Kia Ora Family! And just so you can feel legit when you say it to people, you pronounce it slurred. So it is actually said Kiora, but since an "r" is more of a "d," it is said "Kioda" but very very fast...I'll say it for you in a tape or something.
Alright! Now for question answering time!
There are no states in New Zealand...just the cities and the suburbs within the cities. So Auckland city actually has heaps of suburbs. But the suburb I'm in is called Dinsdale, within Hamilton. Anyway, the Waikato area could be thought of more as just the region, or maybe even like a county. Except there's not really any political boundaries set up inside or outside the cities. It's really confusing unless you are here...
Hamilton, the Waikato, is super rainy. Perhaps the rainiest place in NZed. And I would absolutely love it if I weren't in a suit. But it's actually a beautiful area. There are palm trees everywhere and it really is awesome. It's actually a pretty diverse landscape with hills and valleys and lakes and rivers...well, of course it is, it's freakin' New Zealand. But I guess Kauai is probably the closest thing to it in terms of the environment.
Elder McFarland goes home next transfer! He is ready to be put down like an aging dog. But I am his first greenie--he has been a follow-up trainer heaps of times though. He was a DL for about a year before he went to Niue. Apparently the Pres wanted to make him a ZL his last couple transfers but felt he would learn more here training me...no pressure.
We have a pretty small area actually, it's just packed with residential areas so the ward is quite big...Probably like 400 people, which is huge for NZ. But our boundaries are shaped like a bowtie. It runs along Massey up to the round about and then goes into Dinsdale road and then to Newcastle; coming back down the hill it goes down Whatwhata (Fatafata) and ends at Duke street. Very small area, but we are still managing to find people. In fact, the work is booming right now. We have a potential of 6 to be baptized next month!...just thought I would throw that in. The temple is not in our district but IS in our zone...we actually went this morning :D
And I would actually really love an MP3 of conference. Conference freakin rocked hard as. And we have listened to almost all the talks on the MP3 disks we have :) they are so good and so inspiring! I used Hugh B. Brown's reasons for why God wouldn't talk to man today (He doesn't love us, He doesn't have the power, and we don't need Him) and he just stood speechless with his mouth open and then swore at us and told us to leave. Mean as.
Anyways! The work is going really well! Last week was a bit rough and Mike has got a little sidetracked, but apart from that we have just been letting the Spirit guide us and we have been reaping the rewards. Now that I think of it we actually have a potential of 7 for next month because the sisters called us and told us some 14-year-old girl wanted to be baptized in our area so we are just going to rock up and give her the discussions! Huzzah.
Amy and Reuben absolutely love the BOM. Reuben is dyslexic so he has a bit harder time but he is still getting it and they love the stories. They especially love the vision of the Tree of Life...it was so cool when we were reading it with them because they interpreted some of the stuff from chapter 8 that was said later in chapter 11 and Elder McFarland and I were almost speechless. The Spirit was working hard out with them and they have been listening. So cool.
Paora was challenged to be baptized and we're pretty sure he is going to say yes. He said he wanted to pray to make sure it was right. Duh it's right so we'll baptize him soon :)
Nia and Devonte are awesome. It's sad though because Elder McFarland leaves December 1 and they want to do the baptism in December...I don't know how I'm gonna lift Nia out of the water. I hope I don't drop him.
Basically we have just been teaching heaps this past week. We taught 26 lessons and we almost had 30 but they fell through. So we have been blessed so much this week. The trials last week really taught us a lot and we are applying everything to make us better and to better our efforts in teaching the gospel. On top of it, I'm getting to be a pretty good teacher! Although I need to learn where more scriptures are, I have learned heaps and I'm so excited to keep learning. If I can learn as much as Elder McFarland before I leave I will consider myself blessed.
But anyways, just take comfort on your beautiful Sabbath afternoon that I am doing well and am getting a haircut today :) I will also buy some Eccos because slip ons are the way to go here because you take your shoes off before you got in to peoples' houses. It's getting annoying taking these shoes.
Anyways I just love you guys! And I love my Savior. My testimony has never been stronger and I'm so excited to continue learning and growing in the Spirit. I appreciate your emails so much! Congrats to Sarah for her kick butt poem. L-O-V-E-D it. And thank you to Abby for bringing rhinos to New Zealand. Go Dad for being a sneaky lowdown lawyer at the benefit concert ;) and I just love everyone! I hope all is well in Bountiful and Provo and Chicago!