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