Hola, como estas!
Things are going so well here in Kona. It's always weird switching areas because you have to re-learn all the people's names, learn the area, learn how to work here. It's all somewhat in shambles for the first few weeks, but it miraculously works out after that. I think this week was that transition week. Especially when my companion informed me that we were going on exchanges and that I was going to stay in the area. That was awkward. Reluctantly, I agreed to the idea. Let's just say we spent a lot of the day driving back and forth trying to find things that are on the map. But after that I feel a little bit better about the area.
But here is the real cool miracle of the week. So since I have been on my mission, I have talked to a lot of people from a lot of different countries. I have learned some words in at least 20 different languages, but I was never actually able to speak the language that learn in school: Spanish. Subsequently, I have always been trying to find someone to teach that speaks Spanish. Not that I could actually talk to him in Spanish, but mainly just that I could impress him with my 12 and a half word Spanish vocab. Plus I always wanted a taste of what Dad, Will, and Mateo went through on their missions. Two weeks ago, we were contacting some part-member families and couldn't find an address. We saw a guy standing outside of his house next to a truck, and so we went to ask if that was his address. He told him we had the wrong address, but I could tell that he had an hispanic accent. This intrigued me. So I asked him where he was from, and he told me "Honduras". This made me happy! We asked him if we could come back and teach him, and he told us, "Yeah of course!" Fast forward to last Friday, and we finally see his truck in front of his house. We decided to stop by and visit him. "Nahun...Aloha!" we say as we knock on the door. (Nahun is his name) And then a guy comes to the door and I was like, "Oh Nahun! How are you?" And my companion whispers to me, "That's not Nahun." And then I realize I am looking at literally an exact twin on Nahun. I was a little flustered and baffled at this point, and left some-what speechless. Then Nahun pops out from behind his doppelganger and says, "Hola, dis is me brother Carlos." Then the brother, in a little bit better English, looks at us and says, "Mormons?" I looked at him and said, "I think so." and he said, "I was baptized into your church in California. Good experience!" But then Carlos takes off to go work and it is just us and Nahun. We sit down and start teaching Nahun, and we begin teaching him the restoration. When we get to the part about Jesus establishing his church, we show him a picture of Jesus being baptized. He lights up and says, "Oh! I have never been baptized. I need to be baptized!" And then we continue teaching him the Restoration and things are going well. Then after we teaching about Joseph Smith, he looks at us and says, "I know you are here to bring the true gospel of Jesus Christ to me. Thank you." Needless to say it was AWESOME.
Also we had another cool miracle. We were teaching a recent convert, and she had taken something that someone said the wrong way. And it happened to be a member of the ward, and so she began to feel as if she was a real burden to the ward. At the beginning of the lesson, she was depressed, reluctant to tell us much. But as we began to testify of the goodness of Christ, she began to light up. And then the spirit was like share this scripture. And I was like, "Are you sure? It's been a while since I have shared that." And it like, "Yeah. I know these type of things." And so I had her read D&C 121 and she began to read it. Then after just stopped. And began to cry. And said, "Three years ago I got a concussion and I haven't been able to understand the things I read. I always have to have other people read to me. This is the first time since my accident I have understood what I read. I feel so relieved." It was just truly a miracle.
Overall, things in the big island are treating me well. I really do enjoy it here. I love you all! I pray for you all!
January 27, 2015
I hope everything is going well! Things are GREAT here in Kona.
The first week I was here, things were FREEZING. Like, almost-see-your-breath-in-the-morning cold. Which I am sure to all of you mainlanders is probably not that cold, but when you don't have heaters and your house is not insulated AT ALL, the mornings were a struggle. But it's been warming up lately. The days are never really too chilly at all. Sometimes pretty cloudy because we live at the base of a mountain.
We had a rather neat experience this week. We are a little low on non-members to teach, mainly because we were working hard with these two people and they just got baptized. So we are in the process of "re-starting" the area in a sense. So on Sunday, we got new Part-Member family lists since ours was a year old, and planning on spending the rest of the day updating those as a sort of "don't be too busy sawing to sharpen you saw" type deal. This was going on for a few minutes when I saw a name of someone who was on the new list and not on the old list. That's when a thought popped into my head of, "Oh she's moved into the area in the past 8 months. You should visit her." And I just brushed it off like it was no big deal. And then the thought popped into my head again, "You should really go visit her." And then I thought, "I will visit her this week." And then something said, "No you should really visit her now. Like right now." And so I shut our Area Book and told my comp we had to visit someone. We jumped into our car and cruised (haha that's funny because we drive a Chevy Cruze) on over to this house. When we got there, we saw no address on the house, and it looked like no one was home. My companion turned to me and said, "maybe no one is home..." So we drove passed the house, turned around and drove past the house again, and then one more time, and we decided we should just give it a shot. Well when we hopped out of the car, we turned around and someone had just pulled into the driveway. When we asked her if she was the name of the person on our list, she said yes, and then we just started talking to her for a little bit. Turns out she is pretty inactive, and we scheduled a time to meet her tomorrow. When talking to her, she something along the lines of, "Out of all days, you come today." Meaning that it was the perfect day for us to visit. It was just a cool testimony builder of the workings of the spirit.
We couldn't email yesterday because we were on Oahu for a conference. Usually, when you are on the plane, you try and talk to as many people as you can. So on the way back, I sat next to this lady hoping to talk to her, but after the look she gave me I ruled the option out. So I turned to the other side of me and there across the aisle, something told me to talk to him, but I thought, that's weird to talk to someone across the aisle. But I did anyway, and it turned out he lived in Haleiwa. So I talked to him all about surfing, but nothing too spiritual came up. My companion was sitting in the row in front of me and the whole time I was talking to this guy, the guy in front of him was just eyeing me and my comp. Finally at the end of the flight, he kind of blurted out, "I was baptized into your church." Almost like he was building up enough courage to say it. And then my comapnion talked to him, and he found it was the cousin of one of our members and his family isn't members. We got his info and plan on start teaching him. It was amazing to see the Lord place people into our path.
Well, that's all for this week! I love you all. I know that the is the true church with all my heart. Talk to you next week.
1) Service we did
2) Jesus on the dash in front of Pololu Valley
3) When two members took us out for lunch on the same day. This is my comp after.
4) Husking a coconut in the sunset.
January 19, 2015
It's super weird not to be on Oahu. Things that you kind of take advantage of don't really exist here. Things like garbage men, road maps, and sometimes addresses. There's probably some other stuff that I haven't discovered yet. Mainly, the best part about the Big Island is all the TURKEYS! There are turkeys just running around everywhere. They're super ugly and have greasy feathers like they're extras from the movie Grease. We plan on wrangling a few sometime this transfer. It's weird that different areas are 30 minutes away rather 5 minutes away. We live on the top of this hill at 3,000 ft altitude, but our area covers all the way down to the ocean at sea level. I've been pretty sick lately so when we cruise up and down the hills to visit people my head feels like it's about to explode. Kind of like the active volcano I live on.
My companion is super awesome. I knew him a little bit before I came to this area so I was really excited. Sorry if this letter doesn't make sense. I am trying to focus writing while all the other missionaries are quoting The Office while waiting for the computers. It's super funny...but very distracting. Anyway, my comps name is Elder Merrill. He is from Alpine, UT and just a real good missionary. My MTC comp, Elder Langi was just in this area before I came here, so it's kinda awkward taking his place because the ward absolutely LOVED him, so they are like, "Wait a minute. You're not brown." But it's all good. This ward is really awesome and just a very loving ward.
So we did have a cool experience. The missionaries were teaching this lady named Tema before I came into the area, and she is just the best. She is from the Solomon Islands, and she married a white man who was in the Peace Corps. They moved to Wisconsin, and eventually to Hawaii. That is where her daughter met a member and was eventually baptized. A year later, her brother noticed the change in her and he was baptized. Then his sister was baptized. And so for 15 years, the children were waiting for the parents to convert. Tema, the Mom, secretly knew the church was true, but she was waiting for her husband to convert. But after 15 years, the missionaries knocked on her door, and she finally had to admit to herself it was time. So they challenged her to talk to her husband. And so she told him, "I would like your blessing on this, because I love you. But I am going to do this regardless because I know it's true." And THEN she called her children and told them she was getting baptized. So anyway, all her children flew in, and we had the baptism on Saturday. It was just very special to see the children who have been waiting for 15 LONG years for their Mom to be baptized, have the experience of witnessing someone special to enter into a new life. The husband even came to the baptism! It was a true miracle. So just pray that the husband will one day convert!
We also taught the nephew of Harold B. Lee. He's pretty less active and almost died in a motorcycle accident, but he's just now starting to find a testimony.
Overall things are awesome. We do a lot of service here! We drove like an hour and a half to go do service and it was still in our zone. Part of the island looks so much like Colorado it makes me think of home, then I see the ocean and was like, "Oh yeah. We're in Hawaii."
But I really do love it here! And I love all of you!
Write you next week!