Monday, September 29, 2014

Rain will not stop us!

Aloha from a slightly more rainy Hawaii.

We didn't have a crazy rainstorm, but it has been raining a lot lately. It will sprinkle a couple times a week, maybe a little harder for a little bit. But that's the sign of the winter months coming. Definitely on the Big Island. 

This week has been a bit tiring. There was much to do in preparation for the baptisms this weekend. But more of that later. Tuesday we had a zone meeting. I played the organ in the chapel, just playing loud enough so they could hear in the high council room. Also, we went to Honolulu. Elder Baker had to get some packages for his diabetes stuff. Soooooo we get to be in the car for a couple extra hours haha. oh well. We got back around 3 or so, but still managed to get 4 lessons in that day. 

Wednesday we were blessed to get six lessons in. And all those with going to Pearl Harbor in the morning. They told us the day before that we were going. We got to paint more wood, some kind of boxes. Same thing as last time.... We didn't go on the Missouri ship. But after, the gentleman in charge took us to the other side of the memorial area and showed us another ship that was sunk. Apparently in this ship, the USS Utah, there are a couple hundred sailors that were stuck inside when it sunk. They were only able to save one person that was stuck in the ship before it sunk under water. 

Thursday, we met with some more families, only four lessons taught that day. But we did get to meet with our recent convert Keoki. He has lots of questions, so we ended up talking with him for a couple hours. Next week he is going to Bless the Sacrament. He told us that he wanted us to show him what to do. 

Friday was another six lesson day. We met with all three of the people getting baptized and did the interviews for them. Tried to get everything settled. ..

On Saturday, we got to the Chapel around 7:30 to start up the font. The baptism for Chaz started at nine. I gave a talk on baptism there. It ended on time, but they had lots of family and snacks after. Elder Baker and I got to play around with Kanekoa, the 4 year old nephew of Chaz. He was hilarious. First we were the bad guys, then he was, then he was a robot, then a zombie. Kind of exhausting too. We got done with that baptism around noon, so we ate lunch, went and taught one lesson, then we had to head back to the church to prep for baptism number two. Started up that font around 3:30ish. That one went well too. Lots of people from the ward plus family. Though it started about half an hour late. So we didn't officially begin until around 5. We did all the service and had enough time to grab a few snacks (it was basically a feast of food after that one) and head to dinner at 6. A family took us out to a Thai restaurant in Ma'ili. So I got some curry, not too spicy, but enough. I was kinda sad because I was trying to save the best part (all the chicken) for last, so I ate all the veggies first, but I was too full and I couldn't eat any of what was left after that. But it's sitting in a bowl in our fridge right now So I'll get to it later. Had a lesson with another family at 7. For the longest time, I felt as if that family didn't really want us coming by, but this last time, we asked what we could do to help her and her family, and she told us to keep coming by. So there's something going to happen there hopefully. This is that family that hasn't ever come to church because the mom had work on Sundays, but she got it off now and she knows that she needs to come to church. 

Sunday was tiring as usual. Confirmations happened during sacrament. Bishop for Waianae ward did the ones for the his ward and I did the one for Chaz. The whole Sunday was basically us running around trying to get all the information for the baptiwmal records. But it's all done now. I played the piano for Makaha ward. The usual wasn't there. Only one investigator came to church, but it was alright because of all that happened previous. Though while we were at church, the zone leaders texted us and told me that Uncle Gene was in Hawaii and he wanted to meet up with me. I called president, but he said no to that. So I just called and left a message on his phone saying that we weren't able to get together. Oh well haha. 

Today we went to Waipahu. Three of the zones (Waipahu, Honolulu and Makakilo) got together to watch the new movie that's coming out, "Meet the Mormons." It was a real great movie. Good message to it. I just hope that lots of people will go and watch it. I think that people will be a lot more open to missionaries if they see this movie. We went to Arby's for lunch (the only one is in that zone) and now we're here. 

Transfers are in two weeks, so We haven't gotten any news yet there. Just have to wait and see. If I stay true to the tradition of fallowing that other elder around the mission, I'll be heading to Honolulu. 

Yeah this week has just been tiring. I feel pretty exhausted now just writing. haha but I hope your week goes awesome. Don't kill yourself over work. Much love!

Elder Nitta

Ahh Captain Crunch w/marshmellows

Kamaile Mountain Top
The Esera Family Baptism

Keoki's Baptism
Baptism of Chaz
Every Sunset looks this beautiful

Poke (raw fish) rice and chocolate milk 
The dreaded "No Fun" sign

Monday, September 22, 2014

What motivates you

Aloha again from Kapolei.

Well another week is down. The baptisms we have are still on AND scheduled for Saturday! One at 9 and another at 4:30. We should be kept busy for most of the day. Much to do in prepping the font and rooms etc.

Most of this last week, a lot of us were sick. I got a little sick on Monday, but it was mostly Elders' Nielsen and Baker. They had plenty of drugs and stuff to take care of themselves, but they were out for most of Tuesday. We had a couple appointments that day, so I went with a member in the ward to cover them. Wednesday was more or less the same thing. Sooooo not tons of lessons this week, but still enough to hit our zone's goals. We set goals, and President Warner said that if we hit the goals, he would allow our zone to come over on the Sunday morning session of conference, and have a breakfast at the mission home. So we'll probably be getting some pancakes soon then. Great stuff!

Also on Wednesday, we had our interviews with president. Mine was alright. I only have one more interview with president before the end of my mission now. I told him of my desire to see the Kiaha family, and he said he'll see what he can do. He did say that this is going to be my last transfer in this area. I told him that I want to be finishing my mission the strongest to which he agreed, and wants the same. He did bring up the idea of me training again, so we'll see what happens there. After the interview, Sister Warner had some game for us. A kind of competition. She had all the lesson principles printed out on strips of paper and all the lessons. She timed us to see who could put all the points down in order. I think she said I had the fastest time (something like 2:30ish). After the game I played on the organ, while the other companions were being interviewed. 

We are meeting with our recent convert now a little more often. He still has a lot of questions. We'll be trying to go over a point and he will cut us off to ask a question. It's a good thing that he wants to ask questions though. So many people just sit there in silence and smile and nod. I wish more people were interactive in the lessons like he has been. It's funny though, because some of his questions are so off topic and it takes a while for us to get back to what we were talking about. In total, it probably took us 2 or 3 hours to get through the restoration (two different lessons) because of how many things he brings up. 

The Makaha Ward had a campout on a beach close by. The park (Kea'au Beach Park) is nearby. So naturally we missionaries showed up for some food. We had already eaten, so we weren't too hungry, but of course there is always room for dessert! They had made scones and honey butter. I think I ate at least 3. The members camped over-night from Friday to Saturday,you would have loved it there mom.

Saturday, the zone leaders called us up in the morning and asked if we could come to a baptism in Makakilo. Somebody needed a pianist (that's me). I basically sight read the music for the musical number (went through it once before the service started). Afterwards, they had 'choke' snacks and goodies. Some turkey wraps, grapes, chocolate bars, pound cake, cookies, and juice. So naturally we took some home. haha

Sunday was another Sunday. Spending time at church from 8 to 3 makes for a looooong day. We had a few investigators come to church, which is always nice to see. One of the families asked if we could participate in blessing their little children, in this case we were blessing a 9 and 4 year old. We did that in the bishop's office. The four year old was having a little trouble sitting still, but he's funny. Nice kid. Dinner was with a half-white family! The dad had served a mission in Hawaii, then he came back and married a girl from here, though their kids look super ha'ole.  One kid told me that he would never dream of not eating the food somebody had made while he was at their home. I told him as missionaries we eat everything out of respect regardless if we like it or not.  Even if I don't like it, most of the time I just force it down, or eat it quickly. Especially at a Polynesian home, they expect you to eat. EVERYTHING!  But I don't really think about that kind of stuff anymore. I just eat. haha

This morning we went on a short hike (10 miles) on Mount Lahilahi. A little thing in Makaha. I've been there before, so you should already have pictures. 

To answer your question again, our mission was notified that the earliest we would receive iPads would be in October, but (and quite possibly) before the end of the year. President Warner said he hasn't received anything notifying him when that would happen. 

I feel like I'm down today honestly. I'm not really even sure why. Maybe I just a lot of things going through my mind that was happened yesterday. One member was almost arguing with me - telling me that my thoughts were skewed because I am of the opinion that the motivation for keeping commandments should not be to receive blessings. I think it's pretty pathetic and petty if we expect to get blessings because we are living righteously. I don't think we can expect any more blessing than the next person, and we certainly shouldn't think that we are better off  because we live better. Of course righteousness and faithfulness is essential if we want to have a blessed life, but that shouldn't be our motivation. The reason we follow commandments is that we have faith in God, and we know that He knows best. We act, because we want to follow God, not because we look forward to the reward.  He had such a materialistic point of view. Anyways, I was kinda disappointed when I brought that thought up in our class, and the member basically said I was wrong. Some other little things are annoying me too. I feel like I can never really focus on things the way some other people do. I get so sidetracked - so easily, and five seconds is enough to get me distracted (and not paying attention). Like hearing a song - I feel as if I can never really learn the lyrics (and half the time I can't even understand them), when some people are blessed to get it all down after hearing it once or twice. I kinda get down on myself for having to always ask people why we are doing something, or where we are going, when I would have known had I been paying attention. Oh well, maybe that's just me, and how I think. 

But life is good. I'm doing alright. Nothing really to complain about. I hope you are doing well. Much love!

Elder Nitta

Monday, September 15, 2014

This week has been keeping us decently busy

Aloha again!

Sooooooo we spent nearly all morning on a hike this time. We were going up the mountain that Kalani went missing on. We did go all the way up to the top, but nothing. Though it was some crazy exercise. I haven't sweat like that in a while haha. Before the hike I was probably around 155 pounds, but after I weighed myself and the scale said 149. Sooooo I'm not really gaining weight. I just have to not stuff myself as much as I can every time. But the sister missionaries in our zone came with us. The district they were in was doing something else and they weren't invited.... so they asked if they could come with us. I think we all are super wiped out now. My legs kinda hurt. haha

The work this week has been going well. We now have 5 with dates. Three coming up on the 27th of this month. One is with the less active family starting to come to church in Makaha. Chaz (the baptizee) is 9 and gonna get baptized. The other 2 are from Waianae. It's a big family. The dad has been less active for most of his life, but he's recently started to come back. The wife isn't a member and they have something like 6 kids, one of which is old enough to get baptized. So that should be exciting. The other two are from a family in Makaha. They too are just starting to come back to church, and the 2 youngest in the family can get baptized. So their date is October 18th I think. 

I'm not sure if I'll still be here by that last date. Our transfers are coming up in the beginning of October. I've been in this area for 5, almost 6 months now. I'm still with the other 2 elders that were first in Waianae. I'm just not sure if president would want me to stay in the area for a new elder that comes in, so that someone knows the people, or if he would send me out and whitewash the area. Or he could even split up us in the trio and send one of us to Makaha for good and send the other to Waianae. Can never know, but I'm not worried. I do only have three more transfers after this one ends, so I'll probably have only one morea area, wherever it is. 

On the way to the library, which is in Kapolei, there was a huge car crash on the freeway. Looked like some big rig rolled and caught fire. So all of one side of the freeway (farrington highway) was closed and they used one of the lanes on our side to have the cars going the other way go through. Needless to say, we hope that it's all cleared up by the time we head back that way. We have a dinner to catch. Haha I feel kinda ridiculous thinking about how we have dinners all the time. Tonight is with a member in waianae. I'm starting to get some people down. Still got lots more to meet. 

This week has been keeping us decently busy. We're out basically all day meeting with people in both the wards. We get in the 20s-30s range of lessons, but reporting them turns into the 10-15 per area. But it seems like president is happy that we are keeping busy. Elder Baker has been out for only a couple months, so he wants us to make sure he learns well. 

Actually both of our recent converts in the ward weren't able to come to church this week. Keoki, the boy, got sick, so we don't really know what's going on with him. Valleria, the Chuukese lady, actually has been mia. She moved to a place in Waianae area, but we couldn't find her there. We just hope she's still planning on going to church. But we have no real way to contact her. No phone, no address. And our ward is good with having someone play the music, usually. Most of the time, our elders quarum president plays the music, but sometimes (like yesterday) I might have to fill in with prelude. Sister Warner said I should practice playing the organ as much as I can though.

I hope you are serious about having people help you at work. You shouldn't stay that busy. And I hope all those around take note of all the extra work you put in. 

Consider the Lilies:

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, how they grow.
Consider the birds in the sky, how they fly, how they fly.
He clothes the lilies of the field. He feeds the birds in the sky.
And He will feed those who trust Him, and guide them with His eye.

Consider the sheep of His fold, how they follow where He leads
Though their paths may wind across the mountains. He knows the meadows where they feed.
He clothes the lilies of the field. He feeds the birds in the sky.
And He will feed those who trust Him, and guide them with His eye.

Consider the sweet tender children who must suffer on this earth. 
The pains of all of the He carried from the day of His birth.
He clothes the lilies of the field. He feeds the sheep of His fold.
And He will heal those who trust Him, and make their hearts as gold.

Well I love ya lots. Hope you keep on going no matter what. I pray for you always. 
Elder Nitta

Monday, September 1, 2014

Zoo's in Hawaii

Well this week has been a fun and kinda busy one.

Sooooooo right now I'm in a tripanionship with Elder Nielsen and Elder Baker. I was with Elder Caldwell for the week though. He got here on Wednesday. Elder Caldwell had been out for about 3 months, from Utah, but some medical stiff came up and he had to leave, so I got put with the elders in the next area over. Elder Baker has been out for maybe 2 months, from Washington. Elder Nielsen has been out for almost 9 or 10 months now, from Detroit. So fro the time being, we'll be working in both the Waianae ward and the Makaha ward. Should be fun just coordinating all the appointments together. And hey that means I'm not going to be on bikes anymore! haha yay

Well the boy from the ward is still missing. He's been gone for about months now. We just try to encourage the sister to keep going, not give up. 

Yep, there are zoos in Hawaii. Some elders were making jokes that all the animals there were caught locally. but tis not so haha. There were linos and elephants and giraffes and zebras, along with the few native animals like the nene bird. After we got malasadas so it was pretty worth it. I got a cinnamon one and a pineapple filling one. 

I think the baptisms at the temple went well. They had about 200 names from just the ward to do, so they didn't use any names previously submitted. Hope that trend can still continue. The temples are starting to struggle to find names to use. 

The talk in zone conference went well. I honestly put about  minutes of preparation into my thoughts I would say. But yes missionaries do get lots of practice just making things up on the spot and teaching. Can't say how many times I've told people that we came with a lesson prepared for them..... oh well is that such a bad thing to lie about? haha

Well that family of 10 people we haven't been able to see since they ran into us at first. But hopefully we'll be able to find em again and help them progress in the gospel.

Most people in Hawaii are Christians, though most of them don't go to church. I guess Catholicism would be the most popular. Decent amount of Jehovah's Witnesses too. Protestants were the first to move here and try to spread their beliefs around. So getting people to come to church is probably the hardest step for people to take. Though I bet that is a trend most anywhere in the world. 

Well I was a district leader while I was on the Big Island, so probably 6 or so months ago. I was one of the zone leaders in the MTC, but that doesn't mean anything. Nobody really knew what they were doing in the MTC. Haha but it is weird to think that all the sisters I came out with are now osi ngaue (all pau, the work is done, finished, done for, etc). I think it will be cool to have the mission reunions and stuff with all the people I've ever served with. 

So we were told to expect iPads coming sometime in October. Or at least that's the earliest we can get them, but the latest would be in December. I think the church's goal is to have all the missions in north america and Japan have them before the end of the year. President said that we would probably get training on them some time this month. 

We did help that member move some more furniture this week. We had to fit a big couch into an elevator. Kinda hard to do.... haha but it was alright. Though the apartment security people are super tight on how you move things so we had to put up pads and stuff in the elevator, we had to show all our id stuff so they could even let us in. There's actually a few places that are super hard on security and rules and stuff on their property that we don't really go to unless a member invites us in there.

We did make crepes too. Got some nutella. Made some cinnamon sugar to put on em too. Pretty good. Though milk is like 5-8 dollars a gallon here so we don't really do those kind of things very often.

Well that's about all the fun things that have happened this week. I'm sure that I'll have lots of things to say about Waianae ward this upcoming week. I should be good with clothing and stuff. Lots of love!

Elder Nitta