Monday, November 20, 2017

The Dynamic Duo


So we had an interesting week. The front half of it was mostly focused on getting Elder Bird ready to go. Before he left for Kona we had another meeting with the Davis family (less actives who want to get back to church) and we had a really solid experience teaching them the restoration. Bishop Goo was there as well and he asked the parents to share their testimonies with their kids. It was a really cool experience and the spirit was really strong and in the end we committed their daughter Kiana to be baptized. She said yes but won't be able to do it until January, all in all it was a great lesson.

After sending off Bird we had a lesson with a potential investigator named Kanoe who had a lot of good questions about our beliefs. The only problem was her 80 year old judge Judy obsessed auntie was there and started asking us all the dumb questions like how many wives did Joseph Smith have (idk, more than one) why don't we believe in the Bible (we do) and why don't we believe in birth control (we do). Anywho we have a return appointment so we will see how that goes. All in all it was a winning situation because I got Poke and Tako out of it.

Next we had a doorstep lesson with a referral named Georgi and her mom Billie-Jo. They had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and were totally accepting of a lot of what we had to say. They were super nice and we will hopefully be able to meet with them again soon. But yeah that's our week, some ups and some downs as usual but we are pushing through. It's weird only having one companion, gets a little quiet sometimes and we always feel like we forgot something. its an adjustment. Buuut anyway hope everyone has a great week. Love you all and happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Smith

Monday, November 13, 2017

This Trio's Down to Two


It's been an interesting week here in the Waipiolani ward, we had a bit of a hard time meeting with our investigators but we were able to get Ikaika to church which was a plus. The youth did a great job of fellowshipping him and making sure he feels welcome. That is definitely one of the strong suits of this ward, they are very loving and welcoming whenever we bring people to church. Our Ghanaian investigator Francis came to a fireside about the atonement and he really liked it. The main thing with him at this point is getting him to act on what we talk about. I know that once he realizes what the spirit is telling him he will start committing himself.

In other news we did a service project for a man that lived in a legit shack on a farm so that was pretty cool. At the same time there was a lightning storm going on which was even cooler because despite all the Hawaiian rain we actually don't get lightning and thunder all that often.

We have also been trying to get more members involved with the lessons, the young women's president Sister Chun introduced us to some less active members that we are starting to meet with now so I testify to you all that members working with missionaries is the right way to go. Also the youth have been involved with some of these people which is great because it gets them fired up about serving missions themselves.

So in reference to my title we will be losing Elder Bird as a companion this week, he is going to Kona for the last 3 weeks of the transfer. He is a baller missionary and he will be missed, it's gonna be weird just having me and Elder Hayes again but on the up side at least I can focus a little more on training him.

That's all I have to report this week, good luck to all in your sharing of the gospel and have a great week.
Love and Aloha!
Elder Smith

Monday, November 6, 2017

Tongan Style

Aloha and Happy (late) Halloween!

The three of us had a pretty enjoyable week, though some things didn't turn out quite the way we thought it would. First off Halloween was a fun day, after the sun went down the whole zone got together and played games at the YSA chapel. It was very fun to be able to see all of the zone and to spend some time relaxing. But once November began it was back to work. Me and Elder Bird spent a day with Elder Klaassen in our area and we worked our potential lists to the bone. We were so beat by the end of that day but it felt good knowing that we had given it all that we had. Also part way through the day we were really dehydrated so we stopped at a Tongan members house and asked for a glass of water, naturally we had 3 large glasses of water and about two servings of cake and ice cream, gotta love the Polys.

Aside from the exchange we did service for that same family at their farm. We were able to help them lay some carpet at the farm house and got much food in exchange. Also the neighbor Tongans had caught a pig and were preparing to cook it in an underground oven (pronounced Emu, not sure if that's how it's spelled).

We were also able to find a family this week named the Shavers who the missionaries had met with before, they aren't too interested in converting since he is the pastor of another church but they invited us over regardless. Their son-in-law John McCue mentioned that he doesn't go to church because there is too much man-added doctrine in churches these days. We talked about the apostasy and restoration and he agreed to hear more though he is very skeptical about Joseph Smith saying that our focus should be on Christ (ironic since he brought up Joseph more than we did). Should be a fun adventure in the future.

Those are the main things this week, hope life is good for everybody on the mainland and I look forward to hearing about how you are all sharing the gospel.

Much love and aloha
Elder Smith

Monday, October 30, 2017

Adventures of the Three Stooges

Aloha to all my friends and fam!

This week in the Waipiolani ward we had some great things happen both planned and unplanned. Of course we also had some bad things happen, most of which were unplanned since we try not to plan for those kind of things. First off we had a meeting early in the week with the Wong Family (a less active family trying to get back to church) and set their 9 year old daughter Mochi with a baptismal dater for the 26th of November (which is pretty cool because its exactly a year after my first baptism, Malia, in Kaneohe). They are solid and we will continue to meet with them this month. We also had a lesson planned for the Davis family to get them back to church and baptize their daughter Kiana... but when we got to the lesson Kiana was asleep the whole time so we will focus on baptizing her on a day when she hasn't been at a haunted house for hours. Despite that setback we did talk to the rest of the family and shared some scriptures that came to mind, they started tearing up and said it was exactly what they needed to hear. Bishop Goo was also with us for that lesson so of course it went well, he is just great at making everyone feel comfortable and loved.

We went to the 4-ward trunk or treat as well this week and had a good time. The Davis family and Francis came to that so that was great to see. Winning costumes were Elder and Sister Anderson's grandson who came as an AT-ST from Star Wars complete with a working Nerf Gun that he continuously shot the three of us with, and the Goo Family whose four kids came as the Ninja Turtles while Bishop was Shredder.

The best part though was that we found a younger military couple referred to us by the Visitor's Center who seems to be interested in what we have to say. The wife, Georgie, said that she would read the introduction before we met again this week and she seemed to really mean it. Despite their Catholic upbringing they have a really solid understanding on what the Book of Mormon is, not a new scripture or correcting doctrine, but a second witness used to clarify. It made me really happy to see that.

Anyway that's all for this week, remember to never take what you have for granted and to always find ways to share it with others.

Love and Aloha
Elder Smith

Monday, October 23, 2017

Triple Threat

Aloha friends and family!

This week has been a definite change of routine for us. On Tuesday me and Elder Hayes went to transfer meeting then the airport to pick up Elder Bird coming in from Kaua'i. He is 6"6' and from Mapleton, Utah and has been out for 3 months. That basically means that I am training and greenie breaking at the same time. When president told me that he appreciated that I could "go with the flow" I didn't think that he would be flowing me up and down the river like this. But naw it's been a good time. After trying and failing and trying again to fit a third bed in our room and telling all of of our dinners for the next week that there are now three of us we went on our way.

In terms of lessons we tried to meet with Ikaika but he couldn't because he moved his tutoring to that day so he could go to church, then we rescheduled it but he couldn't go because he got invited to the stake dance. I don't think I have ever been happier because of cancellations in my life. The down side is we had to push his baptism back a bit but he is still set and ready to be dunked when the time comes. This week Bishop Goo set up appointments for us to visit the Davis family and the Wong family, both of which want to get back to church and have a kid that isn't baptized so we are looking forward to meeting them this week.

The theme of the week for me has been attitude. I realized while reading through the Book of Nephi that we give Laman and Lemuel a hard time a lot for being the "bad guys" of the Book of Mormon when in reality they did almost everything that God commanded them, the only difference is that they did it out of stubborn obligation and not out of love of God. Because of this they never had a change of heart and never profited from their sacrifice. So remember that it isn't enough to just go through the motions of being "good" we actually have to BE good.

That's it for now, hope everyone's week was great and that you are striving always to share what you know. Love you all.

That's all folks
Elder Smith

1. Me and Elder Zollinger (my trainer who just finished his mission)
2. Me and Sister Iino (my neighbor who just finished her mission)
3. Dead (huge) rat found at service
4. Comps at the linger longer

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bird is the Word


So here we are again at transfer time, news was a little weird this time around. As expected me and Elder Hayes will be staying in the Waipiolani ward, but we will be getting a third companion named Elder Bird. I have never heard of this Elder before and as of yet I have no idea why we are being put in a trio, guess the lord has something he wants us to learn. In other news my trainer Elder Zollinger has completed his mission and is heading home and my past comp Elder Campbell is going to the west side of Kaua'i. Not much change aside from that.

This week was full of talking to people on the street and trying to find new investigators. Not a whole lot of success but we are loving the work either way. We had a solid meeting with Ikiaka this week and we went over the Restoration, I am pretty confident that he will get baptized so that is pretty cool to see. The Elzingas are another story, we went over to set Preston with a date and found out they are last minute moving to Wahiawa so we will have to hand them to those Elders. The Elzingas are also awesome and they came to church this week which was awesome to see. Keep praying for them. Aside from that not much else to report.

Love you all and keep on being awesome.
Ofa atu!
Elder Smith


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Smith's out of Gas, VanShaar is Peeing in a Bottle, and the Cops Just Showed Up

I'm sure you're all wondering why my email is titled this way, let's just say that there are no dull moments here in the Hawai'i Honolulu mission.

So this week was an interesting one. We were able to meet a bit with the Elzinga family and see where they are, we are feeling good about the plan to start up lessons with just Preston so we are going to be sticking to that. Lessons with him start up this week (finger's crossed). We have talked more with Ikaika and he is pretty set on getting baptized which is really good for us to see, the only thing we need to do now is get him to realize how important church is, him coming regularly is the only real roadblock left (though he did come to scouts this week which was awesome). We also got a new investigator this week named Kenoa who is a Chuukese football player who was referred to us by his coach (a member of the stake presidency. He seemed marginally interested but his fellowshipper is solid so we will see how that goes.)

Also we got the chance to got to the temple today which was legit as always, lots of prayers answered. I feel really lucky to be able to go as much as I do, I know not all missionaries get this opportunity so I am very grateful for it.

I love you all and hope that you all find a way to spread the word. Aloha au ia 'oe!
-Elder Smith

PS. if anyone wants to hear the story behind my title, shoot me an email as to how you shared the gospel this week. Love ya

Mililani Zone at the temple!