Sunday, September 7, 2014

Update August 26, 2014: Fire on the Horizon

Week 27

Aloha Everyone!
      Wow. I knew we were in the month of August but I forgot what that meant since I came out here…. There was a visitor in our ward this week and we were talking about USU football and he said “yeah I think they will be down here in like 2 weeks to play UH” and I thought no football doesn’t start till like august and September we still have a few months… then I realized that we are already there. And that high school football has already started… THAT’S NUTS!!!! But that’s just one example of how FAST time flies here on a mission! I’ve been here 7 months this week!!!!!!
        Anyway, it’s been another busy, jam-packed week here in Kalaeloa. And yes there was fire!!!! We had a HUGE Wildfire this week. It started Tuesday and they are just now getting it under control! There have been fire trucks everywhere and about 6 choppers with water buckets flying back and forth from the fire to the ocean! It has burned almost all of the wooded area above Makakilo and is still smoldering! But no danger to us or anyone in Makakilo just a few cabins up there. And it was started by a little kid with a lighter…. Ha
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                Monday was another basketball filled P-day with lots of fun!
      Tuesday was Zone conference and it was super good! We learned a lot and everyone had really good insights then we were trained by Elder Reis who basically runs the English speaking dept. of the Provo MTC and he was a missionary when they filmed all the “The District” Training DVDs so he’s kind of a rock star in the mission world. And his family is in our ward!
      Wednesday was a day packed full of visiting members and investigators. Then for dinner a Less-active member we met at Walmart Monday took us to Outback! It was an amazing dinner! And he’s related to the Unga’s I played with at BYU! Small world!
        Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Nagutvai who is actually cousins with one of the guys I played with at BYU. Again. Small world!
             Friday was probably our slowest day but we were still out and about visiting families.
                Saturday we spent most of the day helping a family in the Palehua ward move. They are so awesome! And Brother Willis is retired Navy and now works as a diplomat for the US Government! Friday night he got back from Nepal! He has been to almost every major country in the world! As his job! Crazy! And he had some pretty cool stories!
              Sunday was a great day as well. We learned that Elder Buckley and I are both staying! So we are gearing up from the start of the new transfer tomorrow.

               Then yesterday was packed full! We went to the Honolulu Zoo as a zone and were highly entertained by the Gibbons. They were cracking us up! We then went and crashed Honolulu’s Zone activity and got to see everyone. I miss Honolulu sooo much! Best zone ever!!! Haha we then headed back to Makakilo where we met the rest of the Zone at the Stake center to play basketball and volleyball. Overall a fantastic end/start to a week!

                The thought I have this week comes from our lesson in Elder Quorum on Sunday. Our elder’s quorum president, Brother Latimer, taught and shared a quote by his super great grandpa who is a pretty well-known religious leader in the 1500s in England named Hugh Latimer. And the quote is;
And now I would ask a strange question: who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England that passeth all the rest in doing his office? I can tell for I know him who it is; I know him well. But now I think I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you: it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other; he is never out of his diocese; he is never from his cure; ye shall never find him unoccupied; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way, call for him when you will he is ever at home; the diligentest preacher in all the realm; he is ever at his plough; no lording nor loitering can hinder him; he is ever applying his business, ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of poperyHe is ready as he can be wished for to set forth his plough; to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory...O that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel.

         I really liked that quote and how true is it. Brother Latimer then went on to tell us that we are the ones the devil is going after. The ones who are doing the right. The ones who are trying to live a righteous life. Those that are trying to do good. He then went on to explain how this is why we always feel like trials or bad luck come at the wrong time. It’s because the devil put it there! At the time! When we are furthering the lord’s work when we are turning to the lord. Satan doesn’t want us to so he’s throwing everything he has at us.

That’s why when we see others who don’t do the things their supposed to or just cruise and don’t care and we think they have it “easier” or “better” it’s because they do. They devil doesn’t have to pursue them they are already where he wants them. Sliding down hill. The devil is going after those that are trying to climb to the top, those trying to return to live with our heavenly father. He will do anything he can to stop us.

This really hit me. I have always felt “woah is me” why do I have it so hard? Why do all of these people around me have it so much easier? Now I know. I took it upon myself to change my mind set and to look at these trials that we all face as accomplishments. And think “well I must be doing something right!” it has really changed my perspective about this life and about the trials we go through. I embrace my challenges and look forward to the challenge. Because it makes the reward that much sweeter. Think about hard practices in sports. I HATE conditioning like with a passion! But I always feel the best after the hardest practices. I feel accomplished. I feel like I’ve made a difference and then to see that hard work manifest on the field when the other team who “had it easier” because they didn’t have to condition are the ones who are struggling when it really matter, the ones who lose in the end. And how sweet is the joy when you hold that trophy afterwards!

I challenge you to relate this to your lives. To see trials as your conditioning and to see it as an opportunity to grow. This has changed how I look at everything and think how great it will be to be numbered in the kingdom of Our Father in Heaven and be victorious over the devil.

I hope everyone has a great week and hope you see the good in life and remember that the immediate happiness is nothing in comparison to the eternal happiness and glory we will have in our heavenly father’s Kingdom.
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I love you all so much!
Elder Shoaf

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