Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka from your favorite Missionary serving in The Tongan Ward in Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii!

Man, Christmas is right around the corner and blessings are flowing in this part of the world! The work is slow, as per usual, but it's getting progressively faster and faster with each passing week! The work of a District Leader is kinda difficult but only if you don't have the support of the elders in your district, luckily I have their support and so now I just have to focus on leading by example and keep the work rolling.

But hey in the interest of making sure that there will be plenty to talk about on Sunday, I'll just give the bare bones of my week.
Yes I got a Package from home with 3 wrapped presents (Which will stay wrapped until the phone call) and some memory cards, and data storage devices (which I assume is for storing the pictures after I'm done taking them in order to keep from buying memory card after memory card just for my camera) and a lot of stocking stuffers (I have managed to not open the pistachios yet... but Sunday they will be eaten). Thanks sooo much for those things, it really made my day:) Plus they were delivered Santa Style, left right outside our front door and we have no clue who dropped them off. Best.

This week I also got SOAKED when we went a week without our car during monsoon season haha. One of the old pairs of shoes (The ones that I swore I'd wear until they wore through the heel cause they were like 2 and a half years old) got ruined. But my other nice shoes (The ones we bought specifically for my mission) are great, so now I am wearing a brand new pair of shoes that actually have a sole. Beautiful:)

And I think all the other things I'll just save for Christmas:) I've got a lot of stories to share with you all that will be easier through the phone and I'm sure the same goes for you:)

I Love you all sooooo much and wish everybody a very Merry Christmas:)

Love Elder Brooksby

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bump Day - December 8th

Hello everybody! Howzit brah? How you stay? Stay? Stay cherry? Shoots then.

First things go first: No I cannot Skype, much to my chagrin. But I'm going to be calling you from our cell phone, so I'll just call you all and we'll talk right then and there. I'll probably call you around 5 or 6 your time. At least that's the plan as of now. I got your 6 month package with the Advent calendars and I LOVE them and I did get lunch with the card, thanks so much:) I'm sure the large package will make it through the mission office with no problems, they get it and send it back out the same day, so it's only delayed in getting to me by a day. I'm not going to be transferred for two reasons. 1. I'm still training Elder T. here in the Tongan Ward in Waipahu and reason 2. President called me to be a District Leader here. Sooo...

MORE RESPONSIBILITY. But yeah I'm excited to be training and a District Leader but kinda nervous. So I'll tell you how that's going haha.

Well Elder T. and I have a baptism coming up in a week so that's exciting! And I wish I had more to tell you about things going on here. Oh, one of my best friends out here Elder K. went home because his dad has cancer and that was super depressing.

Even more so because I was talking to President and he said that he won't be coming back out to Hawaii when he becomes a missionary again.

BUMMER. I really loved that Elder a lot. But c'est la vie. Life moves on and he said he'll keep in touch so that's good.

Sorry this is so short but hopefully I'll have more to tell you next time when next transfer begins. Until then I love you very much and I pray for you all daily. Give everybody my best.

I love you all sooo much!

Ofa Lahi Atu

Elder Jared Brooksby

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy December

Hello Hello Hello! Yes I will reach my quarter mark on Thursday:) Take 4 Oreos. Eat One. There's still three more but for some strange reason you just cant stop yourself from eating the other 3 as fast as you can:) I'm sure that's how it's going to go with my mission too haha.

Christmas Phone call. Well I have church for an hour in the morning and dinner later that evening, but nothing in between those two things. I'll make the phone call to you guys after I get out of church since you all will be home and I will have no other obligations to attend to. So That call will happen anywhere from 3 o'clock to 5 o'clock your time. Hopefully you wont be doing anything too huge around then.

It sounds like it has been a typical start to the winter season. People getting sick, running around doing errands and of course going to the Victorian Stroll. I actually think that's one of the things that I miss the most about being home for the holidays. Reflecting on what they said during The First Presidency's Christmas Devotional (Yes I got to watch it) I'm glad that our family had so many wonderful traditions that focused on the family. Getting a tree, getting into random snowball fights, decorating the tree (well mostly Mom decorating and the rest of us small kine grumbling haha) and listening to the Carpenter's Christmas Portrait, making toffee, going to the Victorian Stroll (even if I was the only reason we went haha), caroling and making hot fudge sauce, cinnamon rolls on Christmas, reading the Christmas story from the New Testament, watching A Christmas Story and Mr. Kruegger's Christmas, getting ready for "Santa" haha, the advent calendar on the wall by the door, making fires, spending time together. I miss it very much, needless to say more so during the holiday seasons haha. But I'm sure they'll be just as sweet if not more so when I come back... in a year and a half haha.

The work here is going well. Training has it's ups and downs and it makes me learn a lot more about myself and what I can learn and work on. So it's going very well. We've got two baptisms coming in the next two weeks so that's exciting:)

Anyways I miss you all tons and I wish you all the best the season:) Take it Easy! Be Good, Work Hard, and Have Fun, cause I sure am:)

Love Always, Elder Brooksby

P.S. This week I was called by all of the following names in order of most often to least often: Brook, Brooks, Bruk, Broosley, Broosky, Brooksly, Brooksky, Pulukspi (Yes it was spelled that way...), Brock, and Brooksby (a few times haha). Just thought you'd get a kick out of that:)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hello Hello Family!
It's good to hear from you all! I love getting emails:) I'm glad that you had a good Thanksgiving vacation. I wish I could have a small vacation too, but that's not in the game plan haha. Although Thanksgiving was kind of a day off which was nice:) We spent the evening with our high counselor Brother K. (who always reminds me a lot of my uncle, both in looks and actions so that was nice haha) and because there were so many people in their house, we weren't forced to eat choke (a lot in Hawaiian pidgin). So I didn't! I didn't even eat turkey, there was only a bunch of Kalua Pig there haha. And so Thanksgiving, I was thankful for not being super full after dinner!
Christmas is right around the corner... it will be interesting to see how the Holiday season goes work wise. Right now we're looking at 5 baptisms in December and all of those people are coming along well. Actually this past week was kinda junk as far as the work was concerned but it ended well:) At the beginning of the week we had set up 5 lessons with two of our most promising investigators and things kept popping up in their lives so that not a single one of those lessons we had planned went through. Can you say frustrating?
But like I said it all ended well this week so that's ok. We met a woman whose grand-daughter we are currently trying to work with. But the grandma keeps telling the mom not to let us baptize her daughter because the grandma doesn't want her to be Mormon. So we went over to meet with the grand-daughter and actually her grandma answers the door... and starts being super hostile towards us. But we were just trying to be diplomatic and work through the Spirit and it all worked out. She started to listen to us, then she actually admitted that she had been baptized a Mormon some years earlier but had fallen away. And by the end of our visit, she had requested a blessing, given us some cake, and said we were always welcome and that there was "A reason why you two were sent here tonight. Thank you." So it all worked out better than expected. Human nature can be changed through the spirit!
But not much else has happened as far as the work is concerned, but I'm alive and well and I'm working as hard as I can. So in other words I'm being good, working hard and having fun:)
I Love you all and miss you all so much!
Happy Holidays!
Love Elder Brooksby

Monday, November 14, 2011


Hello Hello everybody! How you stay? Stay cherry?
I'm doing alright! A little stressed but doing pretty well haha. Yes I'm still in the Tongan ward here in Waipahu and I'm training Elder T. and we get along very well. Elder T. is Tongan from West Jordan, Utah, and straight from the MTC! Can you believe it, my fourth transfer out and I'm already training someone in their first transfer. Woot! Unfortunately, President doesn't let us do language study because we were both called to English speaking missions and most of the people in our ward can speak English well enough for us to get a point across. So the language isn't really coming along that great but I'm catching on to as much as I can.
It sounds like your lives are all pretty busy! I'm kinda envious, because this work that I'm about is very physically and mentally stressful. Now I'm not saying that your lives aren't stressful but I'm pretty sure that blowing leaves would be a lot easier than dealing with angry people or being so far from home. I miss you all so much. But I'm having fun on my Mission, although I had to wade through a lot of junk to find it haha. But it's here and it's rewarding:)
Speaking of missing you all, I was shopping with a bunch of other Elders at Walmart and guess what I saw and bought on the spot? The Carpenter's "A Christmas Portrait". I'd been wanting it a lot in preparation for the Christmas season and since it's some of the only Christmas music I remember listening to since I was little, and President approved Christmas songs (because they invite the spirit of Christ). But don't worry, I won't listen to it until after Thanksgiving. Speaking of Thanksgiving, as far as I know we're just going to a member's house for Thanksgiving dinner and that's it!
I'm sorry I haven't sent pictures is awhile, my camera card is full and because of how old the camera is anything bigger than a 2GB card it cannot read. So since 2GB cards are hard to come by, I haven't taken a lot of pictures lately. I have a few, but I'm sending them to you in a letter.
But the work presses on! We're looking at 2 baptisms next week and we're working hard everyday! I love you all sooo much and I miss you a bunch. Sorry there's not really a lot to write about this week, nothing very exciting happened. At least not compared to last transfer anyways haha.
Well thanks for all your support and love you're sent me! I really appreciate it all:)
Take it easy!
Stay Cherry!
Love, Elder Jared Brooksby

Monday, October 31, 2011


Hello Hello everybody!

Hey, I'll start by thanking everybody for their letters of support. They were much needed and much appreciated! You can all expect letters back sometime in the near future:) Thanks sooooo much!

Also I have some exciting news... I'm going to have a boy!
President assigned me to be a trainer this upcoming transfer! And because of the new training program, I will be training my new boy (when you train an elder you call him your son, and when he trains an elder you have a grandson, etc.) for the next two transfers! Super exciting! And a lot of responsibility but the Lord and President Dalton know that I'm up for it so I'll take their word for it and just keep doing my best.

I really wish I had more to tell you about this week. I am being good, working hard and finding the fun as much as I possibly can:)

Life is Good! Take it easy! Love,

Elder Brooksby

Jared also sent us some awesome pictures from when he went to the Laie LDS Temple in the first part of October. It's fun to see him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Missing Fall

Hello everybody! Once again I'm at a computer that doesn't have the capability of installing drivers (because I'm not an administrator) and so once again, you'll have to wait another week until you can get some more voice memos.

I really appreciated the mail that I got this week from Erin and Justin and Dad and Mom (I sent in the absentee ballot by the way, I should be sent every ballot for every election I am able to vote for! Yay for fulfilling my civic duty!) It was VERY comforting to have words of wisdom given to me by those closest to me.

All those service opportunities sound amazing! It is really great just to go out of your way to help someone in need. I'm grateful that you all have put such emphasis on building Christlike attributes in you own lives and working on having your "...eye single to the Glory of God...". That's something that I'm working VERY hard on:)

I'm really jealous of the changing colors, AND temperatures and pretty much everything about New York. Perpetual Summer is not as glorious as it sounds and the fact that it hardly ever rains on this part of the island leaves more to be desired of this mediocre weather pattern. And on the truly hot days when all you want to do is jump in the ocean and then you can't... it's torture. OK, OK it's not that bad, but I do miss Fall a lot!

Anyways, lastly I completely agree with what you say about the family! There are a lot of Elders here who don't get along with their families. But I really do appreciate having a family who loves me and supports me a lot in all my endeavors. I had the thought earlier today, "I hope people back home can tell that I'm changing." because I am:) It reminds me of a song that I like "I wish you could see me now. I wish I could show you how, I'm not who I was."

Anyways, I love you all sooooooooooo much and it grows everyday!!! My love for you all is like e^x, it grows exponentially and has no end:)

Take it easy!

Love, Elder Brooksby

P.S. all those LOVELY confections that Mom sent me will be baked and eaten a week from today. Thanks!!!

P.P.S. I'm being good, working hard, and having a little fun:) It's getting there haha.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Hey sorry this week's email will be so short (my companion is making us leave right now....) but you'll get a REALLY big surprise next week:) I'd be really excited if I were you guys! But here are some pictures for you.

This is a picture of a family that I was teaching for a long time on Molokai. I got really close to this family and I'll miss them a lot.

This is a picture of the Elders I lived with on Molokai taking some boy band pictures. We'll be called Spirit Spoken and I'll be the lead singer, with one of the elders on backup and another on the ukulele!


This is a picture of the family on Molokai who has taken care of me like we were family and they are some of the best people I've met on my mission so far!

This is a picture of some people at a Molokai Eagle Scout Project I helped work on. Right before I left, the kid on the left (we'd become pretty close actually) gave me a WAY WAY nice Smith & Wesson switchblade pocket knife. I'm going to miss that kid a lot!

This is a picture of me fire-knifing at one of the families in the ward on our last supper there on Molokai.

A Brother on Molukai gave me a very VERY nice going away present! I'm not quite sure what I'll do with it, but I have it now.

Ok, here are some pictures I took while doing service for the Battleship Missouri at Pearl Harbor! We got to go in all the restricted areas and just cruise. It was a once in a lifetime experience being able to explore the ship to my heart's content!

I also thought of you guys a lot during conference! Just know that I'm being well taken care of here by the Tongans!

I love you all sooooooo much!
Take it easy!
Eleta Brooksby

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Where in the world is Elder Brooksby?

Hello Hello Hello!!! Where in the world am I? A very excellent question to be asked! I'll give you a hint... I'm ordering a name tag in a different language muahahaha! I've been transferred to the... Newtown 2nd Tongan Ward in the Waipahu Zone! So I'm now learning Tongan haha Woot! It's pretty fun trying to pick it up because all the meetings are in Tongan and everyone speaks Tongan but everyone also understands English so I'm good for a little while. I'm doing language study every morning and basically just trying to get the basics of a greeting down so far. Fe fe hake? Saipe? Saipe! Fe fe famili? Saipe? Io! Hakeha'o Eleta Brooksby(by the way nobody can pronounce our last name out here)! Ofa'atu uh? Io! Fakatumala Tokes! Lates. Whew. It's a tough one to get. There's a lot of diction work and some diphthong action and every second-to-last vowel in accented unless otherwise specified. And the "T" at the beginning of every word always sounds more like a D than a T. I've decided that I will learn and I will learn fast, because I really REALLY hate being the only "Palangi" (white person) in the ward and the only person wearing a translation device during meetings.

It's a very interesting area to serve in because since we cover all the Tongan's around here we cover over half of the island. So far I've seen a lot of the ghetto such as "Pu Town" (a sketchy area where there's a lot of gang activity and all the streets start with Pu, ie. Pupupua'ole, Pupuhake etc.) and "KTP" (a really big set of apartment complexes that are all bright pink).

And that brings up my first funny, or scary (take your pick) story of this transfer.

I always carry with me a blue bandanna in my back left pocket to wipe my hands, wipe my sweat, you know, all the glorious things bandannas are used for. So we go to meet these three kids who are all recent converts and all former members of the Tongan Crypts Gang. As I'm talking to them one of them he sees the blue bandanna poking out of my back pocket a little bit and says "Ho, you reppin yo colahs?" I realize he's talking about my bandanna and I say, "Nah I just keep it with me to keep dry." he says "Aw bad move brah. You get shot fo dat in here." I go "Oh for real Tokes? (tokes is an abbreviation for the Tongan word for brother Tokoyua)" he goes "Io, Eleta! (io means yes, and Eleta means Elder)" so from then on, as long as I serve in the city I will no longer carry the blue bandanna with me.

But I really enjoy working here, the members LOVE the missionaries and do a lot of missionary work themselves. In fact we go on splits with the young men every day. And there's a lot of work to be done here. I feel very blessed to be here this transfer because we've already had one baptism, and two more are set, and three more in the works! Because we're on Oahu we get to go the the Temple at General Conference time and in addition to that we get to go to the Temple again in two weeks to see one of our recent converts receive their endowment! It's a very special time here in Waipahu:)


Eleta Brooksby

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big News!

Well, the big news is that Jared is being transferred off Molokai onto Oahu! He doesn't know where on Oahu he'll be going yet - but he's hoping for Laie!

Jared's not too happy about the timing of the transfer because he and his companion have 12 prospective baptisms this upcoming transfer, 3 of which are already planned. Also, he says that he's really going to miss the people there a lot.

He is especially sad because the father of the family they've been living with is at a wedding in Utah and won't be back before Jared leaves, so he won't get to tell him goodbye. Jared said that he's learned so much from him and that he's been treated like family.

Jared said that he now understands what Glen was talking about in a letter that he sent him. Glen talked about how you really miss everyone as soon as you leave the area. Jared said that he feels the same way - he will miss the people he's grown to know and love. But he also understands that such is the life of a missionary.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hello from Molokai

We got an e-mail from Jared late Monday evening. He said that it's been a little depressing this past week because he'd think "Oh I bet Brett is going into the Temple right now!" "Oh I bet Brett is actually married now!" "Oh I bet the reception is awesome!" "Oh I guess the reception in New York is happening right now, and everybody that I know is going to be there!"

He said that he just couldn't dwell on it, and that he knew he was where he was supposed to be, and that he couldn't possibly expect life to press pause for him while he is gone.

Jared said that they have a couple who "already have a few keikis together (it means kids by the way pronounced cakies)." that have committed to be married and then baptized which is has made him really happy. He also said that they have some other people committed to baptism as well. He said the work is going well and he and his companion are working hard together.

Jared ended his letter by saying: "I guess in closing I ask that everyone remember how important family is with 9/11 a day ago and remember the things that truly matter in life and remember that you'll have to forgive someone pretty much everyday, so start practicing anticipatory forgiveness:)"

He asked that we give his best to those who are struggling with the weather right now, and who have lost so much.

I could tell by his letter that he misses friends and family right now. So if you've thought of writing a letter to Jared, but haven't quite done it yet - now would be a good time to do it.