Monday, March 31, 2014

I Am So Excited!!!

Hello my beautiful family!!

Elder Waters here (duh). 

I'm sitting here Monday night, 19:43, tomorrow morning at 4.30 I'll be on the bus on my way to the Salt Lake airport. It's finally happening! I'm finally going to shqipëria! (Albania). 

I Am So Excited!!!

We stop through Chicago, then we head over to Vienna, Austria, And then over to Tiranë, Albania. I can't wait!

It has been a full on last week and I just feel so privileged to be serving a mission! I have learnt so much here at the Provo MTC. But I am definitely ready to leave. I could use a solid boil up right now! Or some of your cooking Nan, hehehe. 

I don't even know what to feel right now! There are so many emotions going through me! Apparently I have changed so much over the last 9 weeks, I think it's all for the better - lets hope haha. 

How are things back home? How are my little nieces/cuzzies? Is Nevah 6ft yet? I wouldn't be surprised haha. What's school like Raya? How are things back home?

Nan and Pop, How is the ol' bus treating you? I'll pray harder next time nan, hahaha!

I suppose you can't dear Elder the MTC anymore! Because I wont be here :o Let me know how things are and I'll let you know about my adventures to Albania :D :D Love you so much my family!!


Elder Waters

(The photos are my 3 teachers, they helped me out so much! I love them! [the other guy with Sister Iftiu is Her Husband]) 

Take Care!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

6 days to go......

Sorry I didn't get to email last week, I completely ran out of time! Things are so full on here but the main reason I ran out of time is because we were hosting new missionaries that arrived on P day, purely because the sister of my Shok (companion) finally arrived! How crazy is it - they get to serve in the MTC, same zone, same building for 9hours+ a day and right next door to each other! They are so funny they remind me of each other. They are super similar, I love them both :) My Shok is so protective of Her its really funny, nothing short of what I would be come to think of it. Good man shok. 

Its been a Hectic week, through it all I have had some amazing spiritual experiences. The other day My shok and I had a lesson with one of our 'investigators' and we spoke about the prophet Joseph Smith, and the Restoration of the Church. It was such a beautiful experience because we had prepared everything well but the majority was prepared in English. We don't know how to speak Albanian properly, but we had done all we could with the time given us. We taught all in Albanian and the Lord truly sent his spirit to Testify of the truth. We all felt it. It was incredible! As a result of this our investigator was able to see how being a member of Christ's church would benefit him in his life, and accepted the commitment to be baptized. It was beautiful :)

Not sure If I told you but that was our second time where an investigator accepted the commitment to be baptized! It feels so good to witness people striving to make spiritual improvements in their lives. Last time we sung 'Families can be together forever' in albanian to our other investigator, my Shok thought it was weird but I just really thought we should sing that song to her. The spirit was so strongly present. 
Conference Center in Salt Lake City
I get rejoiced (Albanian translation for I am excited, haha) to be serving my mission! I am so happy I am out here. in 6 days I will be flying to my mission and I'm just so excited!!!! 

Inside the Conference Center
I learnt something important at last nights devotional, which truly strengthened me. (Dad do you remember the 'Idaho Farm boy' general authority that spoke a while ago in a general conference, and said he was going to be firm with how he spoke, and he recited the first article of Faith? haha. Well it was the same Elder Ellis that spoke last night! What a powerful Speaker). He said that sometimes we may see someone who is really good with the language, or well versed in the scriptures, and we may be tempted to study more scriptures or more language than we are designated to study. This is not how the Lord wants it! (which is huge for me because I do this with the language ha) He continued, If we are putting our focus on our investigators then the rest will follow - "If we put First things First, then second things get thrown in, but if we put second things First, we may lose both of them". Thats a rough memory of what he said, but it was so powerful when he delivered it because fortunately I was in the right frame of mind to realize that he was talking to me, haha!

Humanitarian Center
Having said that, I am super keen to go to Albania now. Mosiah K5, talks about how when people repent they have no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually. Why? Because the spirit is working (or beginning to work) In them! This is what I felt last night and it has continued to stay with me. This feeling is compelling mami, babi, (mum +dad), It helps me realize my divine potential, I know that if we focus on our investigators the Lord will support us, because They Also, are his beloved Children. The reason they have a desire to be baptized is because they feel the same divine spirit working within them and for at least a moment, they have a greater vision of what they can become, seeking to do good continually. And it is beautiful to witness.

Albanian Flag
I am so glad the spirit is able to testify of truths through me! If I could desire you to have anything while I was away, my whanau, would be to have the spirit in your lives. If you don't already, work towards it! It is so comforting to know that your actions are portraying the Will of our Father in Heaven. The spirit will compel you with what you should do:)

I went to Salt lake City and did an endowment session the other day, it was sweet! Such a nice experience. The temple is beautiful, ridiculously bukur (beautiful). We also went to the conference Centre + Humanitarian centre, I found me an Albanian flag while I was there too, Wohoo!!!
Temple Square - The view from the top of the Conference Center

Kalofshi mire familjen tim . Arohanui

Elder Waters

In an added email Elder Waters says - 

Hi mum sorry I have like 0 time! I got all your packages thank you!!! Also, Aunty Lia and uncle Phil AND Elder Kendells family all sent me packages! So grateful!

Cant say thank you properly here but I got it all in my journal :) 

Love you mum ;)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Short and sweet..

Well, last week was just a very short email home telling us his leaving date is 1 April - which is not far away at all.  I had sent him copies of Sister and Elder Andersons letters from their blogs and he said he loved hearing how they are doing and he also said to give Elder Flood a big hug from him..  So this weeks email is portions of letters he sent to our Ngaruawahia Ward sister missionaries..

These were all the ties he received at his setting apart.
He took every single one of them and plans to wear them all or give them to those brethren he teaches..

Teaching experiences...

The other day we were teaching an investigator who had just gotten back from a crazy party over the weekend.. We taught him about the word of wisdom (without actually saying word of wisdom... not by choice purely because I didn't know how to say it in albanian hahaha) and the spirit was so nice and strong and beautiful and we asked him if he would commit and he said yes!!!! BOOM!!! It felt so good! haha I haven't had the chance to experience the feelings of someone to accept a baptismal commitment, but I'm not gonna lie tomorrow I might be blessed with that experience! We plan to sing to our investigator, through a  solid lesson plan as well haha. I cant wait to teach her!!!

BETTER NEWS SISTER!!! My shok & I got our first baptismal date with an 'investigator'!!!! It was a sick feeling! We absolutely nailed our lesson and the spirit was able to testify through us, she (the 'investigator') left the lesson pretty much wanting to do anything we would ask of her. It was great. This work is so beautiful!

On a lighter note...

Here's Elder Waters practicing extending commitments.. 

 "Will you commit to sending me a package with NZ ice cream?"

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

P Day

Hi mum! 

P Day is catch up on washing day...
What happens on my P day in the MTC is we wake up at 6, get our washing and stuff out of the way and after that get ready for the temple :) they have computers while you wait for your washing which is sweet, so I'm down here atm. I haven't got my camera on me so when we get back from temple I'll try email some photos :)  To be honest I haven't been taking much, its been full on work mum!! 

We (my shok and I) gave a lesson about repentance the other day to our district, it was in english and I think it went alright, It was fun to give it actually!! We found out the night before and I was like YUSSS!!! Teaching in English!! Haha, teaching in albanian is so hard and it was just a nice break to have. Ironic huh? The hungarians from our zone leave next week! Ever since I came here they treated me like older brothers, I'm gonna miss them but I'm so excited for them! Did I tell you that my shok has a sister thats coming to the MTC next week? She is in the new hungarian group, so she's in our zone AND she's studying in the classroom RIGHT NEXT to her brother! How sweet is that! Its crazy!!!

Hes so lucky..

Writing home to everyone...

More photos next week xP

sorry mum ran out of time! Im already so over board with the time limit.... tsk tsk!

Just wanna let you know that I love you so much mum. If you have any doubts about it then ask aunty kara if your eldest son loves you. Just finished emailing her :)

Give dad cuddles for me please mum! Tell him I'm doing it :) With style too.

I'm pumped!! haha.


të dua familjen ime.

Elder Waters

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'Unë dua ky, unë dua ky paqe nga Jezu Krishtit'

Hi mum!

Where do I start!

First of all I just wanna say that I am so glad I went to seminary! It has given me so much the advantage in the work! Knowing the scripture masteries is so helpful, especially here.  I just want to say that we had a scripture chase the other sunday, and within the first 5 words or so, 2-3 seconds, I had the scripture in my hand ready to PREACH! They were blown away. Good stuff goodstuff!!  So just dig in with the mornings because they all pay off in the end. Plus you've got tricky mole to look forward too!!!! so FUN!! How was the pancake breakfast the other Friday? I would KILL for one of those pancakes at the MTC haha, they are sooo goooood! But yeah Does tricky have an Email? Could you send it to me please :) 
Provo Temple, with the sisters in our Zone,  they are really cool!!
I just want to share an experience that I had the other day that I shared with nanny marg earlier:

My experience is about a lesson me and my shok (companion) gave to one of our 'investigators' . We read to him John 14:27, all in albanian, and we bore testimony of the Savior. With such a powerful spirit present I knew he was feeling it. He, a 15 year old boy struggling to find his place in the world, responded with 'unë dua ky, unë dua ky paqe nga Jezu Krishtit' , which is to say in english "I want this, I want this peace from Jesus Christ" . My heart surged and I felt the spirit so strong. I was so flustered I didn't know what to say!!! It hit me, this is why I'm here. To see people change! To see them feel a sincere desire to WANT to know about their Savior, what he is offering us and to see them WANT to follow the example of Christ! O How powerful this manifestation was to me! It reminded me that the field is indeed white and ready to harvest, people just need the gospel in context and then they will understand how much they really want and need this beautiful message we have, that Christ gives.

 This is my brother that I jam with on the piano!
 He has a craaaazy good voice, I Love it!!
It reminds me of the days when we used to
play on the piano and guitar..
I must admit the other day I was a little discouraged with the language. I can't recall exactly what has happening but I was just feeling super down with myself. Like I was never gonna learn this crazy language! And then, that same 'other day' I received 2 packages and I was so excited! I was literally jumping around, buzzing that people still remember me back home haha. I felt the love! Love that I needed so badly. Aunty Kara & Uncle Q Thank you so much!!!! With this package, and the beautiful updates of how life is going back in NZ from mum through her letters, I was reduced to tears (once again)!! I was just so happy! So happy for my family!!!! I know the Lord is taking care of you and It is so evident. I am so grateful I am apart of a loving family.

This is Sister Porter, she is serving in the Hamilton, NZ mission
She might come to Ngaruawahia!!

I have a friend here ( a missionary ), one of his family members was struggling back home with life, and as soon as he came on a mission, his family member - I don't know what happened exactly but - within him was a huge change of heart! A beautiful change of perspective on life motivated him to change his ways. So even though my missionary friend can't personally witness it - he KNOWS that his family is being so blessed from our Father in Heaven. I know this is the same for me because I feel the same way my friend feels, invigorated and so overcome with the spirit! So at peace with everything.

It has been said that God often works through other people. I am completely convinced that this is true. You may not know my whanau but I needed that so desperately. Thank you so much.

I've made so many friends here..
4 more Weeks to go then I'm off!! Off to Europe for the first time! This language is gonna be so fun when I can speak it fluently. Apparently the food over there is sooooooo good! I cant wait to try it! Dad, apparently all the gjagi's (Old men) are like chess MASTERS. Thats all they do, të githe ditë çdo ditë! (All day every day!)  So I cant wait to challenge them, not that I am good at chess or anything, just for a good laugh really. Albanian has a separate tense for sarcasm, and for wishing/cursing, I cant wait till I master these because I've heard the nannas have wishing battles with the missionaries, WISHING BATTLES! Haha, their humor is totally different so I don't think I'll get through to them with that so I'll just wish battle it out!  I cant wait, this whole thing motivates me to learn this language. 
It helps to be in love with your language, so i've learnt.

Hope you are doing well my whanau


Elder Waters