Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 16: October 17, 2016

This week, the Lord taught me humility. Like Icarus of old, I flew too close to the sun and have fallen...quite literally. This week marks the first week that I, myself, have fallen off of my bike. My companion fell once and I had a good laugh. Then, going down a hill, I hit a patch of gravel and my bike lost all traction and slipped out from under me. I scraped up my elbows real good. The second time I fell, my companion crashed into me and we both took a tumble. It's a good thing we were wearing our helmets because I hit my head pretty good. BUT! We are safe and sound! All is good in the Antioch neighborhood!

The work has been progressing very well! We have nearly 20 investigators that we are meeting with pretty consistently and they are all progressing fairly well. We have 4 people with set baptismal dates coming up! My companion and I are super excited for everything going on in the area right now! We get along very well and continue to learn from one another. Elder Cobabe is not afraid to talk to everyone that we meet and he's very eager to do the work. We have so many people to teach and talk to and it seems that we don't have enough hours in a day or days in a week. We are very blessed with an awesome ward that is really getting excited about doing missionary work.

Pray for Elder Kaitoku, that he may ride a bike safely and no longer tease his companions about falling, that he may learn humility. God's got a sense of humor. One story that our zone leaders shared with us was of a companionship that prayed for a certain amount of baptisms that month. There were exactly that number of another church. So they prayed for 2 baptisms the next month in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They got 2 baptisms...that moved to a different area 3 days before their baptism. Finally, they decided to pray for 2 baptisms, in their area, in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints...and they got it. Lessons #1 to be learned: God has a sense of humor. Lesson #2: pray specifically. Ask specific questions to get specific answers. I know that as we do this, we will be able to better recognize the Lord's hand in our lives. I know He lives and I know He loves us. I love each and every one of you and thank you for your emails, prayers, and support! Until next week!

-Elder Kaitoku

Week 15: October 10, 2016

This week, I got my new trainee! His name is Elder Cobabe and he is from Malad, Idaho. He's a super awesome Elder, ready and willing to serve! On our first morning together as a companionship, we were having out studies, we got a knock at the door. We opened it to find a firefighter in full gear, gas mask and all, standing there. He told us, "There's been a gas leak at the nearby construction site. We need to evacuate these buildings!" So we took our things and had our studies outside that morning. Later that day, we heard from one of the members that the news said it had been a radiation leak, not a gas leak. Soooooooo if I start to grow an extra eyeball, please try not to stare. What a way to kick off his first full day out in the field! When he was in the MTC, Elder Cobabe had an Elder in his district that went to highschool with me, Elder Braden Chun! In MY MTC district, Elder Cobabe knew a certain Elder Christenson! Small world.

Second bit of announcement: WE GOT A CAR! We are now a hybrid area, working both the car AND the bike! Super thankful that we are now able to get places faster and see more people! (We still use the bikes a lot #bikelife)

I am super excited that the work here is going so well! We have almost 20 investigators and 10 of them are progressing! It is such an exciting time to be here in this area! I am excited that this is gonna be Elder Cobabe's introduction to the mission field! There is a lot of potential here and we have a few baptisms coming up and we have a few people we feel are ready for baptism! I have learned more and more to rely on and turn to my Heavenly Father in ALL things. I have been working on turning to Him more and more in prayer to ask for His guidance. He does hear us and will answer us. Seek his guidance and counsel in ALL you do. Give thanks frequently. You will see as I have seen, His hand and His influence in your life.

I love you all! Thank you for your emails, prayers, and support! Until next week!
-Elder Kaitoku

Week 14: October 3, 2016

This past week, we got a call from President as I was stepping out of the shower. He politely asked how that went and then proceeded to ask me the deadly question of, "Elder Kaitoku, I'd like for you to train next transfer." So in just a few days, I will be getting a new companion, fresh from the MTC. Elder Elsbury will be a Zone Leader back in the Tongan program. On the bright side, maybe my new companion will be able to ride a bike. Who knows?

Conference was amazing this past weekend and I really loved the talks that were given. I know that these men are truly inspired of God. I noticed a lot of missionary work topics. I wanted to share an experience that happened this past week. We have a few investigators that go to the nearby high school along with many youth in the ward. We started out teaching one teenager who referred us to her friend who referred us to another friend, all going to the same high school. One of the teenagers that we are teaching said that she knew one of the girls in our ward. She is on the same volleyball team as this member. She commented on how she was always someone she looked up to and admired. She noticed that there was something different about this girl. She seemed so happy and positive and outgoing. This investigator is making great progress and it is due in no small part to this wonderful example that she had. There is no way that the member girl could have known how her example would or could have impacted this other girl's life. She couldn't have guessed that we would be teaching this girl about the gospel. She didn't know that through her example, she was already teaching this girl the gospel. One saying that I have truly come to love and adore here on my mission is to "Preach the gospel always, with words if necessary." Whether you are aware of it or not, people can and will notice your example. You are constantly doing missionary work in your everyday life. Let the love and light of Christ shine through you, always. You have no idea how much of an impact that it may have on someone else's life. This new investigator is practically walking herself to the baptismal font because of the example that has been set for her. Be that light, be that example, be that representative of Christ and His church in your dealings with your fellow man. You do not need a name tag to be a full time missionary.

I am able to recognize God's hand more and more in my life on the daily as well as in the past. I know that He has been guiding and leading me throughout everything. I know that God lives and that this gospel is true. I witness blessings and miracles each day. I love this work, I love my God, I love you all. As always, thank you for your love and support. I can feel your thoughts and prayers lift me and guide me each day.
-Elder Kaitoku