January 31, 2011


Week six has begun already. Transfers are so weird they begin and end and you don't know what happened in the middle. Elder Anderson and I are pretty sure we'll both be staying, guess we'll find out though. Yes I got the card from Grandma and am very grateful for it! I was planning on writing her back as soon as I can. So hopefully that will be soon ha.

The week was pretty good. Sunday was cool, we taught the young men’s class and talked mostly about preparing for a mission and what it’s like on a mission. It was cool to be able to talk to them about that. I kind of pictured me in their place at their age. Then we tried to plan our lesson according to that. Like how interested we would be when we were 15 or 16 and had missionaries telling us about a mission. Although back home we never really had missionaries in our ward so it was always special when they were there. Here though they've had missionaries their whole lives so it’s nothing special. But it went pretty well and the normal teachers made the lesson really cool.
After church I went around trying to meet members as normal and met the stake patriarch who is in our ward. He is a really awesome guy! It was funny though he looked at my name and couldn't pronounce it like normal so I told him you roll the R's but since lots of people have trouble with that you can kind of replace the R's with D's. He could roll his R's though. Then I explained how it’s a Maori name. He got way excited and asked if I was maori and then went off telling me how much he loves the Maori people. He told me lots of stories about Matthew Cowley and the faith of the Maori people. Then he said ''You be proud you are Maori and that you come from a people of amazing faith''. So that was pretty cool. We have such an awesome heritage!!
This week I was on a tausch with Elder Carlson from American Fork. He said he knows Sarah, that she was a grade older than him I think. It was cool though he's a good Elder. We went to go by on some potential investigators and they weren't there then when we came around the corner we talked to this guy and it was like miracle! He comes from Nigeria. We asked him what Jesus Christ meant to him and he gave us all these awesome really good answers. Then we asked him if he had the book of Mormon and he said ''Oh the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?!' And we said yes! He said no I don't have a Book of Mormon; do you have one for me?? (Conversation was in English) I said yes actually I do have an English one with me. (The people we were going by on were from Ghana but weren't there so I had their Book of Mormon). As I pulled it out he asked if there was a church he could go to on Sundays. So we told him about it and how he could come. Then as I wrote the address down he said ''yea I am a baptized member of your church. I came to Germany and I could not find the congregation of God so I did not go to church.” I stopped writing and had to rethink what he just said because I wasn't sure if I had heard right ha. Turns out he went from Nigeria to Italy, met missionaries in Italy, got baptized and then a while later moved to Germany. So he was literally lost! It was cool to be blessed to find him and help him find the 'congregation of God' as he called it. Luckily there is a International ward in Frankfurt as well where it’s all in English so that’s where he'll be going. That was a cool miracle though!
We have also been working with a kid named Liang from China. He loves meeting with us and coming to the YSA activities. He is still learning German and getting settled here so life's still hectic and stressful. We taught him about prayer and asked him to read Enos. He said he went home and did it then went to bed, then woke up and prayed and ate breakfast. As he was eating and reading a Chinese paper he read something about how so many people now days are stressed and going through hectic times and how they can handle those times. He told us he thinks that’s how God answered his prayer and calmed his worries. Then his computer was broken and he needed it for something. He called and asked a lot of people trying to figure out what to do but couldn't do it. He didn't know how to explain in German what was wrong so he didn't want to take it to a shop. He called us though and asked if we could help him. Then a few hours later he called and said I fixed it! And was way excited. He said he was really worried about it and decided he could try praying. So he was home alone, knelt down and prayed and asked for help. Then he said when he went back to his computer and tried to fix it it all worked out. So he wanted to call us and tell us how prayer worked! It was really cool he had 2 really good experiences with prayer this week. So we're going to continue working with him.
It’s been cool to see how the Lord's work goes on. It’s not his work just to get people to obey him and to conform and join his church. It is his work to help people reach their divine potential. HE LOVES US. He wants us to feel and experience his love. He gives us experiences and small tastes of these things and then we have the opportunity to grab on and take it in. So it’s been a blessing to be able to see how others experience these things. Even when they are very small. These small little things can have big effects if we allow them to.
God recognizes and knows that for us to learn, grow, and become what is best for us we have to struggle. We have to have hard times, to go through hard things. Our perspective is what makes the difference. We can notice the terrible things going on in the world, the hard times we have to go through, the hard times others have to go through. Then we have a choice. We can blame God, and continue to distance ourselves from him. Which will result in more and more doubt, becoming more and more bitter, and never really gaining the understanding we need. Or we can focus and try to find good and hope still there. We can try to notice and feel his love. God does still do things to manifest his love in our lives. It’s up to us to notice them. Then recognize when we notice them, and try to multiply those moments.
I'm grateful for what I've been able to learn in the last while about why we must be patient, why we must struggle, why things are the way they are. Like Elder Busche says 'On the road to salvation let questions arise, but never doubts'. I've had a lot of questions and I've met people who have had a lot of questions, when we don't doubt and try to find an answer, we find an answer! When we have to wait longer for answers or struggle more, it is an opportunity to grow in patience and faith.
I hope everyone back home is doing good. I hope everyone is trying to find the love of God in their lives. I wish I could better express how I feel about the gospel but I don't know how. I love you all very much and pray for you all every day. Find good, be happy, and have a good week.
Elder Puriri

January 24, 2011


My familyyyyy!!
Hello everyone! I am not sick anymore! It’s so wonderful! I can do morning sport and breathe and feel good! It took a while but towards the end of the week it went away and today it feels like it’s all gone. On the not so good side though, Elder Anderson got sick half way through the week. It’s hard to avoid getting your companion sick since you are always together. He wasn't too bad though then today it’s pretty gone for both of us so we're healthy and ready to go, it’s really nice.

Also I learned how to whistle this transfer! Pretty awesome I know. I'm not the best but I'm getting better. So in a transfer or so I'll be able to whistle good. Its fun because you can whistle basically all the time! Then I can't help but start laughing because I'm so excited I can whistle and its kind of pathetic that I just learned so that’s also a part of the reason I laugh. Then the people on the street or bahn or whatever look at me weird and I ask them if they can whistle and they usually say of course. So I tell them very excitedly I just learned and they think it’s funny. So it works as a good conversation starter! Elder Anderson is a good whistler so he is helping me ha. You learn a whole lot more on a mission then just the gospel! I've learned a lot of cool random things.

Anyway I’m kind of wasting time. I don't have a lot of time today we are supposed to go meet up with our district and we're going to go do something today. So this will probably be pretty short sorry!! My love for you all is growing even if my letters are getting shorter!! This week was pretty cool though. We had 3 tausches in a row it was pretty strange. Elder Anderson and I were together for maybe 6 hours in 3 days. Its tons of fun being able to work with other missionaries though and to learn from them and see how they do things. In one of the districts there is a 'drit' as we call it. Which means trio I guess. That’s 3 elders together. Its when one elder is on his last transfer and then 2 who are in their second. So I went to the 2 younger ones and Elder Anderson worked with the older one in Frankfurt. It was so fun; they are both young and basically ran the area. They have this huge wish to work hard and do things but sometimes just don't know what to do so they have this kind of frustration feeling. It was fun to work with them though.

Right before we tausched back I was talking to the two of them and then one asked how long I had been out and I almost answered back less then year. Then I looked at the date and thought about it and realized it was 14 months to the day. It was like this overwhelming feeling all the sudden that I have been out for so long! I don't even feel like it’s been that long. Then they were both like wow you've been out a long time! I felt like I was just as young as they were. I guess that was when it actually hit me how long I've been out and how little time I have left. Not a very comforting feeling. I definitely gained a little more sense of urgency about things. To them though I'm like the old missionary! So weird. I still feel like I'm one of the younger missionaries. So weird I don't know how to explain it. Our mission is super young right now though. More then half of the missionaries here right now have been in the field less then 6 months. So yea. That’s something weird that happened. I realized how long I've been out ha.

Then on Friday I was on a tausch with one of the APs just here in Frankfurt. It’s not really like a tausch. Well yea since you’re not with your companion but both of us work in Frankfurt anyway and we’re in the same ward so we see them lots. Anyway I was with Elder Ellis and we went by on this guy who we got referred to us. I asked him how he had met the missionaries before and he said he was on a business trip in Samoa and on the plane to LA he was seated next to an Elder returning home. And the Elder talked to him throughout the flight and got his information and then it got passed to us now we're teaching him in Frankfurt, Germany! Pretty awesome huh. The guy was cool he said he'd think about it all and when we called him next he'd let us know how he feels about it. So we'll see, he seemed really cool though.

Then as we left that appointment and were headed to another one we stopped this lady on the street and talked to her about prayer and told her how much it helps us. Then we asked her about her experiences with prayer and she stood and thought for a bit then answered back really concerned and honest and said, 'I don’t know....not good experiences but not bad. I pray, or I try to remember to, but I don’t know if God hears. I don’t know if I'm good enough to have him notice of if I’m praying right' (As a missionary getting such straight honest answers like this is awesome.) We both were able to bear our testimonies on prayer and how much God loves her and knows her. The spirit was strong and she began to cry and said how she didn't feel like she was good enough to have God notice her prayers. We just talked to her about the love of God and asked her if we could meet and share with her how we have felt this. She agreed and we have an appointment this week. It was really cool though just to meet someone like that; very sincere and wanting to feel the love of God. I love being a missionary and having experiences like this!

Well we have to go. I love you all!! Thanks for everything you all do and for your examples. You all individually are a much bigger part of my motivation then you know.
Elder Puriri

January 17, 2011


Quick pictures – Frankfurt Fireworks and last Sunday I put my camera on the bahn tracks and took that picture.

So about that guy you were asking about mom. (The guy from a couple of weeks ago that they found while doing doors. He was the one who came cursing to the door. He nearly shut the door on Isaac but Isaac pushed on the door with his hand until he finished and then the guy was willing to listen. The story is in letter #59.) We did go back and we were able to teach him. He loves us now and is really friendly. He doesn't know a lot about God so we teach pretty basic but it’s good. He is in the hospital for a foot operation for the week so we won't be able to meet with him. Things seems like they're going pretty good with him though.

The past week was pretty weird. Instead of getting healthier I got more sick! It was super annoying. I thought if I just kept going it would fade out you know but the opposite kind of happened. So we had to stay in for a while and I tried to get healthy ha. Not really a lot I could do other then sit or sleep. We read and listened to a lot of talks and I learned a lot but still it was pretty lame.

I figure the most important thing I learned was how awesome it is to be healthy. And how we need to take advantage of that. I mean I already knew that but I guess I hadn't thought about it in a long time since I hadn't been sick in the last year which was pretty good for me. I compared it a lot to when I couldn't play soccer my senior year. How I didn't really realize how much I loved and wanted to play until I really could not play. Then I developed a real gratitude for being allowed to play. And finally I was allowed to play! I guess I didn't realize how nice it is to be able to go out each day and be a missionary. Until I really could not go out. Each day was like a fire growing in me burning more and more to go outside and be healthy again. I'm almost there! A few more days hopefully and I'll be totally good.

Basically I learned; when fully capable, fully commit. Lots of times you get tired or kind of discouraged so you think it’s ok if I don't give 100% today. You don't think it will be a big deal, or you think ah whatever it’s alright. I'll just do better tomorrow. Then that continues to happen over and over again. You have to do it now. Commit now. Because when there are actual real reasons holding you back or something is over, you have regrets. So when you are fully capable, recognize that and fully commit. That’s basically the short version of what I've been thinking about while being sick ha.

We did have a pretty cool experience this week though despite being sick. We had an appointment with a man named Karsten that we had met the previous week in a bahn. Trolley or I don’t know what we call it…the trains that go down the roads and through the cities. Whenever we get in a bus or bahn to go anywhere we usually split up and go sit by different people and just start talking with them. Its way fun, of course we try to bring the conversation to the gospel but when it doesn't work we just enjoy the conversation! But we got in the bahn this one morning and I sat down across from this guy. I smiled and said good morning then the phone rang. He smiled back and said hello but then I had to talk on the phone. The phone conversation was taking a while so I was praying the guy wouldn't get out soon because I felt strongly to talk to him. Finally I got off the phone and sat there for a bit because I went blank and didn't know what to say. I don't remember really what happened but I ended up talking to him and he was way friendly. We brought the conversation to God then I told him about the Book of Mormon and offered to bring one by to him and he said yes. So I got his phone number and we called him almost a week later and made an appointment out for the next day. At the appointment he was way excited to get the book and everything went really well. Then as the appointment came to an end and I told him how to get to church and which stop to get out at he remembered and said ''Oh yea that’s where you got on that one morning'' I said yep then he said ''yea when you got on and sat down by me I felt something strange. It was a warmth or light it’s hard to explain. I was watching you and you were radiating calmness. I was glad you talked to me'' We explained to him this was the feeling of the Holy Ghost and that he could have that feeling while he reads, prays, comes to church, and meets with us. He was pretty excited about that. I was really grateful though for that. Sometimes you never know how you’re doing or if things are working, but when someone says something like that to you, you know the spirit is being your companion. Because I alone could never have that effect on anyone.

Me being an instrument for the spirit though, it can work like that whenever it’s necessary. It’s like that scripture you mentioned mom in Philippians 2:12-15. 

12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

In fifteen, all of us really are lights unto this world. Beginning with ourselves as individuals, together we will literally light the world. People can and will notice. I've experienced that so much on my mission, even pre mission. You often don't realize how much you affect people until much later. But it is very real.

I love being here, I love the gospel and am so thankful for the experiences I've been able to have and for the things I am learning from everyone. I hope everyone is doing good. Be happy and take advantage of each day. It may all sound cliché but it’s so real! I love you all!!
Elder Puriri

January 11, 2011


Subject Line:iiiiiiiiiilllllllllloooooooooovvvvvvvveeeeeeeyyyyyyyyooooooouuuuuu

Hi family!

Yes mom I've heard of Ipads, there’s a few people in the ward who use them they are pretty cool looking. I remember though the first time I saw one a bit ago I was in awe. I had no idea what it was and it looked way cool how the guy was using it. I have to expect things like that on a mission though. I never hear about things like that then I’m in some meeting and the guy next to me is throwing things around on his screen and making it flip around it was cool looking. Then I pulled out my missionary planner and showed him how I organize things. Ha just kidding. That would have been funny though.
Anyway things are good! I’m pretty warm, haven't looked at shoes. Elder Ence reglued my shoe and it’s ok again! It’s ironic you ask about me being sick. Because I'm currently sick for the first time my whole mission! It’s very inconvenient. It’s not too bad. Just a cold I guess but like I said, inconvenient and annoying. It will go away though hopefully real soon.

That’s a cool story about Pres. Anderson’s great grandpa.

Story that I wrote in my email to him - Dad is the Sunday School president and conducted Sunday School. When he opened he said I would like to tell you a story of how life comes full circle. And he proceeded to say that as he sat in Sacrament meeting listening to President Anderson he realized that this Great grandfather of which he spoke is one of the missionaries who taught the gospel to Ahmu. And it is because of this missionary that our son who carries the Ahmu name is now serving as a missionary in Germany. Our family heritage has a direct connection to President Anderson! And just as his Great Grandfather carried the gospel message to Samoa, so you carry this message to the people of Germany. Years from now life will come full circle and someone will tell a similar story of connection. What a strange and wonderful concept.

Remember when we were in Salt Lake and that lady talked to us about Abinadi Olsen? How Grandpa Ahmu was named after him? I was reading a talk a few weeks ago called Reach out and Climb! from Elder Oaks. He talks about how his great grandpa was Abinadi Olsen and was called to serve in Samoa. So that was cool, he must be related to that lady who talked to us that day.

This last week was good though. We have been thinking about a lot of different ways to work with the ward members and to move the work here forward in a different way. Thinking a lot of how to change things! There is a cool feeling here and we're excited to figure out how to push the bucket and figure things out.

I read the talk from the Nov. Ensign 2009 from Pres. Uchtdorf called the Love of God. I felt like I should read it again after reading Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from this last conference about the fundamentals. He talks in the end about building key relationships. The first is with our Father in Heaven. So I thought it would be a good talk to read. Love is so important! And understanding our relationship to our Heavenly Father changes everything! When we develop that relationship and that love, everything else simply follows. We work so much on all of these other things all the time trying to improve and become better and all. But when we nourish our relationship with our heavenly father and develop that love. Other things naturally come from that because we then understand better where we came from, why we are here, and where we are headed. Then we know better what we can do to get there and because we have this love and understand this, our love for others and wanting to help them naturally grows.

So that’s a big focus for me right now; to build my relationship to my Father in Heaven and my love for him and coming closer to him through my savior. Pres. Uchtdorf gives ways how we can strengthen these relationships so I'll be using those too. I really liked the talks from this last conference. And yes mom the one from Elder Christofferson is also very good. So is the one from Elder Scott about character. I am studying those three talks all together kind of and figuring out what I need to do, because they are all very closely related - focusing on fundamentals, developing our character, and consecrating our lives.

All in all things are good. We have a lot to do here and have to be patient as we wait for the results. But it has to be started sometime. Sorry it was pretty quick today! We used the beginning of our p-day to go to the temple which was really nice. Now we have an appointment at the bishops. I hope everyone is doing good. Be happy, be positive. I love you all!

Elder Puriri

January 3, 2011


Hello hello,
It’s a brand new year! This last week was pretty good. My new comp., Elder Anderson, is from Walnut Creek, California. He's been out 18 months. He's pretty sweet it’s going to be really good serving together. New years was actually really cool! We were allowed to watch the fireworks. So a bit before 12 we went up to the 11 floor of our building to a senior missionaries apartment with some other missionaries and watched the fireworks from their balcony. It was pretty out of control. In Germany everyone just gets their own fireworks and lets them off and they are like the big fireworks that shoot up into the air and explode big. So all over the city there was tons of fireworks it sounded like a war and went for a solid 25-30 minutes. I took lots of pictures and videos. I'll send you some pictures next week.
So that was actually pretty fun. Except in the morning it was lame. Getting up at 6:30 is tough anyway then after going to bed at 1:30 it was way hard. We had some other elders staying the night with us as well and as we got back to our apartment and were getting ready for bed we were all out of it and way tired and one elder just says 'I have no idea how I stayed up late back home'. Then we all thought about how dumb we were staying up late all the time back home wishing we would have taken advantage of the time and slept more ha. Another lesson learned on a mission.
Anyway, last week was pretty good. It was a week for figuring things out and dealing with transfers and all but it was good. Elder Anderson and I went out our first night together and were able to find a cool new investigator which was way cool. We were doing doors and I was up for the next door and I rang and as soon as the doorbell rang the guy inside starting yelling and kind of cursing in an annoyed way about people bugging him (we could hear it as he was coming to the door) so jokingly but also kind of serious I said to elder Anderson 'you’re up right?' and he just laughed and said nope you’re up. So he opened up and I started talking to him and he almost closed the door so I kind of put my hand on the door long enough to finish what I wanted to say and he opened it back up and listened. At the end he was listening and said he didn't have time right then but that we were welcome to come back. So we did and we were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to him and make out another appointment! This will be fun being able to teach him. He is from some city close by Berlin so he speaks with a Berlin dialect that is way strong. I have to listen way carefully to be able to understand what he is talking about. Elder Anderson had never heard a Berlin dialect so he couldn't even understand him for the first 15 min or so until he kind of got used to it. So that was funny.
Then last night we went by on this contact we had who wanted a book of Mormon in Twi, a language from Ghana. So we went by and this Black guy stuck his head out the window saw us and invited us up. We were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to him and his wife and make out another appointment. It was interesting because he is a minister of another church. He was very sincere though in our discussion and said he would like to read the Book of Mormon and see if it is true. I'm really excited to work with him and his wife more. He wants a book in English though because he hasn't read Twi in so long it’s harder for him then English. So I glued one of those inserts you sent to me mom, in the book and we’re going to give him that. That will be cool. Now we have a new week ahead and it’s also going to be a good week! We're going to be really busy and its going to be fun.
So remember when I told you about how the mission had this goal for 200 people. Well by the end of the year we didn't make it. We were around 160 I think. So I thought about this a lot wondering why it was like this. I had heard the stories about the meeting when they set that goal and how it was really spiritual and how they felt it was God's will. But in the end it didn't work. I have also thought about that a lot in setting weekly goals or transfer goals. Where you feel like they are approved by the spirit, then in the end you don't get them. I was confused a lot about this. And I couldn't believe that God would set us up to fail.
Last transfer Elder Moffat showed me a scripture, Hebrews 11:39-40, and I had been thinking a lot about that as well. So this morning I decided to study those verses and figure this out a little more and organize my thoughts about this all.
Hebrews 11: 39, 40 - And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
God knows what we need to experience in order to learn, grow, be refined, and molded into what he wants for us. He knows that in setting higher goals/expectations (expectations of ourselves) we push ourselves. We struggle, we stretch, we reach, we fall, and we get back up and become stronger in the process. When we fall, we can look back and learn, recognize, and figure out what can be done differently. We become more through these experiences than we would in setting lower goals/expectations which do not require as much effort on our part.
So I figure we need to work hard to recognize God's will and what he wants us to strive for, then go forward in faith and optimism, conquering the challenges and setbacks we encounter. Always learning, growing and becoming. So with our mission and the 200 baptisms; I think now we look back and figure out what we could have done differently in our work, and change our mindsets to be better servants of our God and brothers and sisters.
I believe there are things we can recognize and learn and there are things God wanted us to learn, to recognize and to change in order to bring his work forward quicker. We would not have noticed these things had we set a lower goal and reached it. We would have thought the way we were doing it was good enough, and may not have been willing to change. I believe this is why God allows us to feel like the higher goals/expectations are what we should strive for even though he knows in the end it won't turn out as we planned. He knows the struggles and hardships we will encounter along the way are what we need in order to make the necessary progress.
Of course this is not always the case. Lots of time we do meet our goals and our expectations. Other times we don't, simply because a lack of effort on our part. However, when we do all we can to the extent of our knowledge at that point and don't succeed, I believe this is why. I probably still have lots to learn here but I am not as down about not reaching our goal because of what I learned this morning. We may not always receive the promise, but God has provided us with something better through our struggles. We needed the promise in order to work through the struggles. I'm really grateful for study time, and the things we are able to learn. God gives us all he can so that we can learn lots and come closer to him.
I hope everyone back home is doing well. Have a wonderful week and be happy!
I love you all
Elder Puriri