Coming home. . .

Well this week was the delightful week of transfers, and you will never guess where I am or should I say where I am back to. Can you say OTARA haha probably not, but I am back. That was my very first area, so today I am back on the same computers in the library, and will go back to the same shopping places and all the good stuff. I was definitely not expecting it!!! A few changes though, I serve in a different ward, just the same stake, and am still a Zone Leader! My companion is Elder Rea (pronounced Ray). He is from Australia, so I am glad for that, weird enough I get along best with the Aussies over the Americans. Elder Rea is like Australian version of Kyle (my brother). He has been a Zone Leader for quite some time now, in fact he was my Zone Leader when I was a district leader in Papakura! We work very well together and I am very excited about the upcoming 6 weeks. I will for sure only have 6 weeks with him because he is finished after this one. This is my first time killing off a missionary so it will be a fun experience, and very rewarding at the end because I will end up with all the stuff he won't need back home like ties and shirts and stuff! The tradition continues however I have only had one companion my whole mission that had less experience that me with regards to time on the mission haha. So we cover only one stake as a Zone which is the Great TAMAKI (Tom-a-key). It is literally the Heart and soul of the mission. This past month 9 of 9 companionship's baptized and hit a new zone best of 20. October is setting up to beat that as well. It is total shell shock from my last area of rich and white people back to my favorite Polys and poor as..... The food is to die for and the portions should be illegal!! The cool part is that y ward now meets in the same chapel as my first ward Tangaroa, so I was able to see many old faces. I also hope to see Eseta this week and commit her to be baptized. I know I was sent back for a specific purpose and I feel that she and a few others are a big part of that. Now I have a lot more in my library of knowledge for the Holy Ghost to draw from so I feel that now may be the time!! We are very busy all the time since people are so receptive here. Also busy with making sure all the missionaries are staying obedient the members love the missionaries so much down here that often times the missionaries take advantage of that or that we all live so close together. My last area was bigger than the whole zone I am over now haha. So there are a lot of the things that we have to keep an eye on. At transfers President pulled me aside and said that I need to learn from Elder Rea and connect with the language program missionaries because after 6 weeks I will be taking over the area, and he said there are 3 main zones in the mission and you have to learn how to make them successful! Needless to say, I accepted, and again have been humbled by circumstance! I am excited for the challenge and know that God will always qualify those that he calls! The two young girls from my last area were also baptized this past weekend so I was glad to get that news! Mission life is great it is now just time to sprint till the end of the year we are so close to following the call of a Prophet and to double our baptisms we just have to put it into high gear and qualify to be instruments in the Lord's hands! He will do the work we will just be used by him. It is good to be home or at least in a place that feels close to it! Oh and day light savings time was this weekend for us so that may be why you get this later than usual! Life is good and it was so great to hear from all of you today. I love you all more than words are able to express and will be eternally grateful for the people that have been placed in my life!!!

P.S. The picture is of the "refreshments" after a baptism we had this week this was about half the food I kid you not for about 35-45 people haha life is GREAT!


Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 6:10 PM

My goodness how can I be asked to think about Mom and Dad coming to pick me up??? I have eons, millenniums, ages, heaps long as (that's what we would say in New Zealand) the last thing well close to the last thing on my mind is picking me up so now that that is cleared up ha ha we can talk about my week. Well over all it was an incredible week we taught heaps and found new people that are ready to make changes in their life so it was really good! For example we had about two and a half hours this one morning and we were out being led by the spirit and we drove along and came across a street called Redwood yes Redwood. To some of you that means nothing, but to the Stucki clan that is one of our favorite streets. We know that when we are there we will have a cold Pepsi heaps of delicious food, and all the love one can handle!! That is because that is where Grandma and Grandpa Stucki live, in Vegas of course! So I felt the need to go down that street and we were driving down the street and came to the end where we parked then looked around and went to the first house, where no one answered the door, and then went next to and the young lady in her probably early thirties answered. It was very evident that she was a hard out smoker, but we began talking to her and as we were speaking we bore witness that God sent us to her door that day to help her. That is something that we don't do to often because some people think that we are nuts if we say it to them, but we say anything that the Holy Ghost tells us to. She looked at us with tears in her eyes and said I know you have been sent by God, but I don't know how to come back. We then found out she was actually a member of the Church, but hasn't been in ages! She knows that church is where she needs to be, but she is just not clear on what to do to come back. Unfortunately there was no other man there so we could not go in straight away to teach her, but we bore witness of the things we know to be true and were able to set up a return appointment. She had two very young kids, and they need to grow up in the Gospel so that will be a blessing to see! I have gained a great love for not only baptizing new people into the church, but seeking after God's lost sheep and bringing them back to the Fold. It is very special especially when they have family that comes back as well. The Lord has been merciful to us this week in letting us participate in many miracles.

Unfortunately we have some bad news as well! Lauren Mincher who was supposed to be baptized last Saturday will no longer be getting baptized. We found out this week that the church requires both parents permission. The Mother and Father are separated and the Mom has gone completely anti against the church!! She doesn't know we have been teaching her or that she has been going to church, which she doesn't need to know either, but for baptism the church requires it even though the Law says other wise. It was so sad because we found out late Friday night, and Lauren was really excited! I have a firm testimony that she will be baptized because the Lord will always fulfill his promise that he will prepare a way for us to keep his commandments!

This week is transfers I reckon that I am going, I have been here for three transfers (4.5 months) and that is the longest I have ever been in an area and with my companion for two so we will see what transfer call brings. However it is NEVER what you expect. There is only one thing certain about transfers and that is there is nothing certain!! Well ya things are good life is good and I am just chugging along thanks for everyone's love and support! Love you ALL heaps and heaps!

WET WET WET!!! 9/12/10

Another week has come and gone, and I am starting to wonder how can time continue to speed up, there has to be a limit, but I guess not! Things are going very well for the most part we took a big hit as a zone compared to last month so this morning we had a meeting with our district leaders to try and combat the trend of super months then decent months and do our best to focus on steady progression which is exactly what the Lord has required us to do! Dad asked about John Richardson his is doing well we had a great lesson with him this week focusing on the Book of Mormon. We played the talk by Elder Holland then bore our witness as well of the truthfulness of that remarkable book!! The spirit was strong, and will work on him just as it worked on Fred and countless others!

This Saturday I went on Trade-offs with Elder McKinley (his parents came to visit you in Vegas) It was so good to be with him again him and I improved our teaching together like no other companions either of us have ever been with so it was a great blessing. Bad part was we were on bike and the rain was non stop all day. After a while you just laugh at how wet you are, and just keep on keepin on! It is funny how little time I actually spend one on one with my actual companion. Between trade-offs and meetings we are rarely together. We had been very blessed with reguards to teaching and finding as usual, although we were taken out of our are God still provided over the standard in all most all areas of the work. From teaching to fining and everything in between.

We (comp and I) still have 3 set for the remainder of the month, but we want to get at least one more, and the miracle to precede that desire may have happened yesterday!!! I was talking to some member in church when a young lady caught my eye IN A MISSIONARY WAY and I asked the people I was talking to if that was so and so's niece and they said yes so I B lined over to talk to her and sure enough it was her. Her name is Whitley, and she has friends that are active members in our ward. She lives out of our area, but we found out yesterday she is moving over!!! We taught her in Gospel Principles class then went over later that day to teach her at the members home! She loved it and when we asked how she felt as we taught she said and I quote "Gobsmacked." I am not exactly sure what that means, but after further questions she said that she felt that she knew what we were teaching was true! It is the greatest of feelings to know that people can feel the truthfulness of what you teach by the power of the Holy Ghost!!! So for this weekend Lauren a twelve year old will be baptized, she is rather solid since her father is an active member. Her only hold back was that she didn't like church because she never understood what was being taught, but now that she has 2 personal teaches she is all goods! Then the following weekend we have 2 cousins Loleta and Georgina! They are 12 and 9, and Georgina's mom came to church yesterday for the first time in a very long time so we we so happy because she will now have a better support system!!! All three of these girls are incredible smart and remember very well the things taught in prior lessons.

On other progressing news FRED BODY RECEIVED THE PRIESTHOOD!!! It was great one week after becoming a member he was ordained to to the office of a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. The ward is very strong with support, so he will receive a calling and has already begun his new member lessons. Definitely a great blessing as a missionary to know that you can trust others with the people we have grown to love!!! He also has started to tell us about some family members of his that he wants us to teach, so it has been just a massive chain reaction!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Alma chapter 29. In this chapter Alma starts off by stating the desire of his heart which is to teach with Angelic Zeal in other word to teach with power and authority. That is one of the greatest desires of all missionaries!!! He then goes onto say why he wants it and contrary to the intentions of today's society he says that he wants it to help his brethren, and to be an "instrument in the hands of God!" I feel as though I have gone through different stages of desire as I have been out on my mission. Of coarse at the beginning it was very selfish in my desire wanting to baptize a heap so I look good, but as I recognize my purpose more I have come to know in a very real way that I am here for God and his Children and no one else!! As much as I love my family they are not the reason in which I serve. I like Alma have had a mighty change of heart, have felt the pains of a damned soul, and felt the rejoicing love that comes only from the Prince of Peace, My Savior Jesus Christ!!! I have, like Alma, been praying very hard to gain a more pure desire to rescue his children and do it for him and so that the suffering of Christ will not go in vain. He goes onto remember the mercy that our loving Heavenly father showed to his people of that time. She recognized that all good comes from God and show gratitude accordingly! I am forever grateful for the mercy that come only through the Atonement of Christ! I, like Alma, also joy not in my success alone, but in the success of my brethren. Alma Closes this chapter in the way and manner that we too must seek things from God, that manner is thy will be done!! We must trust in God and know that He will grant us things as He sees fit and as He knows we need them!! I give my witness to the world that whatever we may be going through we are not alone! Like Elder Holland I wish for my witness to stand up to men on earth and to be recorded in Heaven as one who stood for truth. I know beyond the comprehension of the Human mind that God does live and that he does love us. I know that this is His church and His work. My promise to Him is that I will wear my life of for him and I will do it for Him and his children and not for myself.

I love you all and extend the invitation to you all to begin NOW making steps and preparation to be right with God. No one is exempt from his love, and no one was over looked when Christ suffered for us!! Make the change so that you can have all the blessings that God desires to give you!!! Again I express my love and gratitude to you and it would not be true love if I did not love you for who you can become, more than I love you for who you are. God expects us to progress and sin is what halters progression so rid yourself and press forward. Keep smiling life is a one time thing so make the most of today!!!

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

No work like missionary work!..........9/5/10

Things are great in the life of a missionary we have had a very blessed week three of God's children were baptized this week for Elder Larsen and I as you can see in the Pictures!!! The older Gentlemen that is Fred Body he was baptized on Saturday, so I got the privileged to pull out the skirt again. Little side note, I am rarely wearing proper pants to church again when I get home skirts all the way!!! Anyways his baptism went well the West Harbour ward was there in full force, so it was good to see. His wife who is already a member was very very excited that he is getting baptized, and they have set a goal to be in the temple in one year so I will have to come back for that one!!! On Sunday he was confirmed, and also paid his tithing straight away, that is something that takes great faith, but he sis it straight away. He truly is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! So that was Friday then on Saturday we had Dillon Peteli and Kayla Schwalger get baptized as well. Dillon is 16 Kayla is nine, and they both come from Part member families. It was very good to be apart of their baptism as well. Unfortunately the ward support is less than ok, but that has been a struggle for a while since they have always had really good missionaries (it is the Zone Leader area) so they baptize very often and the people just take it for granted, and it is so very sad to see!!! We also had a very very incredible fireside on Sunday, Brother Sorenson our ward mission Leader in West Harbour ward put on a stake fireside. He is a former member of the 70 so as you can imagine he is the MAN!!! A local LDS choir cam and sang the he was the Narrator that led the songs through the plan of salvation. Then President Porter gave the closing remarks it was very powerful and the Chapel was full. That reminds me it was fathers day yesterday in New Zealand, but I remember from last year that it is different to America so Happy Fathers day anyways to all of you haha!!! Also this past week on Tuesday we went to the temple so it was sooo great to be at peace for a few hours, and feel of the spirit so strong!!! It really helped me to clear my mind and refocus on the things that are of most importance!!!

Not to much going on today just getting ready for the week, and playing some Rugby! Things are good here, even if my emails are terrible haha. I wish I could just talk into a microphone and send the things that are in my head, but I always sit down, and forget the things I wanted to share!!! Hopefully you can make sense of what is written, and no the earthquake did nothing to us we didn't even feel it of know about it until people we are teaching told us haha!! Well that's about it thanks for all the love and support I look forward to the day when I can give these stories justice, and properly explain the finer details!!! I send all my love, just know I am healthy, happy and doing the Lord's work. I know that this is not just my work, but his and I am pleased to do it for as long as my time will allow!!! s

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