There have been some problems with sending letters to Elder Kim. Basically, anything sent to previous address is NOT getting to him. Per Elder Kimʻs request, send all correspondence via the mission office address. The blog page has been updated to reflect this.
Mahalo for your patience!
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, March 29, 2016
Olá minha família!!! Como estão?! (how are you?)
Sou muito grato que eu tenho este oportunidade para escrever para vocês! (I’m so grateful for this opportunity I have to write to you guys!)
I don’t have a lot of time today so it’ll be a little rushed and jumbled. The place where we normally write is closed so we’re at a library, and I only have a limited time. I’m sorry to all of those who have written that I won’t be able to respond to because of the shortness of time.
This week has both been awesome and frustrating at the same time. I’ll start off with the frustrating so I can end on a happy note haha.
Rulanda wasn’t confirmed again this week. She hadn’t been keeping our appointments, and had gone back into some old habits, as far as the palvra de sabedoria is concerned (Word of wisdom). Thru a lot of work, we got her to church, but after some calls with President Amorim, the APs, the ZLs and the DL we decided that she was not yet ready to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. She does have the desire though to get it, and so were working with her so that she will be able to receive it in 2 weeks. It really woulda been better if she hadn’t gotten trapped in the elevator and not gone to church. shucks haha
Other stuff is that of all the people we invited to church only 2 came, Rulanda and Idalina (Rulanda ended up leaving in the middle of sacrament). So that’s kinda frustrating. Also, a lot of our appointments fell thru with Easter and all that. Also because of Easter, it was hard to even make appointments. All good though.
Okay good stuff now haha.
Idalina was able to make it to church and that is awesome!!! I’m really hoping that we’ll mark her this week for baptism. She has doubts about how ready she is as far as how much she knows, but I was studying this morning for her, and I think Alma 18 should work for her. Força!!! haha
Church was awesome!!! I was able to help bless the sacrament again. Sadly, I mispronounced one word and had to redo it, unlike last time, but that’s ok, I’m improving. I was also asked to give a 10min talk about the life of Jesus Christ. I ended up talking for 25mins! I spoke about how He was our perfect example, and one way he was perfect was that He always looked outward, especially in those time when everyone probably woulda looked inward. He prayed for us in the garden, he looked after His mother while on the cross, He looked after the thieves while on the cross, He healed that guy’s ear after suffering for us. When everything shoulda made Him look inward, He always looked outward. I had some other examples, but that’s basically what I talked about. Also, I taught the Gospel Principles class hahaha. Busy day at church!!!
Something I’ve learned is that I have learned SOOOO MUCH! I feel like I’ve grown soooo much!!! Not only in the language, but also just as a person!!! God is definitely strengthening me and helping me to become who He needs me to be. At the same time though, He is showing me where I need to improve, which I appreciate. I have sooooo much more to grow! It’s awesome! I love Him so much for helping me to recognize where I need to improve so I can be better. I’m just getting sooooo fired up for this next transfer!!! Me and Elder Meza are just gonna go peddle to the metal and work our butts off!!! Lovin it!
Other stuffs, the weather has been off and on. Mostly rainy though.
Easter was not too big it seemed, ironically enough. There was a ton of people everywhere, but there weren’t really any activities going on. Funny, yet sad thing is, when we're contacting people and stuff everyone’s like ‘yeah we believe in Christ, I have a lot of faith but.... I have my own way of doing things and I can’t listen to you cuz I’m busy’. Its all good though cuz it’s just awesome to be able to share the gospel with people and to see how much it could help them, even if they don’t see it.
I have eaten Bacalhau but the way they prepared it was kinda like tuna, so not that special. Also, I’ve been eating tripas which is basically a stuffed crape. I don’t really eat ‘em that often, like once a week, but they’re pretty good.
I haven’t gotten another card for the pictures. I’m sorry. I’ma try get one today, but idk if I’ll be able to. I haven’t gotten the letters. I think you sent it to the wrong place. I’m thinking that from now on, just send stuff to the mission office. It’ll take longer to get to me, but it’s more guarantee.
I’m happy to hear everyone’s progressing and moving forward with their lives. You guys make me sooo proud!!! Kuʻi you're a stud!!! There can only be one Hamma haha. Just remember who’s The Law though, hahaha jk! Family, I love you guys sooo much! I’m sooo grateful for all your emails and letters. I am trying to reply to all in the limited time I have. I love you guys soooo much! Tinham saúde!
Até prómximo vez!
p.s. please tell ʻOhu and Kuʻi to write me!!!!
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Olá minha família!!! Como estão?
WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! It’s official, Rulanda has been baptized!!!! This week has been soo stressful because of this baptism, but it’s all worth it! I’m kinda happy though, it’s over haha.
So this week we were working with her a lot! We were meeting with her like everyday, just to make sure she sticks with her commitments. At the beginning of the week, it was hard, cuz she was smoking more than she was supposed to. We had to have a few faca (pronounced faka. it means knife, but the connotation is like calling someone to repentance) sessions with her, and that was really rough, but she was able to keep her commitments on smoking after that. We also learned that she may have had an issue with the law of chastity, but turns out, not. Thank goodness!!! We were freaking out there for a moment!
We had her baptism this past Saturday in Coimbra, along with some other people that the Zone Leaders were baptizing. It was awesome! We wanted to have it separate from those guys, but nobody from Aveiro could come -__- so we had to combine, but it was still awesome! Also cuz Aveiro doesn’t have a baptismal font, and she didn’t wanna get baptized in the ocean haha. Her brother, Irmao Valdimar Ferreira, who’s been teaching her with us, baptized her. It was sooo cool to be able to see her be baptized, and just that look of happiness on her face when she came up out of the water! Afterward, she bore her testimony, which was nice. I’m sooo happy that we were able to help her make the decision to complete this necessary step.
Wait but that’s not all! Yesterday, Sunday, the day she’s to be confirmed, I’m making my breakfast (breakfast sandwiches) when we call her to make sure she’s still coming to church, when we find out she’s stuck in the elevator of her building!!! Apparently, she had been stuck for an hour and a half and nobody had answered her calls or anything!!! So we sprint over there and were able to get her out, and she is just panicked and stressed out haha. She is like out of it! But she said she’d come to church so we’re like alright, awesome, we’re still good.....but she doesn’t end up coming to church!!! So sad!!! I guess she called Valdimar and told him she wasn’t coming and he was just like ok, and we’re like Valdimar?!! But we’ll get her next week.
I learned that exercising faith is literally exercising! You have to do all you can, just work hard, and even though it seems like it might not happen, you just keep working and believing that God will make it work out. He really does reward us for our faith. I also learned that Satan is indeed real. I mean, really, how much more random can that situation with Rulanda get? haha He doesn’t like it when we are doing what are supposed to, and he’s working hard to keep us from doing what we’re supposed to, but we can and will beat him if we stay focused on Christ and do what we’re supposed to. Another thing that clicked in my mind is that the future doesn’t exist. We only have right now. So if we wanna make changes, it has to be right now because if we leave it to the future, it will never happen! Our investigators are making changes in their lives to be baptized and to come unto Christ, but the real changes happen after we stop teaching them. We’re just here to get them started on the path.
I’m starting to get super excited for the missionary work! I wasn’t not excited before for the work, but now I feel like I’m truly excited! I just wanna be able to go out and teach and baptize everyone!!! I just need to stay focused, put my pride on the side, and work!!!
I’ve kept a list of some things I’ve noticed in Portugal this week:
Aside from the cobbled streets and tiled walls I’ve mentioned before, everyone drives crazy! But you can still walk in the cross walk whenever you like cuz they’ll stop for you haha. •They have a really good bus system and really nice buses. •They have awesome bread! (I know I’ve said that before, but I love their bread!) •Their teeth are not too good •They deliver pizza on mopeds. They’re everywhere! •Everyone smokes! •They have like old fashion keys and locks, and their door knobs are just for looks. You don’t actually use um haha •They have roundabouts here. It’s kinda different, but it’s cool. They don’t really have stoplights though. •Todo mundo é catolico mas não practicant hahaha (everyone is catholic, but are not practicing). This is like the stereotypical answer we get from everyone when we do street contacts and ask if they are religious or believe in God haha •They only wear slim, skinny, or super skinny jeans. I don’t think I’ve seen normal kine jeans anywhere. Small kine ʻokoʻa haha. •They have a lot of barber shops and bike shops. There’s a large cycling community here. A lot of guys look pretty serious too. I like one nice road bike now haha. •They don’t have water fountains here either. I’ve only seen one this whole time, and it was broken. •Not everyone, but some people really do talk with their hands hahahaha. I think that’s all, but I’ll write other peculiarities I’ve noticed.
Cooking’s has been going well. I made burgers last time I had to cook, and I’ll make that again this week. The food here is pretty cheap, so I just grine haha. Don’t plan on getting fat though. The scale in our house says I’m 160-ish, but I know it’s a little broken, so I really don’t know.
My housemate’s foot is doing better. He’s been walking around on it a little more, but he’s not healed yet. Turns out, he has a cyst on his foot which is causing the pain. I don’t know how they’re gonna take care of that, but he has a few more doctors appointments to go to this week to find out. Pretty weird huh?
Happy to hear that Jonah is getting a lot of support and that progress is being made. That is awesome! Wings baby! So proud of all of you guys! Everyone is growing up sooo fast! Work hard, play hard!
Funny thing that you talk about the Book of Mormon cuz that’s what I’ve been studying about this week haha. I think it’s awesome that President Erbe has made that challenge. I always carry a Book of Mormon with me so that I can give it out if someone is interested. When people gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, they will know that the church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that Jesus is the Christ. Keep up the good work!
I love you, family! You guys are awesome! Hoʻomau i ka hana maikaʻi!
Até próximo vez,
P.S. Please tell Kui to write me, and also, I’d love it if you’d continue to write in Hawaiian, if it’s not too much hassle
Monday, March 14, 2016
Olá minha família e meu amígos!!!
Life here in Aveiro has been getting better. It’s been about 3 weeks now here in Aveiro, and me and my companion are starting to get the hang of things.
This week we’ve been working on making contact with a lot of the referrals we’ve been receiving with limited success, but it’s been good. With all these referrals, and more investigators, we’ve been knocking doors a lot less haha. Nothing wrong with knocking doors, but member referrals are always a more effective way of working, I’ve found.
We continue to work with Rulanda. She is still on for her baptism this Saturday! We taught her the word of wisdom and some other commandments. She took it well. We’ve been working with her so she can quit smoking and be ready to be baptized. She also attended church, so that is good, and also necessary haha. We’ll be meeting with her every day this week, just to make sure she’s all good and stuff. Valdimar, her brother, has come to all the lessons with her, and has been helping out a lot. He’s awesome!
We also found another investigator, again thru Valdimar. (He’s really helping us out.) He took us to her one day after a lesson with Rulanda to give her a blessing, and we’ve since gone back to teach her the 1st lesson. I actually taught a lot of that lesson, and invited her to be baptized at the end!!! She agreed to be baptized, but says she won’t decide on a date yet cuz she doesn’t feel ready. She came to church with us yesterday as well!
We’ve been working with Javier and Anna as well. They’re both Venezuelan, Javier is a menos ativo (less active) and Anna is a non-member. We’ve met with them a couple times this past week and it has been cool, but kinda crazy. Crazy cuz they speak mostly Spanish!!!! Mostly everything they say just flies over my head!!! haha I pick out words here and there, but for the most part I’m completely in the dark. Thank goodness for Elder Meza, who is fluent in Spanish, and mostly fluent in Portuguese. We taught them the first lesson, (thankfully they understand Portuguese when I speak it) and invited Anna to be baptized. She said no at first, but after me and Elder Meza bearing our testimonies about the blessing of baptism and how both God and us love them, she said she would, but needed to think about it more. Exciting.
A funny, but sad, experience with them from last night was when we first got in and sat down, Javier was talking about how he lost his job (I learned this later). When he was done telling his story, I just started laughing cuz I thought it was funny that he was speaking so fast, and I couldn’t understand, not one word. I felt so shame after and apologized. Thankfully, he understood that I wasn’t laughing at him and it worked out. But still, I’m so lame sometimes. See when you don’t speak Spanish?! They ended up feeding us, so right on. haha.
We also taught a family from Nigeria. We randomly contacted this guy on the street my first week here. His name is Alimi, and he said we could meet with him sometime. Apparently, he’s a student here at the University of Aveiro, getting his PHD or a post doctorate thing, in electrical engineering and fiber optics, or something. Super smart, obviously. We were supposed to meet with him last week, but it fell through. We were able to meet with him this week though, and the awesome thing is, HE BROUGHT HIS FAMILY!!! We were totally surprised when his wife and his little girl came with him, but we were soo stoked. We taught them the first lesson, and soft invited them to be baptized. Alimi said yes, and his wife was like ok, haha. But it was good! Oh by the way, they don’t speak Portuguese, so we taught them in English, which is really weird. I don’t know if I like it or not, but it’s almost harder to do it in English, even though I can explain some things better in English haha. I pray that me and my companion can be instruments in bringing these people unto Him.
I was in charge of lunch the other day and I made taco salad!!! I was so proud because I made it from scratch, by myself. It looked as well as it tasted, good, so that’s awesome!! I mean, I know it’s only simple, but hey, no can complain haha. Gonna try make loco mocos this week. Auright! With gravy no can go wrong, Bulle!
Some interesting things I noticed in Portugal, I’ve mentioned this before, all the sidewalks are cobbled. Almost no concrete, anywhere, as far as sidewalks are concerned. They really like to use tile here. All the walls and floors and stuff are covered in tile. They make really good bread, which I’ve been eating a lot of haha. The kids here look a lot older than they are. Before they cut your hair, they wash it, which is a little weird, but it’s cool. There’s other stuff, but I can’t really remember right now. I’ll write um down for next week.
I think my companion is really cool. We’ve been having a good laugh as we go about our work. Elder Gabbitas and Elder Cox, the other two in the house, are also cool. I really like them, and have a good time laughing with them. Sadly, Elder Cox’s foot has been injured the last few days, so they’ve kinda been out of commission the last week or so. They’re going to Porto to check it out, so hopefully all goes well. The rest of our district is also pretty cool. I really like them. We have a sister who was going to BYUH before she got here, so that’s cool. Her name is Sis. Waddel.
The language has been coming along. This week I feel like I’ve been understanding a lot more. Not everything, but a lot more. Also, my ability to read has been picking up as well. I just need to be more confident in my contacting and just talk. I’ve been doing a lot better in talking to members, and also to people in our lessons. I’m sooo grateful to my Father in Heaven who has been helping me to become the missionary He needs me to be here in Portugal.
Family, I love you soo much. Thank you for all your emails. I know that trials are necessary, but that our shoulders are broad enough, and strong enough, to support the load, even if we don’t know it yet. When we feel weakest, is exactly when we need to tough it out. I know that when we have an eternal perspective, and think about the blessings we gain from good choices, we can see that these things are for our good. I know that He is always there for us, and it’s up to us, whether we accept the help. I love you guys sooo much! Take it easy! Thanks for the emails!
Fica fixe (stay cool) haha,