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Monday, March 1, 2010

Elder Kitchen arrived on Niue!

Fakalofa Lahi Atu from Niue!
It means Hello to you from Niue!
I am so glad to be able to e mail you guys from the island of Niue.
Wow I cant believe I'm here on the tropical island paradise of Niue. Its like a dream that I haven't woke up from. I cant believe I'm serving my mission in a place like this. I feel extremely blessed that the Lord has called me to serve here and I know there will be many experiences and things that will confirm to me this is where I'm supposed to be.

Thank you for all the e mails and everything you have been doing for me. I can feel all your prayers and I'm very grateful for you all. I love you all so much and I pray for you every night. Thanks again for putting money in my account, I bought some shoes for service in Niue.

Well first of all I will just tell you some of the experiences I had before I arrived in Niue. Well it was kinda hard for me to know I was leaving and I wasn't going to see any of the members or investigators in the Claudelands ward. They all gave me gifts and were all really sad I was leaving. My companion said he was going to miss me a lot and that he loved that I was his companion. He said I was his favorite companion on his mission so far. Well one thing that happened on Tuesday was we taught a 90 year old man named Keith. It was incredible and we taught him how to pray. It was a life changing experience to realize even after 90 years he never really prayed. I feel blessed to have been apart of that miracle. We also met a lot more investigators and had a lot of lessons last week.

On Wednesday we got new mattresses (figures I only slept in them for one night haha). Well Wednesday was the last day in the Claudelands ward. It was very sad to say goodbye to everyone. A lot of them gave me gifts and Bro Sunnex had us over for dinner. I had a lot of fun times with the members and I got to bear my testimony and let all of them know how much I love them. One thing that I loved so much was Galvin and Kristina told me that its not "if" they get baptized its WHEN! Aw its like music to my ears! I was so happy. Well there was a lot more experiences I had saying goodbye to everyone but I don't have time to type them all out. It was just sad to say goodbye to all of them. I hope I can see them again someday.

On Thursday it was transfers. We drove up to Auckland and went to the stake center we always have transfers at. It was cool to see all the missionaries and everything. I only got to take one 40 pound bag and my back bag to Niue. So I left the other two bags and my bike with President Porter so he could keep them at the mission home for me. I said goodbye to Elder Sessions and then headed off with some other missionaries. I'm going to miss Elder Sessions, he was a really good missionary and I feel blessed that he was the missionary to train me.

Well my flight wasn't until Saturday so the rest of the day on Thursday and all of Friday I was with two other missionaries in South Auckland. The area we were in was the closest area to the Auckland Airport. I was with Elder Larson and Elder Drake (they are the zone leaders in the Manuara area). It was so awesome being with them. They are incredible missionaries and I learned so much from them. They were extremely nice to me and helped me out so much. It was awesome to live the life of a zone leader for a couple of days. It was different then just normal missionaries but we still had a lot of time to have lessons. We had some experiences that were just so incredible. We met with this less active guy and then out of no where his daughters boy friend came and sat in. We taught him the message of the restoration. Wow the spirit was so strong. It was one of the most incredible lessons I've ever had. It was truly a miracle sent from God. We also had a lot more miracles and some really good lessons and experiences.
Oh yeah I got to drive the car!! HAHA it was so weird to drive on the wrong side of the road and wrong side of the car. The zone leaders needed to verify me just in case I would be driving in Niue. I did really good. It was weird and I needed help from them just telling me what to do at first but then I got the hang of it. It was a cool experience and maybe if we come back to New Zealand I can drive us around!

Well it was awesome being with the zone leaders. I packed for Niue and then went to bed.
Saturday morning they drove me to the airport and dropped me off. It was weird being alone and not with a companion. I went and got my ticket, checked my baggage on, and went through security and customs. Then I went on the airplane. It wasn't a huge one but it was pretty big. (I was surprised how much people were on the plane). Well I got a window seat and enjoyed the flight over to Niue! It was about a 3 and half hour flight. I slept most of the flight because I was really tired.

Well I left New Zealand on Saturday but got to Niue on Friday haha! In Niue right now it is Monday, so it is the same day as the United States (you guys) but it isn't the the same time of day, it is the same time of day as New Zealand. My flight left New Zealand at 9:15 a.m. and I landed in Niue about 1 p.m. Well it was a crazy experience to land in Niue. The plane looked like it was going to land in the Ocean and then all of a sudden land appeared and we landed on a runway. WOW the first look of Niue was INCREDIBLE!! It was SOOOO green, A TON of palm trees and coconut trees, and A Ton of green tropical plants. When I stepped out of the plane the weather testified to me that I was really in a tropical climate. It was a really hot muggy gust of wind. Wow it is so humid here its unreal. But I am getting kinda used to it....well kinda. I stepped of the plane and walked over to the tiny airport building. There was heaps of people welcoming everyone from the plane. I got to see Elder Whit (the missionary I'm replacing) for only a second. I didn't ever get to talk to him really because he was across the way waiting to get on the plane that just dropped me off. He was so excited to see me even though he's never met me. He said I would love it here and told me good luck and just enjoy and love every second of it. He seemed really sad to leave Niue. Well then I got my luggage and then met my companion!!
My Companions name is Elder Fanguna! He is from Tonga! Isn't that freaking Awesome!! I don't know if I told you that before. He speaks Tongan of course, Niuean, and English. He is better at Tongan and Niuean then English. He can speak it fine,he just cant talk very fast and stuff. His accent is so cool. He is an amazing missionary. President said he is really obedient and a really loving and friendly missionary. I know that's true now. I love Elder Fanguna already! He is so cool, really funny, a really good missionary and has a very strong testimony. He has 4 sisters in his family. He is the only boy in his family. His dad is the stake President in their stake. He is from Matahau Tonga. He has a lot of talents he played rugby and was really good at it. He is really good at volleyball and heaps of other sports. He is REALLY good at singing and dancing, and guess what?!? HE CAN FIRE DANCE!! Remember the ones at the Polynesian Culture Center in Hawaii!? I haven't seen him do it yet but he showed me a video on his camera, he said he will show me soon. Well he is a hard core islander and has lived a totally different life than me. But we are getting along really well. He is just so cool and I'm so glad we are companions!!

Well there is SO much to tell you about the island of Niue!! It is definitely a tropical island! It is SOOO tropical here! There is A TON of coconut and palm tress everywhere! There is tropical fruit growing on tress everywhere! I got to try my first natural coconut right off the tree. I cut it open and drank the coconut juice! Wow it was SOO good! I also tried the coconut fruit, it was dang good also. I got to have my first banana right off the tree too. I tried some other fruit too! And they are all naturally grown tropical trees. Well the island is GORGEOUS!!! The island is so BEAUTIFUL it is breathtaking! Niue is like a huge rock sticking out of the ocean. So there is amazing looking cliffs with green plants and trees all over them. I can't even describe how amazing it looks. The ocean looks really beautiful but there isn't a lot of beaches because its a rock. I cant get in the ocean anyways so it doesn't matter. The weather here is really hot and humid. There is heaps of wild chickens everywhere! There is lizards and little crabs that come into the flat! There is also huge coconut crabs on the island. I haven't seen alive one yet just a dead one.
Our flat is really cool. It is a small house next to one of the chapels. It's pretty old but its nice. There are 3 of our church's chapels on the island. There are two branch's though. One switch's off because they are far apart.
Well I have been to a lot of the island already. It is just breath taking! I cant believe I'm serving here! I've been too a bunch of the villages on the island. There are 13 small villages on the island. It really is kind of primitive. But there is still electricity, running water, cars and stuff. We have a van that we drive everywhere and we get to pick up members and investigators and take them to church.
WOW the people here are so COOL!! They are hard core islanders! They have an extremely different way of life than we do. It is a pretty big culture shock for me but I' loving it. They do things really different and they live so differently. The food here is different and I know I will probably be trying some weird food here. I tried wild pig today! They have these wild pigs on the island with big curly teeth. I haven't seen a live one yet.
Well the members are just amazing. They just treat me like family. They are so nice to me and are very funny. I love being around them. I'm getting to know them really well because we see the same faces every day! The investigators are really cool and we have had some lessons. We had most of our lessons with less active members.
Well most of the people speak in the Niuean language. They speak in English for me but I want to try and learn the language. I've already learned some phrases but its going to be really hard for me to learn but I will try my best.
The island way of life is extremely different then our type of life. I have experienced more culture in this past couple of days than in my whole life. The missionary work here is extremely different here too. We do heaps of service and just love the people. The people here are so chill and relaxed people. Well I've had some crazy experiences already. I can't believe I'm on my mission here!
Church was great. Me and my companion are the branch presidents' councilors!! HAHA can you believe that. We also bless the Sacrament. I got a chance to also bear my testimony and introduce my self to the members. We go to the smaller branch in the island because it needs help with Priesthood. The other branch is pretty much a ward size! There is a ton of members.
Well I kinda have to go....There is so much more I could tell you! I wish I could type forever! There is so many experiences and stories I'm having. WOW I cant even describe it. Well don't worry about the hurricane or whatever, the warning here wasn't very strong. Well don't worry about me, I'm loving the island! It is kinda scary doing all these things I'm not used to but I will be fine. I love it here. I'm very grateful to be here. Well I miss you all SO much!!
I love you all more than anything! We are going to go site seeing today for P day!So I will take a lot of pictures. Oh yeah about the pictures I put all the ones from my mission so far onto a DVD and I'm going to send them to you. I will send the Niue ones next Monday through the e mail.
Well I hope I told you a lot about Niue. I did my best to remember everything. I pray for you every night. I can feel your prayers here. Well I love you all so much! Thanks for everything! I couldn't ask for a better family! You mean everything to me. I love you more than anything!
Love Elder Kitchen

1 comment:

  1. WOW!! I am so jealous. What a neat place that Tyler gets to experience. He is such a great person and I can tell he is a wonderful missionary. I wan to see the pictures when you get them. I need his address so that we can write him. I want to start writing him. Effie send mw a text with his address of email so i can start sending letters. Thanks Paulette


Elder Kitchens companions

Tehuacan (5/14/2014) to (8/6/2014) Elder Conrad from Draper, Utah

Nealtican (4/2/2014) to (5/14/2014) Elder Christensen from Denver, Colorado

Nealtican (2/19/2014) to (4/2/2014) Elder Sanchez from Chiapas, Mexico

Puebla (1/8/2014) to (2/19/2014) Elder Dzul from Cancun, Mexico

Puebla (10/15/2013) to (1/8/2014) Elder Betts from Mexi-Cali Baja California, Mexico

Atlixco (7/23/2013) to (10/14/2013) Elder Ortega from Nayarit, Mexico

Puebla (3/19/2013) to (7/22/2013) Elder Burden from Snowflake, Arizona

Puebla (2/19/2013) to (3/18/2013) Elder Knowlton from Springville, Utah

Atexcac (1/8/2013) to (2/18/2013) Elder Olvera from San. Luis Potosi, Mexico

Atexcac (10/16/2012) to (1/7/2013) Elder Tinoco from Dorango, Mexico

MTC (8/15/2012) to (10/15/2012) Elder Astle from Northern California