Anyways, I was so blessed and fortunate to be able to return back to the Hawaiian Island at the end of August and stay for a few days. I was on O'ahu from August 31 to September 1, and was on the beautiful island of Kaua'i until my return flight home on September 3. It was a very brief trip, but it was worth every second to be back "home". I wanted to give a little report of what I was able to experience while I was back in the islands.
If you remember in Kaneohe, I became very close to an amazing family, the Jackola's. My old companion Barraza and I were able to visit them and catch up. It felt JUST like we were still missionaries and visiting them, it was wonderful!!!! They are still hilarious and amazing people!!
I was able to visit with one of my favorite converts, Auntie and Uncle Jay. They were sealed nearly a year after their baptism date, and they are absolutely fantastic and strong!! They still have such a love and connection to the gospel!! They amaze me!! They have a fire that very few members have, even life long members. For that, they are examples to me, and I love them dearly!
Also on O'ahu, I was able to attend the Laie temple with the Keeler family from Lihu'e. President Dalton, the mission President, attended as well and I learned so much from him! We sat next to each other during the session and he taught me so much, he truly was called of God to be over the Hawaiian islands.
|What I did to Bro. Keeler's car!|
I decided to attend the Lihu'e ward for that fast Sunday. I had a lot of Aggie Pride as Bishop Young conducted the meeting and said "Our Aggie Warrior is in attendance today." A lot of the ward members were surprised to see me there, seeing as I gave them very little notice. But it was worth the look on their faces as I saw them and they saw me unexpectedly.
The last convert I was able to baptize before I left the mission stood up to bear her testimony very first in the meeting. Beverly did a beautiful job and brought tears to my eyes to hear her bear a powerful testimony. If you read the previous posts you'll know it took a lot of faith and prayers to see her baptism happen, but it was very spiritual. I stood up after her and bore my testimony of the restoration, and it was SO AMAZING being able to look out to that congregation and remember how each individual touched my life by their strong examples.
I saw other converts there such as Joey, Lisa, George, and others. Being able to see them still strong brought me SO much gratification in the hard work I gave into my mission.
One particular experience I wanted to share was with George and Pua. This was one family that had fallen inactive, George was a non member, and they had no interest in the church. Shortly before I arrived the missionaries invited them to church and they began to attend. I was blessed to be a part of the conversion process for George and see the family re-activated. When I was with Elder Coffin, we invited George and Pua to read the Book of Mormon from front to back. I even challenged Pua to a reading contest (She is a fast reader). Needless to say she read it twice by the time I finished once. I took the time to sit down with their family while I was back and catch up with them. They are still doing so well!!! Pua is a Primary teacher and George has received the Melchizedek priesthood (The higher priesthood). I loved being able to see the FULL circle of my work and see what was accomplished by their faith!
When I returned home, my Utah State tie was left behind in Hawai'i. Bro. Keeler thought it would be funny to skype him "Burning" my tie. I was horrified as I watched my tie catch fire. Later on I received it in the mail and he burned a tie that looked very similar to it. Well, he let me borrow his car on Kaua'i, so I decided to put USU stickers on his car :).
The Hawaii Honolulu Mission is still doing AMAZING, President Dalton informed me they had about 140 baptisms in July and were on track for over 100 in August. The Lord is working WONDERS in those islands.
Anyways, this is my report, and I apologize again for the lack of posting. I promise to do better :) I'll keep up with it!! Thanks so much for all the Love and Aloha I felt being back in the islands and I CAN NOT wait till I return.