Sunday, February 28, 2010

George's Baptism!!


I hope everyone is doing well! And loving life!!

So the big news!?!?!?
I got a new companion and Elder Subramanian got transferred to Manicow. My new comp is from Utah! Elder Checketts from Grantsville. He's got as much time left on his mission, as long as I've been out. So he's going home in 3 months. He's a good guy.

I am soo blessed to be able to stay in Tauranga another transfer. I pleaded with the Lord that I could stay another transfer so see some more of our investigators get baptized! And he blessed me so I can. But I have lots of work to do to make that happen. I LOVE this area! And I LOVE the people! So I was so glad I got to stay!

On Saturday, little George got baptized!!! It was awesome! He looked so good in his white suit! The baptism went smooth. And I talked on Repentance. Then yesterday I had the privelege of giving George the Holy Ghost. It was great!

Miracle! So I got back to the flat on Monday and I was going through our messages. And one of the members called and left a message. She said to that her daughter, Shaniqua wants to get baptized! I was like WHAT!!! I had to listen to the message again to make sure I heard her right, then I called her straight away!

The story. She is 10. And she comes from a Mormon family. She's had missionaries in the past, but doesn't want them anymore and won't sit in on lessons or anything. So we dropped her, she was actually dropped before I got here. And I asked her just 2-3 weeks ago if she wanted to get baptized and well, same old answer, no. I told Subramanian that one day, some elders will come along and ask her why she hasn't been baptized and she will start to cry and tell them it's time. Just like Lindsay. So to be honest. I never thought I would see her get baptized. So when I got that call I was blown away, full of excitement!!

Last night I gave a little baby a blessing (investigator's baby). That was pretty cool!

We had a Tsunami Warning yesterday and the Elders from the Mount had to come stay with us. But nothing happened.

We had dinner at one of the members home on Friday. And they stay at the Sebel Hotel! So this hotel is way nice!! Like it's up in the city and we are talking nice!! I LOVED EVERY MINUTE! They stay on the top floor and we ate out on the deck and it's out on the ocean in-let. It was beautiful. The breeze of the ocean and everything! It was nice! Dinner was great! And one of their friends just became a new investigator and she is keen!! Awesome!

We are just full on down here in Tauranga The Great! It's great haha! It really is. We don't have time for a break ever. We usually have more appointments than we have time in a day. We are just soo blessed to be this busy! I Thank Heavenly Father everyday for this wonderful blessing!

I hope all is well!!!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tyler's Baptism!

Kia Ora!!!

I hope everyone is doing good!!!

Things are going great in "Tauranga The Great!" It's on fire right now! We are working soo stinkin hard that we don't have time to do anything, which is great! A real blessing! I'm not boasting, but we are leading the mission right now. Well that's what the Zone Leader told us! In fact we have been teaching 30+ lessons a week. Which is right up with the top of all the missionaries in the Mission. And the Lord is blessing us for it! We really need more missionaries to help us, but I'll be selfish and keep doing what we are doing lol!! So hopefully we don't get more lol!

Tyler's Baptism was on Saturday!!!! It was AWESOME! Our miracle find got baptized! What a miracle! He's overcome serious W.O.W. problems and chastity!
-I have to tell you about the day of the baptism though. So there was a member baptism as well that morning. It was an unbelievable moring! It was flat out crazy!
So the programs were working out at the chapel so we had to drive up to the library to get them printed out. And we were running late, so by the time we got the programs working and printed and got back to the church, it was 10:00, which was when the baptism was supposed to start! (luckily it's NZ and they don't start on time lol!) But right when I walk in, one of the members comes up to me and says, "Kishari doesn't want to get baptized." I was like WHAT!! So we had a talk with her and a prayer, and I figured right after that, she would want to get baptized. Nope! So I was like, "Ok, well it's up to you." Then I saw Tyler, and he had some serious concerns. So we had to go and talk with him about his concerns, and he was questioning whether he should get baptized today or not. And at one point, neither was going to get baptized! I was having a coronary!!!! I couldn't believe it! But we talked to him, addressed his concerns, and he was ready to be baptized!!
So we went to get him baptized and as soon as we are all going to the font, Kishari wanted to get baptized lol!
They both got baptized, Thank goodness!!! Tyler's baptism was awesome!!! Loved it! And right after he said, "I feel great!!!" I was soo happy for him! He's an amazing guy!! I love him! He's going to be a fantastic member, no doubt!

And yesterday I got to confirm him a member and give him the Holy Ghost! That was amazing! I was so overcome by the Spirit as I gave him his blessing. The Spirit really wanted me to focus on missionary work and help healing him. I even questioned whether I should talk about it, but then the Spirit hit me so strong that I should talk about and bless him with those things in particular along with some other things! But he's awesome! It was an amazing experience!

And we have this thing called the "Standard Bearer", ask Bro. Carl Cook about this. It's where they put the top missionary stories together and put them on this flyer. And we didn't make the top two Standard Bearer. But we made the Missionary Moments! It's like 1 and 2 place, then honorable mention. But we were at top of it lol! So we came close!!!! I'm just happy to be on it. We were in it for Lindsay getting baptized and her story!!

Chris and Melissa are getting married! In fact they wanted me to marry them, but I can't!

I gave Bro. Kyle Pearse, 2nd councelor, a blessing this week because we was sick.. And this is what he told me, and it made me feel really good. "Keep following the Spirit. You said everything I need and am going through." It just made me feel good. I love giving blessings!

I got to go on tradeoffs with Elder Smith this week on Monday night to Tuesday! And it was amazing! We get along soo good! I wish/hope we get to serve together someday! He's from Nevada! He play's football/sporty guy and man we get along great! He's like a Jake Oberg! Awesome missionary!

I'm LOVING MY MISSION! It is a real blessing to be serving, especially in New Zealand. And even more so, to be serving in Greerton, Tauranga! I love this place!

Transfers are this week! I hope I can stay here one more transfer! I need to see a few more people get baptized before I leave if Heavenly Father will let me! So I'm really hoping I can stay if it be God's will.

Elder Belnap

Monday, February 15, 2010

Elder Belnap and Elder Magleby

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I hope you are all enjoying for Valentines Day!!!

This week was filled with incredible miracles! I don't know if I'll be able to share all of them with you! But it was an AMAZING week!

So I will start off with Tyler! Tyler was that Miracle find. Now I can't remember if I've told you his story, but I'll tell you again. So we were running late for an appointment. And it was just about 9 o'clock and we needed to get back to the flat. I told Magleby that we should go home. He said, "let's just go tell the guy that we are sorry for being late and we'll set up another appointment with him." So I was like, "ok." We got down there, and Magleby had a stupor of thought and he couldn't remember exactly which house it was. It was back in a coldasack. And all of the sudden Magleby remembered. And we turned back around. Well as soon as we turned around we saw these two girls walking by. So we talked to them. And we asked them if they knew someone for us to teach. They said yes, but they wouldn't take us to that person LOL, they are weird. Anyway, just as we are biking off to that guy's house, the girls yell out to us, this guy wants to learn about God. So we turned around and went to talk to this guy. He had just pulled up to talk to the girls and asked who we were and what we were selling. And when he heard that we were churchies he wanted to know more. So we pretty much taught him the Restoration on the spot. And anyway, we've still been teaching him! He's getting Baptized this Saturday!!!!! He's overcome drinking, smoking, dope, pot, everything! It's a real miracle! But he knows that what we are teaching is true and he wanted to quit because of that! In fact, I called him last night because I wanted to make sure he was coming to church. And he said, "yep, 2,000%." I said, "2,000 percent what?" He said, "2,000 percent sure that I'm coming! I miss going to the chapel, I'm thinking about sleeping in the parking lot outside the church lol!!" I told him to go ahead lol! But it's amazing! He even comes out with us to teach lessons! He really is a Miracle! He's from India. So this is the cool experience I had about him. So when we asked him yesterday who he wanted to baptize him, he said that he wanted me to baptize him! I was sooo excited! I was one happy boy!! I was like, "sweet! 2 of the last 3 weeks I get to baptize someone." But I had this feeling that I should let Elder Subramanian baptize him. So I was thinking about it. And I had remembered a story that President Porter told me. And he shared a story about this companion that he couldn't stand, even to look at him because he had such bad acne. And he felt really uncomfortable even being around him. But they had a baptism and he let his companion baptize this guy. And it wasn't until 30 years later at a reunion that this companion comes up to Pres. Porter and said how it saved his mission. And man, for some reason I had been thinking about that heaps. And last night while I was cooking my dinner, I just felt this strong impression to ask Subramanian if he wanted to Baptize Tyler; and so I did. I said, "Elder, do you want to Baptize Tyler?" He said, "no." I said "Are you sure? Because if you want to, you can baptize him, so do you want to baptize him?" He was stutter (which isn't like him) saying no...sure. I was like, "Well, call Tyler and ask him if that's ok." And Tyler was fine with it. And I get to talk on Faith, and I get to give him the Holy Ghost! So that'll be cool! That'll be my first!!!! So I'm excited to do that!!

So that was a cool experience!

I had my interview with President Porter on Tuesday. And it was really good! We had a good long chat! He told me some very interesting things. He said that is the key, to learn! Then he told me something very shocking. He told me that when a learned missionary comes out, Pres. puts him through 3 key steps. And he told me that I've skipped one of those steps. I think it was the step where he puts me with a really strong senior companion to help build me up (like the 1st or 2nd step, can't remember). He pretty much said that he felt like I was already ready to go right to work. And then this is the shocking part. He told me that after those first three steps comes much bigger responsibility. And there comes Senior responsibility. I was like, "What!" Now, I don't know if I'll be Senior companion next transfer or not. But obviously it's coming. He talked about training. He was definitely hinting at that, so we'll see what happens! I just need to be ready for my next step (trial lol). But it's for the better! Then he turned to me and said, "Did I tell you that you were getting transferred lol!" I said, "No, you left that part out." He said, "I was just curious." Cuz of what we were talking about at the time it sort of sounded like I'd be getting transferred so he was confused if he had said something lol! But I sure hope I don't get transferred, at least not yet! I love this area! I love the ward! These people are amazing! Some of the members know that transfers are coming up and they are like, "Now your not leaving yet right lol." Even President Worthen said he hopes I don't leave yet. And I don't know how to say this, but he likes all missionaries, but he doesn't get close to them. But for some reason we have gotten close.

I gave a blessing this week! I think that's my 3rd blessing I've given since I've been out and 2 annointings. Eveytime I do it, I always say to myself, even being a missionary, "I hope that I'm worthy for this. Because this person is counting on me."

I got my fisrt flat tire! I tried fixing it, but I didn't do a good enough job, the tire still leaks, so my bike is in the shop right now getting fixed.

So that couple that is coming to Salt Lake to get sealed, the Williams. Bobby (wife) gave me a Maori BOM! It's awesome! It was actually hers! I soo blessed! I love the people out here, they are just amazing!

Ok miracle time. So Jess and Lindsay showed up one night at the flat, and they brought a friend. And guess what!? She's keen! She's like, "Yeah I've been looking at Christianity and I think it's time that I join a church and get into it. And I want to become a member of your church." So she pretty much came to us and said she wants to get baptized lol! No joke! I've been praying that we could find those that are of thine elect! And she is just one of the 4 that we found the past 2 weeks that Heavenly Father has sent our way! We've been teaching her, she's been going to Seminary with them, and she came to church. We had a lesson with her yesterday and she has hit a trial. Her mom is anti! So we've been praying for her hard out! But the good news is, she, no matter what, wants this for herself! And she'll keep going! There is just something about her! She's awesome!!!

Ok I'll share one more. Maybe another one lol!! So we had an appointment with George who is getting baptized on the 27! And we got to their house and the mom had friends over so she wanted to do it another time. And we said, "Sure, but could we have a prayer first?" And she said, "Sure." And we went inside, and to my surprise her friends came inside too! So we had a prayer and I felt prompted to share a scripture with her. And I shared 2 Nephi 31:20. And right as we leave one of her friends says, "What is that book?" So I said, "Well, let me tell you!!" And now we are teaching her! And she is keen! She came to church, reads, prays! Just awesome!!!!

Ok so I've got some scriptures for you! So read 2 Nephi 4:5! That scripture talks exactly about both of us! You as my parents and me as your son. It hit me hard! And it is very true about us.

We had 13 investigators at church yesterday. That's more than the whole zone had last Sunday! It was amazing!!

February 7 - a Good Week

I had an awesome week!!!

My Highlight for the week was definitely Jess's baptism! It was soo cool! All of her family came, and her mom was way against her getting bapitzed. But her whole family, cousins, aunts/uncles showed up! It was soo awesome! And there was tons of ward support! So I got a little nervous before I baptized her lol! I was in the water for awhile waiting for her to come out of the bathroom. She was crying! She was nervous, scared, excited! Just full of emotions. But when she got in the water, she said, "Don't drop me". I told her not to worry about it. I told her to breathe, just breathe. So once she calmed down a bit, I went ahead and performed the baptism. It went great! She didn't bend her knees though lol! So she was like laying across the font lol, and she wouldn't really go under so I had to push her under. But it got done! It was awesome! And the Spirit was very strong. I also talked on Faith, and it was a very very good day! The Spirit was definitely there!!! I was one happy boy!

By the way, Melissa is planning on coming to the U.S. in I believe April of 2012. What do you think about that? And also about that time, a family named the Williams! Awesome awesome people are coming to Utah to get sealed in the Temple!

It rained hard out last week, and on Sunday, I was soaked all the way through, through my coat, suit coat, everything! I was like a waterfall when I got back to the flat lol! It was fun tho! Couldn't see a thing it was raining so hard!!

We went to a investigators BDAY party. And it was fun. Those boys that we've been teaching, it was soo fun! We had a water fight! It was just me and the boys. So I went with the boys and their family, and we all had this huge water balloon fight! It was way fun! And we had a Hungi, ask Cooks or the Hollist what that is. It's just a big feed! But ohhh so good! And their mom is thinking about letting them get baptized! So I'm really hoping for that!

Then Amo and Wiremu. They are the ones on the couch and Amo is holding the BOM! They are soo awesome! They are going to get married so they can get baptized! They were going to try to get married this month so I can be here for their wedding and their baptism. But they don't have the money for it now. So they pushed it back til May. and I asked them that if I stay another transfer if they could get married sooner. And they were like yeah! So hopefully I can stay here one more transfer and I can be here for their wedding and for their baptism! They are such cool people! I really do love them! And also Amo's brother will get baptized with them! Can't wait! But whether I'm here or not, at least it's happening! And one day I'll be able to go through the Temple with them!!

So we had testimony meeting. And I bore my testimony in the Greerton Ward. And I got a little choked up. I told them, how much I love this ward.

The church is true! No don't about it!