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 sea...an 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