February 28, 2011


Dear Fammmmiilllyyyyyyy
I hope everyone’s doing good and that Ammon is getting better! Being sick is really lame. I experienced that also last transfer. We were at Shahab's house (from Iran, baptized in November) last night and our spiritual thought after dinner turned into what a blessing it is to be healthy. Shahab is such a good guy. I'm really grateful I was able to meet him. The week though was cool! We had Zone conference and did a couple tausches. And found some cool people to teach!
On Tuesday I went to Wetzlar with Elder Hofbauer from Austria. It was a sweet tausch. He also loves soccer so we had a little soccer talk ha. I have no idea about anything now in the soccer world which I'm ok with. But it was weird talking about it again. We'll be playing soccer today again too so that’s sweet, also this might be short because of that. In Wetzlar though we taught the young men’s lesson on Missions and how you prepare and what it’s like, it was cool. Then there was a girl who is studying in Wetzlar from Hildesheim (small city close to Sarstedt where I lived!) and I recognized her. We saw her quick at the church. But I met her the one time I went to church in Hildesheim on my exchange, since the rest of the time I went in Hannover. That was pretty random though. The next day was ZOKO and that was good.
We then tausched with the Elders in Wetterau. I went there with Elder Staley who is from St. Louis, Missouri and has been out about 5 months now. He was really involved in missionary work back home and would go out all the time with the elders. He said one time he was with elders who were teaching Nelly! haha. I laughed so hard but he was serious. They went by and visited him but he wasn't there. Then the guy at the gate said ''Look Jesus boys. You know and we know that Nelly likes you comin by, but he 'aint here right now so you're gonna have to come back later''. I found that pretty funny ha. Nelly was meeting with missionaries. haha Anyway, the tausch was good. Towards the end of the night we were doing doors in a small town and we usually stop around 8 with doors. So we walked back to the car and got in then found a list on contacts on the street that we hadn't seen. We still had a bit of time so we went and tried by but they had no interest. So we walked back to the car, got it, then saw one more we missed. It was pretty late now so we weren't sure if we should try by. We decided to go so we got back out and walked down the street to the house. As we walked I prayed that this person would be home and be open for the Gospel so that we could have some success on that day. I wanted Elder Staley to have a good experience and for this person to be willing. As we rang the bell no one came. So we rang another bell then a lady opened the door and said hello. We introduced ourselves and talked to her about what we were doing. She explained she just moved in 3 weeks ago and doesn't know the people we were looking for. Our conversation continued and we talked about the love of God. She then said ''I would invite you in right now but it’s kind of late can we make out an appointment?'' Of course! So we did and exchanged contact information. Then we drove home! It was sweet. It was a little thing but way cool. Lots of miracles like that, they are always awesome to experience. Prayer is so cool, and that God blesses us with simple little things like that is amazing.
Being here has given me so many opportunities to learn to serve and love people. I am very grateful for that. The gospel is the best tool we have to serve people. There is a cool quote from Pres. Uchtdorf ''It seems only right and proper that we extend to others that which we so earnestly desire for ourselves.'' As we learn more about the gospel and our Savior. As we learn more about what he has done for us and what he has to offer us. Our desire for this grows, and so does our want to allow other people the same opportunity. As we learn in Helaman 5:10-11, Christ's power is conditional upon our actions. Because he knows this he sends people to declare these 'tidings and conditions' so that everyone can know them and act according to them. So that he can then use his saving power to redeem us! He loves us so much and knows we cannot be saved without knowing and acting in accordance with these things. He gives us all the opportunity to learn about them so we can then activate his power in our lives. I am very grateful for this and his mercy. I pray that we can all learn these things and choose to use them properly in our lives. Only in this way can our Savior and Redeemer use his power to save us.
I love you all very much. Thank you for everything you do to be good people and live the gospel. Have a good week,
Elder Puriri

February 22, 2011


Hello hello,
I'm writing again already! How did Ammon’s lesson go?? The dreads looked pretty good ha. How long can he keep them? It’s a good thing p-day isn't always this close together because its weird to be writing again so quick! Between Thursday and today it was a good 4 days! Not everything went good but the goods overcome the bad for sure.

On Friday we had a tausch with the elders in Hanau. I was with Elder Romriell in Frankfurt. He has been out now like 2 weeks! It was a fun tausch though. Our first appointment was this interview thing I had. A week or 2 ago a girl came to the church Monday night for the YSA fhe. She is a student at the University here studying psychology and they are supposed to be practicing interviews and stuff. Her main area is religion. So she found out about that activity and decided she wanted to interview 'mormons' and find out more about them. On the day she was there she was just standing there with her friend and I didn't know them so I went up and introduced myself and then at the end she asked if she could do an interview so we scheduled it for this last Friday. It was interesting though. It started with her asking me just to go through my life basically telling about important things that have happened that have played a part in shaping me into who I am today. So I took the opportunity to talk a lot about my family and the gospel and was able to bear lots of testimony! Then at the end she would go back on certain points and ask more questions about them. She had a little recorder and recorded it all then when it was done and she shut it off she began asking questions about the church and all. It was cool we were able to talk more about what we believe and she said she wanted to keep coming to the activities and to learn more about the church. Towards the end I asked if she had any more questions, then she sat there quietly for a second and said ''so, say somebody wants to convert to your church, but their life style is not the same as your guys's, do you accept them? Is that allowed?'' it was 'hypothetical' but we say through it ha. We talked more about why we are here as missionaries and what we do. Then we made out an appointment for later this week and we'll see! I feel good about it though and she seems like she’s sincere. It will be cool!

Then that night we went by on one of the Romanian families. The other one couldn't meet. The family we met with though was family Stancu. Only the Father was there this time but it was really good. It was weird though because the first time we met him he looked really really familiar to me. It was bugging me the whole time because I couldn't figure out where I knew him from. So during the days between our appointments I tried to think back on it but I couldn't remember. Then during that appointment the whole time I was thinking and couldn't figure out why he looked so familiar. So I gave up trying to remember but I could swear I knew him! So anyway the appointment went good. We taught the first lesson about the restoration and at the end emphasized the Book of Mormon. He said ''I need to first study this book, and the bible. Then I need to make out my thoughts about it, then I can pray about it and see if what I figured out was right, then God will tell me. If I don't study it, it won't work.'' It was sweet we just agreed and said yep you’re right! Usually we teach that but he said it first.

As we ended with a prayer and stood up he looked at me and said ''you know what. For some reason you look very familiar to me... I don't know where but I know we have met before.'' as he said that I was a little surprised and told him I felt the same way and explained to him I was trying to figure that out the whole time! I was thinking maybe I had just talked to him on the street somewhere. Then he said ''No...I know you. You and your companion who you came with last time (elder Amandoron). You have been in my house before, we have met before. We sat together and talked about God.'' I assured him that that wasn't possible and that I've been here since November and Elder Amandoron since....2 weeks. Here was very serious and had a confused look trying to figure out how it was possible. We never came to a conclusion. It is strange though! I could have sworn I had met him.

As we sat and talked during the first appointment I felt like I was having weird flash backs. Like I had some time before sat and looked at him and talked with him. Like I had sat at that same angle from him and seen him just how we were there, but like it was a long time ago. Then during the second appointment I was having the same weird flashbacks. But I wasn't like flashing back to anything; there was nothing solid to flash back to. Just like this pulling in my mind trying to remember when. It is hard to explain. I was very surprised when he said that I looked familiar to him though. I thought I was maybe just confusing him with someone else (which I had already considered and tried to figure out who I was confusing him with). When he said it though I didn't feel as crazy as I thought I was. It’s interesting though. As we left he said you can come back whenever you want. He is a cool guy and has a good family. I'm excited to continue to work with them.

The other Romanian family we weren't able to meet with during the week. The father however, came to church on Sunday by himself. I think just to check it out and all. He seemed to really enjoy it and participated in all the classes answering questions and all. It was good. At the end he also asked us to come again this week whenever we have time. We haven't given him his Book of Mormon in Romanian yet so that’s probably what we'll be doing. He is super advanced in his gospel knowledge though. He's only 27 and knows so much and has lots of good ideas. I am very grateful we were able to find them and that we have the opportunity to work more with them.

Then yesterday in the train on the way to an appointment I was spoken to by some random guy. Happens quite often as a mission but this one was strange. I was standing with a group of people around the doors because it was pretty full. There are big sliding doors on both sides. I was leaning on one side and had a clear view to the doors across from me. Threw the people I could see this man. He had gotten in the train right after me and asked somebody in German where the train was going then said thank you in French when they told him. As far as I could tell his German sounded German then the French ‘merci’ threw me off a little. I didn't think a lot about it though. Then as we were driving I looked up at him and he smiled and said (in perfect English, you could tell it wasn't his native tongue but it was almost without accent) ''Hi elder, what are you doing in Europe?'' It was weird because the train was loud but it was like I could only hear him suddenly. I was confused and said ''...serving a mission.'' Then he said “you’re on a mission saving peoples lives. You know Elder, America was the land where religious freedom was. It’s not a coincidence that it happened there. The only way we can spread this is by taking action. You are taking action. You are doing something.'' Then the train stopped and he said ''I have to get out here. Remember this though, I love you brother!'' Then he got out and disappeared into the crowd. Then all the sudden he was back at the doors and said ''Elder! Remember, there is only one truth in every matter! I love you!' Then he disappeared again. He had only gone one stop. During this time I was in awe for some reason. I think I was just really confused about what was happening. Why I could hear him so well and why he was speaking to me in English and also about the restored gospel. I said nothing during the conversation. It began, it ended, and he was gone. Super weird but it had a strange effect on me.

So many things happen on a mission!! So many things to learn to figure out. I love it all though. Were going to play soccer so I don’t have a lot of time today. The gospel is amazing and it is true. I love you all and pray for you every day! Be happy!
Elder Puriri

February 17, 2011


Sorry it’s Thursday and I’m just writing. It has been a pretty eventful week and so was last week! This week we had another 3 day training meeting in Friedrichsdorf at the temple. Instead of staying overnight there though we had to ride a train to and from each day since we live pretty close. It was way cool though. It was basically the same as the last one a while ago but now that I was familiar with the stuff I was able to go into more of the details of it all. There has been so much change in the mission in the last six months that it was necessary to do it again basically the same as the first time. Apparently the training thing is supposed to be taking place a lot more frequently though. Until we learn how to do it all well I guess! It’s cool though it’s helping us develop our teaching skills; mostly in the area of focusing on the individual and their needs and trying to rely more on the spirit while teaching. I like it all though a lot.
There are advantages and disadvantages of living so close to Friedrichsdorf during the training. When you live far away you stay on temple grounds for 3 days and can just focus so easily because of the peace on the grounds so I missed that this time. But being so close we were able to get back to Frankfurt at night for at least an appointment each night. Then we were able to apply right away what we had learned that day and see how it changed the lesson. So that was also cool to see. I think though if I had my choice staying of temple grounds is what I would choose. It was a good 3 days though. I was able to see a lot of the missionaries I've met and worked with one way or another. It was nice hearing how they were doing and how things were going where they are serving. We were also able to do a temple session which just added to the whole feeling of being there. I really liked it, now it’s back out to your city and apply what we've learned.
Last week though was also cool! Elder Anderson and I had a list of a bunch of people who had formerly investigated the church but who hadn't had contact in a while. When we had time we would pick a few off the list and go by and see if they still had interest. Unfortunately we never had a lot of success with it. On Thursday last week after Elder Amandoron got here we chose a couple of the last few we hadn't gone by on yet and went by. At this one building we rang and nobody was home where we wanted, so we decided to try the people in the house. A guy answered and said 'I have no time right now but could you come back on Sunday at 2:00?' We said of course! And so Sunday we went by after church. He wasn't home at the time but his wife said he should be home soon and that we should try back in a bit. So we went back outside and were going to just go do doors on the street but we decided to try the family above them that we were trying to contact in the first place. A lady answered and wasn't interested at all at first and we just continued to say what we were doing and why we were there then she yelled something to someone in the house in some language we didn't understand then she said to us 'Ok we you have time right now can you come in?' (we love hearing this) So we went in and sat down with her and her husband. There were a few people cooking in the kitchen and a little girl was playing on the floor. They were all speaking Romanian as we found out a bit later. They were way cool though! They have a really strong faith in Christ already and were really interested in the Book of Mormon and finding out why it is so important for us. So we made out another appointment to bring back a Book of Mormon in Romanian tomorrow! Then as we left we asked if they knew anyone else who would be interested and they said yea you should try the family below us they also have a lot of questions about God. (Little did they know we actually were going to them anyway!) It was cool though.
We went down the stairs and knocked on the door and the wife opened again and said 'ok he's here now come in'. We went in and sat down with the father at the table and he put his bible on the table and sat down. Then said ok, why are you here. It was sweet. ha We explained a little then asked if we could begin with a prayer which he gladly agreed to. Slowly his children came in one by one and sat on the couch to the side of us and just sat and listened as well as his wife and the grandma. Before they were out playing and being loud so that was cool to see. By the end the whole family was sitting on the couches just looking at us and their dad talking. The dad by the way is 27, his wife around there as well, and they have 5 kids! 4 girls and a boy. It’s so cool! The Dad said ''We all believe in God. There is only one God. But there are so many different beliefs in the world and so many opinions about God. I believe that only one of them is right. I am not saying mine is right, I am not saying yours is right. I am simply saying we need to find the right one somehow so that we can truly follow God.'' You can imagine how we felt after he said that ha. We continued to teach about the Book of Mormon and then he said ''When do you have church? I need to come to your church and see how I feel there. I believe it is very important when thinking about a religion to visit their church services and see how you feel there before you know if it’s good'' So we told him when it was and explained to him how church normally went and that his whole family is welcome. He said that he and his family would try to come to church on the coming Sunday to see how it was. We made an appointment out for later this week to bring by a Book of Mormon in Romanian for him and his family. Then we said goodbye and went home for the night.
It was so cool! It all just went like almost too perfect it was weird, but a blessing! Both families are from Romania but speak good German and have been here for a long time and both had a sincere interest. We are very excited to continue to meet with them. Finding families is such a blessing and good feeling. It seems to be a rare thing here in Germany to find full families to teach so when it happens it’s really really cool. It’s a blessing and good feeling either way though simply finding someone who has a sincere interest in finding out if what we say is true. And if it is true, what that means for them.
It is such a significant thing that we are proclaiming. That God today, out of his love for us, has restored the true and pure church of Jesus Christ to this earth for the purpose of bringing to pass our salvation. Why a restoration was necessary, what it means, and how that affects literally every single individual person. It’s not just some nice thing that happened that can improve our lives or give us a hope to move forward. It is a very literal thing that is very necessary for us to find out if it’s real or not. Then to choose whether or not we will accept it and apply it. He has revealed to us the Plan of Salvation - God's perfect plan for us. When we understand this we understand better why things happen and what we are actually supposed to be doing here. We better grasp the seriousness of our use of our free agency. Almost every choice we make effects our progression or digression, either moving us closer towards God, or further away. There is no gray area. That is something I continue to learn more and more about. Light and dark cannot occupy the same space at the same time. We must realize this, and realize the magnitude of the effects of our choices. When we understand better and consider this more often we think much more about the choices we make.
God loves us very much. For that reason, he has created a plan to help us progress. We understand this better when we learn about the restoration of his church and the functions of the church today. Then as we do that we better understand our purpose and what our part is. How we can use these things God has given us to reach this divine potential we have inherited from our Father in Heaven. I am very grateful for the restored church of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for how much it has blessed my life and our family.
Before my mission I never really noticed how much it helped us. I'm sure I still do not realize what it has done for us, but I become more grateful for it as I learn more. I am also grateful for you, Mom and Dad, for raising us according to the Gospel of Christ. For putting up with us and being patient with us and for loving us no matter what we do. I am grateful for both of your examples in striving to live the Gospel, and I'm grateful for our Grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and that they strive to do the same. That we have had such a powerful influence all around trying to help us be better and do what God expects from us. You have been 'of God' as explained in Moroni 7:13, “But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.”

Thank you.
I love you all very much!! Thank you all for everything. Have a wonderful rest of the week!
Elder Puriri

February 16, 2011


If you are a mother of a missionary then you know the state of my mind having not heard from Isaac this week.  Very frustrating!  In an effort to calm my nerves I emailed Sister Muhlstein whom Isaac served with in the Erfurt Zone for a little more than 3 months.  Aside from Isaac she is the only contact I have in the Frankfurt Mission.  

I think that one day when this blog becomes a book Isaac will appreciate this email correspondence so I copy and paste to this blogpost - 

Hello Sister MarJean,

Thank you for including us in your email.  I'm sure you are excited to see family and friends again.  I will keep you posted on Isaac's return home and maybe if it is convenient you can attend.  Speaking of Isaac, I haven't heard from him this week.  He said that if we did not see an email on Monday that it would arrive on Tuesday.  Today is Tuesday...there is nothing from him...a mother worries.

Do you know how I can check to make sure everything is fine?   

Dear Sister Puriri,

Thank-you for keeping track of us. We definitely want to know when he has his homecoming address. We will want to be there. I know that there has been a leadership meeting in Frankfurt for all zone leaders this week. I'm sure that is what he is involved with. He is a wonderful leader and we have heard many good reports from other missionaries who have served with him. He leads gently, but directly and encourages everyone to do their best. I'm sure you will hear from him soon. I follow the blog that you are doing for him, and can see in his words that he remains dedicated to the Lord's work here in Germany. Thank-you so much for preparing your son to become a warrior for truth in these latter-days.

When you come to Salt Lake please let us know as well. We will look forward to meeting you in person soon.

With Love to you and your Family,
Sister Muhlestein

February 7, 2011


Hello hello, 
So we got transfer calls this morning! A day and a half late as usual but it’s alright. Not really late since I usually expect them Monday morning then it’s like they're on time! But Elder Anderson is being transferred to Dusseldorf! I'm getting another new companion! His name is Elder Amandoron. He was born in the Philippines and lived there for a while but has been in Germany for like 10 years or so. I worked with him once on a tausch in Heidelberg. I'm excited to work with him. It’s his last transfer though so I only get one with him. It’s a good opportunity to rise up a level for his last six week with him and then hold that level and later rise up more. This is my 11 transfer and he will be my 10th companion! That’s a lot ha, and next transfer I'll have another one. It’s cool though being able to get to know all of them and to learn from all of them. I've learned so much on my mission from my companions and am very grateful for each one of them. So yea, that’s transfers! Six new weeks ahead of us now. It’s always a refreshing feeling and I'm excited for this transfer.
The past was pretty cool. We were able to get in contact with a few investigators who we had lost contact with for a while. Now we are teaching them again and they are moving forward. We were able to do a temple tour with a guy named Ruben as well (picture). We live about 30 minutes from the temple here so when we have investigators that would like to go we organize a tour with the sisters there and go. It was cool I hadn't done one before; it was cool to see how the Sisters there did it. Ruben liked it and hopefully he continues forward in his faith!

On Wednesday we got another Elder to our companionship ha. His name is Elder Siebert, from Leer, Germany. He was in the Preston, England MTC and they are off schedule with the Provo MTC. So he came a week early and is with us in Frankfurt for the week since we're right here. Then when the new missionaries from Provo come he'll join all them. It’s been cool though working with him. I had never worked with someone who was brand new before. His German is perfect so there's no worries there, that’s like one of the biggest difficulties to overcome ha.

Last night our plans and appointments fell out so we decided to go to this area that looked pretty nice and do some doors there in the little bit of time we had left. It was sweet though we met a ton of way nice people and made out 3 appointments for this next week with people there. One lady even knew us and had met with missionaries 5 years before or so. It was cool to find people who are so willing and open to listen and also cool for Elder Siebert to experience that.

On Thursday night we had institute in the church. It was a big one where all the YSAs in the stake come to Frankfurt for a fireside thing. We were there early for a quick meeting then tried to figure out who else we could call who could come and would benefit from being there. I decided to call this one kid who is in his early 20s but is pretty shy and doesn't really do anything with the other YSAs in the ward. I had never seen him at an activity at the church before. He answered and said he'd think about coming but he wasn't sure. I told him when it would start and that we were hoping to see him there. The fireside had started and I was sitting on the back row next to a kid in the ward and the rest of the row was basically empty but I couldn't see out the window of the door to see if he had come into the foyer or whatever. I knew he'd be to shy to come in by himself and that he'd either just stand out there the whole time or just leave. I didn't want to get up and go look and have him not be there then come back in and get up and go look later and keep disrupting the meeting. So I said a quick prayer and asked that I could somehow know if he was out there or not so that I could go get him. Right as I said amen and sat up straight the door opened and a kid named William came in and sat down by me. We said hi quickly and quietly then I asked him if anyone else was out there and he said yea Patrick is out there. I shot up and went out and got him and brought him in for the fireside. It was so cool! I had no idea how I was going to know if he was out there or not I just prayed and asked hoping that something would happen and right away William came in and told me! It was a small but cool experience with prayer. Patrick enjoyed the meeting and is planning on coming to some of the other activities this week. Prayer is such a cool thing.

Things lately have been going pretty good. I'm beginning my 3rd transfer in Frankfurt and love the place more and more. The ward has a lot of awesome members and the city has a ton of potential. There’s so much to be done and it seriously feels like there's no time! Just have to keep going forward and giving my best effort. It’s comforting to know that God has a plan and that things will work out one way or another. I've been able to realize more in the last little while how real our relationship with God is. And literal it is that he does know us and love us. There are always tons of questions running through my mind and I'm always thinking about different things trying to figure out why or how. Sometimes it’s so much it seems overwhelming. And sometimes I don't always find the answer to my thoughts, wonders, or questions. I often do though and am very grateful for how real that is.

There are many small experiences and also some big ones where I have honestly felt Gods love for me and have been calmed by these experiences. Even when I still have lots of questions or whatever. I know God is my Heavenly Father and loves me. I know that is true for every individual person. I know with patience and faith I can conquer anything. I know it is not easy and I don't expect it to be. I also recognize at times it all may sound cliche or repetitive. It is however possible and answers are there. Patience plays a huge role. When we want things isn't always when God wants things, if we wait in patience and faith, the end result will be bigger than we ever knew.

I do love this gospel. I continue to recognize and see how much it has blessed me and our family and how it continues to do so. I love my Savior and my Father in heaven. I am honestly very grateful for their patience with me, and I'm grateful for the patience you have all had with me throughout my life. I hope to meet Gods expectations of me and I hope to meet your expectations of me, as well as my expectations of me. However, God’s should cover all of that ha. I love you all very much. I really hope you also strive to recognize and feel Gods love for you. It is always there and manifests itself in the smallest things. Be open and willing to recognize. Thank you all for everything, have a wonderful week. I love you!! 
Elder Puriri