Iakwe in raelep! :)
Oh my dear family, how I love and appreciate all of you. I am grateful for how much you do for each other and for your faith and prayers for each other during this trying time. Things like this are so often what tears families apart and can ruin lives and relationships forever, and yet, because of the atoning sacrifice of the Savior Jesus Christ, as well as all of your remarkable faith, I feel closer to all of you now than perhaps ever before. Which is strange because I've quite literally never been farther from home!
Thank you so much mom for your update on all of the events of late I am happy to hear that while it was a week filled with much sorrow and struggling that is was also a week full of family fun and spiritual growth. It is easy to talk about using difficult situations as opportunities for growth, but then when actually faced with them it becomes a completely different story! They're called difficult for a reason I suppose. haha! But a mountain is a mountain and a storm is a storm and complaining won't help. So it has been with us over here in Hawaii. Quite literally this morning we climbed a mountain as we hiked into what we were hoping would be a stunning waterfall.... but due to the lack of rain the past week or two, there was little more than a small pond at the bottom of the ravine. It was good exercise nonetheless! :)
The hike this morning though seems to pale in comparison to the spiritual mountains we had to climb throughout the rest of the week. To say as little as possible about the situation out of respect for others and their privacy I will just say that a lot of tensions and misconceptions had been building for practically the past five or so weeks and then half way through this week things just snapped. People couldn't handle the stress of certain situations and there was a lot of tough, tough hours and days to follow. However, I do not bring any of this up to 'complain' about or to 'blame' others or myself. I talk about this because I want to share with you just how incredible strong Priesthood power and authority truly is as well as how strong the Atonement of Jesus Christ is as well.
Our mission President was able to step into help intercede on the whole situation and even with having no prior knowledge to what was going on, he was able to council and console and control the situation in a way that would have truly been impossible had it not been for heavenly help! Truly he was strengthened in his priesthood calling and was able to use the Spirit and gift of discernment to solve sides of the issue that were not even apparent to those more directly involved! God sees more than we see. As well, the Atonement of Jesus Christ played a huge role in helping to solve the situation. Truly the more we turn to Christ in everything, the more we are filled with His love and the more we can see others as He sees us. We are all equal in his eyes and with his help we can learn to truly confess and repent. To forgive and forget. To help and be helped. To love and be loved. That is the purpose of why he did what he did for us. So that we could all have a second chance at things and so that we could learn to love others as he so loved us, even unto the laying down of our lives for them. I hope you know how much I love each and every one of you, although I suppose none of us can quite comprehend just how much love He has for all of us.
So, anyway, other stuff that happened this week!! We got to participate in a worldwide missionary broadcast from some of the General Authorities of the Church which was AWESOME!!! There was a lot said about how to fulfill our purpose to teach repentance and to baptize! It was seriously just super sweet! That's about as best as I can describe it! haha! I guess one thing in specific I took away from it was how essential the Spirit really is in this work! I mean, I always knew it was important, but Elder Bednar REALLY cracked down in his training on how it wasn't just 'important' but that it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to fulfilling our purpose! No matter how "cool" or "smart" or "clever" the missionary may be, WE ARE NOT CAPABLE of converting ourselves or others to the gospel of Jesus Christ! We CANNOT teach and testify without it! It cannot be done!! We are simply the instruments in God’s hands to get the spirit close to the hearts of those around us and then from there it is HIS job to teach and testify of God and the Savior and restoration of His church!! That is HIS divine purpose! We are simply here to help Him to accomplish His work!! (see Moroni 10:5; D&C 100:5-8; D&C 50:13-22; D&C 42:14)
Also, this Saturday and Sunday we got to participate in the Baptism and Confirmation of N! It was super cool! I'm not sure if I told you about her or not. So we just kind of happened upon this one. Our ward mission leader, Bro. H, basically just called us up one day and said, "hey, I have a niece who comes to church every week, she's already had all of the lessons and knows it's true, she's ready to get baptized now." A little shocked we went over and found out that sure enough she knew everything, had taken all of the lessons before, and was at church every week already! We saw her there all the time and neither of us even knew that she wasn't already a member! haha! So anyway, we got it all taken care of and this weekend she was baptized! It went great!
Well, I should probably start wrapping this e-mail up, I gotta get going. But real quick I guess I should tell you about transfers! :P haha! So it's that time again when our lives seem to get turned upside-down! Whoohoo!! So I will be staying (thankfully, as I just barely got here not too long ago!) but Elder Livaie is going to be heading over to the McCully Marshallese branch! (the other one that we kind of share the island with!) So yeah, I'll probably still see him around all the time! We have one member who kind of hops between the two so whenever they feed us they always have both sets anyway! :) haha! Anyway, so I will be getting Elder Teerlink. I'm not sure where he's from (although I'd bet that Utah is a pretty safe guess :P haha!) all that I know is that he was Trained on Moloka'i by Elder Gerber who you may or may not remember was my MTC companion approximately 18 months ago!!! Crazy how fast time flies out here! Well, I will give you more information as more information comes, but for now I say unto you all, mahalo nui loa and a hui hou!! Thank you again for everything and for your prayers, know that many prayers from many over here in Hawaii are also sent your way! I love you! Have a great week!! Aloha au ia oe!
Also a nice healthy plate of "food" from a party we got to go to this last week... I seriously didn't know how to even begin to eat half of the stuff on our tray... :P haha!