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