The city of Santarém is situated on a plateau, located on the right bank of the Tagus River, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Lisbon. The economy of the city remains mainly dedicated to the production of agricultural goods.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 3 of MTC

Aloha mai kāua e ku'u makuahine! Bom Dia(good morning/good day)!

It has been a super busy week, just like any other here at the MTC. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. Its funny like that. 

Hosting was disappointing. We were to host the new international elders and sisters coming in, but because they’re coming from international, they can come in whenever, throughout the day. So during our shift to host, no elders came for us to host. Three sisters came, but I can’t host sisters, so was kinda sad. Was really excited for that, but that’s okay. We'll sign up to host on a Wednesday or something. It’s so exciting to see all the novo missionarios (new missionaries) coming in, and seeing the older ones leaving. 

The World Wide Missionary Conference was simply awesome!!! I didn’t see Elder Andersen. I guess they held it in church headquarters someplace. The theme was "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts." Elder Andersen, Elder Bednar, W. Christopher Waddell, Bonnie L. Oscarson, L. Whitney Clayton, and Elder Oaks spoke and/or held video-ed discussions. Was awesome! I learned a lot. I took a lot of notes. I can't share them all with you guys but what I liked the most is that teaching is not talking. We teach in simple ways. You only teach as fast and as much as your investigators can handle; and that the only way to gain a testimony/receive the gospel of Christ/know if something is true/be converted is by personal revelation. Unless we know ourselves, we cannot expect to help others know.

Weather-wise it’s been ok, but still cold. It snowed this past Domingo (Saturday), and we got about 2 inches of snow. It continues to snow, but its like super, super light, hardly there at all. How’s Hilo's whether? Still cold? I miss feeling and seeing the sun. I’m starting to kinda feel cooped up here at the MTC, haha. This morning as we walked back from the temple, I saw some runners running. Its like 30 degrees outside, snow everywhere, light wind, and I’m like “these guys are hard core”!

Hulō! Hulō! Kim sweep nō!!! Almost makes me wish I was back so we could’ve made it 5! No worries though. Super proud of all of you. Makes me proud to know that we’re maintaining the family honor. Seta you’re awesome!!! See, when you work hard, it pays off. You are smart, you can do it, you don’t need to cry. You all are! Welcome to the glorious realm of Nani Nāwahā!!! haha. Just make sure you maintain it. So proud!!

Aloha pu wau ia laua! Nui ko'u ha'o i ka 'olelo Hawai'i. 'A'ole kakou 'ike i ka waiwai o kekahi mea a i ka loa'a 'ole. Hu ka na'aupo o ka opio! haha. Pulama oukou i keia wa olelo Hawai'i 'oiai ke pau ko oukou wa ma Nawahi, 'a'ole paha 'oukou lohe hou i ka 'olelo Hawai'i, keu ho'i ina ne'e ma waho aku o Hawai'i. Ke ho'a'o nei au e ho'oikaika ma ka 'olelo Hawai'i ke pule wau, ke kakau wau ma ka puke mo'omana'o, a ke himeni wau ma ka wa 'au'au haha. Hiki paha ke 'imi i keia mau hua'olelo no'u : feelings, vision, blessed, package, lesson, past, restoration, yawn, devotional, finally, list, translate. Mahalo! Ke hiki ole wau ke ho'omaopopo i kekahi hua'olelo, e kakau ana wau, a ninau ia 'oukou ina hiki paha ke 'imi i ka Hawai'i no ia hua'olelo. Ua nawaliwali mai ka'u 'olelo Hawai'i eia na'e ke ho'a'o nei e ho'oikaika. Kala mai ka loa'a 'ole o na kahako, kamepiula windows keia. Aloha no ke kamepiula windows haha.

I love Brandon Meyers! I think he’s totally awesome and I really appreciate his shining example! It’s true though that the mission we’re called to is specific to us. It’s the place we need to go. Everyday I can see that a little bit more. I feel that I was made to speak Portuguese! I can’t say I’m amazing at it, but I’m steadily improving. Sometimes I get frustrated cuz I’m not progressing at the pace I like, but I’m trying. I’m trying to set and maintain daily and weekly goals so it keeps me on track. Managing my time well has never been more important! I’m trying to improve my time management skills. You’re probably laughing at me now mom, cuz you’re like "I told you." haha. I know, I know. I’m working on it haha. Hu ka na'aupo o ka opio! lol!

Super excited for Vaea and Ku'i!!! Plz let me know when they get their calls! Tell Kawena I'm excited for her! Tell her to start studying as much as she’s able to now, and to get used to it, cuz you have to study a lot here! haha but it’s great!!!

Thanks for the letters! I got your letter mom, and I also got a package from Grandma. Soooo grateful to all of you! I’m mailing off my responses today. Soo sorry for taking so long in mailing those off. Mahalo no ka leka 'ana mai, Sister!!! Nani 'i'o no kau pahana! Mahalo no na ki'i! Nui ko kakou u'i!

We fasted yesterday for one of our district members who concussed herself. Turns out the concussion is more severe than they initially thought, so she might go home on Wednesday. Funny thing is, she lives like across the street. But she seems to be doing better today.

Me and my companion were made Zone Leaders yesterday. We are now in charge of all the elders of our Zone. It’s a daunting yet exciting task. I’m grateful though that I have an opportunity to better help those in the zone, but at the same time, I don’t wanna let anybody down. Responsibility is always heavy, and I don’t really feel ready for it, but I know that two people can do anything, if one of them is God. He’s watching out for me, that’s for sure! He’s probably laughing to, cuz yesterday morning I was thinking that there was no way we'd be zone leaders, but sure enough, we are. He is a loving Father, isn’t He?

I’m doing my best to be ready by the time we leave. I hope I'll be prepared, but time will tell. Time is flying by, and it feel like we’re trying to drink an ocean of knowledge through a straw, its often disorienting, but I'm trying. Know though, that I love you guys, and appreciate your support! I really do appreciate hearing from you. You’re awesome! I gain a better appreciation for you and dad every day, and the importance of families. 


Me ke aloha,

Elder Kim

 Snowy Angel Moroni atop Provo Temple 

 Elder Kim and MTC Zone


 Bro. Platt, Counselor in Hyrumʻs MTC Branch


 Elder Kimʻs MTC District emailing home


 Snowy Provo, UT, a different kind of beautiful



Monday, January 18, 2016

Aloha 'oukou e ka 'ohana!!! Hola! Como tu estas?

So great to hear from you guys. Getting your emails is amazing and just makes my day. Emails are gold out here! I love you guys so much! From what I hear you guys are all progressing and doing well! It’s both exciting and sad that I'll miss this time to watch you, my brothers and sister, grow up.

It’s been a great week! We officially made one week this past Wednesday! It feels like forever ago, and just yesterday at the same time, that we got into the MTC. It was super cool to see all the new elders coming in! It just gets me so excited to see others starting God's work! It'll be awesome when you guys serve missions. I've been emailing Elder Ishibashi, and he and I agree, that you don’t fully understand or appreciate what missionaries do or talk about til you’re on your mission yourself. haha. Dad's probably laughing about that cuz he knows what I'm talking about.

As far as weather goes its been pretty good. Idk the exact temperature but it's snowed lightly twice this past week. It’s still pretty magical to me haha. We've been keeping warm though. I miss Hilo weather. 61 sounds amazing right now, but not having VOG is super nice. haha.

Remember that investigator I told you guys about? Irma Amanda (Sis. Amanda)? Well on Wednesday night we taught her about the 1st vision and Joseph Smith, much like her, had a question and how he prayed and received an answer and how she too could receive an answer to her questions. We explained that when we seek for answers and revelation we need to ask a question, ponder on it, pray about it, and then search the scriptures, and that thru the scriptures and the thoughts and feelings of your heart, you can gain an answer. I then asked her to pray to know if baptism was the way to go. She was hesitant, and asked what would happen if she got an answer, we said that baptism would be the goal. Then she asked what would happen if she didn't receive an answer. I was taken aback for a moment, but I recovered, side stepped her question and told her "Irma, noite, tu praticar fe por meio orar para Deus para receber respotas. Noss sei que tu receber respotas para tu perguntas" (its broken Portuguese but that's what I said haha), which translates roughly, "Tonight sister, you will practice faith and pray to God to receive answers. We know that you can receive answers to your questions". We each took a turn saying prayer, her last of all, and after, we committed her to baptism! It felt awesome! We were so excited!  I know that to be able to convert people you have to love them first, and with God we can do it. It was awesome! She’s now our new teacher, just like some of the other elders said she would be. Her name is Irma Smith, and she’s our language coach. I gotta try and get a pic with her and Irmao Staples this week. I love them so much! They’re so patient with us, and really want us to succeed. As far as my studies go, I’m improving. I’m understanding other people talking better. I'm able to respond better. I got the purpose down rock solid, and I’m confident in my simple prayers and testimony. I'm working my way thru the 1st vision now in Portuguese. Hopefully I'll have it memorized by next week's email. So much left to do though.

It’s so good to hear that everyone is doing well. I’m super excited to hear about Vaea and Kui. They’re gonna love it here. It’ll take some getting used to, but it’ll be awesome. For Kawena, her getting her endowments is super cool! From what I've seen, and from the elders and sisters I've talked to, there are a lot of people going to Asian language missions. I even talked to a group going to Kobe haha. But there’s tons going to Korea, Japan, and especially a lot going to Taiwan, mandarin speaking. Whenever I hear that I'm like, I have an uncle who went there. Uncle Keola's the man! haha.

We got to do initiatories this morning. Was soo nice to go temple! I can’t get over how big the Provo temple is in comparison to Kona. haha.

Interesting stuff, I got the finger snap down on both hands, the one where you kinda like flick your wrist and get your pointer finger to make a snapping sound. Its a missionary thing here, at least among the Portuguese missionaries. haha. My riddles were met with a lot of interest. Everyone’s finally figured out the umbrella party, but I still got bang bang click click, black magic and that card one. You guys got any others?

Know family that I love you guys sooo much! Jonah, Sam, Seth, and Haili, I love you guys so much. Seta, Haili, I love you guys. I know you guys are sad, but don’t worry, I’m still here and I miss you dearly. If it helps email me! Keep up the good work! Jonah, Sam, continue to work hard! Don’t lose focus though on those things that are truly important like family and God. It may sound corny, but it truly is the most important stuff, and when those things are our focus, everything else works out. Irmao Staples taught us that if things seem to be going wrong with school, family, whatever, its probably because your relationship with God is being neglected, and or weakening. Never forget Him! Mom, dad, you’re awesome! "Oh what can I say more" haha. To everyone else thank you so much! I love you guys! Thank you Grandma Foley and Aunty Barbara for your cards! I'll try reply as soon as possible!

As far as the songs go mom, plz send any kine, mele haipule, oli, whatever. I usually sing um in the shower to practice haha. Oh, and send pics of you guys doing whatever.

Oh one more experience. This week one of our district members got a concussion from knocking her head on the wall when she woke up. Idk how that happened but it did. She asked us to give her a blessing and we happily obliged. The elders of our district met briefly, went over the ordinance, then went for it. I anointed her head, and Elder Cannon sealed the anointing and blessed her. It was super awesome! The spirit was definitely present! It was Elder Cannon’s first blessing. What made it more interesting though was that that morning, I was thinking of leaving my consecrated oil behind at the room, but had the distinct impression to bring it with me. So I did, and its a good thing I did, cuz we needed it, and nobody else had. I know that was the spirit guiding me.

I love you, family! I know that God lives and loves us! I know that I'm supposed to be here. I’m excited for the work.

Me ke aloha, ate mais!
Elder Kim

p.s. mahalo no ka leka 'ana mai ma ka olelo hawai'i. oluolu e hoomau.

 Elder Kim w/ Bro and Sis Williams, 2nd Counselor in Branch Presidency
 Front row, left to right: Sis Reneer, Sis Fronger, Sis Willes, Sis Hart
Back row, left to right: Elder Kim, Elder Robertson, Elder Wanlass, Elder Cannon
Elder Kimʻs MTC District
 Elder Kim w/MTC Zone
 Elder Kimʻs name tag and snowy handprints
 Elder Kim in new fallen snow by Provo Temple

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

OUI!!! TODO BEM!!! 

Hey family! So nice to hear from you guys! It feels like its been ages since I seen and heard from you guys even though I know its only been a few days. The MTC has a way of stretching time, haha. We are kept so busy its hard to keep track. 

Portuguese has been awesome! I love how the words flow of your tongue. So different from Hawaiian. Its been difficult, but I'm definitely improving daily. My teachers name is Irmao Staples (Bro. Staples) and he is awesome! I love him so much. He is really nice and personable. He served in Sao Paulo. I've memorized the missionary purpose in Portuguese; I can say a prayer and bear my testimony in Portuguese as well. Its amazing how we've progressed in so short a time. I know that the gift of tongues is true!!!

We do get to exercise. We get an hour of gym time every day, and me and my companion wake up early to work out as well. My room is nice. It can get a little cold but its been nice. Make sure to let Aunty Lu know that I have been using her kiheipili. I love it! I was able to see it snow! It only sprinkled but it was nice, magical even, haha. Oh Elder Wanlass is cool. He is from New Jersey, 19 and was attending BYU. I will be honest, its taken some getting used to. He is super enthusiastic, and loves the gospel. He heart is in the right place; he definitely wants what is best for our companionship, and for our investigator.

We have one investigator right now. Her name is Amanda. From what we have heard from our zone leaders and stuff, she'll eventually become our next Portuguese teacher. We have been teaching her that Gods loves us, and that he wants us to learn and grow, and that He gives us commandments to keep us safe and happy. One of those commandments is prayer. We invited her to pray but she turned us down, the second time though she felt the spirit from our lesson and she prayed. The next lesson we are going to try and teach is the opportunity to repent. We'll see how it goes. I really enjoy having the opportunity to practice teaching and to share the gospel with others. I love it! Sadly, our Portuguese is pretty terrible, but we've been able to convey our thought so far.

Our district is made of 8 members. 4 Elders and 4 Sisters. I love them. They are awesome. Elder Cannon is our District Leader.

Today is my p-days. So every Monday I'll get to email you guys again. We actually got to go to the temple this morning. Was super cold walking over but it was nice to be able to go with the zone. The temple is super nice, and big! We did an endowment session, and while going thru it I had some thoughts. That Satan is an imitation of things good and offers no good of himself, he truly is that father of all lies. Two, repentance is a turning from the natural man to God and coming unto Christ. It is an opportunity to change and become better. Three, when we ask with faith our prayers can be answered, but that if we seek revelation, we also tell the Lord our thoughts on the matter. It shows God that your making an effort to seek revelation. After, read the scriptures, He will answer you. Some of these were my own thoughts, but some were from a talk we heard from Elder Bednar last night (it was a recording) about going unto Christ. I think its entitled "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. Its pretty long but its awesome!

Sundays are awesome! Its a nice break from the normal classes and stuff. Its basically a day with God. We have meals, a sacrament meeting, a priesthood meeting, a devotional, choir then a church movie. It was really nice. Me and my companion have been called to be Sacrament Coordinators, which means that were in charge of sacrament. I love Sundays.

Know that I love you guys too. I really miss you guys. But as I serve my heart is full with joy for this work and being able to teach this restored gospel. I am sorry I am not able to write more. There is just soooo much to tell. Like the prophets of the Book of Mormon say, I could not write down the hundredth part of what has been happening/happened. Can you guys write in Hawaiian too if can? That would be great. I have been doing my best to use Hawaiian so I do not loose it.

In essence, its been great! It has not been easy, and its been tough with trying to get over culture shock and stuff, but its been great. The spirit is super strong here and I appreciate the opportunities to learn and grow in whatever direction God needs me too. I know that the gospel is true. I know that thru the atonement of Christ that we can be saved. I know that you need to have charity and the spirit when you teach or you wont have success. I love you guys!

Me ke aloha,
Elder Kim