Monday, January 15, 2018

Aloha from Kona!

Well we had a bit of an exciting week. As I'm sure most of you heard on the news there was a false ballistic missile threat that went out to all the Hawaiian islands this past week. The message was sent out through phones, tv's, and all sorts of public displays so there was a bit of a panic going on. Things weren't too bad here on this island but I hear that things were crazy on O'ahu. Elder Lee and I were cleaning the chapel when we got word, we didn't really know what to do so we just kept cleaning the chapel. No better place to be right? But everything is all good now and if nothing else I think this was a wake-up call to all who weren't prepared for these kinds of emergencies. Just remember there is a reason we have been told by a prophet of God to have these kind of things in place.

In missionary work news we had a pretty awesome week. I went on exchanges with the ZLs and took over this area for the first time. Even though I had no clue what I was doing we had a super productive and super fun day that included 1. Watching Pres Monson's funeral 2. Checking out the ghettos of my area that I hadn't been to before. 3. Getting schooled in basketball by some Marshallese kids (and getting a new investigator out of it). and 4. Accidentally setting off the security alarm at an old folks home. Seniors on the loose.

So basically it was a dope day and we were able to keep that momentum going throughout the week. I was actually getting really excited for transfers because I was pumped to take over the area, which is what added to the bombshell that we got when Elder Lee and I found out we were both leaving. Honestly I'm pretty upset that I am leaving this place after only 6 weeks because I have really come to love this ward. I'll be staying on the big island but moving to the Ka'u ward in the Hilo Zone to be with Elder Moody. I have learned a lot in my brief time here and hope that I have been able to give to back to them as well. Since it was fast Sunday me and Lee bore our testimonies and thanked the ward for being awesome. A bunch of the youth got all sad because we were pretty tight with the YM and YW. Best part was though the ward didn't have us go up for Aloha 'Oe and they just ended the meeting but then as everyone was leaving Brother Lui (hardcore Hawaiian guy) started singing and those still in the room joined in. It was a lot more personal and both of us got a little misty eyed.

So with that said I am super sad to be leaving Kona but excited for the adventures awaiting me in Hilo. Let the good times roll.

Love you all!

Elder Smith
Hawai'i Honolulu Mission

1500 S. Beretania St. ste 416
Honolulu, HI 96826

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Big Island Blues

Aloha eveyone!

Hope everyone had a great week this week. It was a relatively boring week here in the Kealakekua, we had a hard time meeting all of our investigators and finding new ones is still in a bit of a slump. Also I was a little down this week because I got word that my favorite investigator from my last area just got dropped. He was all set to be baptized when I left but I guess his mom got into a disagreement with the bishop because the cousin that wanted to baptize Ikaika wasn't worthy so his mom asked the elders there now to never come back. Honestly its one of the hardest things I've heard on my mission because Ikaika was one of my favorite investigators, I felt really close to him and I legitimately saw the gospel make a change in his life. My prayer at this point is that with the missionaries not coming by he and his mom will notice a difference and know what it is that they need. He still loves the church but he is only 15 so the mother is really the only thing stopping him. It got me a little down in the dumps but I know the only way to pull myself out is to make every second out here count.

The week wasn't all bad though, we had stake conference and President Bekker came to that and talked on (you guessed it) missionary work. It was good to see him and Sister Bekker. Also today we had the awesome opportunity of going to the Kona temple (my first time at this temple). It was really cool because it was super similar to the Fresno temple, going inside gave me a ton of flashbacks. The spirit was strong there and I think it gave me the shot in the arm that I needed. We have one week left of this transfer and I am ready to make it count. I will hopefully be staying here in Kona for another go around, but I will let you all know next week.

Love you all and hope you are starting the new year off right.

Elder Smith
Hawai'i Honolulu Mission

1. Gene the Chameleon
2. Gene when he got annoyed
3. Me daydreaming about golf while Elder Lee is on the phone during week plan.
4. Elda Lee
5. Sunset off Ali'i. This is basically a postcard shot
6. Me and Elder Lee at the Kona Temple

Monday, January 1, 2018

Exit Christmas, Enter New Year


So its been an interesting bit of time here in Hawai'i. Last week we had Christmas which was amazing. We got together with the zone and had a secret santa gift exchange. Some elder got me a Chewbacca hot wheels card and I got Elder Iverson (our ZL) a " Men of the Islands" 2018 calendar. So all in all everyone had a merry Christmas. Also the big treat was that we all got to watch the movie Moana which was amazing. Most of us in the zone are older in the mission so we have been waiting over a year to see this. We all thought it was great and was a cool combination of all the Polynesian cultures (there is actually very little Hawaiian there, it's mostly Samoan, Tongan, and Maori). Beat part was when Mau'i yelled "Cheehoo!" the first time and all the elders did it too. I flippin' love this mission.

Buuut on the work side of things we had to focus on finding some new investigators and we found a really solid one named Brittany through a member named Sister Frost. It resulted in probably the funniest lesson i have ever taught because sister frost is... interesting. She would take the lesson in the wrong direction constantly and her son Thunder (yes. His name is Thunder Frost. Dopest name ever) who just got home from his mission last week had to keep directing the lesson where it needs to go. Brittany was super receptive and in the end Elder Lee and I extended the baptismal commitment and she said yes... only for sister Frost to say its too soon for us to extend that and Thunder had to tell his mom to be quiet because this is how we are suppose to do things. Despite the craziness we set her with a date for mid February and we will hopefully see that through. The spirit was super strong and I gained a testimony that you can feel the spirit even in the craziest of circumstances.

Aside from that we had New Years last night and stayed up til midnight to see all the neighbors launch their illegals. Our apartment has a view of all of south Kona so we could see a lot of crazy stuff happening. Its been a very memorable week. Anyway I love you all and hope that you are all finding ways to keep the Christmas spirit into the new year.

Ofa atu

Elder Smith
Hawai'i Honolulu Mission

Monday, December 18, 2017

Cyber Missionaries


Well this is incredibly weird. I'm sending this email through my new smart phone and during the course of this sentence I have made about 20 spelling errors. How the heck did I use one of these before? Anyway so yeah the big change this week was that me and Elder Lee got our smartphones and set them all up with churchy dakine. As of now we do not have the SIM cards so they are just fancy scriptures but we will gradually have more capability as time goes on.

Holy cow this is taking me a long time to type. Ugh.

Anyway we had our ward Christmas party this week which was legit, but earlier than that we helped the Elders Quorum (all 3 of them) cook a pig in the Imu. It was cool to see the whole process of how it worked and while we were waiting for it to cook, O (the EQ pres) whipped out a guitar and started playing some hymns and we started singing along. It was really peaceful on this farm and there were a couple families there and the spirit was just so strong. Hard to explain but I can testify that Hymns have a special way of bringing the spirit.

Oh yeah also the most intense blessing of my life happened, one of our members casually grabbed us at the party and asked calmly if we could give his wife a blessing. We assumed she just felt sick or something so we went to the car and grabbed our oil, went back in and met with her. Turns out shes deathly allergic the walnuts and had accidentally eaten one thinking it was a macadamia nut. Me and Elder Lee started panicking internally but we gave her a blessing and she started to calm down. But just to be safe her husband pulled an epi pen out of no where and stabbed her in the leg with it. It was pretty intense. She ended up staying at the party so it all turned out OK. God is good and so is his priesthood.

Speaking of Elder Lee, he and I literally have the same taste in all movies/tv/comics. So yeah we have plenty to talk about. He is awesome.

Our investigator Koen came to the party and had a good time. We are meeting with him again this week and I am looking forward to that.

That's about all I have to report today, pray that I can figure out how to use this newfangled technology and I hope you all find someone to serve this Christmas season.

Mele Kalikimaka!
-Elder Smith

1. Our gecko. We shelter him from the birds, he keeps the bugs down.
2. Elder Lee rollin' in mail (we finally found our mail key)
3. Hawaiian Santa
4. How does one selfie

Monday, December 11, 2017

Kona is Weird

Aloha from the Big Island.

So this has been a long week. Like a really really long week. I feel like I have been here forever and it hasn't even been a week yet.

Here is basic rundown of the week. On Tuesday my flight to Kona wasn't until 2 in the afternoon so I spent the front half of the day just chilling at Honolulu, once I got to the airport I realized I had no clue what on earth I was doing so I found another missionary that was transferring islands (Elder Wills) and he showed me the ropes. Anyway on the plane ride over I talked with some hardcore hippies and gave them some light the world cards which they liked. After that I met my new comp Elder Lee (he is legit and from North Ogden, Utah) and him and the Ke'ei elders tried to make me think that they were super apostate and that we were meeting with some girls on the beach buuut of course it turned out to be a prank. Anywho after exploring the Big Island I can tell you all that the rumors are true:it's big. My area here is like the size of a zone on O'ahu. Day 2 on the island we were called to give a blessing but we got third hand info so we thought we were blessing an old auntie, turns out the message was misconstrued and we were actually blessing a house that had some "unwanted visitors" in it. A little different than we thought but it all went well. Day 3 the Ke'ei Elders tricked Elder Lee into eating a habenero pepper in one bite so needless to say he was down for the better part of the day. Day 4 we realized that we don't have a key to our PO box and its probably filling up with mail right now. We are working on getting the new key but the only one that can order one is who ever ordered the PO box in the first place which is a missionary who has already gone home. Joy. So sorry but I won't be getting anyone's mail for the next little bit.

The rest of the week has been pretty normal but all in all this has been the weirdest first week in an area so far. The members seem pretty cool but its going to be hard to beat the Waipiolani members. Also there are a lot more haoles here than I was expecting, first time on my mission that I've had a white bishop so we'll see if I get along with him (lol). But yeah that was my week, oh duh almost forgot we taught a super awesome lesson to our investigator Koen on the Plan of Salvation. He absolutely loved it and said that it was like he was remembering something that he forgot. Amazing how the lord works. But I love you all and hope that you find a way to lighten someone's life today.

-Elder Smith

(camera is still broken so no Kona pics yet, but here are some from before I left Mililani)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Service and Conference and Kona Oh My

So quite a bit happened this week, lets start from the beginning. We did a lot of service this week for people in our ward as well as some in the other wards. The service at the Kings in our ward went well and was very physically draining, moved 100's of pounds of rugs while getting destroyed by every mosquito on this side of O'ahu. Recovering from the bites was an experience. But aside from that Elder Hayes and I were able to reset Ikaika with a baptismal date in early January. I have loved teaching him and have definitely seen a change in him from the spirit. His desire to come to church has increased and his ability to understand the doctrine has gotten so much better as well. Another cool thing is that he has a really hard time reading, but since he started reading the Book of Mormon his reading has gotten better as well. I know that that book is of God and works all kinds of miracles. Also our investigator Francis came to church this week which was awesome because we haven't seen him in almost a month. He has also been a joy to teach and I know that his faith will lead him to the truth one of these days.

Saturday was a blast, all 100+ missionaries on O'ahu were at a conference in Laie and we got to hear from Elder Stanfill of the seventy. He talked a lot on the importance of following the spirit and how what we need to do and how we need to do it comes easy once we remember who is leading us. Also if we don't have the spirit we don't even have the authority to teach the gospel so that was an interesting thought. All in all it was a fantastic training. In the fun news we (all 100+missionaries) all sang Live Aloha, video will be included.

Then the time came for transfer news, as expected Elder Hayes is staying and I will be heading out. I am moving to the Kona zone on the Big Island, I will be covering the Kealakekua Ward and my new comp is Elder Lee (he came out with Elder Hayes so he's been out about 3 months). I am super sad to be leaving this ward, these have been my favorite members and I have absolutely loved the 4 1/2 months I have spent here. I am excited to be heading to a new area though, new adventures everywhere.

Love you all and remember to keep Lighting the World

Elder Smith​

Monday, November 27, 2017

Terrible Cold and 20 Years Old


Well I think the title to my email just about sums up the week. I was starting to feel a little down in the dumps last Sunday but by Monday I was fine and we were able to do some visits with the youth. Then on Tuesday I went with Elder Hayes to the doctor's office in Kahuku so he could get his prescription refilled and on the way back I started to feel like crap (so everyone at the pharmacy thought we were there for me cuz I looked like a zombie but it was for Hayes and he looked fine). Anyway I felt like crap so I wasn't able to work for 2 days, I finally felt good around Thanksgiving but we weren't suppose to proselyte that day, instead we went to the ward's turkey bowl, then hung out with the Wahiawa elders (who had a turkey that was cooked in an Imu, sooo good), went to a lunch/dinner with the King family (she's Tongan, he's Paulagi, they have 10 kids) so of course we were fed beyond the natural capacity of a human being. Kaike Mate. After that we went to another dinner at the Nakasones and they fed us a lot more. We were down by the end of it.

After we recovered from our food coma we played risk with the ZLs and called it a night. I was better for the rest of the week and we were actually able to get work done, not a lot of progress because just about everyone was recovering from Thanksgiving but we were able to have another meeting with Ikaika and he is so pumped to be baptized, we just need to get his extended family here. Last night we met with a returning family named the Wedgesen's and it was so cool, they had a huge testimony of the priesthood and an awesome story about how it has blessed them. They asked for blessings and a blessing on the house so me and Hayes gave a couple blessings each. Buuut that was basically the week, and yeah and I turned 20 so that was weird, guess I have to start acting like an adult now. We'll see. Hope you all have a great week and that you are ready to #lighttheworld

Elder Smith

1. Me
2. Elder Hayes
3. Ikaika
4. Gangster Cat