Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Funny Coincidence

It seems that we get e-mail from Jared about 10:00pm on Monday nights. At least that's the way it's been the last couple of weeks. So I kept checking Monday night and sure enough just after 10pm we got his e-mail.

Jared said that he's been grateful for the advice he's received about about emotions and P-day and all that jazz and that he's already gone through some "curves on this emotional Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride called a Mission".

He said that once again they went on a hike on P-day, but that this hike was to a waterfall. He said that it was a very pretty hike and much easier hike than the previous two hikes, but that it was not as scenic. Also that the views at the waterfall were "pretty sweet!" Jared said that of course they didn't swim, but that he did fall and got hurt climbing some slippery rocks. They went on the hike with the family that they live with. The family has a rather large house with two levels and the top belongs to the family, and the bottom is where the four missionaries live. The family is the Nakayama family and Jared thinks they are amazing, and that they are the nicest people and that they make sure the missionaries are taken care of.

We had gotten a message from a former member of our ward, Vance Yoshikawa who said that he had an Elder Akaka from Molokai serving in his ward. When I told Jared about that he thought it was amazing how ridiculously small the world is in the church. And that for him at least it always seems to connect with Colorado in some way. He said that they even drive a Chevy Colorado truck.

Jared said that Bishop Akaka is actually the bishop for the ward right next to him in Hoolehua. Jared said that he serves in Kaunakakai. But he said that Bishop Akaka is super nice to he and his companion, and that he is always checking up with them to make sure they're doing OK even though they aren't in his ward. He said that knowing the kind of man Bishop Akaka is he can only imagine that his son is an amazing missionary in Colorado.

Jared said that missionary work for he and his companion in Kaunakakai is a little slow and that their teaching pool is pretty slim right now. But he also said that he and they are working really hard and doing everything they can to be good missionaries. His companion, Elder Zachary Taylor is from Joseph City, Arizona. They get along great and Elder Taylor is very hard working and has been an excellent trainer so far! Elder Taylor has been out for nearly 10 months.

Jared said that he had a funny coincidence the other day. He said he spoke to Sister Fielding - his brother's fiance's sister who is also serving in the Honolulu, Hawaii mission. She had called their phone by mistake, but when she heard him answer "Hello this is Elder Brooksby" something triggered in her mind that this was her sister's fiance's brother. They chatted a bit about the upcoming wedding. Sister Fielding will be home for the wedding, but obviously Jared won't be. He said that that was a bit of a bummer.

We'll be sure to send him lots of pictures of the wedding so he won't feel so left out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aloha from Molokai

We got a letter from Jared a day later than expected. I was bummed because I thought I'd have to wait until next Monday, but Tuesday morning an e-mail came from Jared.

He said: "To all those who asked for my address here on Molokai, I'm sorry but there have been a lot of transfers to and from here in the past month or two so it really would be best if all mail got sent to the mission home. They keep constant track of where I'm living at and at the very most sending mail through the mission home delays it by a day. So sorry but the mission home is the best bet just in case I get transferred out, cause the mail here (in Molokai) is in a P.O. box so they wouldn't know where to reach me if I got transferred outta here. Once again that address is 1500 S. Beretania St. #416 Honolulu HI 96826. "

This is a picture of Jared's companion - Elder Taylor.

This is a picture of Jared on the Boardwalk trail which was a hike he took on his first P-day in Molokai. He said that it was a killer hike that took roughly 3 and a half hours to complete. He said it was up a huge mountain and through some seriously thick jungle. He also said when he got to the top it was the best view he'd even seen in his life. He said it looked like a scene straight out of King Kong. He also said that if he'd taken one wrong step off of where he took this picture he would have died for sure.

Here's a picture of Jared. He said that he and Elder Taylor caught a duck. But this looks like a chicken to me. Maybe they didn't take a picture of the duck.

Jared said: "Well yesterday (P-day the 11th) we hiked down to Kalaupapa, an old leper colony which still has some patients residing there. It's a nationally and state protected place and you have to be sponsored to go down there. The hike down was not too bad at all! There were some amazing sights and it was a beautiful day (as usual muahahahahahahahaha!!!) and the tour when we got down there was fairly interesting."

Jared said that the best part was he got to see the church building down there! He said there used to be one member down there so the church built a building for sacrament meetings. He said the sister has since passed away, but that the building still remains. He said that he got to spend a couple minutes there where people have never really been before. He said it was an amazing experience.

Jared said that the hike back up nearly killed him. He said he felt like he was close to having an aneurysm or a heart attack. And that either would've resulted in him tumbling 1660 feet back down to the bottom of the sea cliff. He also said: "That which doesn't kill you just makes you stronger!"

Jared has ended all his correspondence by saying Mahalo nui loa, which I finally looked up. It means thank you very much. And then he said: "And remember to drive with aloha haha!" When we were in Hawaii in 2003 there were signs everywhere saying "Drive with aloha". We just thought that was so funny, and I guess Jared continues to think it's funny.

As usual, it was great to hear from him.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The picture says it all!

We got a letter from Jared's mission president John C. Dalton letting us know that he'd arrived. He said that weekly encouragement from home will certainly help inspire greater missionary effort. He said to send mail USPS. If we choose to send things FedEx, DHL, or UPS they collect the fee to forward the packages from the missionary. So we won't be doing any of those. Just a note - when you send things USPS it is the same cost as within the continental US. I thought that was great. It was good to see a picture of Jared and see how happy he looks.

Sadly yesterday was Jared's P-day and we didn't get an e-mail. Maybe he'll send one today, or we might have to wait until next week. So we still don't have his actual address yet. Maybe when he doesn't get anything but e-mails he'll realize it's because we don't have his address.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Aloha from Molokai!

I arrived here in Hawaii early Tuesday afternoon (June 28th) and went straight to Pres. Dalton's place and we got to know everyone a little better. Then we ate some food, had a short meeting and then zonked out early for the night. I was exhausted! That night I also found out that I would be serving in the Kaunakakai area of the Maui Zone on the Island called Molokai. I'm one of 4 Missionaries on the entire island!!! I slept untill 6am when we all got ready, and went to the Tabernacle on Oahu and spent a few hours there. I was the last missionary to leave there and flew out to Molokai by myself at 4:00pm on the 29th.

I still hadn't met my companion yet, but he wasn't that hard to spot because as soon as I stepped off theplane I saw 3 guys in missionary attire so I figured I was in the right place. My companion (Elder Taylor) and I live on the bottom floor of a member's house with the only other missionaries on the island - Elders Maybon and Hankes. Elder Taylor is a great guy and he's very spiritual and motivated to do the work here. He takes very good care of me.

The people here are outrageously kind and loving! I met some people and they treat me as if I was there long lost son or something like that. People here just have the mentality that, it doesn't matter if we dont have the means to do it, we'll do it for you. In fact I've only been here for one week (ish) and someone has already bought my groceries! It's insane! I've really grown to love the people here already!

So, there are two markets here on Molokai and no big chains except for the gas stations. Stuff is veeeeery expensive here, gas is $4.90 a gallon, peanut butter is $7 a jar, milk is $10 a gallon and ice cream is $20 a half gallon. So I feel very blessed that someone already bought groceries for me. We have a chicken coop in our back yard so we get eggs a lot which is convenient. Oh by the way, the average missionary gains 40lbs over the two years here... I'm working hard to not be the average missionary.

Also there are centipedes, big spiders, rats and mice rampant and oh yeah scorpions here.

Oh also we went on a killer hike yesterday that took roughly 3 and a half hours to complete, up a huge mountain and through some seriously thick jungle until we reached the best view I have ever seen in my life! It looked like a scene straight out of King Kong! Oh and one wrong step off of where we took pictures and we would've died for sure. Don't worry, I was safe and I'm sending photos!

Aloha and Mahalo nui loa!

Elder Brooksby