Gutting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4/25/10

Well another week down on the mission. Definitely mixed emotions going through my head. Great blessing is that our mission hit 123 baptisms this month, but we as a companionship were not apart of it. Due to some word of wisdom issues those that were set were unable to be baptized. Gutting is all I can think to describe my emotions. Yes I know that baptisms don't make you a successful missionary, but according to Preach My Gospel it is central to our purpose. I really feel like I let down Heavenly Father and the mission this past month, but we are now onto May and faith points to the future, we have many good things going, but have the experience of last month to know that you can go from a lot to a little in just a quick moment. Staying humble and getting into the small details along with exact obedience will be our focus for the month. I have learned a lot of lessons over the past month and now 11 MONTHS on my mission. I am deeply grateful for the things that I have and for the blessings that are so abundantly pored out on me and those that I love.

To answer a few questions yes people take many holidays in this part of the world they live modestly so they can see the world!!! Smoking and drinking are huge everyone does it starting as early as 10 years old. Yes I will get to go and see Scott Sealed in the temple no matter where I am it is a mission rule or privilege to all missionaries. The temple was amazing this week, and answered a lot of things I have been pondering!!! On the way down I was sitting in the front of the bus with President Porter and he was studying his notes for the conference pauses looks over to me and says "Elder Stucki you are a great Man" then goes straight back to studying. What comforting words!!! I love him to death and look to emulate his example through out my life!!! Things are going well and I got an email from Tyson Bryan it was way cool to hear from him!!! He says he is in our ward and I have a cool mom and dad haha.

May I just leave with my testimony to all I Elder Matthew Lee Stucki of the New Zealand Auckland Mission do humbly testify that God lives his is our literal Father in Heaven, and he wants us to be happy. His whole work is to bring about out immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39) I know that he loves me and you. I know he sent his son Jesus Christ to to redeem us of our sins (John 3:16) I know that Christ suffered for more than just our sins, but our weaknesses, pains, and temptations, so he may know how to succor or comfort us (Alma 7:11-13) I am grateful for the way that he lived his life so that I could have an example to look towards. I know that he set up his Church the way that it was intended with Prophets and apostles (Ephesians 2:20) I know that through the Prophet Joseph Smith that that same organization that was lost for a Period of time (Amos 8:11), has been brought back. We are not a reformed church, but a restored church. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints has the same priesthood power that Christ gave to his apostles (Matthew 10:1). It was lost and brought back through Peter James and John three of Christ original apostles. I know that the keys that are necessary for salvation are only held in this church. God has told us many times that by their fruits ye shall know then, well the fruit of the prophet Joseph Smith is the Book of Mormon. I echo the promise of Joseph Smith when he said that a man would get closer to god by abiding by its precepts than by any other book. I have taken the challenge that Moroni extends to us all when he said read ponder and pray about it, then ask God with a sincere heart, with faith in Christ, and real intent and by the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things (Moroni 10:3-5). Do you feel lost of confused? Have you ever wondered why there are so many churches? You are not alone!!! We must do as James directs that is to ask of God (James 1:5). All things can be made clear. You can know where you came from, why you are here, and where you are going after this life, much more than Heaven and Hell. There are missionaries world wide that go about to share this exact message with people. I testify that we have a living prophet on the earth today, President Thomas S. Monson. He has been called of god not of his own (Hebrews 5:4). I no longer think or believe or guess or wonder, but I KNOW these things to be true. There is no way that I would be around the world if I didn't. I say these things by no way of pride or boasting, but to make aware those that are searching for the truth, but know not where to find it. The arms of Christ are extended to all he will never turn his back on you. Please dont turn your back on him!!!
Ofa Atu (all my love)
Elder Matthew Lee Stucki N.Z.A.M.

Ba da bup bup bagh Im lovin it!!! McDonalds Slogan

Well I just had the coolest experience. Just now some of our investigators just came into the email shop. Renee and Jason who with Heavenly Fathers help will be baptized this weekend, they have been struggling with the word of wisdom and so they have to quit smoking. Now each time we see them we make sure they have no smokes or beer so with 10 missionaries around I held out my hand and said hand it over. She said no I cant, then with a little coaxing and 20 eyes on her she handed them over. This week my comp and I have gathered around 10 lighters, 3 packs of cigs, 2 beers, and one blunt (pot, marijuana). The last was a little scary because it is illegal here and if I would have been caught with it then I would have had to do some time in jail haha. All in a days work for a servant of Heavenly Father. Unfortunately these 2 investigators we are counting on so that we baptize this month, if they don't go through it will be the first month since I was in my first area that my companion and I have not baptized in. Fortunately we have the Lord on our side so we are very excited. Please pray for them by name Jason and Renee to have the strength to over come addictions with the word of wisdom.

The other miracle of the week is that we were contacting a referral from the zone leaders and the family invited us right in to hear the message. We taught and they asked questions and are just super keen. We are finally back up to 7 set with a date, five for May, and two for April. This family ended up being best friends with a family in our ward. The funny thing is no one knows where the referral came from it just came to the zone leaders, and now we are teaching the family with 3 potential baptisms. When we told the Hapeta's (the member friends) they were shocked and a little embarrassed for not sending us there. It made me think of who from pre-mission that I didn't give that opportunity to hear the Gospel. I hope that none of us have the experience of the missionaries calling us and saying why didn't you tell me about this family they need what we have so badly. May we all think of a family this week and present them to the Elders or Sisters so that we can all have the blessings of what we know to be true. As for the work, things are going well and working everyday to just do as He would have us do.

This week is our zone conference and temple trip so I am stoked. 6 months is way too long to have to wait to go to the temple. Speaking of the temple I got a call from Scott and Khadine Mitchell and they told me thy have started their temple prep class and in 6 months have asked me to take them through the temple and to also be sealed as a family. I can NOT wait!!!

Aunt Laurie thanks for the update and I can't believe that Cole was baptized, what a stud!!! Brother Randall, man I haven't heard from you in ages, thanks heaps for the wonderful email and kind words, but I can promise you don't want your sons to be like me, but I would love to help them be better than me. Which won't be to hard hahah. By the way New Zealand is way better than Aus. haha. Alyssa thanks for the over due email!!! I also saw KA many years ago haha and loved it too!!! I am glad you got to go to the dances and enjoy yourself. Mom to your questions: McKinleys parents are from Australia, but are currently living in Tasmania. I doubt I have mono, but I would never know I am tired from missionary work. Fortunately the sores are going down and all should be well. As for my bike it is fine and my wrist will heal eventually and the bike it self is fine. By the way about 8 months ago my original bike was stolen so I had a junk one for a while then put 3 bikes together to make one and it is pretty good. Sorry for never telling you, but I like to be self reliant. HAHA Estee I think you are right about health insurance for life, for some reason I get hurt a lot, I guess in my "old-age" I am not as invincible as I once was haha. Kristina Sullivan thanks heaps for the email, and I am glad to hear all is well in Dargaville. Definitely miss the country!!! Thanks to all the other emails, prayers, and support. This would not be possible with out all of you.

This week I was sitting in the living/bedroom/dining room/lounge and I looked up to a picture of the family and asked my companion who is that. I guess I have been out a long time when I am forgetting who people are in pictures. I am very excited about the phone call next month it should be good and I can remember what everyone sounds like!!! Oh one last thing Elder Vaolupe met his brother for the first time in person in his whole like. He is not a member and Elder asked him to listen to the message and he accepted. It was great to see him come in last night and with watery eyes and share his feelings with us after meeting his brother. I could never imagine having direct family in the mission, but with the Samoans and Tongans they all have Aunts, Uncles, some parents, and brothers and sisters. We always tell them they are just on holiday not even serving a mission hahah. Things are good, the days keep ticking by. I love you all and pray for you often. Mom I am glad that you feel that our family is blessed because of me. Each night I plead with Heavenly Father to send the blessings home to the ones I love over myself. Thanks again from a kiwi to all of you Ofa Atu.

Elder Matthew Lee Stucki N.Z.A.M.

Transfers 4/11/10

Well this past week has been one of CRAZINESS I am still District Leader in Papakura, my companion moved to the other ward in our building. My new companion in Elder Hunt from Mississippi, the first one that it bigger than me, and he has only 2 months left on the mission. Also we had a set of Tongan Elders move into our flat one from Arizona, and the other straight from Tonga, a brand new missionary. It it so much fun I will send a few pictures so you can see that we all sleep in the living room and have the 2 bedrooms as personal study areas. It is great fun to cook for 4 instead of just two, the only down side is the phone is always being used, and the shower. Other than that It is a party everyday. Of course a spiritual one, but a party none the less. Our mission is now the biggest in the world with 195 soon to be 196 Elders and Sisters. We also have another new sister in my district from Hawaii. My district was split since it had more missionaries than country zones so Elder Johnson my MTC companion is the other district leader. I was ready to have all of them, but the lord gets his way ha ha. The work was rather slow this week with transfers, and General Conference. Not as much time as usual to hit the streets. I also now share the car with the Tongans so it is a juggling match to try and get everyone where they are needed. To bad I am not a mother and can get 9483759837598374 children to 9834598347598347 activities and the same time. Maybe in the next life that talent will come ha ha.

So lets talk about conference my Favorite talk was like a few other emails I received was the Man in the 70 that spoke on mothers I definitely gained a much greater love for the role of women as it seemed to be the main message along with bringing the family together. Unfortunately not too much for me at this time, but I took notes for the future. The one talk that was directly for me was PATIENCE by Uchtdorf at the priesthood session. He was looking straight into my heart I tell ya. The attendance at conference was rather sad!!! We watched them all at the chapel and only the Sunday morning was full the rest were under 20. I was very embarrassed that members could not find time to listen to the prophet of God. Many talked about watching it at home, but still there are a lot that don't have that luxury. All in all I thought it was a good conference and am looking forward to the Ensign of next month!!!

This week I have received many gifts from people. I got the great package from Aunt Cassie with all the necessities of Easter. By the way Elise and Rachel you are not allowed to grow any more!!! Thanks Aunt Cassie heaps as well as thanks from the other elders. I am excited to make tacos and use the salsa!!! Also Gandma Tryon sent me a card and money and it was great to hear that they are doing well and getting all my updates I though a lot of her when they talked on Geneology. Grandma you will have to train me on that when I get back!!! Also I now have three tavala's or the tongan mats that the males wear so me Kyle and Dad if Dad will be a true man and wear a skirt haha. You told Brian to make fun of me so I am not sure if you were joking or if you think it is silly either way I have one for all of us!!! Also I got a woven back pack I plan on sending it all home so I dont ruin it or other missionaries barrowing it haha. Estee I will definately do pavers for your house as long as I can live with you for a while!!! but that is ages away. I cant believe base ball season is back I love it and go YANKEES. Alyssa I need pics from your dance and an email would be sweet haha but I understand I was the worst for Kyle.

Well things are going well enjoy the pictures and just know I am safe and doing great in New Zealand I am happy to serve the Lord for as long as he needs, so the rest of my life. Mom I now have the ulser things on the back of my throat again so I hope that will pass quickly. The weather is turning quickly. Other aches include my wrist from my first bike crach in which I went of the handle bars and slid 6 feet to a curb nearly getting hit by a car. hahaha I love mission life never a dull moment well I love you ALL have a wonderful week stay safe and strong in the faith of Christ!!!

Elder Matthew Lee Stucki N.Z.A.M.

Tear drops are rolling down my face 4/4/10

It has been a day of answered prayers and much love felt. This morning I was Studying the December, January, and March Ensigns (2009 &2010), and I feel like at least I am headed in the right direction in my life. I first read a story about how a man was on his way to church and saw a father helping his son on their bikes pg 80 in the March Ensign. It reminded me of the fun little things that I used to do with my parents. With my dad it was and is 7-11 trips, working, camping and cooking dutch oven. With mom it is and was ditching class to go to lunch, shopping and making her and the rest of my family laugh. I think that I know why the Islanders like me so much it is because I was trained to eat from a young age haha. Then I read a story about how God wants us to find him and they had a story about a family that played hide and seek and hid easily so the kids could find them. That made me remember what I have been searching for with a great desire, one what the Lord would have me do for work, and the other one is personal so ya. I flipped back a few pages, and read a story about a man who had started his own business doing, you guessed it Lawn maintenance, and such. They were going through tough times, but they made it work. They felt it was what God wanted so they trusted in him. He was then called to be a Bishop. A calling he could not have had if he worked at his other jobs. Although I still am unsure of exactly what I want to get into I do know that I want to be the boss. I want to make a schedule for myself so that I can do like my parents did for me and be at all the sporting events and things that I needed them for. Talk about an answer to a prayer. The other amazing answer to my pray came when I was reflecting on life and wondering if my mistakes truly have been forgiven. I then began my reading in D&C 36 Thus saith the Lord God, the aMighty One of Israel: Behold, I say unto you, my servant bEdward, (Elder Stucki) that you are blessed, and your sins are forgiven you, and you are called to preach my gospel as with the voice of a trump. Some may say coincidence other may say luck, but I know it was an answer from my Father in Heaven. I am so blessed to be serving, and we are all so blessed that when we repent with real intent (we have a true desire to change and show our desire by our works) that he will forgive us. The Atonement is a beautiful thing.

Many of you asked about Easter here, well people celebrate it the "Hall-Mark" way with bunnies and such, but only 1 in 20 would know that it is all about Jesus Christ. It was a great opportunity to bring up the Gospel. Nothing exciting for us though with re guards to the holiday just another day at work. We were blessed to set another woman named Renee for baptism this month and her and her friend Jason came to Church it was amazing. Our last lesson we had her pray and ask if this was God's will to have her baptized, by the end she was in tears. The same with after church she came out of Relief Society with tears and many women giving her hugs she was so welcomed which was GREAT!!! The work is still Chugging along and we are still finding more people, the Lord is always working for his children sometimes we just have to get out of his way and let him do his thing. We get in his way through lack of faith or diligence and when we are not obedient. I really feel like I am doing what he wants which is a great blessing.

Lastly the reason for the subject of this email is because of the Email I got from my Aunt Teresa, she wrote it to me and my cousin Brian. For those of you who don't know of him he is one of my biggest heroes, he passed away on his mission about 7 years ago, and he is with me every day. I wear his badge she gave me inside my pocket and I would have it no other way. Along with my older brother, they showed me it was cool to be a member of the Church and a mission is the only way to go. Any ways my Aunt bore her testimony to "us" and I felt like he was right beside me reading over my shoulder and filling my heart with love. I am so blessed with family and friends that love and care about me. Although many times I feel not worthy of the love I am deeply grateful for it. I received a lot of love today and what a blessing it was!!! This Church is true through ridicule, middle fingers, vulgar words, near fights, mocking, and ignoring us we stand strong for what we know is TRUTH. No one can discredit what we say, our message is not fact. Fact changes. It is truth and truth is eternal and unchanging. The gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, TRUTH. We have a living prophet today, TRUTH. God lives, TRUTH. Jesus is our Savior and redeemer, TRUTH. I love you all with all of my heart, TRUTH. May god bless us each day as we serve faithfully to the end, and as we love one another by more than just word, but through our acts is my pray today!!! N.Z.A.M. is the best mission ever, FACT haha.

Elder Matthew Lee Stucki N.Z.A.M.