Saturday, July 9, 2016

Week 2: July 6, 2016

Aloha family!

Week two is here and I am on such a spiritual high. My experiences here at the MTC have been so absolutely incredible. We are in our final full week here at the MTC and it has truly gone by quickly. We received our flight plans and travel itineraries and we will be flying out to Oakland/San Francisco on the 13th, leaving the MTC at about 5am. I can't wait to serve and teach the people of California. 

One of our new teachers here at the MTC served his mission in the Oakland/San Francisco area. We all but interrogated him about the mission. We asked him how often a week he heard gunshots. He laughed and said, "Elders, you mean how often did I hear gunshots every DAY". He also said that when he first got there, he and his companion walked past a car that was completely on fire. No one seemed to mind or notice except for this new Elder. He tried to stop and take a picture of it but his senior companion told him it was probably best to keep moving. Quickly. He also said that one time, he was driving with his companion when they suddenly heard a loud bang and their back windshield shattered. He said he's still unsure if someone threw something or if someone took a shot at them but they were still undaunted in the work. On the plus side, he did say the food was good and the members fed them often.

We got to watch the "Stadium of Fire" this past Saturday. It was a pretty nice fireworks show given by the BYU stadium. There is such pride for this country up here like I've never seen in Hawaii. We had cheeseburgers and fries for lunch on the 4th because, how else are you going to celebrate freedom? My companion's vocabulary consisted mainly of the word "Murrica" all that day. 

I must now relate the story of the "Button-Muncher". In the MTC cafeteria, one of the tables we sat at was near the back wall and the corner of the table was next to a corner/angle in the wall. This corner had a little metal sheet covering the actual corner with a little slot between the sheet and the wall it was attached to. This little space was just big enough to fit a coin. Now, many Elders and Sisters needed to pass behind this little spot to get to more tables, drinks, and another food station. To do so, they would nicely scoot behind a little spot between the wall and the chairs/table. We were eating at this little corner when suddenly, an Elder scooted past (his rear, like many of those that came before him, brushing against the wall) and then stopped. He turned and felt his posterior with a puzzled look. He asked us if we could look under the table because his button had popped off as he scooted past and the butt-buttons on the Elder's slacks had gotten caught in that little slot created by the metal sheet and wall. We found his button, still stuck in that slot. Slightly mortified, he mumbled that he had fallen victim to this little slot a few days prior with a different pair of slacks. At this point, our curiosity peaked. My companion decided to stick a fork into this little slot and swiped up. 3 more buttons popped out. We were rolling at the thought that this was such a common occurrence. The Elder was able to laugh along with us, quickly realizing that he was definitely not the only one. We are still unsure how many more buttons there are in that little slot but that wall/slot has now been appropriately named the "Button-Muncher". 

As a district, we've all grown very close and have all come to love one another. It's amazing to see how people from such different backgrounds and upbringings and places are able to bond over the Lord's work. We all hope to keep in touch with one another and they are apparently making plans to fly out to Hawaii for my homecoming but mostly just to be in Hawaii. However, we all know how extremely unlikely that is but it's still a nice thought. Some of them were wondering what would happen if they simply told their mission presidents at the end of their mission that their family had moved to Hawaii so they could get a flight out there. We all laugh and joke about it but I would love to keep in touch with all of them. The spirit they bring and the testimony they have has greatly impacted me as a missionary and as a son of God. 

Kids, hearken to the words of Colossians 3:20
"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord"
Mom and Dad truly love you all and want the best for you. I've been able to realize that over these past few years and I am truly grateful for all that they've done and all that they continue to do for me. Just like our Heavenly Father loves us, has a plan for us, and knows what's best for us, Mom and Dad love us, have a plan for us, and know what's best for us. Hearken to their words and counsel. 

D&C 58:4 reads, "For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore, the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." Even though we know all of these plain and precious truths of the gospel, there will still be hardships. The Lord is well aware of all that we are going through and He is more than willing to help us through them. Pray to him with faith knowing that He can and will help us. D&C 121:7-9 states, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." I've come to truly know and love these verses. I promise all of you that God truly loves us. He hears and answers our prayers. He knows our struggles and our pains. He can and will help us through all afflictions. We also have friends there to help comfort us and support us. Do not be too proud so as to not turn to them in your times of need, that's what they're there for. 

I love each and every one of you and I miss you all deeply. I look forward to your emails and letters and pictures and everything. 

My district has told me something about "Dear Elder" which is like, an online thing where you can send an email and they print it out here and give it to us the day it is sent so that we don't have to wait until P Day to read it (But we still wait until then to reply). Also, Elder Dewitt would still love some strawberry belts xD

Malama Pono,
Elder Kaitoku 

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