Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

We went and sat down and Talked....


This week was pretty cool. In one of our wards there is this Mexican American lady who married a guy who served his mission in Michigan and they found each other and got married. But that doesn't matter. She had us over for dinner Tuesday night and she loves America. She made us American hotdogs with some sloppy Joe meat. Oh and they had REAL ketchup! It was so amazing. I forgot how much I miss American food! Its hard to get American food here in New Zealand. They are probably one of my favourite families. Since her husband served in the U.S. he got into football and so it was cool cause we are able to take about something that I know haha. They are the kind of family that I can just joke around with and make fun of each other! They are so awesome. I can just be myself and it makes it so much better. 
Man I can’t think of what to write in my letter right now. The week was pretty normal. I don't have a story to tell like I normally do. We did visit quite a few less actives this week and when we went over to there houses me and my companion decided to go in and just be friends with the family. We didn't want to pressure them into doing anything. It was cool because we went and sat down and talked.  Talked about normal stuff and didn't shove the gospel down there throat. It was very effective. After we shared a spiritual thought like we normally would. And come Sunday we had three of the less actives we visited came to church so it was super cool. 
Yesterday was pretty good. Church was super good and just our day in general was awesome. We got some quality visits in. Later towards the end of the at around 6, the zone leaders texted us to come spend the night in Kaikohe because that's where all the other elders stay. They all live right next to each other. So we went there last night and just hangout with everyone. We live so far away from everyone its nice to see other elders. And none of them are in my district so I can’t doing anything with them so it sucks. It was a good night. 
Oh haha I totally forgot. We had our interviews with president this week. I can’t believe I forgot about that. Interviews were awesome! Being able to talk to president about whatever was nice. I had heaps of questions and so it was nice to finally have them answered. The words he spoke to me were very inspiring. He motivated me to do so much and to continue to keep working hard. I also got to interview with his wife and that was awesome. As a mission we are trying to read the BOM in 90 days. So she asked me how that was and we ended up getting into a deep discussion on what we were reading about and it was the coolest thing haha. We lost track of time because of the discussion we had. But it was overall really good. President told my companion he will most likely get transferred because he has been in this area for 6 months now. So I’m probably getting a new companion in 2 weeks. 
This morning was pretty cool, we got to play some touch this morning and that was really fun. Touch is like rugby, the rules are a little different and its basically 2 hand touch. I’m running out of things to say so this letter will be a little shorter this week.

Elder Shannon

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It's the White Shirt and Tie


This week I have learned a great deal. Being a district leader just keeps getting better and better. The only thing that sucks is preparing for district meetings but that's about it. Other than that I can do what ever the freak I want! Ha jokes. Nah but its awesome having a district full of girls because every time me and my companion go over to  have a comp study with them they always make us food so its awesome. So I have comp studies with them pretty often haha. 

Anyways on Wednesday one of our less actives we are working with right now had a court case that day and he asked for us to come and support him. He got caught stealing over $3,000  worth of stuff. So for him going in to the court case things weren't looking to good. Odds are he is going to jail for who knows how long. So we go to the case with him and he wanted us there because he wanted to show everyone there that he was looking to change. He really wants to change and by having us there he hoped it would have an effect on the judge. 

The moment we walked in wearing a white shirt and tie everyone looked at us wondering why missionaries were here during a court case. Fast forward a little bit. The judge is talking to J about what he has done and what his punishment will be. The judge said "We could end this whole thing right now by just throwing you in jail. All I have to do is say it." This is when things got cool. J stood up and started to speak about his efforts in trying to change. He started to cry and explain that we have been able to help him. It was super cool because the tide had changed! We all thought he was going to go to jail going into the case. The judge decided to give him a chance. So he has to do community service and he cant leave his house. So it was super cool. Afterwards him and his family expressed there gratitude for us showing up and supporting him. His sister and mom are both active members. They told us that having us there changed everything. They felt more comfortable about the situation. J admitted to what he has done and felt comfortable doing so.

My companion and I have gotten really close with this family over the past few weeks and they are so awesome. This experience taught me that the effect missionaries have on people. By being my self and who I am has brought greater success for me as a missionary. And I have seen people change because of it. Just by being worthy of the holy ghost to have it by your side at all times is a huge blessing. Because people can feel that spirit. People look up to missionaries. More than I thought. Before I came out I always talked about going out and serving the Lord and changing peoples lives, but I don't think I knew what the truly meant at the time until now. Hearing what some of these people go through has changed my life heaps. It's changed my perspective on people. 

There is no time to waste out on the mission field. People are counting on us whether they know it or not. We all have a story, some good and some bad. There will be days when times get hard. We may not know what to do. But the lord knows. And I KNOW that I have been sent here for a reason. I'm not here just to baptize. I'm here to change someone's life and help them become a better person. They need people dressed up in a white shirt and tie. The knowledge we have is far greater and more precious than anything on this earth. Yet it's so simple.

Me and my companion are struggling, the work is getting slower and slower. We've knocked on almost every door in our area and have found no success. We just keep getting doors slammed in our faces. We share half of our area with a senior couple, who are just awesome, and they are having the same problem we are having. We have both run out of ideas. The people in our area are struggling to find jobs, trying to support themselves. Most people who do have jobs have like 2 or 3. They start early in the morning and get home late at night. Trying to catch people at home is nearly impossible. We have no idea what to do. Our ward doesn't seem to care either so that makes it harder. It's been super frustrating. Other than that, I'm doing really well. Just trying to stay positive. 

We did have some luck towards the end of the week. We had an investigator we dropped text us asking us to come "teach her about god'. So that was pretty cool. We also found another new investigator. We have been trying for weeks to catch them at home and we couldn't. We finally got hold of them and we are going by sometime this week to see them. Hopefully we have some success this next week. 

Tell everyone I love them and miss them dearly!

Elder Shannon


Sunday, October 11, 2015

It Just Keeps Getting Better and Better!!


This week started off pretty well for me. I had my first district meeting as district leader this last Tuesday and it was awesome! We talked about our purpose as missionaries and we got in a deep discussion about it and it was so awesome. You could tell everyone was feeling the spirit because everyone was participating and getting involved. We didn't even get to cover everything I had prepared. It was one of the cooler discussions I’ve had out on my mission so far that have been with other missionaries. 

After district meeting we went on splits with the zone leaders. My companion was sick so him and one of the zone leaders just stayed with him back at the flat. So it was me and Elder Chong-nee who went on splits. We went up to there area which was about an hour away from our area. But it was awesome because we had to do a lot of driving to get around everywhere and so we had some time to talk. He doesn't really like his companion so he told me that it was nice to get a break from his companion. He is an awesome Elder. We get along really well and we both wish we were each others companions just because we get along really well. Oh and he is Samoan too which makes him that much cooler. That day was a good day. 

The zone leaders area is beautiful! One of the areas they cover is called Opononi, its right by the ocean and the town overlooks the bay.  He took me to a cool look out point were we could over look the whole bay. It was so awesome! We ended trade offs later that night. The next day I woke up sick. My companion and I had the flu and so we were stuck in our flat all the way up till Friday night. So we didn’t do anything at all really. On Friday night, we decided to have our bishop come give us a blessing because conference was the next day for us and we were worried we were going to miss it because we were sick. We felt much better on Saturday from the blessing and we got to watch conference. We just watched it at our chapel with our ward. 

Conference was so mean! So good. It was cool watching as a missionary because I had nothing to distract me from any of the talks. This was also pretty cool, some of the questions I had going into conference were answered in some of the songs that were sung which I though was pretty cool. But my testimony was strengthened so much from it. Like it was unreal. I felt like a new person when it was over. I can’t get over how great conference was! I wish it would keep going. Everything is going really well though. The work is still hard but me and my companion are making it fun for ourselves. We are getting along just fine. We joke around a lot and have some fun which keeps us going when days get hard. 

My district is doing awesome! They are all working so hard and they keep me going as a missionary. Thats the good thing about having sisters in your district. They bring you food when you are struggling or you are having a rough day so its pretty cool. The other cool thing is that I’m not allowed to council the sisters with there problems so I don't have to deal with the drama as much which is nice. The sister training leaders handle all that stuff. 

The life of a missionary gets better and better each day. There are days where we will be driving home at the end of the day and we haven't had much success that day and than randomly I will smile and just think to myself how awesome it is to be here to serve the lord. There is nothing better. 

Other than that not a whole lot ha s happened just because we've been sick all week. Me and my companion are excited for this week because we are going to pick up the slack from being sick so we are super pumped. 

I love you so much!    

Elder Shannon


Monday, October 5, 2015

Fifteen Scoop Champion!!


This week has been very tiring for me. The amount of driving I have had to do this past week has been unreal! On Wednesday we had an MLC meeting which is meant for all the zone leaders to attend, but President wanted the district leaders to come as well. The meeting is all the way down in Auckland and it started at 9 am. In order for us to be there on time, we had to drive down Tuesday night and sleep over with some other elders in the area. It was kind of cool because we felt like business men traveling to our meeting haha. 

The meeting was cool. President told us that we are no longer looking to plant the seeds. We need to baptize! "The field is white and ready to harvest". Thats part of our mission vision. Our goal as a mission for this next month is to baptize 55 people. Thats our goal. So he is really pushing baptism heaps. The standards of excellence is for each companionship to baptize 2 people every month. So things are really starting to pick up in the mission. It’s cool because I get to basically hear all the behind the scenes of the mission. 

We spent a few days in Auckland this past week. Other than that, that was pretty much my week. The whole district leader thing is getting better. It can be stressful at times. When I have to do mid and end weeks I spend most of my time writing down numbers and talking on the phone. By the time I finish its almost 10:30 and I still have to write in my journal and get ready for bed. My companion is from New Zealand and we get along pretty well. I do get annoyed sometimes because he expects me to respond after everything he says. But I’m doing my best to love him. For the most part though we do get along. For some reason the mission gave us a massive house and its just the 2 of us that stay there. There is 3 bed rooms and we have 2 living rooms.

Right now the work is slow, very slow. All we do is finding... Finding new investigators is hard. Its hot and very, very, very humid. So its frustrating when no one wants to listen to you and its hot and humid. But we keep trying. We are working with a few people to get over drugs and alcohol, one of them is named J. He is not a member but he wants to come to church, he just wants to quit his addictions before he starts coming so once he quits we are going to try and set him for baptism. He is doing really well. He smoked weed for sometime and so did his girlfriend. After the missionaries before us talked to him, they helped him through his addiction and he broke up with his girlfriend who was also addicted to weed but she didn't want to give it up. So its cool cause he is doing it a lot by himself which is awesome to see. But other than that not a whole lot is happening. 

Everyone in the other ward we cover are almost all members haha and I’m being serious. So there is almost no work to do over there. Oh and this is way cool. Do you remember that All Blacks player from forever ago and he decided to serve a mission? His name was Syd Going. Well His family is in our ward! There family is massive! They make up half the ward. But its cool because I didn't even know till I asked my companion why the name "Going" sounded so familiar. And than he told me ha. 

Both of our ward mission leaders are awesome. They really like the work and like to come out with us to help.

Our K's for the car are limited to 2,600 k's per month and they disappear really fast. So we have to be super careful with how we use them. Dealing with the sisters in my district can be hard. One of the sisters has gotten caught with another elder doing stuff. Her punishment was that she got sent up north away from everyone. She’s super cool and regrets what she has done. Also the sister training leaders had to split up one of the sister companionships mid way through last transfer because they did not get along and I heard it was pretty bad to. I have to figure out how to handle all of it. One of the sister’s is Sister B, she is the one from Herriman haha, funny how we ended up in the same district. The others are from Utah and one of them is from Australia. I was reading my Patriarchal blessing the other day and it talked about being a leader and protecting the daughters of God so I’m applying that to all that's happening right now.

This is also really cool. Just before I started to email we went to an Ice cream place with the zone leaders and my district to do this challenge where you have to eat 3 liters of ice cream (15 scoops). The fastest anyone has ever done it was in 20 minutes flat. So I decided to do it. Very few have finished it. It either ends up melting or people throw up. The Ice cream place is famous for it and its been in the news for anyone to come and try it. So I decided to do it. They put it all on 2 ice cream cones and it takes about 20 minutes to make it. They have to stack it and make sure it will stay in place while I’m eating it. Only one of the people there can make it. They were shocked when I told them I wanted to do it. But 20 minutes later I’m holding 15 scoops of ice cream on 2 ice cream cones. I have pictures, but the computer I’m on won’t take sd cards so I will have to show you next week. Long story short, I finished it in 16 minutes and 28 seconds. Broke the record! I was so pumped! They asked that we email the picture that we took of me with the ice cream and send it in so the can post it up in there shop! So I’m pretty pumped about that. I’m not feeling too well right now though. My stomach hurts pretty bad. 

That's my week!  We will be watching conference this weekend and I’m excited for that. I love you heaps mom! I miss you!

Elder Shannon