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, February 29, 2016

Aveiro!!!! I am in Aveiro!!

Aloha Kakou e Ka Ohana!!!

ESTOU EM PORTUGAL!!!!! I’m in Portugal!!!! So sorry for not writing last week, it’s been a crazy past week or so.

The flight over was super long but kinda nice. Salt Lake City to Chicago went smoothly. I sat next to an inactive member and was able to talk to her for a while about her family and stuff, and invited her to go back to church after sharing a few scriptures. It was cool, and I hope that she does decide to go back. We waited in Chicago for a while, and I was able to call home. I must say it was ssooooo nice to be able to hear you guys, Mom and Dad. Even though I know I have not heard your voice in like 2 months, it felt like I had just talk to you guys yesterday. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to talk longer. I guess since I was calling for Hawaii it cost more per minute. I’m grateful though that I was able to hear your voices. I was a crying wreck for a little while after though.

Chicago to Germany was super cool. The plane we went on had two stories!!! Super nuts!!! We flew premium economy and it was super comfortable. They served us food as well which was awesome. Sadly we couldn’t watch any of the free movies or listen to the free music, but I was able to sleep. Thank goodness!!! 

Germany was weird. I don’t know why, it just was. It felt weird. I know that sounds weird that it felt weird, but it did. Apparently though, I wasn’t the only one who felt like that. Kinda felt like everyone was gonna mug me or something. Thankfully nothing happened though and we were able to board our plane no problem. I learned that in Europe they don’t have water fountains!!! What’s with that??

We ended up getting to Portugal safe and sound. I met with President Amorim that night, and we later ate dinner with him and his wife at the mission home. He seems like a good man. I must say he intimidates me. From what I’ve seen, he’s super passionate about missionary work, and is very strict. It’ll be an interesting two years to say the least.

The next day we had our New Missionary training meeting, where basically they explained the expectations they have for us as missionaries, and after we were separated to be with our new companions. My new companion is Elder Meza. He’s from Colorado. His Dad is from Peru and his mom is from Ecuador. He’s been out about 6 months, and he’s mostly fluent since he already speaks Spanish. People are always asking him if he’s Brazillian. He’s super cool though, and I like him. We’ve been assigned to open a new area called Aveiro. It’s a city and its very nice. It’s a pretty big area. We don’t really have any investigators so the majority of our time has been knocking on doors and contacting. I need to improve at being confident in myself. It’s been good though. 

We’re staying with two other Elders in our residence, Elder Cox and Elder Gabbitas. They seem okay. Apparently I’m being spoiled here cuz we are currently in the nicest residence in the mission.

Yesterday, we went to church for the first time. It was cool! I was able to understand basically what the people were talking about but nothing specific. I was given the opportunity to introduce myself and it went well. Afterward everyone was telling me my Portuguese is really good for only being here 4 days. I was so proud but I realize I got soooo much more to learn. I am improving though, yeah!

We visited a shut-ins home last night, and it reminded me so much of home. They decided to feed us some food, and as soon as we’d finish one of something they’d fill our hands with the next thing. They wouldn’t let us leave empty handed. Soo much like home!!! It makes me so grateful to the people who feed the Elders. There’s no way I can repay that sort of thing and so one day I’ll pay it forward cuz that’s all I can do. Mom, know that I am being fed. All the times of us feeding the Elders are coming back around. We’ve only had a few member meals, like two, but I’m still super grateful and humbled.

The weather here has been pretty rainy, but its sunny today. The food here is pretty cheap it seems so that’s good. In the house we got to work on making better food, and planning out our meals cuz we were running out the other day. Thank goodness for P-Day.

I’ll admit my first few days were really hard. I was feeling pretty homesick but it’s getting better now as I get settled. I know that as I open my mouth, and focus on the work, and not on myself, it’ll work out. Know though that I’m okay, and I love you guys ALOT. Eu voces amo muito!!!! I’m sorry I’m not able to put more in here. There’s just no way to put it all in with the time I have. I love you though!!!

Ate a proximo vez minha familia!!!
-Elder Kim

P.s. What’s cool about your PS mom is that I know what you were saying!!!! Super cool!!! Thank you aunty Marta!!! Mom, if you can, ask her to write me in Portuguese? That’d be sooo cool! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Traveling this Week!!

*Aloha from da parents!
Elder Kim left the MTC on Monday, February 22, 2016, at 3:30am. He traveled from Salt Lake City to Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany and then to Porto, Portugal. While he was not able to send a regular email out this week due to the traveling, he was able to send some short notes and pictures prior to departure. We have included excerpts and the pictures below. We were also fortunate to be able to hear from him while he was in Chicago awaiting his connecting flight. The phone conversation, while necessarily brief, was very positive. He was barely able to contain his excitement, and the same can be said of the parents. We will resume posting his weekly email next week, when we expect to receive his first email since his arrival in Portugal. Mahalo nui for your prayers and aloha!!

Feb. 21, 2016

Always make goals. I've been doing that a lot more, and I wish I had started earlier. Goals are good. They help keep us focused, and moving forward. What I've learned is that you start off with a vision. That means, the end goal, what you eventually wanna do. After you list the things you need to accomplish, list the things that will help you accomplish this goal. Knowing your vision and the things you need to do, you then make weekly goals. These goals should be attainable, but also should be stretching you. From there you split your weekly goals into daily goals, so that you make it bite size and you’re able to progress steadily. This is what I've been trying to do with the language and stuff. What’s awesome is that if it’s not working out, you just reevaluate and change your plan to fit you.

I'm so grateful for the MTC. Its been up and down, but I've grown soo much. It’s cool to be able to see how far we've progressed, with His help, in the last 6-7 weeks

Tie draft last night. Everyone enters a tie and put their name tag in a bag. When your name gets pulled you have 5 seconds to choose a tie. The rule is, you have to wear the tie the next day on Sunday.
 Elder Kim w/ Irmao Machado  "Heʻs Super Cool"

 Elder Kim w/ Irmao Nor "Super Cool"

 Elder Kim w/ Irmao Staples, his teacher from Day 1 "I love him so much! Heʻs a great man."

 Elder Kim w/ Irmao Workman "Super Cool"

 Last class together with Irma Smith (front, middle center). She was also Elder Kimʻs teacher from Day 1 - "Sheʻs awesome, I love her!"

 Elder Kim, pointing to his home for the next 22+ months!

 Packing everything up and moving on out!

Elder Kim, just released as zone leader, in preparation for departure

 Elder Kim and Sister Kuamoʻo-Mendiola. Both proud products of Keaukaha Ward, which now has 6 missionaries out with more to come in the next few months.

The traveling group headed for Portugal. Due to extenuating circumstances, they were joined by two more missionaries in Chicago who were also headed to Portugal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 6 of the MTC

February 15, 2016
Bom Dia Minha Familia! (Good morning/good day my family)

Another week has flown by here in the MTC! Sooo fast! It sounds like it was busy week for you guys too with Pulama, BIIFs, and your other events. Crazy!

So how was Pulama? Pehea na hula? Ua mana'o au e ninau no ka Kumu Hiapo ha'i'olelo, aka maopopo ia'u he maiau a maika'i wale no kana, with a hint of umph haha. 'Olu'olu e ha'i ia ia e leka uila mai i hiki ia maua ke kama'ilio, 'oiai he mau ninau ko'u no kekahi mau hua'olelo hou a pela mai Ka Puke o Molemona. Pela ke 'ano o ka loea haha. Ua ku'ai aku 'ia na "poke bowls" a pau? Lohe wau maia Dad mai ua helu 'ekahi na ho'ike'ike a na papa. Lohe pu wau ua komo piha na kaikaina me ke kaikuhine ma ka hana. Ke ola nei ka inoa o Kim ia 'oukou! haha. Nui ko'u ha'aheo! E o'u mau muli e ho'omaopopo mau 'oukou i ka lu'u piha 'ana ma ka hana. Ke komo piha kakou ma ka hana ke ho'ike nei kakou i na kumu, na 'anakala, na 'anake, i ko kakou 'ano makaukau, ko kakou 'ano kanaka makua, a i ko kakou 'i'ini e a'o. E ho'omau 'oukou i ka hana maika'i! 'Eo Nawahi! 'Eo Pulama Mauli Ola! Ke komo nei au i ko'u pale'ili Pulama keia manawa no ka ho'ike aku i ko'u kako'o, 'oiai 'a'ole i hiki ke komo i kela po'aono aku nei hahaha

As far as my buddies go they all leave this week. Elder Ortiz and Elder Parker left this morning to Mozambique. I'm soo stoked for them. People going to Lisboa, Portugal, will leave tommorow morning at 3:30am, and people going to Cape Veirde will leave Wednesday at 11:30am. I'm sooo stoked for all of them and I pray that they will all be safe. Super cool. What’s crazy is that we expect 26 new missionaries, at least, to be coming in on Wednesday! Crazy! As zone leader, I'll be working hard to make sure everyone is ok and settled in before I leave a few days later haha. It'll be cool though to see Kawena on Wednesday! I'm stoked for Vaea going to Nuku'alofa, Tonga! How’s Ku'i's papers going? What about 'Ohu? Sooo exciting!

It's been a pretty good week. Super busy as usual. This past Wednesday I got to host!!! It was awesome!!! I was able to host three elders. One is from the Philippines going to Korea (apparently there’s a lot from the Philippines going to Korea) and two elders from mainland China going to Australia! I guess there’s a large population of Mandarin speakers there. It was sooo cool to hear them speak Mandarin. I wanna learn haha. With those people going to Korea, I was like “aniyo! kahmsamnida! neh!”, the only three words I know in Korean. It was just exciting to see people going to the Motherland.

Also this past Wednesday me and some other missionaries were asked to participate in the "People and their purpose" activity. Basically its an activity that all new missionaries do when they get to the MTC, where they have an investigator and two missionaries who start the lesson, and then after the reins are handed to the group of new missionaries to continue the teaching. The goal being, they are able to discern the needs of the investigator, and help them come unto Christ. Well, me and Elder Wanlass were asked to be those two missionaries who start the lesson!!!! Soooo cool! It was cool to have come full circle.

I'm excited to go to Portugal!!! One of my teachers, Irmao Lemperle, who served in Portugal a few years ago, was showing us a few pictures from his mission, and it looks sooo cool!!! I was like "This is awesome!!!" I really hope I go to Madeira!

Sadly, this week we didn’t have a video skype lesson. I guess they didn’t have enough volunteers :( We'll get another chance this week though. I must say those are downright awesome!!! BTW last week i spelled the word fixe wrong. I think I spelled it fiexe last week, but its actually fixe. It’s pronounced like the word fish though, with an accent haha. As far as our other investigators go, we told Silvia we were leaving and encouraged her to continue to meet with the other missionaries, and continue to work towards baptism, since we had committed her to be baptized already. Our other one, Guilherme, we almost lost. haha. The last lesson we taught him, he was like, “I don't wanna be baptized. I just wanna be Catholic.” But we ended up convincing him to pray with us and he felt like he should read the Book of Mormon more to see if the Church is true. We were like "YES! Day 41, church is still true!" haha I hope we will be able to teach him one more time before we leave.

To end on a spiritual note, I totally agree with you, mom. Teaching the restoration of the gospel is one of the most important things we can teach people. When people understand the restoration everything else makes sense. If the first vision is true, then the whole church is true! If it isn't, then the church isn't true, but the first vision is true, so the church is true!!! Every time we share the first vision, we bring the spirit in. It's awesome!  It goes like this in Portuguese: "Vi um pilar de luz, acima de minha cabeca. Mais brilhante que o sol, que gradualmente sobre min. Quando a luz posou sobre min, vi does personages, cujo eslpendor e gloria desafiam qualquer descricao, pairando no ar, acima de min. Um deles, falou-me, chamando-me pelo nome, apontando para o outro, "Este e Meu Filho Amando, Ove-o"" (Sorry there’s no accentuation stuffs.)

Another important thing I'd like to say is that missionaries are to teach repentance! In the scriptures Alma tells the people, and Christ also tells his apostles, to teach nothing but repentance. The reason is repentance is turning from the natural man unto Christ. When we repent, we are becoming more like Christ. I think sometimes repentance is given a bad rap when really its an awesome thing! By repentance we come unto Christ and are perfected in Him. Awesome right?!

I love you, family! Please take care of yourselves! Work hard! Ate proximo vez (until next time)

Me ke aloha,
Elder Kim

An Excerpt from a different email:
Here’s my testimony of the restoration of Christ's church in Portuguese. Sorry there are no accentuation marks, and there might be some spelling and grammatical errors

Eu sei que Deus ama-nos, e ele e nosso Pai Celestial. Eu sei que porque deste amor de Deus, ele restaurou o evangelho por meio Joseph Smith, seu propheta primeiro dos ultimos dias. Eu sei que o primeiro vision de Joseph Smith e verdadeiro,e este vision e primeiro actividade de restauracao. Eu sou muito grato o evangelho de Jesus Cristo e opporutunidade viver com Deus e minha familia  no reino Celestial por eterna. Eu sei que e nesesidade para ter o restauracao. Eu escrevo estas coisas, em nome de Sua Filho, nossa Salvador, Jesus Cristo, amen. (I know that God loves us and that He is our Heavenly Father. I know that because of this love, he restored the gospel thru Joseph Smith the first prophet in these latter days. I know that the first vison Joseph Smith had is true, and was the first major event of the restoration. I am so grateful for the gospel of Christ and the opportunity to live with God and my family in the celestial kingdom forever. I know the restoration was neccesary. I write these things in the name of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen).

Ate proximo vez (until next time),
Elder Kim

Elder Kim with two new missionaries, who come from Mainland China, who will be serving in Australia. When Elder Kim "hosts" new missionaries, it means he welcomes them to the MTC, helps them get settled in their rooms, takes them around to help them learn where everything is at, helps them check in with the office, the MTC medical doctor, etc. 

 Elder Kim also "hosted" this new missionary from the Philippines, who will be serving in South Korea, the Motherland for us "Kims".

Elder Kim, in one last picture with his zone. Most of these missionaries will be leaving the MTC for their missions this week. A sad but exciting time for all as they take the next step in their service.