Monday, April 24, 2017

Mission Ups and Downs

Got 1,000 things to say and 10 minutes to say them so here we go.

In Hawaii news we did set an 11 year old boy with a baptism date this week. His name is Makama Alcon and he is the son of a recently returning member. Sadly he spends a lot of time on Molokai for now but will be here permanently in the summer, thus the reason why the baptism is so far away. Odds are I will stay here one more transfer which means I will be here to see it but if not I know that me being there isn't the important part.

There's another man we have been working with named Sanfour and he is awesome. Such a humble dude and really likes missionaries the only holdup is he doesn't speak great English and so when we stat talking gospel he gets lost. Odds are we will turn him over to the Sisters that cover the Micronesian branch eventually, but for now he is comfortable with us so we are keeping him. Plus those sisters don't speak Chuukese either they would just have access to members that do.

I also got the sad news that one of the older members in the Kaneohe 3rd ward passed away this past week. Sister Kaneaiakala fed us every month and always had funny things to say. She was full of energy to the end. Some prayers for her husband Wayne would be appreciated, it was a relatively unexpected passing. She was the first person I gave a blessing to on the mission.

This week has been full of ups and downs. There have been some great things and some not so great things and I have been very frustrated this week by the agency of other people. I know that sounds funny but I feel like this week I was able to see more people than ever before in this area but they just aren't doing anything. There are people that need our message so bad but they just aren't returning our texts, people that served full time missions but somehow still strayed off the path and just choose not to come back, people who are active but married to non members and just aren't pushing their spouse to meet with us. Honestly this has been a great week but I find myself getting frustrated with some of these people, I kept getting down on myself because I thought it was something that I was doing wrong but then I remembered something it says in preach my gospel. Even when we are doing all we can, we will still face disappointments, though we should not be disappointed in ourselves. I know this can be hard to do, but in the end we just need to look at our efforts and if we can honestly say that we did all we needed to do then we have no need to blame ourselves on the outcome.

Anyway I'm glad that everyone is doing great and that I'm not the only on getting hit by allergies (though it isn't that bad here).

Love you all and miss you.

Ofa atu
Elder Smith

Movie attached for your amusement.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!


So this has been a very interesting week. I say that because while it feels like it has been very successful on paper we didn't really get anything good on papers (in terms of numbers that we report) so I guess that why they tell us that only we can be judges of our own success haha. Anyway this week started off pretty good with the mission taking a day to have all the missionaries go out and just find new people to teach. Sadly no such luck for me and Elder Campbell, but we did have the opportunity to talk to quite a few people. Got to plant seeds wherever we go.

In Easter news our Sunday program was pretty good. Sacrament was amazing and the lessons in gospel principles and elders quorum were really good. Since it was Easter we did have a lot more of the part member families that came to church, we tried to talk to as many as we could but those people have been trained in the art of dodging missionaries so we will see if any of that pans out. Sadly nobody signed up to feed us on Easter so that was a bit sad, but its all good because Elder Campbell and I spent the dinner break dyeing Easter eggs. What a time :P

I think that Easter is one of the most easily over looked holidays in the eyes of the world, but the Resurrection of Christ is one of the most important events in the history of this earth. Through that we can all conquer physical death and be together forever with Christ and with our families. I don't think I have ever given the holiday that kind of appreciation and I hope that I always remember that and that you do to. I just feel so blessed and its amazing.

My next transfer is the second week of May so I'll be in Hon-West for at least another few weeks (and probably more than that, I think this will be a 3 transfer area, but that's just my guess). But yeah its been another great week here in paradise but let me tell you it has been a lot hotter. It seems like every day its overcast right up until its time for us to work, then suddenly its blazing hot. Elder Campbell and I walk most of the time to try and see more people, but then that means that we get sunburns and are drenched in sweat after like an hour. So needless to say by the end of the day I'm basically a sweaty stinky mess (sorry :P). But yeah here's a funny story for you. So me and Campbell were walking in a neighborhood and a dog started viciously barking at us (typical) and then it charged us but it had a chain on so we didn't flinch. Only thing is it got to the end of its chain and pulled so hard the chain broke. There was like 3 seconds of silence where me, Campbell, and the dog all came to the realization of what just happened then it started to advance on us a bit and we both kinda freaked out (it was a very "built" dog, kinda like our dog Indy) and so we were both prepared to take this thing down with our bags, but luckily by the grace of God or sheer luck it backed off before it tried to bite. Never thought that sorta thing would actually happen to me but I guess it does happen haha.

President Bekker called and told me about Gruncle passing away. I know that it was his time and that he lived an honorable life. I'm just glad that he went peacefully.

Well time is short. Hope your Easter was amazing and that your upcoming week is great.
Love you all,
Elder Smith

Egg dyeing skills.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Temple Blessings


So its been another 8 days, as I'm sure you've come to expect every once in awhile my p-day got pushed back to Tuesday because we had the awesome chance to go to the Laie Temple today, as always it was a wonderful spiritual experience and I think I got the answer to some questions that have been on my mind as of late. I don't think I realized until recently how lucky we are to have a temple so available to us. Like reading the Bible in the Old Testament there was only ever one temple on the continent for the people to worship in. I'm pretty sure there was only one on the American Continent as well. There would be no hope for people living on an isolated island like this to have access to a temple, but here we are with two. Guess that just testifies to me even further that the lord is hastening the work. So just a quick reminder to not take for granted how easy it is to get to the temple :P

On the mission work side of things it has been a slower week, but we have faith that things are going to pick up here in a bit. I had the chance to go on an exchange this week with Elder Boyd so it was just like old times seeing him again. We also found out that someone we were seeing back in Kaneohe got baptized this week (Brother Naipo, not sure if I ever mentioned him) so that was great to hear. Sad I couldn't be there to see it but it isn't about me, it's about the work. It also made me realize that a mission honestly is really short and that I need to make sure I'm not wasting my time out here. As of yesterday I'm officially 1/3 of the way done! I have no idea how that happened because it really feels like I just got here.

Well I got to hurry this along, just know that I'm good, I got your package, and my shoes are still holding together.

Love you guys!
Elder Smith

Monday, April 3, 2017

Conference and Hon-West News


Over on this side of the ocean things have been going pretty well. Not a lot of chance to meet with our investigators this week but we did find a couple new people that show some promise. I'll keep you posted on them. There's this guy our age who is prepping to go on a mission right now so he has been going out with us every week or so, so that has been pretty cool. His name is Levi and his last name I believe is Fu'uaga but off hand I'm blanking on it. Anyway its crazy to be on the other end of the "prepping for a mission" routine that all the 18 and 19 year olds do. Makes me realize that the missionaries I went out with probably had no clue what they were doing because half the time I'm just smiling and pretending I have any clue what I'm suppose to be doing. Granted I'm pretty sure that's 80% of missionaries and basically how people get through life in general so it's good practice :P.

So I'm honestly trying to remember what happened this week and its all kinda a blur. I think all my memory was taken up by conference so I'll mostly talk about that. But first off this was the first week of a new transfer, not a lot of change here in the Hon-west zone aside from the fact that Elder Boyd is now in the zone. It was pretty funny the first day he got here our two companionships went to lunch together and we were all talking about the Kaneohe 3rd ward (his comp Elder Kirkham also served there) and while we were doing this we saw a member from that ward walk by. He saw us all together and just laughed. I miss the people in that ward.

But in conference news it was a real struggle getting up once again because conference starts at 6 in the morning but Elder Campbell and I pushed through and made it. I don't have my notes on me but there were a lot of talks that were just fantastic. One of the things that really stuck out to me was the talk (can't remember who it was by) that said that Jesus loved the rich young ruler. I had just read that story in the Book of Mathew where it doesn't specifically say loved and I'm not gonna lie it really worried me a bit. I know that I'm out here on a mission and that the Lord is merciful, but sometimes being held to such a high standard makes you feel inadequate when you aren't exactly perfect. But when that story was shared it reminded me of something that President Bekker said (I think he might have been quoting someone else but I don't know). "We don't need to be perfect, we just need to be good at getting better." I know that I just need to give Him what I have and have faith that the rest will be taken care of. Man I just love this gospel, it really is for everyone. We aren't perfect, what we do and say isn't perfect, but what we teach is. The gospel is the only perfect thing on this earth.

Glad to hear that the next group of Seniors are all starting to get their calls, waiting to hear who's going to get sent to the Aloha mission!

Hope life is great, don't have much time so I gotta go.
Love you all!
Elder Smith