Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Rottweiler!


This week is has been quite the experience. So much has happened this week but it is hard for me to explain all of it. On Tuesday we had trade offs with the zone leaders that day. It was mean! Me and Elder Cunningham (who is one of the zone leaders), we smashed our area. It consisted of talking to drunk people, People who are high, and running away from several dogs. But it was a solid day. I love trade offs because I learn so much and it has helped me through out the rest of the week. It was also the stake temple week. So all the wards went down to the temple in Hamilton for the week. They would stay there for a whole week and go to the temple almost every day. It sucked because we had hardly anyone to go visit or to feed us. So that complicated things heaps this week. 

Then things with our ward started to go down hill. We had  person pass away this week from our ward. One man was old and had cancer. Everyone kinda anticipated he going to pass soon so that wasn't to shocking but still sad. Than the next night one lady had a severe stroke that caused some serious brain damage and since than it hasn't looked good since. She is on life support right now but they are thinking about pulling the plug soon because she would be in to much pain just to try to fight through it. Luckily our bishop didn't go to the temple so he was able to attend to the need s of everyone who was in distress. And because every one was gone we had to help him with almost everything. 

On Friday our bishop left his car at the chapel because he was with another person in another car. Well later that day he came back to find out it was stolen and later found that the people who stole the car stole everything from inside of it and than burned the car.  It was a super stressful week for our ward and trying to figure everything out. 

Back to missionary work - Friday was so freaking cool! While we were doing weekly planning, I started to feel that the work we have been doing wasn't sufficient enough to the Lord. So I started pondering about what we have been doing wrong and why it wasn't good enough. After about a half hour or so I got the weirdest desire to go and do some door knocking. Like I was getting pumped just thinking about it. I was getting excited. Me and my companion had printed off a few maps of streets in our area so we could keep track of all the doors we had knocked on. And to this point we had almost knocked on every single door in our area. So as I started to ponder on which street we should go tracting on. I felt strongly to go to a street called Otiria rd. This street is long-ish and is straight for a while too. So we parked our car at one end of the street and started knocking on doors. This is where ish gets real - We are going to the third house on the street and as we approach we see a dog sitting on the front porch. We don't think much of it and start to head towards the house. The dog sees us and starts to walk towards us. This dog was massive as! It was a black Rottweiler. Normally dogs that are used to keep people off there property are chained up right? Well that's not the case here. The moment the dog got up my companion started booking it down the street. I thought the dog was nice and was going to come to us so we could pet it. Thats not what happened at all. The dog started running at me. So I figured if I didn't run he wouldn't chase us. I was wrong. He came after me and I got scared so I held out the book of Mormon in front of me hoping that it would stop the dog or something like that. But that didn't work either. So I got the adrenaline rush of a life time and ran the fasted I have probably ever ran in my entire life. The dog was so close to catching me and biting me! I was so freaking scared. We out ran the dog and it finally stopped chasing after us. It was scary as…  I was shaking afterwards and told my companion that was the scariest thing ever. That dog wanted to kill us. So every dog we come across I legit get scared now. I hate it!!! 

Anyways, back to tracting. Me and my companion went for a solid 2 hours on that street talking to everyone at there door step for at least 5 minutes. It was mean! We got 4 return appointments with people and we were super pumped. When we finished we looked back at how far we went. I’ll just say that we could no longer see our car anymore. It was so small. We lost track of time and just put in work. It was one of the most successful days I've had as a missionary so far. We smashed that street. We were so pumped after wards. Just that day alone has filled our week with stuff to do and people to visit. We are slammed this week. Like to the point where we won’t be able to get everything done because there just isn't enough time to fit it all in. Me and my companion are starting to get along really well now. Things are overall really great. I had a sweet experience driving to church yesterday. As we were driving, the spirit came out of no where and just hit me as I was driving. I almost started to cry, that's how powerful it was. I realized how important the Sabbath day actually is and how great it is to partake of the sacrament. It was so weird but it was so cool. That was something cool that happened. That's all I have for this week! Love ya! 

Elder Shannon

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I Love It Out Here!!

Nov 22, 2015
Kia Ora

This week has been a pretty solid week. Tuesday really got the week going for us. It started with a sweet district meeting. My lesson basically went for an hour and a half and we had a sweet discussion. The spirit was so strong. Like it got to the point where I was no longer standing up leading the lesson. It just turned into a discussion. It was so freaking cool. Everyone was talking and had insights to give. We lost track of time and had to end it haha. But it was awesome. 

After district meeting we had an appointment at 2 with this lady named Jo. We taught her the restoration and we were planning on inviting her to be baptized but I felt prompted to ask her if the missionaries in the past asked her about baptism and she told us they did and that she just isn't ready yet. But she still wants to have lessons and stuff but me and my companion are really hopping she sees how important the gospel is. 

Later that day we found someone who was interested in talking with us about the gospel. His name is Shannon and so when we met him it was pretty easy to start a friendly conversation with him haha. He said he was busy but he told us that he would take our phone number and he would call us. So we are waiting for him to contact us. That really got our week of to a good start. 

The rest of the week we have been working with heaps of less actives and doing a lot of tracting. Through tracting we have found heaps of less actives through that. So that’s who we are currently working with right now. We are almost out of doors to knock. Our faith is being tried over and over again. We are constantly praying for something good to happen because all we do is knock doors and nothing comes of it. Our members have been slacking in doing there part of the work. We gave talks on Sunday on how the members can improve the missionary work. I was so excited when the bishopric gave this for our topics. Me and my companion smashed the ward. We decided that the ward needed to step up there game because we cannot do this alone. I was straight forward with them and just simply said. "You guys are not fulfilling your duty as members." Thats what I said. Than I gave them the quote by Joseph Smith in PMG saying "After all that has been said, the most import duty is to preach my gospel." That does not just go for missionaries, its goes for member as well. I asked the bishop after sacrament meeting if I was to harsh on the members and he said no that was perfect. Afterwards members started coming up to us and saying they are going to do all they can to help us. My companion and I got so pumped! We just hope they actually do help because we are becoming very desperate and we need there help. 

I finally worked things out with my companion. He started to realize what happens when he tries too hard and doesn't listen to the advice I have to give  him. He learned the hard way and he apologized for it. So everything is all goods between us. We were able to get along much better this week and we have started to come closer as a companionship. Things are starting to go upwards right now. Hopefully we can carry that with us this upcoming week. 

Something that has been really interesting going on in the mission field is what we are hearing about the world right now. We are hearing everything and we all think the second coming is going to happen very soon haha. Nah, but for reals the world is going crazy and you probably already know that. Ronda Rousy lost her fight and everyone freaked out about that.   Anyways, I’m still learning heaps and my faith is being tested every day! Staying focused  on the work is the only thing I can do at this point. I have enjoyed every minute out on the mission so far. Freak I love it out here! That’s all I have for this week! Love ya! 

Elder Shannon

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Everything About This Gospel Makes Sense


Well this week has been a rollercoaster. I feel like my faith has been tested over and over again. One day will be awesome and then the next day will just be terrible. And then it starts over again. It didn't make it easier that my companion is brand new. Still trying to get him used to the mission and how things work. So that has been quite the task for me this past week. But overall I feel like I've grown heaps over the past few months! 

It’s weird when I look back on the times when I doubted myself and think, Why was that so hard? It’s so weird to see how you progress as a missionary and how much you learn in such a short period of time. I am so grateful for everything I have experienced so far. 

Anyways back to my week. Me and my companion have done heaps of door knocking. That's actually almost all we did this week. Door after door we get nothing. One day it will be a such a harsh no, the next day everyone will be willing to talk with us, then the next day will back to the no. It’s super frustrating. So many people could have been saved but they didn’t… they didn't want to listen. It’s alright though because when I see them in the life after this I will say to them "I tried to save you, but you didn't listen". Lol. Nah jokes. We knocked about 70 doors this past week and only got one return appointment with them. So we are really hopping that he is the answer to our prayers. 

Oh and the prayers. I Pray so many times throughout the day just asking for help. I just want someone to listen to us!!!! I have learned patience and how to love the people even when they can really make you angry. Which I am so thankful for because it helps me stay focused on my purpose. My companion is starting to get under my skin. He is constantly questioning everything I do. He purposefully annoys me. And he is pretty immature. Like last night I was talking with one of the zone leaders about my district and we had the door shut so that obviously meant that the meeting was private. He just walks in and tackles me onto the bed that’s in there right in the middle of our meeting. So I am trying to figure out how to control the kid. But I still love him and I am doing my best to help him out. It’s just the little things he does that drive you crazy. He gets frustrated when we don't do what he wants to do. Ok i'm done going off about my companion.

Thursday morning got off to a strange start though. The assistants drove 3 hours to have a comp study with me and my companion and they didn't even warn us. But it’s good. It just surprised me and my companion. Something cool about this week was our church attendance was way up this week. My companion and I and the senior couple have been working with several less actives and almost all of them came to church. It was one of the highest sacrament meetings that the ward ever had. So it was sweet. Our mission gets to go to the temple in December which I am pumped for. I miss going to the temple when ever I wanted. So I am really excited for that. 

It’s crazy how fast time goes by out here on the mission. I have been out for 4 months now. It's weird to think about. Still have a long ways to go, but I’m glad I am nowhere near ending. I love this gospel and I am so happy to share it with others. This is the only true church on the earth today. There is nothing that can bring more joy into our lives than the gospel. Everything about this gospel just makes sense. When ever I question something about the gospel. I almost get immediate confirmation that it’s true because I find my answers through the Book Of Mormon and let me tell ya, its an unreal experience. 

Well there is nothing else I have to say. Things are going pretty good here on the other side of the world. That’s all I have for this week! Love ya!

Elder Shannon      

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I'm A DAD!!

Kia Ora

This week has been full of adventures. I don't even know where to begin. Monday thru Thursday we were with Elder Chong-nee because his companion went home last Monday which was awesome. I miss being in a trio. It's much more fun and the work is more effective because you have three brains and not just two. So that was pretty cool. 
We had the chance to go to Cape Freaking Reinga!!!! Its the very tip of New Zealand! I have pictures I will try to send. But if you look up pictures yourself, it's absolutely beautiful. It was unreal. It was a once in a life time opportunity. Most people in New Zealand never get to go there because it's so far away so we were super excited when we got to go there. It was a long drive but totally worth it. 

Monday night though we got a call from President about transfers. My companion was getting transferred to a new area and President asked me to train! I was super pumped. I don't know what it's like in other missions but here they call the person who is training the dad and the trainee the son. And it gets more into depth with moms and brother and sisters and stuff like that. So I now have a son haha. My family now has begun. Well at least my mission family. 

Wednesday we spent most of the day getting ready for transfers on Thursday. We had to go get a trailer and stuff and we had to clean our cars and houses. So we spent most of the day doing that. Preparing for it sucked. We were up till midnight trying to sort everything out. So we didn't get to bed until one in the morning. And the worst part was we had to wake up at 5 so we could leave by 6;30 to make it to Auckland in time. The drive was alright. It was long!  Ugh... And pulling a trailer with the crap car we have sucks. It felt like the car was going to explode every time we accelerated. But it was cool. It was nice to see other missionaries again haha. 

Going into the meeting not knowing who my companion was, was killing me! When I finally got to see and meet him it made everything better. He's the man. Trying to get him to adjust from the MTC to the field is a struggle. He is still stuck in the MTC and is struggling to accept what the mission is actually about. And he is constantly questioning everything we do. But I'm just being patient with him. He is honestly the man though. He just has to get used to everything and he will be awesome. 

Friday during our weekly planning we made the decision to start from scratch. We are going to knock on every door again and hit up every potential we had in our area book. So the past 3 days all we have been doing is door knocking. We haven't found any success yet but we are hoping for something soon. But its awesome taking the lead full on. And being a trainer has made me strive to be a better missionary in every aspect. I want my companion to be the best freaking missionary in our mission. He has some serious potential. And the weird thing is, is that I kinda feel like a dad. Haha I like the mission terms. They just make the experience so much better. 

Oh the mission field is a great place. Im loving every bit of it right now. Yeah we struggle as missionaries at times, but the great thing is, is that there is someone who is there just waiting for us to ask for his help. Thats what's so great about this work. The Lord is always there to help. And thats' why it's so important to be obedient. So you can have that connection with the Holy Ghost and our Heavenly Father. We have had some pretty sweet experiences with less actives though. Our success with less actives has been awesome. When you get a less active to come back to church, its like the same feeling you get when someone gets baptized. That's all I have for this week. 

Elder Shannon      

Sunday, November 1, 2015

All Black Everything!!

Nov 1, 2015

Kia Ora,

So many things have happened this week. First of all, The All Blacks made it to the championship game. They were going to play Australia for the championship. It’s the biggest rivalry in all of rugby. So you could imagine that people are going to be locked in to see the game. That’s all everyone has been talking about. 

As missionaries there is almost no way to avoid it. Every house we go to they are watching rugby. All the games are on at like 3 am so people watch them during the day or at night. Long story short the All Blacks beat Aussie for the championship. This country has gone nuts!!! They have won 2 straight world cups. It was pretty funny too. The game was early Sunday morning at like 7. People were later to church. Some people didn't come till after sacrament because of the game. So our sacrament attendance was really low yesterday. And the reason I’m emailing later than normal is because we just dropped off our zone leader at the bus stop to go down to Auckland because he is going home. The best part is, is that the other zone leader is going to be with me and my companion until Thursday. Thats when transfers is. So this week is going to be very anticipating for everyone to see whats going to happen. 

This last week was pretty great. Tuesday I took my district out to dinner at a BBQ place in the town of Paihia. It’s the resort town very rich there and very beautiful. Everything is right by the beach so it's pretty cool. Thursday we had zone training which was pretty mean.  On Saturday me and my companion went out with the sister missionaries and that was a freaking blast! Haha sister missionaries teach so differently too. It was so weird, it’s not bad, but I wouldn't have expected it to be so different. 

Everything is going really well right now though. I'm starting to learn more about the Mauri culture and it’s super interesting. I feel like I’m starting to become a part of it in some way. So its really cool. All their traditions are super cool. The people are super close to the spirits. That's kinda their culture and so they base a lot of their traditions of of family and ancestors. So I get to hear heaps of stories about older generations of people. 

Dang these letters get harder and harder to write every week. Oh last night was pretty fun. Because our zone leader was going home he burned his suit last night and we just hung out for his last night. I know I keep going back and fourth in between things but me and my companion came up with a huge list of potential investigators and its pretty freaking long so we are pretty excited about that and hopefully we can finally get some one to teach. My companion has been up here for 6 months and hasn't taught anyone in the past 3 so we are hopping to change that this week. Another thing I’m excited for is that I get to go down to transfers. I’m excited because when you serve in the auckland area, you get to see other missionaries all the time. In the north you hardly get to see your district. So going to transfer meeting will be so great just to see other missionaries haha. 

Thats all I have for this week. I love you all and miss you! 

Elder Shannon