Sunday, November 15, 2009

Doesn't Anybody Care About Sid the Sloth?

Hey Family!

So I'm sorry that not many of your questions have been getting answered, so I guess I'll start by doing that and then I will proceed to explain to you the marvels that have taken place—bodily and supernal.

Basically I have received one package that has been sent...the one that had the Richard Winkel talk in it with the sweet as Redwood tree. But even that one was almost sent to Mt. Roskill where the other Elder Jenkins is serving. So I'm almost positive that several of the packages are probably on their way to Mt. Roskill. SO! I have an idea. When you write the address, or, I guess in your case, when you stick your fancy labels on the package just write “In Panmure” so they don't attempt to be intelligent and figure out which Jenkins it needs to be sent to. Yay!

This week has been rather interesting, to say the least. We started out on Monday thinking that we would be good to go since I was feeling up to leaving the flat, but that's when Elder Voyles caught some stomach bug and he went down hard. All 230 pounds of him went down like King Kong after having a night out on the town. So basically this week has consisted of a sickly Elder taking care of another sickly Elder. BUT, it was also an amazing opportunity to use the priesthood. Let me just say the priesthood rocks and we have seen miracles even though we were confined to our flats till last Friday.

Even though we were only able to do about a third of the work we could normally do during the week, we still managed to commit someone for baptism (Joe), find three new investigators who are already very keen to be baptized (Stormin' Norman, Iteli, and Isimeli), and overall have a very productive Sabbath in which Isimeli was fellowshipped flawlessly into the ward and is even going to play Touch (rugby) with us today! Basically he will be baptized. Soon.

Isimeli was a miracle. A huge Fijian miracle. His mom is in California right now, but was baptized in the States. She has been talking with him about the church and so he started trying to find the Elders but wasn't able to so he called the mission office and they called us! We went over Saturday, committed him to come to church, he came, we committed him to come to church again, and set up another appointment with him. He is just great.

Iteli is the little brother of a Samoan member of our ward, Brother Iu. He doesn't speak a whole lot of English but he wants to be baptized and has been going to church so it's really just a matter of teaching him and setting up a date. But basically he could be baptized this month and if he is that will just be a huge miracle. Heck, it's just a plain miracle that we found him. By the way...I ate a couple fish heads at their house yesterday, as well as raw fish in coconut cream. Weren't expecting that were ya?

Stormin' Norman has been taught before but he wasn't really ready for it at the time but he sure is now and we have an appointment with him on Thursday (Elder Voyles' birthday) and we are hopefully going to be able to baptize him before Elder Voyles goes home.

So a huge thing I learned this week is that the Lord will definitely give us trials and allow us to be tried. But I have also realized that all we need to do is endure them faithfully and we will be blessed beyond what we can handle. Seriously. There are patterns and cycles that I have picked up on that were just never apparent before I came on my mission. This gospel is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and He helps push this work along. Heavenly Father will not let this work fail, as evidenced by allowing a snot-nosed brat from Bountiful, UT to be an instrument in His hands in bringing His children back to Him. It's just the best. There is nothing that compares to it.

I just love you guys! You are so great and I really appreciate all the emails and support you guys give me. Keep up all the awesomeness! Dad, good luck with Dr. Phil; punch him right in the nose for me. Mom, I know you miss me, but hang in there. Sarah I hope your lesson went well! Stephen, sounds like you need a day out of the lab. Ashton, don't let Samuel (or his bladder) get the best of you! Jesse, get some sleep. Now. Lauren, cute bangs. I agree. Maryn, you just need to stop liking boys. That's how to solve your problem. And my problem with you growing up. Sophie, don't run into too many walls, you're already a little retarded.

Love you guys!


Iceberg Goldberg


So basically this week started out really nice, but then plummeted because my body decided that it was going to geek out on me and get sick! But I shall describe the events previous to the illness and maladies.

Basically, Mabel is doing really well and is slowly gaining a testimony. She wasn't able to come to church to my knowledge (I wouldn't know I couldn't go because I was bed ridden) but that was because her brother is in hospital down in Hamilton so she was down there but said she would try to get back for church. It didn't help that we have church at 9. But she will get there. We're trying to get her lots of fellowship so she feels comfortable when she goes. I think her fears about being pushed by the missionaries will slowly dissipate as she comes to realize the truth.

Rex and Kelly-Anne and their family, Maoris that have been taught for ages, are slowly regressing :( We found out that even though they have been taught all the lessons they still don't even have testimonies about the Prophet Joseph or the BOM. So basically, the missionaries before us were just a waste of space and did nothing to help them progress. Fabulous!

But! We found a keen boy named Joseph who we feel could be baptized this month. He has been taught before and would have been baptized but something got messed up when the missionaries got transferred. All good.

And do you remember Nia and Nola from my last area??? They are married now and Nia will be baptized on Saturday!!!! HUZZAH!!!!

So we have some challenges but a lot of good work. We met a girl who lives in a homeless shelter and have begun teaching her and the woman who takes care of her. Katrina and Nan. They are just great and their lives will really be turned around when they embrace the gospel.

So ya, I have been sick and it has been terrible. Basically I have been flat ridden and bed ridden and all kinds of ridden. Doesn't help with putting on the weight, eh?

But basically I'm feeling heaps better today (thank you priesthood) and I should be good to go for this upcoming week. Don't be surprised if we get to baptize several people between now and Christmas. All good :)

Love you! This church is true and I'm so thankful for it!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cook Island Duffnuts

Malo Lelei, Malo Soifua, Kia Ora, Kia Orana -- whichever language you prefer!

Well, I will just tell you that I am loving Auckland! I really couldn't tell you about the surroundings because we are in the middle of our district and really the only scenery we have is a lake that we sometimes stop at when we go to see Bishop Leota. Basically the area is very very rural, but it's fantastic! There is a lot of district unity, I will tell you that. Every Monday apparently the ward plays touch with the Elders. I have yet to experience my first game of touch...what a sad thought. But it will be happening today at 3 p.m!

As for eating with members, if we were to eat with the members EVERY night, every single missionary, without fail, would go home 50 pounds heavier. So we have a feed with the members four times a week for dinner. But that's just the scheduled feeds. Basically we get fed everywhere we go. We get fed heaps and I think I have gained like 15 pounds, or about 7 kg, since I have been out. I'm a gonna get fat. BUT! I am one of the few elders that works out every morning because I am determined to not get a belly. It will not happen.

So, like I explained last week, we had a total of two investigators when I got here. Who wants to make a guess at how many we have now??? Ah, heck, I don't even know...I think like 9. Ya, well the point was we have got the work to pick up and it's been awesome! OH, I have a wonderful spiritual experience to share :D

So we had an hour left of our night on Saturday and we had been going since lunch without a feed so we were planning on just heading back and taking our dinner and calling it a night. But then we decided that we wanted to find some more people so we went into a member's backyard and said a prayer, basically asking for a miracle and that people would be placed in our path that would be prepared to hear the gospel. So we start walking back to the flat and I get the impression to take the long way home so we start heading up Erima and we have been walking but 30 seconds before we meet a lady named Betty who was in country from American Samoa. We started talking to her and she was so super keen to hear the gospel! She had actually been taught before but she told us, "Now that I look back on those lessons, I wish I had taken them more seriously." So basically that was find number one. Then we met another lady who was basically the exact same situation as Betty. Find number two. THEN we find a lady who invited us over before we could even ask! So we only saw three people that night on the streets walking home, but those three people were choice as!

That is my story.

So the work is going well. We committed a lady named Mabel to be baptized when she discovers the church to be true and she accepted. She seems really excited but she didn't show up for church yesterday so we will have to go check up on her.

We found a couple named Pete and Christine, as well. They are both in wheelchairs, both have epilepsy, Pete has cerebral palsy, and Christine suffered from a stroke 4 years back. Ya. But they are very good people and they both enjoy hearing the gospel. We just need to get them off coffee and smoking and they will be good to be baptized :)

We have a less active member, who should technically just be counted as an investigator because he knows nothing, that wants to get to the temple with his family. He had a very spiritual experience that convinced him of the importance. But he is an interesting case. Basically he doesn't even believe in God. But wants to go to the temple. Anybody else see the challenge in teaching this man? He's one big contradiction! But he is a good man and he will slowly come around! Oh and his name is Tui Russell :) Tui Russell the Great Big Contradiction.

Basically we just have heaps and heaps of potential investigators and people to meet and more people to teach and my fingers are numb so I don't feel like typing about all of them! But I'm sure next week I will have more stories to share about this glorious work!

This church is true. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and restored this gospel to the earth. Nothing will ever sway me from that fact. Even if I have to part all these crazy islanders like the Red Sea...except it would be a more brown-shaded Auburn sea??..oh well, it's not exactly pertinent to my salvation, now is it? I love this gospel! I love the Savior. He is our Redeemer and the Son of God.

Love you all!

Fa Soifua, Ofa Atu

ELDER :D Seth Jenkins