Here's a few excerpts of his experience so far in NZ:
"OH MY HECK THIS PLACE IS CRAZY. It really is insane. It is a summer paradise. The plane ride was awesome! Coolest plane ride ever I felt like a V.I.P. guest and I was in the economy seating"
"Im not sure how long I will be in Torbay. Look up "orewa beach" thats where I want to go. haha we had a ward party at wenderholm park.. that was sweet!"
"I ate a pork sandwich with applesauce on it... it was actually super good. They have some interesting food out here."
"I got attacked by a scooby doo doggy this week! Yeah it was just on my wrist! haha but we got to drive to takapuna to get a tetanus shot so it was fun!"
Alright guys this week was AWESOME AS!! (That's what they say in New Zealand). I left Denver and landed in LAX. Then I got on Air New Zealand and it was sweet!! They fed us dinner and breakfast it was awesome! I got to watch the first sun rise of 2014 in a plane over the middle of the Pacific Ocean that was sweet. Then I landed in Auckland and the AP's picked us up and we went on top of One Tree Hill. You could look around and see all of Auckland. I am in a really nice area called the Harbour area, in a city called Torbay. It is super nice. We wake up early every morning and go for a run by the beach but we aren't aloud to go on the sand... I love it here! It's in the high 70's everyday and it's super nice! We have an appointment tonight and we are going to ask a guy to be baptized! Love you all!
- Elder Merideth
Ok so this week they called me up and told me that I am leaving to NEW ZEALAND on Monday! And then the next day they called and said that I have to wait for New Zealand transfers which aren't until January 2nd. But all is well. I leave for New Zealand on the 27th I think. But who knows, you can't trust anyone around here anymore! Kidding. We had a ton of meetings this week so nothing exciting has happened really. We had a Christmas devotional and we watched 17 Miracles, which is a super good movie! There are a lot of frozen rivers here, and Elder Hansen and I are walking so we like to walk on the frozen rivers a lot. Today we got our haircuts so I am looking pretty fly. I will update you next week.
Frederick Colorado! Pit stop! My visa is having problems but its all good... kinda cold compared to New Zealand but it's all good. I am being turned into a farm boy. This last week our service project was helping out with a horse show. We are working really hard. and hoping that the peoples hearts are softened! My companion is Elder Hansen. He is cool. Some of the missionaries here are disobedient and like to complain. Forget yourself and go to work. Sheesh. I got to play with snakes this week, and I didn't die so that was fun. I am excited to get to New Zealand but I have to find out why God needs me here first. My mission president is president Brown and he is super awesome! This is the part of Colorado that got hit hard by the floods so I think this week we are going to do more service that will help repair the damage. This week when I was called up to bare my Testimony, I started by saying "Rinn Valley Ward, Talooofaaa." and then they all replied so it is pretty awesome. All is good in small town Frederick
Alright so my time in the MTC is almost up. It has been fun but I am ready to leave to bigger and better things. The past week it has been hard to focus because all I can think about is leaving to New Zealand this Monday. My teachers keep showing us pictures and videos and they are teaching us about the culture. I just keep getting more excited and more excited. The past couple of weeks I have really opened my eyes and realized why I am here. I am here to bring others unto Christ. I want everyone to love our savior and receive the blessings that this Gospel has to offer. I am so excited to make friends out in New Zealand. I have been studying in Alma Chapters 30-32. They are really good chapters. It talks about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They buried their weapons and would not fight against their brothers, the Lamanites. Thousands of them died because of the Lamanites. I am leearning to love people here. Every soul is great in the sight of God. I am trying to look through his eyes and love everyone. Sometimes it is hard because I get frustrated at my companions and what not. But when I think about what Jesus Christ thinks about that person, my attitude changes. I just want to go to New Zealand and share love with the people out there. I am missing home right now but that is completely normal. Two years is a long time for me to say goodbye to my family and friends. But I am ready for these bigger and better things. I want to bring all unto Christ!
So the first 3 days were rough. I really wanted to come home, but fortunately I didn't. Elder Rawle, one of the Elder's in my room, made the decision to go home after a week. I was actually really sad that he did that because we used to stay up late and talk about Disneyland. The language is kinda hard. Harder then I thought it would be. But I am slowly learning phrases like O a mai oe? (how are you?) and other fun stuff. My P-Days are on Thursday and we get to go to the Temple every P-Day. My companions names are Elder Pulido and Elder Matua. I was put in a trio because Elder Rawle unfortunately went home. The MTC food is pretty good most of the time. This week Elder Pulido and Elder Matua both got sick, it's a miracle that I didn't get sick. I have given two blessings to two missionaries so far and as of right now they have recovered from their sickness, that just proves that priesthood power works! Boo yah. This coming Tuesday we are having our devotional in the Marriott Center! This is the first time for me so I am way excited! The MTC is great and all but I am so excited to get to New Zealand! This week I sprained my ankle... I rolled it pretty good. It immediately started swelling and is now starting to bruise but its noting too bad! Every now and then I get a little bit home sick but it's only for short periods of time. When it comes to companions you just gotta have patience or you are going to end up punching a wall and breaking your fist. Speaking of that... Elder Tapusoa (our zone leader) ended punching a wall the other day and he cut his fist open. Lesson learned, don't punch walls." Well I am headin' out for the week so God be with you till we meet again
Well here is my first post! I am officially a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I head off to the Provo MTC tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. I am very excited to serve! I am excited to experience the MTC and then be shipped off to New Zealand! I will keep you updated! Love you all!