Sunday, October 1, 2017

Week 65: September 25, 2017

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Well, Elder Kaitoku can't seem to catch a break, ladies and gentlemen. Someone broke into his car. Again. 3rd times a charm. 3 different assigned areas. 3 separate car break-ins. One in each area. Awesome. The car was parked in our gated community. In a rather wealthy area. FORTUNATELY, I have apparently learned my lesson because this time, I had absolutely nothing in that car! Whoop. Nothing broken nothing lost. They DID take our gas card (each mission vehicle has a fleet account debit card to pay for gas) and the perpetrator tried to withdraw $600. No worries, it all got denied and the card's been deactivated. Other than that, they took my THIRD FAVORITE PEN. What a monster. My companion and I were ready to go Sherlock Holmes on this person but our vehicle account coordinator wouldn't give us the exact time or place the withdrawals were attempted so we couldn't go track him or her down and pull the video feed. 

Anyways, we went to a farmer's market this past week to street contact and talk to people walking along the trail. I was on exchanges with a missionary from Thailand, Elder Suriyachan. He LOVES spicy food. We were walking around the farmer's market when I saw them. Ghost Peppers. Now, I've seen a lot of youtube videos in my days and I know what those bad boys can do. My companion for the day was always complaining about food around here never being spicy enough. I convinced him to buy a few ghost peppers to eat at home for lunch. I excitedly got my camera ready only to be extremely disappointed. I wasn't the only one. The ghost pepper STILL WASN'T HOT ENOUGH FOR THIS GUY. Well, at least initially. He bit into it once, twice, thrice and shook his head in disapproval. I sadly put my camera down. Moments later, he broke into a sweat and started drinking from the gravy cup (we were eating lunch). But within moments, he was fine. What a champ.
The work is going great! I had to go to a meeting with the Stake Missionary Council which was intimidating but fun nonetheless. We've got a lot going on in this Stake as a whole and things are really looking up! It has been a great week and we are looking forward to another great week here in jolly ole Danville.
-Elder Kaitoku

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week 63: September 11, 2017

This past week was a great week. I have a new companion, Elder Selli. He is from Fredericksburg, Virginia. We have been getting along very very well. The Elbirt family is still doing great. We are hoping to meet with them again this week. We spent most of the week helping Elder Selli get to know both wards, the leadership, the members, and the general area. 

When we did service at the farm this past week, we were instructed to help spread the food around the field rather than just dump it in one pile. Being the young men that we are, we built two forts from the cardboard boxes and proceeded to have a massive food fight from across the field. Casualties were limited. Injuries were nursed. Clothes were dirtied. It was a really great time. Unfortunately a lot of the food is donated food that is very expired. That made it all the more fun. I can now check "participating in a food fight" off of my bucket list.

We continue to push and work hard in this area. The amount of miracles and blessings and success that we've seen in this area is nearly unheard of. I am really excited. My district is full of good, hard-working missionaries who have helped to turn this place around greatly. I look forward to next week! Sorry for the short email! Love you all!

-Elder Kaitoku

Week 62: September 4, 2017

For those of you who know who E40 is, just know that he lives out in our area. For those of you who don't know him, he's a famous rapper, fairly well off. In addition, Steph Curry isn't too far away either. Based off of those two things, it should be quite clear that this area is fairly...well off. That being said, the missionary work often times goes a little slower than other areas. Many people who have a lot usually don't feel like they need something like the gospel. That being said, it's been a difficult past 2 transfers in terms of finding and other missionary efforts. However, it was amazing to see our efforts pay off this week. 

We were able to go to the Visitor's Center with a family of investigators that I mentioned in last week's email. They had a great visit and we really felt the spirit with them. We were also able to set a baptismal date with them for early October! It was really warming to see this family's excitement and willingness to commit to baptism.

In the other ward that we cover, we, or any missionaries previously, haven't been able to find a new investigator in the last 9-12 months. It's been kind of a dry spell. However, this past week, we were able to find a new investigator. We were going through some old records and found a few former investigators that we felt had a lot of promise. We visited one in particular, Ryan and he was very welcoming and said he would be more than willing to meet with us again.

It has been an amazing week. I am thankful for the blessings and miracles we've been able to see. (speaking of blessings...) my companion is being transferred away. My new companion will be Elder Selli. From what I hear, he is a good missionary and a hard worker. I look forward to working with him. 

Also, attached is a video of me breaking a watermelon with my head. Enjoy.

-Elder Kaitoku​

Week 61: August 28, 2017

This past week has been a pretty average week in the life of a missionary in the Danville area. If I had to describe it as a T-Shirt size, it would be "Extra Medium". Hahahaha just kidding. 

There is a family that we've been working with for a while. We haven't been able to meet a whole ton due to it being summer and schedules being crazy. Now that school is starting, the schedules are a bit more set and so we are planning on going to the Visitor's Center out in Oakland with them. We are super excited. The V.C. is a really great instrument in helping people feel the spirit and progress in their conversion. 

Aside from that, we are also working with the youth more now that school is starting. We've got a couple of activities lining up to meet with them to talk about missionary work and activities to get their friends interested. Looks like I gotta start appealing more to the youngins out here. *ahem*

/ \

yeaaaaah I still got it. It wasn't too long ago that I graduated high school y'know. 

#everydayimshufflin! yeeaaahhh whoo whooooo (is that still a thing...?) I'm not old! I'm still young! I'm still hip! I'm cool! I got $WAG! hahaha but on a real note, every time I work with the youth or just talk to them, I feel so old. High school wasn't THAT far away was it?

Well that's all for this week. Until next week! 

Your super hip super cool and young and relate able missionary,
-Elder Kaitoku 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Week 60: August 21, 2017

First off, I apologize for not having emailed in a very very long time. We had zone sports and such out in San Leandro and details details details, a dash of excuses, and a quarter cup of apology. Alrighty! Glad we are all caught up to speed! However, in all honesty, I apologize that I haven't emailed in a while. I will try to get better at that. 

This week, or should I say these past few weeks, have been really awesome. The family that we are meeting with has expressed their desire to be baptized! We are planning a trip to the Visitor's Center in Oakland next week. We are very excited. There are so many amazing families that reach out to them and are great friends with them. They've expressed a few concerns about certain doctrines that they've had questions about and has been holding them back from baptism. However, during our gospel doctrine class during Sundayschool, two weeks in a row there have been some awesome discussions. Many of the people that go to that class are recent converts who, at one point or another, struggled themselves with those same questions and were able to help answer them. The spirit was able to testify boldly and powerfully in that classroom and we are excited to help them come unto Christ.

We are looking forward to another week of blessings and miracles that the Lord has in store for each of us. To all my friends and family that are starting school right now, I have this to say: HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAVE FUUUUUUUUUUUN SUCKAZ!! hahaha just kiddin just kidding. In all honesty, I wish you all the best regardless of what level of education you are at right now. Love you all and thank you for your support and prayers!

-Elder Kaitoku

Week 57: August 1, 2017

This week was pretty great! We were able to visit a lot of people who we hadn't seen in a long time and make contact with a lot of ward families. Because we cover two wards, it can be difficult to get to know everyone in both wards. We put together an online spreadsheet of the ward directory so that we can access it and put in new information weekly to help us and to help future missionaries that may get transferred here. Often times in between transfers, there is a lot of information lost. Hopefully this will help. The technical side of missionary work is very unspoken of and yet still rewarding.

We have a new greenie in the district, Elder Scott, who is waiting for a VISA to go to Samoa. He knew Jay Reid, a friend from home in the MTC who is already in Samoa. We also got a visit from Carson Cobabe, my former companion who went home due to health issues. His brother is coming back from his mission and the family is meeting him here and so I got to go to lunch with them and get to know them.

We also had temple day today, hence the email on a Tuesday versus on a Monday this week. It was a wonderful experience as always and we had our own little district BBQ afterwards and ya boi made some kalbi ribs. Good stuff. 

Hope all y'all had a great week! I am thankful for your prayers and love and support. Shout-out to my Grandma Chong, who came through with socks in my package this week. I know for a fact that I am now an adult because I have never been so excited in my life to receive socks. Also, did I mention that I now have a camera?? Thanks to my wonderful parents again! Love you guys!

Until next week,

Elder Kaitoku

Week 56: July 24, 2017

This past week was a pretty exciting and a pretty hectic one. We received transfer calls and Elder Stokes and I will be staying. 

President and Sister Frandsen went around t​he mission and met with random companionship in an effort to get to know the missionaries on a more personal basis this past week. Elder Stokes and I were the last stop. They came around dinner time and called a bit ahead and decided to meet us at our apartment. Naturally, I had to make sure that the Mission President and his wife were well taken care of. As soon as they came inside, they were greeted with (what I hoped to be) the wonderful aroma of salmon, pan seared with a butter/garlic spread, topped with lemon citrus and a touch of parsley. The salmon was plated on a bed of soft and steamy brown rice, a healthy alternative (plus we ran out of white rice). Aside from that, we had a mixture of vegetables pan seared in olive oil with a touch of basil. Quite exquisite if I do say so myself. Paired with a fine red wine from the finest vineyards of Sicilly, dated to 1964 (very good year indeed), hahaha just kidding. We didn't have wine. But we did get to have a sit down dinner with President Frandsen and his wife. We have received several training seminars on how to have an effective dinner appointment with members. We were sure to make sure that President Frandsen shared specific miracles and a wonderful message at the end of dinner all while using proper etiquette. He hasn't sent me home yet and last I saw, he wasn't deathly ill so I suppose all is well.

We also did service at a rest home where we sing for them. It was really sweet. They really look forward to us coming. I got to sing a few Hawaiian songs which was nice. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is quite the hit. 

We had a cool miracle just this morning. A member called and excitedly asked for a Spanish Book of Mormon. He is renovating his home and one of the workers was super interested. The member served a Spanish speaking mission years ago and was able to make conversation with the guy. We delivered it and the gentleman said he would input his information online to receive Spanish speaking missionaries!

The work is going really really well! I'm loving everyday of it. The time is going way too fast. Hope you're all doing well!