Monday, February 29, 2016

MARRIAGE! You Think About Marriage A Lot...I'm Just Saying!

Karla and Manuel, both converts.
February 29, 2016


Dear Family & Friends,

MARRIAGE!  Here in the mission when you understand God’s plan, you think about marriage A LOT…I’m just saying!
And to hear about everyone getting engaged in the last month or so, especially Danielle and Melissa…that is just TOO weird!  But I am so happy at the same time. But really more on the weird side…okay, definitely on the weird side!!
So sorry to hear about our neighbor, Mrs. Cano. I thought she was beating the cancer. My heart and prayers go out to their family. I got tears in my eyes just reading of her passing. It reminded me a lot of when Josh passed away and I’m very thankful for the opportunity that we had to see your son and our brother pass into the Spirit world. I now know how thin that veil is and how it is getting smaller and smaller and closer and closer every day. Every day I realize how much I miss my brother, but I know he’s proud of me and how he wants me to be here doing this.
This week I have a surprise…MY COMPANION IS LEAVING ME! Tears, I know!  Well, I’m sad because I’ve learned so much from him and what’s crazy is that in the first three months when you come into the field, you are what they call "in training." And right now, this upcoming week, will be my last week of training, and so it is very weird. I will have the responsibility to show my new companion the area, our investigators, as well as the members. So this is going to be interesting! My companion is leaving to Río Bravo which is another area in our mission, and I’m getting Elder Adams. I have no idea who he is yet and none of the Elders in my house do either but it is fine. I have faith that everything will be all right!
But I want to share what happened yesterday. We were with one of our investigators who is soooo ready for baptism, and she knows that the church is the true church. BUT her mom is very Catholic and her friends keep putting ideas in her head that she isn’t ready for baptism. She actually has a lot of trials which stinks, but we have been praying this week on how we can help her take the step of baptism.
During our lesson with her, we were talking and she was saying how she wanted to get baptized but that she didn’t know if she could and when. And as my companion was talking to her, I had an impression. So I went to my scriptures. I didn’t really know what I was going to say, but I opened the Book of Mormon and I came to Ether 12:6. I already had it highlighted and everything. I knew that’s what I needed to share. As I shared it, something in her face changed, and as I finished reading it, I asked her what she thought of the scripture and how it pertained to her. And with a smile and sincerity, she said "I feel this scripture is for me". And when she left, she was very happy and we’re planning her baptism.  So hopefully Satan can stop being annoying and just leave her alone so she can be baptized.
But what I want to share about the Holy Ghost is found in 1 Nephi 4:18. It talks about obeying the voice of the Spirit, and I am telling you guys how important it is to follow the Spirit. When we follow the Spirit, only good can come from it. I learned how important that is as I have seen this week that every time we have followed the Spirit, it has led us to people who are ready to accept the Gospel.
I’m learning a lot every day, and I’m going to be learning a lot more this week with my NEW companion. I’ll be able to tell you even more about him next week.
I love you all!

- Elder Pukahi

Monday, February 22, 2016

So Yes, I'm Doing Great!

Elder Turner who is one of 5 other missionaries that live with Elder Pukahi.   Elder Turner is from California.

February 22, 2016


Hola Family & Friends,

So yes, I’m doing great. How is the fam?  How is Yo’anna and Coleson managing with the new baby? How’s the pretty, little princess? How is the family back in Hawaii?
You were asking about Reynosa and how it compared to Nacho Libre… It’s pretty accurate—you have no idea. But then again Reynosa is very different from the rest of Mexico but it’s pretty close.  One thing you should know about Reynosa is THERE IS NOTHING TO DO HERE ON P-DAYS. There are no museums or things like that. But I get to play soccer… so yeah...just letting you guys know.
Transfers... I think it’s going to be the first week of March. Don’t worry about getting me a package. I don’t need that many packages but I am very grateful for them! Thank you!
Kids are amazing. Mom, I’m so happy about your calling in the Stake Primary. Kids literally are angels just like Jesus Christ says in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. There are kids that we know here who are just perfect, and when they hear of Jesus Christ, they just know. They feel it’s true because they’ve had less time away from him. But then on the opposite, we have their parents who want nothing to do with the Gospel and I don’t want to be mean but they are horrible parents. So THANK YOU, Mom and Dad, for raising us with love and righteousness. It just hurts that I can’t help them with anything more.
Man... The work is getting better but I can’t get prideful or God will just put me back in my place, so I’m just going to say, it’s getting better. It’s still hard. People are still rejecting us, but at least right now, we have some fun with them. But God is just preparing us for something more.
Me and Elder Rodriguez are growing closer together and learning a lot going through this. But it helps a lot living with other missionaries. There are six of us living in the house together. We all help each other, and it’s nice hearing everyone’s wisdom. It’s crazy how much wisdom these twenty-year-old boys have. God really does work miracles. I mean look at us. How are we baptizing? We are literally 18-20 year old boys. Like Quinton said in one of his emails. THIS CHURCH MUST BE TRUE if we have 18-20 year olds doing the missionary work and we are able to convert others. We haven’t screwed it up. It really is crazy!!
Well, I just want to say this. This Gospel is True. it changes people’s lives. I mean just yesterday we had our recent convert (of just one month) accompany us on a lesson, and she bore testimony of what she knows. AND now our investigator is getting baptized. But our convert, if you knew her before and know her now—you can just see the difference. It isn’t that she changed her hair or lost weight…she glows, literally just glows. When she bore her testimony, you could just feel the Spirit and the truth that she bore. She doesn’t realize this change. All she knows is that she is happy, and I’m here to testify that it is the light of Christ that is in her now. You can just see it, and I can’t express how happy I am to see her like that.
This work is true, and I’m glad I am out here.  I love you all so much!
Les amo mucho!

- Elder Pukahi

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day To You!

February 15, 2016


Hey Fam! & Friends,

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too! YOU ARE ALL MY VALENTINE!
Okay, Mom, do I sound depressed in my emails? A mission is really hard but I’m not. I’m really happy. It’s just hard.
So… all the Spanish speakers in the house think I’m rich because our family flies all the time. I tried to explain about Dad working for Delta but they wouldn’t hear it. lol. But I’m happy you guys are having some fun. I want some pictures!
I’m thankful to God every day for you all. I pray each day for him to bless you and He is. This makes me very happy. Like you said Mom, I also testify that "He blesses us when we don’t know we need to be blessed". I see that all the time here in the mission, specifically with my companions. Each one has blessed my life. I mean it’s different things. Things you don’t realize you need or need in order to work, but God has put people in our lives to help and bless us. It’s pretty awesome. And I’ve learned how awesome God is through my converts.
Well, this week was also hard. BUT little by little we are getting success. And that really is it…little by little. As humans we always want things in an instant or right now. But life—God—isn’t like that. We see this in our investigators ALL the time. They always expect an answer to their prayers right then and there. But it doesn’t come. And then they close their hearts and don’t except anything. That’s the problem with man. We have pride. We always close our hearts if things don’t go our way.
But like it says in Alma 26:27… (Man, I can’t believe I’m going to share a scripture. I told myself I wasn’t going to be this kind of missionary) but it says (I’m translating it from Spanish so it’s not perfect from the scriptures) "and when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn away, behold, the Lord comforted us and said to us: Go back to your brothers the Lamanites and suffer with patience in your afflictions and I will give you success." He promises us if we are just patient and don’t give up, and don’t let our pride get in the way, that he’s going to help us. HE will Help Us! I learned that this week. Little by little we are getting success, and right now we have to work and work and work because God is preparing us the people who need this Gospel.
I love you guys so much! And mom, of course, I remember Nacho Libre’s big kiss, little kiss, little hug, little kiss… It’s actually pretty funny because I make Nacho Libre jokes here in Mexico but they don’t think it’s funny. SO I just laugh by myself but it’s okay… because I’M laughing.

- Elder Pukahi

Monday, February 8, 2016

And He's Answered Me!

Elder Gornez in the background just told the dumbest joke.  
And that’s my reaction on my face with my ukulele!!!

February 8, 2016
Mi familia & amigos,
First to answer your questions, Mom…
1) Regarding my pants, I am good for now. If I need pants it’s easier if I just buy them here.
2) More details about my companion… Well, he is truly amazing. And he pushes me in every situation—which kills me but I know it’s for my good, and I love and thank God everyday for making us companions. He has 9 months in the mission, and of course, HE PLAYS SOCCER! Which is very nice, and he’s very, very smart. This is awesome and annoying at the same time. lol. But he’s great! I’m going to be teaching him the ukulele soon. And after the mission, I’m going to go visit him in Honduras, just letting you know. Oh… and HE ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT HONDURAS AND HOW IT’S BETTER! Always!
3) My language…well, every day it’s progressing. It’s just frustrating sometimes but every day it IS better!
That’s awesome, Mom, about being part of the Stake Baptisms. PURO BAUTISMOS CON MI MAMA!  And KAULANA— I’m so happy for him and glad that you and Dad were able to be there.
Okay… So this week was really hard. All of our investigators stopped wanting to be investigators, and so we’ve just been knocking on doors all week. AND also thinking of different ideas and ways to find investigators, so that’s been fun.
I’ve also been thinking of what’s the reason why I’m in this area? Just trying to find the plan that God has for me, and while doing that, I’ve realized how thankful I am for these members in my ward. They are truly amazing. And I’m thankful to have made friends with some of them. You can see what God has done in this ward.
But I think why I felt this week was really hard was not because of losing our investigators or the doors closing in our faces and people just rejecting us, I think it was because of my expectations. Everybody has expectations of themselves.  We have expectations of our investigators. And what I realized with the help of my companion is that my expectations for myself were too high. They were to high for me to do it all by myself. But we need expectations. If we don’t have them and don’t have goals and don’t have the mind set to keep working, keep progressing—we are nothing. But if we put expectations on ourselves that are too high, sometimes it’s worst than doing nothing. Because it could leave us worst than where we started.
This week I learned something important. I CAN’T DO IT BY MYSELF. I always need the help from my Father in Heaven. AND I ALWAYS NEED TO BE ASKING FOR HIS HELP. God is there. He is always there. Sometimes we just don’t know it. But if we ask humbly, he will answer. And he’s answered me.
It’s crazy here in the mission. We just keep learning and learning and learning— never stop learning. It’s pretty exhausting but I love it.
I love you guys so much! And thank you for everything that you have given me— every single thing!
Thank you to all the family and friends that have been there for me and my family this past year. I couldn’t thank you enough.
les amo con todo de mi corazón,

- Elder Pukahi

Monday, February 1, 2016

I've Lost Weight!!

Missionaries in my Zone.
February 1, 2016

Mi familia y amigos,
Well, I don’t know how, and I don’t understand—out of the six pants I brought, I don’t fit in three of them. I’VE LOST WEIGHT!! Luckily two of them are my suit pants but those BARELY fit. And the scary part is IT’S WINTER! It’s not even that hot. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO DO!! I was losing weight in the CCM and that usually does not happen. Summer is going to kill me. I have to go shopping soon. lol.
I GOT THE PACKAGE! I love you guys so much! Thank you for everything. SPAM, Aloha shoyu, and nori—Pure love, you guys! Gonna make my musubi! I hope you understand how I much I appreciate the packages and everything. It really does mean a lot to me!!!
This week went by so fast. It’s crazy how fast time moves when your working. And crazy how much you learn. Sometimes the things you learn are very small and something you already knew but enhanced just a little bit more.
For example, this week I learned the importance of testimony. We have this investigator that Satan is really pushing on her. She has all these outward influences pushing on her not to make the right decision to be baptized. But we had another companionship with us in this lesson we had with her. And she was telling us her doubts and everything, and we were helping her understand that she knew all of this was true. That this is the right path for her in her life. And every doubt she had, each one of us as missionaries had experiences to testify to her if she acted in faith to be baptized, she would be blessed. EACH OF US had an experience and we bore testimony. And in the room you could just fill the Spirit. Every corner, every heart was touched by the Spirit. It was powerful.

So never give up the prompting of sharing your testimony of the truths you know because it could change somebody’s life. I bear testimony that I have seen these changes and they are real and they are true.
I love you guys so much. Missionary work is very fun!
- Elder Pukahi

P.S. Update me on Coleson and Yoanna’s baby this next week!!!


January 25, 2016

Week 12

Mi familia y amigos!
YOU ARE DOING JOSH’S TEMPLE WORK THIS WEEK!! That makes me so HAPPY and yet a little sad because I can’t be there. But I’m so thankful for you and this gospel!
This week was hard, I’m not going to lie. We currently have a couple of investigators which we are going to baptize soon but other than that, we’ve had no success. People just keep shutting the door on us. But it’s okay. From the heart, we LEARN and we learn to LOVE. This week will be better because I’m going to make it better… with a lot of faith and a lot of love in my heart.
My heart goes out to the people at home. EVERYONE who has made me the person I am today. I am so thankful to have everybody I know in my life and I’m thankful for all the trials I’ve had and still will have in my life.
For example, Josh… This week is hard because it reminds us of our dear brother and son. It reminds us of the sad times but also the happy. I was reading in my journal of the time when it was starting to get bad, and I wasn’t up to going to school that day. So I came home and found mom and dad, surrounding Josh in his bed, asking him questions. I joined in and remember us asking him about his time in France and Alaska, his favorite color—those type of questions, just trying to get him to talk because he was really drugged up that day. It was one of those bad days.
But I remember this part really clearly. It was when we asked Josh what his favorite song was. And of course he said there’s too many because there really is—no person has only one favorite song. But we asked him if he could just tell us one. And we couldn’t understand his answer, so we told him to sing it. And he did until I remembered what the song was and hurried and found it on my phone and played it. I clearly remember as this song played, “Coming in from the Cold”, tears rushed down Josh’s face, and then, of course, ours also. The reason he liked it so much was because of the lyric—“Why do you look so sad and forsaken? Don’t you know as one door closes, another one opens?" It’s about hope, a new day. I will never forget this memory ever because Josh gave us some truth from the words of Bob Marley. Right now it is hard. It’s hard because Josh is gone, and here the people’s doors are literally shutting in my face, but there’s always hope. Every day is a day closer to seeing Josh again and having someone ready to listen to this message of hope that this Gospel brings. I know I talk about HOPE a lot, but it’s what I know and can bear truth of.
This Gospel is so true and if we live it, we will be blessed. I’ve seen it in ALL of my investigators and in my own life. So many blessings have come from Josh’s death. It’s hard to say and think that, but it’s so true.
I have to go. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!  And I WANT baby pics of Yoanna and Coleson’s baby!
Les amo!

Elder Pukahi