Monday, July 28, 2014

Elder Almen Thorpe - My Week

Elder Thorpe

Family and friends!,

My companion and I have been working on our Christlike Attributes this week. On Tuesday we had an interview with our New Mission President, President Balli, he is from Colorado. Very inspiring mission president, from what I have heard from other elders and sisters after their interview is that they felt like they were themselves with President Balli and they could open up to him. I can tell by speaking to him that he is going to be a great mission president for the next three years! As I was thinking of him I was thinking of Spencer parents when they were mission presidents, (for those who do not know who Spencer is, he is my brother in law) and how they were inspired as well to help those missionaries back in Guatemala. 

Elder Matua and I have been working with part-member families. They are the best! Even though these families have different back grounds they still act like themselves. We have been building a friendship with these them to get close to their husband or wife that are not a member and the thing is that they want us over a lot that they even offer to have dinner with us. The amazing thing about this is these none members are seeing that we are not only missionaries but we are ourselves and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about having fun not having to stress out on anything. There is a scripture in 1 Samuel 16:7 in the bible that talks about how the Lord looks into the heart of his children and not on their outer appearance. When we showed this scriptures to those people I could see that their reaction to the scripture got them to ponder more.

The names of the part member families are the Fiatua family, The Masi family, the Simon/Bugby family, and the McCallister Family. The uniqueness of these family's are that three of these families (the Fiatua, Masi, and MacCllister family) have less active members that are their husband or wife. It is amazing to see that these members still have their testimony about the church and the gospel and its teachings. While building this friendship with them we are able to see that all they are searching for is a friend. The McCallister and Masi family, the two wife's are sisters and less active but one of the sisters husband is not a member but the sisters dad is not a member which is good because we will be working on both of the families. Falite and Niiki Masi, Falite is not a member but has his own barbershop that Elder Matua and I go to get our hair cuts at. (good thing we are missionaries because we get them for free, its the smiles that win over the people sometimes). Falite and Niiki have a son who has a disability and slow but really, really nice kid! He is our best friend and we look out for him.

The Fiatua family, the wife is a less active member but the )usband is not a member at all. Sister Fiatua has had some past problems with members but she is getting over that, Elder Matua and I have been just going over and sharing scriptures here and there to get them rolling. She is okay for us missionaries to come over but is starting from the last time I heard is warming up to members. They have about five to six kids and they all love to play video games. Good thing Elder Matua and I got over that stage of playing video games. They have expressed to Elder Matua and I that they enjoy our company and they like us to come over more often because she wants to treat us to dinner and cookies and crackers. 

The Simon/Bugby family is an interesting family (what I mean by interesting is that all the kids have TOO MUCH ENERGY!) Sister Simon is a member but her husband is not but both go by different last names, she hasn't changed her last name yet. Both are Maori and really funny, Donovann is a rugby player and has been showing me some of his Maori dance and stick games. Each of them both have four kids and all live under one roof, the house is crazy and I learned the hard way, note to myself not to give sugar to little kids especially late at night. Donovann came two weeks ago to church, without anyone inviting him, he came with his family. All the kids in the family every time like to jump on us and start wrestling us. It is a good things I learned some wrestling moves. Poor Elder Matua just couldn't get out of the attack. 

It has been a good week and a week of trying to find those lost sheep and bring them back into the fold. Elder Matua and I are trying to be like Ammon and bring back those less actives back to church. What I have learned is that these less active's are just looking for a friend to come back to church with. They have their own situation going on but it is that sometimes as members we get too caught up about ourselves that we sometimes miss the opportunity and forgetting that we are missing a member or one the sheep in the fold. All of these less actives all have something in common, they still have that strong testimony that the church is true, and what we do to help strengthen their testimony to coming back to church will reflect on how much we care for our brothers and sisters. Our job as members is not tell them they are not good enough to come back to church but to say "hey, we miss you, it is time to come back and we will be there every step of the way to help you come back to the family". I have felt what they have felt and I know that this mission is not all about baptism but it is to help all those are seeking help, if they be less actives, members, recent converts or someone just looking for help, that we will be their as representatives of Jesus Christ to help them and be guides for them. Missionaries or not missionaries we will always be there to help, that is what we do as Mormons or as Later-day Saints, we HELP. 

I have learned that people will accept you more when you are yourself and not trying being someone else. When I am myself I am more happy but when I try to join and be like my friends, I am not truly being myself and trying to fit in. As President Monson said "Dare to be a Mormon, dare to stand alone, dare to make it known."

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Help find those Lost Sheep!!
Elder Thorpe, Auckland New Zeland Mission 

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