I am glad that Krade didn't get a phone - Yes of course I noticed, I am just trying to make it fair. Sounds like you had a good girls weekend, Mum. I have still never been to Chuck-A-Rama and have feeling I am not missing out on much. Glad that you fit in a quick trip to St. George. Dad really is such a great guy (haha). With both Mum and Dad I can just hear your voice so easily in your letters - I love your emails! One of the Tongan elders in our zone told me that he has only gotten 2 emails from his family his whole mission, he still sends one every week hoping that they will email him back. It made me very grateful for the emails I do get, I love it. Thank you so much. Is Makayla like a nerd? How did she graduate early? (haha) Good on her! Trek will be busy but I am sure it will be a fun adventure once again. I loved Trek. I can't believe that Cooper is getting back already - that was fast.
What a crazy week. I did get transferred, surprise. I am now serving in the Penrose Zone but my area is the Favona 1st Ward in South Auckland. I am living in a place called Mangere this is considered by some to be the ghetto of the mission. My companion is Elder Seelos from Bountiful, we are pretty much the same person, it is pretty fun. His Mum's name is Kelli Seelos, so yeah we are pretty similar. It should be a lot of fun. My second day in the area a two year old baby was shot by his father. It was pretty close to our flat. It was pretty crazy and really sad. Cops are all over the place down here. I went form one of the wealthiest places in the mission to one of the poorest. This is one of the most envied wards in the mission. The Favona ward has had some pretty big miracles in the past. This stake was made during my mission, last year some time. Favona has been the ZL ward from the beginning and back then over a year ago it was hitting crazy numbers in everything - there is about 250 people on Sunday in sacrament meeting. It is one of the smallest areas in the mission. It is about the size of a large Utah ward geographically. So overall it is a big change. Richest to the Poorest, one of the biggest areas to one of the smallest, one of the whitest to one of the brownest area's. Lots of changes but lots of good changes. I am so excited to serve here.
So we got transfer calls like normal and we were able to tell the zone on Monday, the assistants called us and we told the zone, except for people that were being moved into leadership because president makes all those calls. Then the next day I got a call from President which never really happens. I was pretty excited to to go to Favona and the first this he asks me is "Elder, how are you feeling about your new assignment?" I was thinking he was about to change it so I automatically told him how excited I was, but how I was going to miss the YSA ward a lot. Then President explained why he was calling. He wanted to share with me some of his feelings, he said he had a strong impression during transfer planning and he believes that Favona 1st is going to lead the mission in Baptisms and that Elder Seelos and I were the exact missionaries that needed to be together in the area for it to happen. I was just thinking to my self oh crap... President has high expectations (haha). I told him I would try my best and then he assured me, "I don't know who is there that you need to teach Elder but you will find them. You need to teach these people that are waiting for you." It was pretty amazing. I felt the Spirit as he talked and now I am just going to have to put in the work and find those people.
One of these people might be the Vai family. This is a Samoan family that goes to a different christian church and they are very active, There son is a professional rugby player and plays for the Auckland Blues. They have already been being visited by Elder Seelos and his old companion Elder Bass. The first time I got to meet them we were also with a White Elder that can speak Samoan, It was Elder Magennis. He amazed them with Samoan and they just love when white boys try to speak their language. In previous visits they had never really been interested in the church, The bishop came over last time and found out they are related like distant cousins or something. Apparently every time Elder Seelos has gone over in the past has been all about rugby understandably. This time was different, Elder Magennis somehow got to talking about the temple and that is when Elder Seelos and I jumped in and all of the sudden it was like teaching mode was activated. Elder Seelos was able to explain sealings and the eternal family, then I came in with a personal experience of something that I remember Gramma telling me at Gramps' funeral. All the of the sudden the whole family started getting involved and asking questions, their YSA daughter was fascinated by it. The Mum asked why temple marriages didn't always end happy then. We taught a lot about Agency and Eternal families. Then Magennis finished it off with a testimony in Samoan and we said a prayer and left. Elder Seelos said that was probably the first lesson they have ever really had. Nothing too crazy it is not like they are prepared to get baptized or anything but it was cool to feel the spirit and to be able to teach a family again. I have missed that more than I realized.
P.S. Sorry no pictures this week, I will try and have some next week. I did write a long email so that should make up for it. I am sure I wrote at least a thousand words so if that really is how much a picture is worth then I think I got enough. :)