Monday, December 28, 2015

It Was Soooo Nice To Being Able To See You On Christmas.

December 28, 2015
Hey, Fam!! & Friends,
It was soooo nice to being able to see you on CHRISTMAS. You looked so well. I couldn’t have been more happy, seeing all your faces just makes me want to work harder.
Man, Christmas was so nice!  The hard part with the holidays is we can’t really work. Every day people have family over, doing activities and don’t want to stop what they are doing and hear this awesome message that we have that could change their lives. But it’s okay because there will come a time when they will be able to. So Christmas Eve and Christmas we couldn’t work as hard, but it was nice visiting all the members!
Even though we couldn’t really work for two days, we have three awesome investigators that actually are progressing. That’s one of the reasons I’m emailing so late in the day is that we were playing with one of our investigators and his friend…SOCCCER! YES, SOCCER! I got to play some soccer and some basketball. But I got to play some soccer, which was very fun and very needed. The investigator we are teaching him English and he has invited two friends over, so we are trying to get all them wanting to come to church and hopefully get baptized! (crossing my fingers) It’s funny that I am teaching someone English when I have no idea how to speak Spanish…lol. But somehow I’m doing it and it’s been awesome.
So, guess what?? Yesterday I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting. That was… fun but it went well. AND THEY COULD UNDERSTAND ME! I was just praying and praying for God’s help, so that I could feel the Spirit and that the members could feel the Spirit and understand me. AND GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER. So yeah—this gospel is pretty cool.
Man, I am sorry but I don’t have a lot to write today. AND we did just talk three days ago so I don’t feel so bad. Sorry it’s so late but there was a lot to do today and very little time.
Oh wait...so today for lunch, guess what we ate? HOT DOGS AND BROWNIES! My companions told me that they’ve never had brownies ever on the mission and I got it on my second P-day. So life’s good. Real good.
AND tell Adrian… Congratulations!!! Tell her I love her and that I am so happy for her…. It’s so weird and awesome!
I love you guys with all my heart. I know this gospel is true and missionary work is pretty cool.
Talk to you next Monday.
Nos vemos. Les amo!
-Elder Pukahi
P.S.  We are eating 6 times on New Year’s Eve. PRAY FOR MY STOMACH!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Email From Elder Pukahi's Mission President

All the missionaries at our Mission Christmas party on December 18th.
Elder Pukahi is in the middle back on the right side.  Look for the big smile.

December 23, 2015

Dear Pukahi Family,


We express our sincere gratitude for the service that your son Elder Pukahi is offering as he helps the children of God return to him.


The continual love and contact from you and to your son will help that he accomplishes in developing a higher level of maturity and spirituality, and become a great teacher of the Plan of Salvation.


We desire that in these days and always, the Blessings of God are with you and your family.


Sincerely,


President and Sister Morales


P.S. Here are some pictures that were taken at our Mission Christmas Party for you to enjoy.



Elder Pukahi with Santa's helper.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Elder Mullins, Elder Pukahi and Elder Phelps
My new companions
December 21, 2015
Hola, mi familia y amigos!
HOW’S LIFE?!?!  So many things have happened since my last email, and I have no idea what to say. But I love my companions and I love Reynosa!
We golfed today!
Okay, time to let you know what’s been going on… So I have the best companions. COMPANIONS! YES, that is correct—I said companions. I AM IN A TRIO AGAIN! Lol… but that’s okay because I love them a lot. Their names are Elder Mullins and Elder Phelps. THEY ARE BOTH FROM UTAH. I think Elder Mullins is from West Valley and Elder Phelps is from South Jordan. They are pretty cool and both have tons and tons of experience. They are both District Leaders. Elder Phelps is actually going to be killed off soon [an Elder’s term for going home soon] and Elder Mullins has been in more than a year. They are AWESOME. I can’t even express how cool they are.
Dad, are you proud!!!
Okay, so now where we are staying. I’m in the city, so I can receive packages easily. It just depends on how fast is gets to the P.O. Box in Texas and then to the mission home. So send packages whenever. I’m in no hurry!! We are like 10 minutes away by bus from the mission home. It’s pretty nice. The city is called San Jose, Reynosa.
Man, we got a lot of work to do. I could keep listing and listing what needs to improve, but it doesn't matter because that’s going to change now. We just talked with our mission ward leader about getting the ward more involved, so hopefully more people will be wanting to go to church and become baptized. I feel like every single missionary is only thinking about baptisms, which we need very badly, but it’s not just about getting baptized. It’s about Enduring to the End -- to keep going to church every day and trying to become better every day. Hopefully I can get the members to understand that and the new upcoming investigators. We’ll see. Wish me luck. I am trying my best!
Elder Pukahi Skyping for a very long time
with his family on Christmas day.
SKYPE! Okay, so we are going over to a member’s house at 5:00 pm our time (4:00 pm your time). I am so excited to talk and see you guys.
How’s Yoanna?!! How’s that good old stomach of hers?! Hope the baby is doing good.
Okay, so are you ready for me to tell you about my week? MAN, BECAUSE IT WAS A GOOD WEEK!
My first week I got doors slammed in my face, met probably the best members in the world, on my first day got a cake in my face to welcome me into the mission field by members, got yelled at by a loca abuelita [crazy grandma] to come inside and watch the news, had the mission Christmas party, and taught some great lessons. It was lot of things!
My first day with the best members ever.
About four minutes after this picture, my
face was in this cake.
Okay -- first about the loca abuelita… so we went over to this home because we had a cita [appointment] with the daughter to teach her. So we went there and was let in by the brother (not sure because my Spanish isn’t that good yet) but the daughter wasn’t there yet. So we just chilled inside the house, watching the family walk in and out of the door and I had no idea what was going on. But ten minutes later, she walked in. She’s very kind and started talking with us, but before we could even start the lesson or anything, the abuelita came in and both of them literally were forcing us to eat with them. We rejected and rejected and actually tried to leave but they literally wouldn’t let us leave unless we ate their food. lol. But we had to wait for the food to even be cooked. (Side note: people here do not know time, when the say right now it means like 30 minutes later, so when they say to have food and it’s only going to take two seconds, it means an hour). 
Walmart got burnt down...who would do that!
I've never been so sad that
I don't have a Walmart.
The funny thing is while the daughter was cooking, the abuelita told us straight up that she didn’t want nothing to do with our church, she didn’t want us to talk to her daughter, didn’t want anything to do with us really, and there she was cooking us food, making us EAT!  And even funnier was when the abuelita was in the other room, she then bursts in the room and starts screaming and screaming at her daughter. I am just fresh off the boat. I didn’t understand a single word that came out of their mouths when this was happening, so I just leaned over to my companion. He’s over there laughing so hard and what he translates for me is "don’t you dare talk to them like that! I like them! They are nice! They actually talk to me unlike you! They are nice to me unlike you!" and a lot more other words, but here I am, having no idea what is going on, peeing my pants. After that, I was utterly scared of that abuelita. I still am, but SHE LOVES US. And she’s scary lol. Oh, I love Reynosa!
Well, now for something spiritual… This week I invited people to baptism and tried talking to people as best as I could. My companions wanted me to start contacting and told me to pick a house. So I looked around, prayed in my heart, and saw this house next to us. With the little Spanish I know, I knocked on the gate. A guy came out and I talked with him, telling him who we are and stuff, but I couldn’t say much. All I did was smile because I didn’t know how to respond. But he told us we could come in and not knowing what to expect, we walked in and found a whole family of six. And the best part was that it wasn’t the complete family. When we went inside to visit, I tried my best talking with them.  We started with the lesson, talking to them about the restoration and how there was an apostasy where Christ’s church was no longer on the earth. And we explained how there was no light, no light of Christ at that time. And I don’t remember what we asked, but I remember the mom. The mom at first looked very, very hesitant about us when her son invited us in. But her answer was "we are all trying to find the light" and she said this with tears in her eyes. When I looked into her eyes, I could feel the SPIRIT so strongly. I taught and bore testimony and went by the Spirit but I know this is what she needs. And I think SHE knows that this gospel is what her family needs. We have a cita with her tomorrow, so I hope that they will progress.


I KNOW this church is true and I know this work is what I need to be doing. I love this so much and I thank you for allowing me to do this. I hope I can become like my companions and like my Savior. I try every day to be better and do more. So thank you for everything!
I love you guys with all my heart! I know this Gospel is true and brings Light into people's lives. I love everyone so much. Thank you for everything I have!

- Elder Pukahi

Monday, December 14, 2015

Leaving From The MTC Today!


My district on our last night together in the MTC.


December 14, 2015


Hola, Family & Friends!
Sorry but I don’t know how much time I have because I am just getting here…
So yesterday was awesome and sad but mainly awesome! Saying goodbye to my District was I think the saddest part. It’s crazy how close I got to people in only 6 weeks. Just think how much closer I could get to the people of Reynosa and other people in my mission. But it’s nice having Elder McGary with me and our good old Latino friend, Elder Lovano. And guess what?!?! I am literally running on an hour of sleep. Whew! Lol. But I am surviving. I think my p-day is from now on MONDAYS, and I’m not sure how much time I have, so this might be a short message or maybe not. We’ll see. I’m just waiting for them to tell me when to get off.
Anyways, it’s time for me to get telling you what I think so far…
Reynosa is definitely where I am suppose to be called. It feels like home! It’s weird but it’s the best! My mission president is way cool, and he is very nice. ALSO his son is serving in VINA DEL MAR, CHILE…Quinton!!! lol. BUT his son is coming home on Wednesday, so I don’t know if Quinton would have known him or not.
Anyway, it is weird, though, being at my mission and away from the MTC. I don’t know anything right now. When people talk to me, I can reply but with really bad Spanish…haha. I feel like a dog on a leash, just being led by people and following every direction they pull me. I really have no idea who my companion is, where I’m going, anything really…so sorry about that. It’s because it is only ten o’clock in the morning, and we just arrived to the mission home.

Okay, I have to talk about Reynosa, where the mission home is. It feels like I am in Utah, just very dirty and a little poorer Orem, Utah. So it’s nice. I like it. But I guess I will tell you next week where I’m going to be going because this is only where the mission home is at. And sorry that I don’t have much to say but it’s because I don’t know anything yet.
I’m happy to hear that you guys are having an awesome time at home, and doing spiritual things and everything. I guess I’m being spiritual, too. Man, we’re all being spiritual, who knew? We aren’t just talking about poop and farts…Oh, how I miss that. lol.

I love you guys so much. Sorry this email isn’t much but I will info you more next week.

- Elder Pukahi



Friday, December 11, 2015

A Lot Has Happened This Week, It's Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!!!

Elder Pukahi - Mexico City Temple
December 10, 2015

MTC WEEK 5


New Mailing Address after Monday:

Abelardo Morales Mendez
ATTN: (Elder Pukahi)
701 N. International Blvd
STE 101-1511
Hidalgo, TX 78557


HI, FAM!
A lot has happened this week, it’s crazy, crazy, crazy!!!
We went to the temple today!! So I don’t have a lot of time to write because there’s a lot to do. But the Mexico City temple is so beautiful!
I recommend that everyone should go to the temple this upcoming week because it brings so much peace to our lives. It’s just beautiful, and it was especially nice going right before I leave to Reynosa. Oh yeah, did I mention…
I’M GOING TO REYNOSA ON MONDAY!
The reason I’m overly excited is because yesterday I had an awesome experience. I talked with a man named Alfonso who lived in REYNOSA. It was during TRC (that’s where we teach volunteers, and we explain how they can receive revelation better, but it’s these people who are usually God given Saints, so it mainly consists of us talking and bearing our testimony, WHICH I LOVE!
Alfonso is a friend of my teacher from his mission. When he came in, we started talking, trying to get to know him. So we’re all like ¿De donde usted? and he says, "Reynosa". Then me and my companion, Elder McGary, turn to each other and start freaking out…lol. But we got talking with him and he’s awesome. After the lesson, we talked with him some more about Reynosa and the people, the weather, just everything! It got me soooo excited. There’s a reason for everything. If you don’t see it now, you can later. I’m so excited to go, even though, I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE, or teach or really anything! BUT I know if I just trust in my Lord, my Savior, Jesucristo, I can do anything.
And that leads me to my next topic – Jesucristo!
On Sunday we watched the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional, and it was awesome because WE COULD LISTEN TO MUSIC!! Did I cry? Yes. Am I ashamed? Not really because music just hits the soul.
But during this whole week we’ve talked and talked about CHRIST. I mean, yes, I know it’s the Christmas season, which makes me even more happy, but Christ is EVERYTHING! He’s the reason we can be happy, the reason we can fill joy, the reason this gospel is alive and striving, and the reason WE ARE ALIVE is because of CHRIST.
Christ is our Savior. And I know this time of year is hard for our family. Actually that’s part of the reason why I cried so much, just remembering all the bittersweet memories. But remembering those memories made me even more excited about leaving and preaching this gospel. Those memories are hard and sad, but they are also filled with so much LOVE, specifically CHRIST’S LOVE. And as a family we have been blessed and blessed being able to feel that great and powerful love. And that’s why I’m here. I’m here to bring people unto Christ. SO THEY CAN FEEL THAT LOVE.
In our devotional we had on Tuesday, he asked us the question, "Why did you decide to be a missionary?" and I thought....and thought....and thought. He actually had us think for 5 minutes, thinking about our reason. And my reason came to me…and I want to share this with you, but I sort of don’t because it’s from deep in my heart BUT I feel I should so that you may understand why I am here and for you guys to understand WHY WE NEED TO SERVE.
The reason I’m here in the mission field is because I realized how thankful I am to my God. He has given me everything, and what I learned from our experience with Josh is that God can easily take things away. And the amazing part is He does that because He LOVES us. He loves us so much and the only way I know I can give back is to serve. SERVE HIM and bring people unto him.
I love you guys so much!!! It’s crazy to think that this Monday I am flying to Reynosa. Also, nobody goes to Reynosa. For the past 6 weeks, nobody has flown out to Reynosa from the CCM. And there’s only three of us leaving—Me, Elder McGary and a Latino. It’s going to be an adventure!
I’m so happy to be here. I’m happy with the things going on at home. I love you all soooo much!!!!!
FELIZ NAVIDAD!
- Elder Pukahi
p.s. Carlton & Cody, the guy that made your scripture cases who works here says HOLA!

p.s.s. I expect PICS FROM THIS CHRISTMAS!!! AND BE HAPPY!!!

My companions and Hermana Bigley in background
My Great District and Hermano Canadian,
who is chilling in the front


Saturday, December 5, 2015

We Got Out Of The Walls Of The CCM!


"I convinced the hermano to let me ride it. IT WAS SOOO COOOL!"


December 2, 2015


Hola, Family & Friends!!
Okay, so today we got out of the walls of the CCM! It was for immigration stuff AND Mexico City is HUGE!!!!!! The people are nice, and it’s so fun talking with people, even with my really, really broken EspaƱol. lol. And because we went to the city, I do not have much time, so today’s email will have to be short. Plus, I get to go play some Latinos in soccer!
But this week has been awesome… Remember how I said God makes it happen so whatever you need he supplies. It’s verdad [true]! The devotional this Tuesday was a devotional from Elder Bednar like from four years ago. Not really sure when but he was talking to people before the age change happened. But that’s not really important… He talked about what we can learn from Christ--not about Christ. And what he means is that Christ through his whole life, through everything he did, he NEVER looked inward. HE ALWAYS LOOKED OUTWARD. No matter what it was—to help, to care, to love the people that hated him. No matter what he did, he still loved. For example, at the time when Judas betrayed him and Peter cut off the guard’s ear. Jesus, knowing he was going to die, even after suffering for all our sins having no strength left, HE HEALED THAT GUARD’S EAR! He is the perfect example.
It got me thinking – WHO am I? Am I the person who only cares for himself? Or in the time when I am most needed will I care more for the person next to me than myself?
This reminded me a lot of Mothers—especially you, Mom. Mothers will do anything—ANYTHING for their children. I remember so many times, Mom, when you were having one of your major headaches and wasn’t feeling good at all, but when I needed you, YOU would get out of bed to help me with something I COULD HAVE definitely done on my own. SO THANK YOU! I could never repay you for what you’ve done in my life. I wish everybody knew that I HAD THE BEST MOM! Thank you, thank you!!
But this is what I want to leave you guys with. Who are we going to be? No matter what we do, we can’t decide today that we are who we are. BUT today we can decide who we want to become.
I love this Gospel soooo much. It’s crazy how much God is in our lives. I remember in Sunday School, Brother Ward told us 4th Ward wardies to write in our journal every day where we could see God has had a hand in. DO IT! Because then, you will realize how much we are NOTHING without our Father above.
I love you, family! I love everyone!!!

- Elder Pukahi

Thursday, November 26, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!

and who said I wasn't a photographer.
November 26, 2015


Hi, FAMILY & FRIENDS,
THEY FED US TURKEY, MASHPOTATOES, AND PIE!!!!!!!!  It’s literally the best day ever. I mean the CCM food is usually good, but there is nothing like a good ‘ole AMERICAN meal. Love, love, love, love, love!
My LATINO AMIGOS! I love them so much! they left this last Monday to the field but after our missions were are all going to Chill!
Man, I have so much to say…. Okay, so my Zone had one of the district's leave to the field. It was sad but happy and exciting times. I mean they get to go share this wonderful gospel with so many people. They are going to do so well! This district has helped us all A LOT, as we have been bearing testimony to each other the whole time. ALSO, most of them are from Utah and actually lived sooo close to us. One of the Hermanas, Hermana Hollingshead, I went to school with her in 9th grade. She went to Timp...(shaking my head) but it’s all good. Love her still. I didn’t realize how much I was gonna love each Elder and Hermana. Everyone has such a sweet spirit here and everybody is here for a reason. IT’S AWESOME!!
OKAYYYY… so this week, I learned a whole lot. In one of the lessons from Hermano Candiani, we talked about Christlike attributes, and how we need to become like Him. It was about "what we do" vs "what we are". Just because we help one person doesn’t mean we can classify ourselves as a helpful person. It’s like this... If you want to be good at soccer, you have to practice every day until being good at soccer is a part of who you are. Then we can classify ourselves as being good at soccer or whatever. This is exactly how we can become like Christ. If we try and try to do things like Christ EVERY SINGLE DAY, then one day, just maybe one day, we could become as perfect as he was.
Adrian’s brother... I FOUND HIM!
THEN after we got asked the question, "Who do you want to become?” That got me thinking... Who DO I want to become? Do I want to become a good missionary, a good person, a good (hopefully) husband? But you can wake up one morning and suddenly you’re good. You have to work on it. So I’m going to work on being better and becoming the person I want to become and what God wants me to become.

And here's the pic of them 

having Thanksgiving dinner.

OKAY—next story... So I realized today that this is the first Thanksgiving without Josh and I was getting really, really sad. But, of course, God is always on our side because in Tuesday’s night Devotional, it was what I needed. The devotional was awesome! It was from an Elder from the Seventy that, unfortunately, I can’t remember his name right now, but Hermana Bigley later talked about how the Elder bore his testimony of how Jesus Christ was his best companion in the mission field. AND STILL IS. When she said that, it reminded me of the bands we got for Josh’s cancer-- the "NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE!"  And for a long time I always thought that they applied just for Josh and his cancer. But it’s not. It’s for all of us. Those words are a clear reminder for me that I AM NEVER ALONE. If I’m struggling or the person next to you is struggling, we are not alone. We are never alone. Even through our trials, Jesus Christ is right beside us, wishing for us to understand the better plan. Just remember that we have people on the other side cheering for us to make it through. So I know it’s hard not having Josh here, but he´s with grandmas and grandpas, and they are all cheering for us to get through this earthly life and return to them. So if I ever get down or if you guys ever get down, remind me and remind each other that we have people, who love us so much, beside us, cheering us on!

From left to right--Elder Lindsay (such a sick kid), 

Elder Henrie (love this kid) Elder Gunnell, 
Hermana Reynoso (lol I always called her Hermana Reynosa!) 
Hermana Hollingshead (my buddy from school), 
Elder Donkin (my rapper buddy) Elder Orrock (this kid kills me)
and Elder Gonzalez (such a sweet kid)


I love you guys so much! Thank you for being my family. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for supporting me. I’m very thankful for a lot of things, but I’m very thankful to be able to call you guys my FAMILY! I love you with all mi corazon.
-Elder Pukahi

(your favorite child)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

This Week Was Way Good!

Another Group Shot with Funny Poses
November 19, 2015


HI, FAMILY!
This week was way good! But let me just say something… Last week was crazy. After I emailed you, my whole district was depressed, and it was weird because EVERYONE is usually happy. So it was a little hard trying to help them and get their spirits up. But GOD CARES ABOUT EACH ONE OF US. We had something.... I don’t remember what it was… but it talked about the reason why we are here, and that we all have talents, and it was everything my district needed to get started again. I’m doing awesome, though.
OKAY, ABOUT MY COMPANIONS—yes, companions! I am now a trio. Since last week an Elder went home (which I mentioned in my last letter), we were blessed with another companion. And it was perfect timing because once we got him, within an hour we had to teach our investigator. It was fun. If one of us didn’t listen to the Spirit and the needs of our investigator, we were toast! But what I learned from this experience was if you just trust in the Lord and really listen for the Spirit, you have done your part.
My companions are Elder McGary (whose going to my mission that I talked about) and Elder De Friez – both from Utah. Elder McGary went to American Fork High School and graduated my year. It is awesome because he knows all the kids I played soccer with. Elder De Friez is from somewhere in Emery County... I think. Lo siento [I’m sorry]. But they are awesome, and we are connecting really well. BUT LET ME JUST SAY-- They love my singing. LOL.
Sundays are the best. I think Jessica was the one that told me that and it’s the truest thing in the world. Just no matter how hard the week is when you get to Sunday, you can just feel the spirit tremendously and all your burdens are lifted away. It’s pretty nice.
So I heard France got bombed?!?!! WHAT?!?!?!
Anyway, I have had an awesome time here in the CCM. Why I say that is because even though the teachers are helping us, we are helping them. Sharing our testimonies every day is the best and it helps each one of us. One of my teachers, Hermana Silva, lost her father two weeks ago, and we only got to chat a little, not very much, but man, I just know we will have an awesome talk. I CAN’T WAIT!
Spanish is coming. It’s hard and easy at the same time (well, CCM Spanish. LOL.) I know it’s nothing compared to the field, but hey, at least I’m learning. It’s awesome because when you have the Spirit, it brings everything unto your remembrance and it totally helps with memorization.
There’s so much to say but so little time… I love each and every one of you.
WAIT… one more thing. The best chocolate candy things in the world are called "buenos". Coleson, Carlton, Cody, do you know what they are?!?!  Oh, and Coleson, there’s all these maestros [teachers] who know you because you served in their ward and they remember you. They say I act and look sort of like you so I’m taking that as a good thing.... right? LOL
Oh, and Adrian, I found your brother but every time we see each other, neither one of us has our camera. So I promise I will get one before he leaves on Monday!
Love you, family!
De su favorito hijo,
Elder Pukahi

p.s. Everyone loves my middle name-- thanks padres!