Aloha family and friends!!
Mahalo nui loa for your many kind e-mails on our behalf. I apologize to everyone who sent e-mails last week that I didn't respond to. With transfers going on and the Kalaheo missionaries car still in the shop we found ourselves rather short on time and I was rather short on patience as well so I found myself with not a lot of time or will power to write many people! But all is well! :) Elder Chen got safely to the airport and I assume to Honolulu without any problem, while I stayed here on Kaua'i and have been enjoying my time with my newest companion Elder Luke. (I know... coolest name ever!!! :) haha!) I actually just did a little mental math (and a bit of counting on my fingers) and realized I am now already on my 9th companion out here in Hawaii!! (not including the MTC or my mini-mission) It's crazy how fast time passes and things change.
HAWAII IS AMAZING!! :) I really do love it out here!!! This area especially, it is just uncanny how friendly people are! We went tracting just the other day in what is probably the nicest neighborhood in all of the west side of the island (which would normally be a really ineffective place to tract) and even the people there were just SUPER cordial and talked story and made sure to tell us all about how they were related to or friends with the Nakaahiki family or the Cardijons... (seriously.... EVERYONE is related out here! haha!) Unfortunately though we are not just out here to talk story and cruze with the locals (although if feels like that is all we do sometimes...) We are here to proclaim the Gospel and help people to change, which.... well... isn't received quite as well... They are still super polite and nice and will even listen to whatever it is we have to say but be it members, investigators, or even sometimes missionaries, people just don't like change... So yeah, this week was a rather tough one.
I'm not sure if it has to do with how frequently missionaries have been coming and going from the ward or if it is just the time of year or what is happening but it feels like everything just hit a brick wall and everyone that was progressing has stopped, everyone that we were teaching, we aren't, everyone that was coming to church or Thursday night Book of Mormon class, isn't... Now of course that is a bit of an exaggeration. We still have plenty of members who are doing very well and trying to help out however they can, but the vast majority of people out here (really the whole community, not just members) have just kind of set cruise control on an upward slope, slowly drifting with wherever the wind blows them.... BUT you didn't wait a whole week just to hear me vent about things! SO point of that whole first part... sometimes things aren't easy on the mission! BUT there are ALWAYS good things to find even among the rough times! So onto part two!! :)
Miracles from this last week! We were able to teach W a couple of times and while his hearing is still not too sharp and I find myself yelling probably louder than I need to sometimes (which you know loudness has never been sometime I struggled with! :P haha!) he is doing very well!! He still wants to be baptized and has come to church enough times and is far enough along in his lessons that really it could happen any week now!! The only problem is he won't set a date! We've been trying really hard to get him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, because that is kind of a super important part to ANYONE'S testimony of the restored gospel... but as of now we haven't got a clear answer yet as to whether or not he got an answer.. but stay tuned because I'm sure things are going to pick up pretty fast here with him!! :) In fact already more has happened in regards to him as he just walked into the library a minute ago! :) haha!
Also this week we had a VERY fun (although rather sparsely attended) ice-cream social put on by the High Priest in the ward! I very much enjoyed it as did a few of the youth in the ward and W, well he looked like a child in a candy shop!! He was just ecstatic to be there!! So I guess even with minimal attendance it still fulfilled its purpose as a chance to fellowship and strengthen each other! Well, I have gone on for far too long I believe. I am sorry again to all those who I probably will not have time to respond to again this week but know that I still love and miss all of you dearly and that you are always in my prayers! I am trying my best to be who I am supposed to be and while I still fall short in many ways I know that the Savior truly can pick any of us up from whatever rut we may find ourselves in and that he will help us along the way as we continue to try and dust ourselves off and keep moving forward! I hope and pray that all of you feel that same love and that you are finding ways to keep moving forward wherever you are at in life! Mahalo again for your love and your support and your prayers on our behalf, know that they are reciprocated! Congrats Kyle and everyone else who has recently or will be soon leaving for or coming home from missions! Thank you for adding to our strength! Have a great week and don't forget to be awesome!!!! :D
Ofa lahi atu!
p.s. Saying goodbye to the Asians in our district at the Lihue airport on Wednesday. (Elder Kang from Korea on the left and Elder Chen from China on the right) I'm gonna miss those guys!