Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week 4: July 25, 2016 Blessings, Burgers and Bikes

Aloha my Ohana,

I can't believe it's been another week already! The time is going by crazy fast. I believe it was Gordon B Hinckley who said, "lose yourself in the work" (I think. I could be wrong) and I've been doing just that. It has been incredibly hard work and I've loved every single moment of it. Our bishop and ward are so incredibly amazing. Our bishop has given us a list of people he'd like us to contact, whether they be less actives, recent converts, or new move-ins. We put most of our time and effort into meeting with and talking to these people on the list. Often times, they have many children in their home who are not baptized and not active in the church. As we have met with them, many of them have been very open to the gospel and our lessons and have set up a return appointment for next week. We are super excited for that. The ward is super supportive and loving. They welcomed me very graciously my first week and I will be speakingnext week Sunday. They offer us their homes for when we are in the area and always invite us for water and snacks. As my mission president said on my first day, "The members in our mission measure their success by the waist size of the missionaries." Fortunately, we are a full bike mission with lots of hills and 100+ degree weather. This is one of those rare mission areas where missionaries lose weight instead of gain it. My companion has lost 20 pounds since coming out 8 months ago.

Everyday is leg day. On top of the list that our bishop has provided, we've gone through the area book and organized it a bit. We go around and talk to former investigators to find out why they stopped taking lessons and if they're still interested. Many of them are very open and interested to hear more and we have gotten a lot of return appointments. There is a lot of potential here and I am very excited by it all.

That covers the "blessings" and "bikes" part. Now you may be wondering, "What about the burgers part"? Well, here goes. While we were in the MTC one day, an Elder in our district was going through on and looking at blogs and websites of missionaries serving in the Oakland/San Francisco Mission. One of the pictures he came across was of a huuuuuuge burger being eaten by the Elders. He excitedly pointed this out to the rest of us going to Oakland and said, "I can't wait to go there!" Fast forward now to this past week. One of the families in the ward took us out to dinner to a burger place called "Hazell's". My companion was telling me that this family always takes the new missionary to this place to eat the "Wille Burger". He wouldn't give me many details beyond that but he said all this with a mischievous grin. We order and when it comes, it all suddenly clicks and I remember the picture from the MTC. This is it. This is the burger. This burger was roughly the size of a pizza. It was bigger than my face. I did my best to "Man v Food" that guy. I just barely finished it. It was great.

Oh yeah! So I got my hydroflask and it turns out that 2 other Elders have them too. As soon as I pulled it out, the other missionaries kind of sighed and rolled their eyes while the ones that had hydroflasks were super excited. The reason they all sighed and rolled their eyes is the ones that have hydroflasks are always showing them off and it's great. Whenever we see each other in District or Zone meetings, we'll pick up our hydroflask and give it a shake and look all surprised. Then we'll turn to the other person and be like, "Do you hear that? Is Nooo it can't be! I didn't put ice in here since...yesterday!" Then they'll take a sip and be like, "Whoa. No. Way. It's freezing cold! But...I left it in the car all morning! It should be boiling hot by now!" and we will go on and on with that every time we see one another.
(Side note: Dad, one of the members gave us lemons and other produce they grow. I squeezed it into the hydro flask and put the slices in there. Some ice and water and it is delicious. You can keep the slices in there a few days too. Super refreshing!)

One of the members is Brother Ho'opai and he's from Kona. Just wondering if you might happen to know his family or not. He's Hawaiian-Fijian and his wife is Tongan. They took us to L&L (YUP there's an L&L's here!) for dinner one day and we had chicken katsu and musubis. Great to have a taste of home. It's even better than the L&L in Utah.

Anyways, the mission has been absolutely incredible thus far and it's only been about a month and a week. (2 weeks in the field). I can't believe how quickly the time is flying. I've grown so much spiritually just in these past few weeks. I wanted to thank you and tell you all that I love you so much for all of the support and love that you've given me. I thank you for your testimonies and example that you've set and the way that I was raised. I love you all so much! I can't wait to hear from you all again soon!

"Daydreams may be pleasant but accomplishments are more satisfying" -Panda Express Fortune I found in my room

-Elder Kaitoku

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