Monday, February 22, 2016

Final images

Elder Gish's mother here: I do not have the words to adequately cannot express my gratitude for the wonderful and loving people of New Zealand who cared for, fed and loved Chase; for the many companions -- especially and extraordinary trainer -- who taught and led with Chase; for the inspiring, loving leadership and influence of President and Sister Rudd; for the support and love of our family and friends back throughout the world; and for our Savior Jesus Christ and His guidance and protection over Chase as he served Him these last two years.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

These Past Two Years

Kia Ora my whanau!

Okay so this could be it! THE FINAL EMAIL.  I am not sure if I will get time to email next week. I honestly can't believe this is it. My last email.

My mission has honestly been the best thing that I have ever done so far in my life. The things I have learned are so precious to me. Being allowed to grow, while forgetting about myself, and focusing on helping others has been such an amazing blessing to me. 

I have so much that I could say about these past two years. If I could say a few things about it though, it's taught me lifelong lessons. Things that I used to just believe in, became solidified in my heart. 

Before my Mission I didn't know if I was going to be handle it, cause my heart wasn't really in it. But I had an amazing trainer, who really wanted me to know for sure. My heart and knowledge of the truthfulness of the Church, and the knowledge of Christ being an actual risen and living being became so real and so solidified in me. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith truly restored the Gospel to the Earth. He saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They truly did call him to be a Prophet in these last days, as prophets have been called in times of old. By the power of God Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon to the convincing of men that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph was Called of God. 

The Book of Mormon has become such a treasure to me. There was one day in particular that changed my life with that book. I had been out about 2 months and had my testimony totally shattered that I was thinking of going home. But just before I left to go on my mission my older brother Sam gave me a Book of Mormon (that I still have) that had his testimony in it. And as I sat in my room crying, the book fell on my bed and opened to that page open. Which was weird because his testimony was in the back. But as I read it, the feeling I had was so indescribable but I knew that if i studied it diligently that this would never happen again, and it hasn't. The words in The Book of Mormon can change our lives. I know, and am so grateful for the Knowledge of families being together forever. That this life is not the end, that we can see and be with our families forever! How great is that!!

This mission has truly been an amazing gift. I heard a quote the other day. "The key to happiness is learning to be selfless." I know that this is so true. I believe that's why a mission is such a happy time in our life. Because all we do is serve others. Anyone that hasn't done this yet, please serve a mission. It is amazing!

Love you all!
-Elder Gish 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Asking Simple Heart Filled Questions

Kia Ora Whanau, Tena koe e hoa!

I am so sorry I haven't done a weekly update for ages! But here you go!!

So this has been quite the great week. We had a Mission Conference, where we learned that as missionaries world-wide Door-to-Door knocking and tracting has just about been eliminated. We were told if we tract more then 1 hour a week, our Mission President would be upset with us. So we were thinking, we just have to work with members heaps. I cant wait to hear from the Older missionaries who had to tract heaps...they will sound like an Old men "We used to tract all day every day in any weather, going up hill both ways".

But Miracles have come from this. We announced that we are going to need members to step up and find friends for us to teach. An amazing member in the ward Brother P.  told us about a family he had set up and appt for us to go see. D. and J. are their names, and wow they are amazing. D. was a bit hesitant to talk with us because he has a lot of questions. But all the answers we would give just weren't cutting it for him. What happened next was amazing. I asked the question, "Do you believe God loves you?" I can testify with all the vigor in me that the Spirit instantly came and the environment changed instantly, and as he thought, tears came to his eyes. Walls were broken because of a simple question. He and his children came to church the following Sunday

I know that a simple heart filled question asked properly in the right spirit, walls can break and allow the Spirit to come in and work in them. 
Love you all!
-Elder Gish

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Search Within Yourselves to Draw Closer to the Savior This Year

KIA ORA WHANAU!!!! Tena koe E hoa,

 So, before I even get into my weekly letter, it is a very special birthday today! 

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother"- Abraham Lincoln.

I am so grateful for my Mom and all that she has done for me. From late nights helping me with projects, I should have finished earlier too. "Hey Mom, I found Waldo" Hahah (only she will get that). I Believe in Angels because my Mom is one. I don't know what kind of person I would be without her in my life. She has taught me everything. Everything I am is because of my Mom. I hope that one day I can pay her back for what she has done for me. I love her so much and I have no shame in saying that to the world! I have the best Mom Ever! And she made a pretty good choice with my Dad. I love you mom!! You are seriously the best!!! Happy Birthday!

It was quite a week! From Christmas to Mission Conferences, now I don't have heaps of time, but with the Christmas season just past, and a New Year around the corner, we have a unique opportunity to make changes in our lives, set new goals and really search within yourself as to what you can do to draw closer to the Savior. 

Doctrine and Covenants 88:63
"Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

I know that with the a New Year  ahead we can draw closer to our Savior, and as we do so, He will come into our lives.and will be able to show us the way, because He has already walked it. 

Love you all!
-Elder Gish

District Meeting: What is your Gospel Application to find the M&M is a bowl of flour. 

Service Project 

Christmas Caroling.

Ward member who made paper glasses for us to use in Primary.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Get Out of the Way and Let the Lord Work Through Us.

Kia ora whanau!! Tena Koe e hoa!

Well HELLO EVERYONE! Hope you all have a had a wonderful week. It was another beautiful week here in Aotearoa! 

So of course we wanted to enjoy the sun during our summer season! But sometimes as a missionary, we can't. BUT GUESS WHAT?! WE GOT TO!!! There is a member that works on and owns a farm. He also works for another farmer, who really needed some help. So literally most of our week was farming. And what an amazing miracle it was. We felt kind of bad that we spent so much time farming and not so much out knocking on doors, But CHECK THIS OUT!!! While we were milking cows on the farm the member works at... the boss came over.... AND INVITED US TO HIS HOUSE FOR DINNER!!! He wanted to know why we would willingly and with no cost help him. We hadn't even met him or talked to him! "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if you have to, use words" The service we gave was enough for him to want to know why! 

Then we had ring some pigs!   Like put a ring in their noses. The reason why is because, believe it or not pigs dig WITH THEIR NOSES!!! Imagine that ? Aye? That's a new form of putting your nose in something. SO to prevent that, we pierced their noses with the ring, cause it hurts their noses when they dig! So much fun! What made that even more fun was we had to catch the pig. 

We first started off by leading the pigs to go to the trough to eat, then grabbing their hind legs and then holding them down...but thats no fun. The Members who works there (and owns his own farm too) brought in in-active brother. (Shannon here: "In-active means someone who is a baptized member of the church, but isn't active in church activities.) And we all know what happens when brothers get together... Competition time! 

So we said "forget the tricks, let just tackle them"! OH YEAH THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA... lets try and tackle 60kg pigs while they are running. And we learned something that day. Pigs. Are. Fast! and they can juke. So many time as we were running after the pigs, they would step us! ( meaning juke) and because of that we would slip and fall right into a fresh patch of pig "mud" ... you know what I am talking about... Wilber,  you are not so sweet. But at the end of it all we were able to have a good time! Plus got to share a little something with the brother! So all in all it was great. 

All in all I really grew to appreciate the work... I also learned why Adam lived so long, because " by the sweat of his brow he made his daily bread" he was a farmer... and man .. do you need to be in shape to do it! 


To wrap this up, Sunday was a great day! We are currently staring up a group in a place called Pangakawa. And on Sunday the group President, Brother O., called and asked if we could speak. Of course we love to.. but we would be the only ones to speak.. and my companion.. that sly dog.. only spoke FOR 10 MINUTES... I had my talk all ready for maybe a 20 minute talk.. not 40. So of course I'm like "flip 40 minutes". But so many times the Lord has been my voice, during times like these. but for some reason I always doubt.. But as I got original plan was talk on Obedience.. but the spirit took a different route.. on missionary work. So I'm up there.. no notes.. just a humble spirit.. And I end up talking for 45 minutes.. without a single pause. Just words kept coming and coming. And at the End. I knew that the Lord had been my voice. Sometimes, we need to get out of the way and let the Lord work through us. He can't get through to others if we are blocking him with our doubts. 

I know that is true!

Well I love you all! 
-Elder Gish

December 6, 2015

Kia ora Whanau! Tena Koe e Hoa!

ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING! I got transferred back to TAURANGA!!!! South Auckland was so awesome, and I will miss everyone there dearly. But it is so awesome to be back here in Tauranga! I love this place. The area is so flipping awesome! I Love it so much, the welcome into the ward was probably one of the warmest I have received. I am with an awesome Elder named Elder N. He is a Samoan Aussie,and the flipping man. 

So we are serving in a Ward, but we are also serving in a Group! Its like the pre-stages of a Branch! So we do heaps of service out there. IN FACT! On Thursday we were helping out a member who owns a farm, and we milked 400+ cows! It was so much fun! But at the same nasty.. While I was under a cow milking her, she decided to give me a present.. then everything went black..but i guess that's nothing out of the ordinary! I still loved it! But as of right now we are just trying to build the area up. 

But I wanted to share something I read in my personal studies. 
Revelation 3:3 " I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour i will come upon thee".

In my last area we had a member experience a terrible break in from a thief, it could have been a lot worse, but he was prepared! So it is the same when Christ comes. We need to make sure we have a plan in line when he comes. We know it will be soon. ' Proper preparation prevents poor performance'. I have been thinking alot about this scripture and how I personally dont wan't to be unprepared when Christ comes. The only reason that member in my last area prevented a catastrophic event was because he was prepared. A thief is only harmful if we dont know that he is there, but if we do all we can to make sure we are prepared for such an event, no harm will come. 

I know that being prepared for Christ's coming is so important because he will be here sooner then we think! 

I love you all!
Thanks for reading!
-Elder Gish