We had a pretty solid week! We had Adrian Lynch's baptism on Saturday! It was wonderful to have a baptism in a branch of 9 people! The Spirit was strong. Though it was a small branch, it was one of the best Spiritual baptisms I've been to! Really enjoyed it! And we stayed over night at the President's home up in Tolaga Bay and had the confirmation! I thought it would be weird to have testimony meeting with just 10-12 people, but it was wonderful. Everyone bore testimony and the Spirit was strong. It goes to show that you don't have to have a big ward to have a powerful testimony meeting. We (North Fork Ward) is blessed to have so many people in it with testimonies. And there should never be a silent moment in the chapel for us to have the opportunity to bare our testimonies! So I encourage all of you to bare your testimony in sacrament!
My Birthday was fun! We were up in Tolaga Bay on Wednesday, so we slept over again at Pres. Hindmarsh's home. And this lovely old couple were wonderful. Sis. Hindmarsh got up early and made me a cake and a good breakfast. Then the branch came over and sang happy birthday! Then we went more up the coast and had an activity with the Tokomaru Bay branch. It was really good. They sang as well, and there is this family called the Tehei (ta-hay) family. They have a son serving in Sydney. And he just had his birthday. So he had all his girls sing me a song. And the father was getting all emotional. He said I was like proxy for his son. But I used them as proxy as well, for you guys singing to me! It was wonderful!
Also on my birthday, I tried this food called 'kena'. It's a sea urchin. Yuck!!! It's the tongues of the urchin!! It's nasty! Lost my appetite after that lol! I took pics!
The area for me is rough. The people are really different. I've had to change the way I talk to people. I'm used to getting tons of potentials, investigators, and lessons. And down here, well, we didn't get it. It's a lot tougher. It doesn't mean it can't be done. Everyone down here drinks and smokes weed. No joke! It's ridiculous, most teens do it as well. And there is a huge teen pregnancy rate! It's nuts! It's just going to take a lot of hard work! Lots of prayer! For me it's been hard down here in Gisborne. My companion is a really good missionary. He's a hard worker. This area is beautiful, but is really trying my faith. I need prayers for strength and faith. It's been hard for me to go and talk to people. You have to really go out of your way to talk to people. It's harder than the city that's for sure. I'd compare this area to Huntsville/Valley. It's nice/beautiful, and just more people, like 20,000 or something like that.
We were supposed to fly up the Auckland tomorrow. But we are picking up a different car so now we are driving 8 hours up to Auckland. But I get to stay with Elder Magleby back in Tauranga on Thursday!!! So that will be great, don't know if I told you but he's Zone Leader up there!!!!!!!! So this week I'll be at my 1st Zone Council, and we have a leadership training this week as well. President just threw me right into this Zone Leader stuff. I'm learning on the fly. I've already done my 1st couple baptism interviews. In fact I just finished 2 baptism interviews before I came to e-mail..... We accomplished a NEW ZONE BEST!!!!!! Every companionship reached a 100 PBTW!!! That's never been done before in Gisborne! So we are happy about that! And tomorrow is my 1st district/zone training!
THANKS FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY SONGS!!!!!!!
LOVE YA TONS!!!!!!
THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS!!!!!!! KEEP PRAYING FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!