Sunday, 8 December 2013

Monday 9th December 2013 - Zone Conference and Sad News

Me and Elder Anitema
This week has been an awesome week! Caught up with one of the brothers back home, Elder Anitema! Was good to see how much he has grown out here in the mission field. He is now a Zone Leader for the Gippsland Zone with Elder Urry. They both gave a great training on how to be a full-purpose missionary. It was a great day on Thursday.

Our beloved APs Elder Lambe (left) and Elder Faavae (right)
We also received prime trainings from our APs. They taught us how to work with the members more effectively as missionaries and help them invite others into the Gospel, Elder Faavae will be missed as this will be his last transfer before he leaves to go back home to Brisneyland. I learn so much from these great missionaries!

Me, Suma Ah Fua and Elder Mitchell
It is sad to see my companion Elder Mitchell leave this beloved area of Hallam! I only spent 6 weeks with him and already our Heavenly Father has another plan for him. They say that when you get a good companion time flys by very quickly, I think that is true! haha I have learnt many things from this Elder and look forward to catching up with him in the near future, wish all the best mate! Take care.

Beast Feed!
Once again the Lemalu family has treated us with an awesome feed to finish this week! We have some Oka, some Kalo, some Chicken, some Povi Masima and some Pork! Yes all of us were smashed after haha. Welcome to Hallam Ward mate!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Monday 2nd December 2013 - Study, Narre Warren, Brothers and Sunday Feeds

Study Time
Kicked off this past week with a couple of study sessions from the Book of Mormon, always love reading of the many stories contained within this book especially about the 2000 stripling warriors! and also of the many missionaries who preached the gospel during that time. As a missionary I am always grateful for the time that we have to study each day about The Book of Mormon to learn more about the gospel but more so to help our friends and our investigators gain a testimony of its divinity.

Narre Warren Zone!
We also had our zone meeting on Wednesday! It was good to catch up with the fellow missionaries within our zone and receive some spiritual nourishment from our beloved Zone Leaders Elder Asher and Elder Evans, we are sad to be seeing Elder Evans leave as it is his last transfer here in the Australia Melbourne Mission, it has been awesome to have known him, we wish him all the best in his future endeavours! 

Elder Apulu and Elder Mitchell (Kings of Hallam)
Well you know it! haha. The Kings of Hallam are here, this transfer has been awesome with my fellow companion Elder Mitchell! He reigns from the same land from which we sailed from.....Auckland New Zealand but is from the North Shore. We worked it out and yes we basically live 20 minutes away from each other! Going to be good to catch up when we finish our missions. Hopefully we get to stay another transfer together in the amazing Hallam Ward. So much memories I will never forget.

Another Lemalu Sunday Feed
Yesterday once again, Elder Lubrido, Elder Mcmurray, Elder Mitchell and I were smashed with the feast of death at the Lemalu family home. As you can see we had 2 trays of taro for the Poly missionaries and some cabonara pasta for the Palagi missionaries haha, then we some delicious fried chicken thighs and chicken wings! I have to say every time Sister Lemalu cooks, you cannot stop at 1 plate of food, well I guess that's just me! haha. Sundays are total bliss here in the Hallam Ward!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Monday 25th of November 2013 - Quick Update

Sons of Helaman Coin (Front)
So I thought I might give a quick update on what has been transpiring these past couple of weeks here in the beloved area of Hallam. I received in a package 2 coins, 1 gold and 1 silver that I ordered online from Point Emblems. They look meeeeaaaaan! I thought I might grab them just to keep as memorials and reminders of where I come from and what I am doing here out in the mission field.
Sons of Helaman Coin (Back)
Armor of God Coin (Front)
Armor of God Coin (Back)
Sunday feed at the Lemalus
On our missionary meal roster, every Sunday is crossed out by the Lemalu family so every single Sunday without fail my companion Elder Mitchell and I are very blessed to have the Lemalu family provide us with a huge feast.....literally haha. They cook the best Polynesian food that I have ever tasted! Besides my mothers hehe. 
Yet another Sunday feed at the Lemalus
As you can see we are well taken care of here in the Hallam Ward within regards to food haha. 
Sioli Family
It was awesome to catch up with the Sioli family! Mos, Mata and their 3 beautiful girls. Family friends that moved to Melbourne from Sydney not long ago. They provided us with a wonderful dinner and desert. Such a small world we have here!
Elder Mitchell getting lined up at the Phresh Barbershop
Last Monday we went down the Phresh. The best barbers in the world! haha. It is run by the Fifita family who are members from the Melton Ward. Us missionaries are lucky because they all line us up for free! So much blessings. Grateful for everyone's service to us boys.
Reyes Family Dinner
Every Sunday night as well we are invited to attend a family home evening at one of our Phillipino families in the ward, there are 4 families, so every Sunday night we have a Phillipino feast! So yeah basically they destroy your stomachs in this area haha.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Monday 21st October 2013 - New Area, New Brothers and New Friends

Me and Elder Talaipa
It has been ages since I have created a blog entry! My apologies, to cut a long story short I left my camera charger in my previous area and I still haven't received it so I have been taking heaps of photos until it ran out and now the battery is dead so all of these pictures are what have transpired since last transfer.
Me and Elder Vao
I was very blessed to have been apart of a baptism on my 1st week in the new area of Hallam in the Narre Warren Zone. It is a heavily populated polynesian area. Kind of reminds me of back home. Feels like I'm back in New Zealand haha.
Elder Alaalatoa, Me, Elder Mitchell and Elder Vao
At the baptism Elder Alaalatoa, Elder Vao, my companion Elder Faletoese and I were priviliged to have provided the prelude musical item. The spirit was felt strongly as we sang My Real Hero, a song about the Savior and his Atonement.
Farewelling Elder Zinck
At the previous transfer meeting it was very sad to farewell one of the brothers from back home in Campbelltown Sydney, Elder Zinck!. He is at home now probably catching up with all the fams and kicking back. Time has gone by too fast. Missionaries just seem to be coming and going really quick out here on the field. They will all be missed.
Sister Epa, Me and Sister Trego 
Was also sad to have farewelled Sister Trego! She has departed back home to Perth after her 18 months as a superb sister missionary here in Melbourne, she is missed by many. Sister Epa accompanied her to her last baptism and also participated in the interlude musical item with Sister Trego. They have amazing voices! Lucky for us Sister Epa still has a while to go so we will still hear some of her musical talents in the near future.
Olivia, Me and Nofo
Now I definitely know that the world is a small place because who would of thought that the Tuilagi twins who were in my ward back in Auckland, New Zealand had just moved into the ward that I got transferred to here down in Melbourne Australia! Haha. Was so good to catch up with them and talk about the Hendo YSA back home. Miss my YSA! This transfer has been so full already of life, faith building and spiritually refreshing experiences. I love my new area, my new companion and my new Hallam Ward family. Life is good!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Monday 16th September 2013 - Mission Conference

This past week was awesome! The whole Australia Melbourne Mission (except those serving in Tasmania) gathered together to receive wise words of council and love from one of our beloved general authorities Elder Pearson, he was accompanied by his wife and President and Sister Maxwell. When they entered the Heidelberg Stake Centre in Fairfield, Elder Pearson requested that all missionaries present shake his and his wife's hand, just so they could get the chance to greet everyone personally, what an experience that was! As I shook Elder Pearson's hand he looked straight into my eyes and said "Elder Apulu, How are you?"  I just smiled and told him that I am well and loving this work! so spiritually uplifting as a missionary to speak to a general authority face to face. Another exiting thing about mission conferences is that you get to meet up with all your fellow missionaries that you have served around. I was privileged to walk out of the stake centre and grab a picture with my trainer Elder Mcphee, his 1st son Elder Miller and his 3rd son Elder Haenga, yes I am the 2nd son haha mean heritage photo.
My companion and I were blessed again to have been given a lift by our fellow Fairfield missionaries Elder Napa and Elder Wilson, after the conference we headed back to their flat with our fellow Elders in the Caulfield Area Elder Solomon and Elder Pipers. Then after receiving so much spiritual food for the day we proceeded to grab some physical food at the local KFC. A day to remember!


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Monday 9th September 2013 - Temple, Family Reunion and Costco

What a glorious week! Our zone was indeed blessed and priviliged to attend the Australia Melbourne Temple on Thursday. My companion and I arose at 5:00am (the earliest time I have risen on the mission field! haha earlier the better I guess) in the morning to make a trip out to our fellow missionaries in the Fairfield area Elder Napa and Elder Wilson who were our means of transportation to the temple. We enjoyed our spiritually uplifting day with them filled with jokes, laughs and Maccas.
So grateful to Brother and Sister Frew who took us to Costco to do a bit of shopping and shouted us lunch, as you can see everything you buy there is MASSIVE! Cannot believe I found two New Zealand products, some good old Griffin's bickies and the only number one, authentic corn beef in the entire world PALMS! haha, believe it or not all of this was polished in a matter of days.......not by me aha, we shared some with our Fairfield missionaries and gave the whole tray of muffins to our office staff. Looking forward to the next time we go there, straight up a missionary's dream shopping centre.
And to finish off this glorious week, I was honoured to have been reunited with my family here in Mlebourne, brought back memories of when I was little, time flys by too fast when your out here serving, cuzzy Nick shouted me and my companion to the all-you-can-eat buffet named the Kitchen Workshop in the Crown Hotel in the city, the food was DELICIOUS! really really tasty, enjoyed the company of friends and family. Going the miss them but alas this work must go forward. Loving the mission field! 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Monday 2nd September 2013 - Rainbows, Family, White Shirts and Ties

And the 3rd week of my 5th transfer has come to an end, has been very interesting this past week, on Friday we had to the privilege of journeying into the city of Melbourne to drop off a Persian Book of Mormon to our Zone Leaders Elder Smith and Elder Glover, luckily we had 1 left over from teaching our Persian investigator Arash, so as we made the journey back from the drop off we jumped off at North Melbourne Station only to see a massive rainbow directly above us, we could not let this opportuniy pass us by so me and my companion captured our pots of gold.
I was also priviliged to catch up with my Fitisemanu Family here in Melbourne, was soooooooo good to be around cuzzy Nick, his wife Vanessa, son Remi, daughter Esme and brother Andrew, the last time I got to see them was about 10 years ago! When I was a little snot nosed kid haha. Time literally flys these days, they prepared a huge feed for me and my companion, a good old Fitisemanu barbeque! hehe, will definitely be catching up again with them soon.
To finish off a wonderful week, me and my companion were indeed blessed to witness the confirmation of our recent convert Arash by our beloved Bishop, the Spirit was felt in abundance after the blessing as he arose from his chair and shook all of our hands, what was also speical that sabbath morning was that Arash had not worn a white shirt and tie before so our bishop beforehand guessed his size and brought along one of his spare ties, me and my companion quickly rushed into one of the classrooms in the chapel and helped him get dressed into his new sabbath attire, once he was dressed he was so happy and we knew straight away how he was feeling, he  also promised us that he was going to wear that shirt and tie every sunday! He is the man! Going to miss him when I leave this area. Good times.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Monday 26th of August 2013 - Dinners, Zone Conference, Arash and Pants

What an awesome week it has been, just finished our 2nd week of transfers! Had 3 dinner appoinments with 3 familes in our little Footscray ward, broke our last record of 2 dinner appoinments in 1 week haha, my companion and I smashed a couple of Costco pizzas on Thursday night with the Wilkes family, the slices were humungus! I only had 4 and I was done, my companion managed to put down 3, we were toast after that. Was pretty funny walking up hill to catch the bus home with our stomachs full of American pizza. Definitely a memorable night.
On Friday, we woke up nice and early at 5:30am just to get ready and catch the 6:54 bus down to our local Yarraville train station, we hopped on a couple of trains and finally reached our intended destination which was the Heidelberg Stake Centre in Fairfield. There we waited patiently and reverently for our beloved mission president and his wife President and Sister Maxwell to commence our Zone Conference which was combined with the Craigieburn Zone. We received so much rich teachings, inspirations and trainings from our Mission President, his wife, the APs and our Zone Leaders Elder Smith, Elder Glover, Elder Su'a and Elder Faavae. What made this experience even more rewarding was the chance to reuinite with my fellow missionaries from the 14th of February 2013 MTC intake! Did a little catch up and wished each other luck in our various areas.
On Saturday we were called into the area of Flemington by a Sudanese family called the Duts who wanted to share some lunch with us, since we arrived 30 minutes early to the appoinment and there was no one around we thought we could do a bit of sight seeing before we headed in, so as we were walking under the Flemington bridge I noticed some graffitti on the foundation of the bridge and what do you know, somone from my area back in New Zealand decided to tag "Henderson West AUX" on it. Hendo allday everyday! haha.
What topped off this amazing week was when our good friend Arash from Iran decided to enter the waters of baptism. After teaching him and following up on the previous date extended by Elder Lubrido and Elder Pipers he believed it was time to start anew. He has given up so much just to follow in his beliefs as a Christian, when the bapstim was performed by my companion Elder Nyanhamo and as Arash arose from the water he stretched forth his hands in the air and yelled "YES!" haha, then he proceeded to give Elder Nyanhamo a big hug, the spirit was felt so strongly and each of them embraced each other and brothers in the Gospel, I was priviliged to speak at Arash's baptism on Faith in Jesus Christ and Repentance, my companion finished it off with his talk on Baptism and the Holy Ghost. After the service finished our bishop, Bishop Steed welcomed him into the Footscray family, he was so excited that when we got home he rang us and said "I am so happy!" He is proud to now be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Unfortunately when I arrived home, my companion informed me that the holes in my pants were no longer sewable haha!, these past few weeks I have been using my imagination and wearing my black basketball shorts underneath my tracting pants so that no one could see the holes, but after constantly jumping on and off the bikes the holes just kept getting bigger and bigger until they were past the point of no return. Luckily I had a spare pair of pants handy which were a bit smaller but nonetheless they did the job! haha. Mission life is the best! So many spiritual, hilarious, uptlifting, funny and inpspiring experiences, wouldn't give this up for anything!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Tuesday 13th August 2013 - Goodbyes and Hellos

Sadly my 4th transfer on the mission field had come to an end, was priviliged to have sung in a missionary choir consisting of many Elders and Sisters that had amazing voices at the Heidelberg Stake Missionary Fireside, one that was aimed at inspiring the future generations of the church about serving missions and the blessings that would come from it. Our beloved mission president's wife Sister Maxwell led our choir with precision and exactness, extracting the full potential of all of our different voices and blending them all into one. We had Lagi Setu (previous Melbourne Storms NRL player) as a guest speaker, I could see straightaway all the boys in the congregation start to change their views about their rugby league careers and lean towards their missions, I believe that we achieved our goal! Straight after the fireside it was good to catch up with one of my fellow Elders from the Cragieburn Zone Elder Tuhoro! He is still soldiering on there haha the man! Was such a spiritually uplifting and inspiring night.
 Unfortunately the 3 amigos have been dispanded haha Elder Lubrido (left) has been transferred to the bush in the Shepparton Branch, Elder Pipers (middle) has been transferred to the Caulfield Ward which is still in the same district! and Elder Nyanhamo (right) is staying with me in Footscray, we will miss all the memories, laughs and crashing our bikes haha, defintely have made another two brothers for life! Go hard in your new areas boys.
(from left to right) Elder Williams, Elder Dollery, Elder Gines and Elder Woodruff. Elder Dollery and Elder Gines are the new 'greenies' in our district. Funny story though when Elder Dollery walked in I immediately thought to myself "I seen this guy before" so we started chatting away and somehow our conversation led to the  January 2010 Canberra E.F.Y and it turns out we were both in the same troop! haha small world I tell yah. Good to be serving alongside him in the mighty Australia Melbourne Mission! Such an exciting time to be serving! Caulfield District represent!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Saturday 10th of August 2013 - The Leha Family

After a wonderful 4th transfer with my companion Elder Nyanhamo (from Zimbabwe), we were privileged to witness on the last Saturday of the transfer the baptism of Rebecca Leha by her husband Filimone Leha, a big congratulations to their awesome family and for our fellow Footscray missionaries Elder Lubrido (from Phillipines) and Elder Pipers (from Sunshine Coast) for being there for them every step of the way on their journey towards the waters of baptism, it was so moving to see Filimone's father confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon him before baptizing his wife and then conferring Rebecca with the gift of the Holy Ghost just after, such a spiritually refreshing experience watching miracles performed in other individuals lives right before my eyes, would not give this up for anything! The baptismal service ended well with our bishop, Bishop Steed welcoming the family into the Footscray Ward. It is saddening though to see our fellow brethren Elder Lubrido and Elder Pipers leaving us this transfer, looks like me and Elder Nyanhamo will be soldiering on here in Footscray for another 6 weeks, can't wait to get back to it! I love this work.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Friday 9th August 2013


Finally the time has come.......for me to start a blog haha, this is solely just to keep all my family and friends updated on how I am venturing out here in the awesome Australia Melbourne Mission! a.k.a The Mighty A.M.M! So stay in tune folks for updates, pictures and possibly some videos on my journey out here in the mission field. Much Love

Elder Apulu