Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Week


This week has been so freaking good. The work was super slow this week because the little town we cover of about 700 people were all gone for Christmas. So the work was really slow but we ended up getting by. 
Tuesday after district meeting we had a lunch at the senior couples house with our district. And it was sweet. We were at there house for most of the day. We got caught up talking for ages and lost track of time. We finished around 4 o clock that evening. That was basically the highlight of the day. But the closer we got to Christmas day the more people we noticed weren't home so it was pretty tough to find things to do. It got frustrating at times. But all we wanted to do was just make it till Christmas and after that most people will have returned home. 
Thursday was a pretty sweet day as well. We showed up at a members house just going to visit because we really didn't have anything else to do so we would just stop by to see how they were doing. It was about 6 in the evening and they were preparing dinner and when we showed up the invited us to join them. We tried to talk them out of it because we wanted to be nice and not to interfere with there dinner. But we all know, that when missionaries show up to a members house and they are in the middle of preparing dinner and they ask you to join them randomly, you really just want to yes. So anyways we ended up eating with them for a nice Christmas eve dinner. So I was really pumped about that. 
Then we have Christmas day. Oh I have been waiting for ages for this day to come. I have had 3 packages sitting next to my study desk at our flat just waiting for me to open them. Friday was the day I could. Christmas for us is just another day off. We had 4 meal appointments lined up. 2 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner. I have never eaten so much in such little time in my life. Elder Shumate and I were stuffed. We got to our dinner appointment and my companion couldn't eat anymore.  I took one for the team and tried to eat as much as I could. After that when we got in the car and looked at each other and said "lets go to sleep". So we went back to our flat at about 7 and passed out for the rest of the night. We were so tired. But the day was awesome. 
We went to our ward mission leaders house to open our packages. And every family we went to visit gave us gifts as well. Most of it was chocolate but they gave us heaps. We will be able to survive off that for the next 6 months like honestly. We are just freely handing out chocolate to anyone we see. 
We were able to skype home the next day which was super exciting. That was the highlight of my week. But freak it was such an awesome week. First Christmas on the mission was a success! Its crazy to think I have been out for 5 months now. Time flies by so fast. I just really love it out here. Even though it can get tough at times, I am still enjoying every minute of the mission and there is no place I would rather be right now. I don't have much else to say for this past week. New years is going to be pretty sketchy because everyone in our area has a WOW problem. So there is going to be heaps of drinking and the police are setting up stations where they to check to see if you have been drinking. I have had to do it twice already. Its pretty interesting haha. So this will be an interesting week to see how things go this week. Thats all I have. I love you all! 

Elder Shannon

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Transfer Week


So this past week was pretty busy. It was transfer week. Transfer week is always busy so we didn't get to have really anytime to proselyte in our area for the first few days of the week. The week started off pretty good on Tuesday. We were expecting to get transfer news that day sometime in the afternoon. I predicted that we were going to lose 3 sisters from our district and get 3 new ones. So basically get a brand new district. But earlier that morning we had district meeting. It was a mean district meeting. We normally have assigned topics for district meetings but I just said screw it, we are doing something else. Our district has been struggling heaps lately. The work has been super slow for all of us and I could tell that the missionaries were getting down on themselves for it. I decided to focus on getting them motivated to keep on pressing on with the work no matter what. So I showed them a video called "The Atonement and Missionary work. It is probably the most motivational video I have ever seen. It brought tears to  me eyes hard out the first time I saw it. Its about a 10 minute long video but it is so awesome! After I played it in district meeting everyone was crying. I was crying, the sisters were crying, the senior couple was crying, my companion was crying. EVERYONE WAS CRYING! Hah but it basically turned into a testimony meeting the whole time and it was honestly one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It made it even more sad because I figured some of the sisters would be getting transferred so it turned into a testimony meeting for everyone. So that was awesome. 

Later that day we got transfer news. My companion and I are staying and 3 of the sisters left. So it was pretty sad when I found out they were leaving because they were all so awesome. Haha it was funny I used the excuse of the sisters getting transferred to shout me lunch for the last time. So I got free lunches of whatever I wanted. I know, I’m a terrible district leader. Later Tuesday night, the stake provided a Christmas dinner for all the missionaries in the zone so that was really fun. 

Tuesday was pretty busy and then on Wednesday we were driving all over the place running last minute errands the day before transfers so we didn't get to do any proselyting than either. Thursday was transfer meeting all the way down in Auckland. Said goodbye to some great missionaries and said hello to the new. Also that was the day I got all of my mail which I was so stoked for. And than the weekend ended pretty normal. Friday and Saturday were regular days for us. Sunday we finalized our Christmas day plans with the members. We have several meal appointments which I am so pumped for. We just get to hang out with members all day. I cant Wait!. 

I have yet to open up my packages because I am waiting to open them on Christmas. Its weird having it be a hot Christmas. No snow. Just humidity and heat. Christmas is celebrated the same here except they open presents in the morning the go to the beach in the afternoon. That to me sounds like a great Christmas. But all is well on this side of the earth. Time just keeps flying by. Almost been out 6 months now. Crazy!!! Oh and I totally forgot. But on Wednesday, we attended one of the coolest baptisms ever! It was the zone leaders baptism and the lady they were going to baptize wanted to do it in the ocean so they did it there haha it was so cool! And the other cool thing about it was that on of the ladies daughters who was 10 sat in all of the lessons decided she wanted to get baptized with her mom as well. So it was so cool. I was so jealous of them. 

Thats all I have for this week. Here are some pictures from the past week.

Elder Shannon                   

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I Love to See the Temple

Malo Su Fua
(hello in Samoan)

This week was so freaking good! I would just like to start off by saying how great the temple is! It made me think how lucky we have it in Utah. We had to drive for a total of 5 hours to get to the temple. But it was so worth it! The spirit I felt in the temple was unreal. When we were in the celestial room just waiting and I looked around at all of the other missionaries and it was just so cool to be with other missionaries and feel their spirit in one room at the same time. So the temple was awesome! Afterwards President bought all the missionaries ice cream! ha he is the man! It was cool because I had heaps of questions I needed answered for that week so I was able to ponder on them in the temple. 

Thursday was a mean day. We had trade offs with the zone leaders. I stayed in our area and my companion went to their area. Anyways we were going to one of our appointments and we have this one guy who is super keen to listen to us and so we were planning on setting him for baptism. When we get there his whole family was over. We got talking to them and we started talking to his partner and his daughter and we started talking about the plan of salvation and they started to get really interested. So it went from one man to a whole family! We were so pumped! So now we have a whole family to teach. We have been waiting for something like this to happen for ages and we feel like we are starting to see the blessings from being obedient and listening to the promptings of the holy ghost.

The rest of the week was pretty simple. Nothing super crazy happened this week. I am running low on time today because we have our zone p day and so everyone only gets limited time emailing…ugh! This upcoming week is transfers and everyone is making their predictions for who is going to get transferred. It’s funny because that’s all everyone has been talking about for the past few days and they are all super anxious to see if they are getting transferred. We will find out tomorrow the transfer news. I don’t know if I can wait that long, haha. It’s driving me nuts! 

Everything is going pretty well in NZ! Im learning more and more about the culture everyday! It’s so cool to learn about. It doesn’t feel like Christmas. It’s way too hot for it to be Christmas. I miss the snow. ha I never would thought I would be saying that but I do. Dang it I have to go. Next weeks email will be longer but for now. I say, so long and until next time.

Elder Shannon

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Why Why Why


Man, I don't even know where to begin aye? Its been a crazy busy week. Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty normal days. Wednesday night was pretty cool. Our ward mission leader in one of our wards texted us and asked if anyone was feeding us. We said no hoping that he was going to feed us haha. So invited us over for dinner because is wife and kids are out of town. We went over for dinner and we started talking about how the work was going and other missionary stuff. After we talked about mission stuff, we started to get personal with him. He opened up with us about how he didn't go on a mission and all this stuff. It was really cool! We talked to him like we were all best friends. He's 25 years old. So he’s super young we ended up talking the rest of the night with him which was cool. 
Thursday we had zone training. The zone leaders were talking about driving incidents that have happened in the pacific missions. They gave us all these statistics about driving and how we need to be more safe when we are driving. Later on they go on to say one missionary has passed away due to a car accident in Vanuatu. All of a sudden my heart sank and got this weird feeling in my stomach. My first transfer I was in a trio and the Elder that was with us was a visa waiter to Vanuatu.  I started to think if it was him. I told my self no way it was him.  I went about my day as normal trying not to think much of it.
Around 4pm that day, I get a phone call from the assistants. One of the assistants was my zone leader in my first area and he served with the Elder in Vanuatu as well. He asked me if I had heard about him and I said no I haven't heard anything, I just heard that someone passed away. I told him I thought it was Elder Ratu who was one of my companions. The Assistant Elder Pinono took a deep breath and said it was him. I busted out in tears. That ruined my whole week. Me and him were tight. I didn't know what to do. I've never been in a position like this where I have had someone that close to me be gone. It ripped my heart out. He was like my best friend. He was so cool. We would talk about how he would come back and visit me while I’m on the mission because he is from New Zealand. I get emotional talking about it. It was super hard to get over and still is. Out of all people it was him. I am gonna miss him. 
To make things worse, we had to attend a Tangi (funeral) that same night. I told myself that I will just have to forget about this for now and move on. The Tangi was sweet. There funerals are way different than ours. It’s a three day event. They hold it in a Marae which is a Maori meeting house. They do several ceremonies throughout those 3 days. And in order to enter the Marae you have to be welcomed in by a lady who is singing something in Maori.  Before you enter you have to take off your shoes.  After that you go around and meet the family and greet them, except you don't greet with just a hand shake. For the females you kiss them on the cheek and for the males you hongi. A hongi is where you lightly touch your nose and forehead to theres. It sounds really weird and it is kinda weird when you do it the first few times but its really cool. So we did that to like over 200 people which took ages... ugh. But it was a sweet experience for us to get more involved with the culture. So that was cool. We did that all day Thursday and Friday. 
We also had stake conference this week which was pretty cool. It was probably one of the best stake conferences I’ve been to in a while. The weekend was petty eventful. Everything is really good.  Our area is doing a lot better now. Things are starting to pick up. Oh and once P-day ends at 6 tonight we will be driving to Auckland to spend the night with the missionaries and than tomorrow morning we will be heading off to Hamilton to go to the temple. Im so excited. I can’t wait to go to the temple. It feels like its been ages since the last time I went. Thats all I have for this week!

Love you!
Elder Shannon