Elder Akina

Elder Akina

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Airport - - He's Home!

This post is long overdue!  We are so thrilled to have our Elder Home!  Here are a few pictures from our adventure at the airport.
September 13, 2016

Favorite treats await on his bed!
Dad hanging the banner - - almost there!
Front of the house - - ready for our boy!

Waiting for our Elder to come down the escalator.
We watched him walk off the plane through the glass behind us,
15 minutes went by - - no Elder.
Dad trying to spot our Elder.
Guess who just came into view!  We lost it - - tears of joy!
There he is - - what took you so long?!

The long awaited HUG!!
Elder Akina's twin sister was over joyed - -
I had to let go and give her a turn.
Dad's turn - - misty eyed.
This Mama's beyond thrilled!
Here's finally here and we couldn't be happier!
Twin love.

If these shoes could talk.  This is his 3rd pair, they are hot glued
together to make it through his last transfer. 
Mama cried.

There is peace knowing Elder Akina is back on U.S. soil.
He however - - is homesick for Brasil.
Our Elder loved the festive décor welcoming him home.

How about this cake?  Sunday welcome home gathering.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Enroute: Sao Paulo to Atlanta

Tracking the big bird homeward!

Week #100 Final Photos from Brasil

Literally Jumping for JOY!
Love this picture, the background is amazing!
At home in El Paso - - the anticipation is REAL!

Blessed to have one last baptism in Piracicaba this past week.  Kiki.

No letter, just a few pictures as he leaves Piracicaba today at 1 p.m. to head to the airport 4 hours away.  Next, Elder Akina will board a flight to Atlanta - - then on to El Paso, Texas for a homecoming celebration.  His twin sister is beside herself with happy! 
Love you Elder Akina - - we are very proud of you.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week #99 Last Letter Home from Brasil

     So this is my last letter home from the mission field - -  ha ha just the thought of that freaks me out!   I head back to Piracicaba on Tuesday morning.  It is Elder Anderson and not Elder Nelson who is doing the mission visit.  I am also able to go to the Campinas temple on Thursday.
     This week we had a baptism!!  Lindalva was baptized it - - was a really sweet experience.  I can honestly say that my companion and I did´t have a lot to do with her conversion.  We were really just vehicles through which the Holy Ghost could work, the only thing we really had to do was just not to get in the way of that.  She was telling us that the part that she's most nervous about is knowing that her son will have to serve a mission. Lol - - he's 5 but still she's nervous!  I am having dinner at her house tonight to say good bye to the people in this area.
Lindalva's Baptism September 4, 2016

     My heart is full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for everything He has let me experience here in Brasil, all of the people I have had the oppurtunity to teach and share His gospel with.  I have developed a love for this people that will never be forgotten, I think that was the driving force behind everthing I have done here (learning the language/obedience) after I developed a love for these people everything just came easier.  It stopped being "we need to baptize more people to meet our monthly goal" and turned into "what does this person need to change and reach his/her potential".  Words can´t describe the joy that is felt when a child of our Heavenly Father is willing to make changes in their lives in order to live the commandments and be baptized. 
     I was blessed to have the opportunity to play a role in a lot of conversions throughout my mission, but the best conversion that I was able to be a part of, was my own.  I was able to see the gospel of Jesus Christ unfold right in front of me and impact lives on a scale that I never thought was real.  I gained a testimony of my Savior and His Atonement, that He isn't just some story or legend.  He is real, He lives, and His love is unconditional.  The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, and through it we can know if this church is true.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that through him the authority of God was restored back on the earth.  I know that there is only 1 true church and that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
     I close my mission with a satisfaction that I gave my best and that I found the people that I needed to find out here.  Much like Helaman in the Book of Mormon, I feel as if, "they were all acounted for" - -  everyone that was intended to be taught by me was taught and my part of the vinyard was worked. 
     I am excited to see in these next coming years the fruits of these labors as a lot of these people will gain callings, mission assignments, and experience in the church. This work never stops.  
     I am excited to start this next chapter of my life and look foward to seeing everyone when I get back.
      Amo vocês. Até Mais.  Elder Akina

*No letter next week as Elder Akina will head to the airport Monday morning at 3 a.m.  It's ok - - we get to welcome him home Tuesday morning!  Our last post will be of his arrival home - - thank you friends & ohana for all your love and support - - we are so excited to see this boy of ours! 
Sister Kearns and I "Die"' this transfer, our zone is mourning.

Sister Kearns and our zone.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Week #98 All Prayers are Invited!

     This week was another good one!   We found out that Elder Nelson (President of the Quorum of  the Twelve) is coming to our mission next week!  So that will be really cool to see. 
     I got my Zone leaders coming down to Poços to interview Lindalva (our investigator that will be baptized this week) since I can't do the interview since she is our investigator.  Please pray for her,  that this week she can hang in there until her baptism day.  This is the time that Satan puts in overtime to try and not let Gods children enter into His church. So all prayers are invited!!   She is ready. 
     This is my last week in the mission field, next week Monday I'm going to Piracicaba for training that missionaries receive when they go home.  Can you believe it?  I'm giving a talk this Sunday in church.  
     We're going to play basketball at this park by our house right now.  My companion is actually pretty good, he just shoots with two hands - -  so were going work on that today.  But It's going good!  Sun, Guarana, and the Gospel, I can't complain. 
   Love you guys. Working hard until the end!  Elder Akina

*Elder Akina's Mom:  Fingers crossed we get an email next week - - just two weeks to go, we have officially allowed ourselves to GET EXCITED!  He is going to be home before we know it!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week #97 Time to Step it Up!

Haawzit Everyone, 
     This week was super rewarding.  We are going all out or as Daddy Kanani says, "*&%$#@!" (not a cuss word!), Lol I don't think that will make the blog but it's alright - -  ha ha!  We have a baptism marked!!!  Her name is Lindalva, she is about 35ish and just got divorced.  She has a son that is 4, his name is João.  When we found Lindalva (about 3 weeks ago) she was in a really dark place and when we taught her the Restoration her face just lit up.  The next week she went to church and this past Sunday was her second time attending.  I showed her the baptismal font and invited her right there, she accepted, and she will be baptized on the 4th of September.  Her son loves Primary! 
     We are dividing with a lot of the young men in the ward.  Our ward mission leader is 17 years old so he cant help us much because he is in school.  This past Sunday we woke up at 5 in the morning to go to our Ward Council  that started at 7 a.m.  Our chapel is kinda far, which is fine that's part of it - - but when we get there there is no one there - - well that is kind of a bummer.  
      So like IDK it's hard to do by yourself, but we're going to keep doing our part.  My companion is doing awesome. The District is doing really good too!  I'm interviewing like 2 times a week, really good investigators that our Sisters are finding.  
     Love you guys.  Elder Akina

* There is a large section in the middle of Elder Akina's letter where he shares some struggles the missionaries face when  members don't do their part to support their efforts.  It is a little reminder for us to follow up through with our callings if the Elders find people in our auxiliaries. Time to step it up!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week #96 Rewarding Week

      So this week was really rewarding, we had new investigators at church.  We are teaching a bunch, talking with everyone and being obedient!!!   
     My companion Elder F. Silva is really improving his teaching skills.  He is starting to teach the investigators and not the lessons, which has been our goal these past weeks.  We focus on the person we are teaching - - ask them inspired questions to discover their needs - - discern from the Holy Ghost which direction we should take it;  then teach doctrine.  This is something that I can honestly say that takes practice!  Lots and lots of practice - -  but it really is the only way we can become Preach My gospel Missionaries. Teaching people the same way our Savior taught when He was here - -  Simply, Powerfully, and always by the spirit.  
     I love the people I teach.  All of the times that I have felt inadequate, like I didn't have what it took to make someone understand,  as if I wasn't good enough to teach something - -  I just think about them, and how God loves them.  For some reason whenever I have done that, it just always works out and Heavenly Father puts in my mind what His child needs to hear.  There are no words to describe what that is like, seeing someone who has felt alone his/her whole life and them coming to know that they have a Savior and a Father in Heaven who loves them.  
     This work is so real, and I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to play a role in it.    Love you guys Elder Akina
You know this is a real monkey, right?  There were about 20 of them and one tried to steal my camera!