Meeting the new Mission President!

7:57:00 PM

Last week(Saturday), we got to meet our new mission president, President Bekker and his wife Sister Bekker. They're from Salt Lake City, and he was a pediatric dentist. On Saturday, I'm pretty sure we saw them at least five times throughout the day haha. In the morning, Sister Furukawa and I attended a baptism the elders had, which we invited our investigator Stanlyn(8 yrs old) to attend. Sister Furukawa said his Japanese was very good! He served his mission in Japan a long time ago. As he trained us, I could immediately feel how much love he has for all of us, but most importantly, the love both of them have for our Heavenly Father. 

That evening, we had a tram shift (so we took tram tours from the Polynesian Cultural Center) and the Bekkers and the Swintons(the VC director and his wife) came on the tram tour I gave. I thought I would be nervous, but I guess I'm used to doing it now. The 6:20 trams are where Sister Furukawa and I split up to give our own tours. And there's actually construction going on near the PCC so the route was a few minutes longer, so thank goodness I managed to keep the tour going hahaha. At the end, both President Bekker and Sister Bekker said the kindest words to me. They really are the sweetest and I look forward to serving with them!

Updates of our local area(Laie 6th ward):
1) Royce has been doing so awesome at coming to church! 3 times now! And last Sunday, we actually heard he came home at almost 2 am in the morning, but still woke up at 7 am to come to church. We are so happy that he tries his best to follow through with something when he's decided he'll do it. Maybe it was how he was raised, as well as his athletic background. By the way, Kahuku football is one of the best teams in the state, so I think they train pretty hard. Although we had his baptismal date for this week, it'll probably happen in a month. He's prayed about it, and he doesn't feel ready yet. When I think about putting myself in his shoes, it makes a lot of sense. I wasn't here when sisters first taught him, but getting baptized into this church is a really big commitment. And we want to prepare everyone so they feel ready for that. :)

2) Yesterday we were tracting our area (just visiting house to house, our area is literally two blocks full of members), and it was from 1-2 pm when everyone is out working. So thus, pretty unsuccessful. But before we headed to the VC, I told Sister Furukawa, "let's go visit the Kakas!" The TV was on, but it's ok! We talked to Lia, and she recently just started to go to the Young SIngle Adults ward for BYU students living off-campus. Our spiritual thought we prepared was Moroni 10:3-5, and it reads about how we can know the Book of Mormon is true through prayer. We found out that she really wants to start reading her scriptures more regularly, after hearing so many others share their testimony about how the Book of Mormon has guided them. She also said what we shared was really something she needed, and an answer to her prayer. So awesome!!! That's just how the Spirit works on us, to help us strengthen Heavenly Father's children. We don't get cool experiences every single day, but we treasure them when we do have them.

Updates at the VC:
1) On Sunday, we had a musical fireside! We had a dinner appointment with the Kauvaka family in our ward, and the daughter, Ofa, came with some friends. So we thought "oh cool!" As I performed and later watched all the others sisters perform, I'm reminded of how strong of a Spirit music brings, especially at the Christus room. I'm sure everyone else felt it too! And so did Ofa's cousin, who was visiting from California. We actually had our spiritual thought before we ate, and Lizzy joined in when we ate. So turns out she's actually not a member of the church, although many of her extended family members are. 

Coming to the fireside and seeing the temple was the closest she's ever gotten to our church. The anniversary of her younger sister's passing is coming up(she was sick as a baby), so we explained the importance of temples to us, and how families can be sealed forever, and shared our testimonies, she was open to meeting with the missionaries and learning more! I'm so grateful that I've gotten better at starting conversations more naturally hahaha(compared to the beginning of my mission). And it's just amazing to see how everything just fell into place for this whole interaction! Heavenly Father truly helps us to find those who will receive us, and open their hearts to the gospel. 

2) Online investigators: 
- Ann loves what she's learned so far from the sister missionaries and is praying about a baptism date! I love keeping in touch with her and sharing my testimony
- I called Yolanda yesterday and she requested a Book of Mormon, and actually was inspired by the documentary "Meet the Mormons" that she watched on Netflix! We had a great conversation about the gospel, and she's now waiting for the local missionaries to call her. So exciting! Yay Netflix!

Random/fun happenings:
1) Last Wednesday, Sister Kim, Sister Kim (yes, there are two), Sister Furukawa and I went to a place called Tita's Grill for lunch. And we started a conversation with two men, and they both work in the movie industry, and film here in Hawaii. We invited them to come visit the temple some time and one said he's always wanted a tour! Neat huh. Hopefully they come one day :) We never know who's been prepared unless we open our mouth!

2) Today, we went on a hike and I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. That sucked, but I was proud of myself for not falling on my butt hahaha. The last few hikes have been super slippery... two hours, lots of sweat, but so so amazing to see the beautiful nature God has created for us. 😊

Scripture of the week: Proverbs 9:10 (so I didn't actually find this during my reading, but my journal has scriptures on every page, so I thought this one was really cool)
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding"


I don't remember the name of this hike, but it starts at the same place as the Hau'ula Loop. 

​Neat panorama picture Elder Egbert took on his camera!

This was near the beginning, the long wall was full of graffiti haha.

Sister Blackner(who I served with in Kaneohe) came with Sister Lor, and their investigators Wendy and Lila (roomies). It was so neat to see them! Wendy is the sweetest, and so thoughtful.

​I tried cooking thai curry (with coconut milk too). It was a success. Mom, be proud of me! Haha

​This little guy is from Vietnam and his name is Ben. He came on a tram tour with his father, and he actually goes to a Canadian school! (Ontario Ministry of Education in Vietnam I guess, super cool!)

Sister Furukawa was so so cold. The AC in here is really strong, so every area has a blanket and heaters hahahaha. 

​Bye bye to Sister Hamano, she went home today, one week before transfers, because she'll be going to the Sapporo Japan Temple open house (that's her hometown)! We'll miss her but she'll be back at BYUH in November.

​Some guy who makes surf boards made this one for all of us. So naturally we all signed it. I think this will stay at the elders' home though haha. 

Sister Wu

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