Friday, December 23, 2011

A Two Year Dream

Thus has ended my two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These past two years has felt simply like a dream. It slipped right by and before I knew it, here I am at home typing my "concluding" mission entry. It feels like yesterday, December 9, 2009 that I typed my first entry as a full time missionary, and within that span of time, I have seen many miracles and amazing things happen. I served my last year in two areas, and they became my two favorite areas. Kaneohe 3/6, and Lihue Kaua'i. The Kaneohe 3/6 area was such a terrific area and I truly learned how to love others, and how to develop charity towards my fellow brethren. I served 7 months in the Lihue ward, where I found many people who became like my family.
My whole mission was filled with people who would change my life, and I hope that I have changed theirs. When I first began, the hardest thing I did was to say goodbye to my family and leave 19 years of my life behind. Now after two years, the hardest thing I had to do was say goodbye to my other family in Hawai'i. To put the official stamp on my last entry I would like to post lyrics to a song titled "The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved To Do"

The hardest thing I ever loved to do
was letting go of everything I ever knew
nineteen years of dreams left in my room
as I buttoned up the jacket of my suit
The hardest word I’ve ever loved to say
was goodbye to my mom and walk away
choking on my tie and on my tears
as I walked down the hall into those years
the sweetest song I’ve ever loved to sing
filled the MTC on angel’s wings
the chorus filled my soul 5000 strong
and I wished it would just go on and on
the firmest hand I’ve ever loved to shake
was my trainer’s with that big grin on his face
he grabbed my bag and put his arm ‘round me
and whispered
"I’m gonna work those Mr. Macs right off your feet"
The hardest words I’ve ever anguished for
came just before some lady slammed her door
my trainer left me hanging out to dry
ans a minute of painful silence rolled right by
but the hardest tears I ever loved to cry
fell as I opened up my mouth and testified
between the tiny walls of a stranger’s living room
the Spirit told their hearts my words were true
the most wonderful sound I’ve ever heard
is the sound of water running in the church
as someone I’d come to love got dressed in white
my eyes saw their first glimpse of Heaven’s light
the hardest thing I’ve ever come to see
is a man down on his knees in agony
a drop of blood falls down on olive leaves
and for a moment he suffers there for me
the hardest thing I’ve ever loved to do
was getting on this plane and coming home to you
in a million ways completely torn apart
as a land so far away still owns my heart
in the most sincere prayer I’ve ever prayed
I thank my God for each and every day
for the blessing of the man I’ve come to be
as I walk up and kiss my mama’s cheek.

I am so grateful for the time I had to serve, and I know that God lives and He sent His son Jesus Christ to prepare a way for us to return to live with Him. I promise all of you if you follow His teachings and His commandments, you truly will be taken care of. I know this for a fact!!! I love this gospel and Jesus Christ. Mele Kalikimaka!!

P.S. Don't worry, I'll still be doing a blog :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Final Week As A Full-Time Missionary

What a week what a week!! It was my final full week as a missionary. I gave up, I didn't work much this week. What's the point? Going home in a week, it was tough, so I just kinda..slept a lot!! Just Kidding!!WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! I was hoping so hard I would have a baptism before I left, and I did!! It was for Beverly L***!! She was baptized on Saturday and it was a very special experience!! We fasted with her last Sunday to help things get moving, and she told us on Tuesday she'd do everything it takes to get baptized on Saturday! She asked me to perform the ordinance, and so it was a deep honor for me to be able to do that for her. It was an awesome, awesome week!! So
Beverly was baptized :)
Rest assured, I worked hard don't worry haha. We were able to get things done, and in the process I was able to get ready for my flight next week. Sunday was a rather special day too. We had the confirmation of Beverly, and then I was able to say goodbye to a lot of members. Kalaheo ward held a farewell party for me and Sister Kamada (she's leaving the area) too. I was able to see a lot of the members from my greenie area!! Not a lot of missionaries get to do that haha. On top of that, I got to call a bunch of members to invite them to the airport on Thurday evening. It was good to talk to members again such as the Pasikala's, Jackola's, Barkdull's, and Jay's. Many more too, I made a lot of phone calls!! Well, for this upcoming final week, I will spend tomorrow in the field, but than will fly to O'ahu on Wednesday. From there we'll go to the Temple, Polynesian Culture Center, and the Swap Meet. Thursday, we'll get to go to Pearl Harbor and see the USS Missouri, Arizona, and Bowfin Submarine! Than I'll fly out at 10 pm to land in Salt Lake City in the morning. What a ride it has been these past 2 years, from Kaua'i to O'ahu to Utah, to O'ahu, and back to Kaua'i. I can't believe 2 years have passed. I thank ALL of you for your support and encouragement the past 24 months, and am eternally grateful for this opportunity I have had to serve on a mission. I'm grateful for all the members, investigators, miracles, and the hand of God that has been involved in this work so many times!! I know without a doubt this church is true, and that Jesus is our Savior. I love Him and am grateful for His love.
I'll see you all this week.

Much love and Aloha

This is the last post by Elder Travis' mom. From this point on he will be posting after he gets home and is released from being a full-time missionary. We're so pleased that he will be returning with honor soon.
Elder Travis' Mom

Monday, December 5, 2011

"My Heart Is In Kauai And I Love It Here"


How are ya'll doing this week?

We had quite a week!! We had my final zone conference. It was a good Christmas Zone Conference. We watched "17 Miracles", and it was quite a movie. It made me cry, it was very powerful and I truly am proud of my ancestors who crossed the plains in the snow. What courage that took. We are soo so lucky to not have to suffer with any of this. We are SO blessed these days to have a better sense of "Freedom of Religion" than the poor saints in the 1800's.

Yesterday was my final fast and testimony meeting with the ward. I got up and thanked the ward for all the support they've given me. They have grown to become my family, and I love them so much for all they've done for me. Next week will be a very emotional goodbye as I officially say goodbye on Sunday.
(Pictured above: Elder Travis with the Stake Presidency in Kauai)

We have been working with Beverly, and she just wants to get baptized so bad, but she has those small things to work out. So we decided to fast with her on Sunday for a hope that a miracle could happen!! We fasted together and now we are full or prayers that she may be baptized sometime soon. I'm hoping for one final miracle to end my mission. But if not, it's in the Lord's hands and I continually see miracles every day!!
It is very weird to think that my mission will be ending next week and I'll be back in Utah. This is my last week before I fly to O'ahu and get ready for my flight home. I have very mixed emotions, even as I write this, to those thoughts. Only missionaries leaving the mission can understand, I want to stay, my heart is in Kaua'i, and I love it here, but on the same end, it's time to go home and get to a normal life and begin a new journey. But on the same end, I love this gospel so much I want to dedicate every day to living it like I have as a missionary. It's just weird, but it will be good to be with family once again, especially for Christmas.Aside from that, things are going good, and this week will be filled with goodbyes and farewells. I am excited for Sunday when Kalaheo ward (my first area) will hold a farewell party for me, and I'll get a chance to say goodbye to them. That same day I get to call members from my old areas on O'ahu (Kailua, Kahala, and Kaneohe) to invite them to see me off at the airport!

Well, I love you all and thanks for all you've done for me. I love this gospel and know it's true!! Hope to see you at my homecoming in two weeks and to talk to you soon!!