Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

From the Ghetto to the Country to the City

Malo lelei 

What a heck of a week I have had. On Monday the Zone leaders told all of the Elders not to make any plans that night because they wanted to have an FHE with everyone because transfers were coming up. So we went to the park and played some football. Thats right, it’s the first time I have played football in ages! That was really fun. Then we had a massive feed and after that we had a lesson and played some games. 

The zone leaders got transfer news in the middle of the FHE and they were gonna wait until the end to tell us. Anyways when we got to the end they finally told us where some of us were were getting transferred. I was anxiously waiting for my name to get called. They announced mine last. I got transferred to Waterview!!! The city! I was so pumped! They just recently combined our area with the zone leaders area. The zone leaders are the only ones who cover the city but now we get to cover it as well. I am so happy. I have served about everywhere even though this is my 3rd area. But I have seen all 3 sides of the mission. 

My companion is Elder Fermanis. He is Maori and from New Zealand. HE is the man. He’s a crack up! haha. Our chapel is in the city which is super cool. There are some big buildings around it and then there is a little chapel between them all. 

Tuesday I spent basically the whole day packing so not much happened that day. 

Wednesday I got on a 3 hour bus ride to the city. Got to my area around 2 o'clock. Met my companion and he started to show me around. Everyone is this area is rich! We are supposed to have a car but they got in a car accident the day before transfers and so we have to wait till they fix it. It’s hard to go out and work because our area is pretty big. But its algoodz. We do as much as we can. We had a baptism this Saturday which was cool. 

But the best part of the week was on Saturday. Elder D. Todd Christopherson came and spoke to us which was so cool! The Hamilton mission came as well and we had a massive mission conference. We got to shake his hand along with the area presidency and that was really cool. After that we had to go to the chapel to set everything up for the baptism. The Zone leaders also had a baptism so we combined them so we spent the next few hours putting everything together. It was a mean baptism. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to. After the baptism we went to Wendy's to celebrate one of the most spiritual days of my life! It was such a cool day. Its hard to describe it all it was just that good.

So this week has just been amazing. My district is all Elders which is so much better than sister to tbh (to be honest). I have a set of Tongan and Samoan Elders. And they are on to it so it makes my job easier. My missionary tan is coming along quite nice. The farmers tan along with the watch tan line haha. That one is really bad. But freak. It is so hot here. Like it is unreal. Air condition is super expensive and no one has it so its just hot every where you go. Our flat is like a sauna when we come home every night. It’s terrible. I will stand outside for 15 minutes and I will be dripping in sweat. Its so bad. Its really good to be back in the city again. I missed islanders for the last 4 and a half months. I forgot how much they feed us. Every time we go over to a members house they will feed you regardless if you ate or not and it’s offensive if you don’t eat. The struggle is real haha. But I love it. My companion is sweet and so is our area. Freak I just can’t get over how good of a week it was. That’s all for this week. Love ya!

Ofa Atu

Elder Shannon

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's All About The Attitude

Kia Ora 

This past week has been so great. My companion and I smashed it this week. On Tuesday we were able catch some less actives we haven't seen in ages. We caught up with them and one of them was telling us some sweet experiences they had over Christmas. His name was Ruki and just before Christmas day his lung collapsed and he had to go to the hospital and he wasn't expecting to live from it. He actually died for about 4 minutes. While he was dead (I feel weird saying that) anyways he had a dream that he saw his family and he went on about how it all signified that he wasn't supposed to leave this earth and stuff. It was so cool, one of the more spiritual moments I've had on the mission. He told us heaps more that would take ages to explain and it was so cool because it was a testimony builder for him. He has had some WoW problems but he is wanting to stop and come back to church and change things which was so cool to hear him say that. His testimony was so strong to and the spirit that I felt when we were with him was incredible. 
After that visit we went to another less actives house and we were finally able to catch them home after a month and a half. They are probably one of my favorite families I've ever visited. The wife is wanting to come back too but the husband is not. We are trying to work with him but he is currently in a gang and is getting paid bank for it because he basically beats people up. They are a way cool family. They used to go to the temple regularly and so they have a super good knowledge of the gospel and so we go over and discuss doctrine with them so its really cool. 
Thursday was also another great day. We had 12 referrals that we were given by our branch president and we went out and contacted 5 of them. We got 1 new investigator out of it so we were pretty pumped about that. And overall, that day was just good because we worked dang hard that day and we felt very pleased with the work we did that day. 
While we were doing weekly planning we were reflecting back on the week and started to wonder why those days were so good. We realized that our attitude was what changed it. From the moment we woke up those 2 days, everything just fell into place. So we have made it a goal for us to wake up every morning with a positive attitude towards everything because it really does effect everything about the day. That is something I can definitely improve on when I wake up in the mornings. 
We find out about transfers later tonight and so I am anxious about that because I think I am getting transferred. For my birthday we had a celebration after the missionary devotional on Friday and it was also one of the zone leaders b day as well. So after the devotional the zone got together and made us cakes and cookies so that was cool. I have pictures but I will send those pictures next week due to the lack of time I have. I won’t get my package till transfers on Wednesday. 
As of late the mission has been pretty disobedient. There have been several emergency transfers over the past few weeks. Luckily I am away from all of that. It’s sad to hear stuff like that because they should no better and remember why they came out here. I don’t want to judge or anything but thats just how it is. I have seen the blessings from being obedient because when you aren’t you are for giving up certain blessings and I certainly don’t want to miss out on those. Thats all I have time for. 
Love you!!!!

Elder Shannon      

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sit down with the President

Kia Ora

This week has been so good for lots of different reasons. One of them is the senior couple that is in my district went home during Christmas and were gone for the next few weeks because they had a death in the family and on Wednesday they came back. I got our district together and we all went over to their place to say hello. We all brought treats and had a little get together to welcome them back, so that was exciting. 

On Thursday we had our interviews with president which were so good. Oh boy I loved it! We got interviewed by him and his wife and we just told them how we were doing and if we needed help with anything. I asked heaps of questions about my district and things I can do to improve. It was just awesome! The worst part of it was My companion and I were at the stake center all day because I had to wait for my district to finish interviews before I could meet with him. We were at the chapel for about 6 hours that day. So the day felt like it went on for ages. But it was algoods. 

I also found out I might be getting transferred not this week but next week. I got one of the AP's to tell me. He said I am most likely going to get transferred so that was interesting. On Friday we went on trade-offs with the zone leaders for the second week in a row. I was able to go out with Elder Seumanutafa this time. He is Samoan. Anyways, it was mean! It’s nice being with someone who is experienced and learning from them. 

Trade-offs are cool because it’s more of a learning experience. A lot of missionaries use trade-offs to get away from companions or to be with someone else. But It was really good. We were in our area this time and it just went really well. Saturday was pretty usual. Sunday was a solid day. We got to attend the new branch we cover which was sweet. There were only like 20 of us there but we had a whale of a time. The speakers didn't show up to sacrament meeting, none of them so the branch president called on my companion and I to talk out of nowhere haha. It went pretty good though. We left church with 12 referrals of people we can go see so that was sweet. 

During our interviews I asked President for more K's because the amount we have now limits us on where we can go and when. I had to beg in interviews to get the amount I wanted, but I got them. We received 1200 more K's which is plenty so now we can go to all 3 of our areas in one day if we wanted! So we are pretty busy now and we always have something to do. My companion and I are starting to get transfer trunky even though transfers is still 1 week away so we are going to try really hard not to let it bother us and just go to work. My companion gets it worse than me though its pretty funny haha. I’m struggling with a few of the sisters in my district because they take things a little too serious. I try to get them to loosen up but they won’t. They are pretty robotic. It’s not too big of a problem but it just bothers me. Other than that things are going alright right now. 

I don't really have anything planned for my birthday yet but Elder Seumanutafa one of the zone leaders b day is 2 days after mine and we thought about doing something together. We are still trying to figure it out though. Freak, I turn 19 this week . That is weird haha. Oh we also have a worldwide missionary devotional this week that we get to watch which I am so excited for. That’s all I have for this week though. I hope you have a great week this week. I love you!

Elder Shannon   

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Rivalry Begins


This week has been pretty crazy. It started off on Tuesday when we were going to visit a less active lady we met at the fish and chips shop in the small town of Moerewa. So we went over to her house to get to know her a little bit more. We found out she was baptized a few years ago but felt pressured into getting baptized. So that is her reason from falling away. She also told us that she had been meeting with the JW's (Jehovah Witnesses). We were extremely disappointed. The JW's are our biggest competitor in Moerewa. So she asked us what separates us from other churches and we talked about the plan of salvation for a little bit and the requirements it takes to go where we need to be at the end of this life. And it was at that point we realized that she doesn't remember anything the missionaries taught her in the past. But it was algoods because she like what we shared with her at the door step and so we gave her a Plan Of Salvation pamphlet with our number on it. So that was really cool. We are basically planning on reteaching her all the lessons again and hope to reactivate her. We just have to get there before the JW's haha jokes. That s just a little joke me and my companion have with that scenario. But we are really hopping to get her back because she is super keen.

Wednesday and Thursday we were able to go on trade offs with the good ol' zone leaders which was a hoot. We started at around 4 o' clock on Wednesday and we were going to do 24 hour trade off. Oh and this was my favorite part. Every Wednesday heaps of people go to the park to play and the zone leaders go and they have less actives that go as well as investigators so its really cool because they get to be with all them and its a great opportunity to find. But we were able to go play for a few hours. Every one there was so good. I felt so dumb. I know all the rules and everything, but everyone is just so dang good. But it was super fun to play and I had a good time. But because both of the areas the zone leaders cover are super spread out we didn't get to go proselyte so Elder Cunningham, one of the zone leaders, took me to a cool look out in there area. I will send pictures of them. But it was sweet. Thursday came around and we were able to go out and proselyte and get some work done. Trade offs were super good.

Friday comes around, and we are almost done with weekly planning. We get a call from an unfamiliar number. I answer it and it turns out to be my companions dad. So I gave the phone to my companion to talk to him. It turns out that he had a member of his family had passed away. He was torn up about it and I don't blame him. He talked on the phone with his family for a while and than came and told me. Later that night we had the zone leaders over and we were able to talk to him and just comfort him. I was worried about him and how I would be able to handle it. The only thing I could think of was to just go out and work. I figured that would be the best way to get it off his mind. So I made sure we were always doing something and not giving him time to think about home. It’s been really hard on me because I don't really know how to handle it. I will talk to him about a few times and give him my thoughts. That kinda works but I can’t control what is on his mind all the time so its really hard. I feel super bad for him. But I am still figuring out how to handle it and the situation. 

Thats basically the week for me. Heaps has happened and I have to say it has been a pretty hard week on my companion and I. I am just grateful for this gospel and everything it can do for us. It helps us so much. Other than that everything is going pretty good. Our areas are getting better. Oh and speaking of which, President gave us a branch that we cover now so we cover 2 wards and a branch now. So that is pretty exciting. Things are going really well. We have interviews with president this week and I’m super excited about. But thats all I have for this week. 

Elder Shannon  

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years in NZ


This week as been a solid week. We still had heaps of less actives and investigators out of town so its still pretty frustrating to work around that. We had a hard working week this week and it's crazy how the Lord places people in your path for us to work with. We were at a fish & chips shop on Tuesday getting lunch. As we were waiting a lady walks in and asks us what church we belong to. We said the "Mormon church", because people have know idea what you mean when you say LDS. So she told us that she was baptized a couple years back. We were talking to her for a little bit and than we asked her if we could stop by some time to visit with her some more. It's been super cool because we have had more situations like that which have been cool. The Lord blesses us with people to work with when we are obedient and all we want to do is share the gospel with as many people as we can. The cool thing is, is that lady we met at the fish & chips shop had kids to who aren't baptized so that also opens the door for new investigators as well. We are just praying with faith that something will come of it. 

We had a zone training on Thursday which was mean. It was exactly what my companion and I were needing to hear and it was stuff that could help us in our area. So that was cool. Later that day after 6 pm, we weren't allowed to go proselyte because everyone was flipping wasted. Not to be rude or anything, but everyone was just having a party. So we met up with the zone leaders and had a little New Years celebration. We got sparkling cider to celebrate the new years with and they have corks in them. So we shook them up and popped the corks. We did this outside of course but it was so awesome. Hahah I never thought I would ever do that let alone on the mission. It was cool.

Then the next morning we wake up do our studies and everything, and we look out the window of our flat overlooking the a few shops and the main highway that runs past our house and it's raining pretty hard and traffic is backed up along the main road. We didn't think much of it at first and then 15 minutes later we look out the window again and we see the same cars that were there before. The highway is only one lane on each side so no one can turn around or get into a different lane. We were stuck in our flat for most of the day because we had no way of getting to our area. The weather was really bad all weekend. It rained for 4 days straight non stop. It was unreal the amount of rain we got. That really put a damper on our weekend. 

Its been super weird to have holidays out on the mission. It's different but I love it so much. And because it's the start of a new year I was able to set some personal goals for myself for this year that I am super pumped about. And you know what is cool about being a missionary, is that all of the things you learn that you would have never thought you would have learned. Like cool object lessons you can use for kids or new ways to teach lessons to different people to make them more fun and interesting. I just love it so much because I never would have thought about these things before the mission. 
Other than that all is pretty well here in NZ. Its hot and the air is very MOIST! I'm starting to get a wicked tan line from my watch and short sleeve shirts so that is cool. That's all I have. 
Love you heaps mom!

Elder Shannon