Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mele Kalikimaka

Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka!

Well it's been a crazy week.  As it turns out, I can email today!  All the libraries were closed but the Apple store in the mall is still open for last minute christmas shoppers.  Lucky me!  

This last Tuesday, all of the missionaries on Oahu were interviewed by a Seventy that flew in.  I guess a lot of the missionaries here in Hawaii have been struggling with obedience issues so President Warner had Elder Richards come in and talk to us all.  I had a nice interview.  I know there are things that I could do better, and President challenged me to be an example to all those around me, by being a leader. The Seventy talked to all the missionaries on the island on Friday.  He gave an amazing talk on Faith. Three hours of just talking about what it means to have faith. He talked about how faith is not true faith, if we are not acting because of true desire. We can't act because we feel obligated to by someone else. He talked about how true happiness can only come as we have the Spirit, and that the Spirit can only come as we act in faith, not obligation. He spent a lot of time uplifting and encouraging us. The Mission was kinda half expecting to be chastised for the 3 hours, but he went about it in a truly loving manner. Before the Mission tour, I was able to be a part of the Mission Leader Conference. Normally only the Zone Leaders and Sister Trainers are a part of that, but Elder Richards also invited all of the District Leaders. He talked about how to be a good leader, we must first teach truth by the Spirit, then invite to act in faith, and then minister or to follow up and help the other person improve. Great time being motivated.

The Honolulu Stake had a Christmas Concert this last weekend. The concerts have been going on for 27 years now, with the same guy conducting each year. I want to go ask him sometime how he got to where he was (Orchestra director of the private school). It was Saturday and Sunday nights. They had a full orchestra (with organ and piano), an adult choir, a youth choir, a children's choir and dancers. They performed so much amazing music, a couple of Mack Wilberg arrangements. It was like listening to MoTab.  A lot of the music has been performed by MoTab. I was able to record some of the music they performed like Joy to the World, the Hallelujah Chorus, and All Creatures of our God and King.  The latter was the ending number. They had all the choirs, orchestra, and organ going. I thought the whole building was going to fall down because of how much 'noise' there was. But all in all, it was a great concert. There were so many people. We invited everyone we knew, but I didn't see any of our investigators... There was a section for missionaries and investigators, but some people would just bring their nonmember friends and take the spots so some missionaries didn't have anywhere to sit. I was able to be an usher for both nights. 

We we did have one of our non progressing investigators come to Church this Sunday. He asked one of the missionaries what he needs to do to be baptized. I was super surprised. This was our investigator who is convinced he needs to be married to a Mormon wife before he can be baptized. But from what I hear he has been on the LDS singles websites a lot and traveling a lot around the country. So we might have a miracle soon in our midst. 

It's funny that you might think it's cold here, but I definitely still sweat. The 80s and maybe 70s is where it's at 90% of the year. As far as clothing, I have been just buying things as they wear out. I should be good for a while.

For today and tomorrow, we are having a party as a zone. We all got white elephant gifts. We are going to be playing games and stuff tonight. We do have a baptism to go to though. On Saturday, I was asked if I could do an interview on Sunday morning for the Tongan ward. The Bishop of that Ward told me that these people are ready. The interviews went super quick and he told me I was going to be at the baptism tonight, so I didn't really have a choice. haha I have had a lot of crazy baptisms to be a part of lately.

As far as skyping, once again I will be trying to get on around 10 Hawaii time. I guess I will be trying to use my account and contacting Gavin's. It would be awesome to have Chelsea on too, but I don't know what her time schedule is going to be like.

Well I can't wait to talk to all of you guys tomorrow. Should be fun. If you have any questions email back quick. I'll be on for a little while more.

Elder Nitta

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mission Christmas Dance

New investigator this week!


So I guess news about iPads reached you... Our mission has been abusing texting privileges a lot I guess. So our Mission President said that we won't get iPads until the mission can handle texting first. It could take until August when we get them (last I heard). I'm okay with that. I figure I'm pretty lucky to have what I have in the first place. Not a lot of missionaries have had cars, phones, or even bikes. So I'm good with just working the same way for a while.

Well some fun news is that we are allowed to skype on Christmas.  So we have found a family that is going to let us use their computers. So I'll probably be on sometime between 10am ad 2pm (Hawaii time) on Christmas day.  I'll let you know more next week.  We have a lot of plans to get together as a Zone and do fun activities.  Should be a fun couple of weeks.  Hopefully we will b able to get some missionary work done too... haha we have Christmas eve off after 2 pm, the all of Christmas day.  We have New Near's eve off after 5 and all of new year's day.  So lots of time off.

Well this week we had 2 of our investigators at Church.  It was surprising to see one of them there though.  The last lesson we had with her was kind of frustrating.  She was asking so many questions and arguing a lot of her opinions.  The lesson didn't seem to go anywhere.  She told us she is probably going to get baptized, but we want her to be able to feel the Spirit and know that it's the right choice. Oh well, but it was good see her there.  The other investigator was our eternal investigator. Still hasn't shown much progress.

We were able to find a new investigator this week.  He was a referral from one of the senior couple office missionaries. He works at a health clinic where the senior sister over medical stuff goes a lot.  She talked to him there and got his address.  We went over and talked for just a little.  He seems super genuinely interested.  He said he likes how we tell him to read the Book of Mormon and find out for himself that it's true. I think he can have a lot of potential.

We had lots of baptisms this last weekend in the Zone. One from the Sisters in my District. She was a super nice lady, liked to talk a lot so the baptismal interview took a while, but it was good.  She talked about how she was learning from the Jehovah's Witnesses for about 10 years but never did anything.  Then after a couple of months with the Mormons she got baptized,  haha super nice lady. The was a baptism for a whole Chuukese family of 7 this weekend too.  And I was the one who had to do all of the interviews....  It was crazy doing it all.  Everyone was running late and the baptism started almost an hour late. It's funny comparing the 2 baptisms.  The Sister's was well put together and prepared for, and the Elders was kinda thrown together last minute. I played piano for both of them. Fun day we were super late to our dinner appointment after. I felt kinda bad. But the baptism went super late.  We have been having a lot of ward Christmas parties too. It's been fun getting around the zone and seeing everybody.

We were going to go on a hike today over in Hawaii Kai, but when we got there, there were signs around saying no tresspassing and there was a huge gate around the start of the trail.  It wasn't there before.... haha but we went down to a blowhole thing to take pictures and look at the water.  We had lunch at the Costco over there. 

Hopefully this next week will be good. We have been struggling to find a lot of new people to teach, but it's starting to look up. I have faith that it will be well.  Love You.  Wait I think I remember how to say it in hawaiian.  Aloha ia te oe.  I think.... haha

Elder Nitta

Monday, December 9, 2013

To complain about heat in "winter."

Haha it's spelt Mele Kalikimaka but good job

Well life is going fun.  We had our ward Christmas party this last Saturday.  I was playing the piano for the program.  We had about zero practice or preparation for it, but it was fun.  They did a marionnette show on how the Christmas carol "Far far away on Judea's plain" was written. They just handed me an outline of the program and said to play it.  Haha and then in the middle of the performance, the bishop came up to me right before a song started and said we were switching the song to another one. Well it was fun.  We invited a bunch of investigators, but only one family showed up.  It was great to see them though. We had ham, a full roasted pig, and turkey for the main courses.  Salad and soup and desserts were good too.  We spent the whole night previous just setting up for the party.  They had bamboo trees draping over the eating area and big palm tree leaves on all the pillars.  Lots of lights and the stage was decorated pretty crazy.  They had a spot for Santa to come for the kids.  The other elders made me get in a picture with him. haha oh well.

Another one of our less active families works to clean up the Hawaii 5 0 Studio every night.  And they invited us to come with them one of these nights.  They have all these stories of how the place is haunted and crazy things happen when they were there. I'll have to let you know about any crazy things that happen.  That family is really great.  They have us over for dinner and cook whatever we want.  This last time was burgers.  Before that was steak and potatoes (potatoes are hard to come by in hawaii.  All you get is rice...)

As far as our missionary work, this week has been a little slow.  We weren't able to meet with a lot of our investgators. No one showed up for Sacrament. Hopefully this new week will go better. I just want to make sure to set a good example for Elder Saunders, my new missionary companion. I want to be able to see lots of success. When I first got to Hawaii, we had nothing going on for us, but by the time two transfers had gone by, we were able to see some baptisms.  hope that can happen with us. 

The weather has been pretty good.  Almost too hot though. Haha funny to complain about heat in "winter." But it's been good. Nice to be getting some sweat work when we're biking around all the hills in our area. I'm going to die when I go back to Utah. haha I feel like this biking thing has been good.  Getting me a little more in shape. I hope that I can not gain a lot of weight. It's been a while since I last weighed myself.... haha hope the scale doesn't break.

The sisters in my district might have a baptism coming up soon this week hopefully. The investigator actually lives a couple blocks from where we live, and she says she sees us biking around a lot. haha. Hopeflly that goes through. Then the other set of sisters in our district have a baptism at the end of the month. He's actually a man from Japan.  Around his 20s. I was able to talk with him for a little bit. I wish I actually knew Japanese haha. I forgot if I told you about the tracting story a little while ago. We were knocking some doors and a lady came out and said that she didn't speak English very well. So I ask if she spoke Japanese (Nihongo o hanasu koto ga dekimasuka?) She got all excited and started going off in japanese.  I didn't understand anything she was saying, so I just said, "Sorry i can't speak very much Japanese." Then asked if we could pray with her. and she said she was Catholic and didn't want to pray. Haha well it was a fun experience anyways. When we left, Elder Saunders was all confused. I was complaining that I couldn't understand anything she said, and he said, well if you feel that way, imagine how I feel.

We are still trying to find new people to teach. It's a slow process, but sometimes we find people through tracting. We are teaching one person we found our first night tracting. A family we ate dinner with last night said they know they need to find some people. I helpful hint I gave them was to look for opportunities to serve. Service is a great way to bring people into the gospel and open them up to the missionaries.

Hope all is well.  Love you lots

Elder Nitta

Monday, November 25, 2013

Welcome Elder Saunders from Vale, Oregon!

Another week down!

It's been a good week.  The new missionary I got is Elder Saunders from Vale, Oregon.  He's a good kid.  It's been great getting out and working with him, though it's been rough being on bikes again.  It's not bad, it's just that you have to organize time better, and it's not like you can just go visit whoever you want.  If you want to go to the opposite side of the area, you just have to plan to spend a lot of time there.  Though I am grateful for the bikes.  It does help to get around.  i realize that that's probably all Gavin had on his mission. 

We are hoping to get this area up and running again.  It's been slower with some less motivated missionaries being in it lately.  So it's like starting from ground zero again.  That's what me and my trainer did on Maui too.  And we saw plenty of success by the end of the transfers we spent there.  I hope to be able to see more here.  And we already have a couple people that we are working with.  Granted they aren't really making lots of progress, but that can change.

One of our investigators came to church, one that I wasn't really expecting to come.  He's of the mindset that he needs to be married to a Mormon girl before he can get baptized.... yeah well tat'll be fun.  But it was good to see him.  Last night as I was collecting numbers from the district, one of the sisters asked if she could do anything for us.  Jokingly I said to find a 40 year old girl that is looking for a 40 year old Korean man to marry.  haha Well she got super excited and said that she will go around the ward and keep her eyes open haha. 

One cool thing that happened was when we went to visit a referral we had received.  Turns out the referral was already a member, but they told us to go visit their neighbors after we asked if they knew anyone to teach, so we did.  They let us in and said a prayer with us, and we set a return appointment!  They lady was super nice and excited, so hopefully we can see some progress!

Another fun thing was that me and my new "son" went tracting the first night together.  We went down just a random street nearby our house, and we were able to find a solid potential investigator.  She told us to come back so we can talk more!

We are having a ward Christmas party on the 7th.  The bishop asked if I could play the piano as a musical number, so I got some music from a lady in the ward.  The main thing for the party is going to be a marrionette show. about a Christmas carol.  It looks like it's going to be fun!  Also me and another Elder (From Tonga) want to go around closer to Christmas time and go carolling with our ukuleles.  Should be fun.  I'm excited to see what potential we might find.  haha

Well hope your week has been fun.  Mine has been gettig better.  We get fed by a Tongan family today, which means a lot of food.  haha Life is great Love you!

Elder Nitta

Monday, November 11, 2013

This is time to be strengthened as a Missionary


So this week has been just another week in the mission field.  We went on zone exchanges Saturday. We already have three Missionaries in our ward, but they put 2 more in the area with us for the day. We had Elder Cornum from Utah somewhere, and Elder Bawden from Utah somewhere.  Haha lots of Utah people.  Oh well there's a couple of missionaries from all around in the zone.  Two from Kiribati, a south Pacific set of islands.  One from Saipan, close to Japan, one from Chuuk, another island in Micronesia.  But most are from mainland, with the overwhelming majority as Utah folk.  Well we got to meet with a couple of our investigators on the exchange.  It was fun being with some other people. But 5 people in one apartment was a lot.  We had a blow up mattress the 2 beds, the couch taken, and one slept on the floor.  Haha oh well.

We're coming to the close of another transfer. It ends in a week, so next email will be the last of the transfer.  I hear they are thinking about splitting the ward I am in.  They did that to the ward I was in on Maui too, but I guess we'll find out.  Four missionaries in the ward was fun, but we had to start finding a lot more people to teach and work with.  At least this time we have a car to use.  A little bit easier to get around, although I feel like I miss the bike.  I definitely got more exercise while I was on Maui haha, but surprisingly, I'm still at my starting weight.  I think I actually gained some weight while I was on Maui, but have gone back down since then.  I think it's good though that we don't have a scale in our pad.  

Well as far as the packages, you don't have to send a bunch of candy.  I feel like most of it just sits in the apartment until other missionaries come and eat it.  I do feel like I am eating a lot better out here, compared to home.  For example, last night for dinner there was a linguini salad that I helped myself to.  A member on Maui just fed us a salad for a lunch one time.  Though I'm still don't like mushrooms, and cucumbers aren't my favorite.  Tomatoes are okay, but lettuce is generally good.  Haha I liked a strawberry vinaigrette dressing we had a a member's house.  

Being district leader is good.  It's not too much responsibility.  I just do trainings and go on exchanges with those in my district.  Make sure everyone is good.  I do feel that I can sometimes put in more thought into the weekly trainings that I do.  This last week I had zero time to prepare, but it went well.  It's good though.  The sisters in our district always say that I do good trainings, although I feel that I get persecuted sometimes from some elders, because they want to do fun things for "trainings," but most of the time I just talk about the whatever we're supposed to do, do role plays.  Oh well, I'm just trying to do it as I have been told to.  To me it's a time to be strengthened as a missionary, but so many people see it as an opportunity to get together with other missionary friends.  Grrrr I try to do what is right.  

Today is Veteran's day (I think) so I'm at the apple store in the mall emailing now.  All the libraries and community centers are closed down.  Lately in Honolulu it's been raining all day.  We get text alerts on our phone about flood warnings, and it has been going off nonstop.  Today has cleared up a lot.  Yeah I don't really like the rain all that much... haha Also got a haircut from another missionary today.  Oh this last week we got to go to another baptism in the zone.  The person that got baptized had to get approval from the first presidency for something, so he was waiting for about two months to get baptized.  It finally happened on Saturday.  They got a letter signed by the first presidency, cool... haha President Warner did the baptism.  Super cool.  It was funny, because I showed up about 5 or 10 minutes early. The sister who had been on the program to play the piano wasn't there (and she didn't get there until almost 10 minutes after the program startrf) so I hopped on the piano for a little prelude.  I went to sit down after the sister arrived, but the person announced that I would be playing the piano.  Me and the sister had a 2 second argument about who should go up there, but I ended up going and playing. haha it was fun.  At church I played some prelude and the opening song for opening exercises in priesthood on the organ.  Several members came up and said that they really appreciate me playing.  Oh and I guess Elder Kukuchiki of the seventy was at our ward this Sunday.  I didn't get to talk to him though.... oh well haha

Fun week.  I'm exciteted for the new transfer though.  Thanks for all your love.  Oh a thing I wanna get is some new shirts.  Ive notice the 100% cotton shirts get super wrinkled super easy.  About half of them are that material.  The other shirts are good, they're like 55% polyester and 45% cotton or something like that.  Think I might buy some soon.  

Love you lots!

Elder Nitta

Monday, November 4, 2013

We have a third Missionary with us...

Aloha momma!

Sorry I wasn't able to email yesterday.  I'm just imagining how you used to freak out a little every time Gav and Log didn't email right on Monday.  Well, we went on a hike in the morning and then had a BBQ as a zone.  After the hike, we were running around trying to get all needed supplies ready.  It was fun.  We were at Kapiolani park.  It's right across from Waikiki beach, in the Kaimuki area.  We played some fun ukulele jams and played some football...  Ate great burgers and hot dogs.

It's been a pretty eventful week, but pretty uneventful for our investigators.  So we now have a third missionary with us, Elder Thompson.  He'll probably be here till the end of the transfer in 2 weeks.  Something happened in his last area with people wanting to sue the church, so they had to take the missionaries out.  He's a good kid. 

Yesterday we had a really nice dinner with the Togiola (Tongeeolah) family.  They're getting married soon and are going through the temple.  They live in the Kahala area though (right next to ours), and for your info madre, the Kahala Ward and Hawaii Kai Ward (One more over from Kahala) are the highest tithing-paying wards in the world.  SOooooo it was a really nice house and we had some pretty good food too.  It was fun.  They had a little dog that kept on nibbling at our socks...

Then we had President interviews this last week.  Sister Warner brought a new surprise for us missionaries.  Apparently by Christmas time, all the missionaries will be able to have their own iPad mini to take around.  It will be ours to keep, so we are asked to pay $100 for it I think.  All of us were getting to play around on it.  Crazy how technology is going.  Soooo I don't know yet if I might need help paying for that.  I'll let you know.  I was also thinking that if we have the iPad, we could save PDF files on it.  I could have somebody scan some church music I have at home and then email it to be saved on the iPad.  I think I'll have to approve that with someone though.  Let ya know..

We did have a lesson this last week with one of our eternal investigators.  He's been coming to church for over 3 years now.  It was kinda hard teaching him, because he goes off on random trains of thought.  Basically, he thinks that all churches can be true, no concept of the importance of authority, but we told him that now is the time to decide if he wants to finally be baptized in this church, and told him to pray about it.  Hopefully next time he will hav a good answer for us. 

I did get my ATM card, but I don't remember a package from you... I did get one from Chelsea and from Ann.  Hmmmm Hopefully it's not lost in the mail...

Thanks for being awesome always!  Love you most!

Elder Nitta

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Missionaries are asked to be judges for the Halloween Costume and Pumpkin Carving contest

I feel like the 'Aloha' is getting old.... Well hi!!

It's been a very fun week.  Lately, in church every Sunday, for the past month or so, the Bishop has been reading a letter to the Priesthood and Relief Society about a bill trying to be passed in Hawaii that allows the legality of gay marriage.  Basically telling everyone that we need to be involved politically and take a stand.  The exemptions mentioned in the bill are very loose apparently for religious organizations, and, if pushed, it could jeopardize the ability of our Bishops' to perform marriages, and might have the possibility of being brought to the temple.  The starting session and hearings are beginning today, so many of our members are going down to the federal building to voice their opinion.  It will be crazy to see what happens and the consequences that follow.

We have a Ward Halloween/Trunk or Treat activity going on this Tuesday.  Us missionaries were asked to be judges for the costume and pumpkin carving contests.  Should be fun, I'm excited.  I think for Halloween we will probably have to be in earlier.  For all major holidays we usually stop proselyting early.  Like on the 4th of July, we stopped at 4 and then went to go watch fireworks as a Zone.  Haven't heard yet though when we will stop on Halloween.  We already have families signed up that want to feed us for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I guess I'm grateful that I get fed almost every day, but I think I have gained something like 5-10 pounds so far.... grrrr.... I need to be more diligent about exercising.

Well we had our investigator Stephanie come to a baptism this last Saturday.  She really liked it, and still seems like she wants to go through with her baptism.  But again, she didn't make it to Church.  Every time she says she wants to go, I guess something comes up and they don't make it.  Grrrr Sometimes I don't know what else I can do to help these people....   Other than that, not much is happening with many of our investigators.  We've been just trying to find ways to consistently meet with them.  I went on exchanges with one of the Zone Leaders on Saturday.  That was a fun experience.  He's a brand new Zone Leader so he's still learning too. 

I just passed 8 months out in the mission field.  Crazy how fast time is going by.  At times it seems like it slows to a near halt, but always seems fast.  Everything is going well and I'm pretty happy.  Hopefully we will see some progress in investigators. Chelsea sent a package so that was great.  Love you lots and give thanks always for the wonderful parents I have!

Elder Nitta
Me and my Companion

My 'son' and his 'son'

Our Beautiful Temple in Hawaii
Chelsea's Birthday Gift to me 
Our District

A hike we went on for PDay