Monday, March 18, 2013

Aloha From Wailuku, Maui

So I guess you're wondering where I am right now.  Well my first area is in Wailuku on the island of Maui.  It's right next to Molokai.  (I feel like I'm starting to get better at pronouncing names and stuff)  My trainer is Elder Mitton.  He actually was serving in Japan in Fukuoka for about a year and a half, but he had to go home because he got sick, but he's finishing out here in Hawaii.  So he's sometimes trying to get me to speak Japanese. 
The ward here is kinda crazy actually.  There are 3 Nitta families here.  Two that I've talked to have the same kanji as us and at least one other family comes from Hiroshima too.  Do you guys know where in Hiroshima our family was from?  Well, the whole bishopric is super young (Like 20's and 30's).  But they're really awesome.  The second counselor's name is Ie Nitta, so I got to actually go visit with his grandparents (they're about 84/85ish).  I was apparently the first missionary to ever set foot in their house, so that got Brother Nitta really excited.  But it's gonna take a while before I get everyone's name down in the ward.
The previous missionaries kinda left the apartment/pad/house a mess.  So we spent a lot of the fisrt couple of days just cleaning everything.  They left us a fish to take care of too.  It's in the back of a member's house (the ward mission leader).  He has been trying to help us clean up, but I don't really want him to.  He's really old and gets exhausted really easily, so we keep telling him to let us fix up the place. After all, it is our responsibility.
The missionaries before us didn't really leave us with a lot of work either.  We had no appointments, and only a list of names of people who once were taking lessons.  We white washed the area (both Elder Mitton and I were brand new to the area) so we were hoping to have something to do.  But we have just been going around trying to meet all the members of the ward.  Through that we have been able to get a few appointments which start tomorrow.  Hopefully we can keep it going to have some baptisms.  The mission has some 1200 baptisms a year (apparently last year they were in the top 10 most baptizing missions in the world (I think)).  SO we look forward to getting a few. 
The food here has been great so far, for the most part.  I eat whatever is placed in front of me.  The first night we ate at a member's house.  They made some pasta with egg salad something in it.  It was okay, but kinda weird.  We do get fed dinner pretty much every night, so that might be a little different than what Logan and Gavin experienced. 
The mission president told us that this mission is the most international mission in the world.  There's something like 20 or 40 languages (I can't remember what he said) spoken here on the islands.  Just in my zone, there's English, Japanese, Mashalese, Samoan, Chikese, and maybe a few others.  I don't know if those are spelt right...
So we went on a hike this morning through the jungle of Maui.  It was pretty sweet.  We followed a river down to a waterfall.  It was pretty so I took a lot of pictures.  I don't think I have the cord to connect my camera to the computer with me....
This area is quitte diverse as far as how well off the people are.  There are some parts of my area that are way run down apartments that are a little scary to go into, then there are some parts that are super nice (homes that most American families would be comfortable in).  But we've gone to some members houses where I thought it was a drug house or something.  Some houses that we have gone to, the people don't even speak English.  Some places there are really angry people and a lot more that have people that are nice and talk to you when you knock on their door.
So originally my area was a biking area.  Most of the missionaries here get cars to drive.  But one of the sisters from the Lahaina area (yes that's on the island) were going to buy a new car, so we get to use their old car until it's supposed to go in for maintanance in 2 or 3 weeks.
So things that I might need: the other suitcase (I was super close to the wight limit with my one bag), a rain jacket, piano music if possible, my nail, the camera cord if you can find it, a photo album of the family (I was told it's a great thing to show people and get interested in you and the message, and kids like it)
Well I hope you all are doing well.  It's been great here in Hawaii and I can't wait to get this area going with baptisms!
Elder Nitta

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