Just A Short Note

Well I will keep this pretty brief since I will be calling this week. Laken and Haushane's baptism went really well, and they are doing great. Everything else is looking great for the up coming months just trying to find a few more people to teach. I made some great christmas cards today at the shop so I will send those out in the next week a little late I know, but its also a new years card haha. Oh and I will now be calling on your christmas day between 11 and 12 your time I bought the phone card today so all should be good!!! love ya heaps and write back to let me know if that is a good time!!! love you all!!!

Rockin Around The Christmas Tree

Well another week has come and gone and the Lord has blessed us with a baptism. I hope that no one thinks I am making up fake people or bragging, but yet again we have been blessed to be apart in leading someone to the waters of baptism. This past week it was Raihana Matiu. He is the father of Kylie's kids, but lives up the road. He was set for this weekend, but he is going out of town so we moved it forward to Sunday morning. It was really special and he asked me to perform the baptism. Next weekend the Kelly parents will be baptised, and Elder Heslop has been asked to perform those so I am very excited for him!!! That will be a total of 4 baptisms since we cam just 2 months ago, and we have been so proud and feel so blessed with the changes that are happening in the branch!!! The members just are speechless when they see the work that is being done, and now many of them want to be a part of it which is great. This week we went to an elderly couples home for dinner that we go to almost every Tuesday, and we knocked and she asked what can I do for you? I noticed the table wasn’t set as usual and then it clicked for her she said it’s only Monday right? We giggled and said no its Tuesday she was so embarresd , but she had us over the next night anyone. She is a very proper woman for example even the Tomato Sauce (Ketchup) was put into a crystal pouring thing with a glass quark. Everything is always so fancy, but she makes heaps of food and doesn’t let us rest until its gone haha. We also had our branch Christmas party this past Saturday at one of the country schools, one of the counsellors in the branch presidency is the principle, so we had all sort of things to do from swimming to rugby to indoor hockey. Of coarse we didn’t swim, but we had a great time doing other things. Our adopted Grandpartents the Midgley’s (they are the ones with the 650 acres of beach front farm) they enjoyed taunting me everythime the other team scored, I guess they noticed I am just a little bit competitive haha. Even when we went over for tea on Sunday they were still asking hey didn’t you lose, but I had toremind them nope my team one all three times. After dinner we had to drive to Whangarei for a fireside that the district was singing in and we asked them to come and we would see them there. She made a special call to a lady that lives there and this lady came up to me at the fireside, and asked if I was Elder Stucki from Dargaville. I said yes and then she told me that Sister Midgley broke her leg, and her husband had to stay and help her out, but it would be healed by morning. So when we got home I called her and we had a great laugh about the “broken” leg. It is so much fun to have a second family when mine is so far away, but they still aren’t the same!!!

I am not sure if I made mention of this, but the Rusden’s gave us a Christmas tree, and decorations so our flat has lights, and a tree minus the present, but we will pic up our packages tomorrow at zone conference so it wont look so bare. Unfortunately we are not allowed to go down to temple lights because it is just to far out of our area. I definitely cant believe that it is Christmas in a little over a week. I thought that it would never come haha. This morning we had to wash our car for inspections tomorrow, and as we were doing the inside it started to rain, but there was a full rainbow over our heads so it was really neat!!! Oh and Aunt Teresa yes I still use the alarm clock although I usually wake up just before it goes off I know if I didn’t set it that would be the day that I sleep right through. We are always tired it seems, but we always have just enough energy to get through!!!

Lastly I just want to give a yell to all my wrestlers keep up the good work, and take no prisoners leave EVERYTHING you have on the mat each time you step foot onto it!!! I have shivers go down my spine as I heard how well everyone is doing and as a team keep it up and go win us a state title!!! I wish I could be mat side yelling at the refs, and having your back, but I am in New Zealand for a little longer then I will be back training and ready to get back into it. You will be proud to now that I have a record of 5-0 with people trying to challenge me haha, they just don’t know what Palo Wrestling does to you. It creates men keep up the good work, and always listen to coach is has your best interest at heart.

In closing I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, Thanks for everything that each one of you has done for me in my life, and I pray that we can all remember the true meaning of Christmas!!! From D’Ville New Zealand this is Elder Stucki (One of Heavenly Fathers Soldiers) signing off!!!

Christmas Is In The Air

Well not to much to report this week. I guess I will just jump straight into the miracle. So we have been teaching this lady by the name of Laken for a few weeks now and just started teaching her husband after we taught her 3 times. We set her 2 weeks ago for baptism, but he said he was definitely not ready and felt like his birthday some time next year would be best, we were down, but not defeated. They came to church that following week as well as our weekly branch games night, and are just loving it. Then came Thursday in my morning study I read a story out of Preach my gospel that told of a husband and wife in which she was set for baptism and he wasn’t. holy cow it matches perfect!!! I read on and the story said that they went back and read from the Book of Mormon together and the man's heart was softened. I felt this was the answer to my prayers when I prayed that the Lord would give me inspiration on what to do that day. As my companion and I met for companionship study we both felt that a miracle was going to happen that day I told him about what I read and asked him who he thinks that is like. He exclaimed the Kelly family!!! We then made plans to go through just what the story did, to read 3 Nephi 11 where Christ appears to the people in the ancient Americas. We went in with complete faith that by the time we left he would be ready to be baptised!!! We had a prayer with them and then they began to tell us about there day and how the communication between them has just taken a whole new level since learning about the church and trying to apply the things we teach or the things that they have learned in church. We then talked about how faith leads to repentance and they both felt that they had done both so I asked Haaushane (Ho-Shane) what he felt the next step needed to be. He said I need to be baptised. I asked him if he would be ready for the same date as Laken and he said yes. She face was lit up with shock and un-belief she had no idea that he was ready. It was the coolest thing to see how in just a few days the spirit worked on his heart and he was able to feel for himself that he was ready to be baptised!!! They have come to church three times now, and they came to our second weekly dinner at Kylies that us and Kylie now put on. She and Kristina, the relief society president, are the best fellowship ever, and it has been great!!! The dinner was a huge success and the food was great too. It is amazing to see the change in people’s hearts and minds as they do the things that God wants them to do. Rahaina is also set for the same day which is the 19 of December so we will have three Miracles at least this month!!! Heavenly father is just pouring out his blessings in this area!!!! I also talked to President Porter on the phone and he was completely thrilled about the work we are doing. Unfortunately there will be no skyping for Christmas, he said only phone calls, and so I will figure out all the details and either write next week or have Kylie shoot you an email.

There were a few questions I wanted to answer so here goes. Valerie yes I know I have to forgive you and thanks for the email haha. The traditions are similar for Christmas, but I a much smaller scale. Although down at the temple the have a light display of 150,000 lights, so that would be neat to see. We have a Christmas party on Saturday for the branch, but no plans yet for Christmas day mom. Of coarse the phone call, but I have no idea how that will all work out. If I call you and set up a time or you call me, but I will find out this week and then let you know so we can organize everything that we need to. Estee you asked about the Joy to the World Campaign and so far it is slow, but this week should really pick up and help us find those people that are truly searching for something in their life.

Mom and Grandpa I hope you both have a wonderful birthday and enjoy each year that you are getting younger. Mom you would be glad to know my companion thought you were in your late 30’s I told him how rude she is only 25 haha.

Well in closing thanks for everything you all have done for me and to all the leaders I have had in the past your hard work and gray hairs are truly paying off to the people which heavenly father leads us to each day. I know have been prepared for the last 20 years of my life to do what I need to be doing for the next year and a half and beyond. I am so thankful to have had the leaders that I have had and hope to make a leader like each of you some day. You truly do affect young peoples life, and there is no way that I would be who I am today with out all off you.

Just one more note last night at dinner I was sitting with a member of our branch that is very active with a very strong testimony. Her and I were talking about life and she mentioned how she felt regret for having a child prior to marriage, and I said to her just as it says in 2 Nephi chapter 2 vs. 20- 25, speaking of the fall of Adam and Eve, that it was all done in the wisdom of our heavenly father. Meaning if we have made mistakes in our life maybe if we learn from them they are no longer mistakes, but ways that heavenly father was able to teach us lessons that we needed to learn. For those of us that look back on past transgressions with utter discuss in ourselves may we all rethink the importance of the person that we are today because of the mistakes of the past. Through the atonement of Christ we can all become clean from the filth of sin. I know this to be true I have felt that cleansing power in my life and invite you all to partake of the wonderful blessing of the atonement each day as we all try a little harder to be a lot better. I know that it is so important to be right with Heavenly father, and what a great time of year as we remember the life and birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I love you all from the depths of my heart or stomach; you choose which is better haha!!!

What A Birthday!

Holy horse what another wonderful week in the mission field!!! It was a crazy busy week, only had four days in D’Ville, but we still hit our 20 lessons. This past week we set 2 more people for baptism so that has been such a blessing. Kylie’s x partner and a lady named Laken. Raihana (Kylies x) has been reading the book of Mormon like crazy and came to church and the baptism and just has been tearing it up!!! Talk about the BEST birthday ever!!! To start the day we were up extra early to get the font ready since it had been fixed the past week we didn’t have to go to the ocean (I was sad to say the least). Then we had Kylie’s baptism I conducted and preformed the baptism and then just before the Baptism one of the counsellors asked me to speak in church. So at sacrament meeting Elder Heslop confirmed Kylie and then I gave a talk off the cuff, I guess it is a true blessing to be able to speak by the spirit and actual form something that makes sense haha. I started off with something that went like this “So as most of you know today is my birthday, from the Wati’s I got a new suit, Scott and Khadine came from Auckland to spend the day, Kylie asked me to baptise her, straight out of the shower my companion shouted happy birthday, and then Brother Ferris (counsellor in the presidency) asked me to speak, thanks brother Ferris I will be sure to remember you on your birthday. (Add in all the Matthew looks and the congregation laughed very hard) I then spoke on enduring to the end one of the better talks I have given in my opinion, just another example of when the Lord calls he qualifies. Then we trained on the joy to the world media campaign in the 3 hr and got the member excited about the free DVD for their friends all they have to do is make a phone call. The Area presidency is heading the program and our mission is just supporting it, and we hope to get lots or referrals from it!!! Then after church we had a branch lunch for Kylie and at the end they brought out a cake and the whole branch sang happy birthday it was so great. Then Cadence (President Midgley’s 5 year old daughter) helped me blow out the candles. Another tradition they have here that I have never seen is that the birthday person has to make the first cut in the cake so that was cool it was a banana cake and yummy!!! Then after church Scott and his family went out with us to the Midgley’s farm and shared thoughts and they sis Midgley made banana fritters (all the bananas they must think I am a monkey haha) the beach view was great. Now to the good part, we then went back to my flat and Kylies flat and set up our long table and made spaghetti and salad and fry bread and rolls as well as an egg casserole. We stuffed our faces and then had my favourite carrot cake that Khadine made for me and pavalova some fancy desert thing. The day was full of food for sure!!! Scott and Khadine made me this awesome shirt that when they were last here I was jokingly talking about, it says on the front d’ville and on the back it says Stucki it is so so awesome!!! To end the night I wanted to have a lesson with everyone that was there so we gathered around sung because I have been given much. I then had everyone go around and say what they are thankful for and share there testimony it was one powerful night!!! Scott and Khadine made me ball like a school girl, when it was my turn to go last I could barely speak. Even Raihana who is yet to be a member bore a beautiful testimony. I told them on my birthday because I have been given much I to must give and I went around the room and told each of them why I am grateful to have them in my life. When I finally got to Scott and Khadine the spirit was radiating off the walls and it was just amazing to say the very least!!! Scott told me that he wants me to be his escort next year when he goes through the temple to I am super stoked for that!!! It is crazy how the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed so many lives!!! I have been so blessed with people that love and care about me I hope that each of you that read this can think of a time where I might have helped you in a small way because I can surely think of one for each of you!!! That is how life is bearable when we all help one another!!!

To answer some questions: 1. the meeting with president was for all the leaders, and he said the future leaders so we will find out this week when transfer calls come what that means if anything yet. It was an awesome meeting and you can see the pictures on the mission blog. 75% of the meeting was atop a volcano so it was beautiful.
2. I have no idea about a mission party
3. I am still not sure about skyping home, but I am glad that you are prepared.
4. I am not sure what the plans are for today, but we will find some adventure.
Some questions from me to you:
1. What kind of computer did you get?
2. Mom what is up with face book haha?
3. What is everyone doing with regards to missionary work?

Well to close off thanks and thanks and thanks for all the love and stories about thanksgiving it is nice to hear Aunt Teresa that I was missed at the feast, but I am sure A LOT less food was needed since I wasn’t there haha. Estee that E card you sent was so awesome!!! One thing I definitely missed was Grandma’s roles, Dixie salad, fried turkey, and all the company that comes into town, but that will come again, but right now I am on a once in a lifetime journey and am doing a lot better of not wishing away the present. We must all be grateful for the things of today as we prepare for the future!!! I love each of you from the bottom of my heart and more than I can eat!!! Stay humble and keep your faith in Christ as you do so I promise that the Lord will prepare the way for all of us to go and help us accomplish the individual tasks that we are given. May Heavenly father bless us each day!!!
Love Elder Matthew Lee Stucki NZAM