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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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
Aloha - - Elder Akina's Mama