Élder Kim was recently transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia, just south of Porto across the river Douro. The site dates back to Neolithic times. Gaia is famous for its 17 "Blue Flag" beaches. Church-wise, Gaia has the largest ward Élder Kim has served in. (In the picture, he shares the same "genealogy" with these elders: e.g. Élder Meza (right) is the "great-grandfather," and Élder Kim is his "son.")

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week 4 of MTC

Feb. 1, 2016

Bom Dia e ka 'ohana!!!

It has been a pretty crazy week this week. It’s been both super frustrating, and cool, at the same time haha. Because of this important work and because of all the movement all the time, change is always in the air!

I'm sooo happy that they got my letters! I'm happy to hear they got my handprint on the back. I thought that that might be a nice personal touch on the back to make it more meaningful and real. I really do appreciate the letters and that our pen pal relationship can continue. Letters feel soo much more personal that’s why. I'm also happy to hear aunty Barbara got my letter. I don't know how relevant, meaningful, clear my card to her was, but I hope that touched somebody. I also got a letter from the Enos family this week, and I'm soo happy to hear from them. I’m gonna try and send off my reply to them today. Tell Sam that if he writes me a letter I will reply but it might take a little while. I have responded to his email though. Vaea is still waiting?! Shucks. I was hoping to hear from him or about him today! That’s okay next time. Maybe the call will come in today, that’s when mine came in.

As far as weather goes it’s been okay, cold, but bearable. It started snowing yesterday and is continuing today. We've gotten about 3-4 inches now I'd say. It's been pretty dreary here with all the clouds. On our walk over and back to the temple this morning, we were covered in it! haha. What’s even crazier is THAT THERE WERE STILL PEOPLE RUNNING!!!! I'm sorry to hear there hasn't been any rain in Hilo. Hilo just doesn’t look right without green grass under-feet and rain clouds rolling in. haha.

I haven’t seen Elder Duffin but I'll be on the look out. I have like one more week to catch him, and hopefully I'll be able to find him. That'd be soo cool. Turns out Grandma and Grandpa Foley's neighbor’s daughter is here and I've seen her a couple times, but haven't talked her, so I'll try do that today. Also, remember that pic I took with that elder from Kona, Elder Aholelei? He’s the Enos’ cousin! Soo funny!

As far as our investigator's are going, it was a rougher week. Our lessons haven't gone as planned and we've kinda been teaching the lesson not the person. I think we're gonna try and keep our lessons focused more on the why, and less on the how. Our job is to help them see the big picture, and find the truth. But sometimes we get in the way of our own purpose. It can be a fine line to walk.

I've started to teach Elder Robertson some Hawaiian phrases and stuff. I know he won't ever learn it, but I'm super excited to just talk with somebody who’s interested in it hahaha. Going through withdrawals, nah jk! But I like it cuz it helps me to stay connected so I don't forget it. I was telling my friends it would just break my heart if I came home and mom started talking to me in Hawaiian and I couldn't understand and/or respond. So I'm trying to hang on to it. Hawaiian is like my deep, connected language, the language of many layers. English is like just the common tongue. Portuguese is like the language of renewal, the language of opportunity I guess. I'm not really familiar with Portuguese yet to be able to describe the feeling. I really love Hawaiian and Portuguese though, how they feel when you speak them, super cool. Literally the languages of my ancestors. It's like I'm discovering new parts of my soul hahaha. So corny I know hahaha. I know though that Portugal is where I'm supposed to go, and that God needs me there. I know that my ancestors are watching over me, along with my Heavenly Father, and that they love me.

This morning we went to the temple and did some initiatories. What made this time special was that I got to do the family names Aunty Kalei gave me, which are: Jose de Medeiros, Antonio Raposo, Manuel de Medeiros, and Joao Machado. I also have uncle Joy's name but he only needs his sealings done. Even though I've done initiatories before, this time felt different because I had a real connection to these people. As I was doing the work, I kept thinking how awesome it is that I had the opportunity to help my family, koʻu ʻohana o ka pō, even though they’ve passed on. I felt so happy to be able to help my family and give them an opportunity to receive further blessings. I could feel the love God has for them, and the love people still living have for them. I could also feel their love for me. It was soo cool. Doing the work ourselves really makes the concept of eternal families more real and relevant. I plan on doing their endowments next week with the help of the elders of my district.

I just wanted to share one more thought. In one of the classes we had this past week, we decided to group study a question one of us had. We decided on Elder Robertson's question of "How can I help my family be comforted while I'm here on my mission?" We split into two groups and started to search. In my group we decided to look at the stripling warriors. We read Alma 53:16-23 and this thought hit me and I started to tear up: Me, and the other missionaries here, have entered into a covenant with God to preach the gospel, to be the sharp side of the sword that God wields to fight back against Satan. We are here to rescue those who have fallen and bring them back into the light. We fight for the eternal salvation of souls. Also, in reference to the previously mentioned question, there isn't too much we can do for those at home physically. What we can do is that we can be good examples, we can write home and be encouraging, and fast and pray for them. I realized that the people of Ammon were being blessed through their sons, just like how I know my family and others around the world are being blessed because of their missionaries who are serving God. God knows our needs and hears our cries and He will answer them in His own time, in His own way.

I hope all is going well! I love you guys soo much!!!! Continue to send pics and stuff. The pictures really make it amazing. I really like that book mark you guys sent me with the picture of us on it. It’s awesome! I look at it everyday before I study. Please take care, especially you Jonah. Don't get more hurt please. I recommend watching "Safety for the soul" by Elder Holland. It's an awesome talk!!!! Literally and figuratively, chicken skin!!! I love you guys!!!

Ate Proximo Vez (Until Next Time)

Me ke aloha,

Elder Kim

 Elder Kim w/newly named Elder "Abraham"
Apparently, Elder "Abraham" is on his way to Romania for his mission. He cannot use his own surname, as it means "Old Man Pig" in the Romanian language. Hence,  he is now called Elder "Abraham".

 Elder Kim w/ Elder Robertson. Elder Robertson is very interested in the Hawaiian language and culture, as illustrated in this picture.

 Friends of Elder Kim who are headed to the Philippines for their missions. Boy are they in for some weather/culture shock.

 Elder Kim getting snowed on, and enjoying it.

 Elder Kim with (l - r) Elder Wanlass, Elder Robertson, and Elder Cannon, all in the same district.

Elder Kimʻs first ever attempt at shining shoes. Notice the dryer sheets inserted to keep the shoes from smelling bad. Tricks of the trade...

1 comment:

  1. So good to read your experiences and the deeper layer of the goodness, feeding of the soul as you participate, learn a new language, make gospel friends in the mission home and of the scriptures. So thankful for an Eternal Father that helps us when we are pitching for the gospel team. In my study this morning, from the discourse of Joseph Fielding Smith, he testified that "fear God", that we hear often in the scriptures actually means "respect, and reverence of God in awe." That really helped me to think this. Possibly with investigators, letting them known that God like any loving Father does not want us to be afraid of Him. Another gospel thought, JFS wrote was how God the Father is the ultimate, meaning He really does have all Knowledge. And as His Begotten son, Jesus, is one with Him, and gives glory to His Father, God, that God's increase is through His children choosing the Gospel path and being one with God in all things. God already is exalted, is the light of the world, knows all. He loves us and wants to fulfill us to have eternal life with Him.

    Anyway, I too believe that my ancestors want me to be successful in this journey, choosing good things of spiritual worth. I want to know them and am thankful for all they have done to model Gospel in action. So glad you can help in your ancestor's progress by doing ordinances for them in the temple. So glad Kalei has a kinship and a strong testimony of genealogy and temple work.

    Thank you for choosing this mission work as you are right it helps all of us.

    Stay warm and well,
    Love you,
    Gramma Odale

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