March 28, 2011


So on Monday last week while Elder Amandoron and I were in the city President Ninow called. He told me quickly he had decided to change some things with transfers. He then told me that Elder Münzer was now going to Heidelberg to serve with Elder Gassman and that I would be getting Elder Nelson. So my new companion is actually Elder Nelson! Elder Matthew Nelson from St. George, UT who I went to High School with ha. Elder Nelson and I didn't know each other very well but we would see each other around and knew who each other were. It’s pretty funny though now when members or other people ask where we are from. They all think its pretty funny. It was a good week last week though and we are looking forward to the transfer.

Last week was good but super busy, we were all over the place. Wednesday was transfer day, then Thursday we had to move. The Elders that take care of the mission apartments got a 3rd elder and their apartment wasn't big enough for all 3 so we traded them apartments. Still same building and all so still same address. Just a new apartment. But that was Thursday and for some reason took a whole lot longer then we expected. Then Friday we went to Wiesbaden and tausched with the Elders there. I was here in Frankfrut with Elder Vail. It was a fun tausch. We were able to get a lot done and I learned a lot from him. Saturday morning Elder Vail and I went to go help Elder Ence. He was going to help somebody move so we went with him. That also took almost all day. There was a baptism in Wiesbaden that night at 6 so we were a little worried about that. Elder Vail was supposed to be there to give a talk but we were still in Frankfurt helping unload a moving van at 330. We met a cool family though and lots of their friends who were helping as well. So we'll keep in contact and hopefully be able to help them develop a relationship to their Heavenly Father and come closer to him through baptism! We rushed home showered, changed, and hoped on a train up to Wiesbaden. Then hurried through town to the Church and came running into the church right at 6! We just walked right into the chapel breathing heavily from running and sat down then the service began! It was a cool baptism though. The man getting baptized had been referred by his friends 3 weeks earlier! He had never even known the church before. In 3 weeks he changed his life, quit smoking, and was baptized. It was pretty awesome.We talked to a lot of people last week who had interesting views on life. Interesting opinions about the purpose of why we are here and the state of humanity. 

I always find it interesting to talk to these people. You can tell pretty quickly about whether or not the person has interest or wants to find out about what you're saying. Sometimes though it’s interesting to hear their arguments or thoughts about something. Often times as you listen you can understand where they are coming from and what they mean. Then you realize their reasoning behind this opinion or thought is a result of the lack of truth in their life. Or I guess the denial of truth in their life.

I fully believe that the acceptance and application of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that will solve the problems of the world. There are many quick fixes that will last for a while. Fixing the surface problem. Eventually that quick fix will be stretched or pushed past its effectiveness or depth. Then the problem will be there again. The core is where the changes must happen or where things must be fixed. The core of humanity is the heart of each individual person. The pure gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing with the power to change or fix the heart forever. Everything else will be a quick fix, which will wear away. Then the person will have to look for another quick fix again. The Gospel however is eternal. It will not go away. Denying this or not accepting it will lead to simply more questions, doubts, pain, and a search for instant gratification or worldly joy. Both of which pass with time, meaning another search for another quick fix. Like elder Packer said, denying these things is like denying gravity. You can go ahead and deny and do what you want. But it is still there, it is still true. Someone’s opinion against or denial of eternal truth will not change a thing. It is simply postponing the inevitable. Close your eyes, turn your back to it, do what you will. The Gospel is still there, it is still true. Eventually each person will have to open their eyes and face the truth.

I wish I could explain this to people sometimes. Each person must be open and ready to hear it though. I have tried a few times but it doesn't click with some people. It’s so simple, and so logical. The simple principles of the Gospel alone are obviously the greatest problem solvers of the world. Repentance, forgiveness, love and charity. The principles like these though are not the things that will enable us to return to our Heavenly Father. For
this he has given us authority to act in his name, the Priesthood. With this things can be done on earth which have effect in heaven. Preparing us and making it possible for us to reach our ultimate goal, to live again with our Father in Heaven. The is the purpose of being here.

All the things we go through here are ways for us to learn and grow. We progress hopefully throughout life, helping others along the way. Pride and Selfishness are the most stupid things. There is no point to put others down, to cheat or lie in order to improve your life now. In order to have more money, a better worldly reputation. You are simply slowing yourself down as well as others. It is sad to see that instant gratification causes so many to deny truth. To see people deny who they truly are, to fall short of their potential. All we can do is our personal best. Making the most progress we can as fast as we can, thereby becoming more and more capable to help others. Moving forward with those around you to that which God has prepared for you and them.

I know I have a lot to learn, and lot more to understand. But I do know that this Restored Gospel which God has given back to us through the Prophet, Joseph Smith, is true. That God honestly loves us, and his son Jesus Christ performed the atonement to make everything possible for us. I am very grateful for these things, and I love them with all my heart. I hope to help others understand these things so that they may receive and embrace the things God is holding ready for them.

I love you all and am grateful for all you do and all that I have been able to learn from you. You can't comprehend the effect you each have had on me in my life. Thank you!! 
Elder Puriri

March 21, 2011


Hello! (Picture from yesterday at the Bishop's house. Bishop and Me!)

Another transfer is gone! Another companion is gone ha. Elder Amandoron leaves on Wednesday and I get a new companion. My new companion will be Elder Münzer. He is from northern Germany. We were in the Berlin mission together, and he also served with Elder Killpack. His mom is from Arizona if I remember right. So his English is basically perfect. It will be fun though. 2 basically Germans back to back. I can continue to get good tips on improving my German.

The transfers just pass by its strange. During them and all the days and weeks all the things you do, then all the sudden it’s the last week. This last transfer was good though. We found a lot of cool new people who we can hopefully continue to teach and work with. We were also able to work more closely with the members, which will hopefully only get better. There is a lot to do!! I'm excited to be here in Frankfurt. Especially since its getting warmer, more people will be out, we won't be so layered up, and everyone’s a bit happier! There is a good feeling here. So many people, definitely many being prepared.

Yesterday after sacrament I was walking around talking to members. Right before we left I went and talked to Br. Amelong I think is how his name is spelled. He is the stake patriarch. Its so cool talking to him, he always just tells me different stories about Matthew Cowley and the miracles he was able to perform in New Zealand because of the great faith of the Maori people. The topic in one of our classes was the life of Jesus Christ, and we talked about the story when he walks on water and Peter walks out to him. The topic of discussion turned into faith. So it was cool talking to Br. Amelong about that afterwards as well.

Faith is an amazing thing. As I read talks about Elder Cowley and the things he experienced. And as I read about Christ walking on the sea and Peter walking towards him I thought a lot about faith. Its cool to picture Christ walking towards their boat, then Peter asking to come to him. I can picture him climbing over the edge of the boat and putting his foot down on the water, then the other foot, then letting go of the boat. I can't imagine what he must have felt like. He was walking on water! His faithwas powerful. As we read though the waves and the winds picked up and he became afraid and began to sink. There are many lessons we can learn from this but keeping it simple is that with faith anything is possible.

Peter being courageous enough and trusting enough in Christ climbed over the edge of the boat and stepped onto water with the full belief that he would be able to stand on it. How cool is that! That seems to me like it would have been the hardest part. To actually put your feet down on the water and let go of the boat. Once you're on the water and walking your set. You are walking on water! In that alone your faith is confirmed and the reality of the power of it. When the winds pick up and the waves as well remember simply that you're walking on water. Have confidence in that and in the one in whom you have set your faith. There is no need to doubt or worry, because you are standing on water! You can continue walking towards your Redeemer with the full trust that these winds and waves will not cause you to sink. Keep your eyes set on Christ as you walk across the water. Looking away at the wind tossing the sea will simply cause worries, as you stare and dwell on the thought that the winds and waves are becoming stronger you will begin to doubt you will really be ok. Why even doubt though, you are standing on water!!! Push doubts aside with the assurance that through your faith in Christ you are walking on water, and that because of that he can help you do anything, withstand anything, and overcome anything. I haven't finished my study on that story yet, maybe tomorrow or so. It’s so cool though. I want to strengthen my faith like my Maori ancestors.

Sorry this is short, Elder Amandoron has got to go run a few more errands.

I love you all though!! Thank you for everything. Enjoy the week and love everyone!!!

March 14, 2011


While reading through letter #69 it is clear to me that our minds and souls are connected even though we are physically apart. It's spring and that means soccer season in the Puriri household.  I think Isaac is feeling a bit of soccer fever as he continues his missionary service and compares the work of a missionary to the work of a soccer player.  His words will be a great benefit to his brothers as they work towards a successful season.  

Isaac speaks of the power of work.  Ammon gave a talk in sacrament meeting on Sunday.  His topic was blessings that come through scripture study.  Ammon focused on a few character traits that can be learned in the scriptures and then if applied can bring great blessings.  One of those scriptures was 2 Nehpi 9:51

Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.  

Ammon's focus of this scripture was "do not labor for that which cannot satisfy" and the blessing that comes from "feasting" on work is that "our soul will delight in fatness."  Isaac rejoices in the "fatness".

Every Sunday when I send Isaac an email I include a spiritual thought.  This week my spiritual thought was on the subject of success being an endless journey (see below).  Isaac speaks of this as he explains how once "you obtain possession of the ball you do not stop and say 'I won'.  Instead you have created more work for yourself and it is satisfying to delight in that work.

This morning the spirit speaks to my soul that even though we are separated by land and sea the waves of our brain flow on the same current and the beat of our heart pumps at the same speed.  One more reassuring factor that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.  I accept that we are connected to our Heavenly home and that Heavenly Father is very aware of the needs of our family.  It is such a blessing to have a son serving a mission in a most diligent and obedient fashion.      

It is the whole story of a man's life that must ultimately determine whether or not he is successful, and not any single page or chapter of it.  And there are none so young but what their performance has its effect upon the whole of their lives, and none so old as to place them and their actions beyond judgment.  A little foolishness may destroy a long-standing reputation for wisdom, and a little brilliance may seem to cover a multitude of sins.  But life is not a thing that begins and ends at two definable points.  It is an eternal journey, to endless destinations; and the highest reward is for consistency of performance--not merely for occasional flashes of brilliance, or isolated acts of goodness, or brief periods of dependability.  It is still true, as it was when it was anciently spoken, that he "that endureth to the end" has the greatest assurance of success and the greatest promise of having the labors of his life pronounced "well done." -Richard L. Evans  


It’s finally getting warmer here! You almost don't even have to wear a coat. I guess it’s warm enough not to but to avoid getting sick randomly I still am. Sun isn't shining but it is warmer, which probably means rain. Weather is how it is though so whatever. The last week was good though!
Lots of the people we are teaching right now were busy last week so we weren't able to meet with many of them, but that gave us time to go find new people! Wednesday night our phone rang, when I answered I couldn't tell who it was. She was saying 'it’s your mother' but in German. So I was confused obviously ha. Then she started laughing and said it was Sister Muhlestein! It was pretty funny, she basically was my mom in Nordhausen. They were in Frankfurt for the night before they left home. They had served their mission and were going home! I couldn't believe it. They were at a restaurant in downtown Frankfurt and asked if we could come by quickly to see them. I was way excited to go see them again and we had time to go down there.
On the way there I talked to this man sitting next to me in the tram. We had an interesting conversation. He was not willing to learn more, but he explained to me he had 2 sons who were also around my age. He said he wishes they also had an anchor to hold them solid like I have. He basically told me a lot about how he finds it so interesting that he sees so many different young missionaries like me. Young men, taking time to go teach others about Jesus Christ. He didn't understand exactly why we do it, but he has a lot of respect for it. I tried to explain why and to bear my testimony, the time was short though and he got out. It’s interesting to see the little effects we have on people. The way what us just being here makes them think. With the over 50 thousands missionaries out there. It’s hard to think all 50 thousand plus of us go out just because we're told to or because we're bored or don't know what else to do. We go and do this because we have a love for our Father in heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ. And this important message is the only thing that will truly, eternally help anyone.
We got out at the tram stop and hurried quick to the restaurant I was really excited. I was thinking how weird it is that almost a year ago I got to Nordhausen. And that the Muhlesteins had only been out for a little while. Now they are leaving! I thought a lot about all the different things that happened there and the awesome experiences and things I was able to learn. It was so cool to be able to see them once more before they left. We were able to talk shortly, I found out more about how things in Nordhausen are. They are wonderful people! I learned a lot from the Muhlesteins and was very grateful to be able to see them again before they left.
It was almost 9 as we left them so we were half jogging back to the tram stop trying to hurry to get home. Just before we got to the entrance to the underground a man walked by us Elder Amandoron quickly spoke to him. He stopped, and listened. We talked for 15 minutes about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. He was from India and was leaving Germany the next morning. He only gave us his email so we emailed him with a way to contact the church and the website He was really cool and you could see he was sincere in his current search for religion. We had hurried by so many people on the way there but Elder Amandoron said he felt like we needed to talk to him as we almost jogged past him. We did, and even if we can't do much more to help him right now, we feel like we made an impression. Hopefully things will work out for him.
This week we also had 2 tausches where I was able to learn a lot. I was here in Frankfrut with Elder Gunnell for one and the other I was in Usingen with Elder Metcalf. They are both hard working Elders, it’s definitely a blessing to be able to serve with all of them. I am learning more and more to simply love working. It’s a blessing to be able to work. And so many blessings come from work. Obviously we get tired, hungry, or whatever else, but there is something about just pushing through.
I compared it in my mind a lot this week to soccer. When you’re running to a 50/50 ball. Racing your opponent. Often your shoulder to shoulder, he's elbowing you, pulling your shorts or jersey, trying to step in front of you, your legs are beginning to sting and burn. One of my favorite feelings was to be in this 50/50 race. You're both at a sprint. As all this is happening the best feeling was to push harder! Break this barrier. Often I'd think I was already running my fastest, but I was still shoulder to shoulder with the kid. I didn't want to have to deal with him when I got to the ball. So I'd think what if I just pushed a little harder...and a little harder, slowly I'd pull away, gain distance, and get to the ball first. It was such a rewarding feeling to feel myself actually speeding up instead of slowing down; when I already thought I was at my full speed.
The mission is the same!! So often you feel like you're already giving everything, working your hardest. Then you think...what if I pushed it, what if I talked to one more person, what if I pushed through this sting and burn? The coolest thing is the feeling that comes as you are doing that and then afterward. Continually pushing the previous limit. You slowly recognize limits are mental.
As I compared this to soccer I realized once you win that 50/50 it is definitely not done. You don't push your hardest then push some more to get to the ball touch it stop and say ''I won''. You get to the ball then push even harder. Now you have to be moving faster than the kid behind you and so does the ball. You just created more work for yourself. But then you send the perfect pass, take the perfect shot. The work continues and becomes increasingly harder throughout the 90 minutes. It is not over until the whistle is blown. Then can you breathe, then can you rest a little.
It’s the same here. You think ok I'll push it, I'll talk to more people, I'll extend more invitations, I'll work better with the members, I'll help the other missionaries more. Continually pushing yourself, continually creating more work becoming accountable for more and more. But for some reason it becomes more enjoyable, easier to do, you begin organizing better, you’re more focused, the spirit is stronger, you simply having more fun.
Soccer is like a mission ha. You've been working hard all day, it’s almost 9 and you’re heading home. You get in a tram and sit down dead tired and hungry. Your eyes keep shutting and your head dropping in between stops. Then a man gets in and sits down by you. (88 minute, legs are burning, you have cotton mouth, haven't been subbed yet. You just got kneed in the calf and it’s cramping. 50/50 ball sent in the air over your direction. You know you’re not supposed to let it bounce and risk losing it) Your eyes are heavy, you want to just sleep for the next few stops. But you know you should talk to the guy, and you don't know how soon he'll get out. You take a deep breath, push off the thought that he'll get another chance, look up, smile, and begin the conversation. (you take a deep breath, and push away the thought that someone else will get it and take off towards the ball as fast as you can. you push through the pain, don't let down, and you’re the first to the ball.) You continue smiling; fight off the distractions of sleep, food, and whatever else is around. You bring the conversation to the gospel and invite him to learn more. He gives you his contact information and you make out an appointment. You now have an appointment, and you push diligently forward and decide how you're going to handle that now. (You now have the ball and your pushing forward as fast as you can. You now decide what you’re going to do with it.) This is the beginning of the work, the building up to the greater joys.
Of course the ball doesn't have free agency; you can make it do whatever you want. A Soul is most definitely different. But you still do all you can to help them to use their agency correctly. The rewarding feelings come along the way. When you make out an appointment, when someone agrees to keep a commitment, when they keep the commitment, when they are baptized, when they enter the temple, and in many other things. (When you win a ball, send a good pass, give a good assist, score a goal, and other ways). But it is not over until it is over. And we cannot rest until it is over. No matter how tired or warn out we are. You play until the whistle.
There is a quote from Elder Christofferson that basically sums this all up, ''Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires''.
I've experienced this, and am very grateful for this. It’s in the little things where the big differences are made. Keeping all the little rules, having a good study, planning seriously. (Working back, being the 2nd defender, staying ball side/goal side, pushing up or back even when you don't think you're in the play). As he said, many of these things are menial, sometimes unappreciated, but they always improve, order, sustain, lift, minister, and aspire.
I am grateful for the opportunity to work, for the capability to push harder than I thought I could and for the simple joys and truths in hard work.
I love you all, and I hope you are all doing good. Thank you for everything. Have a good week!
Elder Puriri

March 8, 2011


My dear family!
Sorry this is a day late! Random things come up all the time and through out pday so don't worry when you don't hear from me on Mondays. This time it was a German holiday though. President didn't want us to have pday on it and be out with all the people partying during the day so he moved it. Which didn't really matter since the thing basically went since last Thursday and ends tomorrow. So there will still be partying people everyone. Frankfurt was only bad in certain parts of the city though which were easy to avoid.

Anyway! The last week was good and flew by. I was looking back through my planner to find something and looked back like two weeks and couldn't find where I wrote it down. Then I just started flipping closer and closer to today. Then on Wednesdays page last week I found it! So strange I thought it was over 2 weeks ago. Time doesn't exist. It does actually but it’s weird.

The week was good though. We did a few tausches and I was the one who usually went to the other cities last week. It was cool though I was in Wiesbaden with Elder Schwitters. That area is an American Military ward. It was so weird! All the stuff we did was in English. I kept messing up and would switch in to German and realize they had no idea what I was saying. My ability to pray in English is basically gone. I have to go really slow and think really hard. And still I mess up and organize the sentence according to German grammar and when I'm at the end of the sentence I want to say the unconjugated form of the verb and realize that makes no sense in English. So I pause and wait and think ‘how I can somehow make it make sense.’ Usually I don’t know so I just start the sentence over and remember to put the verb where it’s supposed to be.

It was cool to be there though and see the dedicated US Military members. They are really cool. The ward there is also pretty big. At the end of the night we did splits with the Elders quorum. So I went with this one brother to go do some home teaching. We visited this family with a few little kids and all the little kids were running around speaking in English and it was confusing me so bad. I would forget it was an American family and hear all the little kids speaking English so fast and then it would register. I don't think I would do good in a military ward. I don't know how to do gospel in English anymore. Plus the English I've been speaking for the last however many months has been with others who speak German as well. So we use a whole lot of German words in there and German grammar. That’s ok though! Because I'm serving in Germany among German speaking people. So my English doesn't have to be perfect.

Then we had these 2 Elders from Koblenz come down and stay with us for a day because there city turned into party city. They are both German and can speak zero English. Elder Amandoron can understand basically everything and can express himself pretty good in English, we only speak German though. It was funny though being with them for a day. They don't understand any English at all. The funniest was they brought their areabook with them for us to translate. They said ''Look it doesn't work. We want to do areabook work and find people out of it. So we open it up, sit down in front of it. And see words all over that we don’t understand. Everyone writes in English! Imagine you sat down and opened an areabook up and it was written in Arabic. That’s how we feel.'' They're good Elders though and they work hard. Its way cool being able to work with so many different missionaries.

We helped one of the Romanian families move last week. That was also fun. They love having us around and they seem to be accepting everything pretty well. The other Romanian family was too busy to meet with us for a while (the 27 year old father and mother with 5 kids). Then he called us Saturday and asked if we could come that night. We had time so we went out there. As we walked in they already had visitors. All the kids and mothers were in one room talking, and they showed us into the dinner room. Around the table were a few men speaking Romanian with their bibles in front of them. The father stood up and showed us our chairs and said ''finally, finally you are back''. We were able to give them all a Book of Mormon in Romanian and to talk to them about why it is so important. They are all Pentecostal and very strong in their faith. So the 2 other men had tons of questions and were basically trying to prove us wrong while Herr Tinislaf (the father) had his book open to 3rd Nephi 11 and was reading quietly. One of them started to tell us that we were weren't teaching certain things that were very important, then Tinislaf spoke up (with his head still down reading) and pointed at the book and said ''yea but it’s all here'' then he just kept reading. The man looked at him confused and we said ''yea. Let’s open up and all read together''. He is searching and wants to know if it is true, and he will find out. It was a cool appointment.

Today was also cool. We started off our pday with a quick stop at a member’s to help her. She is actually in the International ward in Frankfurt and we had never met her. But the Sisters in the International ward called us last night and asked if we could go help. The sister in the ward had just had an operation and had her hip replaced and she couldn't walk up the stairs to her apartment. So we met her and her son there in the morning.

We decided the easiest way to carry her up would be if she was sitting in a chair. So her son went up to the 4th floor to get a chair from her apartment. As he was gone the Sister took her crutches in one hand, grabbed the railing, and started pressing forward up the stairs. We kept telling her it’s ok and that she could wait but she just went. So we stood at her side until she had made the first flight. Then her son came back with the chair. Her son grabbed her bags and everything. Then we got the chair and sat her in it then Elder Amadoron and I carried her in the chair up to the 4th floor. They invited us in quickly to sit down and talk.

They are from Bolivia but have been in Germany for 40 years. The sister was probably in her 80s and her son in his 50s or 60s. They both just kept saying thank you and explaining how grateful they were. It was just a quick stop along our way in the morning. We didn't really feel like we had done much but the way they were thanking us you'd think we just saved their lives or something. Shows again how amazing service is.
We may not think its much but to the people we are serving it means everything. They made out an appointment with us and would like to have us for lunch next week. Just for a 15 min thing. They were 2 very cool people. The sister was so grateful.

As we sat and talked I thought about other acts of service we do. And what the Savior did, and what he taught about it, and what service really means. It was a humbling experience. While we were sitting there I asked what kind of an operation she had had and she said she had her hip replaced. I was pretty surprised and said 'and you just climbed a flight of stairs!' Then she simply said ''yes...I wanted to do what I could to make your work easier''. In this moment where she needed help she was trying to figure out what she could do to make it easier for us. And she did something that was surely not easy or comfortable for her.

I learned a lot from her this morning. I hope to keep that always in mind, to also do whatever I can to lighten the burden of others. Even when it is not easy or comfortable. Because most the time it is not easy or comfortable. Like Elder Busche said--The pain of sacrifice last only a moment, it is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes us hesitate to act.

I am really grateful for my life. For the life God has given me and the experiences I have had along the way and the people I have met. For the many things I've been able to learn from so many people who don't know the impact they have had. Many of them I will not be able to thank in this life. Many I don't even know, or only knew for a short moment. The only way I can say thank you or repay them right now I think is to live what I learned from them. And to live it the best I can. And become the best I can. And doing that so that I may be more capable to serve others and pass on what I have learned to enrich the lives of others and bring them closer to their father in heaven. The Gospel is the best tool to do that.

I love this work, and I love you all so much! I hope you all have a good week. Look for opportunities to serve.
Elder Puriri