Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1st letter from New Zealand - Sept 27, 2010

How are you all. I have been having a pretty busy week already but I will tell you about it in a minute. P-day is mondays here so I am thankful for the email before Sunday. For this area, it would be best to email becuase if you send things to the mission home, I wont get them right away. But you still could if you wanted, I would not complain. I would just get it later rather than sooner.
I arrived early wednesday morning and had a pretty full day. After I wrote to you via email we went back to the motel and took a nap. Then we went over to the mission home for a few lessons and dinner. Then after dinner we had an awesome testimony meeting with all the new missionaries plus the A.P.s, the missionary couples in the office and president and sister porter. It was very nice to hear all of the testimonies and the spirit was very strong. Then we turned in early that night. We got back to the motel just after 9.

The next morning we got up early and went back to the mission home for breakfast and one last lesson before transfers. They demonstrated a friend share which is you acting like a members friend and then demonstrating how they could start a conversation with them so that they would feel more comfortable with the missionaries coming over. It seems to be an effective way to get referrals. Then we were off to transfers. Like you know, my companion is Elder Tham and I don't know if sister porter told you but I am in Gisborne. I don't know if Grma Grpa, served all the way over here. So after transfers, I put my luggage in the trailer and off we went on a eight hour car ride. Wahoo, not! We stopped at a kfc to eat and it just wasn't the same as back home. We arrived in Gisborne around 9:30 or so. We didn't have any time to unpack so I just changed and found sheets and a blanket to sleep with. The next morning was good. I got to study and we just rode around meeting as many of the investigators as we could. We checked up on our baptismal candidates and they were all great. So friday wasn't to big of a day.

Saturday however was a pretty big day. We got up and had to be to the chapel by 8:30 to start filling up the font. Yep, we had a baptism. Four actually. It was the Ngaro family. Two 14 year old boys and 12 and 10 year old girls. There mom was a less active that has now been coming back to church. We were planning to study before the baptism which was a 11 but we got roped into helping set up for a dinner that night so no study time for us. The baptism went really well. It started a little late because the father was cooking but other than that, it went very well. Elder Tham baptized all four of them which was fine by me. It was great to see those four kids be baptized and I wish I could have seen the conversion process. One of the members said it was just amazing to see all of them change over the months and weeks. Apparently it took 4 months to get them baptized. So, it was a great morning. Then while we were out later that day we had a lesson with a girl named Noell. She is 18 and very interested it seems. We read 3 Nephi 11 with and then asked if she wanted to be baptized. She said yes but we haven't set a date yet so its not official. After that great lesson, we had another lesson with 3 of our other 4 baptismal candidates. The mom is another less active and she has two daughters and two nieces we are teaching. They are the Maats family They are all set for the 9th of October which is general conference weekend for us down here. One probably wont be baptized because she is out of the country until the 7th or 8th and you have to go to church 3 times in order to be baptized ands we don't know if she has wherever she is. The other three seem close to being ready however. We need to teach them all a bit more but I am pretty sure they will be ready by the ninth. Also, we went to another less active family and he said he wanted us to teach his son who is nine. We gladly obliged and we started to teach him. We taught him about prayer. I hope to teach him and get him baptized before I leave. So saturday was a pretty good day for us.

Sunday was also a busy day in the morning. Again, no studies because of ward council. After that we had 6 investigators at church with us. I just wish Noell could have been there. Oh, well. Next week for sure. All four Ngaros were confirmed. Three by Elder Tham and one by the Bishop. It went very well and the spririt was very strong. I hope it touched the hearts of our investigators. The six that were there were the three Maats and then Catherine and her 2 children which I don't know at all. She is apparently wanting to be baptized but her partner wont marry her. So what to do, I know not. After all three of the meetings, the elders quorum president came up to us and said that his daughter was nine and wanted to get baptized. So he wanted us to teach her and then help her get baptized. She seemed to know a lot already but apparently her mom is a non-member and is allowing her to now get baptized. So miracles are already starting to happen on my mission. The rest of sunday was mostly seeing investigators and missing investigators. We were able to give two investigators blessings yesterday. They are flying to Auckland on tuesday to get a Gastroscopy I think it is called and they wanted a bit of comfort. It went really well and they both felt peaceful afterwords so I hope we can teach them more and they will progress faster.

So, to sum things up, I have had four baptisms and confirmations and we have four others with a date. We haven't taught a whole lot of lessons but they few we have had went really well. We also have 10 lessons scheduled for next week. I am loving New Zealand but it is a little cold down here. I can't see to get warm some of the time. My bike is nice although my legs and bum are killing me from overuse. and yeah I love it so far. Time is going so slow though, I am going to have a super long mission.

Well It was really good to here from you and I will write again next week and tell you how things are looking for our investigators. Know the church is true and miracles do happen today.

Love you all tons,
Elder Trevor Beckstead

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