Monday, August 29, 2016

So This Week Was Full Of Absolute Craziness

Diego Baptism Group
August 29, 2016



So this week was full of absolute craziness. BUT I loved it! It was filled with following the Spirit, finding people who are going to progress, and… BAPTISMS!
Elder Cox and I knew that we were going to have a great week, even though we just lost a couple of baptisms. We chose to forget what happened and focused on finding the people who were ready now instead of losing time with people who Satan puts in our path to waste our time. We focused on the people who are ready to get baptized and that brings us to Diego.
Diego... he is a cool kid! He’s an intense kid but I am privileged to know him. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for putting him in our path. We met him the first time we came into this area but we felt he wasn’t going to progress really fast, so we wanted to take it slow with him, so we were just texting him, becoming friends. We left him with a pamphlet, and then one day he told us he read it and had a lot of questions. So we had him meet us at the chapel.
We showed him everything and we talked. We gave him the lesson and man, did I feel the Spirit. First, some background of this kid. He’s Islamic and believes in Alá which is another name for God and everything. Well, his religion is very complicated. But man, the Spirit was so strong. So we taught him the lesson and he told me, "I don’t believe it.” He believes in prophets but only in the prophet of his religion that died forever ago and came out with the Quran. (not going to lie...had no idea what he believed in...)
So I asked him to PRAY! We continued on with the lesson some more and everything but wanted him to pray. He fought against us and didn’t want to do anything of that sort but in the end, we won! He said the prayer AND that’s when we felt the Spirit so strong! We then started giving him more lessons. He came to church. (A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE WARD KNOWS HIM. They all doubted that he would get baptized.)
Diego Baptism
Then...well....he told us he didn’t believe any of it. And I knew… I don’t know how... but I knew he was lying. He was just scared. I knew he received a message from God but was just scared. So he started asking a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and everything. What I pretty much did was tear every shred of his religion to part and showed him how true our church is by evidence, but I know with all my heart, not even by evidence gets people to believe. I then bore my testimony that all of what we said was true and told him to pray, so he did. He started and said, "Padre Celestial, I thank you for these missionaries that have been put in my path and I want an answer..." and then we sat there for about 5 minutes in silence. And then he ended the prayer, and he was like...."THAT WAS MY ANSWER?!?!” and the truth...he was still scared... but he wanted to get baptized and didn’t want anyone else there—just me and Elder Cox. It was awesome. BUT I EVEN HAVE A BIGGER STORY ABOUT HIS CONFIRMATION!!! Now that was crazy. Satan really didn’t want this kid to be a part of the Church....
Yulissa Baptism Group
But I will have to tell you guys that story later. We also baptized Yulissa, who is very cool.
And we are teaching English to Marisol, who is very Catholic but she loves us so I think she will listen to us and will get baptized soon.
Teaching Marisol
Well, I love you guys!!!!! IT’S BEEN AN AWESOME WEEK!

- Elder Pukahi

Monday, August 22, 2016

This Week Awesome, A Little Sad, But Still Great!

Our investigator drives this car
August 22, 2016

Dear mi familia y amigos,
I miss you guys! BUT the mission is better! This week was awesome, a little sad but still great! Let me explain everything that happened.
We had 8 people in the house this past week up until Thursday. The reason is because we just had changes because a WHOLE bunch of missionaries went home on Friday. In these next two months, we are going to be down so many missionaries. There will only be about 100 missionaries in the mission. That is crazy. But this week was a little different since three missionaries arrived on Thursday and stayed in the house until two missionaries went home. The Mission President in just this last week alone has come to our house three times. He is little obsessed with our area and my companion, Elder Cox, because well... HE’S HUGE… so he’s always stopping by which is cool and he knows our converts.
But because all of these things were happening, we couldn’t work the way we wanted to but we still had some success. In the zone, we had three baptisms. We have a lot more planned for the next week, so I will let you know how that goes.
Guinea Pig
But what was sad this week is that two of our baptisms fell through this week. We’ve been teaching a lady whose name is Lorena and her son. SHE IS SO COOL!  She contacted us in the park, and we talked with her, shared a little message, and set up an appointment to meet with her. AND IN EVERY LESSON, WE FELT THE SPIRIT SO STRONG. She was a nun many years ago, and so every lesson she asked us sooooo many questions. But the last time that we taught her officially, she ended the lesson with the prayer and asked God if all of this was true. After the prayer, she looked at us in the eyes and told us it is true. That she KNOWS it is true.
Well, her baptism was supposed to have been yesterday but what happened is that her husband doesn’t want them to change AT ALL. So when we went in the morning to go talk with her and her husband about everything, he told us that the son would not be baptized but that Lorena has the choice. BUT she doesn’t want to. So then we came back later to talk with them some more so that we could really understand their reasons why. They gave us reasons, a little bit of excuses and everything. We answered all of their doubts with just using the Bible and Lorena was crying. I looked her in the eyes and asked her again, “Do you believe these things to be true”, and she told us “Yes”. Then we invited her to be baptized again, and then she told us that how could she leave all that she has learned and believed her whole life to be true.... She started crying, and she didn’t even have to speak. I knew. She wasn’t going to change even though she’s had a clear sign and a clear answer.
Some good old service and climbing roofs
After this, I’m not going to lie, my heart broke because I KNOW how many blessings she could receive and she denied them. But I know she will have the courage one day to change… Now, it’s time to go find the people who are ACTUALLY ready.
I’m learning a lot. I can tell you that!!  I LOVE YOU GUYS!!

- Elder Pukahi

Monday, August 15, 2016

Many Miracles From God This Week!

The baptism group Claudia, Jesus, Karla and Jose

August 15, 2016

Hola, mi familia y amigos,
This week was awesome! We definitely have had many miracles from God this week!
We found a lot of people to teach, but I want to tell you about Claudia and Jesus who got baptized yesterday. On Friday, Claudia told us they were going to get baptized and then on Saturday, the whole day, we could not find them, so we were really worried. Then she called us and told us that they were not getting baptized. We were disappointed and got even more worried and everything.
So that night, I told Elder Cox that we needed to pray and figure out what was up with her, and so we prayed…for a long time...and we asked God what she needed so that she could get baptized. After the prayer, Elder Cox thought of a scripture. And we decided that we NEEDED to talk to her but we didn’t know how. The reason is because we teach her at her work and SHE LIVES IN NARNIA!! [For those of you unfamiliar with the “Chronicles of Narnia”, he means really far away] so we just left it in the Lord’s hands.
We woke up the next day, prayed for guidance, and then left the house. I thought that we should go and invite our other investigators to go to church and everything. So we went on our way, and as we walked, we passed by the work of Claudia. She wasn’t there, so we just kept on going to visit with our other investigators. We talked with them for a while and then we headed for the chapel. We started walking and then I felt prompted to pass by one more time to Claudia’s work, and SHE WAS THERE!
We started talking, and we really just sat her down and talked. She opened up and told us all of her problems and EVERYTHING! And then she said something and a thought came into my head. I knew God was with us. I started talking and used the scripture that my companion thought of last night. Everything just seemed to mend together, and well.... SHE GOT BAPTIZED! We answered all of her doubts and she trusted in the Lord and took the step of baptism with her son!
THIS STORY IS JUST ONE OF THE MANY MIRACLES that happened this week. This week we baptized FOUR people and each one has a story!
Also, the Mission President called us and congratulated us for the success we had and for the success we are having in our zone. We beat the record for the most baptisms in a week for a zone, which was 20!!! God has been blessing us a lot this week.
I LOVE THE MISSION! I’m seeing more and more of God’s hands in my life!

- Elder Pukahi

Claudia & Jesus (mother & son) baptized
Jose baptized
Karla baptized

Monday, August 8, 2016

We Baptized Javier! He's So Cool!!!

We baptized Javier! He’s so cool!!!

August 8, 2016

Dear mi familia y amigos,
This week went by so fast. It is crazy! I can’t believe we already ended the week and are starting another…That is just weird to me but I LOVE RIO BRAVO! It is so chill.
New Comp Elder Cox
The people are awesome and my companion is so cool! His name is Elder Cox. He is from American Fork. I know him.... Well, we’ve seen each other at parties and everything. We know so many of the same people—it’s crazy. I love him so much. I feel like I’m with Kaulana or one of my best friends. And he already knows Spanish, amazing, and he just got here. I mean I’m helping him a lot but it’s just crazy that I’m his companion. My district is the bomb. We have a lot of work to do, but we’ll accomplish what we need to do!  I know it!!
Rio Bravo is a branch. We are trying to help it grow so it can become a ward. We just baptized three people as a district, so we are working as a team to get success. I will keep you guys updated on our accomplishments.
I love the mission so much! I have learned soooo much!  I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here and to be serving the Lord. Thank you, family, for your support. I LOVE YOU so much!!!
- Elder Pukahi

P.S. I was so nervous to hear about Jessica dating a guy but so glad to hear that both Aji and Coleson were grilling her with questions. WAY TO GO, Aji and Coleson!!!! That makes me feel so happy right now. I can finally breathe!!

We convinced these guys to larp with us.

Monday, August 1, 2016

I Am Getting Transferred, Training And A District Leader!

Members from Matamoros
August 1, 2016
Dear Mi Familia y Amigos,
Elder Pukahi and Elder Eskeran
The Other Hawaiian
It was chill being with Elder Eskeran. He leaves soon to go back to good old Laie, Hawaii. OH, HOW I MISS THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!
P-days.... are super fun! I will send you pictures of what we did today. You were wondering if I was wearing my contacts… No, I don’t really where my contacts, just to play soccer or on some special occasions. Everyone tells me that my glasses are better and they are much easier so I’m sticking with them for now, especially with the sun and the heat and the dirt. Glasses are much easier. Speaking of heat.... I haven’t sweated so much in my life! I don’t know if I told you guys but here in Mexico there is a thing called the Canicula [a big heatwave], and we are in the middle of it! So yeah.....
THE PRESIDENT IS SUPER COOL! He’s just like the old President but nicer, happier, and with a lot more excitement!!! He’s so excited to do everything. It is pretty cool! He’s changed a couple of things but nothing major. He seems pretty cool!
Making tortillas and other stuff
BUT I HAVE NEWS… I HAVE TRANFERS!!! I am saying goodbye to Matamoros and I am going to Rio Bravo. duh duh duuuuuhhhhhh!  My new companion is Elder Cox. I don’t know anything about him! He’s fresh off the boat so I will be showing him the ropes as well as I did with Elder Perez. I am going to be a district leader as well. So wish me luck!  I am opening an area, training and in charge of a district, so I will tell you guys next week how everything goes!
It is really hard when changes come! We learn to love an area, the people, and just everything and then we get called to leave. Even though this ward wasn’t anything when I started, it’s now growing. Everyone that I have met in this area was for a reason and in this area, I have grown SO MUCH! I know God has a plan for each one of us and I know this change is going to help me grow for the better! It’s just a little sad leaving everyone. But our family knows very well, goodbyes aren’t forever, it’s always a see you later!
I love you guys!

Elder Pukahi