them. We started to talk about baptism when we asked Dora if she had prayed about a day to be baptized. So we talked for about an hour about baptism and what their plans were and the reason behind it and how to get through the issues that they were struggling with to get there. Well after the lesson we had them both committed to pray about getting baptized on either the 1st or the 15th of October. (The 15th is Elder Boyack's last day) Dora told us that if it was up to her she would get baptized but she has to talk to her parents. Her dad is a less active member though so we are not too worried. Please keep them in your prayers!

          Next Station! We had the Come and See Fireside last night back in Mangere! So it was in the Penrose Stake Center! It was REALLY weird and cool to be back! As I walked in I was just happy and couldn't stop smiling! I felt like I was coming back home. Good, Bad Feeling! Mama Lynn from Favona ward was one of the speakers and She did AWESOME! It was so great getting to see her and a few of the ladies from the ward! Also, our Investigator Grace, She sang with her cousin in our ward for the Fireside. So Grace, as a Non-Member, sang in a missionary Fireside! She did GREAT! That was also really cool!

          Sunday Morning was an interesting one. So at about 10:30 we got a text from our Elders Quorum President asking if we could cover the Elders Quorum Lesson at church that day. Well we were all goods. Its pretty easy to make up an Elders Quorum Lesson fast cuz noone cares anyways. So that was fine. THEN we got a text from Bishop... This was about 10:45, Bishop asked us if we could do the Sacrament talks also... So of course we said yes. I haven't spoken in Sacrament since my First week on the Mission. That was over a year ago. It ended up being really great though. I took my Farewell talk on The Gift of the Holy Ghost and did some tweaking and basically just took out the stories and quotes from that and started talking. It really made me realize how far I have come... At my farewell I completely read the talk, Yesterday I just used the talk for quotes. Other than that I just talked. It was really cool! I was praying REALLY hard!

          One thing that I have been studying lately is Repentance, and how Heavenly Father tells us to Repent, then the blessings that we will get from it after that. We have a Less Active Recent Convert in our ward that doesn't fully understand the Idea of being fully forgiven of our mistakes in God's eyes and has a hard time seeing past the opinions of others and focusing on God's opinion of him. So if anyone has any thoughts or scriptures or help, we would really appreciate it!

          Well sorry it's a short ride today! Thanks for the Email's and the Prayers!

                  Love Elder Seelos
Muriwai Beach! Its was about a half and hour drive. Its a MEAN Beach! 

Malachi's Baptism!

He said now no one can say we didn't like each other!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Is it REALLY Monday already?

  I can't believe how fast this week has gone by... Literally the fastest week EVER! Its insane how quick things just fly by. I am still trying to understand how I can be another week down...

     So this week was actually a really great one for the most part! We had HEAPS of visits and new people that we had set to see and basically meet. So it was still a week of meeting people but it was more teaching than we have been able to do. So that was a huge plus! It has been hard to get use to this area and use to the way everything works! Heaps of Miracles though! Times when people just happen to be home, or people that just happened to be wanting us or needing us. 

       An update on our investigator Dora. So Dora is a 16 year old girl that the Sisters started to teach her a while back. So we have been teaching her now. Last week we had a lesson with her and taught her the Restoration. She LOVED it! She had read the Pamphlet and knew heaps of the information. We then asked her if she would be baptized and she said maybe. Well this week we taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was on trade off with Elder Pradana from Indonesia. We taught her the whole thing and she seemed not as engaged as the first lesson. She still liked it though. We asked her if she would be baptized and she said "Of course, because I wanna get closer to God." She is seriously the SMARTEST girl! So we talked it over and we asked her if she would be baptized on the 1st of October. She told us that she didn't think she could be ready by then, that she wouldn't know enough. To make a long story short she is going to be praying about it and we will follow up this week. 

       Now to let you know about the missionaries! In The "Best in the West Henderson Zone" we have 7 Companionship's. Only one of those are sisters. So 6 companionship's of Elders! Its Great! We are getting to be great friends and are really loving the Zone! We all get along very well! There was a baptism in one of the Wards on Saturday. That ward hasn't had a baptism for over a year and a half. Henderson is really going through a change and becoming better and better! We are just hoping to help the leaders of the stake and wards to see that and get on board so that it can stay like that!

       We had a FHE with a Part-Member Family on Monday, The Buzby Family. We found out that their son, Malachi, turned 9 on Wednesday and hasn't been baptized. So we have another FHE with them tonight at 6:30. We are going to talk with them and see what we can do with him and try to progress him towards Baptism. We are trying to use it to help the Nonmember Father to see the importance of it and see a need for it though. So hopefully it will lead to him getting serious and making some changes for him family! 

          Thanks for the Emails and the Love!

             Love Elder Seelos

Elder Boyack and I get along great

This ward takes such good care of us!  This is our meal calendar for our scheduled dinners this month.  We are supposed to have 4 dinners a week....we always have more.  And we are so grateful!  

Our MLC group from last weeks conference

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Shakin things up!

    Well, it was a shaky week! We did have an Earthquake here in the NZ (Btw if you say that you have to say the Z like it says Zed... Stupid Kiwi's!). So the Earthquake was WAY down South. It happened at about 4:30 in the morning. So I was completely knocked out! Didn't even phase us! Some members said that they felt it. So it was felt here, everyone was just asleep! So it didn't do anything for us. So for everyone who was worried, I am fine. Although I can now say I have been in an earthquake!

      So we had MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) this week! I always love MLC... getting to go to the Mission Home & Office! Its always a fun day! I love getting to go and see all of the Missionaries. There are a lot of missionaries that I have gotten pretty close to! At MLC we talked heaps about accountability in the mission and within the zone among all of the missionaries! So we have been focusing on how we turn in our numbers and more importantly how we account to Heavenly Father in our prayers, Personally and in our Companionship's. After that we talked about what kind of missionary we are. We talked about what missionary we are expected to be and how we can become that kind of missionary! THEN we talked about how to use our Family History to share the Gospel. So we did some discussion and then we did some Role Plays. It ended up being a really good MLC and also a great Zone Training!

      I want to tell you about one Miracle that we saw this week! Elder Boyack and I were wanting to talk With everyone on our beautiful Tuesday afternoon, we saw a man on the side of the road and pulled over our 2013 baby blue Toyota Corolla to the side just down from this man. So we got out and started to talk to this Mouri man in about his 50's. Well, as we talk to him, he tells us his story about how he was baptized and has since gone Less Active. He was told by God to find himself and then God would bring him to church again one day. Well apparently that one day was the day before we had met him. The only problem was that he didn't know when or where the church was. So we told him and then we set up a time on Thursday to go and see him again. Well, long story short. He was a really cool guy. He was trained as a Family History Consultant while he was active. On Sunday we had Stake Conference and He came. He found us after and heaps of members knew him from the Stake. He is going to be awesome in our ward! 

     We are teaching a girl named Dora. She is about 16 and is SO Cool! They sisters found her and taught her one lesson. Her dad is a less active member and the mom is really open and interested in the gospel, but is really busy at work, so we are only teaching Dora. We had a mean Restoration lesson with her on Friday! It ended up being like and hour and a half. We just did it on the steps out front of her house because she was home alone. But she said that she would maybe get baptized. She was at church last week but had family fly in yesterday so they couldn't come yesterday! But we will see her again sometime this week! 

       For Stake Conference we had some big news! Our Stake Presidency was changed around! It was pretty cool to see how it happens! There were interviews on Friday and Saturday for it by the New Second Councilor of the Area Presidency, and another Area Seventy. So there are 2 Bishops in the new Presidency and the Seminary Teacher from our ward. We are hoping for some great changes in the Missionary Focus within the Stake!

     Thanks for everything! Love you!

          Love Elder Seelos!

Had a great lunch with a guy who served in our area a few years ago.  He knew Elder Boyack,...Him and his wife Susan took us to a Mongolian BBQ place.