Elder Akina

Elder Akina

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week #85 Little Dog Bite

     So this week was pretty much the same as the others, buying plane tickets for the missionaries going home in August.  Ha - - ha  my group is next, I think I'm going to buy my own plane ticket Lol!  I buy them 2 months before the missionaries actual departure (it's cheaper that way) so in a couple weeks I will be buying mine. 
     Thursday was a holiday here so the office was closed, we worked all day in the field.  I split with my ZL and we did WORK in my area.  Oh yeah - - Elder Beaton who was in Aracy with me is now my zone leader - - so that's pretty sweet. 
     No President Canuto's son is still in Brazil waiting on his Visa.  I got bit by the same dog twice this week in an investigators driveway. I am ok though - - it was a small dog!  
     We taught 2 Adventists of the Seventh Day - - that got super heated.  We think there are wasps in our sealing because at night when we are sleeping you can here this crazy amount of buzzing, like bees buzzing right above us.  So we got a ladder from our neighbor and we are  going up there today to see what's living with us. 
     Its has gotten really cold during these past couple of nights.  On Thursday when I split with my zone leader we hooped at this park right by my house with these 8 dudes that were playing a pickup game.  Elder Maxwell put in work in the post and I was just getting to the basket and breaking ankles.  Every time we would score it's always the same thing, 'oh they're American, they are made for this"!   This one kid João wanted me to train him during the week and I told him that we would talk about it if I could go to his house and teach him.  He got all excited, so we are going there Monday at 3 - - so that'll be cool.
Love you guys!! Falou  Elder Akina
Sushi with Waldemar Junior Peres
Elder Beaton and Elder Akina with Waldemar Junior Peres.

Squad with the ties
Love to eat sushi - - thank you for taking such good care of our missionaries!
Pizza with the President

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Week #84 Famous Ties!

     Sorry I haven't written a full letter in awhile, it's been super busy!  I will start writing again pode deixar.  So - - we had Elder Holland speak to us in Campinas together with the Campinas mission!  He said some things that our mission was really needing and that was specifically for us - - I think that's why it was so cool.  I saw a lot of friends from the MTC that I hadn't seen in a year and half and all the Brazilians couldn't beleive that it was me! They didn't believe it was me talking - - lol!  In the CTM I couldn't say anything and this time we were talking about everything.  They thought I had a Brasilian spirit in my body that was talking for me - - lol.  It was so cool to see all those guys again.  The Assistant's and I all went with the ties you sent.  Everyone was all like, "Dude hook it up with one!"  So these ties are pretty famous now.  President was at the seminar for Mission Presidents all week in São Paulo.
The famous ties!
     I renewed 2 visas this week and because my Bishop is Polica Federal he hooked it up bigtime this week!  Typically you have to schedule your visit, but he knows all the guys so I can show up when I want and he tells all the guys that we're up next.  It saves so much time.     
     We have two potential baptisms this month.  They have already been to church 1 time and they coming this Sunday so their going in the water this coming Saturday. Their names are Neli and Ana, they are Mom and daughter.  We found them knocking doors one night. It has been an incredible experience teaching them.  They have so much faith and they are willing to CHANGE, which not a lot of people are willing to do these days.  So when we find people like this we know they were prepared for us before we even knocked on their door.   Ana is 17 (the daughter) and she is struggling with depression,  the mom says the only time she comes out of her room is when the missionaries are there (us).  Her mom told us that we are giving her something she has been trying to give to her daughter for years, and that's Hope.  When she told us that, it really was a testimony to me that the Restored Gospel is the cure to even the most damaged spirits.  I have no doubt that the Gospel is able to do that because it is centered on our Savior, who has felt, and experienced everything so He could be our example in everything.  It's people like them that keep me going every day man. 
    I'm about to put some pictures up.  Love you guys - - have a good week.
   Tchau.  Elder Akina 
*A shout out to Aunty Pua for the Poly print ties!  Mahalo! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week #83 Skipped P-Day - - Elder Holland

Hey Mom,
     I'm good, we had the devotional with Elder Holland on Saturday!  We left early and got back late - - that's why I didn't send you an email.  My P-Day was skipped.  Sorry!  I'm doing good!  Love you.  Elder Akina

This SHORT letter will have to do for this week - - even though we are DYING to hear about his experience with Elder Holland!  Until Saturday!  Here are a few of our favorite Elder Holland quotes.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Week #82 Mother's Day - - Squeal!

Mother's Day 2016
Our last phone call from the field! 
Love our Elder - - his tag makes me happy! 
Translating how to say Happy Mother's day!  
These AP's serving with Elder Akina in the office were amazing!
Shaka, what he is know by in all the mission photos!

The other Elders kept interrupting - - in a good way.
They kept telling us how much they loved Elder Akina. 
Knocking each other out of the photo op!  Cracking us up!
Happy Mama!  Love my boy!
Finally got one with all 4 Office Staff!

  • They just took place and I have a new companion as Elder Lau-Lau went home. 
  • I didn't get a replacement to train, I will be in the office until the new Mission President arrives in July.
  • It's been really busy, a huge number of missionaries are going home in June - - a lot of shuffling.
New President: 
  • He arrives July 2nd. I will still be in the office to help him get adjusted.
  • I am the only English speaker in the office, although I don't speak much English unless I am talking with Salt Lake.
President Canuto:
  • He is really cool!  My interaction with him while I was in the field was very limited. 
  • Now that I am in the office, I see very vividly the mantle he carries for the mission, it is very moving.
  • I see how he receives revelation for the mission, his decisions and the changes he makes are relevant for the work to move forward.  How he changes our goals and contact methods are inspired because of his calling.  I have learned a lot working with him.
  • I am much closer to him now that I have been in the office - - Heavenly Father works through him, there is no doubt.
  • I will miss him when he goes home. 
  • His son is in the Sao Paulo CTM until his VISA comes in, should be any day.  It is rare for a Brazilian Elder to get called to the states, I am excited for him.  
Brazil FM Group: Mama loved this part of our convo!
  • I work closely with the FM group over our office!  We are getting ready to move to a space built for us off of a chapel.  
  • It will save us a lot of money as our lease is expensive!
  • When the Assistant FM was in our office I told him that my mom was a FM in Texas.
  • He said, "Oh, you mean she is an Assistant FM, like me."  I responded, Nope - - she's your boss!  He couldn't believe it.
  • Mama proceeded to pepper our Elder with an abundance of questions building related!
Elder Holland:
  • Elder Holland is speaking to us in 2 weeks!  I am SO EXCITED!
  • I have been organizing all the transportation for the mission.  Unfortunately not everyone will be able to attend - - the logistics of getting everyone here is hard.
English Class:
  • I love teaching English classes.
  • We now have a beginner, intermediate and advanced class in our area.
  • I was teaching the advanced - - then realized the beginners need the basics to move on so I changed.
  • The sight word flash cards you sent are working great. I loan them out for them to practice and they bring them back.
  • I have 33 students in my class.
  • We do private lessons in homes too - - it is amazing!  It's all free.
Miscellaneous Insights: 
  • I have learned to make my own opinions as I move through the mission.  When missionaries come out of an area they tell you what you think and sometimes that clouds your judgement.  I have figured out I need to go in with an open mind and some of my best areas were the ones other people "warned" me about.
  • Saying good bye stinks!  All the missionaries going home stay with us and we have vans pick them up at our apartment at 3 a.m.  We all stand in the streets crying saying good bye, it is exhausting!  I have sent all of my previous companions home with the exception of 2.  Elder Nunez and Elder Becker leave shortly.  Elder Fernandez freaked out when he came through, he couldn't believe my Portuguese.  He was my trainer and I was GREEN!  Pretty funny!  I have made life long friendships here.
  • My return date is firm, September 13th!  I fly home with Elder Welch. (Elder Welch met our Elder in Atlanta and they flew to Brazil together leaving on their missions!)
  • I am now a whiz on Excel!
  • I have members who will come down to Piracicaba to say good bye when I am ready to come home. (Elder Akina got a little misty eyed!)
  • I will leave all of my clothes here when I come home, I'll wear my suite on the plane and my suitcases will be empty clothing wise.
  • I have slept on the floor with my mattress my entire mission. My legs don't fit their bed frames!
  • I was in the hospital a month ago! EXCUSE ME?  Yay - - I had an infection on my head!  The Barber I went to didn't clean his clippers, the infection was really bad.  I had boils on my head.  I had to do anti-biotics for 2 weeks.  It's all good.  (I had to contain my motherly self!)
  • How are Elder Stuarts, Elder Kendrick, Elder Hatch, Elder Romney, Elder Gilbert, Elder Gaspar, Elder Slade and Nelson, Sisters Machen and Whetten?  When does Cristina come home?
  • I miss driving.
  • I teach the Gospel Principles class.
  • Last but not least, the one thing that stands out that I have learned is accountability.  If I mess up I have to own it.  President Canuto expects this of us.  It was hard at first, but I get it now.
Elder Akina's Mom's Thoughts

What a delight to speak with our Elder on Mother's Day.  It was hard to understand him with his accent - - however the spirit was undeniable and he was so chatty!  Don't want the remaining time to go by fast for his sake, it was apparent he is not looking forward to his mission ending. This makes us feel so grateful for the experience he is having and the relationships he has forged.  I will be patient and wait my turn - - I am in count down mode!  Thank you for loving our boy and keeping him in your prayers!  
Aloha - - Elder Akina's Mama

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week #81 New Family, Busy Office & Pictures

Hey Mom,
     So this week was alright, the office is really busy.  We have transfers coming up this next week.  We found this super cool family we have started to teach that will be at church on Sunday.  They are really special.
     This is my companion's last week on the mission, his parents are coming to pick him up.  I'll go out to eat with him and his family, so that's going to be cool.  We have some missionaries from Africa coming this transfer.
          It's getting super cold here in Piracicaba.  I'm putting a bunch of pictures up for you guys. Love you! Falou  Elder Akina

P-Day at the Futbol Stadium
That's my boy!

The Gang!

Can you say Happy Elder?  This was his life before the mission!

Who can guess why his shirt is untucked?

No surprises here!  Still got it! 
Back to work Elder!