November 20, 2011


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

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

November 14, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for everything.
Elder Isaac Olsen Ahmu Puriri

November 7, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

November 1, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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