November 20, 2011


November 17, 2011 - We waited and waited and waited for his plane to arrive. It was late...very very late. But he made it and we were excited to see him. The anticipation was almost unnerving. I liken it to a time when our Heavenly Father and Mother await the safe return of each of their children.

I do not know the words to describe the joy within my soul at the safe return of Elder Isaac. A mother's love. Isaac is home, Ammon is alive and all is safely gathered in.

November 14, 2011


Hello My Dear family!
Time has taken my tomorrows and turned them into yesterdays! And it just keeps happening ha. The past week past quick as we continued to work in Gotha to share the gospel. I had the opportunity to go back to Nordhausen one more time on tausch. It was a bit strange leaving this time since I do not know when I will be back there. Walking the Nordhausen streets again brought a rush of thoughts and sparked a lot of reflection. Evening time when its dark and cold the streets kind of empty out. So we walked for a while pretty much in silence and it gave me time to think about that area and what I learned there. The inspiration that goes into the areas you serve in and with whom you serve is amazing. Each area and companion has provided me with the opportunities needed to make the growth necessary.

The last week it suddenly got really cold. It had been pleasantly warm up until now. I guess not warm but it definitely was not cold enough to bug me. It was nice that it stayed like that until this week though! I consider it a blessing because I left my big coat in Frankfurt back in May because it was worn and ripped. I have a smaller coat I picked up in another apartment and hoped it would be enough until the end and it was! 

Last night as we got back into Gotha from a smaller village a bit outside we decided to go by on that older couple we had doored into a while ago. He was feeling better and the wife was happy to see us and let us right in. I told them I wanted to come say goodbye and all and they were a bit sad but excited to meet another new Elder. It was an interesting appointment. He is 79 and suffers from a stroke he had when he was 33. He said ''I was thinking about today and asked my wife if she knew how long I have been sick. She didn't and I told her about 46 years! 46 years! And everyday I can get up and continue because of the grace of God.'' His faith in Christ is solid. He then started talking to us about death and said ''to be honest I am a bit afraid of dying. I don't have that sure faith like Paul who was not afraid. I do not know what will happen after and how it goes on. That is a bit scary'' As he said that I opened up the Book of Mormon and asked if I could share with him some teachings from it. He gladly listened and you could see each dot connect as we taught about death, spirit world, and resurrection.

That's what we want to do! Inform people of what has been revealed and invite them to find out if it is true or not! The restored Gospel provides us with Knowledge and Integrity. Knowledge simply because of the truth, and what has been and will be revealed. Then it teaches us of what we need to change and do to set our lives in order. The Restored gospel teaches us how to internally conduct ourselves, which creates the outward effect of integrity, being guided by the knowledge obtained through the eternal truths of which the gospel is composed.

In the sharp words of Samuel Johnson ''Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.'' Luckily the gospel gives us both of them. The gospel will develop integrity in him who applies it, and this integrity will curb his pride and properly guide his knowledge. The gospel will help him develop knowledge who studies and applies it, then with his newly attained knowledge he knows how to better put his integrity to use in order to accomplish things of significance. It is all encompassing.

There is so much to learn! I am eternally grateful for this blessing called a mission. We give God a couple years, he sets us on a path leading to eternal treasures of knowledge and joy. Gods giving most definitely outweighs ours. I do not think I fully comprehend the culmination of it all. 2 years, 7 areas, and 15 companions later and I still feel like a brand new elder. I will be reflecting back on this experience forever drawing lessons from it. That blessing alone will never run dry. Who knows what else is tied along with it all. The Gospel is designed to change the individual. 

We who go to teach and share it experience most likely the biggest change. God could do this work alone, he is not dependant on Elders and Sisters going to serve. He allows us the opportunity to experience what it is like, he allows us the opportunity to be molded by him. We need to take this opportunity and allow God to open our eyes. As President Monson said ''It is better to look up'', and so it is. The change and experiences available could be called the Miracle of a Mission. Available to all worthy who enlist to serve the Lord, humbly put everything aside, and allow God to change them. I love my mission. It has been the most enlightening experience of my life.

Thank you all for your letters, packages, and prayers during this time. I have felt the sincere care and love of my whole family during this time. Although apart, the bond has been strengthened. I love you all with everything I am. 

Thank you for everything.
Elder Isaac Olsen Ahmu Puriri

November 7, 2011


The last week was a good week. We sadly lost a couple investigators, but it gives us the opportunity now to find those who are ready. We helped out some members in the ward with some stuff and spent some time in surrounding villages. The ward is doing a 40 day fast for the missionary work here in the area and its been cool to see the results. We keep meeting really cool people on the streets and have way good conversations. Hopefully we can meet with some of them this coming week. 

While we finished dooring out an area we had a couple houses left but thought maybe we should go. As we walked out of the development we decided to go back and finish the last row of houses. Nothing really came from that so we went back to the main road to walk back into Gotha. On our walk back right before a turn in the road there was an older couple walking towards us. We stopped them and talked about building a relationship with God through prayer. The man stared at me for a second then told me that he lost his mom 6 hours ago and that he and his wife were just our for a walk to clear their minds. Then he paused again and said how could God help me right now?

We began to tell him about the Plan of Salvation and how the family can be eternal. We gave him a pamphlet about the plan of salvation. They didn`t want to make any appointment out but we wrote our number on the pamphlet and asked them to read it through, pray about it as the pamphlet instructs, and then to call us. So we will see. It was cool though because had we not gone back to just finish that strip of houses we probably would have missed them. God slowed us down enough to meet them and give them a ray of hope. The next 2 days after that we continually ran into people who told us they had lost a loved one recently, we had the opportunity over and over again to share our testimonies of the Plan of Salvation. You can see as you share that with someone in that situation how holes of doubt and misunderstanding are filled and they gain a more complete view of the picture. Hopefully stuff works out this week so that we can meet with them and help them more!

The knowledge available to us through the Restoration is amazing. I don`t understand why people refuse to except it or discredit it. I guess its because they don`t understand... Either way, God wants us to learn of him. As I have read recently in Alma chapters 40-42 I have been amazed at the detail and the doctrine revealed to us. It answers so many questions and opens up to us so much more understanding. It feels like a connect the dot process forming a picture. As I read and learn I feel like my mind is grasping Substance. I am filling my mind with things of weight that have a magnitude of their own. Grasping them and breaking them apart to understand the finer details and save them in our minds as things of understanding, which we can call upon to teach, comfort, and enlighten others takes work and guidance of the spirit. I feel though like it is the most rewarding work. Joseph Smith said ''The things of God are of deep import, and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out''. We must take the time in order to understand, and we must recognize that the spirit is the catalyst in the whole process.

Sorry this is a bit shorter, we still have other errands to run to prepare for the week. I hope you are all doing well though. Make it a good week! Love you!!
Elder Puriri

November 1, 2011


Hello Everyone!
The week just passed by as we were here in Gotha being missionaries! Yes mom I got that package and I am definitely not allowed to wear that tie ha. I wore it in the apartment but can`t wear it out. It works good at lunch over my other tie as like a bib or whatever ha. That letter from the primary is old though like back from june, they are going to wonder why I never wrote back but I didnt get it until basically November. So now I don't think I will write them and I will just talk to them when I get back or something.  Also emailing today because yesterday was a holiday in german, it was reformation day. So everything was closed, plus halloween. Which is getting more popular in germany. We weren`t the only ones going door to door last night ha. A couple people thought dressing up like a missionary was a funny costume then we explained we were for real ha, then they weren`t so amused anymore. One lady though was like oh....well how about this. Im not interested but take some candy. Then she handed us her bowl of candy and we each took a piece and continued door to door.

The past week was good though. We sadly were not able to meet with that older couple we doored into a little over a week ago. The husband got sick and the wife called us and said we should wait a week or so. So we will try by this week and see if he is doing any better. We still wanted to somehow keep contact though so I took a picture of Christ out of my scriptures and we went and bought a frame for it and took it to them as a gift. They were excited so that was good. we were able to meet a lot of people last week but sadly appointments didn`t work out too well. We will work on getting back in contact with them and then hopefully be able to teach them this week.

The guy from the bible study group that lives in the house connected to the church called us though last week. He wanted to know if he could take us to a Basketball game from the semi pro team here in gotha. We though probably not but told him we would call him back. So we called President Schwartz and asked him and he said he thought it was cool the guy called us and that it is a good opportunity to build the relationship and try to meet more with him. So we ended up going to the game! It was super weird. He requested we come in normal clothes ha, probably because he didn`t want to be the one bringing the mormon missionaries to a game and have everyone seeing him. So we wore regular clothes and went. It was a weird feeling! Being in that type of atmosphere and all. 

It made me think about how it will be in a couple weeks and I got a bit nervous ha. I was a bit worked up the rest of the night just with quick thoughts and what if`s and how will I's and other stuff. I am glad I still have time here to not worry about any of that. Then I remembered though what an Elder told me last winter a week before he went home. He talked to me about how he never wanted to think about going home either and would just face it when he got there. Then in his last interview though Pr. Ninow told him it was important to think about it and that he needed a plan, he told him it was ok to take some time and think about how it will be and what you will do. I just dont want to though because its all so vulnerable to quick changes and whatever else.

So I have been thinking about goals and purposes and lots of other things. As a missionary we have our purpose, which is described in Preach My Gospel pg. 1.  According to our purpose we set goals all the time to help us accomplish our purpose. Everything we do should be in relation to and contribute to moving us closer to it. I figure that is what makes things here so clear. I know that at all times whatever I am doing should contribute to my purpose. So when there is down time, I simply run through a list of things I could be doing in my mind, figure out which one would help most or be best at that time then simply do it! Everything is funneled into our purpose as missionaries. And what doesn't fit in the funnel needs to be done away with because it will clog it up or slow things down. We can check all activities and goals with our purpose and see if it fits.

So I figure I need to come up with a purpose for myself. It will take some time but it will make everything else I do more meaningful and will contribute to moving myself and others forwards. I liked the thoughts you had mom from dads lesson about follow since that relates well to that whole thing. Once we have a set purpose, we need to make sure everything we do is contributing towards it. Our activities need a direction and goal, if they do not have that then they are often insignificant and have no positive lasting effect.

We must know the What before we know the How. What we want to do, then we can figure out How-- or how we use our time to accomplish. If we do not know the What then our How has no direction.

We need solidity, eternal solidity. Which comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. ''That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive'' Ephesians 4:14. So I will be considering that and how to ''continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [to not be] moved away from the hope of the gospel.'' col. 1:23.
We need to decide and then decide to commit, for ''the absence of a decision to commit is a decision'' (E. Maxwell). Then regardless of what is going on around us we stay true. Elder Maxwell also said ''...though ours is a time of conflict, quietly caring for 'the life of the soul' is still what matters most. Though events set up the defining moments which can evoke profiles in righteousness, outward commotions cannot excuse any failure of inward resolve, even if some seem to unravel so easily''. So we must set our feet and stand firm.

I hope you all have a good week! Strive lift the burdens of others and improve their day, then you will be lifted in the best way. I love you all!!
Elder Puriri

October 27, 2011


Hello family!
We had a good past week and it went by quick. We were able to get a lot done and are working better with the ward. I sit here and try to think back on specific things we did and can't get any, everything just blends and it seems like a blur ha. We went to that bible study and were able to get in contact with some previous investigators where things had fallen out.
Ammons brace looks way cool, its amazing to see those pictures of him moving like that. Lots of blessings tied into all of this.
It was cool to go to that bible study again. It didn't turn out exactly as we had planned but it was still good. I think the guy running it realized it probably wasn't the smartest idea to ask 2 LDS missionaries to come and tell about what they do, what they believe, and how they came to the faith. Well it was a smart idea and would help others, but not a smart idea if he doesn't want to risk people asking questions and us teaching the apostasy and restoration. So instead he tied us into their bible passage which was about our motivation to serve and live the gospel. He asked us to just explain what motivates us to go do this and a bit about what we do. We gave our testimonies as we could. Then they all had a few questions mostly just about organizational parts of missionary work. It was good though, they really like us. We will have to see how we continue to work with that and find people through it.
President Schwartz at the last zone conference in Nürnberg gave us time to separate off from everyone and wanted us to think and pray about our areas and set a goal for how many people we would like to help to be baptized by the end of the year. Elder Rechter and I had felt good and set the goal of 6. We talked to the ward about it and at first they were caught a bit off guard but then they started to like it. One of the counselors in the branch presidency was really excited. We explained we would like to help find a couple families and that we could reach our goal best in that way. The decided they wanted to do a 40 day fast starting today. One member will be fasting each day for the next 40 days. Its going to be cool. We will call them before they begin and after. To ask them to pray for specific names we give them during their fast and then afterwards to tell them about the miracle of the day. I`m way excited. Br. Möller gave a solid talk yesterday about missionary work and invited everyone to participate in the fast. He is the first one fasting. 
Last night while we went from door to door we finished a part of the area we were in and had planned to go to another part of town then. Before we left the little development we stopped and thought maybe we should just continue here until the end of the night. We felt good about it so we did. We knocked 4 doors and all quick in a row were closed on us. The next one the lady opened, wasn't so excited and was about to close but we explained quick who we were. She said she already belongs to a church and named the one whose bible study we went to. I had never seen her there so I said we had been there a couple times. She then called for somebody in the house and asked her to come see if she knew us. The lady came and got all happy as she recognized us and said ''Yes these are the 2 young men I was telling you about that have visited our bible study!" She looked at us then said, these are my friends! Do you want to come in and talk to them? We of course said yes. The lady didn't look too happy about us coming in. So I said we could come back at a better time and she liked that more. Then a man from another room yelled ''Let them in!'' but she said no it would be better if you came back another day. The man again yelled ''Let them in now, I want to talk to them!''  so she let us in! 
The guy was so cool. They are an older couple in their 70s. The guy had a stroke when he was 33 and his right side a been messed up ever since. He is so cool though. He basically shared his testimony for the first 30 minutes about the bible, Paul, and Christ. I read him a story out of the Book of Mormon from where Alma and Amulek were persecuted and imprisoned but God blessed them to come free. He loved it and was like a little kid listening, commenting, muttering under his breath about the bad people then basically cheering as they broke the bands with which they were bound and the prison collapsed. It was way cool. He wants us to come back soon. Their daughter with her kids lives next door and they think they would like us too. So we will go back and hopefully everything works out.
It all worked out because the lady from the bible study happened to be there right then. She was about to leave right when we got there, just putting on her coat. Perfect timing.
I've thought a lot recently about Truth and being open to hear and accept it. So many people refuse to consider something as true simply because it speaks against what they believe or are doing, maybe even condemns it. But truth is truth, and ever will be truth. Like with gravity. If you do not accept the fact or learn about gravity and how it works, and try to still fly, or launch a rocket ship, it will not work and gravity will be the grounding force restricting you from taking off or staying up. However if you accept it, study it, and learn to work with it, you then know how something must be done in order to fly and stay flying. If we do not accept, study, and apply truth in how we go about life, it will be the ground force holding us down. No matter how much we try to deny or neglect it. However, if we do accept it, study and apply it, then we can live our lives accordingly and fly because we know how.
Joseph Smith said ''If we do not treasure up all the good and true principles in the world, we shall not come out true Mormons.'' We are a religion of truth, and can therefore accept and embrace all truth. Nobody else has this liberty. We strive after it, we learn to act accordingly and are able to fly. The truth will make us free. It really is a wonderful thing to hear, learn, and apply truth. We love truth!
I hope everyone is doing well with what they are doing. Make it a good week and look to show your love for others!
Love you all so much,
Elder Puriri

October 17, 2011


When we email on Tuesdays we just cut our pday short on Monday then take that time on Tuesday to email. But we are in Erfurt so we wont have to do that today. That also means though I am going to have to make this a bit shorter so that we can get everything done here today. 

Dads hair does look pretty crazy ha. My hair is pretty short. I was sick of paying for haircuts so a couple pdays ago in Erfurt I just had one of the other elders shave it ha. He used the longest thing but it was still pretty short. It caught me off guard since i had never done that. It grows back though, and it was free!

We had a good past week though! We were able to work a lot with the members and those who need help right now. On Sunday we had a pretty cool experience. It actually started back in the first week of the transfer. I can't remember if I told you or not but we visited a bible study group in another church. It was pretty cool, the people were way nice. Then this last week we were doing doors out in one of the nicer areas of Gotha. Then we doored into a lady that was at that bible study. We talked for a bit then asked if she had ever heard of the Book of Mormon. We were able to introduce it and explain a bit. Then as we gave it to her and were leaving she invited us to their Sunday service. So we decided we could go since it was in the afternoon and it would give us an opportunity to ask her if she had any questions or anything like that. So as we showed up the peopel who recognized us were way friendly. Yea I think I did tell you about this. The guy that lives in the church kind of. His house is just connected I guess. He was way happy to see us and we sat by him. 

I was really impressed by the sermon that a young man gave maybe like 27 or so years old. It was solid and full of truth. After I went and thanked him for it and I think he was a bit surprised ha since we were LDS missionaries and all. The guy that lives there though invited us back to the bible study on Thursday and asked us if we would prepare a 15 minute presentation. We are supposed to tell a bit about our faith, where we are from, and how we came to being here. Such a good opportunity! It will be way cool. I've always wanted to do something like this in other churches ha. We are going to look for more here in Gotha and build up relationships. 

Präsident Schwartz suggested we start trying things like this since we will find people that are already way faithful there. So we are trying it out. We will go by on the lady we gave the Book of Mormon to and see if she is interested to learn more.

It was really interesting to sit and listen to that guys sermon. He was so sincere and understood the bible really well. Full of truth and a desire to change for God and allow the gospel to change him. He could have been teaching that in our church. I was surprised because I didnt expect anything as solid as that. So many people are full of light and truth and love god. I just wanted the whole time that he would read the Book of Mormon. We in no way want to take away what these people already have. We just want to give them more, add to their blessings. I could feel the whole time how full of light the guy was but at the same time it felt like something he was constrained in some way. If he just heard the restored gospel it would set him free! More truth. Just as Christ said, the truth will set you free. He would be able to make even more changes, and affect others on their way even deeper, and follow God even more sincerely.

As I went up to talk to him after he seemed surprised and a bit hesitant to talk with me. So I just thanked him, asked for his name and a copy of his sermon. Hopefully he is there on Thursday and we can talk a  bit more. Its so cool to meet people who sincerely desire to do good and follow God. The restored gospel is a blessing and help for all. Those who already have will be given more. We just have to allow the spirit to touch them and they must open their hearts to recognize that amazing thing being offered to them.

Things are going well in Gotha, we are keeping busy and beginning to work more with the ward to accomplish our goals. Lots to do and under pressure ha. I hope everyone is doing well! I don't know what foot drop is though but that brace thing for ammon sounds pretty cool.

Have a good, productive week! Love you all!
Elder Puriri

October 11, 2011


First sorry this is a day late again. We pretty much can't email on Mondays in Gotha. Well we could but all the places we could are casinos and such and it wouldn't look good for missionaries to go in and out of those places. So we waited until Tuesday so that we could go to the library. We will most likely continue to do that unless we go to Erfurt or something then I can write on Monday.

We had a good week though it being transfer week and all. Monday was a normal day then Tuesday pday and we went to Erfurt with all Elder Rechters luggage so we wouldn't have to make the trip twice. We spent the evening with the Erfurt Elders then up on Wednesday and helped the Elders to the train station. Elder Gardner and Wilkinson and I spent the day working in Erfurt until our companions came. The Erfurt Elders have a car and I was the only one who could drive and since we had appointments far away I was able to drive. So that was nice to drive again. I wasn't so sure how it would be since I haven't driven since like...March 2010 or so. It was good though and nice to be able to do it again. It felt like I was actually an adult ha driving a car instead of walking around all day. We met our companions at Banhof in the afternoon then it was off to Gotha! 

Elder Sherman is way cool. On the train back to Gotha the announcer came on to say what stop was coming next. He had a pretty good east germany/thüringen dialect, I had to listen really close to understand everything he was saying. Elder Sherman looked at me with big eyes having not understood anything and said ''I was warned about the dialect''. It was pretty funny, but luckily not everyone speaks with a strong dialect. I actually think its less common then speaking mostly normal ''hoch deutsch''.

While in Erfurt Elder Gardner told us about how he had visited another churches bible study group. I thought that was sweet so when we got back to Gotha I looked up Churches in the phone book and called to ask if they had bible study groups and if we could come. The first Pastor I talked to wasn't too excited about 2 mormon missionaries coming which I guess is understandable...kind of. So he said he would rather meet with us first alone at our church and talk and then we could see where things would go, I was totally ok with that ha. Sadly he hasn't called us back yet so we'll give him a call this week.  

The next guy though was pretty excited and invited us to go. So we went last thursday and it was cool. We walked in a couple minutes after it started and the Preacher was  a bit shocked to see us since it wasn't him who I talked to and who invited us. But the guy who did hopped right up and came and shook our hands and showed us our seats. It was pretty cool though. They were open and nice. We read something out of Ephesians and the Preacher taught a bit. Something I really liked that he talked about was Gratitude. He said ''If we are not grateful and do not thank God for what he gives us, we are in a way putting ourselves above God. Suggesting that he didn't bless us enough or that he should have done something differently, as if we know better.'' So cool. Being grateful and showing it keeps us humble. Towards our fellowmen and towards God. 

We pretty much have no right not to be grateful to God. Mosiah 4:9, we cannot comprehend everything. Gods perspective and vision is much better then ours. He knows what things must happen and how, so that we in the end can receive the greatest blessings, and so he works accordingly. Our impatience or ungratefulness blind us, often causing us to become bitter towards God. If we really think about it though, by acting in such a way we are claiming God didn't do something right...which would mean we know better. And we of course do not know better. Therefore trust in God, ''believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend'' and be grateful for everything!

Then after the bible group the guy that I talked to on the phone and then welcomed us so warmly came and offered us a ride home. Turns out the church is connected to his house so him and his wife take care of all of that. So as we were getting ready to go he stopped and asked if we had already had dinner, to which we replied yes (although we hadn't, but we knew what was coming) then he said ok otherwise you would have got dinner from my wife. It was late though and we needed to go so it was alright. He drove us though and we were able to talk a lot. He was way nice. Hopefully something will come of it, we still need to figure out how to best go about keeping contact and all.

The rest of the week we spent mostly planning for the transfer and looking for people who want to hear our message! Sunday we had Stake Conference in Erfurt so that was cool. It was packed so they had us missionaries sit up on the stand so there would be more room for the members. It was cool to see so many members together here. President and Sister Schwartz were both there and also spoke.

Yesterday then as we were out talking to people we talked to a guy in front of a restaurant. He doesn't belong to a church but believes in the bible and is quite faithful. We talked for a while and at the beginning he was very against the Book of Mormon and what our message was. He used a lot of bible stuff to show us we were wrong, to which we simply re-quoted it but in context and correctly and then he would try to find something else. Eventually he was a bit more open to listen and we gave our testimonies of the Book of Mormon again. He said yea but the bible has changed me and I am sticking to it and the Book of Mormon will not change me. We gave testimony again and promised him the Book of Mormon would change his life. He then paused for a bit and asked, really? We gave testimony again then he put out his hand and said, ok give me it. He said he would read and see what happens. It was interesting to watch him change throughout the conversation. He was so attacking at the beginning and closed. By the end he was giving his testimony of God and telling us the Book of Mormon could be true. I was trying really hard the whole time not to just use all the scriptures he was using at us back on him to show he was wrong. I didn't want to argue or ''prove'' anything simply by fact or logic. Sometimes a bit of that is necessary but its always hard to know the limit. We tried very hard to just focus on the spirit and bear testimony, to which he responded in the end. So we will keep in contact and hopefully start to meet with him. Turns out he owns the restaurant or something and invited us to come eat sometime. We will see what happens!

It has been interesting to have so many of those experiences with such closed people. From the beginning of my mission until now, so many people we speak to instantly turn to attack us or ridicule us, then without allowing us to answer will go away. It has always been amusing to me how people behave but at the same time it is so sad. You learn a lot of self control and forgiveness in dealing with those people. Throughout my mission it has been a constant thought on how to best answer them. You feel bad with using simple logic, common reasoning, or fact; but they hardly respond to the most heartfelt testimony you can give in that moment. You have to learn to trust God and pray that even though they walked away after your testimony that your words will stay with them and help them eventually. One of the most common things we get every single day is people just saying ''There is no God, if there was there wouldn't be so much suffering on earth'' or ''If there is a God he is a terrible God for causing and allowing so many bad things to happen''. This thought is so hard for me to hear. I so often want to respond quickly and sharply to such ignorance but that accomplishes nothing. God definitely helps me to bear such things with patience and to respond as lovingly as I can. I have also tried to never just have superficial love because I am supposed to. So in taking their bitter words and swallowing them and then replying as positively, sincerely, and lovingly as possible I have been able to grow a lot. I have learned often the response I would give annoyed with such comments is the same one I give when I try hard to be sincerely loving. The manner however in which I respond is completely different and that is what has the effect. You have to consider their life experiences, their growing up, what their surroundings have been, then you better understand their responses and you can respond with understanding. There is so much involved! Its crazy, but is so good to learn.

Sunday we were doing doors and people we not responding so happily. We were outside apartment buildings ringing on the speaker box talking to people. As Elder Sherman was ringing someone a lady walked by behind us towards her car. I spoke to her and she responded ''Not for me. If there was a God there would not be so much suffering in the world'' then she turned to get in her car. I said ''If the people would listen to God and apply what he has given THEN there wouldn't be so much suffering'' With her back turned and getting into her car she said ''Go tell that to those big people who have influence and are causing the problems. Us little people can't change anything''. Then she drove away. I stood there and thought about that. How mistaken she was! Each individual can change so much! That is what it is all about. It is not about changing the masses, it is about changing the individual, thereby affecting the masses. Each individual person must experience a change of heart worked only by God. Each ''little person'' must do their part and allow this to happen. Once that is accomplished much of the worlds problems will simply pass.

Keith B. McMullin said ''As men and women and boys and girls do their duty to God, they feel impelled to do their duty to one another, to their family, to their church and nation, to all things entrusted to their care. They are duty bound to magnify their talents and to be a law-abiding, good people. They become humble, submissive, and easily entreated. Temperance conquers indulgence; obedience guides their diligence. Peace distills upon them. Citizens become loyal, communities become benevolent, and neighbors become friends. The God of heaven is pleased, the earth is pacified, and this world becomes a better place.''

''Us little people'' have great responsibility. We must recognize this. We cannot simply blame God and not do our part to change anything. "Pray as if it all depends on God, then go work as if it all depends on you." The future state of mankind depends on ''us little people''. What we do, what we allow, what we approve, if we stand for our beliefs, or if we shrink in doubt and fear. The world is in desperate need for individuals who will not tolerate the things of the world that erode the foundation of mankind. It is in need of individuals who will stand up and speak up. Who understand and believe that things can be changed. Each person is a child of God. And deep inside their ''conscience'' pulls at the heart and tells them what is right and wrong. We who are aware of this and have the light given us to see and understand are responsible to act. Each is accountable to their ''conscience'', and each has felt at one point or another the approval or disapproval of ''conscience''. Each is therefore accountable to their true identity as a child of God. Martin Luther said ''I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.'' We must come to this conviction.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said ''In leadership, in standing for principle, there is loneliness. But men and women of integrity must live with their convictions. Unless they do so, they are miserable.... Never in the history of the world has there been a more profound need for leaders of principle to step forward.''

We need to do our part to prepare ourselves to be tools in God's hands in these desperate days. There is a God, and he does love us. He is active in the world today through those who cleanse themselves and allow him to use them.
I hope you are all doing well, looks like ammon is doing pretty well which is way good to see. Make it a good week! I love you all!
Elder Puriri

October 4, 2011


Transfers have come again and now we are done with the five week transfers to align us with whatever it was the church was trying to do. Elder Rechter is being transferred though and I am getting Elder Sherman who is also pretty young on his mission and is from California and thats all I know about him so far. It will be good though, sadly probably quick. Its really hard to comprehend how all the time has come by and now I'm at this point. We'll keep busy this transfer though and do the best we can to help the people here in Gotha come closer to Christ.

Conference was really good. We were able to see all the sessions except Sunday afternoon. Hopefully we can watch that next pday or so. It really is so cool to have a living church. To have prophets and apostles. To have revelation functioning in the church. Watching conference and just listening to it is so apparent that these messages are needed today and exactly what God would have us, his children, know at this time. And considering President Monson is not only the Prophet of our Church but for the whole world, the messages make even more sense. 

The principles and messages received and delivered by those who spoke at General Conference are of course for the members of the Church. They are also for everyone else on earth though! Many of the messages delivered are not widely accepted thoughts or principles in the world. Many people simply get annoyed or angry when such things are taught or expected of them. There are many arguments against such teachings saying that they are only there if you want. Which I guess is true. But if you think about the greatest true joys in life, and the greatest joys after this life and you want them, then these principles are not just there if you feel like it, they are there of necessity. And in no other way will you access such joy. According to the eternal laws of truth, it can be done in no other way. Regardless of people trying and claiming to be accomplishing it, they are simply blinded and/or in denial. 

It is a free message for all to hear and accept and the invitation is constantly extended. As Elder Christofferson said it should not be like getting a bucket of cold water thrown at you when such a message is extended towards you. It is one of the saddest things to witness so often the bitterness in people towards such saving principles, spiritually as well as physically. It is sad to watch people battle brutally in the other direction trying to get the same goal you have, but in a way in which they simply will not succeed. 

Cecil B. Demille said ''It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law" and so it is. Eternal truths will ever be present. They will save us or damn us in the end. It is therefore our responsibility to inform ourselves and act accordingly. The saying ''ignorance is bliss'' is completely wrong, and ''what you don't know won't hurt you'' is right there with it. In the end nothing will hurt you more then what you do not know. That is why we are out here trying to spread this knowledge as quickly as possible. That is why the men and women who spoke this last weekend devote their lives to the church. Because the mission of the church is to spread Truth, help others apply it, and to make it available to those who otherwise could not have accessed it. 

Christ taught ''And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'' (John 8:32). We are not here to condemn people and tell them they are wrong, we are not trying to claim we are better. We believe and know the truth of these things. We have felt in our hearts that these things are true, that they are reality. We desire that others feel this as well, that they also live after the Restored Gospel of Christ so that they in the end may also return back to our Heavenly Father. We do not exclude anyone, for God desires everyone to return back. It is the work of true love for God and our fellow men.

In the process of it all it is essential that we ourselves continually learn, apply, and grow. The message can be brought to our heart by a family member, a friend, a speaker from conference, a child, a captivating scene in nature, a verse of scripture, and many other sources. If we do not do our part to allow that in and to let it work in us as we appropriately nourish it, then we cannot rightfully expect to learn of the truth and have a confirmation from God thereof. We should often ask ourselves if we have really done our part to know, and then answer honestly. Take the chance to allow it in. Trust God that he will work this mighty change in you. 

Once you have experienced it, you must work to preserve the hearts mighty change ( 

I fully believe the Restored Gospel of Christ is true. The things I have felt and experienced throughout my life can be explained in no other way.

I am very grateful for our family and that God has so greatly blessed us. I hope you are all doing well. Listen to, read, and study conference. Do not fight against the feelings telling you to apply something you learn which may require you to step out of your comfortable life and change something about it. Only in this way will you have the peace and joy God wants to give you! 

Please do not take it for granted or brush it off as nothing. I know that it will help you. It may be hard or inconvenient to learn and apply such things in the world today, but honestly when was anything worthwhile convenient or easy? I'm pretty sure never. There is always an easier wrong or more convenient no. Push past those and the mediocre rewards of such choices and take your claim on the greater more meaningful things God has for you. You will not regret it.

I hope everything is going well. Make the most of the week and look for opportunities to serve!
I love you all!
Elder Puriri

October 1, 2011



The week felt like it was  2 days long with all the things we had to do. I was able to go back up to Nordhausen though for a quick tausch, then we were in Nürnberg which was cool, then sadly things with Schwester Lind's baptism didnt work out. She had some family problems so we will see where things go from here. It was a good week other then that though!

Since this is the last week of the tranfser we are in erfurt again for pday to play soccer with the other elders so yep this is going to have to be a quicker email, sorry! Transfer calls come this saturday night though. I get nervous thinking about how time is going by.

Monday and tuesday last week were normal days, then that was the end of that. We had a 6 hour tausch or so with the Nordhausen Elders Wednesday. It was up to Nordhausen then back down to erfurt in the same day so we could stay the night in Erfurt. Our train left Erfurt at 5:20 with about a 20 minute walk to the train station and still needing to get tickets meant we would need to go leave the apartment by 4:45 or so. With six elders in the apartment needing to shower still and get ready for the day. That meant the first elder getting up at 2:50, showering and waking the next person up then heading out. Each had about 20 minute turns which gave us enough time. Those who got up first went back to sleep until the last couple were up. So my day started at 3:30 and I didnt get back to sleep! Then the trains ended up all being late and delayed so we were over one hour late to zone conference (our whole erfurt zone ha). Then we didnt get back to Erfurt that night until 10, then we caught our train to gotha and we were home and in bed a bit after 11:30! So it was a long tiring day. A good one though.

Friday then was a quick day which ended with President Schwartz coming to Gotha and teaching Schw. Lind with us and him talking to her. It was pretty cool teaching a lesson with the mission president, I had never experienced that before. Schwester Lind is amazing. She has such a strong testimony of the restored gospel. Her family is sadly not so excited about it. So yea we will continue to pray and wait and see what happens. 

Sunday we were at a members for lunch. They live in a village outside Gotha. As we walked to the train station we realized we had to cash or change so we tried to use our cards to buy tickets but the card reader was broken or something. So we were stranded there ha. We called our ward mission leader who came and saved us. He is this pretty old guy in the ward but is so cool. He was a cook on a ship for 25 years and went all over the world. Hes the most funny old guy. We are thinking about just spending pdays with him, it would be more entertaining than most other things. We stopped by his house earlier in the week and he told me he had a tie collection of like 300 ties. I obviously didnt believe him. So he showed me...and he does! I was in awe. He then told us to pick one out after he explained how much he loves ties. So I picked out a pretty cool one and then traded him for the one I was wearing. He is such a cool guy.

General conference is this weekend! I hope you all take the opportunity to listen and learn. In thinking about general conference and how we get the most out of it I think on what Pres. Uchtdorf said in his talk The Love of God in Oct. 2009.

''As you reach out to your Heavenly Father, as you pray to Him in the name of Christ, He will answer you. He speaks to us everywhere. As you read God’s word recorded in the scriptures, listen for His voice.During this general conference and later as you study the words spoken here, listen for His voice. As you visit the temple and attend Church meetings, listen for His voice. Listen for the voice of the Father in the bounties and beauties of nature, in the gentle whisperings of the Spirit.In your daily interactions with others, in the words of a hymn, in the laughter of a child, listen for His voice. If you listen for the voice of the Father, He will lead you on a course that will allow you to experience the pure love of Christ. As we draw near to Heavenly Father, we become more holy. And as we become more holy, we will overcome disbelief and our souls will be filled with His blessed light. As we align our lives with this supernal light, it leads us out of darkness and toward greater light. This greater light leads to the unspeakable ministerings of the Holy Spirit, and the veil between heaven and earth can become thin.''

So I invite you to apply this during general conference and pay close attention to what you feel. Then continue to apply it ever after. Consider questions you have and listen for answers with real intent. Meaning intending to act on what you feel and learn. You will then experience the process described by Pres. Uchtdorf.

I hope you all have a good week. Remember regardless of circumstances to find peace where you can build your relationship with our heavenly, as Christ demonstrates in Mark 1:35.

"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
I love you all and am grateful for all you have done and do for me! 
Elder Puriri

September 20, 2011


Hello hello,

So yea sorry about not emailing yesterday, it didn't quite go as we had planned. We live in a building connected to a hotel and so we go there on pday to email but they only have one computer which is a laptop so we usually just take turns while the other one writes letters or reads or whatever. Yesterday though we went in first thing and the guy said they were using the laptop for book keeping or whatever and that we could come back in 3 hours and use it then. So we did the shopping and other errands we had, had a quick lunch then went back and the lady said they weren't done and that we could come back in one hour. So we did, and then they just said, yea its not going to be done today. Then our pday was basically over so we didn't get to do emails. The only other places to do emails in the city are like small casinos and missionaries going into casinos isn't the best image plus its not always the best environment. So we just avoid going there. Anyway thats why we are doing emails right now! I wasn't too worked up about it since I haven't emailed on monday quite a few times but Elder Rechter was a bit worried about his family and all which I'm sure you can relate to ha. Its ok though we are doing it now.
The last week was good though. Started quickly then ended a bit slower because I got sick for some reason. It honestly is like torture to be sick. As a missionary you think ''I'm sick...if I just push through it God will see I want to work and he will heal me so I can.'' then God is probably thinking ''no you fool, thanks for your desire but take care of your body''. Then you try anyway and for some strange reason it gets worse! ha well at least thats what happened the other couple times I was sick. This time I figured maybe I should just try sleeping and getting rid of it quick. So I did! but it still took a couple days and its still not quite gone. So the only difference between the 2 styles of taking care of it is you are either sick outside struggling to work, or you are sick inside feeling like a bum for being there. choose your poison i guess. A good week is ahead of us though now!
Yea last week we went to the Wartburg, it was a pretty place. Up in the green ''mountains'' (hills) with trees everywhere. I was expecting the main thing to be martin luthers story there but that was like one of the smallest parts of the tour, still the most cool though. The main thing is about a princess from hungary I think that lived there and was very humble and tried to share everything she had and serve the sick and poor. Which didn't go down well with the other royalty in the area who eventually forced her out to Marburg I believe where she established a hospital and died at age 24! Her story was pretty cool too I guess. I was simply more interested in Martin Luther. Martin Luther translated the bible in a small humble room. Pretty sweet. There is a myth around here, maybe in the whole world I guess, that the devil appeared to him and he threw a bottle of ink at him which exploded all over the wall. So people had earlier taken chips out of a wall in memory of him thinking thats where the ink hit. So one wall was just like chipped away, now its chained off though. THe story apparently comes from when Martin Luther got out and people who knew him were so excited he wasn't dead and everyone asked where he had been the last 10 months and he answered ''I was fighting the devil with ink''. pretty sweet. Such a major thing.
Then we had some cool appointments with Schwester Lind, the lady who is being baptized on Saturday. The Book of Mormon changed her life! She was at first so closed to hearing anything the elders had. They inivted her to simply read with an open heart. She acted on it and it has changed her. She shows us her notebook with notes comparing the book of mormon and the bible and all the parts she loves from both. She is a good example for us! We made invitations for her baptism and she is inviting her children and friends. It will be a special day.
Then this week I got to go back to NORDHAUSEN! I went up there on tausch and it was awesome. As we pulled into the train station I was so excited and could not stop smiling, I think it stayed like that until we left the next day. Seeing everything so cool and talking to the people. It was funny seeing the same people around I would see daily a year ago. I was on tausch with Elder Lewis who had a minor surgery on his foot though so he wasn't to mobile. The little time we had to work outside was awesome though. I was hoping to go do and see more people but it wasn't possible. God blessed me though! As we walked out of the apartment to go give a member a blessing who had called and asked, Evelyn Schöpp walked by pushing jonathan in a stroller. I couldn't believe it. As we walked out I saw the familiar green stroller and thought about the Schöpps then as I came to I realized it was her ha. So cool to say hi and talk really quick. I even get to go back up there this week because Elder Lewis needs to come here to do the baptismal interview.

Anyway. I'm doing well, Germany is doing well, the weather is slowly changing and Gotha is doing well.  I'd like the weather to stay warm for the next couple months but come october it will probably start to be a bit cooler like last year. The best thing is though General Conference is coming in 2 weeks! Whats even more crazy is that this is the 3rd general conference I will watch in the Efurt chapel! I saw 2 there when I was in Nordhausen, then went to Frankfurt for the next, now I'm in gotha but we go watch them in Erfurt still. So thats pretty strange. It will be a quick end to the transfer with these next 2 weeks. We have zone conference this week in Nürnberg, so that will be sweet going back there. Then Schwester Lind's baptism, then next week with General Conference. This 'bigger' events make time slip away like nothing. I continue to learn how important it is to be in the now. To act and accomplish what you can now.
In preperation for General Conference I've been thinking about how to prepare. Kind of weird yea but it makes sense to me ha. Not only for GC though but for life and everything I guess. How do we best prepare, how or when are we most capable in encountering the future. John 15 has helped me a lot in thinking about all of this and the word ''abide'' gains in meaning. Your state of mind, whether your thoughts are focused continually or not makes the difference in 'abide'. Consciously uniting your heart's and mind's desires and thoughts creates an organized, peaceful, and powerful atmosphere in you. Allowing you to consider and comprehend the more meaningful things. The Spirit can then truly conduct the symphony of impressions, ideas, thoughts continually in you and focus them for your learning benefit. We gain power to choose what we think about more consistently. As we choose the things of Christ and allow them to work in and through us consistently we abide in him. In doing this miracles happen. We don't just sit and dwell on the same thought and go no where. We allow the Spirit to further our thoughts past what we ourselves could have discovered or realized. It opens a new vista to us and our natural comprehension is surpassed. We then feel vibrating peace and power in us to choose, act, and move forward humbly with confidence in Christ.
It is an amazing thing how we are blessed in striving to abide in Christ. I hope to continually be able to abide in him more seriously.
Hope everythings going well back home. I'm sure everyone is busy with there different things. Remember what matters most, and look for opportunities to do good despite how inconvenient it may be for you. I love you all and hope you create and experience a week that brings you closer to God.
Elder Puriri

September 14, 2011



Things, like normal, sound like they are pretty busy. Which is good and bad. Its good to be busy but it depends what we are busy with. I'm sure you are all busy with good things though. 

This past week was also pretty busy here. The towns in this area where we work are pretty spread out so we had a lot of traveling and things to get to appointments and members and all. We made baptismal invitations for Schwester Lind. She has been investigating for a couple months and will be getting baptized on Sept. 24. Its awesome to see how the gospel is affecting her life. Apparently she was very closed to anything the Elders had at the beginning and was sticking to her beliefs. Then they just invited her to read in the Book of Mormon and she did it. Since then everything has changed. Each time we go she will share with us what she has read and why she liked it so much. She has kept a little notebook from the start that she showed us and she writes why she likes certain things and all that. She says she reads the Book of Mormon and Bible together and writes down her thoughts. Her willingness to just do what she was invited to do has now changed her life and eternity.
I sadly do not have much time right now. A member in the ward wants to take us today to Eisenach to see where Martin Luther translated the bible, I'm pretty sure the place in called the Wartburg. Its a castle/fortress thing where he hid out. And that will take up much of our pday.

Tuesday last week though we headed down to Frankfurt. It was so cool being able to ride the tram to the part of the city where the church is and where I used to live. It felt like going back home as we got closer and then as I walked into the Stake Center. Lots of feelings for Frankfurt and the members and the people rushed back to me. Then we had the opportunity to hear from Elder and Sister Bednar. 

Sister Bednar spoke shortly about experiences her sons had had on their missions how a mission is a blessing. Then Elder Bednar stood up and said ''are you ready to get to work?'' He didn't give a traditional talk on a specific subject. He introduced to us what we were going to do. Which was basically discussing two talks he requested we read before he came. He would ask us questions and our thoughts and we would answer. Then the end turned into a Q&A session. It was a cool experience. I really liked how Elder Bednar did it and the point he was trying to get across from us. 

The talk that impressed me most that he had us read was about learning with faith. He talks about how we often discuss what it means to teach by faith and with the spirit but how we forget learning must happen the same way. Then he introduced to us his thoughts on Agents and Objects. He said as we teach we must teach people as agents, allowing them to act. We must not teach them as objects, simply acting upon them. As we teach and allow people to act as agents, using their agency, the spirit can teach them and thus they learn by faith. If we simply act upon them as objects we take away their option to use their agency to learn, thereby decreasing their capacity to access the spirit through their own correct decisions to act. When we teach a class for example we often just call on someone specific for a specific answer. We have then treated them as an object and asked them to ''guess whats in my head'' as Elder Bednar said. If we invite them to participate and ask their thoughts or opinions or what they learned, they can choose to speak and share what is in their mind. As they do this the spirit is allowed in and can help guide their thoughts and teach them things they need to learn and know that we, ourselves, could not have taught. It is a really awesome thing. You experience it a lot on a mission as you teach and Preach My Gospel also teaches us a lot of this principles. The scriptures themselves teach us many of these teaching and learning principles. For some reason though we often forget and naturally treat others as objects and ask them to guess whats in our heads. It must be a conscious effort to apply these things and allow the spirit to teach each person exactly what they need.

It continues to amaze me how simple it all is. We unlock spiritual doors as we use our agency correctly. We allow the spirit to work within us, and to change our hearts. Or we don't, and the opposite happens. Everything necessary is given us from God. Then he leaves it to us to decide how we, as agents, will act. I'll forward the talk to you he had us read and invite you as well to read it and apply what you learn.

Sorry this, and the last few emails, have been so rushed. I hope you are all doing well though. Enjoy the week and make the best of it. I pray for each of you daily and love you so much! 
Elder Puriri 

September 5, 2011


Hello hello,
The week quickly passed by with transfers. Last couple days in Nürnberg were good. Orginisational days making sure Elder Anderson knew what he needed to take over Nürnberg. Up early Wednesday morning and to the train station then to Frankfurt. It always feels good pulling into that train station. Its a bit surreal each time I go there. I was in the Frankfrut main station in March 2008 on my way back to Hannover from Italy. So thinking back on that now is strange. It doesn't seem like that much time has gone by but it has! So much has happened since then.

Anyway, then up to Erfurt then to Gotha! Yes it does sound like Gotham, if you say it how english speakers would. But in German Gotha is like Go-ta. But yea lots of the Elders that serve there just call it Gotham.

It was weird coming back to Erfurt then to Gotha. I have been to both places many times before. But almost exaclty a year ago I left this area and now Im back. It's weird to get transferred to a city and basically already know your way around. Church was cool though. The branch is small but has solid members. Some of which I already knew which was cool. It will be good working with them the next while.

There are some cool investigators here too, I'm excited to work with them. I feel good about the city. Elder Rechter and I set some good goals and plans. It will be a solid transfer. Elder Rechter is from Melbourne area if thats spelled right. His parents were brought to the church by Benji Hemi from Hamilton, NZ. I thought the name sounded familiar so Dad do we know him? It's cool working with Elder Rechter. He's pretty young on his mission but has really good desires and wants to do his best. I've been able to learn lots from him and am looking forward to the rest of the tranfser here.

Sorry this is going to have to be a bit shorter. The district wanted to go do something in Erfurt so I have to do this so I'm not the one holding everyone up like normal ha. We have an awesome opportunity tomorrow though. Elder Bednar is in Frankfurt and we will have a mission conference there. Im really looking forward to learning from him tomorrow. Plus I get to go back to my old ward building in Frankfurt for it so that will be cool. This transfer has this mission conference then in a few weeks a zone conference plus a couple tausches, it will go by to quick.

Things are going well though. Back in the 'east' of Germany. Its interesting to see the differences in the mindsets and attitudes of the people compared to the west. Just how their history has effected them. I started my mission in it and never really noticed too much but being away for a while now coming back its pretty obvious. We have to adapt our street and door approaches and teaching style. The blessing is though that the gospel is for each individual and we know that. As we are guided by the spirit in speaking with and teaching the people we can best provide them with opportunities to learn and exercise their agency to find out if what we say is true. We can know what they need to experience to feel it in their hearts. 

In Pres. Uchtdorf's talk You Are My Hands he talks about how Christ knows perfectly how to minister to others. We being his hands here can also know how to perfectly minister to others. We know this through the spirit. In John 17:3 it speaks of knowing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We get to know them through applying the gospel and receiving the spirit. The better we know them the better we can know how to help others. As we receive the spirit through our efforts it can be revealed to us exactly how to help someone. This is Gods work. He desires to help his children. As we set our eye single to his work we blesses us to know how to accomplish it. We allow this things to work in ourselves. Experiencing continually a change of heart. Then sharing what we have experienced with others and providing them with opportunities to also experience what we have. Its all so cool!

Well I hope everyones doing well. Hope Ammons healing up quick. He's still in many peoples prayers here. I love you all so much! Have a good week!
Elder Puriri