Happy heart day

Happy heart day
We love you too!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Family!

WOW!! Reading your emails today were a blast. Its so good to read everything you've been up to and all the exciting things going on in your lives. I just want to say thanks so much for everything and it was nice to read about your week. But WHAT?! I cant believe its snowing there!!!! That's so crazy...I'm sorry. I cant believe it because its so HOT here. Mom I'm sure your not too happy haha.

There is a lot to tell you. Well first things first....Elder Fanguna didn't leave last Friday. The missionary that was supposed to come here had problems and wont be coming. They are trying to find a new missionary and will have to wait until he gets his passport to come here. So Elder Fanguna will be staying another week or so. So I don't have as much time as I wanted to email you guys but I do have more than last week.

Thank you so much for saying happy birthday and everything. It really is weird that I'm already 20 years old. It doesn't really feel like it....I bet it makes you guys feel old too! Well Saturday was a great day. It didn't feel that much like my birthday but the members told me happy birthday. Elder Fanguna was nice and gave me two really nice ties, and a member made me a birthday cake. I'm sorry mom to say but I didn't receive the package yet....its really okay and I will check to see if the post office has it today. If not then it will probably come next Friday on the plane for sure. Sunday the Hekaus made me a really nice cake, ice cream, and a really fancy dinner for my birthday. They all sang to me and they were really nice. Well my birthday was extremely different this year than in the past but it was amazing. It truly was incredible because I'm in the service of the Lord. It made me feel so happy to know that on my birthday I got to be on a mission serving my Heavenly Father. We just did normal teaching and visiting and I just was really happy all day. I got to read Sam Smith's letters she sent me on my birthday so that was fun. I know you really wanted to tell me happy birthday mom and I just want to let you know that you kinda did. On Saturday we email president so when I got into my email I saw your email that said happy birthday. It meant a lot. I love you so much. I know you all missed me and I felt your love and wishes for me on Saturday. I missed you all so much but it was a great day. Thanks again for everything.

I'll just go over a little what happened this week. This past week the members had thrown a lot of goodbye parties for Elder Fanguna since they thought he was leaving. They had me kill another pig hahaha. The parties were really cool, we watched a lot of dance entertainment and got to eat heaps of really good food. Thursday we prepared for him leaving and then got the call he wasn't after all. He was so happy because he loves this place. We had some lessons and it was a great day.

Friday was a very cool day. We had 4 incredible lessons. The spirit was very strong. Our investigators are progressing good...well some. I know Suta will probably get baptized soon. I can feel the spirit so strong and I know he knows the church is true.
Then on Saturday, like I said was great, we had 3 really good lessons, visited a lot of people, and everyone was so kind in wishing me a happy birthday.

Sunday we finally finished watching General Conference. It was very good and the spirit was strong. We had a big birthday lunch with the Hekaus and they made me a cake. We also had some lessons and found someone we are going to teach and it looks really good that we will probably baptize her. We had good success this week and I know the Lord is blessing us.

Well I will answer some of your questions. President Porter did tell me I'll be the senior companion when the new missionary comes so we'll see when he does. Oh yeah President and his family called me on my birthday and sang to me. They wished me a happy birthday and told me they loved me. It was so nice. My cough is much better. I went to the doctor and they said I had a minor throat infection. They gave me anti-biotics and I've been taking them. My throat is much better now.

oh yeah mom I get to give a lot of blessings here in Niue. The members always call the missionaries whenever someone is sick. Like on my birthday I gave a blessing to a really sick member.

Sorry this email is so random its just it seems like a lot has happened. I can't believe this week is the last week of school! That's so crazy! Well have a great summer! I'm sure Ryan, Jami and Kaylee are really excited. I'm glad to hear they all made the honor roll! Congrats guys!! :) :)
Well I just wanted to say thanks mom for up dating me with my friends. I never got to say much about Cams call! That is so cool you guys got to watch him open his call. I can't believe he's going to Colorado! That's awesome and I'm so happy for him and its great he gets to learn Spanish. I really am going to write him a letter soon...I think today. But if you get a chance tell him I'm so happy and excited for him. Also about Logan's call...Costa Rica! That's awesome, and James' call!! Texas!! wow that is crazy!! All my friends are leaving and getting their calls it seems like all at once. I'm so happy for all of them and wish I could tell me congrats! I know all my friends will love their missions. And I feel bad about not writing Kenzy for a while. I'm glad you got to see her.

Well there is so much going on and so much more I want to write about. I wish we could write for hours or talk. It seems like a lot is going on back home. I'm sad I wont be able to attend any of my friends mission farewells. You should go and tell me how they were. Well I really do feel horrible for not writing any family yet....Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles. I really do love them with all my heart and wish I had the time to write each one of them a letter. I'm going to try and do better. Maybe next week I will save an email for my grandparents. JUST Please let them know that I love all 4 of them with all my heart! I miss them like crazy! I'm so grateful for everything they do especially helping me out on my mission. Tell them thanks and I love them for me please.

Well I hate to say goodbye but I need to go. I love reading emails and catching up on everything. Just know I'm doing very well, my birthday was great, and my mission is changing my life. I miss you all so very much. And I love you all. I truly am grateful for everything you guys do mom and dad. I'm sorry I cant write more but thank you. Your the best parents ever. I'm glad your week is going great. Please have another incredible week. Be safe, have fun and just know I love and miss you. May the Lord bless our family as I serve Him. You mean everything to me and I'm truly grateful to call myself your son. Have a wonderful week.

With much love....Your missionary son, Elder Kitchen

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Elder Kitchen finally writes.....yeah!

Wow Hello from Niue my Family!!
Man it feels like its been a while since I've e mailed you. I missed reading your e mails and telling you all about mine. Thanks so much for sending me such wonderful emails and I loved reading them. It sounds like a lot of exciting things have happened over there and it was so good to read all of them. Well I've been pretty good....some ups and downs. A lot of things have happened that I want to tell you but I don't have a lot of time today. So I'm not going to go into much detail. Next week when Elder Fanguna is gone we are going to spend extra time E-mailing so I can catch up.

Well it was so good talking to you guys on the phone. I've missed hearing your voices. I loved every second of the call but it seemed way too short. I miss you all so much. It was so hard to get off the phone for me. I got so emotional and I know all of you did also. I'm very glad we got to talk and I could tell mom happy mothers day. After wards it was really hard and I got home sick but I'm doing a lot better now.

Well since I don't have a lot of time I'll just tell you some of the things that has been going on over here in Niue for me and then next week I will answer questions and reply to your emails. I'm so sorry I have to do this, I feel really bad. Well my week has been crazy. Some exciting things, some hard things, some awesome, and others bad. We did a ton of service at the beginning of last week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and we did service all day Tuesday. We planted a lot of Taro (which is really hard work), picked up heavy rocks, gathered twigs, tore down an old shed and burned it all, and did a lot of work in the bush like gathering coconut leaves for members. Wednesday we did a ton of service too, cutting grass, and even did a lot of concrete (cement) work, and we cemented a members driveway. We have done a ton of service this week. Well I guess I worked too hard, didn't drink enough water, or got heat exhaustion, but I got sick. Wednesday evening I started to feel weak and like I was getting sick. And then on Thursday I woke up really sick. Almost all day Thursday I just slept, I was in bed all day. I wasn't extremely sick but I just didn't want to get worse so we took the day off so I could rest. A really nice member named Robin took really good care of me. Well Friday when I woke up I still felt sick so I could do missionary work but we didn't do any service. Now I am not sick except I STILL have a bad cough. I am going to go to the doctors to see if I have a throat infection, I just wont stop coughing. But please don't worry about me...the doctors here are very good and medical treatment is free. So they will give me or treat me to make it all better.

On Wednesday I also got to give a blessing to a sick member in the hospital. It was amazing. The spirit worked through me and told me exactly what to say. It was a very spiritual experience and a powerful blessing. He is doing great now. It truly was a miracle and I know that blessings are real, miracles can still happen, and the Priesthood Power of God is real. I know if we have the priesthood and have faith and according to the will of God anything is possible. Oh yeah and long story short: The nose flute used to be very popular here, like it started in Niue or something....it eventually was a lost cultural thing and no body did it here anymore. Well Elder Fanguna knows how to make them and play. So with the help of the members and the cultural Niue people, Elder Fanguna brought the nose flute back to Niue. So on Wednesday we did a really cool workshop. We learned how to make them, then we made nose flutes, then we learned how to play them. It was awesome. So guess what, I know how to play the nose flute. I'll have to tell you more about it next week.

UGH........Elder Fanguna just told me we have to go because we have to do something....man there is so much more to tell you. I'll just list some things and then I will have to explain and go into detail next week.

Last Saturday we baptized Pita!!!! It was incredible! My first baptism on Niue.
Sunday was cool some great things happened.
Its Elder Fanguna's last week on the island. He leaves Friday. My new companion comes Friday. His name is Elder Hoko and he is from Tonga.
I'm starting to prepare to be the senior companion, I'm a little nervous, I'm starting to practice driving the manual van because I'm going to drive....its hard because its the opposite side of road and MANUAL.
Well my birthday is this Saturday!! WOW 20 years old. I haven't gotten the package but I will this Friday so the day before my birthday.
Well I'm sorry again I promise I'll make it up next Monday!!
I love you all so much. I miss you. thanks for everything. Thanks for saying happy birthday! Its going to be different but I'll still love it. Have a great week. And know I love everyone of you.
Love Elder Kitchen

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Faka Lofa Lahi Atu Family!!
How the heck are you guys this week?! I hope everything is going great. It sounds like it from your letters. I cant believe I will get to talk to all of you on the phone this Sunday!! I'm really excited. I can remember our last time during Christmas and we said its going to be 5 months until the next time we get to talk to each other, and now its almost here! Can you believe I've been on my mission for almost 6 months!! That's crazy huh....almost 1/4 of the way done with my mission. And my birthday is coming up too! I cant believe I'm going to be 20 years old...its weird to think. Well thanks again for everything. I love everything you do for me and you really are the best family.

Well my week this week was pretty good. Last Monday on P-day we went golfing again! It was really fun and I did good. It's cool to golf and sometimes the golf ball hits a palm or coconut tree instead of a pine tree! We also did some other fun things and I got to write some of my friends letters. Tuesday was a pretty normal teaching day. We had some lessons and helped our investigators. Wednesday we had another really good teaching day. The spirit was definitely with us and it helped me know exactly what to say several times as we tried to help one of our investigators with her concerns. Thursday we did some service and helped a lot of people out. We didn't teach much. Friday was kind of a long day and we didn't have much success teaching or helping people out. We played volleyball again just like every Friday. I'm getting better slowly....man the islanders are just so dang good at volleyball. Saturday we did a TON of service. We did service from 7:00 a.m. until about 2:00 pm! We helped so many members and investigators cut their grass, do yard work, and anything we could help with. This mission is definitely teaching me how to work really hard. So when I get back I will be able to work a ton on our yard and it will feel like a piece of cake haha. I feel bad because some of the people here are so poor and they don't have anyway to cut their grass so we go help them. I don't know if I ever said this but yeah there is a lot of poor people here. They have really small, not nice at all, and falling apart houses. This mission has taught me in so many ways to be extremely grateful for the things I have. It has humbled me a lot and I realize we have so much back home. We are truly blessed by unmeasurable amounts. We watched the morning session of general conference Saturday night too. It was so good, I took so many notes and learned so much. Church yesterday was great. Guess what! I bore my testimony in Niuean! A member wrote me a short and simple testimony in Niuean and I just read it at church. I didn't pronounce everything that great but it was still a cool experience and all the members said I did great. That was basically my week. The work here is progressing slowly. We still are having so many trails with our investigators. They are having a lot of trouble keeping the commitments and some of them are ready for baptism but we have other problems with their family or village. But me and Elder Fanguna will keep praying and having faith.

It sounds like everything is going great with you guys. I miss you all a lot. I'm glad we get to talk on the phone and I can hear all your voices. I really do sometimes wish you could all be here experiencing these incredible things with me but I'm glad you get to read them and see some of the pictures. I'm glad you all loved my letters to each of you, I loved writing them.

Well I wish I could just tell you more but as always I don't have a ton of time. I just want you to all know I love reading your e mails. It means so much to me to read that your all doing good, loving life, and having so many cool things happen. I'm so thankful for all the nice things you tell me and all the encouragement you give me. It means so much to me and I love reading them. Thanks also just for everything. Your the best family ever. I can feel your prayers and pray everyday that the Lord will bless you all. Keep being safe, happy, and enjoying everything about life. Just know I love you all so much. I miss you like crazy, and I'm so grateful to be apart of your family. I will talk to you on the phone on Sunday! Make sure you write down things you want to ask me or whatever! I love you.
Love Elder Kitchen

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Elder Kitchen dances for money!

Hello family!!
How are you guys?! Man sometimes it feels like the weeks fly by and its already time to email you again....and others feel like it will never end. My mission really is a once in a life time opportunity. Its changed my life and I'm learning so much. I really miss all of you so much though and I miss my friends and everyone. You know how social and loving person I was and its hard not to be with any of the people I loved before my mission. But I keep going forward and I just love my mission. I'm sorry again for taking another day to email you guys. Hopefully next week the Internet will be fixed so we will be able to e mail on Monday and have more time. I know you don't love when I do this but its so crazy here and today we aren't really supposed to email so I don't have a lot of time.

First of all I'm so glad you all got my letters and pictures. I truly meant everything I said in the letters. I'm sorry its been a while since I wrote each of you a hand written letter. I'm glad now I have its just so crazy on a mission. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I loved all the experiences behind each one. I wish I could be there and tell you about them. And about the videos I have a lot more and better ones than those. I didn't send them because I thought I would watch them with you when I get home. The ones you watched weren't supposed to be there. But the old guy and lady are a long story, they are just really funny nice old members. Me and my companion just had a really funny time the last dinner before I left to Niue. Mom, the lady is the one that called you, her name is sister Chote, and the old guy is the one I was telling you about named Raymond. He is awesome and so funny you need to meet him someday.

Thanks so much mom for all you do about updating me on my friends. I really love to hear about them too because I have been really bad at writing them. I have finished a letter to Devan and right now I'm writing one to James. I'm trying to do better now. Thanks for all the pictures too they were awesome. I cant believe Devan already had his farewell....man its crazy. And I wonder about Sam....I really wanna know if she got my letter....I sent her one and she never replied. I hope shes all right with Dustin going on a mission.

Well for you family it seems like everything is going great. I bet your all excited for summer to come around the corner, and also for some vacations and things. It sounds like Ryan had a great time at prom. I remember all my fun experiences at prom. Tell Ryan just to love every second of high school because it ends fast. I'm glad grandma and grandpa and Paulette could look at my pictures. That's so awesome. You should invite other family and some of my friends to come see. I bet you all just loved the pictures. I should have taken more in New Zealand....I didn't take much but I will when I go back there.

Well I've heard from members all the bad things happening around the world. So many natural disasters. Wow its the signs of the times for sure. But luckily Niue is fine and we haven't experienced that bad of weather. Hurricane season is almost over so that's good. Its also cooling down a little here....I'm so glad because its too hot here. Wow, I've heard just a bunch of cool things have been happening. Sometimes you think because you went on a mission the whole world stops. But it doesn't. I just have to not think about it to much. Whats new with you guys? Sounds like a lot has happened. That's so sad about the Rippy family. That's horrible.....I feel so bad.....I can't believe all the bad stuff has happened to them. I will for sure keep them in my prayers. They are so wonderful people...its sad to see bad things happen to good people....but we know the Lord is in it no matter what. I'm sure Heavenly Father has a reason why he took the little boy back to him.

Well for me this last week was alright again. I'm going through some trials on my mission here in Niue. Its so hard to teach and help investigators with their concerns. I'm trying just to increase my faith and trust in God. Following the spirit to exactness is what I'm trying to do. I just pray so much to help me overcome my trails. The missionary work is going alright but we found out some of our investigators have been lying to us....ugh. Oh well I'm trying to do my best. This week we did a ton of service. We taught less lessons then we usually do. We had a really cool family home evening with some less active Tongan boys. They killed another pig and roasted it for the family night. The spirit was strong...I couldn't understand hardly any of it though because it was in Tongan. Last Sunday was great...we watched Saturday morning and afternoon sessions on conference. Oh yeah on Saturday evening we watched the priesthood session also. We are going to watch the Sunday sessions probably next week or the next. I love watching general conference on my mission. I not only stayed awake the whole time but I payed serious attention and took notes. I learned so much and felt the spirit so strong. I love listening the the prophets and apostles.

Saturday was the main day I wanted to focus on. Well guess what during the week we had been teaching these Niuean boys this dance so they could dance in their village show day on Saturday. Well Elder Fanguna was teaching them,and he said I was going to learn it to so we could perform in it. It was the same Figian war dance we performed before and another new dance I've never done before. Okay so we prepared for the dance and got all ready Saturday morning. We went to the show day and let me tell you, the islander show days are crazy!! There is so many people at them....there is stands everywhere and people are selling food, arts and crafts, and teaching people how to do cultural things. There is also a lot of cool islander music and entertainment. Its really cool and offers a ton of cultural experiences. Well we got all dressed up in our customs, we had black paint on our faces, a lava lava on, a pig tooth necklace, banana leaves around our legs, and some cool black shirts on. We all looked sweet. There was 8 of us all together. We went back stage and waited for our turn to perform on stage. I could see the stage and was watching all the other performances. Wow it was awesome to watch all the different islander culture dances. All the customs were awesome. There were so many people there watching, and they were video taping the whole thing. At this point I was nervous because we didn't even practice that much, I'm not good at the islander dancing because I'm not an islander, and there were so many people. I just thought, whatever this is a cool experience and just have fun. So it was time for us to go. We all started walking out the go to the stage. Everyone was cheering so loud. Elder Fanguna and the other boys were yelling out these islander calls. Then we went on stage. The music started playing! I started dancing the first song. Everyone was cheering and laughing and having a good time. I was just smiling and I didn't do that good. But it was just so fun. It was such a cool experience. Then guess what?! its a part of islander culture to go up and put money either in a basket at the front of the dancers or just go and stick it somewhere on the dancer. So as I was dancing people stated sticking money on me!!!! HAHAHA!! it was so funny. Well then we did the other Figian war dance. It was awesome. I had so much fun and just didn't care what people thought of me. I can't even describe my feelings. Well long story short everyone loved the dance, and people took a lot of pictures. I guess what I got 80 dollars!! Well the only bad thing was I forgot my camera in the car. I wanted to go back but we didn't have time. But luckily this TV station in Niue recorded the whole thing so I'm going to buy a DVD so we can watch me dance and remember that experience.

Wow I've taken more time than I can. I have to go now. I hope you like this e mail. Well thanks so much for all you do. I love you all more than anything. Your the best family. I'm so excited to talk to you on Mothers Day. What day is it exactly....I don't know whats going on about that but ill find out and tel you next Monday. I'm glad I got to e mail you...I thought maybe I wasn't going to be able to.
Well have a great week. Keep being who you are. I love you so much. Thanks for everything. Until next week. Be safe and have a good week. I love ya
Love Elder Kitchen
*PS-I added more photos on the previous 3 posts, scroll down to see more photos!

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