Sunday, April 16, 2017

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.
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).
PDay at the Lake/beach/park
Tim Tam Slam Party!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

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.

Thanks again for all your love and support!!

Sister Mandy Welker

Found a way to send you all pictures again :)