Nate's talk was mean. Transfers are coming but I have a feeling I will stay here. There is more that I need to do. I might be wrong but I don't think so. As of right now I have been in the YSA ward for 6 months. This week was pretty good. :) Sounds like it will be good to get passed this week for both Mum and Dad. Sounds like you will be having an important discussion with the professors. Good luck! Kids are always fun, It will be fun to meet Rizzy eventually - seems like she is a cute girl. That photo of the 21st Ward boys makes me feel old. They have all gone on missions which is pretty cool. Good on our ward! Man, Keeg looks ugly (haha), Ely needs to cut his hair, John looks the same, Eric is looking skux and Kyle... well, he looks like a fresh RM. Awesome photo.
I had a really good week. Nate gave an amazing speech at the fireside it almost made me cry. Probably like level 1, just some tears forming in my eyes. But I figured that I would share the experience that he shared at the fireside. He shared this with us last Tuesday so it will be a mix of what he shared and what he told us.
Nate was baptized a month ago now and sense then he has been really good at talking to his family who were kind of against the Idea. His older borther Ben was coming to visit the family last weekend. He is living in Perth and he has been there for three years the last time he visited was 2 years ago and he came home to surprise their mum. It was cool. We had a lesson with him on thursday. He has had some pretty unique dreams and is really searching for purpose in life. We invited him to come to conference this week, and to start praying.
On Saturday Nate went down with Zahra (His Girlfriend/Fellowship) and his brother to visit their dad. He lives down the line in Tauranga. Nate told us about his dad before and explained that he is who he is and Nate accepts him for that even though it isn't anything close to a good father figure. He just hasn't been around. Ben on the other hand still is looking for him to be his father. So the visit was pretty heated and they argued the whole time. They got back that Saturday night.
That night, after Zahra had gone home, it was just Nate, Ben, and their mum sitting in the lounge talking. I am not sure at what point this came up, or when Ben found out, but Ben decided to use this time to confront Nate about eternal marriage - specifically the fact that they won't be able to be there for the wedding if it is in the temple. Ben was offended and startied questioning Nate, "Why would you leave the family?, How could you do this to Mum?" etc. Nate described the situation as a heated argument that escalated into a small physical scuffle. Their mum managed to break them apart and Nate went outside to his sleep-out bedroom. He was pacing back and forth still angry, and his body was shaking and he decided to say a prayer. He knelt down and asked for his emotions to be calm and to be able to handle the situation. After a few minutes he felt that he needed to go back inside and confront Ben again.
As soon as Nate was through the door Ben started questioning him again. This time he had an answer and just said, "Ben, I believe that in the temple I will be married forever, that's what I want and I want you to be there with me. I would love for Mum and you to both become members, but it is more important to me to be with you forever than to have you at my wedding." He said this in a very angry way or as he put it, not very reverently. He felt this was the only way to get him to listen. Ben didn't have much to say back. He just sat there across the room. Nate walked over to him, fully intending to punch him, but all he could do was stick his hand out, help his brother off the couch, and give him the biggest hug he as ever given him before - like really big according to Nate. :) They were all crying.
The next day Nate, Ben, their mum and their cousin all came to conference. Just the morning session. Nate felt that they didn't get to much out of it because he said they couldn't understand it. But Ben definitely heard one talk. Elder Christofferson's on Fathers, Nate said that one hit Ben really hard.
After this whole experience Nate said that before he probably didn't have the most solid testimony of how the gospel blesses families. He could see it in other families but not his own. He said now that he has a testimony, know he knows that the Gospel is blessing his family. I too know that it blesses families even if only one is a member, or and active member. I love this church and I am grateful that God cares about us. I miss you family very much but it is worth it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
PS. Nate is sending the missionaries to Ben's house in Perth and last we heard Elder/Brother Peihopa is going to drive a few hours to go visit Ben. It should be really good. We will see what happens from what I heard Peihopa is coming back here pretty soon so hopefully it will be before that.