Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas in New Zealand!

 Merry Christmas Whanau (Family)! Christmas as a Missionary is interesting. Especially in NZ. It was a great week overall. Its amazing to see how many people go out of town for Christmas! Its also amazing that noone really wants Missionaries knocking on their doors on Christmas Day uninvited! haha. Jk we didn't do that!

     So our Christmas Day consisted of food games and church. We started at 8 with Breakfast at our Ward Mission Leaders house. That was mean! The Apiata Family is the best. Just made us feel like we were part of the family! We then had Church at 10 for 1 hour. We had a few Less Actives and Investigators there also which made it even better! After that at about 12 we went to a Less Active Part Member Family for Lunch. They ended up having lunch at about 2 so we started to play with the kids toys and played a pretty mean game of Scrabble. (I got 2nd BTW) After a good Samoan feed there we had another member at 3. We showed up there right in the middle of the Feed and so we had to eat more. We then had a pretty intense Nerf war with the kids and made a mess with the Nerf Bullets. Very fun!!! We had Dessert at about 5. at around 7 we had a Zone Party with the missionaries. We did a secret Santa so we exchanged gifts and then lit off Paper lanterns. Just a side note.... Paper Lanterns from the Chinese Shops are not that great.

        We had the chance to go to the temple on Wednesday as half of the mission! That was great! It was awesome to get to be in the temple and get to feel of the spirit there! The Temple is honestly a great place and the spirit there is so great! There is so much that you are able to learn from the special Spirit that is in the temple! I had many questions answered that I attribute fully to being in the Temple!

      Sorry for the short Email this week! Love yous!

           Love Elder Seelos

Best Christmas present ever! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ups and Downs and Merry Christmas!

   Good morning everyone!!! And an early Merry Christmas to you all!

    I want to start out with my sad news for the week. So we had set up to see Shelby on Tuesday and to teach her a big lesson to get her closer to be ready for her baptism. Well when we went over to see her no one was there.... So we went over again that evening.... No one... So I got worried.... Well we ended up trying again to see her on Wednesday and she was home. So I was on trade off with Elder Maughan and we stopped by... Shelby basically told us that she wasn't ready. She had googled before baptism lessons and she saw how many lessons we still had to teach and she realized how much she didn't know and it scared her... Then she saw something talking about Abortions... That scared her even more cuz she has had an abortion so then she asked us about that. Well after some talking and some explaining she felt better about it all. She said that she still didn't feel ready for Saturday but she still wanted to do it. She has a SOLID testimony of The Book Of Mormon. She recognized that she has been prepared to hear the gospel and that she is ready to listen and knows its true. So there was no baptism on Saturday, but it will be soon! Just keep your eyes out! Please over all keep her in your prayers though! 

      One thing that I have been working on this week is the Gift of Charity.... Its really hard to get along with people some times... I have been use to having Zones that get along and usually the issue is they get along too well.... This transfer has been different. We have had a lot of drama and issues between missionaries and its just been working through those issues... So its hard to love missionaries sometimes. So I am working on loving people who are hard to like. One thing that I have learned is the Charity isn't just Christ like love. It literally is Christs love. His love for us. He loves everyone just as much as He loves us. Sometimes its hard to remember that. Even with the choices that everyone makes. He still loves them! Even if they reject Him and mock Him, He still loves them. When we can grasp that in our heads its easier to love those who are hard to like.

       With Christmas coming up I thought I would give you an idea of what Christmas is over here. Green and Hot. The last week has been around 20-23 Celsius and there is NO snow over here. Some houses have lights, most don't. The big Christmas traditions here are BBQ at the Beach and BBQ with family! Heaps of time outside. Very different than home Christmas!

       We had our Come and See Fireside yesterday. That is a Fireside that the Mission puts on every month. Its for us to take our investigators and Less Active members to. Its musical items and speakers that talk about their conversion stories and its just always a mean fireside! We were able to take Grace with us. She is at about the same place... She is just waiting on Dads permission to be baptized... Idk when that will happen. So she is still there!

       I am VERY excited for Christmas! This Light the World Challenge is really helping get everyone into the Christmas spirit! It is actually amazing to me how many members don't know about it. We have to explain and show so many members the Challenge! One thing that I have done this week that goes along with the Charity study I have been doing is the 13th. Jesus showed Humility and so can you! I have been trying to just Humbly accept people and their ideas and try to listen and understand their decisions. It has been hard, but it has helped!

      I LOVE the "12 ties of Christmas"! That is literally the BEST idea. Every day for 12 days I open a tie and a letter from someone who has been influential in my life.  This week in order I got Grandpa Seelos, Tim Hodgson, Bishop, Billium, (uncle Bill) Pete Petersen, Josh Christensen. I love the idea! I also love getting new ties!  Its really cool to read their letters and just reminds me of everything that they have done to help me in my life! 

Hope yous all have a Merry Christmas!!

Love Elder Seelos!

District Leadership Conference 

This is called a Kinna. They eat it here. Its a Sea Urchine. Not terrible! Not too good... We got like 5-6 of them from a member this week

HUGE spider!!

District Leadership Conference

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A cold baptism and the great clean up.....

    I am alive! Haha. Sorry I was so late today. We had a "Spring
Cleaning" today.... That sucked. So we have been cleaning off and on
through the last few weeks. Just taking an hour or two at breaks here
and there. So today was the inspection. We had the Senior Couples come
and do the walk through and inspect everything. We took EVERYTHING that wasn't
ours out. So clothes, blankets, etc. Our Zone filled 2 trailers.
Overall it was good. It was kind of unorganized so we had like no idea
what was going on... I thought that it could have been done heaps
better but not up to me I guess! All goods. Thats why we were late

       This week was a good one over all! One highlight of the week
was yesterday! There was a ward baptism last night. We helped get
the baptism ready... Then major fail! The heater in the font wasn't
working.... So the water was pretty cold! Sam will always remember
that!! It was good to get to be there. I just love baptisms!

       Speaking of baptisms, Shelby! So she got home on Saturday
morning and we called and talked to her that night. We knew that we
had to talk to her about Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity soon cuz
you know... Problems... Well we called her on Friday but she didn't
have her phone on so we called when she got home. Well she told us
that she doesn't drink or smoke. Her only issue is tea. So.... Thats
not a huge issue! So that made us pretty happy! Then!!! She came to
church yesterday! She could only stay for Sacrament but liked it! We
basically told her that we will have to come over everyday this week
to get her ready for her baptism. She is so Golden though. She asked
me what she can do herself to prepare for her baptism... My jaw almost
hit the ground.... I was so shocked... We met her like a month ago...
She is getting baptized this week! Heavenly Father works in amazing
ways! He always puts those in our path right when we need them and they need us! He
knows what we need and when we need it. If you rely on Heavenly Father
he will provide for the things that you cannot. You don't need to use
drugs, alcohol, tv, movies. Just rely on Heavenly Father.

       For some good news! We stopped by to see Dora and her mum was
there. I haven't seen her since Elder Boyack left almost 6 weeks ago.
Well we were talking and 1. She told me that she will find me a NZ
Meat Pie Recipe to take home. (She works at a Cafe) 2. She told me
that I am losing weight!!!! I have lost around 3kg's in this area!
That doesn't mean that I am not getting fed! Its just more normal food!
So just know that I am not gaining heaps of weight here!

       Loving the mission! Loving the missionaries that I get to serve
and serve with! I love my ability to share the Gospel and would
suggest it to anyone who has any desire to serve!

           Love Elder Seelos

The Mighty NZAM missionaries

Zone conference fun

Sam's baptism was awesome!

3 handsome guys

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Service, our golden investigator, honoring my parents, and a MEAN as hike......

Man.... All I can say about this week is wow.... Just wow. This week is one for the Books! 

     I will start with our MEAN AS P-day last week! We took a hike to a waterfall and I have to say it was a looker! It was worth the hike. Ill send through some pics today, but this is a place that I will be coming again!

     Tuesday was good! We had trade off's with the Sunnyvale Elders. Elder Gibson and Canoy. I went into their area and was able to just have some fun. We were able to do some service painting a members deck. I love getting to service! Its always fun!

      We had MLC on Wednesday. So we went to the Mission Home to meet with President for the day. Overall it was a lot about service and what we can do as a mission going into a new year to improve the mission! It always good to be at MLC with the group. There are a lot of great missionaries there! I have come to love so many of them so much!

       December 1st! World wide day of service! Boy, did we serve! Normally after MLC we have a Zone Training but we had a Zone Service project instead! We went to a Maori social service work place and they had us help them basically just clean up the carving facility. They teach heaps of people how to carve. Its mainly for the ex-convicts and the homeless to get them jobs and something to do. Its a really cool organization! We wrecked desks, weeded gardens, cleaned bathrooms, and kitchens, carried heaps of things to new places. It was overall really fun! I loved the chance to work! We did that as a zone together! Its interesting to see the commitment of everyone, even in missionaries. Most of the missionaries worked and put in their 100%, then there were some missionaries that did basically what they were asked then kinda took a break... They started talking or learning how to carve... Idk its just weird to see how there are even missionaries that cannot really put themselves into it...

         Next December 2nd. Honor your Parents! I didn't really know what I could do to really do this... Can't really call my parents... So I found a way that I thought was good! I looked at remembering my ancestors and the work that they put in to not only share the gospel but to live the Gospel.. So before I left my flat I switched out my badge with my Dad's mission badge that he gave to me before I left. Then I jumped on the bikes and got to work. It was actually a really spiritual day. I could feel power and help come to me that I know wasn't mine. I could feel the power of those still on this earth and those not... They were all behind me that day and I could not be stopped. One weird thing that I have been able to feel not only on my mission but even more on my mission is the presence of my Grandpa Nielsen... I have had many experiences where I felt like I could feel him. I know he was one of those people...  We talked to so many people and had great lessons. We got to do a service project and visit some members! It was just overall a great day of missionary work. I got to spend the day with Elder Zacher. He has been here for 2 weeks now. This was his first day on bikes and I will say that I put him through the worst of it. We went so hard. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has put in the work to make missionary work easier for me.

         Now for the Miracle of Sunday! Shelby our investigator left for Australia on Thursday. She will be back this Saturday. She went over to see family for her Brothers 21st Birthday Party. Well we were a bit worried about that. Not really seeing her and not knowing whats going on for a week. But the Lord comforts us. Just before I ended my fast on Sunday we got a text from Shelby. I was kinda worried to be honest. Basically the text said that she had been talking to her cousin who is a member and her cousin wants to come to her baptism but cannot go on the 24th. So she asked if we could move it to the 17th. Like next week! We will have to teach her heaps the week before her baptism after she gets back but she seems committed so we are going to do it! We are so excited!!! Shelby is a serious miracle! She is Golden!

            Thanks for everything! Love you heaps! 

                                                   Our P-day hike was amazing

View of the waterfall

Doing the Pukana Face

By the way...I'm engaged

"Honor your parents day"- wearing my dads name badge