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