Monday, February 13, 2017

Aloha, Kaneohe!


Well this has been a pretty crazy week. So as you already know it is transfer week meaning that I am being transferred out tomorrow, and since word somehow managed to find its way to you already, yes I am being transferred to the Honolulu West stake/zone and will be covering the Lanakila ward. I am suuuper pumped because my companion is Elder Campbell who I am already good friends with from the MTC. I managed to dodge leadership another transfer (phew). I don't know much about my new area aside from the fact that it is in a fairly ghetto part of town. I will definitely have a lot to talk about next week concerning that.

In terms of what happened this week it was a fairly normal week and a bittersweet last week here. We were able to see our usual and set up some appointments that I won't be here for, we were introduced to the girlfriend of one of our members who is interested in taking the missionary discussions so hopefully that will work out. I went around and said my goodbyes to members that I have come to be particularly close to and took pictures with them... sadly as I am writing this I realized that I left my camera at the pad and probably won't be able to send any until next week (sorry mom).

I recently asked my mission president how to tell if I had truly made a difference in my area as I am leaving it and he told me that you can judge how much of a difference you made based on how much you have grown to love the people. I hadn't really given it a lot of thought until I was sitting in sacrament meeting on Sunday looking around and realizing that if I ever see these people again it won't be for a long time. I know I haven't talked a lot about members in my emails but there are a lot that I really enjoyed talking with and getting to know and others that I worked with in ward council. The Prescotts, the Alexanders, Lani Kai, the Katsunos, the Masakis, my ward mission leader Brother Siliga and his wife, and of course Bishop Pasikala. I realized that I really do love these people, I love this area even through the hardships and while I am sad to leave them I am looking forward to building the same relationships in Lanakila. Years from now the vast majority of this ward probably won't even remember my name but that's ok, they may not see the change but I do, there may not have been huge amounts of baptisms or major conversion in the last six months, but there has been a change in mindset. Members are reaching out to friends and less actives, ward missionaries and dropping by peoples houses (there weren't any ward missionaries when I got here), and our ward mission leader (who was brand new when I got here) has now fully realized his calling and is working hard to help us. I know this ward is better now than it was six months ago, whether that's because of me or not, I'm glad that I got to see it.

Love you guys so much and I can't wait to tell you all about my time in the ghetto.
Ofa atu,
Elder Smith

So because I got to know most of the missionaries here pretty well I figured I'd compile a list of everyone in my zone in the time that I've been here. Can't promise that I'll be able to do this in every zone but here is the Elders and Sister from the Kaneohe Stake in the last 6 months.

Kaneohe 1st Ward: Sisters Toufu'i (Tonga), Alldredge (Utah), Haskell (Utah), and Ogawa (Japan)
Kaneohe 2nd Ward (ZLs): Elders Kang (Korea), Jensen (Utah), Mitchell (Ohio), and Harmon (Utah)
Kaneohe 3rd Ward: Me, Elders Zollinger (West Virginia), and Boyd (Arizona)
Kaneohe 4th Ward: Sisters Christensen (Arizona), Iino (Japan), and Yamamoto (Japan)
Kahalu'u Ward: Elders Shelton (Utah), Henderson (Wyoming), Villanueva (Philippines), and Anderl (Utah)
Kailua Ward: Elders Funtanillia (Philippines), Kimball (Utah), Savaii (American Samoa), Pugh (Idaho)
Keolu Ward: Elders Yamamoto (Japan), Travis (Idaho), Zaluski (Utah), and Graham (California)
Olomana Ward: Sister Karitea (Micronesia), Weymouth (Utah), Elgueta (Chile/Norway), and Dabney (Utah)
Waimanalo Ward: Elders Teerlink (Utah), Bradly (Utah) and Sterrin (Utah)

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