Happy heart day

Happy heart day
We love you too!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear Family!

Wow it was great to read your e mails this week. A lot has happened and everyone is just doing great things it sounds like. I'm thankful for everything you do for me. Its cool that you always have an update about my friends and everyone. It really makes me feel good and that I still know at least a little what is going on at home. I hope everyone is safe, happy and doing great!

It is crazy to me that school is almost already to start in a month. Wow the summer went by so fast. I'm so glad I'm out of school haha....but right when I get back home I will probably be back in it ugh... It's great to hear about my friends. I'm glad Devan is enjoying his mission. And that's great to know James got my letter and loved it. I cant believe he's leaving so soon. It's crazy all my friends will be on missions in no time. That was also awesome to hear Cam got my letter and loved it so much. I'm really glad he is spending some time with you guys and doing all those nice things. That means a lot to me because we were such close friends. I miss him a lot too. That was fun to read he loves hearing my experiences, and he got to see all my pictures. Oh and I miss his family too..thanks for telling me his sister Ashlee said that. Your right its just crazy all my friends are leaving. Oh yeah and that was cool to read about Ashton...I'm glad he loved his mission and he has changed and become a wonderful person. I'm glad that Susan and her family are enjoying their stay. Tell them all hello and that I love them. Wow I miss all our extended family and my friends so much. I just miss everyone because the person I am...I just really love people and I get really close to them. Tell everyone I love them so much....miss them like crazy....and I'm SO incredibly sorry I have not written hardly anyone....Dad tell Paulette and Samantha just to send me an e mail haha...and the letter. That's nice she wrote me. How is Paulette and the girls doing?!

I'm excited for you guys that your having the family reunion this week. That will be really fun! No worries I wont get home sick...I'm sad I wont be there but I know where I'm supposed to be. Tell everyone about my experiences and that I miss all my cousins so much. It is really hard to be away from everyone that I love. But I know it is a sacrifice I can make for the Lord.

That's great Utah is hot and nice weather. The Niue winter is still really hot. You asked if its different than summer. I have noticed a little difference, mainly at night. But during the day it is almost as hot as the summer. But it definately is a little cooler.

Dad your right about your mission...even if its really hard you'll look back so fast and say where did it go? I'm just trying to love and cherish every second of it. And no worries I write in my journal all the time. You asked about me and Elder Havea, we are still getting along really well. He is a very nice obedient missionary. We laugh and know when to be completely serious. And he loves all the cool experiences and parties on Niue. But he is from Tonga and they do similar things there.

Well today I don't have a whole lot of time. I'm just going to go over my week and that's it. So many things happened but I cant go into detail. Well last Monday we did a thing called the Da Kai. Its where a TON of the people decorate their cars and themselves and we all drive around the whole island in a big line making as much noise as you can. And while your doing it you throw candy to the kids when you go through the villages. Its kinda like a parade. Man it was so awesome. We went with our mission leader Ete and his family in his little van! He had two huge flags on the back (United States, and Samoa (that's where he's from)) It was a blast. We did it on our P day. It was so much fun just to honk the horn, scream, blow whistles, and make as much noise as you can. It was awesome to see a ton of cars all decorated following in front and behind us. It was awesome.

The rest of this past week has been incredibly spiritual. We've taught so many lessons and done everything we possibly can to find new investigators. We saw a lot of miracles and were lead by the spirit to people. Wow it was just incredible. Tuesday we went tracking and we knocked every single door in one of the villages named Avetele. We found some good potential investigators and had some success. We also taught lessons. Wednesday we had some very spiritual lessons and then went tracking again in another village named Tamatotonga. We knocked all the houses in that one too. We had success and was lead by the spirit in what to say. It is a experience I've never had tracking. Knocking on strangers doors and talking about the Church. It is just incredible. Thursday we did service and also teaching. Well Friday was just amazing. We first had some wonderful lessons in the morning and afternoon and talked to some people around asking if they wanted to learn more. Saturday we did service and teaching also. Sunday was a great day at church. we also had a funeral service for a Niuean member that died in New Zealand. There was a lot of the members there.

Well I have to go now. I'm grateful for everything you do. I love you all so much. Have a wonderful time at cousin camp. Be safe and know I will be thinking about you. Your the best family I could ask for. I miss you tons but I get strength from the Lord everyday. Have a incredible week family.

Love Elder Kitchen

Monday, July 19, 2010

Faka Lofa Atu Family!

I absolutely loved reading your e mails this week. It is really hard sometimes being away from our family and my friends and reading your e mails is one of my highlights of the whole week. Thank you so much. I'm happy to have read all about your week and how your all doing. Thank you so much for all the nice things you said and it helps me so much. I pretty much cried through all 3 of your e mails. I really do miss you all so much but the only thing that takes away the pain is to know this is where I'm supposed to be. And I love my mission so much. I also miss my friends like crazy but I'm grateful you guys always give me updates and how they are doing in their lives.

Well as of right now I'm doing pretty good. I'm still loving Niue, the language, the culture, and I absolutely love the people but I'm kinda missing New Zealand. Mainly because there is NO other missionaries here expect me and my companion. Its hard sometimes being away from President and the other leader missionaries. But sooner or later I'll be on a plane back to NZ. Well its an adventure being the senior companion but I love it. Its really hard and I struggle a little but I always make it through. The mission really is the best two years of your life but also the hardest. I do go through trails, hard times, and sad moments...but the Lord always helps me through them.

Our week was great on the island. It has been a little cooler and rainy. But its still really humid and hot. During the week we did a lot of teaching and service. Tuesday we had an incredible spiritual experience. We were teaching Henry about the Plan of Salvation. It was a very spiritual lesson and Pres. Posemani (Henry's uncle) bore a strong powerful testimony. Then Henry said he felt something amazing and we told him it was the spirit...he said he knew what we were saying was true. I got prompted by the spirit to ask him if he would be baptized. I did and he said yes he wanted to be baptized!!! Wow it was amazing....it was the best moment. I love the feeling...its what makes missionary work worth it! So he is set for this month! We had a lot of other amazing lessons this week with investigators and less active members. We brought one of the less active members back to church. Dad your right its an incredible experience. Our investigators are moving along slowly. We see miracles daily though and I know this is the Lords work.

Wednesday the village we live in did a Sports Day. We went for a little while because we had some investigators that came. It was awesome. There was this triathlon (well it was really a biathlon) We rode bikes and ran. Guess what?! I WON!! hahahaha, it was fun. We did a coconut throwing contest and I got third. and we also did a 100 meter race and I got second. My companion Elder Havea got first...man hes really fast. It was also our branch mission leaders birthday Wednesday so we had dinner and a party at his house. Thursday we helped some investigators work on their vanilla plantation. Yup cool huh I know how vanilla grows and I did a lot of hard labor working on it. Friday was Elder Havea's Birthday! We made him a cake and sang happy birthday and everything. But during the day we did our normal teaching and service. We did heaps of service that day. We helped this investigator move, helped some members prepare for the village show day, did a ton of hard concrete work for a investigator, and helped set up big stands and tents for the village show day.

Saturday was a crazy day!! It was Alofi south Village Show day! We went to the whole thing because we live in the village and we had investigators there. Plus these show days are so big pretty much the WHOLE island goes to them. It was SO fun. There was a ton of people (a lot of tourist too) Heaps of stands where people were selling and showing off their talents. A ton of cool culture things, and a lot of island food! There was also SO much entertainment (island dances), and guess what we danced some. Me and my companion only did one dance. It was the Meceh. Its a traditional celebration dance for the village. There was over 100 dancers and we danced. It was a cool experience. And then guess what?! The Hekau family were kinda like in charge of the show day and they did a cool thing. They did a faces of Alofi south (like people represented all the different countries in Alofi) They had a bunch of different people from different countries living in Alofi. AND guess what I represented the UNITED STATES by my self...because I'm the only one from the US. So they were like now "Elder Kitchen representing the United States of America. And they played party in the USA by Miley Sirus and I ran of stage with the American flag and danced and waved at everyone. MAN there was so many people there and it was really embarrassing! HAHA a moment I'll never forget!

Well that was pretty much my week. Now there's a lot more to say about you guys and things I wanna talk about. First things first....I wanted to e mail you again last Monday but we didn't have time. But guess what?! Right after we e mailed you we walked into our house and there was the package from you guys sitting on my desk! So I already got it last week! Seriously your the best parents! Thank you so much for that amazing package. I absolutely loved it. I had such a overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I have such loving amazing parents that would do so much for me. Thanks mom for the mechanic book, scout hand book, and Cd for the members. Each and every one of them were so grateful and happy. They are not well off here and I could see their faces light up when they got those things they wanted. They all told me to tell you thank you and that your so sweet. Also I love the Joseph smith CD thanks so much. And it was so cool to get all that 4th of July things. The letter, flag, flower lee, and patriotic wand. I felt like it was the 4th of July celebration on Niue. Mom I actually wore that flower lei during the show day when I represented America! It was perfect because of the colors! I also loved the candy, gum, cookies, pringle chips, and pop tarts. They are all so of the things I love and I cant get here or in New Zealand. I loved them so much thanks!

Well Dad thank you for telling me about James farewell. I loved reading all about it. I'm glad you guys got to go. I really wish I could have been there. Thank you for telling him I'm proud of him and stuff. I'm sure his talk was great, he has always been such a good spiritual kid and I'm sure he will make a incredible missionary. But wait did you know I have already written James a letter and sent it a long time ago. Did he say anything about getting it...can you ask him?
It was also fun to read you and Ryan went golfing a lot and had a good guys night out. I miss all those times....like hunting, fishing, sports, man just all the memories with my Dad. You asked me if I like Taro...yeah at first it was really weird but they eat it so much here so I've learned to like it. Its so thick and really heavy. And I will try to send some more pictures soon.

Its weird I've eaten so many things. I've tried some other weird things I forgot to tell you about too. Mom and Dad I'm not picky at all anymore. I will pretty much eat anything now. I like almost everything I didn't really like before my mission. Even the stuff I hated I've learned to like...cuz here and New Zealand its so rude not to eat everything....so I just forced my self and then started to like it. The Mexican fiesta was awesome...Elder Havea had never tried Mexican food before...he liked it but wasn't used to it. But yeah I got ground beef, cheese, lettuce, sauce, and a lot of stuff to add to it. I took some pictures off the food so you'll see. And that's cool Susan and Jason are coming. Tell them hello and I love them. Maybe they can send me a e mail or something.

Mom I loved reading about girls camp. I'm glad you had such a great and spiritual time. I love those things and that's why a mission is so great because your having a unbelievable spiritual experience 24/7 for two whole years!! Its cool to read so many people ask about how I'm doing. I'm glad you guys tell them I'm doing good. Aw and that made me really happy to hear what Dad did for your 21st wedding anniversary! That's really nice of him. HAPPY 21st WEDDING ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!!! congrates!! :D that's exciting...now to celebrate after my mission we'll all have to take a holiday to NIUE! I loved your e mail mom....thank you. That was so good to read about what cam said about me. It made me cry because I miss him a lot. We were such good friends and pretty much spent the whole high school experience together. He is my very best friend and I loved reading what he said. I'm so glad hes getting ready to go on a mission. I miss him a ton....he means a lot to me. mom guess what I already wrote him a letter and sent it last week. So its probably on its way to the US. I hope he gets it soon. I miss all my friends so much also. I wish I could stay in more contact with them....

Well Ryan wrote me an email which made my day. I loved it so much. It truly makes me so happy to hear I'm a good example to him and that he is doing so good. I'm so glad to hear he's a good kid and is making good decisions in his life. He is always in my prayers.

Well thanks again for everything. We really do have the best parents and family anyone could ever ask for. Being away from you for so long makes me realize how much you mean to me and how much I love each and every one of you. I'm so happy your doing well, safe, and happy. Please keep having a good summer. Have fun and don't be sad about how I'm gone. I'm doing amazing and we'll see each other soon. Can you believe I've already been out 8 months....wow time flies.... Well please keep doing whats right and try to be missionaries yourself. Be a good example to non members and maybe try and make a goal to find someone the missionaries can teach. I promise your be so happy if you do. Well I pray for you guys all the time. I think about you a lot and miss you more than you can imagine. Have a wonderful week. Tell everyone I love them and hello. May God bless our family.

Love your son and brother Elder Kitchen

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, Jami, and Kaylee

How the heck is my family doing?? Wow its crazy to think it was the 4th of July yesterday. Over here in Niue no one even said anything about it. HAPPY 4th of JULY! I hope you guys all have a great holiday. It sounds like you did with BBQ's and fireworks and some things tonight! I have so many great memories on the 4th of July! Well I'm doing great and healthy and it sounds like you all are too.

I love reading that your all safe, healthy, and being blessed. I'm so glad everyone is having a great summer and that your all having fun. Thanks for the E mails, it was so good to hear from you. There was some shockers during the e mail too. My missionary work is moving forward and we still see miracles. I know the Lord is blessing us with more people to teach. We found 2 new investigators this week. Some of our investigators are doing very well while others aren't. My mission is incredible and I'm learning so many things. Its changed my life and I love it. But sometimes its really hard and I go through a lot of trails. But I know that's a part of serving the Lord and growing up. I just put my faith in God, pray really hard, and loose myself in the work. I love Niue but it is hard sometimes to serve here with only me and my companion. On a little tiny island where people struggle keeping commitments. But no worries I'm strong and I just keep on going.

Our week was good. We did a lot of teaching, service, and finding activities. Dad asked about our last P day. It was really good. We went site seeing around the island. Wow this island is beautiful and definately unique. We went with our ward mission leader and his wife and another member. It was really fun and we laughed and had a great time. I took a lot of pictures. Tuesday was an amazing day. We tracked a lot, knocked on doors, and did a lot of things to find people. We prayed and the Lord seriously lead us to these people that said we could come back and teach them. Wow miracles. We also met a 80 year old guy from United States name Jeff. He had read the whole Book of Mormon and had come to church but never really had missionaries teach him. So this week we had a really good lesson with him. We also did some service for him. Oh yeah wed we planted a lot of Taro for one of our potential investigators. I got some blisters on my hand....man its hard work planting Taro. Thursday we had 4 very spiritual lessons. Friday we did a lot. But guess what we had our MEXICAN FIESTA!! I made all the Mexican food and we ate it. Wow it was SO good to have Mexican food. Thank you so much for sending that. I took a picture and even a video of all the food after I made it!

Saturday we had 3 great lessons with less active members. Then we got invited to the village BBQ. It was down by the ocean. (we didn't touch the water obviously) But wow it was like a movie. There was all these open fires and everyone roasting all these great food next to the ocean, it was awesome. Oh yeah I forgot to tell you....I eat some really weird food and sometimes I forget to tell you. Like I tired BAT a couple of days ago, and it was actually good, and I've tried some sea cucumber thing. There is some other weird food too but I forgot. Well a little update on our investigators: we haven't taught Mr Lee English yet (he's really busy), the same thing with Allen. Tave and Micka are doing great but I don't think they quite understand that its the true church. Henry is also doing great, he loved church and I think we might set him for baptism. Suta is just trying to quite smoking (please pray for him), some of our others are doing okay too we're just trying to help them.

I'm glad to hear your 4th was good, and that's fun your going to girls camp. I hope you have a blast and be safe. It was great to hear about Cam's temple experience. It really is the best thing ever. I remember my experience in the temple for the first time, I'll never forget it. It was one of the most spiritual sacred experiences I've ever had. I'm glad James was there and you guys got to go. I wish I could have been there. You said he asked for my address...did you give it to him? Man its weird to think almost all my friends are already on missions, or leaving soon. Tell James I'm so proud of him and he'll love his mission when you go to his farewell. That's sad that Ashton just barley missed Devan but yeah I cant believes he's coming home already. Oh thanks again for sending that package. When I receive it I'll let you know. Thanks for sharing the Grandpa Smith experience. I'm glad hes happy and well. Tell him hi and I love him. Wow and your right I cant believe Issac is already coming home. Nick going.....so much is going on in my friends, family, and every ones lives. Tell them all I'm so proud of them and love them.

Sounds like the Coon reunion was great and also the fireworks and Thanksgiving Point. I'm glad all of my cousins say hello and grandma is telling them about my mission...bless her heart she's so nice. You also asked if Henry has a family, he lives with his dad. his mother and other brothers and sisters are in New Zealand. It is amazing that your led exactly what to do and what to say during your mission. I've had many experiences like that. I know this is his work and not ours. But yeah we also try to work with a lot of less active members. I think your right its really important and we do teach a lot of lessons to them. Its just a miracle to see the gospel change so many lives.

I'm so glad to get to e mail you every week. Thank you for all the encouragement, prayers, and love. It really helps me on my mission. I love reading your e mails. I hope everyone is well. Thanks for everything. Your always in my prayers. I miss my friends and I'm really going to try to get caught up....I never thought I would be more busy in my life. Tell all my cousins, friends, and everyone I love them. I never have forgotten them, I'm just so busy. Maybe next e mail you can send some pictures or some up dates on family (cousins), if not that's alright. Well have a great safe week. I love you all so much.

Love your missionary Elder Kitchen

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dear Family,

Wow it was so great to read your e mails this morning! I enjoyed them very much. I love to hear your all doing great and loving your summer. It makes my week to know my family is safe, happy, healthy, and being blessed by the Lord. Thank you so much for all the prayers, love, and everything you do for me while I'm on a mission. I can truly feel your prayers and love for me, even though I'm very far away. Well I am doing great and loving every second of my mission. This past week has been an adventure as know I'm the senior companion. I'm going to e mail hopefully at this time from now on.

I love being the senior companion so far. It truly is a sacred blessing and responsibility from the Lord. It is extremely difficult sometimes and so rewarding most of the time. I do have a lot more responsibility. I know though if I put my complete faith and trust in the Lord everything will be okay. We are just trying our very best to serve faithfully, obediently, and with all our strength. Elder Havea is doing great and we're getting along very well. He is an obedient missionary and we teach very well together. He also is good at working hard and doing service when we do. He loves Niue and the people and he is trying to learn the language. For me wow I absolutely LOVE Niue and I LOVE the people so very much. I am definitely going to be sad when I leave this amazing beautiful island. My language is getting better slowly. I'm actually learning and know a lot of Niuean. Its so cool to always speak the language to the members and people.

Our week has been really busy. We have done a lot of service and a lot of teaching. We have had miracles this week also. We've found new investigators and also received more referrals. We are trying our very best to find, teach, and baptize Gods children here on Niue. I know the Lord has prepared people for us to baptize and that will accept the restored gospel. We've been teaching a wonderful Fijian Couple named Tave and Micka. They are doing great and I know they feel the spirit. We also are teaching a 14 year old boy name Henry. He came to church yesterday and really liked it. Suta is also doing good, we're just trying to help him overcome his problem. There is a lot of others that just have some small little problem otherwise they can be baptized. We are helping a lot of less active members come back to church too. During the lessons I feel the spirit so powerfully and I can feel the Holy Ghost literally telling me exactly what to say. It is a sacred experience that is so incredible. I know this is the Lords work and we are only instruments in his hands. My testimony has straightened so much. I know with all my heart this is the one and only true church. This member cleaning guy for the chapels (he's from New Zealand) came to Niue and we helped him work on the chapel this week. We cleaned our missionary house also. We painted to chapels ceiling and did some other clean up work. He also got us a referral here, his name is Mr. Lee and he is from China. He wants us to teach him English and then he agreed that we can teach him about the church.

Well even though me and my companion can't really dance we decided just to dance in one dance for the village show day (Alofi its the village we live in). Its called a Mecah, a lot of people do the dance. Its a cultural Niuean dance. Its fun and we get to see a lot of non members. Well we even tracked here in Niue this week. We are really trying to qualify for miracles from God. We knocked on some doors. Most are not interested. But they are really nice. Our week was just really good. Yesterday church was great and then I had a really spiritual experience. After lunch I got prompted by the spirit to go to this house I had never been to before. We knocked and they let us right in. It was a guy name Allen and he is Niuean. We sat down and long story short we found out he had been experiencing difficultly with his relationship with his wife that very morning. He had prayed for help and then there we were knocked at his door. We had a very spiritual and incredible lesson with him. The spirit was SO strong. I could feel the spirit tell me exactly what to say. I felt like a instrument in Heavenly Fathers hand to answer a humble prayer of one of his sons. We are going to come back latter this week. This week has just been amazing.

That's enough about me. Wow your week sounded like it went great. I'm glad to read and hear everything you've been doing. Well first ill just answer some of the questions from last week. You did put the candles in my birthday package...so I have them. I am actually making my birthday cake today! I'm excited to make it and then lite the candles. Oh yeah and I love the sandals, they are nice so thank you so much. And I did receive Grandma and Grandpa's birthday card. Well I didn't get much time to say much about their mission call. Seriously I was shocked. That is incredible that they will be serving another full time mission. I'm very happy for them and that will be a blessing to be able to serve a mission during the same time as them. Please let me know as soon as you find out where they will be serving.

Oh yeah I loved reading about Samantha's heritage tours trip. I wish I could talk to her about it. Just tell her I'm so happy that she loved it and it truly is the best thing that I had ever done besides my mission. I'm jealous she got to go I would love to go again. You had a question last week, we do exercise in the morning. We run sometimes, lift weights, and do other exercises. And its cool your preparing for girls camp. Man they must really love your cooking. We're lucky your our mom and we get to eat your cooking all the time. Thanks for keeping a list of movies I should watch when I get home. But yeah don't worry I don't care about movies right now. But when I get home I would love to watch them.

Awe your lucky you get to go to Cams temple endowment session. Wow I hope he has a very spiritual experience. Tell him I'm so proud of him, miss him so much, and I'm so glad hes going on a mission. I'm very grateful we are friends and that he has changed my life. Tell him I'm so incredibly sorry I have not written him. I'm trying.....ugh. I'm so bad at writing friends.

Dad you asked if I have gained any weight. I can't believe it but I haven't really. I eat so much....but its probably because I work a lot doing service and sweat so much. Thanks for everything you said in your e mail and all the good encouragement.

Well I got to go now. We are going to explore the island today for P day. Elder Havea hasn't seen any sites or cool things on the island so were going today with our branch mission leader. I hope you all have a great week. AND, Happy 4th of July!! Have so much fun and do some fireworks. I'm sure New Zealand recognizes it but I don't think Niue does. I'll be thinking of you guys on the 4th. I love you all so much. Have a great summer and love every second of it. Be safe and keep doing whats right. miss you a lot and I love you.
Love Elder Kitchen

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