Monday, December 16, 2013

I LOVE it here in Kekaha

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Vaitaki

Hey Parents and Family! Sorry that I didn't email you last week, I felt pretty bad that I didn't. That p-day was kinda busy as we drove all the way to the other side of the mountain to hike a trail called Hankapiai.  It was pretty crazy.  We were hiking right along the Napali coast line and when we got done we were really tired.  I then had to drive all the way back home.  When we got back it was pretty late, then Bishop Akita invited us over for dinner so we spent pretty much of the rest of the day over there.  When we got back I was even more tired so I just went to sleep. 

However, the past couple weeks have been pretty crazy.  The Santiago's are getting baptized on the 28th of this month, so that's pretty exciting!!!!   "R" has committed himself to stop drinking all that dakine, so that's GOOD! We have also a committed a little girl by the name of Pohakea for the 18th of January.  Also the Schmidt's to be baptized on the 29th of this month too..... hopefully it will all work out!!   Were also working with this girl named Kimi who we found tracting, she's really nice. And the Watson family who we are currently working with and a older lady named Annie.  We've been really busy, so things are moving along better then they were before!!

There will be a Christmas parade this Saturday in Waimea and the Kekaha ward is doing a float.  It will be centered around missionary work and we are actually going to march in the parade and hand out pass along cards, along with the other missionary's on the island.  It should be super fun. We did get word from President Warner he said that this Christmas we would be able to Facetime or Skype with our families. So just letting you know!!  Super cool.  ...... and yes I did get the Christmas boxes and all the stuffs.  Just picked them from the post office today. .....and no I haven't been able to see the new Temple movie yet, there is no temple on this island.  I think there is about 60-70 thousand people that live on Kauai, so there would need to be more people for them to build a temple or something like that.  They pretty much have the same Christmas traditions that they have back home as I haven't seen much difference, maybe I will as the Christmas season goes on.  Saturday night and Sunday morning there was a big storm with lots of thunderings and was pretty loud.    Because of the storm a lot of things were getting flooded and all that, so a lot of people got called into work on Sunday because the ox was in the mire. So there wasn't  a whole lot of people at church this Sunday. The tree in our back yard is now side ways.

I love you guys thanks your for all that you do for me!  I love it here in Kekaha....

Elder Shoemaker

Beautiful hike!

One of my Zone Leaders


Elder Vaitaki and me!

Elder Vaitaki

Our Christmas Tree...

My Zone Leader

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tender Hearted Missionary

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Vaitaki

Hey Mom and Dad?! Hows it going? Great! This week was pretty good, there some highs there were some lows.   Ok so lets see if I can remember what I did this last week. I forgot my journal, so gonna have to wing it. This week has been kinda slow, every single appointment that we had fell through and so because of that our numbers kinda sucked. Sometimes its hard for me to know what to do at that point, because its a pretty quiet town and our area isn't that big really. Most of the visits that we had pretty much ended with nobody home or them not really that interested. People don't take us seriously when we go tracting so really tracting is pretty much useless here. I've been thinking a lot lately about how to work hard but not just work hard but to work effectively. For some reason (which I hate) there isnt an obvious answer. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed, because everything is on my shoulders as my companion is brand new and some times is a little insecure about speaking the language everything falls on me. Also being a District Leader adds a lot of additional responsibilities that fall on me. Elder Vaitaki sometimes asks "ok so what are we gonna do next?" most of the time and I'm thinking in my head 'I dunno'. ......But because we have to do something we go out and try, most of the time it ends in failure.  I feel Elder Vaitaki might be getting a little restless because nothing is happening, but he's really a good guy.  I love him, he's a very humble hard working guy.  I think I did feel some discouragement this previous week.

For Thanksgiving we watched the sunrise as a zone in Kapaa, then played football with Kapaa 2nd Ward in Anahola.  We then played volleyball with the zone, Elder Vaitaki is pretty good at volleyball, and even though he never played football before he did very well because of his rugby skills. Elder Vaitaki is pretty built. Then after that we kinda chilled and we had dinner later that night with the Lewis'.   I cant tell you how much I love their family.  They are so generous in all that they do.  Brother Lewis jokes around a lot and I know he loves us.  The dinner was a little emotional for Sister Lewis, because they have a son out on a mission right now as well. She kept on saying how excited she was to have us over for thanksgiving dinner.  She's a pretty funny lady, but I know that she meant it. It really was a lot of fun being over at their home and talking with them and joking around with them. Then afterward it was my idea to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. When it came around to Sister Lewis she actually started to cry.  She told us how she was thankful for us doing what where doing and how much she loved us. It really meant a lot to me what she said, I'm actually crying a little bit right now just writing about it. She gave me the biggest hug that I've gotten in a long time right before we left along with all of the Thanksgiving left overs. It really meant a lot to me.

The next day we had DLTM (District Leader Training Meeting). Its where all the Zone Leaders and the District Leader and the sister trainer council together.  There are only 3 District Leaders in this zone, so its just me, Elder Cornum, Sister Curtis and the Zone Leaders Elder Temahuki and Elder Mendoza. We're trying to get 14 baptisms this month in the Kaua'i area.  The theme is "Kauai Vaa Koa" so we're trying and Elder Temahuki is a very driven individual. He's crazy and funny at the same time and also probably one the best missionary's in the entire mission right now.  DLTM also got a little intense because we kinda go over how every area is going right now and I told them how we were kinda struggling now. He kinda new that I was struggling a little. I've known Elder Temahuki for a while now. He was my Zone Leader on Maui and we had gone on some exchanges together, so I know exactly the kinda of person he is. He told me that cares about me and that he loved me in the middle of DLTM and he also gave me a hug afterward.....but that's not that special in this mission we don't really shake hands we just hug....cuz were family man!!!!

Oh yea Saturday night there was a big storm!  It had been raining on and off all that day, but at about midnight I wake up and its a friggen torrential downpour and there was thunder and lightening!!!!  It was friggen crazy.   

Friday night we committed Renwicka and his family again to being baptized either late December or early January.   Sunday we went to church and everything was good, then sister Lewis tells us to come over and he gives elder Vaitaki a new camera.   It was pretty cool.   Elder Vaitaki had said how he didn't have a camera at dinner time so she went and got one for him.  Oh man I love Sister Lewis she's like my mom!!

Pday we went fishing in the morning.  We borrowed some poles from the Acoba family and we went fishing. I caught like 5 fish and Elder Vaitaki caught 4 or something like that, pretty fun.   The whole Zone went with us as well.   Afterwards we went to Lihue and played volleyball and then dakined the rest of the day.

..........And, yes I LOVED the Box!  it was very nice! I liked all the Christmas cheer.  I really liked the J-crew mix (music his brother Joshua sent him) maybe I'll have to get the next one of those albums when they come out?   We do have a Christmas tree.   A member had bought the previous Elders a pretty nice one. And yes I think Elder Vaitaki would love it if you sent him a Christmas present or two as well.   His birthday is on the 16th of this month too.  I think he might like some ties? Maybe a new scripture case as he just lost his other one and really anything else you think he might like....really, I'm sure he'd love it.

Well I kinda have to go. I love you guys!!   Have a good week!

Love Elder Shoemaker

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving week.....

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Vaitaki

Hey Mommy;

Well hows everyone doing? This week was pretty fun.  My new companions name is Elder Vaitaki and he's from Tongan Island of Vava'u.   He is brand spankin' new.   This week has been pretty fun, we did a lot of tracting and talked to a lot of people.

I liked the video you sent of the family singing for Landon's birthday.  For some reason the quality wasn't that good, but it was still pretty funny.  It made me embarrassed for Landon  just watching it.  I hope Landon liked the shirt I sent, it wasn't much but, ya.

Things are a little different here now that Elder Fowles is gone. Elder Vaitaki is struggling a little bit with the language and so because of that he can be a little quiet at times. I think its because he thinks that his English isnt as good, but its good and this guy is really jacked.   He definitely comes from a different culture then me as I had to teach him how to use the toaster and the microwave.  I think that transfers are good, because its kinda like a new start.

We're going to have dinner with the Lewis Family for Thanksgiving, that should be fun.  Brother Lewis said that he was going to stuff us!!

Right now were trying to find new investigators, because we have been kinda stuck with the same investigators for a while. A lot of them come to church, but for some reason or another they wont commit to being baptized. O ya, Elder Fowles went to Waianae in Makakilo on Oahu.

I wish you guys all a very happy Thanksgiving! Sorry its kinda short, I'm kinda not in the mood to write a long email. Just know that I love you all!

ps.  Sorry about last weeks email.   The internet pooped and I wasn't able to finish my email.

I got curious and had to look up where the Island of Vava'u is located!  The island is so small that you can hardly see it on the map!  It's in the South Pacific Ocean, 'kinda' near Hawaii.  Interesting!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Staying in Kaua'i and Training

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Fowles

 Hola family, hows life going?! Ok so this week was pretty good I guess, sorry I'm writing you guys on Tuesday instead of Monday, but yesterday was kinda crazy.   But it was good. I'm trying to remember all that happened this week, kinda hard.   Its winding down towards the end of the transfer, so ya.  Elder Fowles is going to be transferred to who knows where and I'm going to be staying and im going to be training........again! So yea that should bring all sorts of its own hardships and trials. It should be fun though........ Kekaha is a good place to train, very quiet far away from other Elders. His name is Elder Vaitaki, dont ask me how I know, I just do.  I don't know much, but kinda sounds like a Tongan name, so we'll see what happens.

For p-day we went golfing, it was pretty fun. We got some free clubs from a garage sale that we stopped at so we decided we might as well try and oh man I suck pretty bad at golfing. That game makes me angry.


 Then we went to this dam place (I dont think I'm swearing?) It was kinda like garden looking place. It was over in Hanalei and that's where we spent most of our p-day.  It's the north shore of the island and where most of the rain falls.   It's more green and its pretty pretty over there. 
Love, Elder Shoemaker

Waimea Canyon

 This is me and Elder Fowles up Koke'e

Tuesday, November 12, 2013's fun to suffer for The Lord

Beautiful Sunset in Kauai
Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Fowles

Hey whats up everybody!  This week has been a pretty good week. Just full of all sorts of dakine.

Tuesday last week we met with this old lady that we had found tracting. its kinda hard to get her to understand a lot because she's from the Philippines and every time that we tell her that she needs to be baptized shes like "I've already been baptized in the Philippines." We're not sure if she has Alzheimer's or what, but we keep goin' back hoping that she will understand. I finally started to use a white board and wrote questions on it and she would answer in turn.  We straight up told her that her church didn't hold the correct keys (aka wrong!), but nothing can get through to this lady.

We taught "R"  later that night. Taught him about the law of tithing. "R" said that he's not sure if he will be able to stop drinking coffee and the beers, so we were kinda bummed.  The family is pretty poor to so its gonna be hard to get them to live the law of tithing.

 I went on exchanges with Elder Bateman the next day who is our Zone Leader.  That was pretty fun, tracted a lot and met a guy named "R" then went back later and he told us to leave, so that's that! Then the next day we had lunch with the Mechams at Wranglers, I friggen got stuffed.  We tried visiting members to get referrals after that and then visited one of our investigators named Brad and his girl friend, Wendi.  We talked with them for a while on their porch, set up a time for us to come back Sunday to have dinner and then we had to jet, cuz we had a basketball game planed that night with some non members that were coming.   "G" was there and so was his son and some of  "G's" friends.  Even though Elder Fowles ankle was pretty jacked up he was still able to win, it was pretty fun, a good work out.

Then Friday morning I had to go to DLTM in Lihue and then after ward we went out with a kid in our ward named Evan, he's going on his mission to Mexico and is leaving some time this week. While we were tracting --  it was pretty funny -- we  tracted into a girl that was wearing a bikini.   We said a prayer with her and she told us to come back later because she was making pumpkin bread.   Elder Fowles, Evan and I were joking about all that but when we went back -- the pumpkin bread wasn't done so we didn't push it.   Later that night we had dinner with Brother Aipoalani who is the second counselor in the Bishopric. We ended up eating out at this place and another family from the ward the Karratti's showed up as well!   .....So it was pretty fun, I was friggen stuffed once again.   I feel like I'm always friggen stuffed.   I like the Karratti's they saw that some of my pant had holes in them and I show up to church this last Sunday and they give me a new pair of pants. It was much needed.  (what the?  I didn't realize it was this bad!)

Saturday we noticed the J-dubs -- they seem to be scouring the entire town of Kekaha. We left for a minute and we came back and they had put a pamphlet in our door.  So we were driving around and we found a J-dub car and we put one of our pamphlets on there windshield!   Then after that we talked with a family called the "L's", they were a referral from his brother.   We taught them and  they said that they believed that the Book of Mormon was true. So that's a definite start. We went tracting afterwards in the low income housing in Kekaha and we got a lot of swear words thrown at us from a crazy guy, it was actually pretty fun. Sometimes it's fun to suffer for the Lord, I believe there was a dude in the Book of Mormon that said the same thing.

I was in dire need of a hair cut after that, so we call Sister Nakaahiki (who is a nurse, but doubles as a haricutter lady) and ask if she would cut our hair.   We went over and sat on her lawn as she cut our hair. The Nakaahikis are a really nice and generous family. Went to dinner with Auntie K, that same night and saw a crazy lady with a weird arm that was getting all over us.  She kept on talking about the numbers, how all men are douche bags and that she had never been in a relationship for 17 years.  She was really crazy, she told us that she inspired the movie Underworld Awakening.  She was crazy!!  After that I had to go do a baptismal interview for the Kalaheo Sisters in Ele'Ele that went well then we drove home and "pow", the next day was Sunday!  

Sunday was a really nice day. Woke up, went to ward council, gave everyone a hug, then talked ward council business.  It was Evan's (the missionary that is leaving this week to Mexico) farewell, so a lot the ward members were pretty emotional, especially Brother and Sister Wright (his parents).  They asked me to give a missionary moment because he was leaving on a mission.   Over here they do this thing where they have a missionary moment and you talk about whatever, instead of having to give a talk.  Everyone always says as they get asked to talk, "What an Opportunity!" {its kind of a joke}.   When I stood up I said, "What an opportunity I have to give this missionary moment" and right as I was beginning to talk a cell phone goes off that is on the podium.  So I look at the phone and I turned to Brother Wright and said, "Oh Brother Wright you got a text message" and everyone started laughing.  Brother Wright was kinda lost because the Bishop had to hurry and leave cuz the military base that is in Mana -- I guess the power went down.  That was the reason for the call.  Bishop is the electrician over there.   Oh yea, lot of people in Kekaha work down at the military base as well.  It's like a mini community.   Then we taught "L" and "D" during the second hour of church. They say that they want to be baptized but not until like the beginning of next year. They want to start the year of right or something like that. Their good people. Then during elders quorum the lesson was on missionary work, so they asked me and Elder Fowles to share some experiences from our mission.  The spirit was very strong during that lesson.   I talked about how I was scared to actually leave on a mission and how hard it was for me at the beginning.  How much I have learned and progressed by being out here serving.

After church, I'm not gonna lie.....we crashed, we were pretty tired.  I feel kinda bad but we were bushwhacked tired.   After that we visited the Akana girls, they are recent converts, then went to dinner at the "M" family. This lesson was like a do or die lesson, so we pretty much pulled out the do not procrastinate the day of your repentance scripture after we were done eating dinner and asked what was holding them back?  They said that they just weren't ready.   So all we can do for them is just keep on loving them and pray for them. The spirit was strong during that lesson thought.  Brad has comes to church like every Sunday for like the past 7 months, I think he's ready so I'm not sure what's really holding him back.

Went home slept. Woke up for p-day and we decided that we were gonna go fishing. So we asked some members of the ward who are big into fishing if they would take us and they did. We went down to Lihue and fished off of the dock.  The water was pretty rough as of lately its been really rainy and stormy on Kauai. I caught one fish!  It was rainbow looking fish.  That was pretty fun.  Went back to the Lihue Stake Center played some V-ball and then we had to leave early because we had dinner with  "R" and his family at 4:30. I'm glad I went, because when we were there talking with "R" and his family, "R" told us that he prayed that morning and he decided that he was done with coffee and alcohol....... So that's super exciting news, because that's bringing them so much closer to being baptized and their baptism is next Sunday! So that's awesome.

Me with my little rainbow fish!

"E's" baptism with Elder Griffith and his companion.
 I emailed you a picture of Elder Griffiths and his current companion. I was surprised but they actually baptized this one guy named "E" that Elder Griffiths and I had just started talking to as we were walking through Keaukaha (On the Big Island). That's super exciting to me because we just found him out of thin air, wasn't even a referral. We just started talking to him as we were walking.  We taught him a little bit and commit him to be baptized but I never thought that it would really happen. So das way cool!!!!   I cant really think of anything else to say and my hands feel like there getting carpal tunnel. So see you guys whenevers.

Love, Elder Shoemaker

This is our church

Some dude riding a horse through Kekaha

Monday, November 4, 2013

Baptism's Set

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Fowles

Okay Dokey, so I guess its P-day again which means I'm writing another email. This week was a good goin' week. We were supposed to go hiking Hanakapiai today, but because it was raining all last night the conditions were not safe for us to hike it.

On Tuesday we went on exchanges.  Elder Garcia came with me to Kekaha.  That was pretty interesting, cuz Garcia is getting down towards the end of his mission, so he's kinda a little trunky, but it was fun. Elder Fowles is now in a boot because he went to the doctors in Lihue and they said that he did tear some ligaments in his foot, so thats no good.

We had a trunk o' treat at the Kekaha church building last week, so that was pretty fun.   We got to hit a pinata!!!  Then a little after 7pm that night all the power went out in the entire town of Kekaha and Waimea because a car had ran into a pole.  It was like pitch black.  You could see the stars pretty well.   Our Halloween was pretty low key, we just had dinner with our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Blevins and his son.   We were there for like 3 hours just talking about a whole bunch of stuff.  All of the trick or treating happens down in Kekaha gardens, which is an area kinda towards the end of Kekaha.

We have been working with the "S" family for a little while.  We had dinner with them Sunday afternoon and we just talked about things.  They say they still want to be baptized, so we've set a date for Nov 17,  which is super super good.  They just need to give up coffee which is beginning to be a little bit of a struggle, but their family is awesome, super nice.   We are also working with Lyon and Mojo.   We teach them every Sunday after sacrament.  They also want to be baptized, but for some reason there is a little struggle.   While we were teaching Mojo, a girl named Chas also came in and sat in as we were teaching her.  We talked with her and we realized that she was our waitress at Wranglers, the local stake house.    So kept talking and I eventually invited her to be baptized and she said that she would want to be baptized so we set her baptismal date for the 30th of this month. Which is super cool, cuz it was kinda outta the blue!!  She's part of the "D" family who we had been trying to talk to for a little while.  But everything is going good here! ...and that's all I got to say this week!
Love, Elder Shoemaker

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fruits of our labours.............

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Fowles

What up, what up!!!

Aww man I don't smell that good right now.  I just had to take out the trash, it was quite a laborious occasion. This week was pretty good! .........except for the part where Elder Fowles got jacked up! We were playing kickball with some young hooligans and Elder Fowles was running for the ball.   He was attempting to jump the fence, but there was a chicken hole right where his right foot landed.  He ended up rolling his ankle in dat darn chicken hole and then ran into the fence........there might be some ligament wreckage that occurred. So that kinda sucked, because now Elder Fowles isnt as mobile as he used to be, but luckily we had a doctor that looked at his ankle for us that was there.   He told us to go to the hospital.   We went to the Waimea hospital where they took some X-rays and gave him this thingy called an Aircast.   We go back to the hospital this Tuesday, but his time in Lihue.   But hes mostly ok.

The picture of the white house --- that is our pad. I did take a visual tour video of the pad, but it wont really let me send it.   We went out and had steak again.  I have a feeling that I'm going to have a lot of steak here!    Right after we had steak, we walked to the store next to the restaurant and they friggen dropped $300 bucks on grocerys for us, which was super duper nice. We were just walking down the isles and she was like throwing more and more stuff in.  She's like, "you guys like this?"  Then she just throws it in.   Afterwards she gave $300 dollars and we where like dang! man!  She insisted.  What were we to do?  They are so amazingly giving here.  So were gonna go buys some nice pillows today.

We have a trunk or treat at the Kekaha chapel on the 29th and I think for Halloween were going to Hanalei and we might be going to a corn maze. Kekaha ward is awesome, Bishop Akita is really cool. Elder Auna, the area Seventy for Hawaii, came to our ward this Sunday.  He's actually from Keaukaha ward so that was pretty cool.

We're still working on finding Elder Fowles wallet.

Ummmmmmm and maybe some stuff you could put in the box or maybe for Christmas or my birthday could be new set of scriptures, but I think I would like these ones to be smaller size so that I can carry them around easier.   New pants (I'm in need of new pants) and maybe some that are khaki, cool ties, maybe some new garments (I would like the corban kind), some Christmas music for the seasons, new slippers (flip flops) cuz my old ones actually are broken.  I'm probably good on office supplies like pens and such, you should send me my old sling too that might be nice, a new tooth brush.  I cant really think of anythings else at the time. ......except umm maybe pretzels.

We're still working with the "S" family, we think there might be some marital problems though, but where hoping for the best.  When we decided to stop by, he said "we stay busy!" "try call next time."  Then we talked with him as we were going to dinner last night with the Hillises' and he said we could come over this week, their just having some communication problems right now. We didn't do any tracting because Elder Fowles wasn't really able to do all that much, so we just visited people on the part member list. We found a Mom who said that she wanted her son to be baptized and where teaching him tomorrow, so that's always good.

I've been keeping in contact with Elder Griffiths and a kid that he and I tracted into is going to be baptized!!!!!!  Its nice to see the fruit of your labors even though you don't really get to take part in it. Also getting baptized is a girl we were teaching named Jane.  That really made my day.  There has actually been some hold backs with "T" (from the Big Island) lately.

Life is good though and I love it here in Kauai and living in Kekaha. Such a nice place. Cya guys

love ya!

Elder Shoemaker

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A trip to Oahu.......

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Fowles

Hey Mom and Dad and whose ever is listening........ this week was pretty good.   We went to Oahu on Wednesday and we were able to listen to Elder Schwitzer. It was pretty cool.

Crazy ride from the Tabernacle to the Honolulu airport.

 One of the funnest part was being able to see some the people that I came out with that I had actually haven't seen since I first came to Hawaii,  like Elder Dzieman my MTC companion.   and oh man he's gained so much weight man. You might have a picture of him from before you can compare if you want, but he's such a good guy.  Here's the picture is our MTC district while we were in Oahu.

Today we went on a hike up Koke'e.  The picture with Elder Fowles in all of the ferns can pretty much sum up what the hike was like.

Oh and thanks Grandma Shoemaker for the package that you sent.... all of the candy and all of that stuff!!  Thanks for the quarters for the laundry place too, but I actually have my own laundry machine and stuff so that's pretty nice.  I'll save the quarters just in case though, I may need them later.

Oh man and I can't believe that Josh is home now, that feels really weird. It will be a while until I get to see him.

We worked pretty hard this week, but to tell you the truth we didn't find a whole lot of success. O and this week we actually got into a police investigation, because Elder Fowles had lost his wallet.   We didn't even really mean to go all the way, but some one had spent some money on his card so we were able to trace it to the place where the money was spent.   The guy actually used his card online so we found the where he spent the money.   It was a guy in a house in Kekaha,  which it happened to be the assistant police chief for the Kaua'i police department so now we have like our own detective on the case for us..... its pretty tight.

It was the primary program for church this Sunday.   It's always cute with all of the kids doing that. I like the kids in the ward too.   All the little kids are always like trying to climb on me and stuff and hang on my arms...I like little kids.

Kekaha is a nice place, away from most of the tourists, but we are far away from any other missionaries. We only see them on district meeting day and p-day.  Had dinner with the Karatti's last night their a really nice family. We had dinner with the Nakaahiki's the other night and we had some really good steak.

Well I'm actually getting kinda tired and its been a long day so I'm gonna go to bed k! love you guys! cya later...

Love Elder Shoemaker

Monday, October 14, 2013

I think someone loves me.....

Area: Kekaha, Kaua'i
Companion: Elder Fowles

Hey whats up?? Whats up Mom! My address is PO box 719, Kekaha HI 96752. Hows everyone doing today? That's great! OK well I just went through my first week here in Kauai. Its pretty sick over here. The Island of Kauai is one zone. There are 5 wards and 1 branch here....... there is Kepa'a 1, Kepa'a 2, Lihue Kolaheo, Hanalei Branch and Kekaha. That's my ward.  There are 4 sets of Elders and 2 sets of Sisters here.   I am a District Leader still, us and Kolaheo. Ok, first of Kauai is very very beautiful!!!

We went up over Waimea canyon today and to Koke'e. Thats me right there.

But actually the place we stay in Kekaha is the dry side of the island.  Kekaha is probably the smallest town on the entire island of Kauai. Its pretty hot and dry and a little dusty. Chickens run rampant and I saw kids whipping each other in the streets after church just this Sunday.   Our area covers the town of Waimea and up the valley and Kekaha.

It was pretty funny we didn't realize it but we were driving and we didn't know it but we were actually out of gas. The car said that we couldn't go any more miles, but we actually made it into the only gas station in town before it died.  We were watched over.

The ward here is super cool. Keaukaha (last area) was mostly all Hawaiian homelands. Kekaha has a lot Hawaiian homelands as well. Everyone in our ward is Hawaiian except for like 2 people. Our pad is super nice and it has two AC units and we sleep in queen sized beds.  We never have to buy food because the members give us all the food that we need.

Elder Shoemaker and Elder Fowles
 My companions name is Elder Fowles. He's a baller man -- you dont want to get in the way of this kid when he's playing basketball, he'll wreck you. He's from Arizona and he has been out for 3 months. This is still his greenie area. He's a good missionary, good with people. The people here are a little layed back perhaps little too layed back, so got to watch out for that.  Most everyone in the ward is related just like in Keaukaha.

You can see Niihau  (inhabited Hawaiian Island by Kauai) which is pretty cool.

We went to this Queens celebration thing with some of our investigators.  It was pretty cool.... saw some hula dancing. Then after we went to their house and we set a date for both of them to be baptized next month which is pretty cool. Then on Sunday, some members realized that there was some non-members that where at church so actually thought them right after sacrament meeting. They said that they wanted to be baptized but they need to talk about it first. So its was a pretty good lesson, the spirit was really strong there.

I cant get over how cool the ward is here, they idolized the missionaries and they friggin' love us.

We're going to Oahu on Wednesdsay for a mission tour with a member of the Quorum of the Seventy.  That should take up all day Wednesday, I think.   I had President interviews yesterday and it was good. I told him that I sometimes have a hard time having good studies so he told me some things that could help. Then the AP's stayed here and stayed for p-day with us. We have good APs.

O ya and this ward is big on hugging.... you kinda just have to do it. Well I cant really think of anything else to say other then I think that I'm gonna like it here.   I think someone loves me cuz I got pretty lucky to go from Maui to the Big Island an then Kauai.  Each Island has its own feel....they each have like a different aura about them. So cya guys Love ya!

Love Elder Shoemaker

This is what Kekaha and Waimea look like - more dry

This is what a lot of Kauai looks like
Some families from my last area in Keaukaha

Monday, October 7, 2013

Transfer to "The Garden Isle" -- Kaua'i

Area: Hilo, Keaukaha Area
Companion: Elder Griffiths

Hey Momma and Dadda. Things are going just great here, thanks for the package that you sent Grandma and the side bag that you sent Mom, works just great. Conference was good, I really enjoyed it...even though my rear-end was trying to fall asleep the entire time. We just watched it at the stake center which is right next to our house. I really liked the Priesthood Session, Randy D Funk. If I remember right he gave a talk that was kinda directed towards missionary work. He said we must be broken before we can be made whole. ....and I always like it when Henry B Eyring talks. Its was just all around a wholesome experience, except when we had wake up at like 5:30 am to watch conference because of the time difference.

This week we had the opportunity  to teach "T" twice. The first time he talked about how he actually levitated while he was working on one of his customers cars.  Elder Griffiths and I didn't really know how to react to what he said, but it was pretty cool. Then he was talking about how his daughter needed a back pack and she said that her God friend was going to help her and then Uncle Tweetie stopped by later that day and droped off a back pack for her. It was pretty cool.

O yea and the other day a homeless guy came by and he was pretty high. He asked if we had any WD40 and we said we didn't. But oh man......he asked us to through away a used doobie. So we had some Pakalolo in our garbage for a little while, smells kinda like a skunk.

O yea its a transfer week as well! So that means I'm getting TRANSFERRED!!  So...... goodbye Keaukaha and Hello Kekaha! I'm going to Kaua'i! I got freaking lucky! I'll be off island (O'ahu) for an entire year maybe even more. Which is really lucky. Kaua'i is the smallest zone in the mission.  I'm next to the ocean again.  I'm leaving Elder Griffiths and getting a companion called Elder Fowels or something like that.

Thank you for all that you guys do! O yea I get a car! I love you guys! cya later!

Love, Elder Tanner Shoemaker

ps.  My camera broke!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A "hang loose" companionship

September 30, 2013

Area: Hilo, Keaukaha Area
Companion: Elder Griffiths

Elder Shoemaker sent a few pictures and surprised us with some audio recordings this week.  Really wonderful hearing his voice and seeing how well Elder Shoe and Elder Griffiths are getting along.

Preston and Tinoa with Elder Shoemaker

Elder Shoe, Brother Tuati and Elder Griffiths

The infamous Uncle Tweetie

Recordings for Sept 30, 2013
What a great companionship these two Elder's are blessed to enjoy.

Just click on each link to listen -- the Elders have to send the recordings on smaller files like this so that it will make it through email.  

Recording #1
Recording #2
Recording #3
Recording #4
Recording #5
Recording #6
Recording #7