Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ALOHA- August 22, 2011

Well another week down and this week was definitely not as eventful as the last week. We went on some good exchanges this week but nothing too crazy. We had a way cool experience on Saturday when we went up to the baptism of a guy in Laie. He has been taught by missionaries for over a year and was super solid but never felt right about being baptized. He had a lot of days where he committed to being baptized but never got to that point, until Saturday. He got baptized and it was a super spiritual experience! He bore his testimony after and said he knew that everything was true. Glad to see another worthy convert enter into the covenant!

This week was my "return to old areas" week. On Wednesday we went out on exchanges with the zone leaders over in Kapolei! I went with Elder Routt, he is one solid elder! Really taught me a lot and we had a good time being together. We had some good success, found a couple new potentials and saw the old members. Boy do I miss that ward, I love everyone there they are the best. We stopped by Roclyn and Elroy's house as well, they are the best! I miss those 2 like crazy! They were super shocked to see me but we had a good talk and they are doing solid. Been confirmed and just loving the church. They are going to seminary as well and love it. Great day.

Thursday was another great day, we went out to Kahala, my first area! I love that area too, such a solid place. I went out with E. Nawatu from Fiji and E. Menlove from Olympus. Two more great missionaries that just work their hearts out. They are having a lot of good success over in Kahala, but that is expected because they are good, hard-working elders. Everyday I go out I learn something new and it just makes me so grateful to be able to see so many elders.

The best part of the entire exchange was that we had dinner with the JAYS! Man it was so good to see them again, they are doing very well, B. Jay is still the Gospel Doctrine teacher and S. Jay is in the Relief Society Presidency. They are currently in the temple prep classes and they finish them up in about 1 month. They are going to be sealed in the temple for all time and eternity!!! I am so happy, they are either doing it the last week of September or right after conference, ah what a blessing. It made me so happy to hear that. I cannot wait until that day, they are the best. To add more to the cake, tonight their daughter is getting married and coming up on the 3rd she will be baptized along with her husband! It starts with one person and the rest follow when they see the change come into their lives. I am so grateful for that, cannot wait for these upcoming months, they will be the best.

Things are going well out here, I really appreciate everything that you have all done for me. May the Lord bless you all in all that you are doing,
Love you guys!
Elder G

Monday, August 15, 2011

AROHA! August 15, 2011

Another day another dollar! Whats going on my friends, this has been a crazy week, at times it feels like it has been going on for 9 and a half years and than I look back and can't believe it is already P day again. It was nice today to have some rest from the hectic week, transfer weeks are always nuts, its fun. I am enjoying it out here, things are starting to cool down so we have a nice breeze always coming in and the temperature doesn't get too hot. Everyone is back to school, not as many tourists around and things are back to normal.

So the start of this week was one of the coolest and most spiritual experiences I have ever been a part of. I am not sure if I mentioned about R**** and E**** last week, the 14 & 15 year old girl and boy that we tracted into when I was with Elder Larsen in Kapolei. Well they have always been so close to baptism but never could make that final hurdle. On Saturday night President Dalton went over to their home with their home family and they just could not deny the Spirit that was felt. We talked about it and they both wanted Elder Larsen to be there so they did it on Tuesday night, the last night for Elder Larsen!! What a way to go out from a mission, your investigator gets baptized on your last night! Unreal, it was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It was so cool to see how excited they both were before, but especially after they got baptized. No one that I have ever seen be baptized has denied the truthfulness of what they are doing! I am so blessed to be able to be a part of something as miraculous as this. I came home and just sat there and thanked my Heavenly Father to be able to be out here serving a mission. To see people change their lives each and everyday to come closer to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They put off so much to enter into the waters of baptism because they see how important these things are. Its not always easy, but they never have any regrets. R**** and E**** are two of the greatest people I have ever met in my entire life. They really strengthened my testimony and I am just so thankful that I was able to see such a change in them. These are two people I will never forget for the rest of my life. The coolest part of the whole thing was that on Tuesday, 18 new missionaries came to Hawaii, so instead of taking them to orientation we brought them to the baptism! The chapel was PACKED! There were so many people from the ward and all over the island to support them in this great decision of their life. What a day, I love this Gospel!

Wednesday was the crazy day, transfer day! This is where all the missionaries on Oahu come to get transferred around to their new areas and meet their new companions-they all come at around 1:00. It's a cool morning to see all the missionaries that you haven't seen in ages. I have gained so many friends out here. When would I ever meet people like this from all over the entire world? And not only meet with them but be able to serve with some of them and serve around a lot of them. Its amazing how diverse people are but even more amazing, how much the gospel brings people together. You know this has to be true. We had a good time with transfer day, it was great to see so many missionaries gathered together in one place, it doesn't happen often so I love it when it does.

Thursday of transfer week is one of my most looked forward to, but also most dreaded days. The good part is we get to be with the missionaries that are heading home for basically the whole day. The best part is to be a part of the testimony meeting that is held right before they head off to the airport. There were 18 that went home, so the Spirit was so strong hearing all the missionaries bear their witness of how the mission has changed their life. It really is something that will shape your life forever. They just say things that just bring the Spirit and confirm what is true. The bad part of the night is dropping these wonderful people off at the airport. The hardest part for me is seeing all the leaders that I looked to growing up in the mission step onto the airplane. Some of my best friends, Elder Larsen, Elder Jaramillo, Elder Lunt, Sister De Arton, and Sister Sandoval all went home. There were many other amazing people but these were all people I either served around or was companions with and just watching them leave was hard. Each and everyone of these 18 missionaries served their Father in Heaven faithfully. Its hard to see them leave but the only thing that makes it bearable is knowing seeing them leave is only temporary, I will get to see all of them again.

Other than that, the rest of this week was planning for the upcoming month and getting things organized. I am excited for this upcoming month, the mission is on the rise and all the missionaries are excited. We saw 105 people baptized last month so we keep seeing miracles. We have a lot of good stuff upcoming for these next 5 months.
 I love it. I am so blessed to give 2 years of my life to my Father in Heaven, what I give doesn't even come close to what I receive. Thanks for everything!
 I love you all.
Elder G OUT!

Friday, August 12, 2011

ALOHA!! August 8, 2011

A couple more pictures from the hike up Mauna Kea.

Jordan with his companion, Elder Street. 
So this week was pretty basic, nothing really happened. We did a lot of the transferring planning and had a good time doing that. It truly is amazing how the revalatory process works, I love it! It really has taught me a good lesson that I will use for the future. The best thing is being able to serve around President Dalton, man what a blessing to serve around such an accomplished man in the church and in life. I have started a book of advice from President Dalton.

I am doing solid, tomorrow the greenies come in and it is going to be crazy! Its wild when the new missionaries come in, but its fun I love it. I can't wait this is going to be a good week. I love you guys, thanks for everything!

Love, Elder G.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pics for August 1, 2011

haha these were the two Elders that I thought I was going to have to kill the dog with.

My future home. We tracted into this house, the people here are so relaxed they jsut invited us for a drink, wanted nothing to do with religion but love to talk story, it was hilarious!

Solid lookout right on the edge of the area

It was way cold up there! I was so cold that I had 2 coats on and a blanket with a huge hat!

Yes there is snow and ice in Hawaii!

ALOHA! August 1, 2011

Boy whats up seems like this week has just flown by and I just wrote you an email. I have been having a good time out here traveling Hawaii. On Sunday we went over to big island Hilo side. That was a sweet place. Traveling is now done for me, I will just be cruising in the office for now so it will be pretty sweet. I will definitely miss traveling, I learned so much that I just cannot put into words. I really felt I was given this assignment so that I could go out and learn from other missionaries. Its amazing how much more you get back from the service you give. That has been the story of my whole mission, I have gotten so much more in return, it's crazy! What a blessing. It was amazing being with Elder Street, we had some awesome times together. Traveling around Hawaii as companions getting to meet every missionary here, what better thing could I ask for? What better thing could I be doing? Nothing at all, this is where I am suppose to be and I am so grateful for the Lord giving me the opportunity to serve here in this wonderful place around this wonderful people.

But Hilo was an amazing place! We woke up at 230 Monday morning and made our way up to Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in Hawaii. We were going to do the volcano but decided to go up to Mauna Kea because we had a professional tour guide who is a member take us up there. WOW! It was so cold it got down to 32 degrees! Now before you go judging me, just remember I haven't seen temperatures below 65 in over a year so 32 is so cold! But the sunrise was amazing! It was a great P day, we had a lot of fun doing that together, went with some solid elders so I couldn't complain on bit!

Big Island on Hilo side is nuts, I thought that I was going to get eaten alive by a dog. Everyone out there has a dog and it is never tied up. So country over there, houses are way far apart and everyone shuts down when the sun goes down. So by 7 o'clock the area is completely pitch black. I was like, okay elders, maybe shut her down for the night and we will go into the pad and study or something. Its amazing how different each and every island is. They all have their own beauty and uniqueness, its pretty amazing to have been able to see every single island. I went with a couple of the elders that I came out on the mission with and it was just a blast to get over and see how they are doing. There are so many elders and we are spread over so many islands, that you rarely get to see any of them, so it was a good time to be with them. Holy cow, when the general authorities talk about raising the bar and this is the best generation of missionaries--they really mean it! Holy cats we have some amazing missionaries that have been out for only a couple months that I am learning so much from. They are so humble to and they are just going to lead us into great things in the future. I am blown away everyday!

I had a really cool experience with a couple of the elders that I went with on Wednesday. They had been tracting the week before and tracted into a lady and she was a less active member but she has a daughter and a grand daughter that are not members. She said that the grand daughter was definitely interested in learning and maybe the mom as well. So when I went with them on Wednesday, that was the day they had the return appointment set up so as we got there the granddaughter was 12 and so excited to have us there. She said that she wants to be baptized and is now going to be baptized on one of the Saturdays in August. She was way excited. Its amazing how many people out here are just ready to accept the gospel, we just have to be willing to reach out. She had so many members around here that said they had no idea she would be interested. That is where hard work comes in, if you just are obedient and work hard, the Lord will bless you with great things. That is another thing that I have really learned out here on my mission, the Lord is always trying to bless you in one way or another, and if you are obedient to his commandments he is obligated to do so!

I thought that I was going to get eaten by a dog though. I told you about how everyone has a dog but this is serious stuff. We walked up to a house and a dog was as mean as ever following us and was ready to pounce. I am not going to lie, I thought that I was going to have to kill the dog. Neither of the two with us had a pocket knife or anything so I was ready to bare hand kill it. That is the only solution you have, because these dogs have no mercy, they got lock jaw on you and you are done. The dog stayed close but it was too scared to get us, I was not comfortable at all haha! That was a fun area being with those 2 elders but after that day,  I was done!

But that's about all I got, nothing else really too special happened this week, a lot of transfer planning. We went to some amazing baptisms on Saturday, some way cool stories of how they came into the church. Such spiritual meetings. We had ZLC today and the thing was amazing. A bunch of missionaries I look up to gave their dying testimonies so that was hard, but I am so grateful for the time I had to serve around them. All is well with me though, I mean, come on, I am in Hawaii what could possibly go wrong!? I love you all, hope all is well back home, you are all in my prayers!
Love to all,
Elder G