Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Happy Anzac! ..

Oh thats awesome! Neeson has the priesthood? Man that is crazy he’s a big boy now! That is awesome. He must be taller than me as well like all the other youngans these days -_- Give my love to the Conollys! We are actually so lucky to have solid friends in Christ. They are so important. Aren't they an awesome family mum? Aren't we just surrounded by awesome examples in Ngaruawahia Ward? 

Man you all sound like your lives are almost as fast paced as mine! Thats hilarious about the Whangarei crew coming down, just 'notifying' you that they’re on their way... haha! You must have strengthened your relationships so much since I’ve been gone. I know they love you and dad (and the rest of us) soooo so much. They are so grateful for everything that you do for them, you know you are massive examples to them, I’m glad you love having them because I know they feel loved, accepted and safe when they are down at Ngaruawahia - a feeling that every Child of God deserves. 

This week has been a rough one indeed mum! Its been the most pressing week so far, An Elder wisely said to me on my way to Fier at the start of the transfer that this would be one of the hardest transfers for me in terms of language - oh and have I felt that in Fier! We've been working hard and for the most part its been super good. I've seen the Hand of the Lord in the work Every day, but man I have been challenged, I've been stressed, I’ve been pushed to the limit, I have definitely felt that this week! Having said that I think this last recent period of my life has been one of the most productive, soul searching times where I have learnt a lot about myself, my spirituality and my relationship with God.

 A quote entered my mind from the talk "The Quest for Joy" given in the Provo MTC, which says "Joy is no stranger to pain".. To experience the greatest of joys, we must have the capacity to endure the pain, necessary for us to appreciate the joy and beauty that will naturally follow, when we are obedient. I think of  the saviour as He suffered in the Garden for the sins of the world. What was on His mind at the time of His great agony? I do not know for sure but if I had to guess, I would imagine he was at one time thinking about us, the cause of His pain. The purpose of His suffering. He knew very well that if he performed this selfless act of incredible love and pain, we could obtain the immeasurable joy of eternal life. Pain was a necessary part to obtain this true joy.

This is relevant to me and my own personal pains. The Lord refines his disciples so that they are more capable to both feel joy for themselves and their own personal lives, and perhaps more importantly, to share it with other people. 

Although in the moment it may be hard to bear, although our thoughts and emotions may betray and overcome us, the Saviour knows perfectly how we feel. In his Atonement, I am confident that we can overcome any weakness that we possess, any inadequacy is strengthened in Him and truly all of our trials will one day be for our Good! We just need to be patient.

Biiiig surprise I found out that the root of all my worries was a lack of patience. I need to work on being patient and I know the Lord will support me! He has never left me desolate before. He never will. 

I love you all! Excited for mothers day I am! I'll let you know next week what time I'll be on to skype! (Better start perfecting my Albanian, don’t wanna disappoint you... haha!) Oh and I’m sorry to announce this but... I'm losing my accent -_- So i might sound a little American but hey... thats okay :D

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Elder Waters letter to his Dad

I have been incredibly humbled today in terms of finance. I told someone working in a fast foods place here that when I was working back in NZ, a whole week of hard work would be roughly $600 for me (thats a tough week for me), and then they told me how much they make.... $600 every 3 months, or in other words the equivalent of $6 a day, of the same hard, perhaps even harder works, without breaks, and still happy. Incredible dad. Wow. I wouldn't know how to live on $6 a day! Every day I am amazed at the lifestyle here.

Dad I gotta go soon. Sadly I don't think I'm gonna have time to write much more, say Hi to mum, nivs, and raya for me please! I love you all so much. I think about you often, it helps me focus actually. Gives me something to work harder for. I know the Lord will bless me if I serve him with all my heart might mind and strength, If I lock my heart and deny myself all ungodliness, deny myself the natural and carnal thoughts that so easily pertrude my mind. I know for my service that you are receiving blessing. Blessing of health, happiness and prosperity. 

It comforts me to know that I am amongst one of the most prayed for group of people in the world. I hope the thought of me praying for you each, individually, my beautiful family, comforts you as well. I love you like nothing else in this world. And I'm so happy we have eternity to spend together. Isn't that just the most wonderful blessing anyone can ever imagine? To spend all eternity with the ones you love? I encourage you to be faithful to your covenants! Those that you have made at baptism and especially in the temple. Heed to the word of the Lord! Therein lies safety and peace :) :D

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Conference

Hi mum! 

Sounds like its been a busy week for the whanau back home... never a quiet week even though ya live in Ngaruawahia aye!  It seems like every week you's have done something craaaazy. That's awesome that some of the crew came over! happy to hear :D Awesome about dads work tho! A bit of a change for the first time in 4 years dad was saying..

We went to Vlore and played beach volleyball with the other missionaries today! Oh and what a wonderful sensation it was to feel fresh warm sand under my feet once more! It was awesome! I have a friend (who by the way, sends his love) his name is Elder Linderman, he's the old AP here, ending his mission this transfer and he is awesome. He's from California and loves the water. He's been surfing and knows a few beaches in his area and in Costa Rica (his mum owns a place out there) so we've been talking a little bit about surfing, I love it! 

This week was probably one of the best weeks of my mission. We've been working hard and the Lord has been blessing us with little miracles here and there, but the biggest miracle I would have to say is one of our investigators that we found this week - He Loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ! He has been super receptive to what we've shared with him, and get this, he came to 6 hours worth of conference! Awesome! I barely made it to the Sunday morning Conference when I was home. He was awesome man, he just loved it! He probably would have come to everything but he had to work... I love him - he is great! We had a powerful lesson with him and he accepted the invitation to be baptized early next month - which is awesome. Oh man, the Lord is Merciful!

Speaking about conference, wasn't it just awesome? Not that I understood a heck of a lot (all in albanian, enough said) but I definitely felt the spirit! And I received some answers to a few questions I had, which is always sweet. I hope you enjoyed conference, and all the crazy things that have been happening around home! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fier, a new companion, and we're living like Kings - yes that's right - we have a microwave AND a toaster!

Oh man this week was awesome! I just wanna express to you the deep gratitude I have towards the Lord.. I'm finally set up in Fier. I live on the 8th floor of the most beautiful apartment. I am living like a king!  My apartment is GLORIOUS! It's soooooo so sweet. In comparison to my old apartment, I have my own bathroom, my shower is like a water blaster, we've got 2 aircons that make life a dream, we have a toaster and microwave (Life is rough without 'em, so I've learnt to appreciate their presence!) and it's just so pretty! I'm seriously living in a palace, hehe.

Elder Matson is the one taking the photo
My new companion Elder Matson is awesome.  I have a tonne of respect for him. He's from (sweet home) Alabama, USA, and he's the oldest missionary in the field right now, 6 weeks and he's off home! He's awesome, he has a solid desire to be obedient and he works hard. Love it. He loves music, often times we both just break out into singing and it's great! He loves the guitar too. I also showed him a video of a haka and a maori song, long story short we are learning "kia tau" and he's almost got it all down! In a week! Legend. The pronunciation for maori is really super similar to Albanian so it helps a tonne. Sometimes I'll be in the other room getting changed and I'll hear him singing it, hahaha it's great. We are gonna have an awesome time together! My new district is awesome as well.

The members are awesome. They're crazy and I love them! I don't really know them all but you know I'm working on it! I had a goal to bear my testimony every fast sunday of my mission but I literally couldn't this sunday! This small branch (there was some 40 members in church on sunday) had no silent moment! Everyone was really keen to bear there testimony. They were pretty much fighting for the stand! Hahahaha it was hilarious actually. The Elders Quorum President behind me, stood up and started walking to the stand but then one of the little boys in the front stood up and beat him there, and he was mad! He was muttering under his breath "ugh I'm gonna kill him! Who does he think he is I'm gonna kill him!" Hahaha, and then at the very end the branch president fully cut off his wife, who was walking up to the stand, and told her to sit back down because we ran out of time! hahaha, oh it was great. So I'm not sad I didn't get to bear testimony, seeing the members burning desire to share their testimonies and feeling the spirit was an incredibly rewarding experience in itself. It was great! I loved it.

President Gjika (the branch president) invited us missionaries over to their house and they feasted us! It was great. They have such an awesome family - President Gjika is probably one of the most happy optimistic people I've met over here - He's missing one of his arms (factory accident I think), but he is just blooming happiness! Always joking around and has a mad love for biking and running. He wakes up at some ridiculous hour of the morning (before 3am) and runs! And he owns over 5 bikes himself and actively uses them... He's just so happy! Man and then Sister Gjika is awesome too... Such a happy, blessed family. They're seriously awesome. You can really see the difference the gospel makes to a family! It is a beautiful sight.

I hope you can feel the love that I have for my new area. Sad to see the old one go of course, but no use dwindling on the past! The present is here and there's plenty to do. One thing I really admire about Elder Matson is his testimony of the Atonement. I can feel his undying confidence in the Atonement when he testifies. It's awesome! He's so sincere about the healing grace and power that we can receive through it. The word healing always sounds like its only applicable to those that are smitten or stricken with some sort of disease or condition, but the truth is, we all stand in need of healing, no matter who we are or where we are on our spiritual journey. We all fall short of perfection, thus we all stand in need of the Atonement. Of course it requires courage on our part, but our Saviors arms are open to us whenever we are ready - "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33.
I'll be happy if he keeps this up when he gets home!
I truly hope you are as happy as I am right now. If not, center your lives in Him and you will find it. Promise!

With Love
Elder Waters 

Friday, April 3, 2015

A transfer to Fier, a Haka and Seizure free for a year:)

I don't have a heck of a lot of time right now because guess what... I'm getting transferred! (packiiiiiing!!!!)

I will be serving in Fier with Elder Mattson, it's in the southern Zone where they speak some of the cleanest Albanian in the country, so I'll be learning the 'pure language' and I plan to really up my game when I get there! I am so excited! Sad to see Tirana go and all the beautiful families and members here, but it's the Lords will, so I will place my confidence in that! 

That's so funny about the mission mamas page! Thats such a Kiwi thing to do, hahaha. Good ol Kiwi mamas - thats special!  Such a neat idea. Speaking about kiwi things to do, there's this senior missionary couple (the Smiths - they're awesome) whom, Elder Smith, a former mission president, had served around a Kiwi Elder (Elder Klein?) in Thailand, and he had done a haka for him, both a solo and as a district - the man! So Elder Smith was really fascinated by our culture and of course, tha haka. So after a solid 20 minutes of nagging me to do a haka for them, I decided to do one. I did a solo Haka for my american and Albanian brethren (taukato hi!). It was cool, I’m such a whiteboy but they don’t know the difference!! hahaha. They loved it.

Man, Ngaruawahia ward is AWESOME! We have such a cool ward, seriously, I love Tirana 4th, but Ngaruawahia Ward is hard to beat! How are our missionaries going? Give them a fala! (It means say hello for me) Tell them they're awesome.

Every night as a part of our daily planning, my Companion and I have the wonderful opportunity to reflect on our day and ask each other the specific question "How did you see the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ Today?" And it really keeps you on your toes! Not that it's hard to find, but that we need to adjust ourselves to be constantly looking for it! The first time my companion asked me that, I was like woah, wait, what? Is this like a thing? It took me totally off guard.  I answered, but I realized eventually that asking this question not only gives you the opportunity to testify of Christ and grow your gratitude, it softens your spiritual eyes so they become more sensitive to the things that are available to us through the Atonement. I have seen the power of the Atonement every day. It is a real force, it is powerful! And it is there for us to access if we humble ourselves unto Repentance. Amongst such a confused, scattered world, I have found the deepest feelings of peace and security thanks to my Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ. It is truly so beautiful. 

Well mum, my last P day for my first Transfer is almost over. This is actually a really special week, on top of easter and everything happening this month, this Celebrates me being seizure free for 1 year! Wohoo! (Unless I have one before next Monday, bahahaha then I'll be seeing you soon -_- ). I love albania. I adore it.  I’m so stoked to be here.

I hope you are happy!  Even as happy as I.

Love Elder Waters