Monday, December 26, 2016

Best Christmas Present


So since I just talked to the fam yesterday there isn't much for me to update you on, but I just wanted to say that it was so good to hear from you guys yesterday. That was the best Christmas present I could have gotten. But yeah the rest of my Christmas was awesome, a bunch of the missionaries met up and we watched church videos and ate food and just had a grand time. I love this district, they're the best people I could have asked for. Speaking of that some of us decided to check out a nearby national park called Temple Valley which is literally just full of temples of various religions. We checked out an awesome Buddhist temple and got to see a lot of the cultural stuff there. All in all it has been a solid p-day. Here's a few pics for ya. (Sadly I have not been given the pics of Saidee's baptism yet, next week for sure. The baptism was awesome, so happy I got to baptize her!)

Hope you guys had an awesome Christmas. Meant to share this earlier but when you have the time you should look at Alma's testimony of Christ in Alma 7 (starts in verse 10 if I remember correctly). It's become one of my favorite passages this Christmas season. Love you all!

Mele Kalikimaka!
Elder Smith

Here are some Christmas morning pics and pics of the Buddhist temple visit today.

Face Time, We Love You!

Elder Smith's mom here - it was SO great to talk to him over Face Time for Christmas day! A wonderful, long conversation and there were smiles all around. We sure love our Hawaii missionary. We miss him but we wouldn't want him to be anywhere else!

Look at that wide, genuinely happy smile! The light of Christ shines in him. Best Christmas gift ever!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Busy Week


So this has been a fairly hectic week, not to say that we had more lessons sadly but we did do a lot of things. First things first we had mission tour, what that means is that all the missionaries on the island of Oahu got together and heard from Elder Curtis of the Seventy (he gave a talk last conference about the religious freeze in Ghana). His talk was amazing and focused on having faith. He was so cool and the spirit was so strong, it really did show me that we need to have faith at all times, whether our situation is good, bad, or hopeless. Faith leads to actions and that's how miracles happen. After that we helped a recent convert make a 12 days of Christmas video that has apparently gone viral in Hawaii so I'm basically famous. The next day we did Pearl Harbor and so me and some of the other missionaries did service on the USS Missouri. It was nice I got to know some of the Elders and Sisters that I haven't had the chance to get to know since they got here. Then we got to take a tour of the ship. Always a blast! But yeah so for the rest of the week we did our usual thing and went on some splits with other Elders in the zone so I got to work a day with Elder Mitchell and a day with Elder Villanueva both of which were great. I love those guys. Also yesterday we had a meeting with a lot of the ward auxiliaries and basically laid down what we expect from the ward. It was really nerve racking because I feel weird telling adults how to do their calling but I definitely think it was necessary. They all seem on board with our plans so hopefully we will start to see an increase in productivity. Elder Boyd and I are excited to be busy. Also excited for our baptism this Christmas Eve. Hope Christmas is going well for everyone and that you keep on lighting the world. Mele Kalikimaka!

Attaching pics. You're welcome!

Can't wait to talk to the fam on Christmas!

Love you all,
Elder Smith

Pearl Harbor

The MTC roomies together again

Japan and California!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Adventures in Hawaiian Island Driving

Dearest Ohana,

Hey! Glad to hear that things are altogether good on the mainland. Things are continuing to be slower than we would like here in Kaneohe, on the plus side we did get a new ward missionary who is pumped to help us get the ward more focused on missionary work. Basically we have exhausted our options in terms of what we can do on our own so were are pretty dependent on members for finding new people.

We did meet with Sadie this week and it went well, she is solid and I'm looking forward to her baptism on Christmas Eve. We also had a pretty good meeting with the Cupchoy family, he is going to be a tough nut to crack because he asks a lot of existential questions and is a deep thinker (really nice though) so we'll see where things go with him. I think his wife is a lot more open to it though, she said that she felt something good inside last time we were there so we're getting somewhere. Fingers crossed we don't mess this up.

So one night this past week my companion was feeling awful (he has a lot of health issues) and so we decided to call the mission nurse, she set up an appointment for us to see a doctor the next morning. She gave us the address at 8:45 or so and we didn't recognize the street and figured it was in another ward's boundaries so we drove down to the Zone Leaders pad and got their GPS. We entered the address and turns out it was in Honolulu. So at that point the appointment was in 30 minutes and so we raced down the freeway at the whopping speed of 45 mph (the speed limit here on the island) and eventually got lost in the ghetto part of Honolulu. Very sketchy place. But yeah eventually we found this hole in the wall doctors office and everything was taken care of but what a morning. Also later that week I got lost on a marine base and accidentally drove into an airfield. That was fun. Terrifying, but fun.

Anyway I think that that is all I have to update you on. I took some pics but left my camera at home. I'll try to send them later today.

Love you guys!
Mele Kalikimaka!
Elder Smith

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mele Kalikimaka!

What up fam?

So here's how it's all been. This week in the mission field was pretty mediocre. Lots of cancellations and not enough lessons. We had a sit down with mission president (who just showed up at our pad, I thought that only happened in The Best Two Years movie) and he advised us on some ways that we could work more with the ward council so we will be trying to work with them and hopefully we will see some improvement. Prayers are always nice though :)

So is Moana taking over the mainland like it is here in Hawaii? I've heard a bit of the music just from members listening to it and whatnot and it sounds pretty solid. I would expect nothing less from Hamilton himself.

I definitely do not and will not pick up all of Hawaii Pidgin, you basically have to be born and raised here in order to speak it (and sometimes even understand it) but there are some really common terms that I have picked up. For example Pau means finished or done, Kapuno means senior citizen, and Pordague means someone that really likes to talk (we use that last one a lot with some of the Kapunos around here). But yeah I'd say more than anything my pronunciation some words has changed a bit. Hearing the way people on the mainland say Ukulele just sounds weird to me now. I will always be a haole but I at least don't want to sound like a tourist.

Elder Boyd is pretty cool. He's from some small town outside of Mesa, Arizona and is the third of six boys. He's a good missionary and we get along great but he sure as heck is different than Zollinger. We still don't quite have teaching together down to a science but we are getting better at it. We'll get there once we have had more practice.

So yeah some good stuff did happen this week, the best of which being that we got another commitment to baptism! We started teaching Sadie (the non member daughter of the Sunday school president) and she agreed to be baptized on Christmas eve so heck yes. That's probably the best way to spend the holidays that I can think of. I'm so excited!

Speaking of Christmas if anyone hasn't looked at the Light the World initiative yet you need to do that now. It is such a great idea and will bring a lot of souls to Christ. I can feel it. Christmas is just such a great time of year, especially being a missionary is awesome cause now I can focus just on Christ without all the presents and Christmas sales getting in the way. I hope everyone can remember why this is such an amazing time of year. I love it so much. I love my life and my family and this great gospel. It's all just so great.

So there's this Christmas thing that I'm making a commitment to do for the rest of my life. Every December I'm going to read a chapter of Luke every day because there are 24 chapters in Luke and it gives a really good beginning to end of Jesus's life and it will end up at the end of his ministry on Christmas eve. I'm going to do it out here and probably make it a tradition for every December.

Mele Kalikimaka!
Elder Smith