How are you?? Thank you so much for your e-mails this week! This week was definitely one of those more traditional and sort of mundane weeks....now that I am typing this and really think back about this last week I realize that there have actually been quite a few different events going on over here on Kaua'i! So I guess I'll just jump right into it!
Well we started out our week with a trip up to Lihue on Tuesday for interviews with our Mission President. But these weren't just your everyday kind of interviews that he does with every zone once every other transfer. These interviews including a delicious pancake breakfast beforehand!! What made these pancakes so delicious or even warranted their making you may ask? Was it the giant bag of Krusteas pancake mix? Or perhaps the gallon of POG on the side? (Editor’s note: POG is a delicious blend of juices from passion, orange and guava fruits.) No, these pancakes were so scrumptious because they were earned by our zone hitting all of their weekly goals including 3 baptisms!! :) So yeah, that was fun! :) Anyway, it was also good to be able to sit in council with our Priesthood leader. How grateful I am for that priesthood and all the blessings that follow with it as it is used properly.
We also had our ward Thanksgiving dinner this week which had a GREAT turn out and was a LOT of fun!! I'll admit however that I probably would have enjoyed it a little more if I hadn't been so exhausted from the rest of the day before the activity. That day I happened to be on exchanges with one of the missionaries over in Kalaheo and while we were initial excited about all the work we were going to accomplish that day, we were a little caught off guard when we woke to find that the light rain that began the previous night was not only still coming down but that it was coming down SIGNIFICANTLY harder! We were hoping it would at least lighten up after our studies and so forth but instead it decided to keep on pouring and getting heavier and heavier ALL DAY LONG!! We were a little apprehensive because of how hard it was raining to go out, but if "persecutions" "mobs" and "armies" couldn't stop the work from progressing than we sure weren't about to let a little bit of rain do so. So we went out. It was actually a very productive day and we were able to learn a lot about and from each other. I always love exchanges for that. Anyway, while it was a good day for sure we also got to the ward activity very exhausted and a little wet. But we still had fun as mentioned before! :)
Other than that, highlights of the week include our weekly service at the Kimura's flower farm, some very exciting meetings with our new ward mission leader that led to some very lofty but VERY exciting goal setting for the coming months, and kanikapila (jam session) with one of our part-member families. The last one was especially fun as I learned more that night about the ukulele than I ever had with all of my personal practice and playing. If you wanna learn the real way ya gotta learn from a local! :) haha!
Anyway, so lastly, just a quick warning, God knows the thoughts of your heart and he always has a plan in store to help us change those thoughts if they are not righteous. This last Sunday, right as sacrament meeting was about to start, this part-member family that we had previously been teaching, came in and sat in the back. A little bit shocked, my immediate reaction in my mind and heart was something to the effect of "oh, hey, look who decided to show up." I will confess, I was not in the best mindset towards them but felt justified because of some previous less than positive experiences with that family as well as some major frustrations that came from trying to teach them before. But either way, the meeting continued on and I never really thought anything of it, until the very last talk. A lady from the Stake Primary Presidency got up and right off the bat started with "my talk today is about forgiveness". Immediately I thought of the other family that had just come into the meeting this week and realized that I had been too fast to judge them and their motives for coming. I of course repented and have been trying to look at their family now with a new outpouring of love and concern and although I'm still not perfect, the Lord is definitely helping us out. Anyway, I just thought I would share that first to prove that missionaries are not perfect (in fact we are so often very far from it) so be patient with us... but also that others aren't perfect too and that we need to all just learn to have a little more love and a little more patience and acceptance in every which way for everyone around us.
Anyway, thank you again for your updates and your continued out pouring of prayers on our behalf! Mom and Dad, thank you for fulfilling AND magnifying all of your callings. I promise what you are doing is absolutely crucial to missionary work! Also thank you for both sharing lessons on that talk by President Eyring. That talk has a sort of special place in my heart having served around and talked with Elder Cheel and many other missionaries who were evacuated and transferred over to this mission from Vanuatu after the storm hit their islands. Best of luck Joe and all of the MdN crew with your games! We're getting ready for a fun little "turkey bowl" flag football game over here with the Kalaheo ward on Thanksgiving morning and while it will probably not be even half as intense or competitive as all of those high school games, the little bit of extra "p-day practice" that I have gotten has really made me appreciate how hard the sport really is.... although I will still always appreciate the Marching Band at least a little bit more than any actual football team! ;) haha! HAVE A GREAT WEEK! ALOHA NUI LOA AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!