Monday, February 24, 2014

Th Big Island is Rural

Another week in paradise down

I am in a car, and the GPS helps to get around! I don't have one of those things that suctions it to the windshield though. Most of my area is pretty well laid out.

So this last week we didn't have the training plan delivered to us yet. (Each transfer, the president and the assistants write out a training plan. (This is given to the district leaders and it tells them what they should train on each week for district meetings.) So without the training plan, we were left to do whatever we wanted for our district meeting. So I decided to have a training on what it means to have real faith. I feel like some of the members of the district I'm in, are a little less motivated. But it's not too bad. They will get out and do things. They did take the sisters out of our district, so now it's a really small district. I don't remember if I told you or not, but there's an elder in my district named Elder Garr. He's from Cypress and apparently he was best friends with Devon. Funny how it's a small world. Oh and I was also wondering: I remember Uncle rick doing a little party trick where he had a banana that he was throwing up and down for like a minute, then when he opened it, it was cut neatly into slices. Wondering if you know how that one was done???

Each week I report to the ZLs on how the district is doing. I tell them mostly what their statistics are for the week. The new zone leader on the island (at least our half) is from Round Mountain, Nevada. Wooh! Haha not many people are from Nevada.

The Big Island is really rural. I think I've mentioned before that it's a drive to get to a decent place to shop. I feel like I would rather live in more of a city.  It's really weird to me that we live half an hour out of town, where most tourists are, and yet we have visitors every week. In my other Wards, where we were a lot closer to where tourists stayed, I never saw any visitors come to church or rarely ever. But for some reason people will come all the way out into the country to have church. And the people are usually really nice. Just yesterday, we visited one of our investigators. He was out on his lawn with some friends, drinking his beer. I was kinda expecting him to say for us to come by some other time, but he let us stay and talk for a little while. We only left because we could go see other people, but I'm sure he would let us stay longer had we been able to. Really nice guy. It's just hard to get a lesson in with him....

We haven't been able to get too many new investigators. We are hopefully going to have some more teaching going on with our new ward mission leader. He is dedicated to getting us more people to teach regularly. But so far, we haven't done too much with that.

This last week we had a dinner with a sister in the Ward that normally can't have us over for the same reasons as you. But she invited her friends over, so we got to have a dinner in her home. One of her friends was a less active member, and the other was a non-member. He didn't really believe in Christ or organized religion, but I thought it was a good start. And now they want to have us over for dinner sometime. Should be fun.

Hopefully the new babies in the family won't be scared of me when I first meet them haha....

Well in three days it will be the halfway mark for me. Weird to think that I've been out a year now. Thinking that half the missionaries have now been out less time than I have is weird. Oh well. I just keep going along.

Not many of our investigators are progressing, but hopefully we can change that. We have super solid recent converts. They're going strong. The members are super nice. Great people.

Well love ya lots. Hope all is well on the home front.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Baptism

Welllllll I'm not quite at the half way mark yet Mother. Haha it's on the 27th. Coming up quick though. 

Hey what is the last name of the person from Orem? My comp is from there. His name is Elder Shute. Oh and by the way, transfers are this Wednesday and both Elder Shute and me are staying in the area. Should be good. I feel that I know the area well enough, but it helps to have someone who has been here a lot longer. 

So we had our baptism this last weekend! He started up so quick. We only started teaching him 4 weeks ago. He had had lessons before so he accepted everything we were saying pretty well. But we are going to make sure he keeps going strong. He lives in an apartment complex with a lot of nonmembers that are family of his. So hopefully we will be able to work with more people through his great example.

One of our members speaks his language, Chuukese, and she was going to speak at the baptism, but her son got sick and she wasn't able to make it. So we had the high priest group leader give the talk on baptism, and the wife of the ward mission leader gave the one on the Holy Ghost. I do have to say that the talk on baptism was a little funny. Brother Hendershot, the high priest group leader, is a little older, and he actually cursed in his talk. Pretty funny, but he meant that we all make mistakes sometimes and we can repent and make progress. The baptismal ordinance (and the confirmation in church) was done by Bishop Ishibashi. Sister missionaries from a different ward came and did the music for us. 

We did go to another baptism the day before. It was the Kea'au ward's baptism. I played the piano for that one. I was actually on exchanges in their area the first day they met the kid that got baptized. He was really sincere and bore his testimony at the baptism, saying that everyone is so nice here and that it feels so much better than at other churches.

In Sacrament meeting, both me and Elder Shute were to give talks on the restoration of the Gospel. Buuuuuuuut I didn't have to, after all. Elder Shute went up and talked. We had a musical number (which I played piano for. The bishop's wife asked the day before if I could play and we found a song online, printed it out, played through it a couple times and then we performed) and then the bishop got up and excused me from speaking in that we were short on time and they wanted to give the high councilman more time to speak. I was kinda sad, because I actually wanted to speak. But oh well. The high councilman's talk went well. It was all about sharing the gospel. We have a new ward mission leader and he is really pushing to get more investigators for the ward to teach. Should be good.

The high councilman that talked actually volunteers down at the Kilauea Volcano State Park. Soooo he took a couple of us missionaries down there to see the volcano this morning It was fun to look at it. We didn't get to get down to lava (you would die of sulfur gas) but we went and hiked down into the caldera of the volcano, basically the outer lip of the "peak." He talked all about everything that we passed. Old Hawaiian legends, facts about the plants, history of the natives and colonizers. I guess he normally does the tour once a week in German for German tourists.  Mom, you should take that tour!

Well I figured out the actually way to say I love you in Hawaiian. I think.... haha anyways it's "Ua aloha au 'ia 'oe" (ooah aloha ow ya oi.... kinda haha) Directly translated it is "To love I to you." 

Well we don't really have any progressing investigators now, but we hope to change that. Hope we can find some prepared people.

Thanks for the support. Let me know about the blessing! 

Ua aloha au 'ia 'oe!

Elder Nitta

Pictures of Kilauea Volcano State Park

Monday, February 3, 2014

So it Snow's in Hawaii...

Aloha, so turns out it snows in Hawaii.... haha

This morning for P Day, we went up to Mauna Kea (One of the mountains that form The Big Island) to watch the sun rise. It was like haleakala again haha. It was well below freezing and snow was all over the ground at the top of the mountain. Super freezing cold at 14,000 feet up.  There was a big group of Japanese tourists up there on that mountain with us, so I tried talking a little to some of them. It was a very short conversation, but they complemented my speaking skills... haha now that is funny.

Our Chuukes investigator is getting baptized this weekend. Saturday at 5. The lessons with him are always great. Sometimes it gets hard to understand each other, so we found someone in the ward that can speak Chuukese. He was taought by missionaires a long time ago, but then he moved away from Chuuk and never met with missionaries again. Then one of our recent converts just met him in town and stated talking with him. he inveited our investigator to church and now he wants to be baptized. It's a great testimony to see him readily accept anything we say. If a person has a testimony of this gospel, they will accept anything that you tell them. No commandment will be too hard to live. They will know that they have to do it and will live it.

So it should be a great weekend. Not too many of our other investigators are progressing. We have one of our other investigators that has made it to church once. We dropped off a Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago and her mom had been reading. I think she has made it past Ether now. Soooo she's been having lots of questions. Hopefully she can progress.

I don't think I've ever told you about the little sandwich shop we eat lunch at almost every day. Really cheap sandwiches - really good stuff. Another one we should go visit sometime if we ever come back.

We have had lots of visitors to our ward. I feel like there are more tourists coming to this ward than any other wards I've been in. There were like 4 families that came to church out in the middle of no where, versus no families ever coming to the wards right next to Waikiki or on Maui right in town... oh well it is great seeing the chapel packed.

Well I don't have too much time but I'll see what is at Walmart today. Hope all is well. Love you lots!

Elder Nitta