"For God hath not given the spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND." 2 Timothy 1:7
Do not be afraid or ashamed of the gospel you bear, for Christ is your companion wherever you go!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 5, 2012

Dad, I just have to say, I am an Elder not a Braden haha. It is a very important calling, so important. I'm in charge of saving souls and if I don’t do my best, I’m in trouble with Lord haha. Time flies like it’s nothing, next week is my 9 month mark, it’s going by so fast.   It was a great week to meet with President Kezerian and get some great advice on how to be a more effective missionary for my Savior. President Kezerian told me in our interview last week that I need to get moving just a little faster because my mission is getting shorter and shorter...and it definitely is.  President Kezerian has deeply inspired my life, he helped me so much last week it is amazing.  He told me the Lord loves me and that He wants me here at this time. He said I am doing what the Lord wants me to do.  President also said that he vividly knew I should be here in Napier at this time because the Lord vividly revealed it to him.  I believe that.  We have the Priesthood of God, the right to become Kings and Priests forever after the order of Melchezidek, to have Eternal Life even as our Father in Heaven has, which eternal life is the life God lives himself. We have the authority to have things revealed to us, to move mountains and create worlds without end if we are worthy, sanctified and willing.  It is this priesthood that caused that great miracle with Grandpa, that wasn’t coincidence, I know it was the power of God.  I read a book called "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven" it’s only 88 pages and it changed my life and my perspective.  You should find it and read it dad, it is absolutely amazing.

I’m glad to always hear of the great things going on back home.  I am over joyed to hear from you today mom.  It’s just been a rough week but we keep moving forward.  I sure hope people feel the spirit I take to their home, I pray it will always. People treat us like we are monsters haha. I know that this is the work of my Savior though so I will keep pushing right along!  I’m glad to prepare the lessons for family home evening haha, that’s awesome!  I have learned so much about the priesthood over the past few weeks and we truly don’t live up to our privilege to have the Priesthood, we always need to be working harder and harder so that we can use this great blessing of power righteously.  We need to be ready for the promptings of the spirit and in the right mindset to hear them so that we can be guided in the light of Christ. Thank you Mom for raising me to realize the great blessings and privileges we have.  I am truly humbled each and every day when I put my badge on to represent the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing our Father's children to the knowledge of the truth.  President Kezerian told me he had a Vivid revelation from the Lord to send me to this area to be District Leader at this time. I am truly blessed to have such a great mission President.  He told me that the Lord loves me and I just burst into tears, because you know me I always think I’m twenty steps behind the mark but I’m in fact twenty steps ahead.  I love my savior and I will burn as many shoes as I can in his service.

I haven’t got a suit yet, it’s going to cost me about 179 dollars here and if I need shoes another 50 so I am just saving my money up. I will let you know what I need and when I need it.  Mom can you just save what you are going to send me and send it for my birthday? then that’s the half way mark and I should be able to use it all for another year.  Thank you mom for your support temporally and spiritually. I am so grateful for you Mom.  And when you send something, can you cut it in half and I will give the other to my companion? Love you Mom!

Oh Mom, the members love me now! hahaha. I got myself loved. the oldest member in the branch calls me her "pakeha grandson" hahaha. Pakeha is like saying white people. We had a stake songfest on Saturday where each ward had to sing one hymn, a primary song and a fun song and then they had five minutes to dance on stage. Well our priesthood is relatively small so I got to participate in the songfest.  Well we sang you can make the pathway bright, you are my sunshine and Jesus wants me for a sunbeam then danced to dancing queen and waterloo by Abba hahahaha. Well Mom I went all out and had everyone laughing so hard as I was dancing in my suit, some of the members got me on camera so I will see if I can get the footage for you because It was absolutely hilarious, well our ward won a prize for it so I was happy and as I was walking off stage everyone was like "ki ora elder' "great dancing elder" "good one bro." hahahaha. It was so funny. So all the kids and the members and the youth love me to pieces now so when I asked for referrals they all hop skipped jumped to give us some people to visit hahaha. I will look for that lady that Shae met. She is lucky she mixed up the nationality in America because it wouldn’t have been good if she mixed it up here ha-ha, aussies and kiwis are like PG and AF ha-ha. 

I am glad Brooklyn found the good things out of girls camp, sounds like me after scout camp haha.  Love you Brooklyn! I hope they both had fun!! 

Well Trevan this is it man, moving out and becoming a man! Good luck with everything my brother. keep working hard and please remember nothing matters but eternal life, that place is full of party kids, have the courage to say no and remember the Lord is with you wherever you go! I hope you have a great few weeks left with the family! Prepare well to move because it makes for a happy life! Love you my brother.

Oh wow that’s uhm.....that’s not good. Was it the same knee she had problems with before? oh no! Well I better pray for her right now.  Did it slice any tendons or ACL or mcl or meniscus or anything? Far out.  Well she shouldn’t of said bring it on.  I believe in the priesthood of God, if she was blessed to heal and serve a faithful mission she will, especially if the blessing came from her father!  I know it’s the power of God, she will be healed just like anyone. \

Tell her it’s okay, the Lord loves her and he wants the best for her. He knew this was coming, he's coming to the rescue.  He will provide for her, she doesn’t need to worry about the money, the Lord wants her testimony and her divine gift to love everyone around her. I hope she's okay. She will be healed sooner than she thinks, give it 9 weeks, that’s right 3 weeks early! hahaha. :) Hang in there Jessica, the pain will be gone.  Mom have her read Revelation chapter 2-4 and to look for all the verses with the word "overcome" and to look at everything she is promised!! And also to read D&C 122.

I love you Mommy! thank you for everything, all your love, support and care for me.  I am working hard for you, all is going well here.  I am excited to serve the Lord for another 14 months.  I love you. Keep moving forward Mom.

Hey Dad, I hope those agents figure it out before my two years are up or they might lose their Job to me, I will be pre-trained in sales :)  hahaha.  I pray for you every night dad to have the perseverance and the patience to keep moving forward in this Job you have been in for 22 years  keep up the hard work dad.  I think I finally realize how hard it really is doing the same job everyday, the same things over and over again.  But It’s a blessing to have a job and it’s a blessing to be a missionary.  I found that if we let ourselves look negative at things, we just get more frustrated and tired.  Keep going strong Dad.  I want you to read Revelation chapters 2-4 and pick out all of the verses that use the word "overcome." and look at all the blessings that come when we overcome things in this life temporal and spiritual. And I know Heavenly Father doesn’t get annoyed, I think he just laughs at us :) hahahaha.

That is so awesome those two trips you had with Trevan, wish I could be there, but I’m here. That’s great you are spending as much time with him as possible. I really enjoyed all the things we did right before I left, I really appreciate it dad.  I love you so much for the many opportunities you have given me to learn, experience and grow in this life. Thank you Dad.

I hope you all have a great time at Lake Powell!! Make sure someone does the seal action and noises :) hahaha.  Don’t get to tan, I might mistake you for a Maori when I get home haha. Thanks for the email Dad and the great fishing stories, I know the 18 inch cutthroat will be 24 inches by the time I get home :) hahahaq. Love you Dad, have a great week.

Love Elder Cottle  

July 29, 2012

You are more than welcome for the pictures. Its about time i get them emailed to you. I was not able to print pictures last week. I am in the city today though so I can get some printed! I am on exchange with Elder Heinricks from Alberta Canada! He is the Zone Leader here, an awesome missionary.  I'm glad you liked the pictures Mom.  It has been a great week, we have some good people to teach the gospel this week, it will be alot of fun.  I work with the members alot in the area and I was able to go on a few trade offs this week.  I have been blessed to have many experiences with the spirit this week using the Priesthood of God. We are so blessed to have the Priesthood of God is a blessing far beyond our level of understanding. The authority to bless the sick and dishearted is a great blessing. 

I have some great friends in this ward, Bro. Mowser, Bro. Maaka, Biship Tohiariki, Bro. and Sis. Halbert. I always have great relationships with the members for some reason.  Everyday is knock knock knock here.  I'm excited for the blessings that will come because of patience.

This week I was able to attend a Melchezidek Priesthood Fireside where a man Henewini (Selwyn) Jones spoke. (look him up on the internet, he is basically new zealands John Bytheway.) He is so awesome. He spoke on Covenants and the Priesthood.  In Exodus we learn about how covenants were made.  The covenants were made through a sacrifice, (our covenants are made by the sacrifice of Christ and also the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit) by taking an unblemished animal usually a lamb . And when the lamb was sacrificed, the covenant was made.  And where there is a covenant there is a penalty for breaking the covenant.  When they made covenants they promised God to keep the covenant and receive the penalty for breaking it if they broke the promise. Well the penalty for breaking the covenant was that what they did to sacrifice the animal would happen to them. Crazy huh? Well we learn that when Judas, Christ's apostle broke the covenant and betrayed Jesus, he was hung and his insides spilled out (just like the animal used for the sacrifice).  Crazy! Our covenants are so serious. 

 Then He talked about the Priesthood and took us to the Doctrine and covenants and also Timothy in the bible where it talks about perilous times.  He said that the Priesthood of God could stop an atomic bomb, a pandemic, a plague, a war even if we SANCTIFY OURSELVES then he gave ten points to sanctify ourselves.  1. Morning and evening prayers individual and family. 2. Live worthy of the companionship of the holy ghost by keeping all commandaments 3. Maintain love trust and understanding, and also support in the family unit 4. Maintain positive thoughts actions and conversation, anger will drive the holy ghost and it will take a long time to get it back. 5. Keep fit and healthy with regular exercise and good eating and sleeping habits. 6. Stand in holy places and accept counsel from leaders 7. Be involved daily in missionary work 8. Live the word of wisdom to the fullest and maintain high moral standard, be honest and true. 9. have short and long term goals. work and save to achieve them. 10. Renew Covenants weekly and keep the sabbath day holy.  (sorry two more :) 11. Give service regularly. 12. Regular temple attendance.  Remember, it takes 6 to 8 weeks to sanctify ourselves and get in the habit of these twelve things but we are promised to be so powerful in the priesthood that we can use it to heal the sick, and even raise the dead and help the blind to see and even move mountains.  If we can exercise faith enought to sanctify ourselves and keep all the commandments removing ourselves from the world, we have faith enought to move mountains!

It is great to hear from you mom, please give this message to the whole family for family night tonight.

That is so awesome Trevan is up on the wakeboard now! :) And Jessica can take my spot (and my life jacket if she makes it smell good :) on the boat at lake powel only if she promises to do a 360 backflip aeriel on the wakeboard and sends me a picture of it :) hahahaha, nah! Jokes. Go have fun Jessica! I hope you all have a great trip to lake powell send me pictures okay???  It sounds like you are all doing great! Brooklyn congrats on lead Cello.  Girls keep staying beautiful! :)

Sorry time is short.
I love you all with all my heart, might mind and soul.

Love Elder Cottle

Dear Mount Mahogany 8th Ward Young Men July 15, 2012

Dear Bro. Chris Blackhurst & MM 8th Ward Young Men.

Having been on the mission for eight months to the day now, I have learned many things about life and especially about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I could have learned no where else in the world.  I have been thankful for what I had done to prepare to serve the Lord for two years but also wish I could go back and do a few things to prepare more effectively.  I am thankful for the work ethic I fostered before coming out here because without it I would have been wasting my time.  Above all things, hard work pays the most and goes the furthest.  Here are a few suggestions for each of you to prepare effectively to serve the mission.

1. Read the Book of Mormon, Study it!

2. Read the Bible, at least the New Testament.  The world knows the Bible and if you know the Bible, you can have a greater influence on people.    You can link the Bible to the Book of Mormon in many ways.  Study and find those links. Find the links to the Restoration.

3. Study Preach My Gospel.  Get Familiar with the lessons now, get familiar with the mission schedule. If you think you can learn them in the MTC,   you are mistaken.  There are so many things that go on in the mission field you don't have time to learn the doctrines last minute.  Start now.

"Before ye seek to declare my word, seek to obtain my word."

 In the mission we declare the word of God, so seek to obtain it now!

4. Begin Talking with everyone you come in contact with, practice starting conversations and getting to know people quickly.  I have seen so much   time wasted because missionaries are scared to talk with people.  You are expected to talk with 150-200 people every week and have a gospel   discussion with them. Become a talker now, develop those people skills.

 2 Timothy 1:7-"For God hath not given the spirit of fear, but of POWER   and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND." Do not be afraid or ashamed of the gospel you bear, for Christ is your companion wherever you go!

5. Be Prepared! When you get to the mission field you get trained for 12 weeks, after those 12 you could be training like me haha. And after only seven   months you could be a district leader, I’ve seen missionaries become leaders in the mission after just three months. Be prepared to take anything   by the horns.

6. BE EXACTLY OBEDIENT. Obedience is the price we pay for miracles. By obedience we show our faith to our Heavenly Father.  By obedience  we obtain the spirit and without the spirit we cannot do anything! Practice being submissive, obedient and humble.  At times wethink  rules are dumb  but they are there for our joy and happiness, just accept them as they come. Pray for strength.

7. Do Everything to make your testimony hard as rock.  "Remember that it is upon the rock of our redeemer who is Christ the son of God that  ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea his shafts in the whirlwind, yea when all his hail and his   mighty storm shall beat upon you it shall have no pwer over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon  which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, wheron if men build they cannot fall."  The Lord is building us into men on the mission. And we can   recieve no witness until after the trial of our faith.  Our faith is constantly tested and tried in the mission field. Build upon that rock now so that you   will not be shaken in anything.

The mission is awesome! You will meet great people, you will see miracles, your faith will become as iron. You will come to know the gospel more vastly. The Gospel is so complete and so simple yet so complicated, we learn more everyday, but we can learn more and faster than ever on the mission.

The mission is 10 years of university, only the professor is God Himself, all powerful, all loving all knowledgable.  You gain skills and trades here far beyond anything you can learn at home.  Maybe sometimes we feel the gospel is boring, church is boring, the scriptures are boring.  Above all, I testify that The Gospel of Christ is everything! Nothing else matters.  Ipod, X-box, computer, facebook, movies, tv..you name all the material things of the world and it all adds up to nothing.  Money cannot buy salvation, it cannot purchase true happiness. Only Christ can purchase true happiness and salvation through His blood. Come unto Him and purchase bread without money and without price. Bring other to Him. Come on a mission and experience the greatest blessing of life. Come experience the joy, the treasures, the wisdom. Nothing else matters!

In Mosiah Chapter 9 we learn about the people of Zeniff and their war with the Lamanites to take back their own land.  Zeniff arms the people with bows, arrows, cimeters, swords, clubs and all manner of weapons of war that they could INVENT! They took upon themselves the full armor of God, the breastplate of faith, the helmet of salvation the sword of truth. They prayed and supplicated with the Lord that they might be successful that the Lord would deliver them!  God hear their prayers and delivered them out of the hands of the Lamanites.  Now liken this to yourselves. Prepare for battle, your time is almost here. It comes quick.  Take upon yourselves the full armor of God, pray for strength, arm yourselves with all manner of weapons that you can INVENT!  The scriptures, your prayers, your fasting, your love for the Savior, take up all these weapons and join the ranks!

I Testify that this is the Work of Our Savior Jesus Christ, this is His great and marvelous work and a wonder.  Fill yourselves with the attributes of Christ, learn them in PMG chapter 6.  They will bless you.  Drink deeply from the words of life in the scriptures daily, they will bless your life. I Testify that God lives, He has a great plan for us, Christ Lives, He has saved us from sin and death.  Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, Christ directs His church through Him. Joseph Smith did see God the Father and His son Jesus Christ He was a prophet of God! The Book of Mormon is True.

 In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Braden Cottle

New Zealand Wellington Mission

Missionary for the Lord Jesus Christ

New Zealand Pictures 2012

Elder Cottle Waitara New Zealand
Elder Cottle with Xavier , Elder Ross and Elder Fafita

This one's for Dad and Trevan

Xavier's Baptism

July 22, 2012

Well I’m glad I was able to send a letter to the YM . That’s great! I have many weaknesses but I am blessed with the ability to articulate and convey my thoughts and feelings and knowledge (the little I have)  You know those things I said in my letter to them are very real, it is scary how real they are.  Miracles don’t just come to us, miracles can only be experienced and opened by a triple tumbler combination lock. One tumbler falls when we exercise faith to pray, the next tumbler falls according to our personal righteousness, and the last tumbler falls in place if the thing we ask for is expedient in his infinite wisdom. So yes exact obedience is the price we pay for miracles. Miracles fill the hunger of our spirit, just like buying food at the grocery store to fill our physical hunger, we must also check out with the miracle. These things are not just free, but the Lord has shown us the way to acquire all things we stand in need of through faith, prayer, and obedience. I’m glad that those young men were able to take something away from the things I had to say.
I'm glad to hear that Trevan was able to make it to the High Adventure Camp! I hope he is doing better.  Ironically we just gave a priesthood blessing to a little girl who just had her tonsils out, she had a website up on her computer that allowed her to type what she had to say then the computer would say it, pretty cool. That camp must have been awesome, I glad dad and Trevan had such a great time. Dad is going on all these fishing trips now that I’m gone, I must be bad luck.....keep catching those fish dad cus when I get home, no more fish :) hahaha. Hope you and Trevan have a great time on the fishing trip at Island Park! Hey Trevan, hope you feel better man, keep being strong dude.  You sound like you are getting huge man! I better step up my work out in the morning or you will be stronger and taller one day ha-ha.

Brooklyn, I am so proud of you, soloing in front of hundreds of people! shux! keep up the good voice. Everyday I practice the hymns and try to sing like you but it just doesn’t work so I started singing while pulling back and forth on the skin of my neck, my companion can’t stop laughing when I do that! :) Keep practicing that violin and cello, haha, keep doing so well at sounding out the song :) Shaelynne, stop driving so much! can you even see over the steering wheel? hahaha, just kidding. That must be exciting having all that freedom to drive and take Brooklyn everywhere and do fun things.  Continue to be safe. Don’t ever drive before having a prayer of faith for safety!
Who is reading their scriptures everyday????? I have a challenge. Finish the Book of Mormon by Christmas! Will you all strive to finish by Christmas?? I promise that as you read the Book of Mormon, you can apply everything you learn to your everyday life, it takes some thought, but I promise that it will bless you in your life, you will have more strength to do the many busy things you have to do, you will feel the peace and love of our heavenly father enter in your hearts, you will feel the holy spirit leading you and guiding you, you will have increase desire and strength to choose the right! 

My area is going okay.  Those baptism dates were for a couple of younger boys and they fell through because we want to get the whole family. Everyday we experience miracles on the streets we knock.  On Friday we knocked all day long! We found this  man named Morris who told us about some experiences he has had through prayer, he got a job, he is now able to buy a house for his family and then he said, "and now you two show up to my door." we gave him a Book of Mormon and then taught the entire first lesson there on his doorstep.  We have given out more than six BOM's this week so our area is getting blessed. My companion Elder Eneri was able to do his first baptism this week in the sisters area for a Kirabus family.  That was a neat experience. The girl had a big fluffy white dress on so He had to dunk her for practice then baptize :) Elder Eneri put her under the water then kept pushing the dress down haha, I wish I could show you what it looked like.  What a neat experience.  There are people getting baptized in my last area and in New Plymouth where I worked for three weeks. Things are going well.  I’m excited for the things ahead.  I have 100% of the members trust here in Omahu ward in Napier. It’s awesome. Yesterday I was able to give four priesthood blessings to people with the flu.  There is a flu epidemic in new Zealand and its knocking everyone flat, I thought I got it this morning but it was just that dumb migraine I get once in a while. but Christchurch has a lot of people in the hospital, anyways, remember in your prayers.  Christchurch must be a wicked place, earthquakes and plagues. 
Keep up the great work family, I love you all.
Love Elder Cottle.

P.S. Mom thank you for always thinking of me, I can feel your love everyday. I am doing good on my uniform, Just go day by day.  I have really learned how to sew by hand haha!  I will let you know what else I need :) Thank You mom!!! I’m getting pictures today and am also attaching some to this email.

July 15, 2012

It has been a great week in my new area in the Omahu ward. We get fed every night of the week and Im becoming a big boy :) haha. I am safe from my bike crash, not a scratch on me just had pound to the ground :) but i am lucky there wasnt a car because I wrecked into the middle of the road haha :) Miracles happen!
I dont know whats going on with me out here, Im growing, changing, and who knows what next.  My first week as District Leader went well.  The District Leader is responsible for conveying information from the mission President to the other missionaries, every week we have a District meeting where we help eachother learn how to become better missionaries. I am in charge of six missionaries and all of their areas. I record numbers for each companionship and add them together and send them into the zone.  Last night was a late night, didnt get down until 11pm, I guess thats what happens. I was on the phone with the Zone Leaders until 1030 sorting things out for the district.  My area isnt doing to well but since district meeting on thursday the other two areas in the district caught on fire.  The sisters in the district set four baptism dates and have 15 progressing investigators. The Zone leader set two baptism dates and have 7 progressing. We have two dates  and only 2 progressing so everyday is knock knock who's there. haha. ITs great though.  Im sorry I dont have much time again.  I am terrible.  We actually have more of a work day than a p-day today haha.
Thank you for helping me out mom :) You're the best at working everything out haha!
Its great to hear about Jessica, you and the family are very kind and loving to her.  Thats awesome thank you.  Thats cool to hear that you went over when she opened her call.  I know she has strong faith, she is excited.  I know that she is called there for a wise purpose in God.  She will be great, I mean look at the sisters in my district.
I will keep Trevan in my prayers.
I Love you ! :)

Love, Elder Braden Cottle

July 8, 2012

Yeah Elder Tamale has gone home.  He was sad to leave but now im in his area with his companion :) I took 100 dollars out of that account because I need to buy a suit when I find a good deal, I gave one to Elder Temahuki, he really needed it. And the one that Elder tamale gave me I am giving to Elder Eneri my companion. So Im left to one suit thats getting pretty tight haha. But I haven't bought a suit yet, you know me, I will look for the best deals haha. I will do pictures today I promise. Thank you for reminding me. Ive been meaning to do it it was just hard, didnt get to do anything I wanted with my last companion. Its great to be here in the Omahu Ward in Napier, awesome place, we have a dinner appointment every night of the week!!! Im really going to gain weight now! haha. Its funny being district leader to the zone leaders and the sisters, all older in the mission haha. I must need to learn something!  Its been good here we have a ward missionary, Rodney, he comes with us everyday, he is with us right now too haha. We have some good laughs. 
Crazy Shae is drivin on the road now? watch out!!! first they hit the curb then the mailboxes :) hahaha. Awesome shae!! Trevan is too big for a motorcycle haha. What is he thinking? tell him mission first, think mission first. jBrooklyn sang at the Roundup??? What!! Go cowgirl brooklyn! Keep up the great talents and hard work!

I have a new favorite scripture, 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind...Therefore be partakers in the afflictions of Christ"

Love Elder Cottle

Dear Mom,
My travel to my new area was great, 8 hours on the bus haha. Im excited to be here and to have the opportunity to serve as a District Leader. The Area is low in investigators so Elder Eneri and I are knocking doors everyday! The ward mission leader is 75 years old but still going hard. The Bishop is great. Im excited to be in a real chapel in a real ward again :) haha. Elder Tamale did well here so im excited to follow him up. The Earthquake was a 7.0 but was very deep in the earth, thats why it traveled so far but didnt do so much damage. Ive learned alot about earthquakes here. There is the size of the waves then the depth of the wave then the shape of of wave that they account for. I am okay and as a matter of fact we were only 50 kilometers away from the point and didnt even feel it. I think Mt Taranaki blocked the waves where Waitara is at. I am very excited to be in this wonderful area to start fresh and to work harder than ever!

Thats a great story you shared with me about the seminary teacher and the student. When kids would be disobedient in our seminary class, Bro Macfarlane would do 10 pushups for everythings the class did wrong during the day. thats when I was the class seminary president. It was similiar the kids learned alot about the atonement of Jesus Christ. Thankyou mom for the wonderful emails.
I will write for bro. blackhurst and send it in an email next week!! I hope thats okay, i dont have time today on the computer.

I love you Mom, thank you for everything you do!! I just want to let you know I might be buying a suit soon, and my white shirts are depleting, also my shoes are near worn out, both haha! the ones with the square toe are running really thin. So you can be pleased to know im working hard :) I love you all lots!! Keep up the great work and be safe. Dont forget your scriptures and your prayers everynight!!!

Love Elder Cottle

P.S. This week after being dropped off in my new area with Elder Eneri, we were riding the bikes back to the flat in the dark...I was dumb riding no handed and looking all around the area. I turned and looked at my companion in front of me and realized I was going to hit him. Well you know how we have the rear brakes on the right hand and the front brakes on the left hand in the states? yeah its opposite here and I grabbed the front break and went head over in my suit onto the ground hahahahahahhahaha, But I walked away without a scratch hahaha. Miracles! Angels must have caught me. I popped up like i used to in football and lacrosse and my companion was like "are you okay?!" I was like yeah that was nothing, lets go. hahahaha. He just stood there and laughed. so my first hours in my new area were pretty awesome!! So the flat was really dirty but today we made it spick and span. We worked bpretty hard the past few days and have five new investigators to go visit this week. All is well! Thank you Mom, I love you!

July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday DAD!!!
Hope you have a fantastic day. 47 this year huh? Wow. :) I sent a card, I hope you got it by now, if not, sorry.  I found out about transfers on Saturday morning.  Well I finished training here in Waitara and I am leaving. I am going to Omahu, Napier in Hawks Bay, the paradise of the mission, I knew being obedient would pay off.  And here is the crazy news, President Kezerian called on Saturday morning, we are not supposed to know about transfers until the Monday, but he called Saturday and thanked me for training and for doing a good job in my area. Then He told me I would be moving to Omahu, Napier Area....Where I will be serving as a District Leader. I will be with a missionary from the Kirabus Islands Elder Eneri. Funny thing is my Trainer Elder Tamale was is the district leader in the area I am going to and he is going home this week, and I'm going to take his place.

Last night we were visiting all our members in the area and one of our members Bro. McDonald came home with a bunch of Lamprey Eeels, didnt even kill them and threw them in the oven alive.  Then he gave us a big feed of eels.  I ate four of them. Guts and all, man they are good! We get the best seafood down here. Its been a great week and Im looking forward to my new area.  All the missionaries in the district are older than me so its going to be funny being the district leader. But I came here to Serve the Savior and make my family proud so im taking the steps and doing my best. Thank you dad for the email.  Good to hear from you. I hope you have a great birthday! Love you

Mom, How are you today? Im so sorry I havent sent letters for a while, I havn't even got around to sending pictures, im so sorry. My whole mind and strength is towards helping my companion  and serve this branch.  Now Im going District Leader so I will be super busy now! I love you, I promise, I know the best way to show it is to do my best out here and make you proud.  I am doing well and am happy

I love you MOm

Love Elder Cottle

Jun 24, 2012

June 17, 2012

June 10, 2012

June 3, 2012

May 27, 2012

May 13, 2012

May 6, 2012

April 29, 2012

April 23, 2012

April 15, 2012

April 8, 2012

April 1, 2012

March 25, 2012

March 18, 2012

March 12, 2012

March 4, 2012


February 26, 2012


February 19, 2012~


February 12, 2012


February 5, 2012

The past few weeks flew by like it was nothing. It sounds like so much has gone on back home. Last Monday I had limited time to email then the keyboard broke while I was in the middle of an email so I tried to send what I had but I guess it didn’t make it to you. I'm really sorry about that, it left a hole in my plans for the week. I know you all look forward to me writing home. But can say I have been keeping extremely busy with Elder Tamale. All is well in Zion.

They tell us to have our families send letters and packages to the mission home because the church apparently has a deal with the post service. The NZ Post Service is terrible so they like us to have you send those important things to the mission home, then they re-stamp it and send it to our flat

It’s great to hear about all the good things going on back home. I pray for You, Dad, Trevan, Shae and Brooklyn every night and I don’t forget about Josh or Jon. Or my closest friends. So I hope each and everyone is feeling the blessings that come from supporting the missionaries all over the world.

Brooklyn, I love you and I am very proud of you! I can’t believe how smart you are! Keep up the good work in school and everything else! Good luck with you play/musical and with your science project :) Always remember I love you, but most importantly your Heavenly Father loves you and your Savior Jesus Christ loves you more than you can imagine :)

Shaelynne, think of this, "If Jesus were to see me today, how would I want to appear to him?" Red highlights would look great in that beautiful blonde hair of yours, but just remember what I told you just barely to think about. Put some red in the under layers of your hair. Then when it pokes out everyone thinks it’s awesome.  So that’s my advice :) I’m excited to hear you are driving, just be careful :) And as you begin to "date" in a month and a half, always remember that you are a daughter of God and only go for those that I would approve of. You will know who to give the time of day and not to. Just remember to be hard to get :) I love you always!

Trevan, Keep up the Hard works my man! :) Your no NERD, you just apply yourself :) remember that excuse I used to use :) You were always smarter and quicker than I was so keep it up alright?! Never Give up. Read Romans chapter 8 when you’re having a hard time alright? Love you dude :) You're Scox mate! (meaning you’re a stud).

Mom and Dad, thank you for all the support and all the love. Thank you for working hard every day and teaching all of us kids how to make it in the world and how to be good people. Never forget that though we had some hills to climb, I love you because you are the best parents in the world! I must have been a smart spirit before this life to have chosen you as my loving parents.

Elder Tamale and I are having quite the success. We have a solid baptismal date, Daniel McCleren (who is actually the famous formula 1 driver's nephew). We are teaching Steven Seagal's cousin :) and we will have two more baptism dates this week set for the month of March. We took a trip to a small town named Cheviot on Friday and found seven solid families to teach. We witnessed how they had been prepared to see us! I am out of time, but I will send pictures next week of the trip. We helped a lady from Iraq get gas on the way back to Rangiora. And I actually met this guy named Chris who was in the US army in 97 when they were first after Sudam Hussein. This guy said he had his sights on him in 97 but they called the shot off!!! I have met some pretty cool people here and tend to get along with everyone I meet! We have interviews with President Kezerian this week and Elder Tamale keeps telling me he is going to tell President I’m ready to train. He is a crack up!

I love all of you very much!

Love, Elder Cottle!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 22, 2012

The Good weeks always start off with a nice earthquake :) haha.  I witnessed a miracle last night considering I was sleeping on the floor next to a dresser when the earthquake hit. I didn’t realize it until this morning and I will be smarter in the future.  I interrupted Heavenly Father last night, He probably said something like, "what are you sleeping there for Braden?" as he held onto the dresser for thirty seconds. It feels like I’m dreaming when they hit at 3am, its crazy. But all is good in Zion, always. People are sick of the earthquakes down here.

 Elder Quentin L. Cook came last Tuesday to assess damage and speak to the members of the stake here.  I got to shake His hand and talk with him for a second :)  I’m from Utah and my first contact with an Apostle was in New Zealand   haha.  I found that a little backwards.

Also this last week Elder Tamale and I attended an Indian Wedding (all I can say is WOW, what a culture!) with his trainer Elder Hussein....who is Indian/fijian and Elder Leandard’s  from Austrailia.
After the transfer I am now the only white Elder and also the only American Elder in my district haha.   I had my first islander feed this week and man, they look at me and tell me I’m skinny and need to eat more and more and so I shove it in hard out. The islanders love me because I’m funny and I can eat.  I fluctuate ten pounds a day haha. 

The work continues to move forward though many people are not very receptive.  Elder Tamale has had 16 baptisms, He has also been in Rangiora for nearly six months and hasn’t had one....so its a tough area and we are working hard to find new people to teach.  Our investigators now are moving very slowly, they just like our company haha. But we continue to work hard everyday to at least plant seeds.

Whether its inspiring and spiritually oriented or just telling me what is happening in life and what is happening back home doesn’t matter, all that matters is the thought to write and the intent to help me and support me.  I tear up every week reading these emails and also even more so when I recieve hand written letters.  It’s like everyone is giving me a piece of their heart for me to hold on to and carry with me.  It doesn’t matter what is written to me, it helps me in this work because after getting door after door closed on me and after lessons that don’t go well and after being ridiculed, those words are the miracles God has given me from Angels back home to build me up and encourage me to keep moving forward.  When I pray for strength from God, he answers with letters and emails. 

Tell brooklyn I am very proud of her for using her talents :)

Everyone wants to head out so I need to cut short.  I will be writing letters soon@!! I love you Mom ;) Have a great week and I will look forward to your words next week :) Dont worry about me, well I know you will, but just remember you raised me and I worry about you at home just as much as you worry about me out here :)

Love Elder Cottle

Pictures - MTC and New Zealand

Elder Cottle & Elder Nelson


Elder Tamale & Elder Cottle
Rangoria New Zealand


Merry Christmas Elder Cottle

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 15, 2012

Wow Brook, Shae and Mom.  Be careful youre going to make me cry in front of everyone haha.  Seriously.

Thank you so much for the wonderful emails.  I want to let you know that all is well in Zion.  The earthquakes are not even that bad.  I experienced a 6.0 and that was the biggest one out of all of them that have happened since ive been here and i can tell you it isnt that bad.  Things fall in christchurch but in rangiora nothing falls just shakes around.  I have been really kept safe by Heavenly Father and i wouldnt worry unless its over a 6.4 :) I love you mom.  Im sorry i did not email last week.  We went and built a deck for a member all day :) The branch president is a builder and he was impressed with the skills i have been taught by dad :) and it took all day long!!! Lol Mom, i figure the best way to prepare for whoever that young lady is when i get home is to serve here with all my might mind and strength so i can serve her with all my might mind and strength because i love my heavenly father, that will bless her the most. 

I love the polynesian culture, so straight up to the point and genuine. Everything i have ever been.  We have fun on P-day, but we work every other day like P-day will never come unless we do.  It was a very successful week this week.  I went on exchanges with Elder Niutua the district leader and we found 8 new investigators taught twelve lessons and we were supposed to have seven people to church but only had two.  I have to tell you the biggest miracle that has happened on my mission so far! Elder Niutua and i walked up to a gate that was closed and had two bungee cords wrapped around tight we thought, "oh their not home and the gate is wrapped up tight so lets go." When i turned around to walk away i thought to myself, "satan get out of here you sly dog." hahaha. Then turned back around undid the bungee cords opened the gate and started to walk in as a lady walked out.  I hadnt said a word when she said "come on over and sit down."  We sat down and explained to her who we were and what we were doing.  She became very interested in the message we had to share. She talked for two hours.  In those two hours were some of the most amazing experiences i have had yet! First of all she looks like a 35 year old Jessica, acts like her, talks like her and everything.  It was a testimony to me that God puts people in our lives for a reason, there is a reason for everything.  Meeting her showed me one of the many reasons i have witnessed why Jessica was put into my life and i wouldnt say i wont witness more reasons because this is the third time on my mission..  I knew near exactly how to talk to her, "listen" to her believe it our not and answer her concerns.  We were guided by the spirit to share the story of the first vision.  Mom, as we quoted Joseph Smith History where Joseph recounts the first vision, the spirit became so overwhelming that she burst into tears.  Elder Niutua and I looked at eachother and Mom i started tearing up to where a tear ran down my face. I was testified to yet again of the truth of who Joseph saw, for he did see God the Eternal Father and His son Jesus Christ standing above him in the air.  He did and i cannot deny it, who could.  Even she cannot deny it!!
We then quoted Galatians 5:22-23 which talkes about the fruits of the spirit which include love, peace, comfort, goodness. She felt what paul explains in Acts about how the "spirit listeth in the wind" and we do not know where it comes or where it goes and she said she felt like something swooped her up off her feet, hugged her really tight and softly set her back down.  What an absolutely amazing experience Mom.  She then explained to us that she thought it was a miracle that we persisted to walk onto her property and open the gate that was bound with cords.  As she explained it as such an experience and such a miracle to her, i couldnt help but thing that Christ was breaking the bands that have been put on her life to offer her a new life.  And she listens Mom, and even though she has concerns and lacks faith in God and Jesus Christ, she is letting him in and she will find Him and she will follow Him. We then met her 5 year old. He has down syndrome and she is a single mother.  He is the smartest young man you will ever meet, he watches something once and he can do it, he hears something he can say it.  She explains how she thinks he was sent to her for a reason and how much her life has changed since.  We went back three times since this happened on tuesday. Mom this is where my heart and soul was ripped to shreads!!! We went to see her thursday afternoon.  I just had this feeling to go see her i dont know why, but she came out of the house and we started talking.  She was all dressed up but i didnt notice until Elder Christensen told me after we saw her.  I asked her what she thought about the first vision to confirm what she felt.  Then asked if there was anything we could do for her.  She politely said no.  Then i said that we would let her get back to her afternoon and we would see her friday (at our set appointment with her).  Mom i should have asked what she was doing that night because we went back friday for our set appointment and what we witnessed was very sad.  She went out dancing she said and there were some things she is apparently going through and she ended up drinking....Alot.  She was soooo hungover it was ridiculous.  She wrecked her car three times on the way home that night, got arrested, lost her car and now she has to pay fines through the roof. They dont put them in jail for drunk driving here or we would never see her again. I felt terrible Mom, i felt like i could have done something and it is when you feel anothers pain when you witness a little bit of what Christ went through for each of us. What I witnessed  was absolutely terrible.  But i can also say that God is preparing her, harshly yes, but wow.  I have no words to even say to describe the feeling.  I laid down that night after praying for all our investigators and began to sob because i was witnessed to that there is a God, our Heavenly Father who loves each and everyone of his children.  After praying i thought to myself "wow, Father how do you do it? I can barely look after twelve investigators, and still let them down. How do you do it Father, How do you watch over and take care of all your children and never let them down? You must be God the Eternal Father the Lord omnipotent. how could i ever turn against you? I love you."  At that moment i felt like the dust of the earth, trampled on and kicked on and spat on. I shook and trembled in despair wondering why and how God could afford to send me to help his children knowing i would fail them without His help! That is only twelve of God's children. Now imagine what Christ felt for 2/3's the host of heaven! Not that i even felt anything close to what Christ our savior felt for those twelve people!!! I am left speechless about the power of God and the extent of Christ's infinite atonement.  The atonement is like looking out to sea and never seeing a horizon yet when you witness the power of it, its as if you can see the lighthouse guiding you home. We saw Paula on saturday and we are making headway.  Her only concern as she says is giving God control of her life.  Control that she has that she has always been successful with.  I told her "If you are successful by your own will, imagine how successful you can be, the power you can have if you turn your life to God!"

The mission just gets better and better.  We taught a new investigator named Shane and taught him  the entire restoration.  He accepted everything and is now reading the Book of Mormon and Praying!  He loves the Priesthood. He asked about an experience i had with the priesthood so he could confirm what we were saying.  Tell Grandpa Cottle that I started crying as i told Shane about the experience of being given the opportunity to give him a blessing. 

Elder Tamale wasnt here to help me all week, I already know the area like the back of my hand and was able to teach two lessons with an Elder who hasnt been out long himself.  Elder Tamale taught me in six weeks what takes other to teach in twelve.  We have been told there hasnt been this much success in our area in a few years, though there have been baptisms, those members have gone inactive and we are in the process of getting them active again.  It is not us, but it is God and our Savior Jesus Christ using us for the work.  I have learned that the hardest things in life only take a willing mind and heart.  Its amazing how much i have been strengthened and cut back down and strengthened and cut back down in the past two months.  God doesnt give any of his children a commandment without preparing a way it can be accomplished.  Out here i begin to say, "Oh God my Father in Heaven, wake me up from this my deepest sleep, wrap thy spirit round about me, and give me full armor that these thy towers i may keep."  This is seriously a war, and we cannot fight it without awakening our spirits and suiting up for battle.  The adversary can never win for our captain is the savior of all men :) 

I love you Mom and will forever make you proud.

Love, Elder Cottle

God Bless

December 19, 2011

This is a post from letters we recently received from Elder Cottle that he sent on December 22, 2011 -
Merry Christmas I know it's late getting to you on time but I hope it's been a great one!  I know Christ came unto the world and established His church and provided an atonement as the means necessary to break the bands of death and cure us of all ungodliness that we may return to the presence of our Father in exaltation to live with our loved ones forever.  It is only by our Savior that Salvation cometh to us.  I know that we have the fullness of the truth in His restored gospel on the earth today and I know these things because the Holy Ghost has testified of them to me and I have experienced the fire in which these things are made known unto us!  With that testimony, I wish you the best of Christmas's :)

When I prayed before we left the flat on Saturday I asked Heavenly Father to lead us to those He has prepared to hear our message.  I asked Him to help us fill our schedule for this week.  That day, we rode our bikes 20 km and stopped by ten potential investigator's homes and we filled our schedule for Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  We are teaching a couple, Evelyn & Raymond.  We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ then invited them to be baptized.  They had a big concern because they said they had already been baptized, but by the end of our lesson Raymond said, "Can I wear white overalls to be baptized?"  Haha, we laughed and told him he could :0 we got them to church and taught a lesson on Priesthood Authority.  We hope to have a baptismal date for them this week! Hopefully :)  We will have a busy week before Christmas then have three days to kind of relax and visit people :) 

I played rugby today and learned some steps.  I am the first American they have ever seen score amongst the missionaries :)  The classic line the Poly's use is "don't worry bout it!"  in a  joking way.  I used the phrase today and all the poly's were like, "man you catch on quick."  Elder Tamale is going to teach me Tongan!  Everything is going well here. I am really learning how to have fun with the poly's, they laugh at everything!  Elder Tamale said he seriously believes I will be a trainer, zone leader and assistant,.  haha  When he said that I said, "Elder, all glory to the Father."  We laughed so hard!   I've been writing in my journal everyday I have been cooking and cleaning, I even make my bed! and I repent when I don't do the simplest things.  If anyone wants to have a strong influence from the spirit, repent for the littlest mistakes and strive not to do them.  It's the little mistakes that lead to the big sins.  If we get rid of the little mistakes, we will never get to the big ones, ever! 

Thank you for the wonderful advice you gave for travel, believe it or not the MTC doesn't tell you anything about traveling haha!  I used every bit of information you gave me.  I basically let the pack of eight missionaries through the various airports, just used my father's natural instinct with the spirit and there was no way I could go wrong.

When we went through customs, the lady working at the counter asked about my badge.  I said, "We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who are serving for two years to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with those God has prepared to hear our message."  She replied, "Wait so do you get paid to do that?" I said, "No, It is completely voluntary and we do it because we owe our Savior and we love Him." She said, "Really? well how do you pay to stay here?"  I said, "Most of us saved up the money from jobs we had before we came out here."  she smiled, stamped my visa, then the missionaries behind me handed her their passports and she didn't say a word to them, just stamped their visas and sent them on their way!  Unreal right?  I thought that was pretty cool.  I watched the spirit guide us perfectly to the mission home. 

Thank you for your support.  This is an interesting part of life, I used to rely on your expertise. I realize how much you do fro me that I never noticed.  Now all I can rely on from you is your words, the packages you send and your love and support.  It's 100% emotional, without your temporal help I could have never survived high school! I'm barely surviving here without your temporal help! haha!  I guess it's my turn to learn the walks of life, the things you cannot be taught, but I thank you for teaching me how to think through difficult situations.  Your example helps me everyday.  I realized that everything I have learned over my entire life has prepared me to be on a mission today.  Brother Pledger, my seminary teacher at UCAS once talked about the Dead Sea scrolls and the Apocrypha that was contained on them.  Someone I talked to yesterday brought it up and I knew what he was talking about and my trainer was like, how did you know what that was?"  I laughed and said, " I went to seminary everyday and never missed."  Another lady brought up evolution and my brief knowledge in biology batted that down.  I know that God has his hand in every second of our lives.  All those hard rough times in school had its purposes.  I always wondered if UCAS was the right choice and not I know without a doubt that is where I needed to be for 3 years of my life.   The way you raised me is a fantastic blessing in the mission field.  I notice everyday how something you taught me affects how my success went for the day. Everyday I want to get something a little better. Went to the mall and saw other missionaries that were messing around . They say relax this is the islands not the states. Yes it is P-day but I believe there is never a time or place to mess around like that when you are representing the Lord.  It's tough to stand up for that when these are Elders that have been in the field longer.  Because of  experiences in my life  I know what to do in situations like that.  It has only taken two weeks for me to connect all these things in my life and I wish I could have recognized the benefits earlier and thanked God for them.  But I'm sure there was a purpose for that too, probably to teach me to recognize miracles.  There are miracles everyday.  All it takes is recognizing them to make your day or to build your testimony.  I realize that work is ridiculous for you dad, and your most likely sick of it I can guess.  I know that these small miracles can help everyone through the toughest of times through the annoying things in life and through the most joyous times in life.  We ask for blessings everyday, but do we recognize the blessings as they come?  Do we thank our Heavenly Father?  I've learned to ask for blessings, look for them, then thank Heavenly Father for them.  I've noticed that He opens up the windows of Heaven more fully when we do that.  I know this is the Lord's work and that the only way it can be done is through the power of the Holy Ghost.  I hope the family can feel the power of the spirit and notice the blessings that come from supporting His work, "Yea even a miraculous work and a wonder" that is taking place on the earth right now."

Love Elder Cottle

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 2

Thank you Mom for the wonderful emails you send.  I am so grateful to hear what is going on in the family back home.  It has been blast having the holidays over here, but it feels like I should be celabrating the fourth of July! hahahaha. There was an earthquake this morning and heaps of aftershocks early this morning so we didnt get much sleep after 3am. But out in the boonies in Rangiora we are pretty safe.  Its crazy here because its hottter than hot one day and the next is cold and rainy like today. 

We were on exchanges with the zone leaders this week and I ended up staying in Rangiora barely knowing the area with Elder Triantafillakos.  This week we got two baptism dates for Evelyn and Raymond in February because we have to get them married.....we found 4 new investigators this week and taught over ten lessons.  We made all our goals except for refferals. Exchanges ended friday so i got my companion back.  The families feed us a ton and ive gained another ten pounds in new zealand alone. so i weigh 190lbs now.....Elder Tamale has some mean work outs so he is keeping me fit plus we ride our bikes fifteen to twenty km's a day and walk about ten. We are constantly on the move whether going from lesson to lesson or from door to door.  We have had some crazy talks with born agains and anglicans.  They all come after us for having quote "the cardinal belief that we can become God's" then they use Isaiah to say "there are no other Gods but me." Then they dont listen at all when we talk.  They are a waste of time past the initial seed we plant.  Its a crack up when we quote scriptures to them and then they say we are distorting the scripture when we explain it.  Like when I talked about Ezekiel 37 testifying of the Book of Mormon, this historian couldnt accept the concept that Isaiah speaks in symbolism and that the sticks of judah and ephraim are not just symbols of the tribes coming together but also of their books coming together as one. Everyone knows that but these guys dont listen. Its crazy!!  The people God has prepared are humbled, its very interesting to see the difference. You can tell who God has prepared because there is this urge to talk to someone on the street or to knock on someones house! We met Alan this last week and set an appointment with him, we explained breifly the Restoration and he just listened a soaked it all up and invited us back next week.  It is amazing the high you get when you get invited back.  The best lesson this week was with Evelyn and Raymond.  They told us not to talk about baptism or they would get angry with us.  We taught about the Restoration because the questions I asked them led to the fact that they needed a testimony of Joseph Smith, Priesthood and the Book of Mormon.  It hit spot on. Then Bro. Delaney, our member present, told Raymond that it was through this church that he can get closest to Christ and to God then asked Raymond if thats something he wanted.  By the end of the Lesson, the spirit was so strong that Raymond started talking about baptism then asked, "can i get baptized in white overalls and a white bakers hat?"  Then he laughed really hard then said, I want to be baptized but im not ready. So i told him that if He set a goal to get closer to Christ, and did everything neccassary, that His answers would come.  Then we set a date for Feb 11 for him to be baptized and the next saturaday for Evelyn to be baptized because they wanted it to be special for each of them.  It wasnt til after the lesson that we found our they werent married and were living together.  I cant but help think that those dates were inspired by God because a month and a half should be enough time to get them married or split.  It is crazy, everything i say doesnt come from me, its all our Father in Heaven.  It is completely directed by the spirit.  Everything we do everyday is directed by the spirit. God's hand is everywhere if we but look for it!

I can't wait to see what happens the next 23 months of my mission! It is crazy how much up and down there is out here in the field.  It's like we know when there is a down and ten people have shewed us away that the next person is going to listen.  It just happens that way.  There is a pattern in the mission field, many patterns actually.  When there is a down, there comes an up. When we go to a members home, we get fed.  If we meet a Maori, we get fed.  If we ride our bikes and walk, the more success we have.  If we get up at 630am, we make it everywhere on time.  If we study as hard as we can in the morning, we end up using what we studied throughout the day with everyone we meet.  I think newtons law, "with every action comes an equal or opposite reaction"  is not a man made physical theory, but it is an ETERNAL LAW for physical, spiritual, mental and emotional situations.  God's hand is everywhere.  I encourage everyone to look harder for Our Heavenly Father's Fingerprints this year.  As we put on the full armor of God, read our scriptures, and pray continually as the Lord has asked us to do, we will not only witness God's Fingerprints, but we will be apart of His Will and we will be apart of His miracles. 

I love each and everyone of you!  Thank you for all of your support, all of your care and all of your Love.

Love, Elder Cottle

Elder Tamale says to love him too.  :)

P.S.  Happy New Year! Set those goals and keep them! Have a great week, I love you all!

December 25

It was fantastic to hear Elder Cottle's voice on Christmas Day.  He is doing fantastic things in New Zealand, sharing the gospel, sharing his testimony and increasing his love for the Lord and the people of New Zealand. He is very much enjoying being there and loving serving the Lord. They were rocked by 3 big earthquakes on Christmas Eve and several aftershocks many above 5.0.   In his words, "When the first earthquake hit we jumped in a door frame and the walls moved like they were jello. Then we ran outside and Surfed the Earth through the bigger ones." Way to have a positive attitude Elder in the face of adversity.  The people there have been struggeling with the continuing earthquakes since September 2010. We pray for them.  On Christmas Eve Elder Cottle and Elder Tamale were able to help some members, Brother and Sister Ryan, put together 30 food boxes for families that had been displaced from their homes by the earthquakes.
Elder Cottle & Elder Tamale helping Sister Ryan
put together food Packages on Christmas Eve

December 18

Hey Mom, Dad and Kids!
I am settling in to mission life just fine.  I will be calling home on the 26th so it will be Christmas day for you over there. I will call around noon from a members home probably a land line so it will be 4 or 5pm there on Christmas day!  Tell Ty i love his guts and cant wait to hear from him. Im in the process of writing him a letter along with individual letter to all of you. They are supposed to be a Christmas gift, but i havnt mailed them yet so they will most likely be a new years gift! 
I am feeling fantastic,  I am having a blast in New Zealand, people are different but im coming to love them! Its a blast with Elder Tamale, he is so funny! Can't stop laughing with him, He knows when to work and when to play so we get along real well.  We taught our investigators Evelyn and Raymond about the Gospel of Jesus Christ last wednesday and we will have a baptisimal date for them next week sometime.  They came to church yesterday so that was awesome! We are going to start teaching their friend tony and we have twenty potential investigators that will be new investigators after this coming week!! So success is coming and it feels fantastic!! On saturday when I prayed us out, I asked that we might be guided to those that He has prepared to hear from us and that we might set appointments with them so we can teach the word.  That day we set ten appointments for Wednesday and Thursday this week. Marvelous answers to prayer come everyday.  Miracles are to be found every second of everyday.  I see God's hand in everything we do.  The spirit guides all day everyday.  Its amazing how much we repent to have the spirit with us.  One night i noticed i hadnt made my bed that morning so i asked for forgiveness for not making my bed.  I asked forgiveness for writing in my journal during personal study. We ask for forgivness for the littlest things and it is absolutely amazing that when we strive to be better we have a greatly increased power when we find and teach.  We are more submissive to the guidance of the spirit.  
In the week i have been here i helped a family move for nine hours and helped the branch president with his deck in his back yard. It's amazing how much i use the skills i have learned in my life in the mission field. It goes a long ways when you tell someone you've painted before, or built fences, or done drywall or stone or landscaping.  Not to mention its amazing how much i have used my higher education to answer questions and also how much i use thingsIi learned in seminary or institute.  Trevan needs to ask Bro. Pledger about the dead sea scrolls and the apocrapha because I remember learning about that in seminary and a potential investigator said he doesnt beleive in the bible because it doesnt contain the apocrapha and I remember Bro. Pledger talking about that stuff, I would really like to know what he has to say about that so after break Trevan if you could do that!!! It would be awesome!  Im realizing how big of a miracle it was to have the opportunity to go to UCAS i know that was the correct choice at that age to go to that school..I read a verse in 1 nephi 20 where Christ says basically dont complain about the afflictions you go through, because you have been chosen to endure those afflictions, you have gained the privilege to be put in the refiners fire to learn and grow to your potentials! What an amazing scripture that is.  As hard as things can be at times, they are always for our benefit, we have to look for the benefit.  There are Miracles everywhere, we ask for blessings everyday, but whats the point in asking for blessings when we dont notice the blessings?  I know that when we thank Heavenly Father for blessings, he can open the windows of heaven wider than ever before.  Its a constant process of ask, seek and thank. 
There was an earthquake in eWllington just before I landed. President Kezerian said it was a 2.8, couldn't even feel it.  Cant feel earthquakes unless its a 4 I hear. Congrats Trevan on finishing your 21 credit semester strong!! Thats how its done!! I admire your efforts, I could have never done 21 credits, I could barely keep up at 17.  You will be greatly blessed for enduring that fire! Im praying for snow too, but its summer here so i dont think that will happen! hahaha. But you'll get to go soon!! Shaelynne, keep hasseling mom and dad for that learners license! ahahaha, you need to start driving!! Congrats on the 1000 dollar mark in babysitting cash! keep working hard, all that cash will pay off.  Save half for college and a mission!! and never forget tithing! Brooklyn, I'm so happy about your basketball team, thats awesome!!! Im glad your dance performances were great! Im sorry you got kicked in the face, just make sure to kick her back next time :) Thank you for keeeping Welli warm and happy :)  I love all  of you so much!!! Have a fantastic Christmas, i'm looking forward to calling you!!!
Mom I love you so much and I am so grateful for all your care and support and love for me.  Your words hit straight on my heart everytime I hear them!!  Your words mean so much to me and I couldnt be more grateful for them. You are a prime example of a Christlike person.  You have given me everything and all I have done is take, take, take.  Being on a mission hopefully gives back to you!
Dad, I cant say much cus i got to get off. But thank you for being such a fantastic Father and teaching me the trades :) I love you so much!
Tell Ty and Jessica i couldnt ask for better friends and I Love em both!!
Love Elder Cottle

Pictures from the Wellington New Zealand Mission
South Island Christmas Party

 Christmas Skit  - What is going on Elder?