Monday, July 28, 2014

Update July 28, 2014

Week 23
Aloha everyone!

Another week has flown by here in Kaimuki and it will be the last in Kaimuki. I will be transferred on Wednesday. I am not sure where for sure I am going yet but do know I will be staying on Oahu. My feelings are so up-in-the-air right now. I LOVE this ward and the people here but I feel as if my time here is done and I've done all I can. Now on to the next area! This week has been a pretty good week nothing too exciting though.
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Last District Picture! 

Not a whole lot to talk about. Everyday was pretty average except anticipating transfers I was able to say goodbye to the Kurihara family and Tony before they each left for Vacation on the Mainland. We went to Chili's for lunch before they flew out on Thursday.

We also met with Fred on Thursday and it went super well. He is SO ready! And set for this coming Saturday. I’m pretty bummed I will not be here for his baptism but will be in Spirit.

I also have spent a lot of time this week preparing to leave this area making sure Elder Wilson Is ready to takeover the area and tie up loose ends as well as say goodbyes. Yesterday at church was hard but I think I am content. But dinner with the Memea's last night was a different story. That was hard.

I think the message I have taken this week is along the same lines as obedience last week. The scripture I think of is from 1 Nephi chapter 3 verse 7;
7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

One of our dinner messages this week we shared this scripture and talked about obedience and having a good attitude. Then I went on to share as I realized it is that if we will have the Attitude that Nephi did and do those things we are asked to do willingly and with a positive attitude it makes it easier and if we constantly have that attitude then when those hard choices are placed before us they are easy because we have already made the decision to “do the things which the Lord hath commanded.” I hope that we can all relate to this. I know i struggle with it daily but I know that the days I do have that attitude of go and do it makes my days that much better.

I hope everyone has had a marvelous week and all is well. I cant wait to find our where my letter next week will be written from. So much going on this coming week! I love you all and I LOVE getting letters and emails from friends and family. And I always make sure I respond! Anyway until we meet again...

Elder Shoaf

Pictures July 22, 2014

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Walking into Hawaii 5-0 Office Set. Used in almost every episode

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The Main Computer table in the office

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they just finished filming Episode 2 of season 5 and currently are filming episode 3. season 5 premieres in September.
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Hawaii Police Dept. uniforms

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McGarrett's Clothes

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Chin Ho and Kono's clothes for Season 5

Update July 22, 2014

Week 22
Aloha everyone!

I hope everyone has had another stellar week around the world. I just realized that this email is going to 5 different continents.... that crazy! And a few more islands at that. Well it had been another brutally hot week he in the Paradise of Hawaii. I swear since im either walking or biking all day and our pad is not air conditioned I am showering at least 3 times a day... haha but its all good. Its starting to feel like an Indiana summer here. We had what was left of a Hurricane roll through Saturday and it was really cool to see a thunderstorm again! Oh and it dropped 14 inches of rain in 6 hours.... crazy. But we are an island so we don’t really have to worry about flooding. And so the humidity is supper thick right now. But the sweet summer sun will make quick work of that!
It had been a really great week this week. Lots of fun as well as some great missionary opportunities.
Monday we met up as a district and played some volleyball and football at a Beach park in Kahala so that was really fun!

Tuesday was a rather normal day. Wednesday we had our quarterly interviews with President Warner and it went super well. And its always good to hear the advice and counsel of our mission president 1 on 1. we also we asked to prepare a 3 minute talk on the subject of Obedience to present to Sister Warner to give us a chance to get some feedback on our speaking skills and poseur. Overall a wonderful day.

Thursday was just a Grind-it-out day just hitting the streets visiting tons of people and talking to everyone.
Friday we did service at the Kurihara's again preparing the yard and moving furniture around in preparation for them to put their house on the market. Then we hit the streets again. Then the best part of the week up until this point was we had the opportunity to tour the Hawaii 5-0 studios!!!!!! a family in our ward cleans and does the trash their at night and so they have keys to everything!!! it was awesome. We got to see everything including wardrobe, props, producer's office, set designer's office and best of all Center Stage where they film the Hawaii 5-0 Office scenes as well as many others and I got to walk through the set and try on all kinds of costumes! Tons of fun! We even saw Danny’s Car and some other things!

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Sitting in McGarrett's office on The Hawaii 5-0 Set!

Saturday was a pretty good day. Except I broke my bike again... my back rim was getting wobbly on me all week then on Saturday I ended up breaking a few spokes... so we are now a walking area... haha eventually they will learn im too big for a medium wal-mart bike..... haha especially after ive had it fixed 17 times now in 6 months... haha were able to though to attend a ward party in the afternoon down at the Kapiolani Beach park as a farewell to Bishop Stanley and his family. It was really a good time and lots of good food and such. Then that evening the thunderstorm rolled in and I was so excited I just sat outside in it for an hour or so! I LOVE thunder storms!

Sunday was wonderful as always except it was a sad day as Bishop Stanley was released and bore his testimony and Brother Hamano was called as the new Bishop of the Kaimuki Ward. We then had dinner with the hardingers and it could possibly be my last with them with Transfers coming up on the 30th.

And yesterday (Monday) we got the Chance to spent the day at the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center). It was really fun and even better since we are missionaries everything is free! Free is always better. :) It was really fun and loved it! This is why my letter is coming today we didn’t have the chance to write yesterday.
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Climbing a Coconut tree in the Samoan Village

This week I reflect on my preparation for my talk on Obedience and as I was studying in the Book of Mormon and Bible really dove into why we should be obedient. As I did I reflected on why I had decided to come on a mission and the man I am today. Its because from my early years I was obedient to my parents and those I looked up to. I hardened to their teachings and counsels, even when I didn’t understand why or didn’t want to. I did it anyway. And now I have come to learn why obedience is important. As we are obedient we are preparing for the future and bettering ourselves. We are listening to the counsel of those who have come before us be cause they have seen what lies ahead and want us to be prepared. I am grateful for that now. I have grown and learned so much through my life and continue to now more than ever as I serve the Lord.

In Sunday school we taught the Law of Sacrifice and at the close in my testimony I shared that I haven’t always been the best at making the sacrifice to help others but when I have I have NEVER ONCE regretted it. And have always seen the Joy that comes from serving others. I feel the same way about being obedient. I am grateful for the wisdom of me peers, parents, and of coarse our Heavenly Father. And their guidance and help in making me the man I am today. Because I was obedient to my Coaches I have the opportunity to play football in at the next level and have learned discipline and punctuality. Because of my leaders at church I have learned how to be more in tune with the Holy Ghost and be a better person and continue to grow in the gospel. Because of my parents I have learned everything. I have learned what kind of husband I want to be, what kind of father, what kind of man. I have grown so much through being obedient and have fallen when I haven’t been. It has given me the opportunity and prepared me to serve a mission now and be a father and a husband in the future. In the book of Mosiah Chapter 4 in the Book of Mormon it says;

9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.”
this is a prime reason why obedience is so important. Our Heavenly Father has all wisdom and ?Power and wants us to become the best we can be and learn all that we can and return to live with him. For this reason he leads us and guides us through commandments, prophets, and our peers. My question is are we listening and obeying this counsel? Are we talking those opportunities to grow and become worthy to return to live with our Heavenly father?

I Hope you all have a wonderful week this week. We are anticipating transfer news this week and will know by Sunday weather I will stay another transfer here in Kaimuki or be moving on. Hope all is well. Love and Miss you all!
Elder Shoaf

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Update July 14, 2014

Week 21

Aloha everyone!
Its been a VERY hot week here! We have hit high 90s several days this week. We have seen many opportunities to serve and to teach. But I think my time here in the Kaimuki Ward is coming to an end. All indications lean towards me leaving at the end of this transfer (July 30th) and training. I have mixed emotions about the thought of leaving Kaimuki but I think im ready. I think ive done what I was called her to do.

This week was busy as always.
Monday was a pretty average P-day for us then we had dinner with our Bishop's family. He and his family will be moving to Salt Lake City come the end of the month so it will be hard to loose him!

Tuesday was long but ended well. Our Ward had an Emergency Preparedness seminar and the man who came to speak gave everyone some really good tips and it was really cool and very informative! Defiantly will remember those things he talked about when I return home.

Wednesday we did a district flood in the Hawaii Kai area and were able to visit with John and his family. He had come so far from where he was at when he was baptized. Its a blessing to see how well he is doing! We also were able to meet with Richard and he is doing well as always and is preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood!

Thursday was a great day we were able to see a lot of families and its good to see how well there doing. We also were able to meet with Fred! He is so ready! We are set for his baptism on the 2nd of August and he is so prepared!

Friday we spent most of the day at the Kurihara's cleaning up the yard. We trimmed the palm trees, ripped out all the overgrowth, trimmed the plants, and I climbed up into the Mango tree and knocked all the dead branches out. We then were sent home with 20 mangoes! Then at our dinner we got a dozen Lilikoi fruit. Also known as passion fruit. So its safe to assume our fridge is full of fruit right now! Oh and we have a couple coconuts from last week.
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Bananas anyone? no this is not out our pad. thats WAY too many!

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Our mango supply
Saturday we did some more service at the Gulledge's. We weeded the garden and trimmed his coconut trees. We then went to a forth of July party for the Kahala ward.

Sunday was a great day. As always we had dinner at the Kurihara's and had Steak and Bake potatoes! It reminded me of home!

Overall a wonderful week and im continually grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Hawaii. I truly have developed a love for the people here. I love every day and the opportunities I have to serve and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The thoughts I have this week turn to a talk about a man who sells everything and goes to California during the gold rush looking to make a fortune and gets frustrated about how he cant find any nuggets and an old prospector comes along and shows him his pouch. The young man is expecting to see it full of nuggets but is surprised to find that the pouch is full of little flecks of gold. The prospector goes on to say how these small flecks have brought him great wealth. This message can be related to many areas of our lives. Are we constantly seeking those “nuggets” or are we taking the time to see all the flecks around us? In the Book of Mormon in Alma chapter 37 it says:
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
Are we seeking out those small in simple things in our lives that we can use to bring to past great things?
I hope you all have had a wonderful week and will have a wonderful week this week. And I hope you will take the time to do those small things that could go along way. I love and miss you all.
With love,
Elder Shoaf
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Constantly have the Military Flying over us

Pictures July 7, 2014

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Crusing to the airport in the new Chevy Cruze

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Indiana Flag at USS Missouri

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Da Bus out to Ford Island at Pearl Harbor

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A little Heisman Action

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Sister Fonua and I on 4th of July

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Sunset of Pearl Harbor on 4th of July

Update July 7, 2014

Week 20

Aloha everyone!
What a week! We were jam packed all week! But it is defiantly summer here! We hit 100 degrees on Tuesday! I also went to the airport Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For Elder Uaisele to fly to Kona then pick him then to take Elder Jensen to go to Hilo then pick him up. We are the only mission out of 409 in the world where missionaries have to fly to get to areas of our mission. And we have 6 islands to cover! The perks were that there are only 2 Wendy’s in Hawaii and one of them is right next to the airport so I was able to have Wendy’s and a frosty 4 nights in a row!!

Tuesday we had zone meeting and had a super good training on how we can help our investigators understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Tuesday I was also on exchanges with Elder Kim we had a good but VERY hot day until I broke my bike.. Again.... I guess a medium bike isn’t built to carry a 6'6” 265 lb missionary day in and day out. But we were able to have a member in the Tongan ward give us a lift back to our pad and then the mission office came a switched out my bike for another.

Wednesday we had Pearl harbor service. It was really cool this week well besides it being super crowded for Independence day weekend the whole Pacific Fleet was anchored there!!!!!!! the U.S. Navy I currently in the middle of RIMPAC war scenario training with 19 other countries. It was sooo cool I got to see an aircraft carrier for the first time in real life but not only that I saw the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS George Washington!!! 2 of the most well known! I also saw countless Battle ships and Amphibious landing ships! And the whole time we were there there were F22s and F16s flying over coming in on final approach! I was in awe!Inline image 1 
Me next to the Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Regean

On another note we also got to see the finished Plaque the USS Missouri will be presenting to President Thomas S. Monson for all the service we have been doing on the Missouri for years. That was really cool.Inline image 4 
Our District with the Plaque made from the Original deck of the USS Missouri
Thursday Elder Wilson went to Fred's with Brother Gulledge while Elder Jensen and I went to get Elder Uaisele from the Airport. He is so solid! He is ready for baptism and is still set on the 26th! We are so excited!
Friday was the 4th of July so we had regular missionary stuff until 3 then we went to a BBQ at Kapiolani Beach park next to Waikiki beach with the Kurihara's then at 5 went to the Tabernacle where we met the Zone to play game sand have a water balloon fight. Elder Uaisele and I then tool Elder Jensen to the airport then met the Zone at a member's house up St. Louis Heights where we had dinner and had a great view of Honolulu and a beautiful view of the sunset then the Waikiki Fireworks.Inline image 2 
Waikiki Firworks
Saturday was a day of service. It was so awesome! We spent the morning at the
Kurihara's Wheeling Gravel again and were able to finish. We also had breakfast. We then sent to the Gulledge's after lunch where we dug along a fence where the yard had just been built but against the fence. So we dug it all out 3 feet down below the fence about 30 ft of it then build a Lava rock wall and then back filled and rebuilt the planting bed with new top soil. We were fried, exhausted, and well work. It was a great day! We then went home showered, took Elder Wahlberg to the Airport, picked up Elder Jensen then straight back to the Gulledge's for dinner it just happened that they had signed up for dinner before we had planned the service! I slept well that night!

Sunday we had our usual Sunday routine then last night we threw a Surprise Birthday party for Elder Johnson. Over all a great and very busy week!
I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and had a wonderful Independence day! I know I did! Love you all!
Elder Shoaf

Pictures June 30, 2014

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A sample of the Organization on the Transfer Board I had to do. This is Hilo and Kona ZonesInline image 1
Our District
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Some how I always end up on bottom....

Update June 30, 2014

Week 18 and 19

Aloha everyone!
Where do I even begin!!! it has been a crazy and super fast 2 weeks! I guess ill start by apologizing for not sending an update last week it was crazy and I just didn’t have time! I am so jumpy and excited and trilled right now! After learning not only did my family get a new puppy (full-blood Irish setter) but im also an uncle again! Adelina Celeste Shoaf born Thursday 6/26/14 6lbs 6 oz 19 1/4th inches! I am so full with joy right now! But back to Hawaii! Last week was chaos to put it lightly.
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The highlights were we had transfers again. I am still in Kaimuki Ward with Elder Wilson. We spent the whole day running around with the assistants getting people assigned with their new companions, taking care of issues, moving all the departing missionaries luggage to the mission home where they will stay until they fly home, the incoming Visitor center sister's luggage up to La'ie to the Visitor center, organizing new districts for each zone, keeping elder Jensen and Uaisele awake, and just making sure everything keeps rolling forward. We started at 5am and got done and back from La'ie about3pm and then crashed.

The other major event last week was we had our missionary fireside that I and a return missionary in our ward have been working on for over a month. It was amazing and last Sunday was crazy getting all the last minute things finished! After church we returned to our pad in the Tongans car to grab everything for the fireside and stored it in the clerks office at the chapel to make sure I had everything and everything was accounted for. We then went to our dinner with the Kurihara's and I was able to make one last change to the program using their computer. After dinner we returned to the chapel at 5:50 to set up and practice the musical number the missionaries were doing with sister Warner. We had gone tot the mission home on Friday to practice but not everyone was able to make it. So with less than an hour till the fireside I had to unlock the chapel; turn on the lights; set up the chapel; print, fold, and stuff over 100 programs with a dysfunctional copier; practice our musical number; greet everyone and prepare my notes and thoughts since I was conducting the fireside.
Lets just say I was a little over whelmed haha. It all worked out though and the Fireside was incredible! Words can not describe it. The testimonies that were borne and the arrangements sung brought tears to the eyes of everyone who was able to attend. The spirit was the strongest I have every felt in my life listening to the testimony of Elder Uaisele tell his conversion story and how he had no support from his family and when he told them he had joined the church his dad hit him and threw him out. His family disowned him and he walked barefoot, no shirt, covered in blood 5 miles to his friends house who gave him some clothes and took him to the airport where he flew back to Hawaii where he had been going to school and joined the church and submitted his mission papers the next day.

After the fireside everyone just sat there and pondered then one by one everyone left. The weight had been lifted from my shoulders and then I had been raised into the clouds by the spirit that resided there.

This past week wasn't nearly as eventful, well at least in Hawaii. On Tuesday this week we got to go to the temple. I was much needed and a good reset to start the transfer off right. It was also crazy because as we were leaving I saw Sister Wilkinson! My MTC teacher! She is her on her Honeymoon and so that was really cool! We then had lunch with Elder Boudousquie at North Shore Tacos. It was really nice to see him and catch up. We then returned to Honolulu and did some shopping then crashed!

Thursday night was really nice too! We Confirmed Fred's baptismal date for the 26th and talked about what the next couple steps will be and talked about the interview questions.

Friday was another good day we spent most of the day at the Kurihara's doing some service. We wheeled 2 tons of Lava rock from the driveway to the back yard where we dug up the weeds and grass under the mango tree and put down the lava rock. It looks super good! And the mangoes are ripe so we took home 3 dozen!! I love fresh fruit! Especially mangoes!

Overall a solid 2 weeks and I hit another milestone this week. I hit 5 months yesterday since I left! Come the end of the month I will be 1/4th the way done with my mission! I cant believe how fast its gone! It is really warming up here! In the 90s almost everyday! But soon it will get “cold” again and by that I mean 70s and low 80s haha! Then it will be Christmas and I will feel so weird being warm!

In closing, my thoughts return to the fireside last week and to the Testimony of Elder Uaisele and thinking how great this gospel is and when people come to the realization of its fullness of it and how it truly is Christ’s church that they will stop at nothing to follow it. Even getting disowned, hit and only getting an email from your mom 5 times in 16 months of serving, and he is still the happiest man I know and would do it all again. I love this man to death and would give anything for him. He is my Toko. He is my brother.

I will stand next to him each and every day and rejoice as we go out and serve the lord here in this part of his vineyard through the heat, the exhaustion, the slammed doors, the long hours. Why you ask? Because it is worth it. To see the joy that comes to these people who accept it makes it wort it. To see Elder Uaisele bear his testimony of how this gospel saved him and changed his life and to see the Memea family bear their testimony of being sealed to each other for life and all eternity makes it worth it.

The questions that pop into my mind are am I living up to the standard that our heavenly father has set? Am I living the may I should to be able to maybe have the opportunity of one day changing the life of a young man searching for the truth as Uaisele was? Am I living my life in such a way that I can be welcomed back in to our heavenly father's kingdom at the last day and receive the gift of eternal life?

I know that as we step back and evaluate our priorities and seek to be more in tune with the commandments and guidelines our heavenly father has given us that we can see more joy in our lives. Will it always be easy? No. will it always come naturally? No. will we have the support of our peers? Not always. Will it be worth it? Absolutely yes. Without a shadow of a doubt I know it will be worth it. I love you all and hope you have another fantastic week. I miss you all each and everyday but I know this is where I need to be and im doing the Lord's work.
With Love,
Elder Shoaf
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Sister Wilkinson... well... was Wilkinson idk now..Inline image 4
My boys Uaisele, Tesina, and Hill after the temple in a little rain