Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Elder Kyle Shannon :)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Obedience and Testimony

Kia Ora,

I don't have a lot of time this week so I will have to make this one quick. This past week was a roller coaster kind of a week. It started off really good. Our new investigator Frank who came to church Easter weekend, we had a lesson with him. All we did was just ask him some questions and see what he knew and what he is wanting to take away from meeting with us. We didn't really teach anything, but we got to know him super well. He wants to get baptized really bad which is super cool. He is one of those golden investigators missionaries would kill to have them. We haven't set a date yet for him but we will the next time we go see him. If we baptize him then his wife will start coming back to church because she is a less active as well so it is quite the deal with them. We are super excited about that cause this branch hasn't had a baptism in a about 2 years. He will probably get baptized at the end of May or beginning of June. So that was one high we were on at the start of the week. 
In our other branch things aren't going so well.  We had an investigator Cassandra move about a month ago. We know they didn't move to far from where they used to live. Just a few minutes away. But the problem is that we don't know where they moved to and they aren't answering their phone. She was super close to baptism to but she just went off the grid. Sunday came around and we were driving to church and we saw Cassandra's partner walking on the main street and when we saw him we immediately turned the car around to go back and talk to him to see where they have been. But by the time we turned around and started looking for him we could not find him. We were super bummed about it. It's been a month and a half since we last saw them. It has been super frustrating. So we just had to accept the fact that we will have to wait for another time and hope we see them again.  So we are praying that we will see them again, its just on the Lord’s time and not ours. 
For church that Sunday in the Wellsford Branch it was Branch Conference and it was really good. We had a good lesson in priesthood about testimonies. One thing that someone mentioned that I really loved was that "Obedience is so crucial to having a strong testimony, you can be disobedient and still experience things and have your testimony grow, but it won't reach its full potential. being obedient increases our testimony so much more than we know." I started to ponder those words the rest of the day and had a good discussion with my companion about it. There is a significant difference in our testimonies depending on our commitment to being obedient. So that was really cool. The branch conference was really good! I loved it so much. 
That is all I have time for this week. I love you heaps! Have a great week!


Elder Shannon    





Sunday, April 23, 2017

Feeding the Spirit

Hello

This last week was a pretty solid week. On Monday we had our zone p day and we did an amazing race sorta thing which was pretty fun. Then we had a water balloon fight and we also played football as well. Almost everyone from our zone is from here in the pacific and they have never played so it was pretty fun to teach and play it. 
We also had interviews and zone conference as well. That was on Thursday and Friday back to back which was pretty tiring.  Interviews were really good. It's funny because I am pretty sure President Balli is trunky. Normally he is always asking about our obedience, planning and our area. But this was very different. We started making fun of the new missionaries who watch General Conference for the first time and they say its there first time watching all the sessions. And then he started making jokes about one of our branch Presidents who is just pretty crazy. It was interesting because he normally isn't like that. It was a super relaxed interview and just funny. 
My favorite one was with Sister Balli. She shared a video with me and than we talked about it. The video was entitled "Daily Bread: Pattern" It talks about us having to always feed our physical needs but how we also need to feed our spirituality. And I remember a talk I heard and I forget where I heard it but the person giving the talk stated that every time we get hungry we should also think to feed our spiritual side at the same time. It was an interesting comparison because there are times when it’s hard to tell when our spirit is hungry. That’s why it’s so important to always constantly feed it because it can be hard to tell when our spirit is hungry. And then when we do notice that it is, it’s hard to get our selves to feed our spirit. It just really hit me and was super good because I was really needing that at that time. 
On Friday we then had zone conference which was really good. They split us up and we had little work shops which was different because we normally just do the same format every time. We sit down and they give us training's for 6 hours so it was finally nice to mix it up. Yesterday was pretty interesting. 
We attended the Wellsford Branch and there was about 11 people that chowed up to church which was pretty sad but school is out for a few weeks here and so people are out on holidays but it was still sad. I got to pick the hymns for sacrament which was pretty fun and Elder Canoy and I got to be the first and second counselor for the day because both of them were gone. So it ended up being pretty fun. 
But Ya holidays here sucks because we school is out people always go out of town and it makes it super hard when you want to teach or visit less actives when they are all gone. It makes the week go by slow.  
That’s all I have from this last week. 
Love you! 


Elder Shannon

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Miracle In Bream Bay

Kia Ora,

This past week has been nuts. The weather here has been crazy over the past week. Last week I talked about how it rained so much, well that was nothing compared to what we got this last week. We had what they call a cyclone which is pretty much just a mini hurricane. It rained all week. I don't think the sun came out once. Lots of rain and the wind was pretty bad too. 
The cyclone came in on Thursday and just went along the whole east coast of New Zealand. We were without power from Thursday night to Saturday night. It was terrible. Sister Balli sent out a text to all the missionaries to stay inside all day Friday. It was just hectic. There was water everywhere. Fields were flooded and so were some of the roads. Luckily where I am though that’s about all that happened. Auckland got it worse. They had flooding and mud slides and all that stuff. It was crazy! 
Sunday came around and it was such a beautiful day I couldn't have asked for a better day on Easter. It was sunny with a few clouds in the sky and the temp was around 60-70 degrees. It was awesome. So that was that. 
On Saturday we were on trade off with our zone leaders. I was with Elder Telleman in there area. it was my first time going into there area. There area consists of one long road and that is pretty much it. All we did was drive up and down that road. It was super annoying. But it was good. Elder Telleman and I go home at the same time so we just talked about home and made ourselves pretty trunky haha. It was fun. He is from Australia. 
Yesterday though was awesome. Yesterday was just a miracle itself. Like I was saying that the weather on Sunday was just awesome. Well it was much needed. Our chapel in Bream Bay is a house. For sacrament we meet in the garage. We had about 80 people attend our branch for Easter. It was packed. There wasn't enough room in the garage so we had to open up the garage and people had to sit outside. The Lord had blessed us with a great day for this occasion. At least that’s what I think. Now this is where you start to see the Lord work in mysterious ways. We weren't expecting this many people to show up to church. 
Every week that we attend the Bream Bay Branch we bless and pass the sacrament and I didn't even think to look at how much bread and water we had just until about 5 minutes before the sacrament song. We normally only have 2 bread trays and 2 water trays. So I looked under to see how much bread and water we had. We had 1 slice of bread on each tray and the water was filled up as normal. I looked up at the member next to me and across from me and we all just looked at each other with the same look like "oh my gosh, what are we going to do?" We didn't have any more bread to use. So we just went with it. We made it through with the bread but the water was my concern. No cups to refill either. I thought we would only get to half of the people with the water. But as they are passing they both finish up passing and come back with one cup left on each tray. One for both of them to whom were passing. We all just looked at each other and laughed about it because there was no way we were able to have done that. It was crazy. It may not seem like that big of a miracle to you but it was to us because of the situation we were in. It was crazy. 
We also got a new investigator after church as well. His name is Frank, he just married a member a few weeks ago and they just recently moved in. He told us that he wants to be taught and baptized so that was cool. We just hope he is not build ups about it. So that is our week. It was indeed a crazy one. 
I love you heaps! Have a great week!


Elder Shannon




Kai Iwe Lakes


 Waterfall


Maori structure 



Monday, April 10, 2017

4th and Final!

Kia Ora,
Just this last weekend we were able to watch the good ole' GC. And like usual, it is always great. It was crazy as I was watching it, I had the realization of how much I have actually changed over the past 2 years. The fact that I am willing to sit down and watch every session of conference. Before it was skip the Saturday session and do everything I can to make it through the Sunday sessions. But now I hate when my companion has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a talk and I have to miss out on it. Like that happened a few times during the sessions and it was starting to irritate me haha. I had a little laugh with myself after I had this happen. I just never would have thought I would enjoy conference so much. 
I don't have my note book on me at the moment so I won't be able to share as much as I would like to from GC. I forget the Elder’s name, but he talked about learning the language of the gospel and how we can make our homes a place to learn and apply the gospel principals. I did like all of the talks on the Holy Ghost and listening to the promptings. Elder Rasband gave a great talk about it. I liked that he focused on us needing to act when we get a prompting and not trying to second guess whether its the holy ghost or not. "You will get it right 9 times out of 10" I really liked that because we just need to have confidence in ourselves to listen and to act on the first prompting we get from the holy ghost. There were several more I liked but again I forgot my notebook. But overall it was really good. 
It was super weird to think that it was my last GC on the mission. The 4th one. It’s just weird to think about. The next one we will be sitting together as a family watching it. On Thursday this last week we went fishing with our investigators which was super fun. We were able to catch some fish and then take it back to their house and they cooked for us and we then had dinner with them. It was so cool and super fun. I wasn't able to catch anything which was super lame but I guess thats how fishing goes. The dinner was good so that was all that mattered. Our investigators that we went with are Erma and Lawrence. They are super cool. After we had dinner we had a really good lesson about the Book of Mormon.  Erma had a lot of questions which was awesome. That day was just super cool. So that was like the highlight of our week. 
The weather this past week was hectic. It rained so much. I have talked about the rain in previous letters before but this last week was crazy. The begging of the week was just non stop rain. Auckland got hit the worst but there were several areas that flooded and quiet a few land slides. Roads were flooded with water to the point where no one could drive on some of the roads. For us the main highway that goes up and down NZ was blocked in one area it was so bad. It was super crazy. Luckily we didn't get it as bad  as Auckland got it. It was a little scary because they started sounding the tsunami sirens as a drill just to make sure everything was working properly. Just the thought of that scared me because our area is along the ocean and we live 3 minutes away from the beach. So that was intense. 
Here is a funny story for ya, while we were driving "I Believe I Can Fly" came on and my companion said "I love this song" than he started trying to think of who sang it and I told him it was R Kelly. He then said "no he doesn't sing it" I was like bruh... For real. Then we got in a little argument about who sang the song and than I asked him if he had seen Space Jam, and he said no. And than that’s when I knew why he didn't know and understand. I don't understand how you listen to that song without first seeing Space Jam. I told him that is a must see and is a movie I will cherish as one of my all time favorite childhood movies. We had a good laugh about it afterwards so it was good. 
That’s All I have for this week though. 
I love ya heaps mom! 


Elder Shannon

Thursday, April 6, 2017

He is a Perfect Example

April 2 2017

Kia Ora! 

This last week was awesome. Some many things happened this week. To Start things off we found 3 new investigators this last week which we were ecstatic about. All of them are Filipino. My companion worked his Filipino magic on them and they were happy to have us over to there home. The first 2 names are Chi and Cha. They are not related, they just have similar names which is ironic. But all the Filipinos in our area all know each other. 
On Tuesday night we had a massive dinner with them and there was like 15 other Filipinos there. It was so awesome. So there is some other potential there as well we hope we can work with. But they were all willing to listen and they had some questions and were willing to share experiences with us. And after this experience I can see why the Philippines baptizes so much. They recognize that we are servants of God and love and respect us unlike most people. So it was super awesome. 
The other that we found is Erma. She married a man from New Zealand. He is white and when we first met him I was expecting him to brush us off and not want to have anything to do with us because thats how most of the white people are here. But not him, he was super nice. He is not super interested in religion but loves talking to us. Things just seemed to go our way this week. We are really wanting to get things going and especially me. I want to get a baptism in this area super bad because the branch deserves a baptism and they are so close to getting it. We just have to keep trying and trusting in the lord. 
I am super excited for conference. I will watch conference a last time on the mission this weekend for me which is weird to think about. The days are getting faster and so are the weeks. Everything is starting to become a blur. Its so strange. But I am still loving every moment of it. My studies have been super good lately. I have been studying Alma the younger super closely. I decided I wanted to study specific people and there accounts and stories they have. It has been so awesome because I can just focus on that one person and on there attributes and all the things they have done good at. I love Alma the younger so much because he is so sick! I like when he is telling his son Helaman his conversion he had when him and his brothers were trying to destroy the church. It’s in ch. 36 of Alma. I could only imagine what it was like for Helaman to here that from his dad. It is such a powerful experience. We are talking about Alma being not being able to move, talk, eat or drink for 3 days and 3 nights. No movement at all. And he offers up a prayer to Heavenly Father asking for forgiveness. Alma remembered what his dad had told him concerning the coming of the Saviour and the Atonement that he would perform. This gave him peace and comfort and it was able to change his heart and his behavior about everything he had done. It is such a great example of how our Saviour can give us that peace and comfort knowing that he has performed the Atonement for us. For me, for you, for everyone. Christ didn't do it to say that he was better than everyone else. He very well could have done that and been selfish enough to not even perform the Atonement for us. But he did it because he loves us. He is the perfect example. I am just lucky enough to have this knowledge in my life. It gives me the strength to keep going everyday knowing that the knowledge I have can change someones life forever! I love this Gospel. 
That’s all for this week. Have a great week!


Elder Shannon