Monday, April 28, 2014

Ua aloha nui owau 'ia 'oe. 'Oe no ka 'oi

Ua aloha nui owau 'ia 'oe. 'Oe no ka 'oi. Hope I wrote that right.... haha

This week has been a little slower as far as Missionary work. Our Saturday was jam-packed with people we wanted to see but hardly anyone was home. We got rained on a lot. It's okay, I'm getting used to the rain. Just being soaked as we walk up to people's doors is great for a conversation starter. I feel like we are planting a lot of seeds. Some may grow this next week, or some in the months to come. 

We have received many referrals this week!  One referral was from the Missionaries in the area next over, and they want to take us to their house. Another one is from one set of Sisters in town. They didn't really give us an address, just a phone number. We tried calling but the guy said to call back in a month.... haha!  The next referral was from a second set of Sisters in town. At first they gave us the referral saying the address is in Hawaiian Paradise Park. (I'm thinking, "okay that's about our entire area....") and then they said it was house number 24. So our area has about 40 streets that are all about 3-4 miles long just with houses, one right after the other. We had no idea where to go. We kindly asked that the Sisters get in contact with the referral again and ask specificly where it is that they live. So the Sister's told us the next day that the referral lived on 24th street and was the first house on the left. That still gives us about 8 different possibilities! We plan to go contact her tomorrow - we didn't get to go when we first got it because of the Merrie Monarch Festival and they referral was busy with that.

This last week was the Merrie Monarch Festival. It's a hula festival that lasts all week long and people come from all around the world to compete in this competition. I guess Japan is really into this hula competition and plenty of people come over every year from there. We, sadly, didn't get to see any of it. Maybe a member will show us a taping of it. When I was on Maui, there was a family there that did the competition last year and they shared some of it with us.  It was great.

Lately it seems like there are a lot of people that we try to go visit every week, and none of them progress at all. We just share short messages, but with a couple of them, we have discussed our purpose in coming to visit. Some of them still don't really get it, sadly. But we continue to invite them to Church. None of our investigators came this past Sunday. We have hope for many of them to progress. Hopefully they will soon, and before I leave. Our transfers are next week, so I have a possibility of leaving. 

One of the investigators we were visiting this week was having a party at his house when we arrived. A big MMA fight was the center of the get together. With some people, you can expect them to say 'come another time, don't bother me when I'm with my friends,' but he welcomes us anytime. They were cooking out on the BBQ and they gave us some to eat-it was really good stuff!  We were able to talk with a bunch of the people there. He's had us help cook before. He's a really nice guy. I feel that if he were to join the church, he would bring all his friends to Chruch. He's not ashamed of anything, and it's easy to see that when we go over to his parties, when everyone is drinking and laughing. Nice guy!

We have several appointments set up for next week. A couple of those appointments keep canceling on us. And we keep on being told about more referrals that the members are planning on getting to us. Hopefully this next week will be a great week of success.!

We did get to do the baptism for the boy that lost his records. It was awesome to see his brother be able to do the baptism, and ordain him in the Priesthood. They had nonmember family there too, so we got to share a lot of gospel principles. We plan on going back to their home weekly to help prepare them for their next child getting baptized and just helping them as they are slowly becoming more active. 

We get to have a lesson this week at the '5 star chefs house' this week, which means there is probably going to be some great snacks afterward!. Hopefully this lesson can bridge the gap within the family because only his wife is a member. 

Hope all is well. Don't get overwhelmed with all the new stuff going on at work. I'm sure God is with you and helping any need you have. Thank you for all you do!

Elder Nitta

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aloha Oe'


Well I think you mean 'oe instead of oi. Haha nothing to worry about. 

Well I don't think the package has gotten here yet. Ill let you know when it does. That's you for your love and support. 

I thought you wrote that you went to McDonald's for Easter! Got a little worried there for a second. Haha. I miss the McDonough's - tell them I love them.

Well I haven't seen too many of the water attractions that the islands of Hawaii have to offer. Maybe some day haha. This morning we went to the volcano. We went early in the morning to see the glow of the lava. Then we went of a hike around the crater. Another thing, the steam vents smell pretty bad. They're nice and warm but they aren't like roses haha. 

Well this week was a slower week. We weren't able to have too many lessons. We were actually running out of time and didn't get to visit everybody that we wanted to visit. So almost half of all the investigators that we try teach didn't get a visit this week. Though we were able to meet with a couple new people this week. We have I think 5 people that said we can come back and talk with them whenever. One I don't think is very interested, but I try not to judge beforehand and put equal faith in every person. Hopefully some of these people can progress. This was the the cut off week for our investigators to get baptized in this transfer. They would have had to come to church and commit to a date already. We had one of the kinda eternal investigators come, but none of our more serious ones. So hopefully ill stay another transfer. This one is already halfway over. Crazy how time flies.

We had a lesson with Patricia this week. She has progressed so far I feel n the gospel since we started meeting with her about 3 months ago, well even longer now. She is starting to read the book or Mormon and pray about these things but she feels that she hasn't received a for sure answer yet. We tried saying that the improvement in her life, the happiness and peace she is starting to feel is maybe god trying to direct her in her life, but she is waiting for a more concrete answer I think. She says she knows that we're good people coming over and she feels good about us when we come over, but I don't know how to help her realize the spirit is influencing her already. 

We did help out our young men with service on Friday that took a lot of time out of our day. They were building a rock wall,  so I get to help mix the cement and position the rocks. They didn't get done. Maybe half way, so we will probably help to build more later. 

I feel that we are starting to develop a pretty goo relationship with the members we live in back of. When I was with elder Shute we maybe visited with them once every three weeks or so. With elder Greene we have visited a couple times a week. They want to invite us over for lunch after church now. So we went over yesterday for lunch with them. We had pancakes and creeps. I helped to make the pancakes and I've learned how I'm not too great at flipping them or just cooking in general. I feel blessed to be in hawaii being fed nearly every day. The members of this ward are great. We get home cooked meals all the time and members love to have us over. I'm actually at one of the members homes right now to do emailing. Just great people out here.

Well we had another fun experience at church. On Saturday, we were talking with our bishop, and the bishops wife, asked if I could do a musical number for Easter Sunday (whatever, day before stuff is always fun). So we went over there and looked at some music. She suggested that I could just sing a song and she could accompany me. Soooo we printed off a song (I have not seen yet I believe) and played it through like two times and said we would go for it. Haha so I practiced the singing more so that night, but we just performed the musical number that next day. That was the first time I've ever sang in front of people before, so that was a little different. I think I could of done a little better, but it went all right. 

So another fun story, we found out that one of the children in the ward has no records of being baptized. So after a lot of phone calls and figuring out what is exactly going on, we have scheduled a re baptism to happen this Saturday. Technically it will be considered a convert baptism, but I feel like I'm doing barely any work to get this baptism. But hopefully it will turn out well. The family is inviting all their nonmember family to come so they can experience the church a little bit. Should be good.

Well hope all is well. Our landlords said that this summer, they plan to fly through Vegas maybe over night. I offered that they stay at our house. Hope you're okay with that. They said they have to figure out all the information first, but will let me know if they need a place to stay. 

Love you lots

Elder Nitta

Monday, April 14, 2014

Aloha ko'u makuwahine! 

This week has been a busy one. I don't remember if I told you about the investigator we visited the last week because I didn't have a lot of time. Anyways, before when I had met with him he didn't seem to terribly interested in the gospel. We just shared short messages with him, but never really formal lessons. But we met with him he kinda opened up and told us how he wants to commit to a church and change his life. He says he knows that church would be good for him, but he's not sure if he's ready to commit all the way right now. He says if he commits to a date to be baptized, he's going all the way and not holding back. We have a lesson planned with him on this Tuesday I think. Hopefully he will be able to commit to the church. 

We also did get to meet with a less active member this week. When we went over there, you could tell he had been drinking, but he expressed his gratitude to us. He said he really appreciates us coming over and sharing messages with him and his wife. His wife is really active but doesn't want to force him to give up alcohol or smoking. We want to try to help him to start coming back to church.

We also had dinner with one of the less active members this week. One of our active members had us over for dinner and they invited this part member family over. We had loco moco and there was a nice message shared after with the family. The nonmember husband is starting to be more open to the gospel I guess. First time we went over to their place he left the room when we started talking about religious things, but he stayed this time to listen. 

We gave a blessing to a couple of the members this week. One of them asked for a blessing because she had been feeling sick. After the blessing she was crying and expressed her gratitude saying that she needed to hear the words which were expressed to her in the blessing. Also gave a blessing to one of our investigators. It wasn't terribly spiritual sadly, but it was good to share some of our beliefs with her.

A fun meal we had this week, was at one of our member's homes. They had fried popcorn chicken, egg rolls and some shrimp pasta. Then for our dessert they brought out balut. It's the half grown chicken in the egg that you eat.  Haha it was a good meal. The balut tasted kinda just like a hard boiled egg with a little more texture to it. Maybe we can have a party where everyone tries it...? haha we'll see.

Our landlords are getting pretty friendly with us. We had lunch over there after church yesterday. I really feel like you would be proud of all the things I've been eating out here. Some things I don't like that much are mushrooms (still), squid luau..... and yeah that's all I can think of. Haha well there's probably more. I can handle the poi and lomi salmon. But it's all good.

Well there are lots of government changes going on here in Hawaii. Lots of times here in church we are being counseled to be active in our government, but lots of it going downhill. Crazy to see how fast things are changing, but I understand why lots of people here want to homeschool their children because of the crazy things they are introducing into the schools curriculum. It's a great place to visit for a vacation, but I don't know if I could live here later in life. 

Anyways, we've been having a fun week. I've been enjoying the life here. We are about halfway done with the transfer this week. We have the temple trip planned for the 5th of May I think. It'll be fun I'm sure.  Hope all is well. Aloha nui owau ia oe! Love you lots!

Elder Nitta

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Conference was pretty fun...

Well, we didn't catch any pigs....

Sad, but we saw them running away. We went up towards the top of the island and it was raining all day. We got really wet. They brought guns with them to just shoot them. Normally they would bring the dogs and go after them with knives. But it was fun. He said he would have to take us some other time.

Today we got to go through the Kaumana Caves. We all brought flashlights this time so we could see a little better. We went pretty far back to some points where you have to climb over rocks and stuff. Got a little cut up, but nothing to worry about.

This weekend was pretty great as I'm sure you well know. Conference was pretty fun. I think if I was to have a favorite, it would be Elder Bednar's talk about carrying a load. He is always a great speaker. Holland had an interesting talk, but motivating to do better. All in all it was great. Not sure if I remember everything, but that's why we get it printed out and read it. :)

We did get to meet with one of our investigators this week that I had previously only taught once. I didn't think that there was very much potential for him honestly, but he opened up and told us that at one point he was ready to commit to the church. He knows that he wants to commit and he knows it would be good for him, but stuff came up and he never was able to move forward. We challenged him to start over new and go for it, knowing that blessings are awaiting him. We'll meet wiwth him again on Wednesday. Hopefully he can progress a lot soon.

President Warner moved missionaries into the Kea'au Ward, so we no longer have to take care of them. It's a little less to think about - that's for sure. There was a lot to do and start up in that Ward, so now we can just focus our efforts in the one area.  Phew!

Elder Greene has been a great companion. He is motivated and fun. 

Well, sorry I don't have lots of time today. We are in town and have to go back soon. Hope all is well.

Elder Nitta

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Aloha ko'u ohana!

                                                                          Don't Ask...
Can we add him to the Farm at home?

                                                                  Best 'Fish' Ever!
                                                                 Here we are...

Subject: Re: 30 March 2014

Aloha ko'u ohana!

Well The Pahoa Ward Bishop (next area over) taught me a couple phrases like "aloha kahi kekahi." (Love on another) and "Ma ka hana ka ikea" (In the work is the knowledge) Anyways, it's been fun learning random Hawaiian phrases and such.

I didn't know we got a new dog?? haha well I hope he likes the new home. 

Well This week has been a fun one. We didn't get to go pig hunting with our investigator (he had to cancel last minute), but he recommitted to this afternoon. He is having a walk/race thing for his son. Something about premature birth awareness. So he is providing lots of food for that. They killed a cow for burgers and he's going to get the pig tonight with us. Should be fun. We'll be safe, probably get a little dirty though.

I got myself Elder Greene now. He's been out for 4 1/2 months. It was weird today. We were with another set of elders and I had been out the longest out of all of them. Felt different to think that.... Oh well. Elder Greene is from Salt Lake City. He did military stuff before the mish. Great missionary. Really motivated and fun to be with. Elder Shute and I got along fine. We were both kinda introverted I guess. Sometimes could get quiet. But it was good. 

Well so far we haven't really been able to do much with the Kea'au ward. I think with both of our areas combined, we have now the biggest area in the mission. The bishop of the other ward lives all the way down by the volcano like 35 miles away. The first day, when Elder Greene first got here was kinda crazy. It seems like everyone was having a bad day when we were visiting them, so it was an interesting first impression for Elder Greene. We went to a Kea'au member for lunch. To say the least, I feel that the members of Kea'au like to stick to themselves a lot more. The Waikahe ward seems so much more friendly and nice, especially to visitors. But hopefully we can still help out with that. 

We were able to meet with only a few of our investigators this last week. I think I mentioned that most of our work has been with the recent converts and less actives. Not many of our investigators have been really progressing by leaps and bounds. Though one of the investigators seems like a completely different person now from the time I first started meeting with her. When we first started over 3 months ago, she seemed really sad. Depressed almost. She has gone through so much hardship from what she tells us, but slowly, little by little, she seems happy. We weren't able to sit down and have a lesson with her this past week, but we stopped by and talked for just a second. She had a big smile and seemed really happy to see us. It just seems that over the past 3 months her outlook on life or her circumstances have changed in such a way that she just is happy. I guess that's really what we all want to do, is be happy. Men are that they might have joy right? Ii just hope that she can continue to grow and accept the gospel, and maybe think that God is blessing her in this way.

A sad thing that we had to find out about this week is that one of our less active members passed away. We had gone over there a couple months ago to give her a blessing with our bishop. Throughout the blessing she was crying and the spirit was strong. She felt what I saw as a mighty change of heart. She wanted to come to church and to change her life around. Unfortunately, due to her health, she wasn't able to make it to church (lung cancer, she needed a machine to help her breath), but her heart was there. She knew that it was the right place to be and I just thank God that she was able to meet with us missionaries for the few times before she passed on. I'm grateful for her friend that told her she needed to call the missionaries and get a blessing. I feel if we never went, her spirits may have not been as high. We spoke with the husband on Thursday. He is going through a hard time, but he knows she's out of pain now. We asked if we could come and share a message to the family and he said he will keep us in mind. We will for sure stop by still.

It seems like a lot of people are passing away. Another less active has a mother on Maui that is going downhill. We are working on getting information from her to have missionaries go over and give a blessing. Though, this less active just came to church yesterday. It was the first time I saw her there. It's good to see at least some progress with some of the people we are working with. Another less active also came to church. First time I saw that one too. It's good to be able to feel of some help. 

Sunday, yesterday, was a really long day at church. We got there around 8:30 and stayed until about 4. There's lots of people to get to know in the Kea'au ward. Of course, I feel bad for Elder Greene, who has to now learn to wards worth of people at the same time. After church we were able to meet with a couple more of our investigators. Some we haven't been able to see in a long while. Dinner was at a recent converts house. Her husband is a chef at some 4 star/diamond restaurant in Kona (other side of the island). The dinner was tenpura vegitables, rice, a mac salad, and a white fish in a white wine cream sauce with papaya on top. Pretty good stuff. Next time though, they said that we would be eating some crazy things like balut (the chick still growing in the egg), intestines with bile cooked in it, and fun things like that... should be fun....

well the week has been fun. Elder Greene is going to be a great companion. 

Aloha wau 'ia 'oe

Elder Nitta