Week 18 and 19
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.
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 atand got done and back from La'ie about 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 atto 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.
Sister Wilkinson... well... was Wilkinson idk now..
My boys Uaisele, Tesina, and Hill after the temple in a little rain