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


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