Kia ora whanau (family),
I'm learning Maori and Samoan; wow, I'm so cultured. Just kidding but I can pronounce all the Samoan words, I only know a couple. Like "muli" is butt and that's a favorite in this companionship, haha. And I'm teaching one of the young women some Spanish for some Samoan so that's interesting. ANYWAY.
So I forgot to mention the sheep last time. They are everywhere, as well as cows and goats. This is definitely a country area down in Waitara. But cool story: We went to our branch mission leader's house for dinner this week and he has this ram that all the missionaries like to mess with. SO I get out of the car to open the gate to his driveway, and the ram comes out of nowhere and rams me!! So then I just started running down the driveway with this sheep chasing me and it was fast! But I got to the house and finally figured out how to defend myself. It was hilarious, pictures to come with the sheep. But that dinner was awesome. Brother Patu lives on the beach pretty much with a little farm and his house is clean. It felt the most like home since I've been here and he is just the nicest old man.
Oh, mom, I had to mend one of the elder's pants cause he ripped them in church, be proud. I'm now the designated pants sewer.
Right now we're teaching this family, a mom and three boys, and she taught us a siva samoa (dance) and I got it down and my half samoan comp was struggling so bad. But I love that family and the mom is super free spirited so it's gonna be awhile before she can accept all the church rules and such, but her son is super interested and comes to church every week! The cocoa samoa I wrote about is really growing on me and we get it all the time but it's never good the next morning haha. Everyone smells kind of bad here, they just don't do the whole hygiene thing like we do. So when you say hi you have to hug them and kiss cheeks and I always just have to hold my breath. And their houses are very humble. But they are really nice and welcoming people - I think I've only been to two houses that haven't invited us in. But my comp is suuuuper good with people and she looks white but she is full Maori so she connects really well with people. My comps keep telling me I came pretrained and they've never seen a greenie with so much confidence in teaching, so that's cool but I really just love the gospel and am excited more than scared to help these people.
Some spiritual thoughts this week: The talk, "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" by Tad Callister (the next apostle) really hit me, and it can apply to all members, not just missionaries. But I loved it and I just really enjoy personal study in the mornings. It's probably my favorite part of the day. And I love the general conference talks heaps out here. They're honestly gold. Also, there was a quote I read somewhere, "We must live the Book of Mormon, not just tell the stories in it". And I thought that was on point.
Anyway, I love my area, and I LOVE my comps. The work is hastening like crazy. So many people we are teaching right now and reactivating.
Love You all heaps,
Send me letters:
New Zealand Hamilton Mission
P.O. Box 9542
Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240