Thursday, July 23, 2015

Update July 21, 2015: Rain, Rain, Rain

Weeks 74

Aloha Everyone!

It has been a very busy week as usual. It is crazy how fast time flies when you are busy. It has rained soo much here lately. Great for us, terrible for tourists. Haha

This week!

Monday- was a pretty good P-day we did the usual. Basketball, email, Hub. ( game center at BYU with Ping-Pong, bowling, and pool).

Tuesday- we had our studies and then worked a little bit more on cleaning our old pad getting it ready to close then went to Guy’s property we are nearly cleared now. Can’t wait to get it done! I’ll send pictures next week. Then the Tuifua’s who live behind Guy’s Property fed us. Much appreciated. Then we went home showered and then had to go to our dinner early. After dinner we went to a baby blessing in Laie in one o f the sisters wards that they asked us to cover for them. It went really well a lot of the family is not members or less active so it was a good visit for them. And they have the most beautiful lot in Laie. Literary right in front of the temple.

Wednesday- we had District meeting first thing, which went really well we did a lot of role-play, which really seemed to help the sisters. Then we had a lesson with Rosemary and set her with a Baptismal date for August 8th!!! Super pumped! Then we had lunch with the Trautman’s from Wahiawa! Good to see them! We ate Lunch at Tita’s Grill then went through the Visitor Center. We also had our weekly Kahana Class, which went well then a great dinner with the Fetzer’s then Basketball night!
Thursday- was full of service first out to the Kaka’s helping get the place ready for them to get back! Then the family that is renting the vacation rental came up and asked us if we could trim one of the coconut trees because they coconuts are falling on the Sidewalk so I went to Mike’s to borrow his climbing spikes and then climbed 45ft and cut about 14 frons and 60 coconuts! That is a work out or as the Samoans call it “Tree90x” sorry no pictures were taken:( then we went to Guy’s and finished clearing the lot!!!!! So glad to be done! Then we cut the grass at our pad then washed out car for Car inspections tomorrow!

Friday- was Zone Conference. Super awesome but so much! 8 hours long by the end my brain was fried. Lots of good training and a amazing lunch.  Then we had our first weekly Friday night basketball, which is for the whole zone to bring people to. Less-actives and non-members.  A little sparse but as word gets around it will grow!

Saturday- we helped the Fetzer’s in their yard. They are both in there latter years so we helped them weed and mulch and some other things like that that are hard for them to handle. We then made a couple good visits.

Sunday- was much better than previous weeks; they fixed the A/C at the chapel! Church was the usual then dinner with the kaka’s and then the Fuluvaka’s for FHE!

Not a huge message this week. I just challenge you all to watch the Mormon message “The Refiner’s Fire” it really gives you a better outlook of trials and setbacks.

And I will leave you with a Quote;

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I love you all,
Elder Shoaf

Update July 13, 2015: Baptisms, Blooming, and Big Boats

Weeks 73

Aloha Everyone!

I hope you have all had a beautiful week! It has been so miserable here! Record setting heat and the humidity has been so thick, with no Trade winds to relieve the mugginess. There is absolutely no escape either. The thing about Hawaii is no one has central air. Aka most houses don’t even has A/C at all. So when its super humid and no wind is blowing there is no escape. But other than that it has been an incredible week!!!!! We had a BAPTISM!!!! More to come on that.J

This week!

Monday- for P-day we started off we moved a bunch of stuff to our new pad. Then we went hiking up the trail where I cut my thumb and I finally got to see the top! We then went to PCC, all the Elders except me have never been so we went and watched most of the shows and did the Canoe tour. That was new for me!

            Tuesday- we spent the morning cleaning our old pad. Hawaii is ridiculous. Everything rusts or rots. In the window jamb I vacuumed out a good ½ in layer of salt… then about half way through Bishop Touli called me and told me that instead of Isaiah being baptized in December on his birthday he would be baptized this Saturday!!!! We were so excited! So we went to the ward camp that night for the Luau and set everything up!!

            Wednesday- we had Pearl Harbor service, which went well! Love it every time! Then we hit up Costco for lunch before going to the Mission office to take care of something and get a new phone then we headed back up to Laie side and Elder Doloroso wasn’t feeling well so he crashed and I went to Isaiah’s with Elder Liavaa to make sure everything was good for Saturday!

            Thursday- we had district meeting. Now there is only 2 districts in Laie instead of 3 so now our district is the size of a normal zone. 2 elders, 14 sisters, and a senior couple. Its kind of nuts! Then we helped out Guy at his property we are making a lot of progress over there. Then Elder Overdyn who is in charge of the apartments for the mission came up with the Silverado and we spent the rest of the day cleaning out and deep cleaning the 2 pads we are closing. And we still didn’t finish!

            Friday- was a slow day didn’t do anything really crazy. Elder Doloroso still wasn’t feeling well so he rested most of the day.

Saturday- was awesome! We went to Isaiah’s first thing for last minute stuff then about noon we went to the chapel to clean and fill the font and make sure everything was set up. Isaiah’s Baptism was so awesome! His dad baptized him. Then we had a huge eating afterwards. There was like 30 people which isn’t a lot but we had 40 Costco pizzas… it was ridiculous. And more soda than I could drink in a year not including the cotton candy and ice cream… Their family does party rentals so I guess what can you expect?  Then we had an awesome dinner at the Prescotts!

Sunday- was really cool! First in the Samoan ward Isaiah was confirmed then in the English ward a woman approached us and said she wants to be baptized! So we scheduled an appointment for Wednesday to meet with here and get to know her! We then had dinner and our weekly Family Home Evening with the Fuluvakas!

It is amazing how Heavenly Father works he really does work in Mysterious ways but it is always the right way. And his timing. We just have to be prepared for what may come our way!

My thoughts for today turn to our Zone theme this transfer. The sister came up with “Bloom where you are Planted” s to make it a little more manly we made it “KaBloom! Where you are planted”! But it has the same meaning and I made planner covers for the zone and I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to put on the back so I wrote a little bit about what I thought encompasses our theme;

As Elders and Sisters we must be deeply rooted in the Gospel, drinking from the words of the scriptures, pushing through the rock of adversity, and soaking in the light of our Savior. If we work hand-in-hand with our gardener, Heavenly Father, and are diligent in doing all we can to fulfill our purpose as missionaries to do his work in our part of the garden, we can bloom where we are planted.

This is geared towards missionaries but I think if we change it can apply to all of us. Really the message is the same. It does not matter he soil we are planted in but how we chose to adapt. The gospel is what will help us grow.  I have a strong testimony that attitude and will are everything. The quote I used on the front is from Vince Lombardi but I thought it applied well;

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I Know Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. We are who we are where we are and facing what we are facing for a reason. It is our Choice to Bloom or to wilt.

Elder Shoaf

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Front and Back of the Planner cover

Pictures July 13, 2015: Isaiah's Baptism!

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Before; Elder Doloroso, Brother Ta'ale, Isaiah, Me, Elder and Sister BorcellaInline image 2
After with the whole Family!Inline image 3
I love this kid so much!!!!!

Update July 6, 2015: Transfers & 'Murica Day!

Weeks 71 & 72

Aloha Everyone!

Happy ‘Murica Day!!!!!! haha

Sorry I missed last week’s email! It was a crazy week! But I will try and hit the highlights! First off I have a new companion and I am staying in Laie! Pretty excited about that! My new Companion is Elder Doloroso and he is originally from the Philippines but moved to Mesa, Arizona about 3 years ago! He’s pretty cool and we get along great! 

            So I don’t remember what happened which day and I don’t have my planner with me so I will try and give you some highlights from memory!

            The First big news is on Wednesday the sisters that I came out with went home! That means I have officially finished 3/4ths of my mission…. Crazy! June 30th was exactly 6 months till I come home…. So fast! It was also my Mother’s Birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! Also with the new transfer came a lot of changes instead of 10 elder in Laie there are now only 6 and of those 6 only 2 of us were here last transfer and I am the only one that’s been here longer than that! So we are officially out numbered 6 elders. 26 sisters! Craziness!

            Other news is Isaiah who we have been working with now has a baptismal date!!!! Whooo! We are super pumped for him and can’t wait! He is such a smart kid and has grown so much!

            We also have been helping this guy clear his property. He I currently homeless but has a lot in Hauula that in 4 years overgrown and if he doesn’t clear it he will get fined $500 a day. So we have been helping him as much as we can. I’m talking like 7-foot tall grass. It’s a mess but we have accomplished a lot and his heart has been softened so much! It’s so great to see how our Love for others and for our savior blesses others!

            We are also working on moving! The other pad in Hauula is now empty since they took the other elders out and it is way nicer than ours. A lot cooler and it has an actual kitchen not just a closet with a sink and plug-in stovetop. So we have been working on clearing out and cleaning both pads one to move into and the other to close.

             I can’t really remember anything else… sorry.:( I hope that everyone has a wonderful week and all is going well. I love my mission. I Love serving here in Laie. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know this is his work and that we can continue to learn and grow because of him. Everything good in life comes because of him and everything we do or say or where we go is can be a good or bad experience. Its up to us and our attitude.
With Love,
Elder Shoaf

Update June 22, 2015: Another Week of Summer Burned

Week 70

Aloha Everyone!

It has been a good week. Nothing too crazy going on but boy oh boy it is getting hot over here! high of 95 today! Not really much this week to report on. But ill run though the week real quick.

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All of the Laie Elders with Elder Mailau on his last day!

         Monday- was a normal pros day due to temple trip tomorrow.

         Tuesday- was an awesome trip to the temple. Saw the Vincents and had a good P-day!

         Wednesday- we had district meeting then we helped out at the BYUH Book store for a few hours helping them inventory! Easiest service I’ve done! It was even air-conditioned! Then we had a couple of great lessons that night!

         Thursday- went to the Bookstore again and we finished up the inventory! Then helped Mike out for a bit then more visits.

         Friday- made a lot of visits, a lot of people not home…

         Saturday- we had ward parties in both the Tongan ward and Samoan ward so we were with the Tongan ward in the early afternoon then the Samoan ward in the evening! It was really good ate a lot of good food and a couple of the people we are working with came!!!! So we were pumped for that.

         Sunday- was Fathers day! Happy Father’s day to all of you old men out there! Then more visits!

         Sorry I don’t have a big message this week. Just keep going, keep fighting, and keep growing.

I love you all and hope you enjoy the last week of June!

Elder Shoaf

Update June 16, 2015: Friends, Family, and Flu

Week 69

Aloha Everyone!

This week went from great to bad to worse to awful then to awesome! Why? Because I died… I swear. I had the plague… so it will be a pretty quick email I think…

This week!

         Monday- was awesome! Went on a pretty awesome hike with some elders and sisters then Bowled at “The Hub” on campus then played some awesome Basketball!

         Tuesday- was Death Day I. my body shut down on me and so I got a blessing then we went over to the Borsella’s Pad and they looked over us and I slept on their bed because mine sucks and is too short! I did however muster up enough energy to go to my interview with president and it went well! I talked to him about my release date and instead of Jan 29th I will be coming home Dec 30th! So that I can make it back for winter semester at BYU! T-minus 6 Months and change! Craziness…

         Wedneasday- Death Day II. 103 Fever. Nough said.

         Thursday- Death Day III. Still in a state of death.

         Friday- Recovery day I. didn’t leave the pad still but on the mends. At least no more dying!

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Ridiculous amounts of Lychee on the tree outside my old pad in Wahiawa....thats soooooo much!

         Saturday- Recovery day II. Had my first food since Monday, ham and cheese sandwich. Also got out of the pad some saw a few people but still super tired. But I was glad I was able to make it out. Elder Mailau announced to the Zone that he would be returning home on Monday…. He has somethings he has to take care of and we were all so sad and heart broken but he was at peace with it. I am so grateful to him for the example he has been to me and all that he has done for me! My Tongan Brother for life. I would and will do anything for that man.

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Mailau and I. 

         Sunday- long day of church. Longest I’ve been up all week so after church I crashed!

         Monday- was not P-day due to today being temple trip. But it was still pretty awesome! I got to see my Uncle Jed who went to BYU here in the 90s so he came to visit! It was fun to be able to catch up with him!

         Today- then today I got to see the Vincents!!! They are here on vacation and I saw them outside the temple when we were coming out!!!! Planning on meeting up with them later to go to PCC! So weird to see people I know… but its fun!

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Tyler and I outside the temple!!!

         Just a quick message this week. In honor of Elder Mailau. One of his favorite sayings and a quote that has changed my mission.

“ Live you life in such a way that people who don’t know Jesus Christ but know you will want to Jesus Christ because of who you are”.
I love this quote and will refrain fro giving my understanding or interpretation but instead challenge you to find your own. The Gospel has changed, is changing, and will forever change lives. I am so grateful for my Savior and redeemer and how much I have changed because of his gospel and his example. I have witnessed that change in Elder Mailau over the last 17 months. He has gone from a kid on vacation with little care of the gospel, to a man who not only knows and believes it but also lives it and is an example of it. I love each and every one of you and hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Shoaf

Pictures June 8, 2015: David and Goliath

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David and Goliath... Kinda

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Sister Kim teaching the Kids a song about Faith

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One more from our Hike!

Update June 8, 2015: David and Goliath for Real

Week 68

Aloha Everyone!

What a week. Yes David and Goliath… more later. I can’t believe how fast time goes. Being here without the seasons really messes with me! Just yesterday it was snowing and it was Christmas and today it is summer back home and my Baby sister has graduated High school and will make my Parents Empty Nesters in 10 days… Meanwhile the weather never changes here. It has been beautiful weather this week but is getting hotter and by that I mean high 80s.

This week’s Highlights!

         Monday- we had a blast on a “45-minute” hike that was actually 7 hours… we were told the trail led to a reservoir but in fact it went to the ridgeline of Kahana Valley 1400ft in Elevation and by the time we realized it we said why not and went all the way. Bad Idea but worth it the last 400 yards of the trail was basically vertical and nothing but mud with roots to hang on to! It was epic! But ate the whole day…

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1400 ft up!

         Tuesday- was a lot less crazy. But still adventurous. We Helped Mike at his house and he taught me how to climb with Spikes! Look out Coconut trees! Tuesday Night we had our first rehearsal for David and Goliath. I was asked to play Goliath for the Visitor Center’s Story time that they do for the Kids each Friday during the summer. So we had our first rehearsal it went really well!

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Climbing a Mountian apple Tree! 
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Mountain Apples and Lychee and a coconut

         Friday- we had a wonderful day! This morning was the big day! STORY TIME! It went pretty well and all of the kids loved it except on of the real young ones... I scared him… so he cried… I felt bad… haha. We did our weekly service at the Kaka’s helping them. This week we cleaned out the carport and fixed one of the Columns. Then Friday night we Caught Vai home!!! A Part member family we have been trying to meet with for weeks! We finally caught them home! We had a wonderful lesson and a great dinner!
         Saturday- we had a huge service project in Punaluu valley we had 19 missionaries there and we cleared some clogs in the old Hawaiian Aqueduct system that supplies the Farm lands of the valley with water so that was a lot of shoveling but the water felt great! Then we spent some time down at the Beach Park at a Birthday Party and had a couple great contacts!
         Sunday- was excellent as well. Church was awesome as always then we had a great lesson with Jard then an even better one with Leki! We are so pumped to see him progress!

Another wonderful week doing the best thing in the world. Serving others. The Church is true and the gospel has blessed my life so much. I have been blessed so much and learned so much.

Have a great week!

Elder Shoaf

Update June 1, 2015: Grace Miller

Week 67

Aloha Everyone!

Another week gone already… I feel like I emailed yesterday! Time goes so incredibly fast. I hit my 16-month mark on Friday. Kind of crazy. 2/3rds the way done. I will be home in what feels like a few days!  This past was full and so many tender mercies.

This week!
         Monday- Basketball, hike, and PCC like I said last week.

         Tuesday- we did a service project for a family in the ward. You cant have anything nice here in Hawaii. In a year it will either be rotten or rusted through. The between the salt water, always warm temps, and the bug and termites. Nothing stands a chance! Kind of sad. Anyway we showed them how and helped them replace them before the roof collapsed. We then had a really cool experience with a Lady Named Grace. But we will get to that in a minute! We also went to the chapel for the Samoan wards senior Banquet. Can’t believe another year is gone! I graduated 2 years ago!

         Wednesday- we had a Zone meeting, which went really well then studied on the temple grounds. Pretty cool opportunity in having a temple so close!

         Thursday- was a hosh-posh day. Nothing too crazy, kind of a slower day but we did have a great visit with Lei and her family as well as the Auteles!

         Friday- was really fun we went down to Kaaawa Elementary School to watch their May-day Performance with Brother Kaka all of the Kids in our Class at Kahana on Wednesdays were in it so we went to support them! It is so cool how much Culture is a part of the way of life here. I love it!

         Saturday- we went to 2 baptisms in the morning then did some service for Mike as well as the Freebarin’s then we had a great lesson with the Fale family. We played some trumps with them then it turned into a gospel conversation and it was cool to see them answer their own concerns/troubles as we asked them questions.

         Yesterday- was full of church then I swear all we did from 5-9 was eat. Literally every house we went to we ate… and that’s how the week ended… eating till you drop.

         So More on Grace! Tuesday Night we Met Elder Mailau and Liavaa at the Shopping center to eat and while we are sitting outside eating Elder Mailau grabs me and we walk into Subway and sit down with this girl from his ward. He introduces me to her then tells me that she has a friend in our area that is interested in talking the lessons. So we talk about her for a bit and we are getting ready to go and we notice that she seems upset so we sit back down and she opens up and starts crying and says she has been going though a lot of pain, her husband is deployed, and she’s home sick since she’s here in Hawaii by herself and she said she never wanted to come to subway she just wanted to be alone but she came anyway then we walked in and we were an answer to her prayers. She was so grateful we had come to say hi and show her that heavenly father is hearing her prayers. We then shared with her some words of comfort and counsel and said a prayer with her and left. We were so touched to have been an answer to her prayer. Later that night I texted her some things to read and she responded and said that we showed her that heavenly Father does care about her.

         These Moments are what makes the Grind of everyday worth it. I had no idea why I was meeting this lady and Elder Mailau just simply wanted to introduce me. But heavenly father knows each of us. He led us there to see her not to benefit us but to answer her prayer. It was such a powerful experience to be a tool in Heavenly Father’s hand. I can promise you Heavenly Father knows each of you by Name and knows what you are going through. That was confirmed to me once again Tuesday night. This gospel has changed my life and it is incredible to see how much it blesses those around us.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Shoaf