Sunday, August 24, 2014

Update August 18, 2014: Send It Home

Week 26
Aloha Everyone!
  Another Super fast week here in Kalaeloa! Since it’s only a 4 week transfers, transfers are a week for Wednesday! It’s crazy how fast it’s gone! Anyway this week as been full of fun!
  Monday we played I’m pretty sure 6 hours of basketball…. Straight… haha
  Wednesday was busy and full of mini miracles. It’s amazing how the lord prepares the way.
  Thursday was a ton of fun! We were on Exchanges and I was with Elder Hansen in my area. Elder Buckley went to Kapolei. Elder Hansen is from sparks Nevada. He’s a country boy and we get along really well. I am realizing how much of a country boy I am out here on my mission! Haha we talk about trucks, guns, shooting, and camping to name a few; chew seeds; cruise with the windows down; and whatever else we feel inspired to do. Haha Here is a Beautiful Picture we took in Waianae of the sunset.
Friday was pretty normal the highlight was a young couple that Elder Goodman found before I got here had us over for dinner and we were able to tell them a little about what we believe and get to know them. It went super well and they are ready and so open to the gospel. He just got out of the Navy and she works for the army. They are really awesome and he’s the first Hawaiian that I’ve met that’s an avid Snowboarder! Haha he got to board a lot while stationed in Korea for several years. I’m super excited to see them again this Friday.
  Saturday was pretty slow. I spent the morning in Ewa Beach with Elder Hansen at a doctor’s appointment then had lunch with the elders over there.
  Yesterday was super cool we had church then went to a baptism for the Makaha ward. We then headed up to Laie to the Temple Visitor’s Center where we had an Island wide missionary Fireside. So all the missionaries currently on Oahu came and Vai Sikahema spoke to us. It was fantastic! And it was really cool to see everyone! Over 180 missionaries together! That never happens!
  Alright now for the nitty and gritty, I am getting rid of all my BYU gear. I have already given away most of it today and plan on not bringing up football in the rest of my areas as a conversation starter. You are probably asking why. I had an experience last night that will probably change the course of my mission. As I said Vai Sikahema spoke to us.

 He is a legend in football. He played for BYU for 2 years before going on his mission to South Dakota and his freshmen year returned a Punt for a touchdown to spark the comeback win  of the 1980 "miracle" bowl and then went on to set NCAA records as a Punt/Kick returner and win the national championship in 1984. He then was the first Tongan player to be drafted to the NFL and to play Pro football. Any way you can Google him. He’s a news anchor for NBC now and does all the Olympic Games. He was in town for vacation. His wife is from Laie. And one of the stories he told about his mission hit home.

He told about how he took this Huge ring with him on his mission that he got when they won the 1980 Holiday bowl and used it as a conversation started and "to knock doors cause it was cold!" haha anyway then about 8 months into his mission a General authority visited his mission and was a BYU football alumni so Elder Sikahema made sure the he saw his championship ring. and he did and the first thing he said was "Elder, Why are you wearing that ring?" and he went on to explain how it was a great conversation started, was good for knocking doors....etc. and the general authority told him;

 "If I were you I would take that off and send it home. But that's just my opinion you can do what you think is best."

Then Elder Sikahema was shocked at this response and thought about what he said. Fasted the next day and ended up sending it home that night. He then went on to tell us that that moment in time changed his mission. He changed and grew more than he ever thought. He realized that when he had the ring yes it started great conversations. But they were all about BYU, football, and him. Not the gospel or Jesus Christ. That really hit me.

From the moment he stood up in front of us till the moment he sat down 45 mins later I was thinking to myself. That’s me. Now a Stake President, President Sikahema, is the General Authority and I am Elder Sikahema. I use my BYU stories to start conversations all the time. And as of late I have been wondering how I can become a better missionary one that is devoted to the gospel that "jumps in with both feet" I have felt that I am still dragging one toe at home. I think I might know how to pull it through. Something President Sikahema said is that when he was told to send it home because he didn't want to let go of his identity. But he did and when he did he learned so much more and was truly converted to the gospel and became the best missionary he could be. He then said that out of his 4 years at BYU including the Miracle bowl and a national championship and 8 years in the NFL and now over a decade as a Sports broadcaster covering all kinds of stories including all the Olympics. He still learned more and thinks about his 2 years as a missionary more than all of that combined.

I know he did not give that fireside or tell that story with me in mind but just as an experience that might help these missionaries but it just happened to be the exact scenario that I am living. And I know that’s not a coincidence but heavenly father knew this is what I needed to hear and an answer to my prayers. I know as we give up those things that don’t matter and focus on the things that are important in our lives such as our families and building our relationship with our savior Jesus Christ we will be blessed and will see the fruits and feel the joy. Afterwards I talked to President Sikahema for a few minutes and thanked him and he told me “Football means nothing now, focus on the Gospel, being obedient, working hard, and loving this people and you will be a successful missionary. The time for football will come. The time for Missionary work is now. Devote yourself and you will see the joy and reap the success.”

I hope this may change someone’s perspective. It has mine. Giving up my BYU gear was hard but I know it’s the right thing for me at this time. My challenge for all you is, is there something in your life that is holding you back? What can you “Send home” and change your life? Something that is stopping you from being the best you can be. If there is, SEND IT HOME!
Inline image 1

Elder and Sister Cleveland (Huge BYU fans and i am very close to them), Myself, Vai Sikahema and his wife after the fireside at the Laie Temple VC

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I love and miss you all!

                     Elder Shoaf

Pictures August 11, 2014

Inline image 1
Our Car!!!! im so pumped to be in a car!
Inline image 2
The Front of our Pad
Inline image 3
The View for the back Lanai
Inline image 2
The Kitchen
Inline image 1
Living Room
Inline image 3
Coming down the hill

Update August 11, 2014

Week 25

Aloha Everyone!
  I hope everyone had a fantastic week! Our week went sooo fast here! I cannot believe it’s already Monday again! But hey. I’m not complaining! I love P-day! We had a false alarm with the Hurricanes that were supposed to smash us Friday and Sunday. Iselle hit Big Island late Thursday afternoon and the southern half of Hilo side got hit pretty hard. But Big Island took one for the team. It pushed Iselle south and took a lot of her power so Maui didn’t get hit to hard and she missed us completely. Kauai got some small flooding but not anything serious and we just got some rain here. But with how hard it hit Hilo our mission president had all of the missionaries stay in their pads all day Friday and big island and Maui gathered at their chapels and hunkered down from Thursday till late Friday evening. I talked to Elder miller yesterday who is in Hilo right now and there are allot of trees uprooted and power lines down so all they have been doing is helping the community clean up the past couple days. And for Julio, he missed the islands completely and went north so we didn’t have to worry about him.
As for my week everything was pretty exciting preparing for the hurricanes and all the stores were completely out of water because everyone was preparing for the worst. Which also means they didn’t have much time to meet with us either. So it was a slow missionary work week.

Highlights of the week;

Monday we played basketball all day and we also go almost every morning to the chapel to play so that’s super nice!
  Tuesday was our first Zone meeting and it went really well and I realized how much I loved Honolulu Zone! Makakilo is great but it isn’t Honolulu. We also were able to go to a weeding for one of our investigators and it was really cool to see! And they were both at church on Sunday! They are so ready! It’s so cool to see the gospel bless people’s lives! 
  Wednesday we had a pretty good day but it was hard to catch people home. And we had to exchange with the Nanakuli elders to cover a couple of their lessons since one of them wasn’t feeling well.
  Thursday was Storm prep. We saw a few people then helped a few of the members of our ward prepare for the storm.
  Friday was Mission Wide sac out day! Haha we were not allowed to leave our pad so we spent to who day playing games, sleeping, eating, cleaned the pad, and whatever else  5 missionaries do for 15 hours without leaving. Then I cooked dinner. I grateful can cook and love to or else it would have been ramen all day! Haha
  Saturday we spent the whole day checking up on everyone and making sure all was well. And we also went to the Gomes house and found them cutting up 600 lbs. of Ahi! He is a fisherman and he didn’t catch all of this but with the hurricane there isn’t a demand right now so he got it for $0.10 a pound for a huge fishing boat! Which is crazy cheap. He sells Ahi for upwards of $15b dollars a pound. But it was really cool to see how you prepare a fish that big! And then he made us fresh Japanese Poke which is basically just fresh raw ahi fillets cut up with onions, herbs, and Soy sauce! It was super good!  
Inline image 2
Cutting up Ahi (Yellow-fin Tuna)Inline image 1
these are decent size and weight over 40lbs.!
And Sunday, we had a great Sacrament Meeting and a couple in the ward talked on Eternal marriage and families and it was super good and we had 4 of our investigators there!!! Which is crazy for this area. We are usually lucky to get 1! So that was a blessing! We also had dinner with one of the younger families in our ward who is here temporarily working for Vivint Solar and they live in Ko Olina which is a super super nice resort, golf course area. It is SOOO beautiful!

Another cool thing that happened this week is that Elder Reese from the District videos is in my ward! he lives her with his parents! it was really cool to get to meet him and talk about his experiences. 
Overall this week was wonderful. I don’t have a huge spiritual message this week but I am just constantly grateful each and every day to see the blessing of the gospel in my life. And to see it bless other’s lives. I’m more and more grateful each and every day for my parents and family and all they taught me growing up. I love and miss them so much. I hope everyone has a fantastic week and I will send some pics in a separate message.
I love you all so much. Until we meet again.

Elder Shoaf

P.S. a member showed me this and if you are a BYU fan or a fan of Grown men making a fool of themselves you will get a kick out of this video! This is a video of the BYU football teams BBQ at Coach Mendenhall’s house to start Fall Camp.

Update: August 4, 2014

Week 24

Aloha Everyone!

Wow! Another week gone here on the Beautiful Island of Oahu. 

It had been a crazy week here in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. Wednesday was transfers and I am not serving in the Kalaeloa (Ka-Lie-Low-uh) Ward and love it. My new Companion is Elder Buckley from Lindon, Utah and he has been out about 18 months. And we get along great! It’s nice to have a companion that I really just mesh with. And when he was trained at the beginning of his mission it was by Elder Boudousquie! And he reminds me so much of him! We live at the top of Makakilo Drive overlooking Pearl Harbor and Barber’s Point. The best news of all is I now have a car! My days in a biking area are done! Which is super nice! Our Pad is really nice and is in a Cottage style apartment area. With a wonderful view and nice cool Hawaiian breezes. I will send picture of our pad next week. Our pad is also a 4 man pad which means 2 sets of missionaries live there but the other set of elders is actually a tri-panionship this transfer so it’s a 5 man pad! Which is super fun but hard to get studies done in the morning and to bed at night! Haha
Other Transfer news is Elder miller left Kauai and is now on the Big Island and Elder Boudousquie left Laie and is also in Hilo. Which is crazy because Elder Miller has had 4 areas and all of them of different islands! First Maui then Oahu with me then Kauai now Big Island! Crazy!

My new area now covers like 6 times the area of Kaimuki. We cover about half of Kapolei (Cop-o-lay) as well as all of Kalaeloa and on around the west side of the island including Ko olina and Nanakuli (Na nuh Coo-lee). The work is strong in this area and all is going well. I am trying to get a grasp of the area, the names of members, all of our investigators, and so forth. It is coming along and I’m getting more familiar each and every day. We have a younger ward here with a lot of young military families as well as young families working for Vivint Solar.

Side bar is that this past Saturday Fred got baptized! It was sooo cool! I wasn’t able to attend since I had already been transferred but I was able to call him and he is so happy! It’s so cool to see someone change their lives but embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing the joy it bring s them.

There was soo much that went on this week but now my mind is blank!

I guess I will wrap up here and close with my thoughts this week. My thoughts this week are actually begin with sad news. Thursday night I called Elder Wilson in Kaimuki to see how their lesson went with Fred to make sure all is still good for his baptism and all was then he told me that Sister Meli in our ward had passed away. And I was in shock. The Meli’s were one of the families I was closest to in Kaimuki and we actually were there Tuesday night for my last dinner in Kaimuki. And I told her I was going to try and come to Fred’s baptism on Saturday and I would see here then. On Thursday night she had gone upstairs to take a shower and collapsed on her bed and stopped breathing and pasted away. The Meli’s have two girls in high school which were in Atlanta visiting friends for a few weeks and got back were on their way back when Sister Meli pasted away. As well as 2 young boys. And the first thing I thought of was how the kids must be. Especially the girls. I can’t imagine how hard this must be. I was so shocked that I hardly slept that night.

But as I laid in bed that night it was about 1am and I was thinking about my family and what if my mom or dad were to pass away while I was on my mission or when I grow up if I were to pass away with young children. And I gave me awful feeling inside but then it was replaced but comfort when I thought about Heavenly Father’s Plan for us and how through his plan and ordinances we do in the temple we can be sealed together for time and all eternity. And how no matter what happens on this earth in this life I know that I will be with my family forever. I am grateful to be sealed to my family. I know that even though losing love ones is hard we can find peace in the Plan of Salvation. I know it’s true and see the blessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ each and every day in my life. I love my family sooo much as well as each and everyone in this email list. We are all brothers and sisters in our heavenly Father’s Kingdom. My Urge to you today it to tell your families that you love them and spent time with them. That is the number one thing I miss here on my mission. My Family. Take every opportunity you have with them I regret not spending more time with mine each and every day. And you never know when they may be called back to our Heavenly Father.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and all goes well. I will have more next week once I get settled. And hope to have some pictures to send. Love you all sooo much!

Elder Shoaf