November 23, 2010


First happy late birthday mom! I really wanted to write you a letter by your birthday and then by dad's as well but I didn't get it done! I'm way sorry. Happy birthday though. Hope it was good! I will write letters soon. By Christmas for sure. Hopefully earlier but I shouldn't make promises, because it’s hard to find more than 5 minutes at a time ever. But yea, I'm doing good mom. It’s pretty much winter yea, it’s really cold and not cool. It got cold this week. I heard it snows here in Frankfurt so that’s good though. Winter without snow is just cold dark gray and ugly. Snow makes it look good for a little at least. St. George winters are good though ha since there is still sun. But yea winters hit. I think I'm good on warm socks for now. Yea though I'll just get them here if I need some more. And no I didn't do the burn a white shirt thing. We aren't allowed to use fire mom! I can't remember right now if it’s in the white handbook but president Ninow said it so yea. Those rituals are not allowed at least in this mission. So I'm still good on white shirts ha.
Anyway though! My new companion is Elder Moffat, he is from Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona. This is his last transfer! Weird. Actually last transfer was his last but he was able to extend. So he goes home at the end of December. It will be fun working hard with him his last transfer!
Said goodbye to Heidelberg on Wednesday and hello to Frankfurt! They are 2 very different cities! I really like it here so far though and I'm sure my love for the people and city will just grow with time.
I've been out for a year though!! Ah man I can't believe it. I only have that much more time left!! Like Eric I've done a lot of thinking about this lately. So here we live in an apartment building that is like right across the street from the Frankfurt stake Center and the Area Office for the European central area. There are tons of missionary couples and office workers that live in our building its weird you see missionaries all the time. But anyway, Wednesday night we were at the church for a meeting we had with the ward. Then Elder Moffat told me that the departing Missionaries would be coming to the church to have their testimony meeting. It was pretty interesting because he was supposed to be with that group of departing missionaries. When I thought about them coming to the church though I got a really weird feeling and wasn't sure if I wanted to see them. I only knew 3 of the 13 but yea. Elder Chidsey, Elder Bailey and Elder Malyon. I was able to do a few tausches with Elder Malyon when I was in Nordhausen and learned a ton. You could just feel and see how much he loved the gospel and being on a mission.
I was standing in the foyer just watching as the missionaries were coming into the building. One by one, then I saw Elder Malyon come through the doors. He had this blank stare on his face, it’s hard to explain. I felt way weird watching them all come in. Elder Moffat and I then had our meeting and were able to catch the last part of the departing missionary’s testimonies. Elder Malyon went last, then Sis. Ninow and Pres. Ninow spoke shortly. It was a good/strange experience. These 13 had served 2 years, and I was almost exactly at 1 year.
After the meeting they all came out and were talking in the foyer and I just stood and watched them all thinking about when I would be in their situation. It was a thought that just kind of kicked me in the chest. Hearing their testimonies, thinking about my past year and the year I have ahead of me. Every second literally counts. I can't waste any time. I am forever grateful for the example of these other missionaries. I realized then really how grateful I am that I still have a whole year.
President must have seen how I felt because he came over and talked to me for a bit about it all. I'm sure there is, but if there was no other reason why I was transferred to Frankfurt, it was so that I could experience that night. I can't explain how grateful I am for the past year or how grateful I am that I still have another one. I can't explain it or really say it, but I can show my gratitude to god. In that I do everything I can, to achieve my purpose as a missionary.
On that night when I watched them at first come through the doors I had this fear that I was done or something I don’t know. Or that I would be soon. Like my heart started going way quick and all then I calmed down and realized I still have a year. It’s crazy though!! It’s like I'm sliding down this huge steep hill way fast and I'm trying to grab grass to slow me down before I hit the bottom but the grass just won't hold me. That’s especially what I felt like I think. I thought about it throughout the night a ton and since. And I figure I just have to enjoy the slide. I don’t know, I don't really have to go home. Like return to the place yes but, who I am now is lots different from who I was when I left home. And who I will be at the end of my mission will hopefully be lots different from who I am now, and I won’t go back to who i was. I could continue telling you more about my thought process for the last week but I'll stop ha. I just love being here. I love being a missionary and am so so grateful that God has given me the opportunity to help in this great work. grandpa never really came home from New Zealand, I don't have to either ha. Actually I do want to tell you about one more thing I learned lots about the last year.
Just about how much God blesses us as we do what we can! I talked about it a little last week. How important it is that we do what we can. When we do that though something amazing happens. We do all we can, work hard, remember Christ in all we do, and then we are promised the spirit. The spirit is a part of the Godhead, therefore a God. So we are promised that the spirit will work through us. When this happens we have a God working through us. Thereby destroying the boundaries of what 'we' can do.
We as humans have limits or restrictions. God has none. As we do all we can and then allow the spirit to work through us these limits are no longer there. We can then do anything God sees necessary. I've experienced it for myself and seen it with other missionaries and just members. You don't have to be a missionary for this to happen. It can happen in all aspects of your life. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a gift that I think often goes underestimated. I continue to learn more and more about it and how much of an amazing gift it is. So often though I think I can do something up to a certain point or achieve something specific so I do all I can to do that thing and in the end I am able to do much more. It’s so cool and such a blessing.
So yea, don't be ok in living within your human restrictions. You're all children of a God. Act like it. Put off the natural man and your natural restrictions and let the spirit work through you in all you do. Mosiah 3:19. I hope everyone is doing good. Sorry I couldn’t write yesterday, we were in a meeting! Also next Monday I won’t be able to write so it will be Tuesday again. But then it should go back to normal. Have a good rest of the week and enjoy Arizona! I love you all so much!
Elder Puriri

November 16, 2010


Family family!
Another transfer has gone by! This last transfer was way cool. I learned a ton! We were supposed to get transfer calls Saturday but they called and said that we'd get them Sunday night. So we waited, then they called and said Monday morning. Then we waited, and we got them this morning! They were a bit different than we expected!
The assistants called and told us about everyone that was staying and we were supposed to call. Then they said alright well we'll let you call them and president will be giving you a call later letting you know what’s happening with you. Which meant there would be changes with us! So we gave the few companionships a call who were staying and waited. Then president called and said so you already got the transfer news? We thought he meant the stuff that we were supposed to pass on so we said yea. Then he said ok so Elder Puriri you know you're being transferred then? I thought about it for a second and was like wait what? No?

Turns out I’m being transferred to Frankfurt! 6 weeks in Heidelberg. Oh man it flew by so fast! I really love the members here and the missionaries I've been able to work with. I’m actually pretty sad to be leaving so soon. We were teaching such cool people and had good plans for this transfer. But I’m also not doubting the Lord, and I know that what’s ahead will be way good too. Just have to take what I learned and keep going. Crazy though definitely wasn’t expecting that one!!
This last week though was pretty cool! We did a couple austausches with some sweet Elders. There is so much to learn from everyone!! ha On Friday morning we were going to tausch with the Karlsruhe Elders (yes Asa they have a team in the Bundesliga, also Hoffenheim is in my area), we meet in a little place called Bad Schönborn because that’s where our tickets both end So we hop out of the train switch tickets and go! So we thought we had it organized so that Elder White would go back to Karlsruhe with Elder Howell until Saturday and I would go with Elder Chipman back to Heidelberg. So as our train pulled up Kruhe Elders were ready to switch. Elder white stayed on and I hoped off and to my surprise Elder Howell had an extra bag and they were both looking at me confused. I said Elder Howell hurry get on before it goes. And Elder Chipman jumped on ha, and I was like ‘what get off’. and Elder Howell goes 'wait what? He's getting on. Where’s elder white? so I explained quick how we understood it and Elder Howell said 'no I’m going to Heidelberg with Elder White. Then the train doors started beeping and closing while 3 of us were outside and Elder white was still seated waiting oblivious to the fact what is happening right now. So I jumped in between the doors and said alright everyone get on! Then we went to Elder white who was quite confused to see us all. We figured out they had planned that I go to Kruhe with Elder Chipman. I reminded everyone that 2 of us were riding now schwarz (without a ticket) and that whoever was going back to Heidelberg needed to get off at the next stop and switch trains. It was a pretty funny situation with a lot of confused people. Turns out I went on to Kruhe without any tausch stuff until Saturday. I just bought a toothbrush to survive until I got home the next day ha. In this confusion I had forgotten to give Elder white the keys to our apartment. So they had to sleep in an empty extra missionary apartment in Heidelburg to which Elder White had the spare keys just in case something like this happened ha. It all worked out ok in the end! And the tausch was very good!
We are teaching such awesome people! This member I've told you about, GianLuca, just keeps inviting us to teach his friends. It’s so cool! He prepares them all so well then when meet them we hardly have to do anything. The appointments we have with him and his friends are always super spiritual it’s such a cool feeling. We taught them all together and GianLuca's house on Saturday night. They are just way down to earth and want to really find out if God loves them and if what we say is true. It’s been way cool to work with them. I’m excited for them to continue to progress in the Gospel.
I've been able to learn a lot while here in Heidelberg. One of the most important things I continue to learn though is how important it is that we do what we can. I mean you yourself doing what you can do. German word is beherrschen. I don’t know a good English word. I guess master, master yourself. Because really the only thing you can ever 100% completely control is yourself. You can and do of course influence everything else around you, but you do not control it. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you yourself are doing everything in your power that you can do. Because if we give up our self control and act in a way contrary to what we know to be right, we are no longer controlling ourselves. Which means we are controlling nothing. Then there is no point! We are here to prepare ourselves to meet God again. And like that thought you sent to me mom, we have the responsibility of our influence. If we are doing our part, mastering ourselves, we are fulfilling our responsibility of influencing others for the better. Being of God, inspiring others to be better.
Lately it seems like things are just kind of overwhelming. So many things to think about all the time in order to stay on top of things. Investigators, other missionaries, ward and member work, yourself, tons of individual things! I doubt I've completely understood this but as of now I've decided the best way to figure all that out is to first master myself. Begin with the little things, master them, then the other things will naturally follow. Plus who am I to help others when I haven't got myself yet. The thing is though it’s all connected. In helping others and serving, we master ourselves. Like that quote from last week. So much to do all the time! Like President Uchtdorf said slow down, take a look and begin with the basics, the small things. In doing that everything else naturally follows. I'm going to be working on that. I hope you all will too! The goal is to be a family forever!! This requires everyone doing their part, while influencing the other for the better.
I love you all so much! Be happy! I hope you know by now what I mean when I say be happy, there’s lots tied into it! Do your best and have a good week!
Elder Puriri

November 8, 2010


Hope everyone had a good last week! We had a very busy week here!! Packed days that just blew by. Lots of teaching which is always fun and cool people we found. Austausch with Kaierslautern Elders. Worked with lots of members too. It was good. That summarizes the week! I'll write again next week!

ha just kiddin I will expoounnd. Good word, I've done good at remembering good English words lately. I don't think my English will be as rough as it was when I got home from my exchange but it will be different rough. After my exchange I just hadn't spoken English very much the last long while. Now we still use English a lot but it’s a limited topic and words and stuff. And I mix up German grammar into English sentence structure and substitute lots of German words in all the time, it sounds really weird probably. Missionaries understand me though! Since I've been here we've taught more in English then I have my whole mission combined. It’s really hard teaching in English! It’s especially hard praying in English, I'm really bad at that now. Good thing German will be the main language for the next while still.
Anyway, about the week. Well when I was on tausch with Elder Phelps here in Heidelberg we had a way busy day. It was my second time being in Heidelberg with someone on tausch. My confidence in knowing how to get around the city alone is growing ha. We had a super busy day though with appointments spread out all over the place. So we were constantly going it was sweet. We left Kaiserlautern that morning got to Heidelberg and went all day then got on a train down to Kaiserlautern that night! So it was a quick day tausch. On the train down to Kaiserlautern though we had a funny experience.

I had a DVD I had to give to the Elders in Mannheim when our train went through there so they were going to be at the platform when our train stopped and we were just going to hand it out the door to them ha. Then the Sisters called who had just gotten out of an eating appointment and asked if we wanted food. I said yes but we were on the train going away. Then she asked if we had passed through Mannheim yet and I said no. And they said Perfect! We’re at the train station and we'll just give you the bag at the platform! So you can imagine how this went. It’s a busy station lots of people getting on and off. The train doesn’t stop for too long. So I told the Elders and Sisters to meet us at the front door of the train. The doors opened and there they were, as well as like 20 other people around them trying to come into the train plus people behind me trying to get out. So I stepped halfway out, gave the elders the DVD grabbed the bag from the sisters and stepped back into the train while we all tried to get out of everyone’s way ha. Everyone watching was probably really confused. But it worked out perfect! It was pretty funny.

We had a pretty cool experience on Saturday night though! It actually starts on Monday. So Monday we had an appointment at this building, but sadly it fell out. Nobody was there! So we decided to finish doing doors there. The very last klingel at the top floor a lady said through the speaker box that we could come back the next day. We didn’t have time the next day, or until Friday though. So we went by Friday and made out an appointment with her for Saturday night. Then Saturday as we were getting to know her we asked kinda just like what her expectations were and stuff. Then she told us a sweet story! She said that the previous week she had wanted to find a new church to go to because she didn’t feel good at hers. So she decided to pray about it. Then as she was getting her mail at the bottom of the building she saw in the trash next to the mailbox one of our cards. (Yes I said it was in the trash but it’s ok) She said she saw 'Kirche Jesu Christi' on it and thought well maybe I could go to this church. So she picked it out, saw our church address and walked over and looked at the building. Then 2 days later, (Monday night) we rang her doorbell! I was way excited at the end of that story! Then we taught her a bit about Joseph Smith, and invited her to church, and she came! She liked it and we are meeting with her again tomorrow. Pretty amazing how it works sometimes!
Well we don’t have a lot of time today. People are waiting for us! This should be a really good week though, ending with transfer calls already. weird weird. Things are going good though and will go forward. I'm really grateful for the gospel, and for knowledge we have from it. We know who our God is, and who his son Jesus Christ is. John 17:3, we must know the TRUE God and his son Jesus Christ. We get to know them best just like how we get to know anyone else. By spending time with them and talking with them. So, spend time with them, and talk to your Heavenly Father. It is so cool getting to know them! I realize more and more how much they love us. How much they've done for us. It is such a blessing to have the pure gospel of Christ, it’s the best way to get to know the true God and Jesus Christ, who he sent.
I love you all! Spend time with them, and be happy!
Elder Puriri

November 4, 2010


Hello family!!
Mom the pday message was way cool! I've been thinking a lot about that lately. Very good. This last week was pretty good! We were really busy and once again plans were changed quite a bit. As always the positives outshine the negatives. It was a pretty good week! Also it was warm again for the most part! Not always sun but it was still warmer!

So on Monday, we had an appointment with a lady from Ghana named Belinda. We teach her in English so we got Mike and Sarah Taylor to come teach with us. Their young couple from Utah, he's studying here and served in the Hamburg mission. We got to Belinda's though and she wasn't there. Her neighbor came and said Belinda left a note for us on the door and she gave us the note. So we just started talking with her neighbor. She had never had contact with the church before so we basically just explained who we were and what we were doing. Then we started talking about Joseph Smith. Mike started telling a quick version of the restoration and he said 'Then because of all of Joseph Smith's questions and searching he went into the forest near his house one morning and prayed to God. Then God and Jesus Christ appeared to him'. As he got here the spirit was very strong and he just kind of paused. Then she looked at him for a bit and goes 'Well?! what happened what did God say??' She really wanted to know! We kind of laughed then Mike continued. She wanted to know what happened but was pretty set in her catholic faith. At the end we asked her if when we come back to Belinda we could give her a Book of Mormon. She said that would be fine just so she could read it but then she'd give it to Belinda to give back to us. We tried to explain she could keep it but she said no. She said she'd take it though. And we all know that when you take that book in your hand and really read it you don't want to give it back. So I just said 'yep that’s fine we'll be back on Wednesday!'

So then Wednesday came. Elder White was in Ramstein on a tausch and I was with Elder Bergquist here in Heidelberg. We tausched around lunch and after we had 3 quick appointments then something at the church. But for the 2 first appointments we needed to have a member come with us and hadn't organized anything yet. Not good! We usually do better but this day was weird. I didn't know who to call since I still don't know the members all that well here and where they live or what their schedules are like and stuff. Which is good stuff to know to figure out who could come! I'm still trying to get to know all the members better. So I tried and few and nobody answered! I was thinking we might have to cancel the appointments but really didn't want to. So I figured nope something will work out and someone will come. So an hour before I got this thought to call GianLuca. I thought well he's probably in school, plus he lives far away. But I kept thinking that for some reason he is in Heidelberg right now. So I called. He was in Mannheim and just got out of school and was about to hope on the train home which would stop in Heidelberg in 20 minutes. He said yea of course I'll come with you guys, I can be there in 30 Minutes. I was so relieved! He saved the day ha.

So we met up with him and went to Belinda's and had a good appointment. Then we walked downstairs and knocked on her neighbors, Frau Gerein's, door. She opened up and I just said 'Hi we brought that book and were wondering if you had a few minutes so that we could come in and introduce it a little more' She let us right in. Few minutes turned into 30 minutes. She seemed a whole lot more open I guess is the word then she was on Monday. She had an open heart and was listening and understanding. It was really cool. GianLuca has this fire in him as well which is awesome. He just kept telling her how awesome the Book of Mormon is and a bunch of stuff it was way funny. He's such a cool kid. At the end of the appointment she said 'well know I feel like I have to do something for you guys...'' we just said all she can do for us is read the book with an open heart and pray about it. She said she would and that next time we come to Belinda's we could stop by her as well. It was a really cool appointment! Just very real and the spirit was very strong. It’s always so cool walking out of a building just like floating. GianLuca when we got out just started going off about how awesome that was. He's 18 and wants to serve a mission next year and he can't wait. I learn a ton from him any time I'm with him. For moments like that appointment and that spirit that is felt is why I'm here ha. It’s so cool! The feeling we get from sharing the gospel and helping others have spiritual experiences is so amazing.
There is a quote from Pres. Kimball I read this week.
''Not only do we “find” ourselves in terms of acknowledging guidance in our lives, but the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to “find” ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!''

We grow the most in serving others. That’s why missions are so amazing. Because you can commit yourself fully to 2 years of straight service! Off the mission though there are still many opportunities to serve. Find them, use them. As we use the opportunities God gives us, he will see they mean a lot to us. And he will bless us with more!

I hope everything is going good for everyone. I love you all! You’re all in my prayers. Make it a good week and be happy!
Elder Puriri