Happy #20 Elder Stucki!

What a day!!!

Well it has been another week in the BEAUTIFUL countryside of New Zealand. It has been 3 weeks since starting this new are with my hard working companion who has been in New Zealand for 3 weeks now. We, together, for the first time hit the standard of excellence by teaching 20 lessons. We were stoke especially since we have been the builders of this great place. The Lord uses us each day to find his children that are lost. We also had interviews with President Porter this past Saturday so we were on the road a lot driving back and forth from D’Ville and Whangarei, but the drive is nice. At interviews President was so happy at the work we are doing and couldn’t say enough nice things it was nice to know that he and the Lord both know of the things that we are doing here. He also informed us that for the past 2 months he has been battling cancer. I was shoked. He is such a man of great strength and spiritual knowledge. Thankfully three doctors now have cleared him and the cancer is all gone. I was relieved because I definitely don’t want him going any where. Kylie is still doing beyond amazing and the Lord definitely prepared her for us to help. She was at church again and is just loving it all. If you want to see what she looks like just ask Kyle because they are now friends on facebook haha. Her kids liked the lollies (that is what candy is called here) that I received in my package. Mom hopefully you aren’t mad that I opened it before my birthday, but I definitely couldn’t wait. Thanks heaps for the 2 calendars the candy the sauces, which were much needed, and the birthday supplies. Oh and the Cd’s I am allowed to listen to, we can listen to any church music which is way cool so that was great to have some new music!!! I was also glad to hear the pictures got to you safely and you liked them they are way better in person though!!! The cows were not President Midgleys just some cows that were crossing the road in front of us. There are pictures of Scott on there under the Pakaranga folder. Oh and all the land that President Midgley owns is what he has bought not inherited I think you asked about that mom. (I am trying to get better on answering questions that you all ask me.) Also you don’t see many surfers the water is cold and the ways are not so good where we are maybe in other parts of NZ, but I am not to sure. Estee that is awesome you speak in church in a couple of weeks what is your topic? Oh and mom the email rule is not really set I have never been told what exactly we can do, so if I have a few extra minutes I send out a few other emails, but Brynn, Lyndsey, Lane, Jared, Chris, and a few others write me well, we write back and forth so that is nice to get the letters in the mail.

Well we came and checked our emails in the morning and then had to leave because of time then we spent the day with Scott and Khadine at the beach and saw the light house today. Last week we went to go and see the trees that were around when Christ was on the earth they are huge that is why there were no light house pictures on the ones I sent home because we decided to go today instead of last week it was amazing and now have even better pictures to be sent home, but that is ok if you just send the memory stick back at Christmas. I am sitting here and can just feel the sand all over my body, but I knew I would be dead if I didn’t get an email out!!! Mom Scott also said that his feelings are very hurt that you didn’t respond to the email he sent you. We had such a great day he is so much like uncle Scott it is scary, but way good. It was like having a piece of home with me all day. They are starting to save for Vegas which will be awesome!!! They also will be back for the big 20. (My age)

This week I also got a letter and some pictures from Jared he sounds so great and has almost been out a full year I am so happy that he is loving it just like I am. It is crazy how everything just works out timing wise, if I look back on when I put in my papers and when I was sent out if any small detail would have changed there is a good chance that I would not have met the people that I have met and so many of the experiences I have had could have been totally different if just a few things would have changed. I am so glad that Heavenly father can see the eternal perspective and guides us all to exactly what we need to be doing. I am thankful to leaders of the church that help guide us to do the things that God wants us to do. I wish that we could write more often so I could relate so many experiences that I have had, but when time comes to email we forget lots of then haha. I guess the phone call in a month we will all be able to catch up. As far as I know we are not restricted to a time limit, but we will find out as that day gets closer. I also might see if we are allowed to sky which is talk over the computer so that we can see eachothers faces. I just am completely loving life right now. I pray for you all often and feel your prayers that you offer in my behalf. I am so lucky to have the support system that I have, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks mom for the “preaching” as you called is making sure that I am staying in line, but if I use the advice that Kyle gave me I will do just fine. That was that I need represent the two names that are on my name badge Jesus Christ and STUCKI that is something that I take very seriously I never want anyone to hear that name and get a negative thought. I love doing what a missionary does even though it feels like yesterday that I was singing I hope they call me on a mission when I have grown a foot or to, I hope by then I will be ready to teach and preach and do as missionaries do. I am not sure if anyone can be prepared to do what a missionary does, but I know for sure that whom the Lord calls he qualifies. I am grateful everyday that he qualifies me for the work as it talks about in D&C 4. I love you all have a great week!!!
Your little Kiwi/Photographer,
Elder Matthew Lee Stucki

A Missionary Slideshow

Pictures From Matt

We just received the flash drive Matt sent full of pictures. It arrived in a very thrashed envelope; we are lucky it didn't fall out the hole in the bottom. Here are a few of my favorites.

I guess the rain really got to him this day :)

This one's for you Grandpa. They really are feeding him.

He's found a place to get his lawn mower fix.

See my previous comment.

You may have to make up your own caption here...maybe he's pretending he's a hamster?

He's served with some great Elders.

But best of all, he's loving the people.

Did the yankees win? hahaha woo woo

Well the Lord sure does bless us and that has been very apparent the past week. The Yankees won and if that is not a blessing I am not sure what is. I think we should send the whole team Books of Mormon!!! We definitely need them in heaven haha. On the more spiritual side of things WE SET SOMEONE FOR BAPTISM!!! We have only been here two weeks and already the blessings are flowing. Her name is Kylie she is our next door neighbour and she is progressing so well. I was on trade of with my district leader on Wednesday when it happened. We just woke up and both said that we felt today was the day that we would set someone for baptism. Neither of us were sure who it was going to be, but through out the day there was zero doubt in our mind that it was going to happen. So we dropped into Kylie’s after lunch to see how she was going. She said good and we asked if we could go get someone for fellowship (we have to have a man in the house when we teach) she said yep and so we drove to go and get Brother Going. As we drove we discussed we would talk about the restoration and then half way to the house I said no we are supposed to teach lesson three (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) and she was the one that was prepared for us to be set for baptism. Elder Larsen agreed and we went back to teach. We got through the lesson and then asked will you follow the Example of Jesus Christ and be baptised by someone who has the authority. She said yes and Then we said we are preparing a baptism for the 28th of November will you prepare yourself for that date? She was very shoked and hesitant so we explained a little more the importance and bore testimony, but she still thought it was quick. Then I taught her the steps of prayer and asked her to right then and there get on her knees with us and pray to heavenly father if this is the date that would be right for her. By the end of it she was in tears and she felt that she had received her answer and excepted that that was the right date for her. It was incredible. The only bad part was that my companion Elder Heslop was not there to experience his first set, but there will be more to come. I know that the Lord prepared us for her and her for us!!! I later found out that the flats we stay in were the second choice because a few others fell through. Do you think that that is a coincidence? I sure don’t I know that it all happens for a reason and it is so great to feel that we are doing what God wants us to do!!! She came to church on Sunday for all three hours and volunteered to come help with cleaning the chapel grounds with the rest of the branch on Friday. She is doing great and is such and example to here 2 young kids (5 and 2). Today we are headed to the beach and possibly a light house one of our members is taking us out so it will be a blast. The Flash drive will be sent home this week mom with heaps of pictures if you could download them all save them and the ship it back that would be great!!! Aunt Cassie it was great to hear from you and the update with your family. Thank you Rachel for reminding everyone to pray for me!!! Elise keep reading the Book of Mormon it is the best book you will ever read, because it gives you direction for your life (Ashby that is, but Elise Dondero I would love to get you a copy of the Book of Mormon as well!!!). Elise Dondero I also wish I was there to have some of your mom’s chilli it is definitely the best EVER. Oh some of you asked about my health and everything is good compared to the first part of my mission!!! Aunt Cassie I will have to get back to you about my Christmas package haha I cant believe that it is November yet alone almost Christmas. Aunt Teresa the weather is wacky never a dull moment here. You truly see all for seasons just about everyday, but it never gets as hot as home. Mom the service we did was mostly mowing lawns and just cleaning up around the 650 acres of beach fron property he has. This week he told me that I always have a place to stay in New Zealand as well as my family so that will be cool. Hopefully I will get the package you sent at interviews this week, but you never know the mail here is crazy. I also got a call from Scott Mitchell now Brother Mitchell telling me about his baptism. His wife already is a member, just less active at the time, but not any more. They will be up in one week and then again on the 29th (my birthday). Brian it is our birthday month this time last year we were at the mini Grand prix beating everyone on the race track. I miss you little guy, but we can have a party together when I get back!!! Dane I am sorry to hear about your nephew you and your family will always be in my prayers. Don’t for get to trun to the Lord in times of need. Well everthing else is going great I am glad to hear from everyone, but I know I always for get to answer your questions. Sorry!!! Just know that I think and pray for you all often and am thrilled for the day when we all will be in heaven together. I pray that we will all try a little harder to be a little better!!!Love Elder Stucki

Zone Conference for Kaikohe and Whangarei zones!
Elder Stucki is in the middle back.

November, the month of Miracles!

November is here!!! Holy cow this month I will be 20, Scott Mitchell and his wife Khadine will be coming up on the 29th, from my last area, to have a little party I guess you could call it haha. I remember when my birthday had fallen on a Sunday in the past I didn’t like it much, but now everyday is like a Sunday except we get to attend church so it doesn’t bother me much. Everything went great with Scott’s interview with President Porter, and he will be baptised this coming Saturday, unfortunately too far for me to travel to, but that is just a part of missionary life. I got an email from him today as well so that was great to hear. Well as everyone talked about in their emails it was Halloween back home, they celebrate it here, but nothing like it is in the States. Uncle Les it has been one year since we went to go and buy the dump truck it seems like just the other day that we were out looking. Mom we do have daylight savings time, but it was 3 or 4 weeks ago. For the first time in my life it actually was needed because it makes it easier to work late when there is still light out. The Scott I was talking about to send him my address was Scott the investigator sorry I should have been more specific, but I guess it is good that I just think everyone knows the people I teach and such means that I am losing myself in the work. Things have been going really well with my new companion and the work here is going good as well. We found, through the help of the lord, 11 new investigators and have referrals for 5-6 more. Our branch is a huge support and they have people for us to teach which is so great. We have done heaps of service this week out in the farming community, I am keeping my lawn mowing skills and gardening skills up to par. Grandpa Stucki you would love it here you can grow anything and never have to put the hose on it. The rain takes care of it all and the soil is like gold. We can’t even buy this good of stuff back home haha. President Midgley and his father (Branch president and Stake President) have been a great support and since Senior Midgley just had surgery we have been out to the far to help him a few times. Grandpa and Grandma Stucki you guys would get along with them really well they are like my temporary grandparents for a while. They keep me busy, but don’t have the good PEPSI like you guys haha. It is great to hear that the Yankees are doing well I guess it is like when dad went on his mission when they started winning heaps. I guess we better serve the lord more often to help out our Yanks. Dad you said that the Halloween party was at the Smoke Ranch building is that where we are back to? I like that building a lot and have some great memories there. Tomorrow is zone conference so it will be back up to Whangarei for my companion and I. I really enjoy the little road trips that we get to have each week make it feel like vacation just a little though. Estee congratulations on the Contest you and your friends one you know how much I love sushi, but that will have to wait it is too expensive here haha. And I’m glad to hear that you are ok with going to Samoa with me as well because you didn’t have much of a choice haha jokes jokes. Well that is about it for this week hopefully I answered most of your questions. Thank you everyone for the emails and advice about being a senior companion. Dad I definitely do remember what it is like to be new I still feel new, and I agree with what you said about communication is key. Also making decisions together makes it so that there is no contention or confusion. I take it that that is a lot like marriage haha. Man the mission really does prep you for the rest of your life. This is the Lords work and I am so happy to be serving him I Love you all take care and find someone that need the message we have to share it will change their life and definitely bring blessings to yours Take care and be safe we will talk to you next week!!!Elder STUCKI

He's gone Country, ya he's gone!

Well I hope that no one was too worried about the late email, but it was Labor day here in New Zealand so this small town of Dargaville was all shut down. So yes I am in a new area and it is a good thing I guess something new I need to learn of coarse. My companion is Elder Heslop from Plain City, Utah. He is the 11th of 11 children. He has been out for quite a while now, about 6 days yes days. So you guessed it I am now senior companion and trainer. President called me Tuesday night which means you are going into leadership, he told me I am opening a new area and he expects me to begin baptising straight away. There are two branches I cover and definitely one of the biggest areas in the the mission. From the Wells Ford branch to the Dargaville branch. The area is about 4 hours from end to end and maybe 2-3 hours in the other direction. Thankfully we are in a car, but we will focus most of our work here in Dargaville. After I got off the phone with President I felt like I was hit by a bus; I am still so green my self and have heaps and heaps to learn. I straight away went into my bedroom and pleaded with heavenly father for strength to do his will and to know that this is what he wants for me. The next morning I woke up, and was just really excited about the move. Fortunately my companion is willing to work and do his part so we are going to do great things here with the help of the Lord. I would really appreciate it in your fast this week that you could fast for us, because I really need the extra support, I have been pushed to humility once again and have to rely on the lord to get me through the task at hand. I know that This is where I am supposed to be and I am with my companion for a reason. This area is ready for missionaries so I am excited and nervous and every other emotion. So today was district meeting and I had to drive about an hour to Whangarei to meet the rest of my district. Mom I have been driving super safe I promise!!! The roads are funny, a lot like the road to Hanna in Hawaii hahaha JOKES JOKES. So far today it has pored like no other rain I have seen before in my life, but the roads don’t get like Las Vegas when it rains which is a very good thing. Oh and crazy enough I have now been out for 5 months time is just clicking away, but I am happy doing what I am doing. Estee, Alyssa, Lizzy, Aunt Teresa, Brynn, Mom and Dad thanks very much for the emails I know that it is not easy writing all the time, but it really helps when I feel all the love!!! Today in District meeting we talked about things that motivate us. We found that love is the motive behind almost all that is good. I love these people from the depths of my soul and that is the reason I am here. I care about their eternal progression and salvation. This is the reason missionaries are able to do what they do it is out of love for the people and for our Saviour Jesus Christ that we are able to leave behind so many things. No matter where I go in New Zealand I will always have a great love for them, because when you serve some one you gain a love for them. It is such a privilege to be a missionary although we have rough days the good far out weighs the bad and I know that is serving here my friends and family will be blessed for it. Sorry I got to go hopefully I will get some more time tomorrow Love you all heaps!!!!

Elder Stucki with his new companion, Elder Heslop from Plain City, Utah.