This email was sent by Sister Welker on April 17th. We received it on April 16th.
Week 36: I want to be like Nephi, Mongolian Meal, and Happy Easter!!
So sad! Today the library is closed ,and I have to email at the internet cafe, which means no photos this week.
But it's been a great week!!
I did my 1st exchanges this week with the Mountford Sisters. Our theme was "How to Make Decisions like Nephi." I thought it went perfectly with the message Thomas S. Monson gave in General Conference on focusing more on the Book of Mormon. I was with Sister Yuson in my area while Sister C was with Sister Ventyan (I might have spelled that wrong) in their area. I felt kind of guilty since that day it was POURING rain outside and we were blessed to have the car, but my companion and Sister Ventyan had to walk. Anyway, we read an article called "Firm in the Faith" written by someone in the 70. It went into detail about how Nephi makes decisions, and how prayers are answered. I highly recommend reading it, it's brilliant!! During our personal study, we could chose any story to read about Nephi. Then we looked at his decision making skills and how he handled his situation. I choose to read about when Nephi broke his bow. Which 1st of all, I'm glad Nephi chose to even write about that experience, 'cause if it were me, I wouldn't want millions of people to know that I broke a bow. But I think I chose to read this story, because it proves that Nephi is human and he made mistakes too. I tried to relate this story to me, and how when I make a mistake or when Plan A doesn't work, what do I do? For Nephi, he's the man and he improvises and tries to find a solution to his problem. Then he goes to the Lord and tells him his plans and asks for God's advice. So lesson learned--be like Nephi, and when things don't go as planned, improvise with what you have and move on to a plan B.
My companion was finally able to make me a Mongolian meal!! We had bought the ingredients last Monday, but we always had something come up or a last minute dinner that ended up pushing our Mongolian meal farther and farther away. So 7 days after we had bought all the ingredients, we finally had our Mongolian meal. :D AND IT WAS SOOOOO YUMMY!!!! When I describe the meal it doesn't sound super flash, but it was so delicious!! It's basically beef with vegetables like purple and spring onions, red and green peppers, and carrots all thrown into a pot. Then she made some dough from scratch and she rolled it out like a pizza, but then cut it into long strips and cooked it with the rest of the meal. So it looked like pasta with vegetables, but it tasted much, much better. I'm going to have her teach me so I can hopefully make some on my own. :)
And lastly, I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter!! Hope you all took some time to remember our Savior Jesus Christ and all he has done for us. And for those of you who haven't seen the Prince of Peace Easter video, I highly recommend it. It does a great job of illustrating the peace that can be offered only through our Savior Jesus Christ.
Love you all and hope to talk to you again next week.
Sister Mandy Welker
(I've attached the video Sister Welker talked about above. Enjoy!)
This email was sent by Sister Welker on April 17th. We received it on April 16th. It is an account from last week (April 10th). Week 35: Glow-in-the-Dark Volleyball, and General Conference!!
General Conference is always the best!!! It's like Christmas for missionaries hahah. If only we could bring popcorn into the chapel, then it would be like going to the movies for a total of 10 hours hahaha. It's hard to pick a favorite talk because I thought they were all amazing!! Some of my top favorites probably had to be Henry B. Eyring's "My Peace I Leave With You," Ronald A. Rasband's "Let the Holy Spirit Guide," and Dieter F. Uchtdorf's "Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear." I can't remember which speaker mentioned this story, but one of the members of the 70 talked about some firefighters that helped to put out a burning stake center (lds chapel). One of the firefighters asked the church leaders that were there, "What was the most important part of the chapel that they could save?" The firefighters assumed that the sacrament cups would be something of value, but the church leader just laughed and said, "The sacrament cups are actually plastic and are easily replaceable." So instead the firefighters went inside the burning building, and each one came out holding a portrait or painting of Christ. Though this story wasn't mentioned in great detail, I thought that had to be one of my favorite stories, and it made me think "what is most important for me to save in times of my own spiritual fire?" I truly admire our emergency personnel that risk their lives everyday to save and protect those in their community. I don't think we thank them enough for their efforts!
Wednesday we played glow-in-the-dark volleyball with the ward. The missionaries were heavily involved with the planning of the activity, and if I'm being honest, I didn't expect the activity to go very well. But of course, I have little faith and in the end it all worked out. We actually had more people show than we expected, and we ran out of glow sticks to pass out. We even had people stay after the activity officially ended to play some more before we had to close the chapel. Everyone had a great time and they all can't wait for the next ward activity!!
Sister Mandy Welker
A Walk at the park in between Sunday General Conference
1st time Sister C has walked in our area and not driven hahaha (she wanted to take a picture because it doesn't happen often).
This email was sent by Sister Welker on April 3rd. We received it on April 2nd. Week 34: Drive to Hamilton, General Woman's Session, and Fejioas
Sorry, last week I gave you all the impression that Sister C was the 3rd Mongolian missionary ever. She's actually the 3rd Mongolian missionary to ever serve in New Zealand. My bad. Sorry to misinform you.
So Wednesday, we drove to Hamilton for a meeting. It was a really good meeting. We had a presentation on the priesthood keys (which was pretty cool since I'm pretty clueless when it comes to the priesthood), and it helped us to understand what our role is in the big picture of missionary work. I was also able to reunite with some of my favorite sisters like Sister Fina'i, Sister Fuggle, and Sister Clegg.
I've recently discovered that the Welcome Bay and Mount Wards have been split up. Now the Welcome Bay ward still has one set of Elders and two sets of sisters, but the Mount ward only has Elders now. Makes me grateful that I had a chance to serve in both wards before they split. Both the Mount and Welcome Bay wards have a special place in my heart--no one can replace that. I hope to one day visit them again.
I had a Fejioa for the 1st time!! It's a fruit that grows very well here in New Zealand. You eat it like a kiwi. You'd cut the Fejioa in half and then use a spoon to eat the remaining insides. :) It's soo yummy!! It has a similar texture and taste to a kiwi, but it has a slight tang to the taste and we're fortunate enough to know people with Fejioas trees (so we get ours for free)!!
Yesterday we had a chance to listen to the General Woman's Session of General Conference, and I loved every second!!! General Conference is the equivalent to Christmas for missionaries!! It's the best!! I'm always amazed with how many faithful individuals there are throughout the world that despite their conditions or circumstances remain faithful to the gospel, and continue to serve others.
Sunday was Daylights Savings. The Elders pulled a fast one on us and sent us a text Sunday morning saying "Sisters, are you in the chapel now?" "Not yet. Do we need to be there?" I asked. "Yup. For sacrament. Lol. Are we on DST (Daylight Savings) now?" Out of fear that we were late for church, we speed to the chapel, to find that the 1st ward had just finished sacrament meeting. Those cheeky elders made me think that we had set our clocks in the wrong direction, but they weren't even at the chapel yet. When I read the texts again, I realized that they were originally asking if today was DLS or not, but either way they are cheeky elders.
The last thought I wanted to share was what our District Leader told us last night. He told us of how he went tracking earlier that day and was confident they'd find a new investigator. Door after door got slammed in their faces and they went home with their heads down low. However, our District Leader is a positive guy and recognizes that all experiences we have are for our good. He told us that rejection is the beginning of success. I've never really thought about that before, but in a way he has a point. It's in those hard times that we learn from and find better ways to be more successful, so it's almost as if we can't be successful, if we've never had rejection. Maybe that's not true for all cases, but this week I'm going to try and be grateful for my trials and the hard things in my life. I hope that I can find a positive side to bad experiences and recognize the lessons I can learn. I know that we were meant to experience hardships, it's part of the plan that God has for us, so that one day we can become more like him.