Monday, March 19, 2018


Aloha friends and family.

Well I've been thinking a lot about what to say in this email because in all honesty nothing really happened this week. Like a strange amount of nothing, not even bad stuff. We had a handful of appointments set up but pretty much all of them fell through. We were given some referrals but just haven't been able to catch any of them, we tried to use our time setting up new appointments but between busy schedules and the flu that's been going around no one could see us this week.
We were still out and about it's just that nothing happened. Kinda weird to be honest.

One accomplishment though is that we got the majority of Ocean View mapped out, it's the most populated part of our area but because of how remote and isolated it is it can be impossible to find anyone. Hopefully the map we made will help us find some less active this week. Fingers crossed.

For P-day our plan was to go with the Kea'au elders to Mauna Kea but after getting to the visitors center halfway up we found out you need at least a half tank of gas to get to the top and we only had a quarter. Soooo we played it safe decided to try again next week.

That's about all I have to report, not the most exciting week but not the worst week either. Our recent convert Josh is going through some hard times but his faith is Christ is strong and inspiring, keep him in your prayers.

Love you all, keep Christ in the center of your life!

Elder Smith

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

High Hopes


Sorry for the late email, had a crazy p-day. But first off, my week. Me and Elder Ferrin are still hitting Ka'u and doing whatever we can here. Like I said before finding ways to keep yourself busy here can be a little difficult but I can promise you that the Lord blesses us when we do whatever it is that we can. For example we had a new family move into the ward (the Uckers) and they seem really cool, husband isn't a member but seems nice enough. We are hoping that we might be able to start working with him fairly soon.

We are continuing to work with other less active or part member families, but the overall main issue at the moment is getting them to come to church. Sometimes we can be a little hard on oursleves but its important to remember that we are there to invite and guide, people will still be people. I'll just go and do whatever the Lord wants and we will see where that path leads.

P-day has been quite the adventure. We left early this morning for Kona to go to the temple, which was as usual an amazing experience. Its weird though how fast time is going, feels like it hasn't been that long since the last temple trip. Anyway after that I took the Kea'au Elders and Elder Ferrin on a tour of the scenic parts of Ka'u, we hit up Southpoint on the way back from the temple so we were still in our suits and felt like bosses. After that we switched clothes and went to a dope black sand/lava rock beach that has some cool tie ins to early Hawaiian history. Its not really known by the tourists so its stayed pretty preserved, beautiful hidden gem of this place. Very spiritual.

Anywho its been a pretty great week, I am finding joy in thw work even when the days don't go the way I want them to. Elder Ferrin and I have some ideas on how to shake things up around here, we will see how it all works out in the end.

Love you all!

Elder Smith

Also fun side notes: I met a family at Costco from St. George with the last name Snow. Probs related to me. Other fun fact is that apparently centipede bites don't swell up until like a week later so just when I thought it was better it flared up and looked gross, all good now though, just waiting for my centipede powers to kick in. Ofa atu!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Lift Where You Stand

Aloha from Ka'u!

We had a pretty great start to my second transfer in this corner of the Big Island. My new comp Elder Ferrin is awesome and we are figuring out ways to push the work here. Elder Ferrin is from Springville, Utah and has been on his mission for 17 months. So far he has only been on O'ahu so he was pretty pumped to finally hit one of the outer islands. He has a lot of fire in him and is excited to get to work here which makes my job a whole lot easier.

This week we primarily focused on getting to know the members, focusing on the less actives and part member families. I basically haven't met any of them before this so it was nice to start figuring out who was who. We met a handful of lass actives who want us to keep coming by so hopefully that will bring us some investigators in the long run.

One funny (in hindsight) thing that happened this week was that as Elder Moody and I were leaving the pad to take him to the airport he put his shoes on without checking them first (something you should always do here) and he got bit on the toe by a centipede. After 6 months in Ka'u with no incidents he gets bit in the last possible moment. I hazed him about it for awhile but karma will be what karma is and a couple days later I woke up around 2:30 in the morning to a centipede biting my hand. Thankful I shook it off quick and it was a big one (they are actually more dangerous when they are small) so I wasn't in any danger but it still hurt like a bee sting on crack. Needless to say we hunted down the culprit with the butcher knife and he isn't a problem anymore.

This area is definitely a unique one, I see that more now since I am the one running the area. Sometimes I get a little discouraged because its really hard to find people, or because we have so few members to work with (about 40 active) but I know that this is all God's work. I remembered that Elder Utchdorf told us all that we need to "Lift where we stand" or in other words we need to build up the church wherever we are. I may not have a lot to work with here, but it's more than some people have. God doesn't expect me to do any more than I can in Ka'u, but he does expect me to do ALL that I can, and that's what I'll do.

Thats all for this week, I'm excited to see where this transfer takes me. Love you all!

Elder Smith
Hawai'i Honolulu Mission

Elder Ferrin
Kawa Beach (Rock/Black Sand Beach)
Inside the Kaumana Caves (Lava Tubes)
The Centipede that got me

Monday, February 26, 2018

Chapter 2

Well the time has come once again for transfer news. As expected I will be staying here in the Ka'u Ward and my new companion will be Elder Ferrin. I actually know him really well even though we have never served in the same zone, we have been at almost every zone conference together and we know a lot of the same people. He's from Springville, Utah and has been out almost as long as me. I'm super pumped for the two of us to be companions and to get to know him better.

Also in transfer news my son (Elder Hayes) is training so I am going to be a grandpa. Does a father proud.

As for what happened this week we were able to find a lot of potential. There was a less active sister named sister Ka'apuni that we found who wants us to come by and teach her 3 unbaptized kids (age 10,11, and 15) so that should be fun. We also found another less active member who is interested in us teaching her daughter. Things are starting to look up so hopefully we will see some progress there.

This Sunday was also Stake Conference which was awesome as usual. Elder Pingree of the seventy was there and gave an awesome talk about centering our faith in Christ. President Bekker was also there and gave a brief talk on the gospel of Jesus Christ directed at all the investigators and recent converts who were there, which was actually quite a few.

All in all this transfer has had its ups and downs but I am really optimistic about the next 6 weeks. Onward and upward.

Love you all and have a great week.

Elder Smith
Hawai'i Honolulu Mission

Monday, February 19, 2018

Murphy's Law

Aloha ohana!

Well this week was definitely a wonderful one. I went on another exchange with the Pahoa elders but this time I was with Elder Ison in my area. It was fun taking over my area for the first time and we got a lot done. I had no clue what I was doing, but it was fun. Somehow I managed to drive us out of zone on accident which is almost impressive since we are 30 minutes from the Kona zone, but I find a way. Some things did go right however and we were able to talk to a lot of people I hadn't met before.

Aside from that the big event this week was the baptism of Joshua Aleolani Viernes. This was a really awesome moment because of how anxious he was to be baptized. And while the baptism itself was an amazingly spiritual experience, Murphy's law was in full effect. Circumstances briefly predating the baptism included:

• finding out that the font was gross so we did some emergency cleaning
• making a single program only for all technology then failing us so we weren't able to make any more
• finding out an hour before hand that the people I sent texts to days before asking them to give talks never got the texts
• finding out we had no idea where the jumpsuits were
• forgetting to make sure we had a pianist

There was more but I'll leave it at that. Experience has shown me that no matter how prepared you think you are, life always throws you a curve ball or three. But the thing is, at the end of the day none of those things really mattered. What matters is that Josh had a strong desire to change his life, to come to Christ, and that's what he did. He is an amazing man and he has never been happier. That's what matters.

Aside from that chaos nothing much to report this week, I can't believe its already week 6 in this transfer, the days are flying. Love you all!

Elder Smith
Hawai'i Honolulu Mission

Monday, February 12, 2018

I'm Now a Dog Person

Well this week was relatively uneventful compared to the others, lots of driving around though. I got to exchange on Tuesday with the Pahoa elders and that was a fun experience (met a woman who liked what we had to say but said the main thing holding her back was that we celebrated Christmas which is a pagan holiday. She wasn't even J-dub so I don't know where she was coming from). But yeah it was fun seeing another area. Thursday we had interviews with President Bekker which was really awesome and helped me to stay focused on what matters. He says he is going to try and make it to Josh's baptism this week so that will be cool, also it will give him an idea as to how "in the middle of nowhere" our area is. That should be fun.

Since Interviews were in Hilo and we had zone conference the next day so we just spent the night with the Kea'au elders and drove the rest of the way to Waimea the next day.

Zone conference was awesome and I absolutely loved the theme of "Christ Like Obedience" or more so making sure that our obedience is center on being Christ-like and not on just "following the rules" sometimes I think we lose sight of that and need to be shown what the reason for obedience is. I'm a big fan of the emphasis.

Aside from that we didn't have much luck this week in the finding department and could catch most of our investigators so those are things we will be working on more this week.

This week was not without its funny story, you see a pair of investigators were gone this week on a trip to the mainland. They asked us to feed their cats while they were gone and we agreed. So we get to their house the first night and fill up their food and water and decide to stay 10 or so minutes to give the cats some human interaction. Only problem is one of the cats slashes at Elder Moody on the side and I start giving him a hard time and telling him it can't be that bad, only for one of the cats to then slash ME on the back enough to bleed through my shirt. Sooo we figured these cats weren't messing around and got trapped in the house for about 20 minutes before we could get them in their room and get out the door. It was actually the most terrifying moment of my life. They wanted blood. Aside from our feline encounter not much else to report.

We are super excited to see Josh baptized this week and super happy to see the work moving forward. Love you all and hope you have an amazing week.

Elder Smith

Monday, February 5, 2018

More Than One Way to Skin a Pig


Well its been yet another interesting week here in the Ka'u Ward. First and foremost our ward mission leader Brother Galapir asked us to help him and his friend Glenn skin a pig that they shot that day. Neither of us had done it before but we were down to learn, needless to say it was significantly harder to do than we thought but we managed to not mess up the pig too bad. Took some fun pics along the way and Bro Galapir made some adobo with the pig meat so we were quite happy about that. (Also we might start teaching Glenn now)

Bug story for this week was when we were having dinner at a members house I felt a tickle on my arm and saw a tiny blue centipede crawling on me. I quickly brushed it off and killed it without thinking only to then find out that blue centipedes are waaay more dangerous than the ones we usually see (also more rare) and on top of that when they're babies they can't control their venom as well so if you get bit by a baby you get more venom than by an adult.So basically I almost died. The more you know!

Missionary story for the week was that we set our investigator Josh with a baptismal date for the 17th of this month. He is soooo ready to be baptized and has totally changed his life around since he started meeting with the missionaries. I don't think I've ever seen someone so excited for baptism in my whole mission. I feel so blessed to witness this.

Crazy story of the week was that we saw a man in church that we didn't recognize, we wanted to talk to him but he dipped before we could catch him. A couple hours later while doing our studies in our pad (which is on the church grounds) we get a knock at the door from a cop. Apparently this same man had just been caught breaking in to the church and we had no idea (somehow we didn't hear the whole thing go down). So we had to answer some questions for them and they checked the building to make sure no one else was in their. Everything turned out alright though and nothing was damaged.

So that was yet another crazy week in the middle of nowhere. I keep thinking I'll get the hang of this place but it keeps throwing curve balls. Good ones though. Anyway hope all is well and that you are staying safe.

Elder Smith
Hawai'i Honolulu Mission


1. The southern most point in the US. The closest thing south of this is Antartica
2. Ham-let
3. Moody and the Brain
4. I'm sure this skill will come in handy at some point.