The internet at the chapel is working again. I will try and catch up on the past couple weeks... Elder Kapeteni is from Samoa but grew up in South Auckland. He moved back to Samoa with his parents and filled out his papers there. He got called right back to Auckland - he was pretty disappointed. He finishes the mission with Elder Johnson and he has loved his mission. We get along perfectly - no issues, nothing, comp inventory takes about 10 seconds. I am not sure if I want Skippers to be my first meal when I get back. I know it is a little early to be planning this but I eat a lot of fish and chips. Chantelle and Keegan back together - figured that would happen. So is Chantelle not going to work at In N Out? I am guessing she isn't but IDK. Maybe part time or something? I already figured that Shannon liked me better by now. It took A LOT of work but I did it. Prince Tyler has finally left the palace, aye? Took him long enough. :) Our area is massive and I am struggling to figure it out. We have five main towns/valleys that we work - until about 3 days ago I only knew about 3 of them. :) I will get there though. Driving is pretty easy. I am completely comfortable now. It has been very sunny here until today. It is pretty foggy in the mornings and we should be getting a lot of rain soon (at least that's what everyone says). We will see. It is supposed to flood really bad in the valleys.
The Past Two Weeks:
So a lot has happened but it is pretty hard to talk about all of it. I am also probably going to get bored of writing it so I will try to do my best but no promises.
So we do a lot of service in this area. We find that we are able to get through people's doors through service and then teach a lesson after. It is a little different chopping wood in my nice clothes which are probably not going to stay nice for very long. It is a sacrifice I am willing to make for the work. It is pretty funny. I introduce myself to people and say that I grew up in a city and worked at a fast food restaurant and they automatically think that I don't know how to work. In N Out gets no respect here! (haha). As soon as they see me chop some wood they are pretty surprised because I am not half bad. I guess they expect me to be useless at it. My companion is getting better but he had never done it before until now. The islander is the one who they expect to be good at it, not the chubby white elder :) We will both be professional by the time we are done.
Anyway, we have about 25 active members and they are mostly women. We have a strong Relief Society and Primary but Priesthood attendance is pretty low. On Sunday we blessed the Sacrament, spoke for 15 min each on the spot, and then we taught Sunday school too. In priesthood class we are the Elders Quorum so we combine with the high priests and man it is interesting. We meet in the chapel and there are about 6 of us all spread out over about 5 rows in the middle. We have brother Armstrong, the High priest Group Leader, brother Roy, and Brother Pat Tefana. Then Three missionaries. Elder Kapeteni, Me, and we have a senior couple in our ward so Elder Clements is there too. The Clements are from Idaho and they started serving at the beginning of March. They are awesome and they focus solely on LA's so that is a big help. Pretty crack up at church. Bro Pat was asked what his program as a priesthood holder was for his family to study the scriptures. He is hard of hearing but he stood up and explained to the class for 10 min about how we hold the priesthood, where it came from, and the responsibilities we had and then he sat down. We continued our scripture study discussion. He then stood up about 5 min later when he realized we were talking about scriptures and recited D&C 4 out of the blue. At that point we were talking about FHE... anyways... haha. It is definitely not like wards back at home.
Maromaku ward is completely different form Moerewa. Maromaku valley is where Syd Going is from. His whole family lives in the valley almost. Everyone is related to each other. There is not one brown person in the whole ward. When just over the mountain there is not one white person in Moerewa. Two completely different experiences. Maromaku has about 120 active members.
This last weekend here was ANZAC day which from what I gathered is commemorating a day when NZ's troops got slaughtered in WWII I think. It is pretty much like veterans day but they go all out. Marches in every town and everything is shut down. Maromaku ward had a fireside that Mom and Grandma would be jealous of. It was put on by the family history department and the Relief Society. They set up all the pictures of the people from Maromaku that had served in the war along with any letters, photos, postcards, or other documents. All in the old one room chapel right next to the new chapel building. The fireside consisted of singing songs from the time period with a banjo and guitar, hearing stories about each person from there own letters and other research that members had done. It was pretty cool. There were a few non-members there too but nobody really interested in learning about the gospel. Oh well, it was still a good fireside.
Pretty good couple weeks with a lot going on.