Saturday, October 18, 2014

Update October 13, 2014: Another Chapter Closed

Week 34

Aloha Everyone!

Another week Gone and with it another TRANSFER! 6 down 11 to go!

This week was a pretty good week. we had a lot of great lessons and its great to see people accept Jesus Christ and see the Peace and Joy it brings us. we also Found out that Elder Buckley will be Transferring we don't know who is coming in yet though.

This Week;

Tuesday- after i last emailed you we finished the rest of the day with a Plethora of Basketball and a wonderful dinner.

Wednesday- we did Service for Brother Tilghman in the Makakilo ward again. we got some good sunshine and im proud to say that my Farmer’s tan is coming along Nicely! we then made a few visits then had a great dinner with Jack and Sheryl then a great lessons with the Baldomaro Family. slowly but surely they are getting closer to coming back to church!

Thursday- we had a pretty good day of Visits and such. The highlight was we had a Lesson with Jack and Sheryl and they wanted to do it at the beach park so we got to share the gospel with a great Sunset behind us!

Friday- we did service again at Brother Tilghman’s. it was Elder Ngatuvai and i since we were on exchanges again. we then had a pretty slow evening of visiting people only to find no one home! haha Also my new Side bag Came in! im pumped!

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My New Side Bag

Saturday- we had service again then had a couple of great lessons and then found out Elder Buckley was leaving for sure.

Sunday- was a great Sacrament Meeting! the Chapel was the fullest i've ever seen it. we had probably over 150 visitors who were here for Fall Break and staying at Ko Olina. Its really weird that its October because it is still in the 90s here… and the trees aren't changing colors…

This morning- we got together as a zone and had a Paintball war out in the middle-of-nowhere Waianae with Slingshots. it was fun and we didn't go through paint as fast since we were using slingshots! it was pretty fun. now we are off to the Chapel for basketball and to sign Signing Journals for those leaving the Zone.

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Before Paintball!

This Week I don't have much of a Spiritual Message, Just a Quote another missionary sent me a few months ago. i will leave it to you to interpret the meaning,

“Fear Knocked, Faith Answered. No One was There.”
I Hope Everyone Has a Great week and Make Sure to 
Answer the door with faith!

Elder Shoaf

Update October 7, 2014: #LDSConf

Week 33

Aloha Everyone!

                We had a fan-dang-tastic week here in Hawaii (Besides Elder Buckley being sick) the weather is starting to let up some. We had some light sprinkles this week to keep it bearable. I am emailing today because today is our P-day since we went to the temple this morning in Laie. It was wonderful! For those of you who watched the Church’s General Conference wasn’t it AWESOME????? I LOVED it! A lot of their messages really hit home for me and I think it did for a lot of people! It’s so cool we have the opportunity to hear the apostles and prophet speak to us twice a year. But more on that later!

                This week!

                Monday- we had a great P-Day and got to see “Meet the Mormons” as I mentioned last week. We also had dinner with a family in our ward that doesn’t come to church regularly but are working on it and it’s really cool to see them wanting to grow! We had a great discussion with them about the Atonement and relying on each other to get us through the hard times of life.

                Tuesday- we had a great district meeting and we talked a lot about obedience and the importance of following our Heavenly Father’s Guidance. We then got our hair cut that evening at our dinner appointment by a kid in our ward who is preparing to serve a mission. He is quite the barber!

                Wednesday- Today was a pretty good day. Elder Buckley wasn’t feeling well so Elder Ngatuvai went with me to our planned lessons and then their lessons in Kapolei ward. We ended up having dinner in the Kapolei ward with a great Family then they took us to get Frozen Yogurt! It was awesome! I haven’t had Fro-yo since I left Provo! We then stopped by and saw Jack and Sheryl.
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Hit 50,000 Miles in our Corolla this week!

                Thursday- was pretty much a totally wash. Elder Buckley wasn’t feeling any better so we ended up staying at the pad till dinner. A great day to catch up on writing letters and studies for me!

                Friday- was a pretty normal day. We were able to meet a couple families that haven’t been to church in a while and such.

                Saturday and Sunday- was General Conference! It was awesome! The Talks were great and we got to watch conference on Saturday at the mission home because our zone met all of our goals so President and Sister Warner had us over for a pancake breakfast! So yeah if you know General Conference it’s an all-day kinda event! With naps in between! So yeah that was our weekend!

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Spam Musubi Makin' Kinda Night!

                My message this week could be like Ten pages of everything I learned from conference but I don’t think you have time for that and my fingers would hurt from typing that much! So I thought about what I wanted to share and I noticed an overall theme form Conference of self-improvement and building a stronger foundation on and faith in Jesus Christ and I loved the talk by President Monson when he talked about our primary purpose her on this earth and how we are here to learn and grow the way only living in a mortal world with a mortal body can teach us. He then went on to talk about Jesus Christ and about how we need to follow his example and stay close to the gospel. He also had a quote that I loved he said; “Walking where he (Jesus Christ) walked is less important than walking AS he walked” I love that quote. And the perspective it gave me. We are not expected to face the trial Christ did or do as he did on this earth. We physically can’t. But we can approach the trials and challenges we face AS he did. I will let you think deeper into that without me giving you my complete thoughts on the subject.

                I do want to mention something else in closing that I learned yesterday in our District meeting and that is that I learned that for over 4 years now President Monson has been suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s and is struggling with it. Yesterday Elder Holy oak mentioned that a Member had told him about it Sunday and then Sister Pantelakis mentioned that she had the opportunity to see him at a church function in Salt Lake City 4 years ago and he was talking in circles and the men with him had to continue to remind him that he had already talked about it. And then Elder Holyoak mentioned how much that strengthened his testimony in modern Prophets and that they have the spirit with them and that they are called of god to share his messages with us and we thought about it and over the 2 days and 5 sessions I had the opportunity to watch he addressed us several times and I can’t think of one instance where he was not clear and exact in what he had to share with us. It’s also a comfort to me to know that even though these men lead our church and guide us they still are normal men who struggle with the trials of Mortal life and not these prefect people who set the bar where we cannot reach it. I know he is called of God to lead and guide Heavenly Father’s church here on this earth.
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the season of Holidays, I know I am. I love and miss you all.

With Love,

Elder Shoaf

Update September 29, 2014: Our True Identity

Week 32

Aloha Everyone!

                Another very fast week here in The Aloha State not much to talk about. Still Very HOT! But the occasional rain has brought the temp down for a bit but the Sun is still SO HOT!!! Its nuts. I guess that’s what happens when you on the equator.

                Monday was a really good day. After we emailed and stuff we had to go to Honolulu for Elder Buckley to meet with President and all the Zone leaders and Sister Trainers for the whole mission were there for a training so it was fun to see everyone that I know that’s been off island for a while. Including Elder Boudousquie we then since we were in Honolulu stopped but a couple members from Kaimuki and it was really fun to see them and the feed us since we didn’t have a dinner! 

                Tuesday was pretty eventless.

                Wednesday was Pearl Harbor Service and it was really fun because afterwards they took us on a tour to see the USS Utah Memorial which is usually off-limits to Visitors. It was really cool and the story of their bravery is amazing.
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USS Utah Memorial

                Thursday was uneventful outside the normal

                Friday we had a service project in the morning then a couple great lessons and a wonderful dinner that evening.

                Saturday was some more service opportunities and a Baptism for a girl in our ward which was really fun!

                Sunday we had great meetings at church and talked a lot about charity and honesty. We then had a great lesson with a young family we are teaching and a young couple came with us to fellowship.

                The Highlight t of the week besides seeing Pearl Harbor which is always cool is we got to see “Meet the Mormons” which is a Documentary about 6 Mormon families and what it is like to be a Mormon. The movie doesn't go to theaters till October 10th but I challenge you all to go see it! It’s really cool to see how diverse God’s Children are and how they all unite in a common belief in Jesus Christ! It was super good and quite funny too! A MUST SEE for sure! Even if you’re not a Mormon!

                I have a short message this week, it comes from the “Meet the Mormons movie and one of the people said; “God Made Nature so Diverse, Look at how many different flowers there are. They are all different shapes, colors, textures, and in different climates but they are all still so beautiful in their own way. It only makes sense that his children would be as well”

                I thought that was such a cool perspective. We are all different and have different personalities, interests, loves, homes and many other things but we all share one commonality, we are all Children of God and he loves us all so very much. This makes me think of a Video we showed at the Baptism on Saturday and I think it’s a great perspective. I Challenge you all to watch it. I will include the link.

Here’s the Link!

"Our True Identity"

I hope you all will remember that you are a son or daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Elder Shoaf

Update September 22, 2014

Week 31

Aloha Everyone!

                It has been another quick week here on the beautiful but still very hot leeward side of Oahu. We are waiting for it to cool down here but haven’t had that blessing yet. We did however get some rain this week which is unheard of. We have had a pretty eventful week though.

                Monday as mentioned before we hiked Ka’ena Point then played our usual basketball then had a wonderful dinner. Let’s just say I LOVE Hawaiian food!

                Tuesday was a full day as well we had our district meeting and it went really well then after lunch we had to drive to Waipahu to get our tire changed and car checked. That took a huge chunk of our afternoon. Then had a wonderful mainland dinner of Lasagna and garlic bread!

                Wednesday we had interviews with President Warner so we spent most of the day at the Chapel for those. Then made a few visits before the sunset. Here in Hawaii once the sunsets the day is over. People do NOT like unexpected visitors after dust. If we do not have set lessons in the evening after dinner we usually head back to the pad to lift or whatevs. It’s super nice having a bench and a field to run!

                Thursday it rained almost the whole day!!!! New State Holiday! We were flabbergasted! We spent most of the day setting up for our cottage meeting that night and making sure everything was ready. It went really well and was a super good experience for everyone that was able to come.

                Friday was a very busy day. We spent the morning at a service project that we have been asked to help on in the Makakilo ward for a man who had lung cancer and is confined to a wheel chair most of the time due to having half of one of his lungs removed. The Makakilo elders have been helping him for a while building steps and rock walls in terraced backyard and asked me with my construction background to come in and help them build a nice deck for him to look out over the ocean. It is the coolest old uncle and its SOOOO much fun getting my hands dirty again! We then ran around visiting various families and then had another wonderful mainland dinner! Lasagna! But this time with steak!

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Another Beautiful Leeward Sunset; While i was driving! i know im pretty skilled;)

                Saturday was a great day we had 3 baptisms! Ours, then Palehua ward, then Kapolei. It was a great day and super fun to see Sheryl get baptized!!! And yup, that was about the whole day! Running around for baptisms!

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Sheryl's Baptism; Me, Elder Buckley, Sheryl, Jack, Bishop Kaawa

                Sunday at Church Sheryl was confirmed and the spirit was so strong! It was really cool to see the joy of everyone as we officially welcomed her as a member of the church! Then after church Elder Buckley wasn't feeling well at all so I ended up cleaning the pad and such while he was in bed. That was the rest of our day!

                This week has been a stressful week personally I have been pretty down on myself for various reasons but have learned a lot about what need to do and where I need to start. I have struggled with keeping a positive outlook on things and have struggled to not give up and just follow the flow, to just do the critical things and not care about the outcomes. But I have seen my wrong and have luckily caught myself and am doing a lot of soul searching and really working on my pride, and being willing to turn over everything to the Lord. I have turned to the Heavenly Father many times in prayer but am sometimes not willing to give up everything. I feel as if we can only progress so far in this life if we hold things back. We may be happy, we may have a strong testimony of Jesus Christ, we may think all is well and I am happy where I am at. But are we really happy where we are at. I believe that true conversion to the gospel comes through complete humility and sacrifice, being willing to give up or do anything our Heavenly Father asks of us (something I struggle with). Without this we will plateau. And only by being humble do we truly allow our heavenly father to work in our lives. It is much easier for a potter to mold soft clay than it is to mold hardened clay. Heavenly Father is the potter of our lives. Only by allowing him to work in our live, to be soft, can he sculpt us in to the magnificent sculpture he knows we can be.

                I struggle with this every day. I struggle with allowing other people to help me grow; I am not allowing the craftsman to mold me. But I am working on it. But it takes time. I am far from perfect but I am working on it. We must remember to keep our clay soft. When I was in ceramics you always had to make sure you wrapped up your clay well because if it dried out you can’t just dump some water on it the next day and all is good. You have to add small amounts of water and work it into the clay. If you try to dump a large amount of water on it you will end up with a mess!

                I challenge everyone as I have challenged myself to add small amounts of water each day and work it into your life so that you can be more easily molded by our craftsman. And to remember to wrap up tightly in the gospel so that we do not dry out.

 In closing I just want to say I never once had a piece of clay, even if It was bone-dry, I couldn’t, with enough time, turn into a beautiful art form.

I hope everyone has a great week and I love and miss you all.

With love and Aloha,
Elder Shoaf

Pictures September 16, 2014: Puppies, Pu'U'Ohulu Point, and Ka'ena Point

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Beautiful sunsets on the Leeward side

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2 Miles in... 1 to go..

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we added our own. made out of coral pieces

Update September 15, 2014: Scarlet Skies

Week 30

Aloha Everyone!
  This week has flown by! But not without excitement! Since my last email we have had 2 awesome, jaw-dropping-view hikes! But I will talk about them more in a minute.
In other news, it is still a Bazillion degrees on this side of the island…. And has only rained once since I got here… so yeah… that’s not very fun but on the Brightside our room has an air-conditioner and we keep that sucker BELOW 70 at night. It’s so nice! And I’m not on a bike. So yeah. That’s a perk!
So for this week.

On Monday we hiked up pu’U’Ohulu (Poo-U-O-who-Lu) Point. It was a really cool hike overlooking most of the Leeward side of the island but mostly just Nanakuili and Waianae. It was really pretty and the pill boxes were cool. We ended up deciding to stay up there for sunset which was for sure worth the wait! We then grabbed out dinner and headed over to the Gomes house to celebrate Sheryl’s Birthday. Overall a really good day!
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Sunset from Pu'U'Ohulu

Tuesday was a pretty good day we had our district meeting and then I met with President Warner to just go over something s and it was really nice to have that meeting! We then met with Jack and Sheryl and had a lesson to prepare her for her baptism this Saturday and then played with their new puppies! Pit-bull puppies are so cute!

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty normal. Thursday night we went to Basketball night with a few of our investigators and this isn’t just your average church ball! We were throwing oops and all kinds of shenanigans! Plenty of fun! And a good release of stress!
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the Skies over Kapolei

Friday I was on Exchanges in the Kapolei ward. (KA-Puh-O-Lay) it went really well and the member that fed us took us to Chili’s so that was a nice treat!

Saturday was Bishop Moa’s funeral. So we were there all morning for the funeral and luncheon. He really left a legacy. Over 1000 people attended. He truly was an influence in the life of so many people. We then made a couple visits then had dinner with our Relief society President where after we ate we got a good dose of Hawaiian history and Ghost stories! Plenty of fun!
Sunday was day as normal nothing too exciting. But we did get to play Apples to Apples after dinner so that was a nice treat.

Then today we hiked out to Ka’ena Point with a member. It was a relatively easy hike it was just 3 miles! One way! So we are exhausted! But it was really cool! Ka’ena point is the most western point on O’ahu and is very pretty! It is also a bird sanctuary and a popular resting place for Monk seals. We didn’t see any this time but did see a dead sea turtle:/ he was on his back on the rocks and smelled like it had been a while… it is such a treat to be able to see mother nature at her finest! I have now been to both the east and west point of this island!

My Message  today is pretty short I have had a few experiences this week where my pride has been checked and also some eye opening experiences and I have spent a lot of time thinking and evaluating myself and seeing where I am at so that I know where I am at and what I need to work on. I have also have had times where I’m stressed/annoyed to where I’m about to snap but I don’t and shortly after have a tender mercy that allows those feelings to melt away.
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Hiking to Ka'ena Point

I am far from perfect and have a lot of way to go when it comes to being humble but I am working on it and that’s all our heavenly father asks, that we do all we can. I have also noticed that when I do get frustrated if I step back and look at the whole picture the problem usually isn’t my situation but rather my attitude or my outlook. And then I know what I can do to resolve the issue. I hope that as you go through this week that you can have the same perspective and take the time to think through situations before jumping to conclusions. It leads to better results, less stress, better feelings, and of course, a better you.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week and I love and miss you all!

“Once you have established the goals you want and the price you’re willing to pay, you can ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure and the temporary failures.” “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the Goal.”
~Vince Lombardi~

Elder Shoaf