Thank you so much for that awesome update on everything going on back home! As more and more people ask me about my life plans after the mission (I don't know why everyone seems to be so interested in that side of my life all of a sudden, I still have plenty of time left on my mission) I have thought about and entertained in my mind all sorts of different career options. And while there are many different options that may be more profitable and realistic in the future, I must say that Bob Ross alone has kept the door open in my mind of pursuing an art degree and being an early morning painter on PBS! :) haha! So anyway, on a more serious note, I really am glad to hear that things are going so well for all of you back home in Arizona and surrounding areas (I suppose Ireland and the east coast will just have to count as "surrounding area's" to Arizona this week. haha!).
That is also SUPER exciting to hear about Ben and Adam and Drew!! Way to go guys on keeping the train on missionaries in the Powell/Groberg family alive a going!! With so many grand kid's missions overlapping plus all of the extended family it makes me honestly wonder if there has ever been, even for just a few weeks, a gap or break where we did NOT have any full-time missionaries out serving the Lord from our extended family! Truly it is such a blessing to be a part of such an incredible group of people and it brings me extra joy to think that if I am faithful I can be with this same group of people for eternity!!! :)
Anyway, so real quick update of things over here in Hawaii for this past week!
Man, the weeks are going by fast! It's funny because every week at the start I feel like "man, there's still so much time in the week and so much we are going to be able to get accomplished!" and then before I know it, and with still countless things on our "to-do list" as well as scores of people we didn't get a chance to see, we are at the start of yet another week! Truly, like you said yourself dad, "time marches". But that didn't stop us from at least trying to keep pace with it this past week!
We did have a lot of exciting things happen with our work this past week! So Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Kahalu'u missionaries and I worked in our area with Elder Rantayo (this awesome elder in our district from the Philippines!) :) We had some pretty interesting encounters while tracting (as always) but most exciting was we accidentally met this SUPER awesome family later in the day! So after dinner, we were on our way to go try a potential investigator when I had another name sort of just pop into my head of a less-active/part-member family in the area and so we turned our bikes around and went to go knock on their door... but it was late, and we were in a sort of town house complex so literally EVERYTHING looks exactly the same because... well they are all built the same.
So I go to knock on what I THINK was the door of this family we were looking for, only to find out we were at the wrong complex! But instead of just doing what most people do when we have the wrong house, and saying "oh, no sorry, wrong house. goodbye!" this family was SUPER nice and asked what the name was again and then, asked if we wanted to eat something or needed something to drink or anything, and of course we said yes... because we're missionaries :P haha! AND THEY INVITED US INSIDE!!! Nobody just invites us inside unless they're already members or they want to try and "Bible-bash" with us!!! We were so excited! They then proceeded to give us some food, water, popsicles, and even some snacks for the road! But what was more incredible, is he called their resident manager and asked him for us about where the other family we were trying to contact lived so we could go see them! I was floored by their kindness and their sincerity and generosity, and then after a little more casual conversation I found out why!
So one of the families in our ward that we have dinner with a lot, kept on telling us about these awesome neighbors that live next door to them and how they are so kind, but even more than that, how they are actually kind of looking for a church right now to raise their family up in and to settle this sort of nagging feeling they have in them as they search for more in their lives. They kept telling us however, not to go knock yet because they wanted to set something up with them first but didn't want to jump the gun... so we waited and waited and waited but we never got to meet these "amazing neighbors that our members had talked so much about! (at this point in the story I should probably mention that while we have eaten dinner with this member family multiple times, we have always eaten with them at their grandma's house so we never knew where they actually lived) And that brings me back to Wednesday night, while talking to this new family who had invited us in and fed us and talked with us, they finally brought up, "actually our next door neighbors are Latter-day Saints!" and I said "oh really, who's that?" (Because I didn't know anyone who lived in the area) and they said and then it all pieced together!!! THIS was the amazing neighbors that our members had talked about so many times at dinner and told us not to go see yet!! We honored their request.... but then accidentally knocked on their door anyway! haha!
So yeah, long story short, we sparked enough interest and things are now lined up well enough to where, hopefully VERY soon, we will be able to start teaching them the discussions and hopefully be able to finally help them fill that desire they have deep down to follow the Savior and his teachings!! Truly nothing is an accident to the Lord and He definitely has his ways of sort of micro-managing our lives! :) haha!
So other exciting news from this week. We spent literally ALL DAY Friday tracting!! That was kind of exciting! So as a mission we just had our second ever "fasting finding Friday" where, mission wide, we all fast together to find new-investigators, and then go out tracting from 10am-6pm!! It was pretty cool! Honestly, nothing too crazy or exciting or overwhelming, but it was fun and we did find a few people through it who might be at least slightly interested! So that's good! :) Sunday was also great as always and we had a great evening joining in with the youth in our ward for an SED (Sunday evening discussion) which is basically the parallel of BYD (Bishop Youth Discussion) when I was going through the youth program. We had a recently returned missionary in our ward sort of report on his mission to the youth and answer any questions they may have and so Bishop wanted us there too since the whole evening was sort of missionary themed.
Anyway, yeah, so, that was my week in a nutshell... or more like a seashell I guess since we're in Hawaii. But I've gotta get going now, so I'll wrap up. I just want to let you all know how much I love you all and that I am and always will be praying for you! Thank you for all your love and support as well as your encouragement and help with the transitions I know are fast approaching in my own life! You have all played an absolutely indispensable part in the success of my mission and really in my whole life! Thank you for that! :) Sorry, I know I've said "thank you" like four times already in this one paragraph (five now I suppose) but I really do mean it and I really do love you all!!! I wish you the best of luck with everything you have waiting for you in the coming week, whether it be work, scorpion hunting, painting, or international-political-lobbying! Have a great week! Mahalo nui loa and ALOHA AU IA OE!!! :)
A hui hou aku!
p.s. It's Lychee Season again!! Yeah!!! :D :D