Monday, July 18, 2016

7-18-16 The Lord is with me here

SOOOOOOOOOOO much to cover, so little time! I have no clue as to why I only have ten minutes to write, library's rule, but I'll find some way to do it, plus there is no SD card slot and I would need my chord to upload pictures, which is back at the flat. ANYWAYS, update!!

What an incredible week it's been. Main points I want to cover:
My companion! Elder Sinden is amazing. His transfer with me is his last transfer, he goes home in six weeks! The ward seems to love him, and the reason is so evident. He's super nice and way funny. He's patient in our role plays and lessons when I get stuck and he's always so supportive. The Lord has blessed me so much to be able to be trained by Elder Sinden. He's taught me so much in the last week, and I can't wait to see what I can learn from him in the next five! He's just an excellent man and missionary, and he will make me great(er). 

Next point: The area!
The Lord is definitely with me. These are amongst the friendliest, sweetest and warmhearted people I've actually ever been around. The aloha spirit is unparalleled of course, but these people have been so kind and welcoming of me. Even the street contacts are always kind, even when they're rejecting our message. The members of this ward are incredible, and being with them in church yesterday was amazing! The spirit in the ward is so strong, I love it, I really do. 

The wildlife! All I've been doing for about the last week has been taking pictures of the wildlife here. I'm so upset that I can't upload pictures, but I'll show you next week! I have pictures of deer in our back yard, squirrels, rabbits (there are rabbits EVERYWHERE, they're like our equivalent of mongoose), prairie dogs (also everywhere) and some awesome birds. Apparently there are also snakes and foxes here, so hopefully I'll be able to catch some of those by next week when I send everything. 

The scenery: Rolling mountains and plains as hard as the eye can see. I miss the ocean a lot, but I'll be able to see it again in five weeks haha. Our neighborhood is fairly new, a good fraction of it is still being built, so it's way nice. Almost as nice as the people, haha. 

The weather. HOT. KATAKATA SARA DINA. Apparently it's been especially hot in Denver since I got here (sorry Denver), averaging at 96. The elevation also kicked me in the butt the first day, I had a huge headache. I take my pain relievers every morning and I think that's what keeps my head level throughout the day as we talk and talk to people. We do a LOT of walking because the Denver North mission home is about a two hour drive from my area, so we're way ahead on miles. Unfortunately Elder Hunkin is not in my area, so I likely will not see him until we head out for Fiji, but President Mendenhall has cleared for Elder Hunkin and I to call each other for an hour a day for language study! We haven't done it yet, hopefully we'll be able to do it today, but I'm way excited. Anyways, yeah we walk a lot and Elder Sinden is a big believer in exercise and eating right, which is awesome for me. I definitely need it because 1. we're in a car a lot of the time and 2. we have dinner appointments every night, and these people like to feed. Back to the weather, I'm actually enjoying this dryness. My skin or hair or lips aren't really taking as much of a beating as I expected, and I don't really sweat much as I walk in 96 degree heat for an  hour. I'm excited because when I get to Fiji, after being here in the mountains and adjusting to the thin air and walking, walking around in Fiji might be a lot easier. 

So that's me in Denver! I'm honestly so happy and I've been sooo blessed to be able to serve in this wonderful area with these wonderful people and my wonderful companion. I'm sitting here in a library with another set of missionaries we picked up this morning because they're car-less. Oh, one of those missionaries' name is Elder Hirschi. He's a visa waiter too, called to serve in Jamaica. We called President Mendenhall last night about some district business (Elder Sinden is the district leader) and President Mendenhall told us that Elder Hirschi would be leaving on Wednesday to Jamaica! This is unusual because the transfer just barely started, but here's what happened: Elder Hirschi's visas came in, and the mission office asked President Mendenhall for permission to pull Elder Hirschi out immediately. President was hesitant, because pulling Elder Hirschi would cause some difficulty with companionships. The mission office told President Mendehall that Jamaica has not had a new intake of missionaries in three months, so they really needed more. President agreed, and Elder Hirschi is preparing to leave! I'm happy for him, he's been here waiting for more than a full transfer. This would have been his second. My district back at the MTC spoiled any chance of Elder Hunkin and I being pulled out as soon as our visas came in, but whatever. All that really matters is that I work my hardest here until I get to Fiji, because this IS my mission. Love what you teach, love where you teach, love WHO you teach, and I truly do. I'm not a week in, and I will miss this place.

Looking back at the MTC, it was definitely a long time but DEFINITELY well spent time. I will never forget my experiences and the spirit I felt there. I miss my MTC comrades so much, but knowing that I'll see them in five weeks is super comforting. Knowing that I'll see you folks in only two years is way comforting, as I'll have grown stronger in every way. 

Vinaka, na noqu matavuvale, ena vuku ni KECE kemudou cakava ena vuku ni au. Au vakila na veivakalougatataki mai kemudou kei mai 'Io ena Philippines. Au masu veisiga ena vuku ni kemudou, na nomudou veitaqomaki kei na nomudou bulabula. Au vakavinavinakataka na kosipeli oqo kei kece na ka vinaka na kosipeli oqo solia vei au. Au kila ni bula na kalou kei ni dina na lotu. Au kila ni kila na nodra gagadre na kalou, kei a vakalougatataka keda kevaka keimami masu kei wilika veisiga na Kalou. Au na raica Viti ena lima macawa, soon sara dina! (Vosoti au ena vuku ni na noqu vakaviti ca)

The Lord is with me here, there is no doubt about that. I feel his love for me and the blessings from home in everything that I do. I can't thank you guys enough for everything you've done for me, I love you guys so much!

Until next week, moce!

PS I was able to add 15 more minutes several times as I wrote, which explains the long letter. 

More pictures to come next week

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