Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ

*This is taken from a talk/lesson I gave in one of my areas. I wanted to use it to lead into the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I added onto it a little bit, so enjoy!*

Today, I would like to focus on the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What does the word Atonement mean? If we split this word into three different parts, we see At, One, Ment. If we combine these, it is the beautiful meaning of becoming one with God. Because of the atonement, this is possible.
Pause for a moment, and think about a time you applied this saving power into your life. How did you feel? Why do you think you felt this way? What did it feel like? Think of the love that God has for you, and than think of your favorite picture of Jesus Christ. This is it. This is the evidence of God's love. The ever popular scripture in Christianity, John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son. What a love we have an evidence of.
To outline the events of the Atonement, we have three main stages. 1) The Garden of Gethsemane 2)The Cross of Calvary and 3) The Resurrection.
I want to spend the most time looking into the cleansing power of the Garden of Gethsemane. We will turn to the Bible for the definition of this event.
In Matthews account, we read this. Matthew 26:39 As Jesus entered the garden, he "fell on his face and prayed saying O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Read those words slowly, He Fell on his face. In uttermost pain and anguish, plead with His father, "please, don't make me do this. Let there be another way. There has to be. But I will do thy will." The perfect, obedient Son, was not going to turn away. He was going to suffer that pain, for us. How great is the love of our Savior. As He prayed, He began to bleed from every pore in His body. This to me, is one of the most significant parts of the Atonement. I wonder as President James E. Faust did, "How many drops of blood were spilt for me?"
Now the Bible is not very clear as to why this suffering happened. As far as biblical scriptures are concerned, we just know He suffered. We don't know why, we don't know what it means to us. This is why I am so thankful for revelation and the Book of Mormon. We read in one of my favorite scriptures in Alma 7:11-12. "He shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." He suffered every possible human emotion, pain, and mental anguish ever felt by a human. So He can stand by us in our trials, and so He can strengthen us and say "I know how you feel. I know what it feels like to have the very jaws of Hell come against you." Like I said, this is the most significant thing to me. I implore you to put a serious study into this subject and to understand it better than you do today. In the Garden, He had the very devil himself and his legion of angels come attack him and brutally tempt him and cause him pain. But because Jesus Christ knew the dire consequence for us if He had not succeeded in this phase, He pressed on. Think about it. Jesus knew what we would have to face if there was no ransom for our sins. He knew that we would be forever banished from the presence of God after one sin alone. He knew that we would be forever racked with the pains of a damned soul, with NO escape. Unless we were perfect, which none of us are, we could never have a chance to return. But now, there is endless hope that we can return, as long as we allow Jesus Christ to take that pain from us and turn our lives over to Him.
Now, if we move on to the final two events. After our Savior was betrayed by His own special witness, Judas, He was sent to trial. After condemned, He was sentenced to the worst death that could be passed upon him. He was sentenced to crucifixion and to be beaten, down trodden,

whipped, scourged, slapped, hit, abused, spit upon, and numerous more evil doings. He had nails driven through his hands and feet. In fulfillment of Isiah's prophecy "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." (Isaiah 49:16).
Following thereafter, He was lifted on a cross for everyone to see. For more ridicule and temptations to come His way. "If thou be the son of God, save thyself!" As the cries of the people echoed his ears, He turned to heaven and cried "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Until mercifully, He felt the Atonement had been accomplished, He willingly gave up the ghost and on to paradise, forcing a solider to cry out, "Certainly this was a righteous man."
One of my good friends asked an intriguing question once. "Think of how our Father in Heaven must have felt through all of this." I'm sure He would desired so much as His Son plead to Him to let that crushing blow release from Him. I'm sure He was ever so close as He saw the devil himself attack His son in the mortal flesh.
So we conclude, with the last and most defining moment of the Atonement. After three days, our Savior reclaimed His body from the chains of death, and was resurrected. He showed himself unto His disciples and exclaimed in triumph, "Handle me, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." Our Savior concluded His great and marvelous Atonement and made it possible for us to come back into His presence. He had conquered death, shame, guilt, sin, and many terrible things, and made himself life, happiness, peace, love, and many great things. He is the lifter of our heads, He is the great and marvelous Son. Because He redeemed His body, we can so to ours. Because He Lives, We will live again with our families in the presence of God, only if we are willing to be obedient to all things whatsoever the Lord our God commands.
To conclude, I share a favorite passage of the Atonement. In Luke, we read that before Jesus entered the garden, He turned to Peter and said (Luke 22:31-32) Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." I love these words, He has said this individually to us. He prayed for us because He knew of the evil and terrible anguish of Satanic captivity and his desire to destroy us. If we look at this carefully, we pin point the most important part. Jesus states that HE has prayed for us that we can be strong. HE suffered for us so that we can be faithful. But, it is up to us to let that conversion come into our life. It is OUR responsibility to allow Him to take control and to lead us. Than of course, our responsibility is to strengthen our brethren. I want to use a personal example here to demonstrate our Savior's saying. When I was growing up, I was never active. I would go to church every now and again, but I was never consistent. Unless you count a few weeks for consistency, than I wasn't. God played a little role in my eyes in my life. I never read scriptures, rarely said my prayers, but I always knew He was there. One day, after several events happened in my life, I realized I had nothing in life. I was going nowhere, I was living for nothing. I felt a gentle prompting to pray. I thought in my head, "are you kidding? I haven't prayed in years, God doesn't need to hear from me." The next day, I walked into seminary and saw just a small piece of paper on my desk. We were in the Book of Mormon that year, and the paper read simply, "Your assignment is to read from 3 Nephi 11-27. You don't have to read it all, but go as far as you can in the next 70 minutes, and we'll talk about it tomorrow." I was excited because I expected a nap and some day dreaming to occur here. But there was divine intervention. I opened up 3 Nephi 11 to fool my teacher that I was reading, and I read the first verse. I than read the second, than third, fourth, and ended up reading to 3 Nephi 18, and later finishing the assignment at home that night. Something changed within me that day, as I read the experience of the Savior appearing to the Nephites in America, I began to realize the love that Jesus Christ had for me. I had done horrible things in my life, and was so far from the path, that I thought it near impossible to come back. But I felt renewed hope to come back to Him who saves. I felt that gentle prompting that night to "get on your knees, and pray." This time I hearkened to the voice and began to silently pray. Time passed by, and I poured my heart out to the Lord. After I finished praying, I felt an overwhelming amount of the spirit of Christ. I silently exclaimed, as did the people on the road to Emmaus, "Did not my heart burn within me while I talked with Him by the way?"
But this was not the end. Unfortunately, I did not fully act on this intention as I should have. The most important thing about this, was the fact that I rooted my heart into Jesus, and knew where my heart belonged. It wasn't until early 2009 when the bishop of my ward came to my house with his councilor to see how I was doing. I can still picture the night. It was February and I was watching the Jazz vs. Lakers game. It just BARELY reached half-time (note, the Jazz were demolishing!) when I heard a knock at the door. When I answered I saw Bishop and Bro. Stevens. I joked and said, "Bishop, if you had come five minutes ago, I would have turned you away! My Jazz are on a roll!" After a little talk, Bishop invited me to church the following Sunday. I accepted and told him I would come. I pondered about it until Sunday morning. When I woke up, I didn't want to go, but I didn't want to fall out on a commitment I made. So I showed up to church! After sacrament meeting, I contemplated about staying for the rest of church (It was rare that I would stay longer than an hour). After talking with some people, I decided to attend the rest of church. What happened next, changed the course of my life forever. It was the first day of teaching for the ward's new mission leader in mission prep class. I had thought about a mission, but never seriously and to be honest, was probably not going to go. Ajay Salvesen taught one of the most powerful lessons I have ever witnessed in my life. This lesson was full of the spirit, and impacted my heart like a ton of bricks. I remember after the class ended, Ajay approached me (He knew I was inactive). I was just sitting in my chair, kinda shocked, and he asked me if I was ok. I said, "Yeah! I'm great!" and went off to Elders Quorum. What he didn't know than, was that very day, after the lesson I told God in my heart, "Alright, I know what I have to do. I will dedicate two years of my life to your service, if you help me prepare." For the course of February to August, I rarely missed a Sunday and with the immense help of Ajay, I was prepared to serve a mission. I received my mission call to Hawaii in August, and left the following December. The year of 2009 was life changing for me, all simply because of an invitation to church, and the Lord's powerful inspiration to Ajay on what to teach that Sunday.
Now to tie this story all into one, and go back to this scripture. I know what it's like to have Satan sift you. I know what it's like to feel his terrible grasp in life and to feel like you have no hope. I know what it's like to have to deal with the pain of an anguished soul, and cry out as Alma, "O Jesus, thou Son of God...have mercy on me." But because of the Atonement, and my Savior suffering for me, I was converted. Now currently, I am working on strengthening my brethren in Hawaii and helping them see God's love for us.
I love this Gospel so much. I have learned so much about the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, and have learned how to apply it into many aspects of my life. I will never fully understand, or comprehend what happened in that course of a few days. But I will always understand the simple facts that He lives again, He loves us, and He still speaks His word to us today through Prophets and Apostles. I Know That My Redeemer Lives. What Comfort This Sweet Sentence Gives. He Lives, He Lives Who Once Was Dead. He Lives My Ever Living Head. He Lives To Bless Me With His Love. He Lives To Plead For Me Above. He Lives My Hungry Soul To Feed. He Lives To Bless In Time Of Need.
I leave all of this with you in the sacred name of our Savior, Lord, and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Year Mark Has Come "Ross Day"




Aloha my dear friends!!
December 9, 2009 I entered the MTC to begin my training as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Now, one year later, I am home recovering from surgery, and expect to serve the last year of my mission.
Let me take a step back and look into the past!
I was in the MTC from December 9-December 29. My MTC Companion was Elder Bridges from Laie, Hawaii. Here in the MTC, I met some awesome people and some of my best friends!! The other half of our district went to the Raleigh, North Carolina mission, where all are now in leadership positions. The MTC was one of the best experiences of my life, and where I truly learned the love of the Savior.
I flew to Hawaii and began my service in Kalaheo, Kauai (The island west of O'ahu) with my trainer, Elder Major. I was there from December 30-March 23. Kalaheo was an amazing area that was truly blessed by the Lord. Elder Major and I saw so many miracles and saw so many baptisms. We both learned a lot in the brief three months we were together. In this area, I would say is where I learned how to become the best person I could be. To trust in the Lord, and watch miracles unfold before my eyes.
After Kalaheo, I was transfered to the Kailua 2nd/Kaneohe 5th Tongan branch on the east side of O'ahu. I was here from March 24-July 26. I served with Elder Standiford for three months, and Elder Pyle for six weeks. This area was a little slower than Kauai, but I learned how to work hard, how to never give up and always keep my eye single to the glory of God. Unfortunately, while with Elder Standiford, I began getting sick and was unable to work as hard as I would have liked to. I blessed with patience and learning to take it in the Lord's time. Here, I found out I would probably be getting my tonsils removed in the near future.
I loved the Tongan ward and the Military ward. The members here taught me a lot, and I saw so much sacrifice come from these members. The Tongans showed their love (especially through food!!) and the military ward surprised me continually as they sacrificed time to go with us, or would help us in any way possible!!
After Kailua, I moved to Kahala/Hawaii Kai. The south shore of O'ahu. I have been here since July 27, and will probably be there till January 11. I have served with Elder Garritson and Elder Davis. I was blessed to be around Elder Garritson for four months, and serve with him for three. We both trained and were made a District Leader after that as he white-washed Hawaii Kai and we lived in the same pad. Here in Kahala, I put into practice the things I learned in Kailua. Keep working hard and expect miracles to happen. Elder Garritson and I had the best day of our mission, which was August 21, 2010, when we saw Uncle and Auntie Jay be baptized. We witnessed as they gave it all to the Lord and have been diligent in their service since.
So, I am in complete aw as I think that it has been 365 days. 12 months. 1 year. I have hit the "Ross Day" (haha) and now have only half way to go. I am home now recovering from surgery, but will return as soon as I can! I have seen so many miracles happen since December 9, 2009. I can promise anyone who reads this, that if you are contemplating the idea of a mission, GO! It has been the best experience of my life, and it will be of yours. You will learn so much, and your testimony will become unshaken. No one can tell me that this church isn't true. I know that God has told me through the Holy Ghost that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. Joseph Smith restored God's church back on this earth. Jesus is the Christ, He is the reason we are able to repent, be with our family forever, and feel those blessings. We can only feel those blessings and great gifts as we LIVE the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary, and I love serving the Lord. I will blink and the next 365 days will fly by me again. Until than, I will serve with all my heart and soul in search for the humble and the meek who are ready to enter into the fold of our Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Welcome Back To Logan, UT

Well I'm sure all of ya now know that I am back in Logan, my hometown!! I came back because I've been sick throughout my mission, and had to satisfy insurance before they would remove the part of me that is causing it! Which is my tonsils! So I am here for a few weeks to get that taken care of!! It is FREEZING here, it was 80 degrees in Hawaii on Wednesday. But I just thought I'd post a few pictures of what I've been doing since than.
First off, I visited the Garritson family. Elder Garritson was my last companion and he gave me things to bring to them. So we swung by, I talked their son up to sound like he's amazing (which he is) and than headed for Cache Valley!
After we got in the valley we kinda "toured" it. We drove around and I took a bunch of pictures to document it all!! I love Logan and Utah State that's for sure!!
I saw my grandpa and grandma, and boy they sure had a surprised look on their face!!
My parents did a good job of keeping this ALL a secret that I'd be coming home to have surgery. So they had NO idea..so my mom called a "family conference" and I walked into surprise them!! haha.
I went to SLC to see the lights, and talked to quite a few sister missionaries, and a few other girls (unwillingly) that was a ...interesting night! haha.
Well anyways, I had my surgery Monday and I am now recovering. It's good to finally have them out so I can return to Hawaii at full force and work harder than I have. As for my area, Kahala, and Elder Davis..a new companion came in, Elder Taylor for Canada, and they will work together while I'm gone. When I return I will be in a tripanionship with both of them, and I'll probably transfer from Kahala shortly afterwards since this transfer ends January 9th. But thank you for all of your prayers, I am excited to return to work, and finish out the second half of my mission. Which in a way, this goodbye to the family will be a lot easier since I'll see them in a year!! I'll say goodbye for a year instead of two! A little easier if ya ask me! haha.
But to finish off, I know the church is true!! I love the Book of Mormon! I've been privileged to watch conference while I'm home (My ma got me the DVD's) and I love listening to the words of the prophets!! My goal is to watch a full conference every day! We'll see how it goes!! The video is the video I took when I surprised the kids. It was hilarious cuz they just sat there for a minute staring at me until Nicko asked, "What are you doing here?" Than it kinda clicked that it was me!! Kodak moment!!
video

Monday, December 6, 2010

Intermission

This may be old news to some but if you aren't on Facebook this will be new. Elder Travis is home for a couple of weeks to have surgery and recuperate (tonsillectomy). He had his surgery this morning without any complications. He's calling this an "intermission" in his mission. The first picture was taken at Temple Square on Friday and the last picture is of him after his surgery.


He's still a full-time missionary and is abiding by mission rules while he's home. He misses everyone in Hawaii and is anxious to get back "home" to the mission field. Thank you for your prayers for a speedy recovery and for your support.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Elder Garritson

Well, transfers was this week. The news came in Sunday night, and we found out the tragic news...Elder Garritson will be transferring from Hawaii Kai to Laie.
Elder G (Gar-Bear) was definately one of my favorite elders. My favorite companion definitely. We met at President Peterson's farewell, and I remember him giving his "greenie" testimony and I thought, "I want him as my companion!!" Well, three weeks later, we paired up in Kahala.
We had a lot of great memories. We baptized the best people August 21, 2010. We saw so many miracles and so many great things happen. We fought over USU and BYU all the time, and which was better.
Elder Garritson has a tremendous outlook on the work though. He is a remarkable Elder and I was so very honored to be his companion for three months, and be around him another six weeks in the same pad. He taught me a lot, and I hope I taught him a lot as well. He will definitely be a leader in the Hawaii Honolulu mission. He is a district leader now after only three transfers, and will be a zone leader, and then an assistant to the president soon.
I just wanted to do a blog on how much I love this kid even though he's a "little girl" and how much he taught me. We made a life long friendship and even though he's a cougar...I still love him!! If anyone wants to hear a pure strong testimony on the truthfulness of this gospel, he is the one to talk to. When I was first with him, I was 7 and a half months into my mission. I realized in the first few hours I was with him teaching, that I did not bear my testimony enough. He taught me to focus on how you know it's true, not just what you know. I wish him well in Laie, but will truly miss him in Kahala, and having even more memories in the beloved Honolulu zone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cultural Celebration and Laie Temple Dedication

Aloha!!!

So this week I had shorter time on the letter to the family so this will be a little better than the letter you get this week!! I sent my memory card home too haha. So be ready for that.

Anyways, so Saturday Elder Pieper of the Seventy came to talk to us. He was with us from 8 to noon or one. He interviewed Elder Garritson. That was way awesome haha, I was excited for him. But he just educated us and taught us how to receive revelation or answers to questions we have. He's really intelligent and knows what he's doing obviously! haha.
Later that night we had the cultural celebration. President Monson gave a talk at first (it was broadcast at the tab!) and he is so funny!! He is hilarious. He's comedy. I recorded that talk, he was funny! haha. But the celebration was awesome, interesting, but awesome.Then Sunday was the dedication of the Laie Hawaii temple. It was so spiritual. It was the first dedication I could remember. It was awesome though. President Thomas S. Monson, President Henry B. Eyring, and Elder Quintin L. Cook of the Twelve came to dedicate it. Emotions were running high with members that day. The feelings were strong as the house of the Lord was dedicated and ready for use again. We could all feel that the Lord approved of His house and was ready to receive the work for the dead.But that was it, we couldn't teach S*** this week so it was rougher week, not much work going on in Kahala, but we're working hard!!

Also my thought for the week: I was reading a book called "Truth Restored". Wow. That was a good book! I read it in two days cuz it caught my interest so much. I loved the stories it shared on pioneers. I seem to always forget the sacrifice they make. It's so touching to think of the love they have for God and the gospel, and how dedicated they were to it. They never turned back. They came to a desert in Utah and made the prophesy of Joseph Smith fulfilled!

Anyways, I love all of you and can't wait to hear from you!! Aloha!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching By The Spirit

Aloha!!

Wow what the week we had. I did service in Pearl Harbor again, which I told you about in a letter. That was pretty awesome!! We had a lot of fun doing that!!
We found a new solid person to teach. Her name is S***. Her friend, Tamara, who is a recent convert and was baptized in May, called us up (I was with Elder Jaramillo on exchanges) and she told us to come over quickly cuz her friend was asking questions and she was about to leave. So we booked it over to her house and went in with complete faith. We could tell her friend did not want to meet with us. It made it awkward. But we applied the trainings we had on those new fundamental principles and it changed the whole attitude of the lesson. We committed he to baptism without a set date. She didn't seem too sure, but she accepted. We than got into the restoration after talking about Christ on the earth, and as we talked about the first vision, the spirit just filled the room. It was so strong in their, and she started to cry. She couldn't describe how she felt, and Tamara helped her to recognize..it was the Holy Ghost. We set a date for baptism with her and she knew she had to be baptized than. She is set for the 25 of December (yes Christmas haha). She was so prepared, but I know these new trainings are so important and are inspired of the Lord. It opened that lesson right up. It was the best lesson I've ever taught as a missionary, and it was so awesome. It helped her open up to us even though she didn't want to meet with us at first, and now she wants to be baptized. Did she do a 180? Yes! haha
Anyways, the rest is in a letter so I won't ruin that for you :)
Love you and write me letters!!!
Trav

Monday, November 8, 2010

Training And Investigators

We saw great miracles this week. We had a huge training in Kalihi which is past Honolulu for 3 days from 8-3 which was good. it was helpful and I really learned a lot!!!
But on the other hand, there is a former investigator taught a while ago, H***, and her 10 year old A***, who we haven't been able to get a hold of for months!! I called her on Friday and we were able to finally make contact!! We ended up inviting her to the temple and did service for her on Saturday morning. We are going back this week to help her out!! So I hope we can get back to her.
We also were going to dinner one night (by ourselves) when I passed by a guy I remember tracting into. I felt like we should stop and see him but I didn't want to. But than I saw him outside and decided to pull over. We talked to him and he remembered us. It was cool to talk to him, and he actually fed us dinner last night. He is such a nice guy, and is kinda lonely. It was nice to talk and teach him a bit about the church!!


We got a referral from the temple open house today, we will see them sometime this week!!!

I also found out that C*** and C*** A***in Kalaheo were baptized!!! Officially, so that was really awesome to hear about!!!

Sean emailed me too and wants to go to lunch, so I will go with him this week as well!!!

Also on Wednesday, we will be going back to Pearl Harbor to do service. I'm pretty excited about it!! Hopefully we can do more of a tour this time, but we'll see!!!

Anyway, today is the 11 month mark to when I was set apart as a missionary. In a month, it'll be a year. That is pretty weird. It's been so fast, and hard to really fathom it all. Crazy.

Anyway this was a miracle week and I'm sure we'll keep seeing more as we work hard and are diligent!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

MTC Flashback

Note: This is being posted by Elder Travis' mother.
With all the news coverage in Utah about the upcoming trial of Brian David Mitchell and his abduction of Elizabeth Smart from her home I decided to mention an experience that Elder Travis had in the MTC.

He was sitting down at lunch and/or dinner talking to a very sweet Sister Missionary when he happened to glance down at her name tag and it said "Sister Smart." He didn't even realize that he'd been talking to Elizabeth Smart since she had cut her hair and grown into a very poised beautiful young woman. All he knew was that he was talking to a Sister Missionary who had been called to serve in France. I posted the picture above first bz it makes me smile to think of the great, and I'm sure, indescribable joy her family felt when she was found alive and returned to their arms again. What a miracle and beautiful tender mercy from the Lord this family received. I'm sure all of heaven rejoiced with them that day.This picture above is more of how Elizabeth looked in December of 2009 as she was in the MTC preparing to leave on an LDS mission for 18 months. It's unfortunate that she has to return from her mission to testify in his trial but I admire her courage for doing so and I know Travis does too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Elder And An Oahu Update

Aloha!!
We had a great week. I have my new companion, who is Elder Davis, from Las Vegas. (Davis from Vegas). He is...5 days in the mission field haha. He's a great elder, has a great outlook on the work, and is a hard worker. We will see great things in Kahala the next 6 weeks.

Being a district leader is interesting, we are more busy, but it's fun working with the other elders and seeing how they do work. I'm over McCully, and Manoa. So we have 6 elders in our district, but we are going to really see miraculous things happen!!!


Our 13 year old investigator went to the Laie temple open house and LOVED it. He said he wants to live there, so we will invite him to be baptized this lesson and hope to see something come about :) We need a baptism in Kahala, and I'm praying we'll see one soon for Elder Davis :).


I heard about the Aggies loss to Hawaii. A lot of UH fans are here, and they know I'm all for USU, so they let me know haha. There was a visitor from Centerville who I sat in front of. He showed me his tie, which conveniently was ...Utah State!! After church he gave it to me, I was very surprised and felt bad I had nothing to give him in return. But it's hanging in my room :) And my plan is to walk off the plane with this tie on :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Surprising Transfer Twist

Aloha!!
Well transfer calls came in.
Sunday night we were informed Elder Garritson was being transferred. We were both pretty sad we wouldn't be staying together in Kahala and Hawaii Kai. But for the past week, I've had a gut feeling that I was going to train or be a district leader.
Well Monday morning, President Dalton called Elder G. and they had a long talk, than he pawned the phone off to me. I knew it was coming. "Elder Smith, the Lord needs you to train a missionary, can you do it?" Of course I told him I'd try my best. "Good to hear Elder Smith, with you being a district leader for a transfer, you already have experience we are excited for you!" "Wait...what?? I'm not district leader President!" I replied. "Oh, that's right. Elder, the Lord has another calling for you, you are going to be a district leader, can you handle it?" haha, it was hilarious but it wasn't at all surprising (meaning he'd had a feeling that this would happen to him). Let me tell you what WAS surprising. Elder Garritson was informed he was going to train, be a district leader, and white wash into a new area...Hawaii Kai!!! (In a later email he explained what "white wash" was....."white wash - he will be going into a new area, and his companion will be, meaning he doesn't know anyone or anything and neither one have been in the area, so they have to start at square one. But it's not a real white wash cuz we covered Hawaii Kai last transfer"). I was sad to lose Hawaii Kai cuz things were picking up, but they deserve full time missionaries, and great missionaries such as Elder Garritson.
So we found out that he will be moving into the room RIGHT next door to us. So we have a four man pad, and will be around each other still.
So now, I'm strictly Kahala missionaries, and will train, and now provide trainings for another set of missionaries, and be more involved in leadership. I'm nervous, scared, and excited. It will be exciting to see what happens.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Elder Travis' Mom's Inbox

Elder Travis' mom here: I found this email in my inbox an hour or so ago. It's from Elder Hatch's mom.

"I saw Elder Smith Today. He looks great. I gave him a hug for you. He is really in the mission spirit. He is doing well and loves the mission. It was a treat to see him since we have shared online."

I knew her son was being released soon after serving an honorable mission. I never expected to see this though, or that she'd actually meet my son out there! I guess if I can't give him a hug this is the next best thing!

Oh, and aren't these trees the craziest thing ever?!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

I just got Elder Travis' memory card and had fun looking at all the signs he sent pictures of. I've very intrigued by this "Kiss and Ride" sign with "Drop-off and Pick-up!" Now that's the "Aloha Spirit," lol!

In high school one of Elder Trav's friends, who was a girl, used to call him "manimal" so this decal really must have made him smile!

Dog the Bounty Hunter....
but I prefer the young man on the left!
The danger signs are all along a trail for a hike they took up Kuliouou. More pictures of this hike will be posted with his email next week.
A warning sign for a hazardous cliff.

Transfers are this week so I'm really excited to see where the Lord calls him to next. One things for sure, if there's a unique sign in that area Elder Travis will find it!