From dutch oven to 7-11 to wrestling tournaments and Yankees games he is my DAD!!! 6/20/10

What a week it has been!!! Things are just never dull when you have to account for 24 missionaries. I don't think my companion and I had a regular proselyting day this week. Then last night I got word that he is leaving me. He is headed to the office to be President's new assistant!!! It is way cool, but it stinks because he is one of my favorites and we are just like bread and butter!!! He will do great, and the mission needs him. So I will be a solo Zone Leader for 1.5 weeks before transfers comes. I am nervous, probably more than him, I stayed up late into the night just reading trying to get some direction and revelation on what the Lord would have me do to continue the progression instead of it coming to a grinding halt!!! I am so blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father that "comforts me when faint" or completely exhausted!!! The past 3 P-days we have been playing rugby in the rain and mud, so we have just been so tired. Plus the daily duties that are required. Today will be a lax day just running some errands for other Elders and taking my companion to the office, but all is well we always have just enough energy to survive haha. I got an email from Sister Bawden that was very touching please tell her thank you and I will be using her story as I teach those that have strayed away from the fold!!!

Well I think that today is fathers day back home, but I am not sure because it is different here, but Happy Fathers day Dad and to all the "Father figures" I have had in my life. Words can not express my gratitude and love for each one of you. I just pray that my life will merit one of a Disciple of Christ so that I may live how I was raised!!! Yesterday while at a fireside something reminded me of an event that I will never forget. One night after Mutual I was driving home with Dad, and we pulled into the drive way and he turned off the truck and asked if we could talk. I won't mention what was talked about, but I will never forget the look of concern he had for me and who he expected me to become. As many of you know I am blessed with a father that expects a lot out of his children, and we usually whine or whinge, but eventually we grow up and recognize that we are who we are today because he was who he was. He didn't settle for mediocre or average, he pushed us to do hard things and to earn all that we have!! I fought tooth and nail with him for the majority of my life, but looking back there is one thing that is very evident, he loved us and because of that love he wanted to help us reach our potential. Was his strict and bold and demanding yes, but make no mistake he loves his children, and it is not by chance that we are all active in the gospel, 2 missionaries, 2 college graduates, 3 seminary graduates, 2 eagle scouts, and the list continues. I would not be the man I am today with out the man I call Dad. Also as many of you know he has a soft side, and a testimony that is rock solid, he is passionate about the Lord's work and strives to magnify all of his callings. I still remember the days he would come home with dairy queen after his visits with Brother Presser!!! For everything we did we usually had a Pepsi on the side and never went hungry haha. I am so blessed to have a dad that loves me and wants what's best. Only if I realized this 10 years ago I could have avoided many silly situation and grief, but " I knew better" and when I came to my senses there he was with open arms!!! Happy fathers day dad I pray everyday that I will honor the family name and the name of Christ in whom I represent!!!

Sorry for the short email, but I am toast I love you all and appreciate the love and support I receive!!! From my heart to your Ofa Atu of Alofa Atu!!! (I love you in Tongan then Samoan)

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

Surgery?!?!? 6/14/10

Well this past week I have spent heaps of time in hospital. The doctor looked at the X-rays and saw that the "great" toe had been broken, and the bone was sticking up so it needed to be reset and then a plate put in with screws, boy was it a pain. Luckily it was for a missionary in the Zone and not for me, hahah got you all. Any ways his name is Elder Wiggington and he is from California and fell down some stairs so this past week we have been nursing him back to health so to speak. He is a great missionary, but will be out for 2 straight weeks resting the foot. Things are crazy as a missionary, but fortunately he didn't have to go home for the surgery and it was free since NZ has ACC medical system.

I also got to speak in our other ward this week they told me to take 17-20 minutes, but I was only left with 7 so it was a mad rush to get in what I planned to say. People said it was good, but I felt it should have been better!!! I spoke on being spiritually prepared so it was a good thing for me to learn more about as well. We were also blessed with 2 baptisms this past weekend with Tanifa and Taryn and then later in the Month Taryn's husband will be baptized!!! It was great to see, but the member attendance at the baptism was pathetic. Again it is one of those wards that had had good missionaries for ages so baptisms are just another thing. It is really sad to see, but we are working to get more people excited about the work.

For me the best part of my week was meeting a man named Jared Smith. Jared works at the Pacific Area office which is just behind our mission office. Earlier in the week I ordered a new cell phone since ours was no good, and he is the one that takes care of the Technical support for the area. We went in to his office and I asked him where he served, and he told me Cape Town, South Africa, I asked him when and he said 2001-2002 I think. Most of you should be able to put those two things together, but for those of you that don't know. That is when my cousin served and passed away. I asked him if he knew my cousin, and he said yes, when he came into the mission I was working in the office. Everyone just instantly loved Elder Staples, he was just a great guy. He then shared with me that he was the one who answered the phone when they called to let them know that two missionaries had been in an accident. He also went to the hospital and his companions were the ones that packed Elder Staples things. He said that the whole mission was just changed and different for some time!!! What are the chances that I serve in this mission, at this time, in this area, and need a new cell phone. Then for me to be sent to him, and he knows my "ALL TIME COMPANION" Elder Staples. I left his office and walked down the stairs with tears in my eyes humbly grateful for the words that Jared Smith shared with me and how highly he spoke of Elder Staples!!! What a blessing and a much needed pick me up on the week!!! He has invited us to dinner , but he is not in our ward, but is in our Zone, so I hope that I will be able to have time to go and talk to him more!!!

To answer a few questions I would love to continue coaching when I get home, but we will see what happens I definitely wont be able to stay away for too long. The Cafe Rio was just a nice surprise they had no idea of my obsession. Alyssa you have MONO boy that is no fun I definitely know what that is like. I hope all went well with girls camp and with buying me a new car mom you are just tooo nice, hahaha you just know how much I loved the Aveo. I think an Audi R8 will suit our needs nicely hahah. Thanks everyone for all our your love and support please keep all the investigators and Recent Converts through out the world in your prayers. The world is really jumping to new heights and the help of the members is a must!!!

Well that is about the week in a nut shell I love you all and am grateful for all the love I recieve each day take care and have a wonderful week!!!

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

Cafe Rio?!?!?! 6/6/10

What a week what a week what a week!!! Things have been madness both good and bad, for the bad first I have been sick as a dog with a cold/flu/fever and chest congestion like no other. HAHA it has been great, but my comp and I, both sick, refused to sit in the flat. We we blessed because of it and had a very good week. This past week we went to dinner at the Sorenson family, some member from the West Harbor ward. He was just recently released as a member of the 70 and is now our ward mission leader. They have been to the states many times and are very fond of Cafe Rio so for dinner we had you guessed it Cafe Rio from the sweet pork to the lime rice to the famous house ranch. It was so incredibly close that I was just in Heaven!!! I have not had decent Mexican in way to long!!! It was just Delicious. During dinner President called us about a concern from a companionship in the zone and I let him no what we were eating and he was very jealous. It didn't help when I talked to him later and told him that we had Root Beer floats to wash it all down haha. Root beer in a fine delicacy here and is all imported and too expensive to buy. I don't care for it all that much, but some Elders just go nuts when they get it. It was just a great night. It has been weird getting used to white people food again, and not having to finish all that is on the table. Gaining weight is just something you can't help on this mission, but wrestling season is now in sight and I will be back to it ASAP!!!

This week we also had a wedding for an investigator Taryn and Wairama. She will be baptized this Saturday, and he will be baptized later this month!!! It was very very humble wedding. Lets just say that girls back home would not have it that humble when "hanging out" with friends, but we are just happy that they had the desire to live the law of Chastity besides the Temple is where we need them to end up!!!

We also have another baptism on Friday man named Tanifa he is from Tuvalu (spelling?) He is the man and part of a big family so we will start teaching all of them tonight and that should be a big boost for the month of July. It sounds far away, but if we don't prepare now then we will get to the month and have nothing to work with. There is about 6 potential baptisms besides his in his family so we have a lot of work to get that all sussed out. We are working to get him the priesthood as well so he can preform the baptisms of his wife and children.

We had a great Zone Conference this week and heard crazy news........Well the old record of 123 baptism in a month was set a side for a whopping 144 yes 144 the month of May was massive!!! We were so amazingly blessed, and the mission is just stepping to the next level. We have such great leadership throughout the mission. Elders of pure faith and determination to save souls constantly. It is incredible what Heavenly Father has done with the mission since President Porter Got here 2 years ago. It went from 60 or so baptisms a month with the occasional 80 to what we have now. The Lord is mindful of the work and his children here in New Zealand and what a privilege it is to be here at this time!!!

Also I got the COOLEST card from Grandma and Grandpa Tryon this week all the other Elders we coveting it hahah. I wish I could explain it, but I can't so ya haha. Thanks heaps and heaps for that Grandma and Grandpa!!!
Well that's about it time is cooking like Stucki boys behind Dutch ovens (oh how I miss that!!!), and the work is progressing like KFC in a Polynesian community!! They just love the Cournel!!! I love you all and am deeply grateful for all of your love and support!!! Keep doing what you do and look for ways to improve yourself in this life. After all what we do here will determine ETERNITY!!! God lives and love us all these things I know more and more as I live and strive to be more like the Savior!!!
Elder Matthew Lee Stucki N.Z.A.M.