Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday Baptism

EDIT: The pictures are all of Laie in this post. I don't have any from his current area yet.
Another week down in Kaneohe!! We saw so many miracles again this week!!! We taught 25 lessons, mostly to investigators, and we are being led to the elect. We have a baptism on Sunday, which is for R***. He moved it back a day so he could get his family there! He told me that he "thought it was weird he wasn't a member, but really wanted to serve a mission." Solid!! I told him, and promised him that when he went through the temple for the first time, I'll be there. I'm so excited for this kid, he is just awesome. He was so prepared to receive this gospel!! We also saw D*** a few times. She is still set for Feb. 5th on baptism, and she really wants to see that day as well. She is solid and already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and prophets.
Other than that, we are hoping for a miracle baptism to happen here soon. The name is K***. She has been to church every week for a few years and just isn't baptized. So we are going to ask her and try to set that day Wednesday. The keiki who was going to get baptized on Saturday, L***, was pushed to Feb. 13. Her grandmother feels she needs to learn more and really know what she's getting into! Which I agree with, we had a few more lessons to teach her, so moving it was a smart idea!Anyways, we are seeing great miracles here in Kaneohe. It is amazing to see the blessings that the Lord has brought into Elder Barraza's and my life as we work hard. We are constantly out trying to teach, and if we're not teaching, we're finding. I love this gospel and everything about it, and I will never doubt that it's true!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Signs From The Mission

Elder Travis sent home his memory card and once again it's full of fun signs and things from the mission! As you enter the valley this sign is on the back of an old drive-in movie theater and it was a welcome site to Travis when he came home on his "intermission" to have his surgery.
I was with him when he took this picture. He said, "only in Utah would you see this sign," and you know what? He's probably right!
This was one of Elder Travis' dreams for his mission...seeing the Laie Temple. He was fortunate to do so the day after he arrived back in Oahu after his surgery.
Sometimes on hikes he sees signs like this. It's so sad and it makes you stop and wonder what happened to them. We're so lucky to know that there is a life after this mortal existence is over.
I'm not sure about this sign but I'm posting it bz he took the picture.
I love this license plate and the fact that the holder is from the "Munky Wurks" garage! Sounds like a fun place.
Self-explanatory again. I think I need one of these on my yard for the neighbors dogs (and cats).
The things people think of to put on license plates, lol!
Last but not least a street named for our famous Utah capitol city! I can hardly wait to see what signs are on the next memory card!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Busy Teaching The Gospel And Loving It


Man oh man, we had a terrific week!! I am in the Kaneohe 3rd, and Kaneohe 6th YSA ward. It is awesome!! I love the people here so much, and we have a lot of work to do!! I feel like I'm back in Kaua'i with all we have to do now haha.We have two baptisms next week!! An 8 year old girl, L****, and than R***.R*** went through the open house and was interested in the idea of baptisms for the dead, so he came to church. His friend recently passed away, so he wants to do his baptism for him in the temple. He is awesome!! We actually had a lesson with him this morning (taught him about three times). We shared the first vision with him and he loved it. The spirit was so strong and he told us he knew it was true with all of his heart. His eyes filled with tears as he talked about how he felt the Holy Ghost and a hand on his shoulder as he heard of Joseph Smith's experience. I get terrified when I, personally, have to share the first vision..because it's such a sacred experience I want to make it sound perfect. But through lots of prayer throughout the lesson, I was able to help him feel the spirit, and the conversion of it. It was a blessed moment.
We also have two more baptisms coming up in February with a lady named D***, and a guy named T***. D*** recently gave birth and started coming to church with her friend. She was interested, took the lessons and is now ready to be baptized!! T***'s wife gave birth and he's ready for it as well.

Needless to say, we are seeing so many miracles happen out here. I love being able to see the change others are ready to make!!

The Zone Leader responsibilities are heavy and we have to be a set example. So I try to be that example the Lord expects of me, and I hope I can fulfill that promise. But we are working hard, and seeing so many great things happen!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Transfer News

Aloha from the beloved mission of Hawaii Honolulu. Must I say that it is getting cold here. It reached 65 the other night, and I really had to bundle up! I kid you not, I was freezing!! Locals say it's cold cold here too!! I guess I adjusted too much. Oh well, haha it'll be warm soon! Just cold now. I had to wear a long sleeve shirt yesterday!
But that's Hawaii weather!!

We got transfer information for those who care!! I was called last night by President Dalton, and he informed me that I would be moving back to....Kaneohe!! Yes...that's right. I'm going to my old zone. But, I am not going back to my old ward/area, I'm covering the wards that the Zone Leaders cover. Did you catch that? I hope you did. They called me as a zone leader, and so the whole perspective I have on missionary work is about to change as I have more responsibility and look to serve the Lord better than I have previously! I am excited, but nervous as well, and it'll be really interesting to see!! My companion will be Elder Barzza, who is from Utah. He has been out 23 months, so I will "kill" him in his last six weeks of his mission. (EDIT from Elder Travis' mom - "killing" him means that he'll see him through to the end of his mission and nothing more sinister than that). He trained Elder Jaramillo, so we have a small connection with each other now. I'm very excited but very nervous. The Zone Leaders usually have good companions and good areas, so I will like that part!

Other than that, Kaimuki is a good place to serve and I had fun here the past two weeks with Elder Solomon. Whoever comes into here will see great miracles the next six weeks!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Crazy But Very Happy Month 12

Elder Travis had a pretty unique month 12 of his mission. He left behind the beautiful sites of Honolulu to come home and have surgery. He marked his one year anniversary here at home recovering. There were other things that happened before he flew home though and I'm going to recap the month for him.
It was a month of more creatures that live in Hawaii. I've never seen such a small Gecko as this one! They like geckos since they eat the blue centipedes.
He left his companionship with Elder Davis and his mom and dad became his new companions with his mission president being our stake president while he was home.
They were able to see some sea turtles while standing on a rocky ridge above the ocean (picture is zoomed in). I'm so happy that sea turtles became part of his mission and I'll share why with you at a later date.
There were more funny signs that he said could only be found in Utah! He's probably right about that too.
There were wonderful gifts from new friends.
There were many times he had to say hello.....
and many hugs he needed to give.
There were new family members to meet (who by the way adored him!)....
and a quick trip to temple square.
There were family pictures to be taken before church too. He also had the rare opportunity for a Hawaiian missionary to shovel snow! He didn't like that so much though.
There were improvisations to be made when there was no room in his closet to hang his clothes.
There was the traditional Christmas Eve party....
and the joy of watching his nieces open their gifts. Savannah fell in love with Uncle Travie too!
He taught his family how to properly cut a pineapple.....
and posed for the traditional picture by the tree in his new Christmas pajamas.
This year I bought him a white T-shirt to go under his Jazz jersey. Usually he gets a graphic T but none seemed appropriate this year.
There was time spent helping his father....
and calling and making his reports to the Zone Leaders and APs since he's a District Leader. Too bad he's wearing that horrid pink tie! Okay,okay, his mom isn't a fan of men in pink. He also kept pulling weird faces every time I tried to get a picture!
He pitched in and did service helping to get dinner going.....

and all too soon it was time to pack up and head back to his full-time mission duties in Hawaii.
The ride was too short....
but it was time and Elder Travis was anxious to go.
A passerby at the airport offered to take a picture of all three of us. We met kind people everywhere during his time home and we're grateful for the rare opportunity to spend time with him while he was set apart as a full-time missionary. Most families only get the chance to be around their missionaries after they're set apart until the next morning when they send them to the MTC and when they arrive home for a couple of hours until their stake president releases them. It was a choice experience I wish every family of a full-time missionary could have and for this experience we all know that we were extremely blessed by our Heavenly Father.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The New Year Begins In Oahu

EDIT: In the pictures below of Elder Travis the cute young lady by his side at the airport is his sister Kellianne.

Well the 13 month mark has come, 11 to go. It is so crazy how fast time actually goes in the mission, 11 months doesn't sound like anything, cuz I know it's all downhill from here. My friends begin coming home in April. Crazy.It is so good to be back in Hawaii. I am in the Kaimuki ward (Next to Kahala) which is in the Honolulu Zone. I am with Elder Nathan Solomon who came out with Elder Garritson, so he is about 6 weeks out. He is from Mesa, Arizona.

We had an awesome experience the day I got back!! It was the last day for one of the missionaries (I replaced him) and he was going home early for school. President Dalton called us up and gave us permission to go to Laie and see the temple (and do a session if we had time) since it was his last day!! We were stoked but saw we had no time. Our only appointment in the morning canceled and so we were like..."Um...let's go!" So we did!! It took an hour and a half about to drive up. We called up Elder Garritson and he came and saw us at the temple. It was good to see that little girl again, haha. I told him about the Garritson's wonderful gift that they gave to us! But I took lots of pictures!! (Elder G looks like he's gained weight in Laie!)But ya, everyone says I look way skinny now haha. They say I look very different than I did two weeks ago. Which is funny, cuz I'm at 153 right now, which is almost my MTC weight when I left the MTC.

We joined Kahala for a dinner at the Jay's and it was great to see them again!! They fed us WELL, and I felt like I gained 5 lbs from that alone!!
Another awesome thing, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Twelve was in Hawaii!! He fell ill here and so he called up to two Assistants to give him a blessing!! Wouldn't that be crazy to be a missionary and give an apostle a blessing?? Man, that'd be crazy. He is on the mend so no worries, but he just needed some hospital time.We also did a hike this morning, which was amazing!! It was beautiful with two big waterfalls. A little dangerous, but it was fun too.
New Years was amazing too, we had a lot of fun!! We went to the institute and played games there. Afterwards we went to Sister Freeman’s and had a party with the zone! She lives in a high rise, so we saw a good view of Honolulu and the fireworks. It was crazy. They just put a ban on fireworks which made them completely illegal beginning January 2. So this was the last year for them to go crazy, and they went crazy. I took a video of it, so enjoy!!