Monday, February 9, 2015

Much Work to Do


 Aloha from the friendly Isle

Well the week has gone well. It was a bit more busy than last week. The previous week everyone was cancelling on us because of the Makahiki Festival, but that's all pau now. 

We committed a lady to baptism this week, Joanna. She took lessons a while ago, but then stopped. We met with her yesterday.  It had been a while since she had seen missionaries. Turns out she has been reading the Book of Mormon. Her book mark looked well over half way through. The date is for March 21st. It's weird scheduling things for when I'm gonna be gone now. But we'll see how she progresses. 
Our other investigators, the sisters Barbara and Ala, are coming along. They both have committed to quit smoking. Funny thing just happened. We went to the burger place (Molokai Burger), where Barabara works, and we saw her outside smoking. She saw us and kinda laughed, but she said that it was only her second one that day. But Barbara chose the day of March 14th for her baptism. She wants to quit smoking by the end of this month. We'll be on her as much as we can to help her out. Their uncle came into town on Saturday too. He's from Hau'ula, over by La'ie, but he comes to Molokai about once a month. He gets on everyone while he's here. Even his renters are going to take lessons from us.

That reminds me of Kala. She is from Serbia and lives here for half the year, and in Alaska for the other half. Just last week  she just showed up at Church. So we are going to start meeting with her and teach her the lessons and such. Supper nice lady. I told her how Logan was in Croatia, but she didn't really seem interested in that.... something  to do with the war between Serbia and Yugoslavia.

I went on Exchanges with Elder Nielsen on Tuesday. It was kinda fun being back with him. Definitely one of my closer companions. We were up in the Hoolehua area for the day. Got to meet with lots of people over there. We got to meet people that are family with someone I baptized in Maui, Hooheno Stone Han. Fun talking with them.

Everyone, not almost everyone, but everyone looks at my name and has no problem, but when they look at Elder Egbert, they have the hardest time pronouncing it. Then they ask me if I have family on Maui (the Nitta family over in Wailuku), to which I usually respond that I know them, but I don't know how closely related we are. Or they will ask if I'm a local boy, which brings the response of a laugh and and, "no, I'm from Las Vegas." Then most peole will say something like, "oh, I got family over there!" or, "oh Henderson?" I haven't met anyone that has family that's from the North West and they are all confused and don't know where the North West part is. Some people know Summerlin, but most people get all confused. So all that is a frequent daily occurrence.  Something I'll miss for sure.

We have continued to do service for the that family that moved from Mauna Loa. We helped them to hang up pictures and stuff. We were given sushi for lunch. Funny thing: the sushi comes from the hardware store. They sell sushi on Saturdays. Pretty good stuff though. 

Wednesday we left for Maui at about 4 o clock. It got to be a little bumpy of a ride. We saw tons of whales on the way over. None fully got out of the water, but we saw plenty of water spouts and fins coming up and making splashes. We stayed at the Lahaina Elders pad. It was almost a culture shock seeing how busy Lahaina was. Tons of tourists. Tons of Haoles. Funny thing that happened that night: I was sitting outside on their balcony with one of the ukuleles that the elders had singing some songs. At the end of one song, I heard a voice from down in the parking lot say, "aww that was nice." It kinda completely surprised me, but I guess this girl was just listening to the songs for a bit. haha but it was fun. 

Zone Conference went well. President talked about the importance of reading scriptures daily, even after we go home. Lots of things were good. (Honestly I can't really remember.... haha) but it was awesome. The conference was at the Maui Lani chapel (the chapel that Wailuku met at) and then the lunch was provided by the Wailuku Ward Relief Society. I remembered one of the counselors quickly. We met with her husband a lot when he was struggling to overcome some addictions. Then I remembered the President when I started talking to her. The one counselor remembered me. But I remember not really associating with the President that often. It was a new Presidency since the Ward boundaries changed. The Molokai missionaries did the musical number, "Who at My Door is Standing." We got an applause, which kinda surprised me. Then was the first of the "aloha oe's" directed to me. It was super weird, because I'm normally the one that plays the song for other people going home, but then Sister Warner kicked me off the piano (I was playing the songs for the meeting) and she played it for me. It was only me and one other sister that are going home this transfer. I didn't really expect to get emotional, but let's just say that I was having a little bit of a hard time singing along with the words. I think that's when it hit me that I'm coming to a close... But I saw Kamakani Kiaha there too. Got to talk real quick again. He said he would call you that night. Hope he did. After the conference we ran up to the Pennington's place real quick. Sister Pennington was pretty surprised when she opened the door. Elder Holyoak is serving up in Makawao right now, so he came over too to talk for just a minute. Bro P was joking around as always. But we had to go. It was past 5 and the ferry to Molokai leaves at 6, and it takes something like 45 minutes to drive around the island. But we got back to Lahaina with enough time. The other elders ran to McDonalds to get a snack for the way home. Though I think it made all of us kinda sick. The waters were real bumpy on the way back, so Elder Nielsen and I went up on top of the boat where fresh air is and just talked to the 2 hour or so ride back. 

On Friday we had something like 9 appointments, but only 4 of them went through..... haha We got a call that morning telling us that one of our investigators just hopped on a plane to the big island and isn't coming back. Though all his stuff was still at his place, so we were asked if we could come over and help pack up some stuff. That took a little while, but while we were there we saw a lady that we have been trying to get a hold of. She was a referral from one of the members. When we contacted her she set up an appointment, but then had to cancle the appoitment. Then we saw her over there. We didn't get to talk to her and set up anything, but we'll go and try to see her again.

We had basketball again on Saturday, but I think it's kinda dying out on the island. Not many people are coming out. There were just 2 other people there beside us missionaries. But we'll see if people still want it.

After Church we are meeting with the youth to practice singing their song for the musical fireside coming up in two weeks. They're sounding a lot better. We also had dinner with a part member family that night. We shared a video about a family that had a nonmember mother and a less active father. The video showed them coming back into the Church and all the blessings and happiness they had after. The son in the family that we had dinner with said, "hey that's like our family." So we were trying hard to bring the spirit to that lesson to help the nonmember dad decide to get baptized. The family thanked us for the lesson and said that it was good. The dad said that someday he would get baptized and go to the temple, but he's not sure how soon. Hope it is sooner though.

This morning we went to the northern cliffs of Molokai. The part of the island basically just broke off a long time ago, leaving super steep cliffs going straight down into the ocean. I think someone said that they're the tallest seacliffs in the world. 

Well hope you like the pictures and stuff. Love ya lots!


Elder Nitta


Sign as you leave Molokai Airport
Ferry to Maui
Whale water spouts

Whales

Whale fin


Norther Molokai Cliffs

The Fabulous Four Molokai Missionaries


Maui's Zone

Elder Purevdorj in the Ensign a while ago and here today

Molokai Four as we headed back to Molokai - look at our ties



Me as I gave my 'dying' testimony Sunday 02/08/15

In a grove of Coconut trees

Monday, February 2, 2015

19 Lessons this week...



Aloha once again,

Well life is chugging along here on the island of Molokai. This week was a bit slower than last week. We had 33 lessons last week, but 19 this week. Not that 19 is bad, but it was definitely a noticeable slow down. Part of the reason was that Elder Egbert was sick the last part of last week coming into this week, and then I got sick at the beginning of this week. It was mostly just intense allergies and a little fever, but now I'm feeling better.  I just have a little cough left. Then another reason for the slowing was the Makahiki festival.

I guess most islands used to have this Makahiki festival, but it slowed down to nonexistence on the other islands. Molokai is the only island left that celebrates it. Once a year the island comes together for competitions against each other. There are things like arm wrestling, tug of war, races, and all different events (all of course with their Hawaiian names). The festival was all day Saturday, and the whole island was there, so we wouldn't be able to visit anyone else during that time. We went for a bit. The only event we got to see was the huki huki, or the tug o war. The games are mostly between all the elementary school kids. They do have the older kids divisions, but most people are just excited to see the little kids go at it. We stayed for lunch, and of course everyone wanted to feed us. I ate some great Korean chicken with lilikoi lemonade. They had entertainers there providing music. The Tonga Sisters from Laie came too - it was great to see them performt some music. Lots of the people liked the little girls singing.

We spent some time doing service this week. We helped out on one of our investigators lawns and then with some members places too. I feel pretty local doing weed wacking in shorts and slippers. haha Well everyone asks me if I'm from here. They think I'm local. They're usually pretty surprised to find out that I'm not.... oh well...


Teaching went well with Minky, our investigator that committed to baptism. We went over there and her daughter was in town from Maui. She said she had had missionary lessons before and went to church and that she wanted to be baptized...... sooooooo of course we invited them all to come to church to prepare for baptism coming up. The goal was to have the baptism on February 21st, but I don't know if that can happen anymore. They didn't show up at church Sunday, so we'll see about that next time we see 'em....

Most people cancelled their appointments though this week.  Bummer!

We had our zone meeting on Tuesday. We got together in our little room and skyped with the missionaries on Maui. The training was all about how to foster a Celestial culture in this mission. They compared how the mission has changed since President Warner got here and to how it is now. Our zone conference is going to be this Thursday, so we're hopping on the ferry on Wednesday night coming back Thursday night. That'll be fun... Molokai missionaries have been asked to do the musical number at the zone conference, so I basically have taken charge with that one.... haha

I was trying to share a scripture with some people, but then my allergies started coming on. I think they thought I was getting emotional..... but yeah I think they thought that was funny. 

Last Monday we went out to to the Kalaupapa look out. We are scheduled to go down to Kalaupapa on the 16th. Should be good. We'll see if we can do another musical fireside down there for the patients.  Today we went over to a museum up in Kala'e. It was all about Kalaupapa and this family that has been here on the island since the 1800s. Next Monday we are planning on going out with one of the members to take us pig hunting. Trekking though the mountains..... I'll take some pictures. :)

More to come next week. Much aloha!


Elder Nitta

Elder Nitta and Pikachu
Who dares to smile after hiking Kalaupapa all day?

The Huki Huki at the Makahiki Festival in Molokai

Shops at the Makahiki Festival in Molokai

Our view at Kalaupapa Lookout, Molokai

Monday, January 26, 2015

Perhaps a Baptism before I leave?

Well I feel like I don't even know what to talk about...


I guess a lot of stuff happens in a week. We have a decent amount of people that are progressing towards baptism. There are a pair of sisters, Barbara and Ala that are coming along. They both need to get married before baptism, and there are some word of wisdom issues, but we have set goals with  them  They want to progress and learn more, so that's great. One of the girls (Barbara) is supposed to quit smoking by Feb 22nd. We set a daily allotment of cigarettes with her and she should be off by then. 


Another girl, Wailani, (the girlfriend of a member) has a great desire to get married and get baptized. When we met with the couple last, we told them to pray about a date to get married. If they don't come up with a date by the next time we see them, we're going to give them a day to pray about it. It's great when you see them want to progress. Their little boy (about 3 years old)  has a dirt bike that has training wheels attached on it. He rides around the yard so fast on the thing.  I was reminded of Trevor McDonough and his stunts.  They both have no fear.


I think I mentioned Minky last week. She has been going through some difficult things. We had dinner with her at one of the members homes yesterday. We taught the restoration and committed her to be baptized. She accepted for the date of Feb 21st, the last Saturday I'll here on my Mission. Sad Face.


We are also trying to plan a musical fireside for the 22nd of February. I'm putting it together with all the performers and getting all the music down. We are going to try to have a community choir sing in it, the young men and women in the ward, and maybe the primary. We missionaries are going to do a song too. I still have to make some assignments, but I think it will turn out well. After church we practiced with the youth. It was great to see how many showed up.


The island has a weekly basketball get-together at the church on Saturday night. I definitely struggle with basketball, but I had fun with it. Some of the group was getting real competitive.  Getting a little exercise for the night in is always good. 


We go over to the east end of the island around once a week. It takes a while to get out to some of the people, but we try to make sure they still know we care about them. Crazy how some people want to go live out in the boonies.... Some barely have a house. But I guess most of the people here don't like to be surrounded by people like in Honolulu. 


On Wednesday the youth did a service project. They were giving car washes to anyone that passed by that wanted one. We kinda helped out..... not really. haha We just let the youth do their thing while we talked with some of the members. 


We are going to try to do more service for the people in the area. Try to go out in the mornings and cut people's lawns with weed wackers. We went and did 2 people's places this last week. Hopefully we can gain some trust with the members, and investigators this way. Another service we did was helping out with an imu. We were trying to go visit one of the less actives in the ward, but they were preparing for a party that night, making squid luau. They told us to come and help with uncovering the pig, so we did. I think they weren't expecting us to come back. We got a little dirty, but I think it went well in the end. They invited us to come to the party and have food but sadly we couldn't go. 


I got to see Kama Kiaha finally. We were about to head out and leave church, but we caught him outside. He said he would give you a call. He's planning on getting married coming up soon. He's living somewhere on Maui. It was awesome finally getting to catch up with him, and to see how things are going. He's going to be around, so I'll see him at least a little more.


Sorry I feel like I'm getting worse at emailing.  I think it's the thought that I can just tell you in  person coming up soon. But I'll try to make it worth reading. Our dinner is out west tonight, so we are going to try to go look off the northern cliffs out towards Kalaupapa. Fun stuff to come. :)


Lots of love, 

Elder Nitta

Molokai Hot Bread

The Missionaries on the Island of Molokai = 4

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lessons and Tsunami Warnings

This last week went pretty great.

I think it might have been a record with lessons. We had 29 total. We were able to meet so many people and a few that we haven't seen in a while. On Tuesday or Wednesday the Tsunami warning system was going off. It scared me a little. Normally at the beginning of the month they do a test to make sure it's working fine. So the morning of the 1st or 2nd they turn it on for about a minute. But this time it went on and stayed on for about 15 or 20 minutes. It was going up and down in pitch and making some weird noises. But eventually it went off. We heard that there was a earthquake in Panama or something but we're okay. Nothing happened that I noticed. 

I don't even know what to really mention. It was just a busy week of trying to meet with people. We were able to finally meet with an investigator that the sister missionaries taught and committed to a baptismal date. After they left, this family got real busy and they weren't able to see us, but we finally got them home and started teaching again. The mom is a member, but she has a 10 year old daughter. We think that baptism will happen next month. 

There's another family that we are teaching that will have their children baptized. The son is 8, but the parents aren't married, and he's the son of the mom who isn't a member, so I guess it will count as a convert baptism. He will probably be baptized in the next month or early March. Wow it's weird to think that I'm not going to be here in March.... anyways...

Lawrence's  baptism went through. It happened on Sunday night at 5. He asked that one of us missionaries do the baptism and one do the confirmation, so with me leaving I guess I was the one for baptism. The confirmation will happen next week at church. We made the program, I think it turned out nice.... haha A lot of the ward came out to support him. A big part of the young men's program came to support him as well, and he had lots of family there. The day was pretty busy. We went to church, went to meetings after church, then tried to visit just a few people before we had to go to the chapel and start filling up the font. We got there about at 3. The zone leaders were there at church (their ward doesn't get out until 4) so we talked with them for a while. 

We went out to lunch with one of the members to Teddy's Bigger Burgers. It's pretty good. Probably adds so much unhealthiness to my diet but it was good. I had a burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeno, a hashbrown, and sauces. Had garlic fries too...

Well I feel that I can't remember a lot of big things that happened this week. I'm sure I'll have lots to say. I won't be training Elder Egbert. He's been out for just two transfers though. Kamalani Kiaha said he will be there on the island at the end of the month, so I should be able to see him soon. I still need to pack. Something tells me I'm going to be staying up tomorrow night trying to get it all in.... haha I think I should be able to fit it all. 

Hope you have a great week.  Much love!



Elder Niita

Monday, January 12, 2015

Molokai or bust

This last week went pretty great.

I think it might have been a record with lessons. We had 29 total. We were able to meet so many people and a few that we haven't seen in a while. On Tuesday or Wednesday the Tsunami warning system was going off. It scared me a little. Normally at the beginning of the month they do a test to make sure it's working fine. So the morning of the 1st or 2nd they turn it on for about a minute. But this time it went on and stayed on for about 15 or 20 minutes. It was going up and down in pitch and making some weird noises. But eventually it went off. We heard that there was a earthquake in Panama or something but we're okay. Nothing happened that I noticed. 

I don't even know what to really mention. It was just a busy week of trying to meet with people. We were able to finally meet with an investigator that the sister missionaries taught and committed to a baptismal date. After they left, this family got real busy and they weren't able to see us, but we finally got them home and started teaching again. The mom is a member, but she has a 10 year old daughter. We think that baptism will happen next month. 

There's another family that we are teaching that will have their children baptized. The son is 8, but the parents aren't married, and he's the son of the mom who isn't a member, so I guess it will count as a convert baptism. He will probably be baptized in the next month or early March. Wow it's weird to think that I'm not going to be here in March.... anyways...

Lawrence's  baptism went through. It happened on Sunday night at 5. He asked that one of us missionaries do the baptism and one do the confirmation, so with me leaving I guess I was the one for baptism. The confirmation will happen next week at church. We made the program, I think it turned out nice.... haha A lot of the ward came out to support him. A big part of the young men's program came to support him as well, and he had lots of family there. The day was pretty busy. We went to church, went to meetings after church, then tried to visit just a few people before we had to go to the chapel and start filling up the font. We got there about at 3. The zone leaders were there at church (their ward doesn't get out until 4) so we talked with them for a while. 

We went out to lunch with one of the members to Teddy's Bigger Burgers. It's pretty good. Probably adds so much unhealthiness to my diet but it was good. I had a burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeno, a hashbrown, and sauces. Had garlic fries too...

Well I feel that I can't remember a lot of big things that happened this week. I'm sure I'll have lots to say. I won't be training Elder Egbert. He's been out for just two transfers though. Kamalani Kiaha said he will be there on the island at the end of the month, so I should be able to see him soon. I still need to pack. Something tells me I'm going to be staying up tomorrow night trying to get it all in.... haha I think I should be able to fit it all. 

Hope you have a great week.  Much love!


Elder Nitta

Lawrence's Baptism

Yoga - Mission Leader's Wife is our Instructor



Monday, January 5, 2015

And the work moves forward

Well this week has had lots of stuff going on...

Lawrence is still progressing well towards baptism. He wanted to be baptized before me or Elder Dyer left the area (more on that later). So we are planning the baptism on either Sunday or Tuesday of this next week. If it's on Tuesday, then we can invite all the new missionaries coming into the mission that night to attend as well. Though we had to get permission from President Warner before we did that, because he will have only been able to come to church twice before then. So we called President up last night, and he said it's a go. 

One of our Filipino investigators said something interesting. She asked us to bring a Tagalog speaking person with us so her mother could participate in the lessons. I honestly didn't think she was that serious about the lessons, but when she said that, it made me rethink how committed she was. She wants us to help out so this is the least we can do right?

In our recent district meeting, Elder Dyer had these things called 'miracle berries.'  If you let them disolve on your tongue, they're supposed to go from sour to sweet. So we got lots of these candies and tried it. It worked for some people, but I didn't taste anything different, but I didn't mind cause I like the sour stuff..... :) 

On Wednesday we got to meet with another family just starting to come back to church. They have an eight year old too..... sooooo we're going to be starting lessons with him. Though it's going to be considered a convert baptism apparently. His mom isn't a member, the dad isn't 'his' dad, and they aren't married yet. So it's like baptizing an eight year old in a non member family. But that'll go through for sure. We just need to teach. It'll probably happen within a couple months. 

Missionaries in our area stopped proselyting at 4 pm on on New Year's eve. We got together as a zone and the mission president approved the movie Frozen to be watched, that movie that came out forever ago and everybody was singing that 'let it go' song. haha So I was able to finally know where that song comes from instead of just other people singing it to me. After that we had a short testimony meeting as a zone, and then headed home. We were allowed to stay up till midnight, which I did. But nothing was that exciting, so as soon as the clock hit 12, I was saying my nightly prayer and going to bed. 

January first was also a day off. So Elder Dyer and I went up to another elders apartment to play ping- pong and sew some ties. 

We met with another one of our eternal investigators here this last week and had a good experience. Apparently she had never heard the whole Joseph Smith story and she was amazed by it. So we challenged her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. She still hasn't come to church, but we hope that's gonna be soon. 

Saturday we had a decent amount of appointments. We helped a woman move in the morning. She was cursing up a storm about some ex that is trying to make her life miserable. It was just kinda funny. Then we had another lesson with a recent convert family. The Elders in the Waipahu 2nd ward asked if we could come to their baptism that day and play the piano for them. Though, that chapel locks down hymn books like they're gold.  There wasn't a hymn book in sight so we had to play by memory. I am reminded several times of how blessed I was by Sister Purcell to have played all those hymns for forever, and now could just remember the notes to play. Dinner was with the Bishop. He and another family made lasagna for us. I think I ate too much though because the scale said I was a few pounds heavier. I'm at 155 or 160 now. Though I used to be 20 pounds lighter when I was in shape.... haha oh well. 

On Sunday we had some good lessons too. Church begins at 8 in the morning. I was surprised at how many people showed up. We had to open the back up for more seating. We got about 5 minutes notice that we would be teaching gospel principles, but it all went well. Lawrence came to church and it seemed like he found a lot of boys in the ward to fellowship with. We had a lesson after church too. We've basically gone through everything with him. He's doing great though. At one lesson he mentioned that he was even thinking about going on a mission himself. That would be pretty awesome. Before dinner, we went to try to visit this one lady in the ward. She wasn't there but a sister (I think) of hers came out and started talking with us. We had like 15 minutes until our dinner appointment, so we weren't too worried. But she just kept on going and going about Catholicism this and that. I honestly thought that some of the things she was saying was different and weird (like worshipping the ground where Jesus walked and praying to Mary to get to Jesus) But we just let her talk . At 6:05 I just said well, we have to go. I then did what I thought would be a nice jester, and offered her an extra book of scripture, but then THAT turned the conversation around - and all she had to say after that was negative things about the church and the Book of Mormon. I asked if she even knew what the book was about, which she said she did, and then started talking about John Smith this and that (so no, she didn't know anything about it). At about 6:15 I decided that this lady wasn't going to listen so I was kinda abrupt when I told her, we had a dinner appointment, and had to rush off.  I told her that I've studied and prayed about this and I KNOW it's true. She gave us a hug and I think I heard her say 'soften your hearts' as we were leaving.  We were nice and not aggressive about anything she said. Soooooo I kinda went to dinner a little angry and a little late. The dinner was good! It was with the family that let us skype on Christmas at their house. We had breakfast for dinner so it made me happier. They want Elder Dyer and I to do some musical thing for them before we leave the area.

That night was when we called President about getting permission to do the baptism for Lawrence this next week. After he said that we could do it, he quite suddenly told me what's going on next transfer with me. Basically I'll be heading to Kaunakakai!  (I'll let you look that one up and find where it is.) Needless to say I'm pretty excited for this last transfer. President told me I'll be with an Elder Egbert? I'll have to ask him about any family back in Vegas!

Well I hope to make this last week and a half in Ewa (Evah) a good one. I hope and pray that I'll finish out here with Lawrence's baptism. Much aloha!

Elder Nitta