Friday, September 30, 2016

Week 13: September 26, 2016

This week has definitely had its ups and downs. Let's start with the "ups"! 

We had a lot of our lessons go through! We were able to add 5 new investigators. One of them was a family and they all accepted the invitation to baptism! We were super excited about that! Our investigator, Jewel, also came to church with her two sisters! They all had a great time and one of her sisters asked excitedly if they could go again next week! We were also able to set another baptismal date with our investigator, Jayden. Both Jewel and Jayden have baptismal dates set and we are doing everything we can to help them progress! We are super excited for them!
On the other hand, Elder Elsbury got 5 flat tires this week. Thus, the equivalent exchange goes: one flat tire = one new investigator. That was a rough spot this week. We were able to fix our bikes and go about our way. I also got 2 flats this week so we had to fix a total of 7 tires. His lock also broke and didn't want to come off so we said a prayer and then I saw a way to wiggle the pole out so that he could slide his lock off. He was "glad somebody coulda walked by and stolen his bike at any time." He has not been loving the #bikelife so far. We always remind each other that we are sure that there is something to be learned here. I told him he keeps teasing me that he's gonna be in a car again in a few weeks and I'll probably be on bike forever and that's why he's been jinxed to experience 2 years worth of bike troubles in the weeks that he is here. On the bright side, he didn't fall off his bike this week! 

He just kinda wobbled and ALMOST fell. Baby steps. We took the Willy Burger challenge again #round2 and this time, I fell short by a bite. Elder Elsbury finished it!
This week, we were able to get a lot of work done and although we had our challenges, we were able to push through and turn to the Lord for guidance and support. We very humbly asked Him to please let us go without popping our tires this week. Nevertheless, if we still have not learned what we were meant to learn here, then we will submit to His will.
I love you all and thank you for your love, support, and prayers. It truly helps out here!
-Elder Kaitoku
Last story, we saw the cutest pitbull mama and pup behind a fence and we of course had to stop and pet them and stuff. The lil pup was so small, he had to stand up on his hind legs to reach the bottom of the fence. As we were petting them, we heard the door open and the owner was lookin at us and he seemed kinda grumpy. I turned to say something but then I suddenly realized my companion had left me so I kinda waved and mumbled, "I like your dogs" and we left.

Week 12: September 19, 2016

This week has been yet another awesome week out here in the mission! My new companion is a super awesome Elder. Elder Elsbury (or Asipeli in the Tongan program) is from Virginia, near the DC area. He has been serving in the Tongan program and has been out for about 9 months now. I am learning a lot from him everyday. 

We have an investigator named Jewel who is progressing super well and we have set a baptismal date with her. This week, she almost came to church but some things came up. We will continue to hope and pray and work with her. She really wanted to go to church and said that she is going to be bringing her two little sisters (9 and 6ish). It will be such an amazing experience to see this family start to come to church and hopefully be baptized. 
The parents are okay with us teaching and baptizing her but they haven't expressed any interest. Maybe through the example of their daughters, they'll show more interest!

We talked to a homeless man named Chris. Unfortunately, he wasn't all there but we shared a bit of our message with him before dinner. For dinner, our member gave us a pizza and since she didn't have a male member with her, we took it to go. Elder Elsbury had the idea to share it with Chris. We found him again and sat down and talked and ate. He started to really calm down and was a super awesome guy. We shared another spiritual thought with him as well as our testimonies. Not sure if he'll remember the experience but hopefully this has touched his life in some way. I know it has touched mine.
I am constantly learning more and more from each of my companions as well as the other members of the district. Today, we have our zone "nerf war" and we just set up a bunch of barricades (tables) in the culture hall so I'm pretty excited about that.
I am super blessed with all of the miracles and blessings that I see each day here on my mission. I know that I have been called here for a very specific reason and purpose. With each person that I speak to and teach, I feel my own testimony growing stronger and stronger. The time is absolutely flying by. As always, thank you all for your examples and testimonies and prayers. I love you all! Until next week,
Elder Kaitoku
PS: Elder Elsbury is brand new to the bike life. He made the mistake of slamming on the front brakes and flew over his handlebars. Will I ever find a companion that can ride a bike? 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 11: September 12, 2016


My trainer got a call from President Frandsen on Saturday morning and has been transferred out this morning to the San Ramon area. My new companion is Elder Elsbury and he will be here for the next 3 weeks to finish up my 12 week training. After that, I will have another new companion so I am leading this area. Pray that I don't get us lost. It's exciting and nerve wracking at the same time but Elder Lui has taught me well.

This past week, we were able to add 2 new investigators which is awesome! One of them is a boy named Isaiah who is friends with one of our current investigators and he "happened" to be there when we came by. He started out by asking us a lot of questions and then we began teaching him. He has a desire to be baptized which is super awesome!

We helped a member dig a trench to fix his sprinkler system this past week. Unfortunately, it was very close to the tree and so the roots were covering the pipe. It took almost 3 days to get it all completely fixed up. It was a lot of hard work but in the end, it was super satisfying to see that we got it done. In the spots that the pipe had cracked and leaked, the roots had grown strongest around and wrapped around it. This made it very difficult to break through all the roots to reach the pipe to dig it out and fix it. Likewise, the adversary goes for our weak points and converges on that. He knows how to really get at each and every one of us individually. If we let him grow and build around that, then his grasp on us will be tighter and tighter and when we go to dig out those "roots" it will be much harder. At least, that's what I got out of it. The member kept muttering to himself, "I know that Heavenly Father's trying to teach me something here, I know it."

This week has been awesome! The time is flying by! I can't wait to hear from all of you and to talk to all of you again next week! Thank you for your prayers and your influence and impact that you've had on my life. Love you all!

Elder Kaitoku

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Week 10: September 5, 2016

We had exchanges with the Zone Leaders this week. The Elder that I went with is Elder Hibbert and he is 6' 9". So that was an odd sight. I was able to learn a lot from him and am planning on applying it to my daily proselyting activities.

During zone training, our President shared with us a quote from Elder Oaks that talked about eagles. Eagles build their nests on the sides of cliffs and when the young are old enough, they get nudged out of the nest. They fall for a short time before instinct takes over and they spread their wings and soar. The moral of this story was this: "The fear of falling precedes the thrill of soaring." Almost right after this training, we seemed to experience that "falling". Many of our lessons were falling through, we were not accepted well through tracting, no one seemed interested, and all in all, we had a rough few weeks.

I told my companion, "We must be close to an amazing blessing/miracle if Satan is working this hard to discourage us." After about two weeks of this, we finally saw our miracle. We were able to set a baptismal date with one of our investigators. It was truly a blessing and a relief to see that miracle come to pass through diligence and making sure we were not discouraged.

The work is doing well. I am doing well. I am super thankful for all of your prayers and love and support. It truly makes a difference to me and helps me throughout my everyday work. I love you all!

-Elder Kaitoku