Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 20: November 14, 2016

Aloha Family and Friends!

This past week, we had our first baptism! It was a very exciting experience and opportunity. Jayden is the one who got baptized. He is a 9 year old and he has a terrible fear of water. After much coaxing and prayer, we were able to help him overcome these fears and doubts leading up to his baptism. He is such a brave young man and a spiritual giant. He was confirmed this past Sunday as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We went on exchanges this week with our District Leader and his companion. I was working with the District Leader's trainee and companion, Elder Barr. While we were out, a few of the appointments fell through. We had a few hours that we needed to fill so we decided to say a prayer to ask Heavenly Father for guidance in where to go. I felt prompted to visit with one of our potential investigators, Erika. We had never been able to meet with her due to her busy work schedule. As we approached the house, I saw that the car was not there. We decided to knock anyways. We stood there for a few minutes. We were clearly there longer than we would have stayed at a door with no answer. We knocked and waited. We didn't say a word about leaving or "maybe she's not home" or "we'll try again later". We just waited. Suddenly, her car pulled in just then. We were able to have a great discussion with her and have met with her a few times after that. This experience has taught me the true blessing of prayer. I know that He answers prayers. As long as we are open to the spirit, we will receive our answer.

Everyday, I learn more and more about my Heavenly Father and His Son. I know They live. I know They love me and you. I can't believe how quickly the time is going here. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers (and emails). I truly appreciate it. Until next week!

-Elder Kaitoku

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 19: November 7, 2016

Aloha family and friends,

First off, I am so very sorry for not writing the past few weeks. Two weeks ago, I was very sick and last week, we had a LOT to do and we had almost no emailing time. However, I am BACK! I am ALIVE! All is well, all is well. I will be giving you the instant replay for the past few weeks.

We have a baptism scheduled this Saturday! Whoo! We are very excited as a companionship. This will be my first baptism as well as my companion's first baptism. We will definitely have some pictures to share next week. We are working more and more to reach out and work with the youth in the ward. When I first came out to the mission field, I was very hesitant about speaking to young teenagers about the gospel. I figured, I probably wouldn't have been interested at that age so why would they? I never knew then how wrong I was. As of right now, we have about 6 investigators who are high school aged and younger. They are all very solid investigators and are taking steps towards baptism. The first high school investigator we taught referred us to a friend of hers who referred us to a friend of his. One of these teenagers was actually friends with one of the young women in our ward. They play on the same volleyball team. She commented on how awesome this member was. She said that this young woman was always someone she looked up to and the example that she set for her non-member friend was one that invited the spirit and showed the love of Christ. This young woman had no idea the effects that her simple example would have on her friend receiving the message we had to share. She had no idea that her friend might one day be investigating the church. I think back to a quote I had heard in the MTC, "Preach the gospel always, with words if necessary." I would challenge you all to consider the example you set for your family, friends, and strangers. Whether we are aware of it or not, people are watching our actions. Like this young woman, we should all aim and strive to set a Christ-like example of the church. We have no idea what kind of effects something as simple as that will have on our lives. Secondly, I would challenge the youth to be brave and bold in sharing the gospel with your friends. I have been able to gain a testimony of preaching the gospel to all, regardless of age. Many are seeking for the truth and are held from it simply because they know not where to find it. Help them find that joy that you've found in the gospel. You don't have to have the name badge to be a missionary.
Again, so sorry for missing the past 2 weeks! I will do my best to stay on top of that! I love you all so very much! Last week for Halloween, we had a pumpkin carving activity. I decided to dress up as the Joker! Pics to follow.

As always thank you so much for all of your love, support, prayers, and emails! I know this church is true! Everyday, my testimony grows stronger and stronger! Until next week!
-Elder Kaitoku