Monday, March 24, 2014

Elder Shute is leaving the area and Elder Greene is coming in!

Aloha kakou!

Well, if you haven't been necessarily keeping track, this week is the week of transfers. So Elder Shute is leaving the area and Elder Greene is coming in. I think I met him once before. Came out with Elder Saunders, the missionary that I trained a couple transfers ago, I think. But the fun thing is that we will now be covering two areas. So the story is that the other elders in the next ward over have been having so many problems with their truck they have. (They have a truck, becasue their area is suuuuuppppper bumpy. Lots of dirt roads and stuff, more so than our area) The truck is in real bad shape and the mission would have to buy a new one rather than fix this one up, but the mission doesn't have enough money for that, so they are taking out both of the missionaries and having us take over the area. That means I'll be at church on Sunday for like 9 hours to go to both wards and to attend all the meetings.... haha but it will be fun. Looking forward to meeting new people and picking up the other elders work.

This last Friday, we had a wonderful lesson with one of investigators. She has been struggling a lot with progression, well, all of our investigators have been not progressing, but we brought with us one of the members in the ward. Basically we stressed the importance of the Book of Mormon and reading and praying about it. She told us that she would read just a little every day. then she told us, "well, I know I say that every time, but I will try." I feel like the lesson we had had the most progression from her in a while. Hopefully she can stay true to her commitment.

All of our recent converts are going super strong. We have lessons with a couple of them every week, and they all are really active and going. A couple of them are getting patriarchal blessings, and another is preparing for the temple. We have dinner at one of their houses on Sunday I think, where her husband is a professional cook in a 5 star restaurant in Kona. Last time, we had super good food (I think steak, salad and potato salad) and he said that it was hat he does with only a little time.Soooo I'm excited. Then we are starting to schedule a lot of our dinners with less active members. I think we have at least 2 or 3 less actives feeding us this week, so hopefully it will strengthen them and get them out to church when we visit them.

We were able to do service for one of our less active families this week too. They were being evicted from their place and needed to get out by Friday, so us and a couple families from the ward showed up to help pack the uhaul he had gotten. He is moving out to Pahoa (out of our ward boundaries) out in the middle of no-where. We went on this muddy dirt road for a long time, basically to get to his property back out there in the jungle. He is going to live in a trailer temporarily while he is building his place. I kinda feel bad for all the things that have happened to him. But hopefully he can get back on his feet. He was really grateful for the help that we provided.

While in ward council,  our members talked about these missionary experiences they have been having. They talked about these people that they are working towards getting an appointment with the missionaries, so our ward mission leader's efforts to inspire the ward are starting to take effect. And he has only visited maybe 5 or 6 families. But they all have people for us. We were able to have dinner at our bishop's house this last week, where one of the boys, Lehia, brought a friend over. We talked about the atonement and Christ. So the friend is coming to the Wednesday night activities and hopefully will start coming to church too, then the bishop is saying that he wants to help to get the parents in on the lessons too. Our ward mission leader has a couple of people for us to visit too. Lots of families are coming together to try to help us stay busy. They say, "if the missionaries aren't busy, it's our fault." I feel that that's almost bad for the missionaries to hear. Maybe some missionaries will think that they should jsut wait until someone tells them to go visit someone, but I hope that they continue to work hard.

Well later today, one of our investigators wants to take us pig hunting. It's been raining a lot so we might get a little wet. He goes with his hunting dogs and knives. Yes I'll try to be safe.

Love you lots. Hope all is well.

Elder Nitta

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kukui Nuts are leis worn by Teachers here on the island

Madre - no need to apologize for not writing. I feel like I wrote Gavin and Logan almost zero times when I was back home. So I know that it takes some kind of dedication.

Glad you liked the package I sent home. It was fun trying to think of things to put in there. Though they're called 'kukui' nuts - leis that are worn by teachers here on the island. All the missionaries get one when they get off the airplane. Hope you get a chance to look at some of the pictures in that calendar. There are lots of places that I've been to in there.

It's not fun being sick. I've had a couple of times when I got sick. One time on Maui, I was down for almost 2 weeks - it feels good to be better. Hope you're getting better. And hopefully you will be able to sleep better soon.

Haha funny names for the birds (chickens). Hopefully you'll get some good eggs! I can just imagine what Bella must think of the birds out there.

This week has been just another average week. Nothing super big happened really. Tuesday in our district meeting, I had a training on the importance of planning. It's really hard to get everybody motivated and involved when you only have 4 people in the district. But I feel like I was learning a lot as we were going through the training. There have been days when we don't get to plan much, but we still have great days because we are being directed by the spirit. But then I thought, well how much better could that day have been if we had planned everything out and we were directed by the spirit? The use of our time would have been much more effective. I feel like I have lots of moments where we learn a lot as we are teacing. You just say something, or the person you teach says something, and it makes you think of the topic in a different way. Well I love when I learn new things. I try to write down all the spiritual thoughts that come to my mind in a little book, but I feel like I may have missed out on a lot, because I don't always write it down. The hardest thing to do spiritually is to remember I think. So many times we get this huge spiritual outpouring and we never want to experience anything bad again, but that doesn't always last too long. haha

I got to go on exchanges with Elder Garr (the one from Cypress that Dallin knows). We did a bit of service for one of our Ward members. We had a power washer and were washing the house. Spayed the house to get all the dirt that was stuck on off of it. We were under a covering most of the time so water was raining down on us the whole time. Definitely got super soaked while I was there. They made a nice lunch for us. Some tuna tomato sandwich's on sweet bread and a sorbert ice cream float. We went down to the cliffs overlooking the ocean and had a nice relaxing time.

Our closest investigator to progressing is Patricia. She is basically stuck in that she is waiting for a spiritual enlightenment where she knows that all this is true. We challenged her to read from the Book of Mormon (like we always do) and testified that this is where you will be able to get your answers. I hope that she'll follow through with that commitment.

Church has been good. We lost our Sunday school teacher a couple weeks ago (he moved back to the mainland) and so our landlord (the Sunday school president) told us we would be teaching the class. I was okay with that, but when we got to church, our new ward mission leader and his wife had taken it upon themselves to teach the class. So far it's been good. We have been going over to our recent converts place every Sunday to continue teaching him. It's almost amazing to me to see how much he didn't know, but he still wanted to be baptized. I read a talk by Alvin R Dyer (Brother Dyer's father that was an apostle) and he talked about how we don't really need to go through all these lengthy lessons to make sure these investigators "know what they're getting into." If they have felt the spirit, they know they want to be a part of it and we should invite them to be baptized as soon as they feel that, or else the spirit could leave them and then they will lose the desire to join the church when the spirit isn't being felt int their life. well we baptized Sarapio super fast. He was basically going off of the desire that he knew he wanted to be a part of the church. He didn't know a lot about it, only very very basic stuff. But he continues to learn and continues to have a great time at church.

Well, hopefully our investigators will be able to start progressing more. We hope to see many new investigators from our members too. They have all been challenger by our ward mission leader, one by one in their homes, to simply pray for the opportunity to share to gospel. Hopefully it will lead to something!

Love you lots!

Elder Nitta

Monday, March 3, 2014

Aloha wau 'ia 'oe!

Aloha wau 'ia 'oe!

I actually asked a person who speaks Hawaiian how to say I love you. Sooooooo I think this is the way to say it.... haha

Well this week has been filled with lots of meetings. We had a zone meeting on Tuesday. It took place of the district meeting, so I didn't have to prepare a training, though I did have to blindfold myself and crawl under a long line of chairs.... we all had to do something "embarrassing." Also there, I had to act like a monkey. Fun stuff, though I don't really remember what the training was about.... hmmmm I guess that would be good.... oops

Friday we had a zone conference. We met with the Elders and Sisters from the Kona stake/zone over in Waimea which is about an hour and a half away. President Warner had a lot of stress placed on earning the member's trust. He wants us to have the trust of members so that they can have faith that we will treat their referrals and their friends well. He talked about his experience being a stake president, and how some missionaries he would never dream of giving them the names of some of his close friends, but some he would trust with anything. He talked about how any small little thing the members notice. And they take note of every step out of line. He says that he gets calls from members constantly telling him about missionaries who did this and that. Most of these instances are just misunderstanding the situation, but the members don't know. They don't know what the real circumstances are and why something had to be done a certain way. So we have to be extra careful about everything we do.

The APs trained us on how to have not just a great day, but a perfect day. All in all the day was great. we learned so much and got motivated to do better. Our lunch consisted of rice, cole slaw, and chile. I feel like I don't really like chile (is that spelled right?) but I eat it anyways. This one wasn't that bad though. Then they had root beer floats for a little dessert. So I did have a little soda. Not very often though. We started driving home around 4:30 or so. Stopped by a place called Tex. They have really good malasadas. Got home right in time to have dinner dropped off for us (around 6:30). Went and visited a family after that.

Ooh by the way, I want to send home a package with assorted goodies that members in our ward make. Like Guava jam, honey, Balsamic vinegar, and maybe lilikoi butter if I can get some.  Be on the lookout.

Then this weekend was our stake conference. We had Elder Garns of one of the quorums of the 70 preside. A big topic of discussion was missionary work, and that the members need to be more involved. We had a great spiritual feeding.

We had dinner yesterday night at one of the families in the ward's home. They met this couple that morning from Washington, visiting for the week, and had them over for dinner too. We had German apple pancakes and sausage and eggs. A very good dinner.

Well not many of our investigators are really progressing still. Hopefully the members will be more willing to have these missionary experiences. and be bold in inviting their friends over to learn more. There's lot of ideas that members are throwing around. Hopefully we can implement them all.

Well Love you lots hope life is going great!

Elder Nitta