Happy Birthday ALEXA!!!!!! I can't believe your 18!!!!!!!!!! You are 18 right? You were just 16 when I left! Isn't that crazy! From your letter mom it sounds like my birthday card didn't get there yet. It should have by now. Let me know if it doesn't get there I'll have to send something else. I seem to be VERY outdated with my technology at home. Does anyone want a net-book that was bought in 2009 anymore? I bet Alexa is pretty excited with her gift:). That's exciting that Kyle is becoming a professional Janitor:) That's so funny that he was trained how to dust! I'm excited to be able to see Tyson's play!
This week has been another great week in Hawaii. I can't even begin to express how much I am learning here. Some lessons are hard to learn but I am so grateful! We had a few really neat experiences this week too. One was this man named Matt who came into the Visitor Center with his army buddy who was a member of the church. His friend brought him in and took him to go see the pictures of the inside of the temple in the back of the VC. He explained everything and then said that he was going to go do a session so Matt could just roam around. He saw us as he said that and said that he had explained all the pictures. He was kind of awkward actually and when we asked if we could help him with anything and he said "no I'm pretty sure I know where I'm going...to the temple." Then he pointed and began walking towards the bathroom:) When he realized it, he sheepishly turned around and said, "oops, wrong way:)" Matt observed, "I thought you knew where you were going:)" Haha, oh well:) Matt seemed to be nervous to stay there all by himself so he followed his friend outside and walked all the way up to the temple with him. We caught him on his way back down the long staircase. We talked story with him a bit and asked the usual questions about his trip to Hawaii and if he knew anything about Mormons and everything. We discovered that he didn't know much about the church but his friend was beginning to explain things to him. He told us that he didn't really have a belief in God. Not necessarily because God didn't exist, but because Matt hasn't seen any proof for himself that God did exist. He told us that he was looking at it all scientifically. We asked "how so?" and he went on using a bunch of scientific terms that I didn't understand, let alone my international companion. Anyhow, the word experiment reminded us of Alma 32 where we are taught that in order to grow our faith, we must "experiment with the word." We asked him if he knew what faith was and he replied that it was "a belief without evidence." We assured him that faith was much more than that, and that faith was based on evidence. We quoted Alma 32:21 and told him that faith was a hope for things which are not seen but are true. We told him that if he wanted to find out for himself we could show him how to experiment. We told him about the Book of Mormon and the promises it contains. We gave him a copy and showed him Moroni 10:4-5. He said he would do as we asked and he then told us he would just like to sit by the fountain outside. I think he really liked the peace that was there. We told him we would just be walking around and to let us know if he had any questions and we walked away. Sister Henderson later told us that when he sat down he had all the material that we had given him (including the Joseph Smith pamphlet) sitting next to him and he just sat there for a while, looking down every once in a while at the book and things. Finally like he couldn't resist any longer he picked it up and began to read. He read the pamphlet first and then began the Book of Mormon from the introduction. I guess he figured he had nothing else to do for 2 hours so he just kept reading. We came and asked him how it was going once and he was into 1 Nephi. He said it was really interesting. We answered a few questions he had about the history and then he continued reading. 2 hours later he had to come in because he was getting a sunburn. We showed him Alma 32 and said he could read that if he would like as well, we also clarified on the correct way to pray and invited him to pray about the things he had heard and read, then we had to go to be on the computers. 45 or so minutes later, Sister Richardson came back saying he wanted a picture with us. His friend had come back from the temple and was so excited to find him reading the Book of Mormon:) I bet! He had read Alma 32 and kept on with Nephi. We got his email to keep in touch and then they left. Unfortunately the email we sent was kicked back to us but we may have just typed it in wrong so we are trying different things. It was such a neat experience though and I am so excited for him to find his answers!
Another experience, just yesterday, we had a family from Canada come in. They spoke French and English and they said that there were no Mormons in their part of Canada. Anyways, we took them back to temple corner and began explaining temples, beginning with how temples were a part of the original church of Jesus Christ. We asked them what they knew about the life of Jesus Christ and the father went off explaining how everyone has different views on that and something about how no one really knows. Sister Kim then asked why they thought that was. "I don't know! That's just how it is I suppose. No one really knows, everyone just has different views. etc." We asked a few more questions which definitely were inspired. The spirit was so strong and all I could think was, "wow, I this is fitting so perfectly! I know exactly what to ask!" Then the strangest thing happened. We asked, "Do you think God would want us to be so confused?" The spirit was so strong, and we all felt it, but it was like a flip just switched in him. "Well, goodbye!" he said. The mom then looked at us and curtly said, "thank you, goodbye!" and the two teenage daughters kind of shrugged their shoulders and said, "bye." We stood there kind of shocked for a second, then hurried after them saying, "well, we have a pamphlet we would love to give you of pictures of the inside of the temple!" The parents were out the door but the two girls stayed behind to wait for the pamphlet. Sister Kim grabbed the French copies of the Joseph Smith pamphlet and handed it to them. "Wow, it's in French!" they observed. I then said, "this is a story about a boy who was confused with all the different churches and how he received answers." "Well," they said, "we will learn much." They then took the pamphlets and left. I am not sure if they will read it or not, but I know they felt the spirit! I love my job so much!
Here in the Visitor Center, things are being switched up a bit. Our VC Director and his wife, the McDonoughs, are leaving and the Pridays are taking their place. We are super sad to see the McDonoughs leaving, but it will be interesting to see any changes made. Elder Priday is a former Mission President in Canada. We will get to meet them tomorrow.
Work in the area is still going good. We don't really have any progressing investigators now that Nina is baptized and all our other investigators are not really progressing much, but it is good to get to know and serve the ward more. We are visiting a lot of less actives as well which has been good. One of our investigators, Kalani, might finally read the assignment we left him! We were talking to his foster mom on the phone, (she was sick so we had to move our appt. again), and she said that Kalani wanted to talk to us. Surprised we waited for him to come on and he asked, "do I have to read the WHOLE chapter?..." "The more you read the more blessings" we answered:) That is code that he might finally actually read it! (He doesn't like reading much:) We were happy about that:) Unfortunately Beth is getting worse and worse. She told us that she doesn't want to see us for a few weeks cause she wants to "take a brake." She is going through so much and we can see Satan working on her so much! We kind of told her that and she said, "No I'm taking a break from everything, even Satan! I think Satan is scared of me now, huh Brigham!" It broke my heart to see Brigham not even crack a smile. He is always smiling it seems. You can tell how much it hurts him to see his mom turn away from the church when she is hurting so much. He is such a strong member. He turns 16 in February and originally the ward was saying that she would be baptized then so Brigham could baptize her, but the way things look, it will take a lot more than that. She needs A LOT of prayers!
Sorry this is so long, I just really felt like writing in detail today:) I love you all so much and pray for you always! Thanks for your love and prayers.
Les Quiero Mucho!
PS, I was really excited this week when an RM told me that my Spanish didn't sound American! Chee Hoo! Language study works! I may not be fluent, but my accent is alright:)
|Me and my beautiful companion on tram and at the VC:)|
|Me and the McDonoughs|
|Tom & Gayle Holdman visited & took them out to eat!|