September 20, 2011


Hello hello,

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

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

September 14, 2011



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 5, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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