Thursday, June 2, 2016
Monday, May 30, 2016
It's hard to write and really express my feelings of this great adventure I have been on. I would like to share with you my testimony.
Before my mission I felt and thought I had a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout my life I was fortunate to be blessed with great teachers and mentors who taught me good principles and lessons. In a way I was able to create my testimony before my mission based on listening to others. The great miracle of my mission is that I have obtained my own testimony.
I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is the word of God as well as the Bible. I know its message has been written for each and everyone of us and can answer all of our questions. I'm a witness that as the book says, the way will always be prepared for us to accomplish the will of our loving Father In Heaven. He will always prepare a way for us to choose the right and keep the commandments. I know that we lived with Our Father In Heaven before this earth and that we choose to come here to be tested. I know at times obstacles and trails in life can feel unbearable, but we need to remember the message in the scriptures. From 1 Cor. 10:13 we read that all that the trials we confront, we can conquer. We will be able to overcome all things. I'm eternally grateful to Our Father In Heaven who sent Jesus Christ who atoned for each and every one of us. I have learned no one is perfect and that we all make mistakes. At times when we think no one knows how we feel. We need to remember that our loving brother Jesus Christ does and that he suffered all of our pains and afflictions. I know that He loves us and that He knows better than we do in all things. I know He lives. I know Joseph Smith Saw The Father and The Son. That he restored the church of Jesus Christ. I know that because of his hard life that he lived made it easy for me to be apart of this church today. I’m grateful for the faith he had to ask Our Father which church was true. I know like Joseph Smith that our beloved prophet Thomas S. Monson is called of God and that he receives revelation for each of us. I know in this life that with the help of Our Father In Heaven and if we have faith we can do all things. There will always be those who say you can’t or that your goal is impossible. I have found that those who doubt you usually are those who know you can and are scared you will complete your goals. With hard work and faith you can do anything. I know and I testify, because I have seen the hand of God touch peoples hearts that these things are true and that He loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Hola familia it’s your friendly neighborhood Elder!
To say this week was a rush would be saying the least. I was all over the mission visiting every person who got baptized this week and who will be soon. I quite enjoyed myself and I'm very pleased to see how hard the Elders and Sisters have worked. I had to sleep over at ZL's house because we worked so long into the night. This coming week will be busy too.
This week, a part from all the visits I made, had my last ZL council. It was sad to realize that it has finally come my groups turn to take the valiant photo with President and Sister Russell. In my group there are 5 Zone Leaders, a branch President, 3 District Leaders, and one AP leaving. The next group, which is, Elder Kliener's and Elder Anderson's group will have 8 zone leaders, and a previous AP are leaving. It's sad to see that everyone after two years are now going home.
To end this short email I would like to end with a testimony. In these last two years I have come to know we will all make mistakes. I know that there isn't a single person a part from our loving brother Jesus Christ who is perfect. I know at times we may feel alone or at times we may think no one can comprehend our situation. It is at these times I know that my Father In Heaven loves me. He sent his Son and His Son understands me and knows how each and every one of us feels because he suffered our pain for us. I know and can testify that His Church was restored to this earth through the help of Joseph Smith. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I have seen Thomas S. Monson I know with all my heart he too was called of God. I know the Book of Mormon as the Bible is the word of God. I know that its teachings can help us all grow and be successful. I'm eternally grateful for His sacrifice for me and know that through His plan my family can be together forever. I know these things to be true, and say them in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Love you guys,
Monday, May 16, 2016
Well hey family!!!! It's Elder Hironaka you friendly neighborhood Elder.
I'm doing great! I'm happy and working hard for my last couple of weeks in my mission! Looking at it, I will only be able write 2 more times. It's crazy how time has just flown by.
In this crazy fast week we had interviews!! Every 3 months President Russell needs to interview every Elder and Sister. It is also when I go out with Sister Russell to see if the missionaries’ houses are kept up nice and clean. Sister Russell has been awesome in making the missionaries clean and change houses. Our missionaries really live in nice safe houses.
It's been really kind of cool seeing all the missionaries before I leave. In the interviews we talk to all the missionaries to see how their area is and how they are doing. Many ask if I'm leaving this change or the next. My reply is simple, "I still have a lot to do!" I don't want everyone knowing I'm leaving.
Shout out to Tyler for the MVP award and the Presidential fitness award!! There you go BRO!!
Monday, May 9, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
Eric only sent this picture this week with no letter. I learned later from our Mother's Day SKYPE call that the picture is of all the people who were baptized this past Saturday in their ward. He said it was a huge blessing and represented hard work by many. He was grateful to be a part of it all.
We had a great visit and I loved hearing about everything. He said his camera was stolen so that is why he only has blurry pictures (he used the office cell phone to take the picture). He said much inspiration is put forth when making any changes, calling trainers and assigning newbies by the mission President. The President clears his schedule and fasts, sometimes for days, prays and interviews. When the answer comes the assistants put it into action. Eric says it's really neat to see it all play out, as many times new situations just click and sometimes what initially doesn't make sense later one can see why things happened the way they did. Eric is grateful to have learned much and to be serving the Lord. He has loved his whole mission experience and I think he is a little overwhelmed with the fact that this time in his life is coming near the end. This week was his 100th week in the mission! He says when he comes home he needs to sleep.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support!
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Hey family!!!! What's up it's your friendly neighborhood Elder Hironaka! I'm excited to have the chance to talk to all of you this week. This week was full of trainings and finding a lot of new people.
So to kick off this week we had the DL training meeting.I remember when I received the same training and I remember learning a lot. President Russell taught. I enjoyed listening to him as he gave great examples of leaders in the scriptures. He spoke about many prophets and kings in the Book of Mormon,. The leader he spoke about the most that caught my attention was Nephi. He explained that Nephi was a great follower as he was a leader. His father was a prophet of the Lord and he listened and did the things his father taught. Nephi as well showed that he was steadfast and unmovable. Like us today he could have easily followed what everyone else was doing or not have said anything when he knew the things that others where doing were wrong. Nephi, stood for following the things of the Lord. I know today from personal experience that it is hard to be the person to say no or not follow the rest of the group to be cool. However, I do know that when we choose the right we will be filled with the sprit.
The next morning we gave the 7-week training meeting. It's amazing to see how some Elders and Sisters can learn Spanish and how to teach in 7 weeks. The group we taught was a smaller group full of American Sisters. They did awesome and I can see they are going to have a lot of success in the future. I was very impressed in the one practice I saw of them. They were putting baptisms date and the investigator responded that they were already baptized. It was very impressive to see a new Sister explained Acts 19:1-6. She showed that we need to be baptized in the sprit not only by water and that to do so we need to be baptized again. I was really impressed to hear that from a new sister from the US. It was very good. My mission president always shares an example I rather like that I think I have never shared with you guys. I have heard this example before in the mission but didn't know it was true. It's about a bubble bee. A bubble bee breaks the laws of science. The bubble bee shouldn't be able to fly at all. The body is way to fat for their legs. It’s body is unlike other bees or hornets as it is not aero dynamic at all. It has small legs, eyes, head, and wings. By all laws of science it shouldn't be able to fly. But, as we all know the bubble bee does fly. The message of the story that our President wants us to understand is that in life and in all things there will be people that say you can't or that it's impossible for you to do something. But like the Bubble bee, who cares what other people say. You can do anything and with the help from the Lord all things can be done.
The third day was the ZL counsel meeting. In this meeting we discuss how our zones are doing what they achieved in the prior month and what our goals are for the next month. I'll be the first to say we are really setting a high goal for the month of May.
This week was awesome as well as we were able to have the chance to meet two more investigators. Their names are Dani and Elisa. They are very kind and have heard a lot about the church. I hope they progress and enter into the kingdom of God. The two families we are teaching are doing great as well. I'm super excited for both of their baptisms and marriages which are this week.
Well I would like to end by saying I know this work is the work of God. I know that as sons and daughters He hears and listens to our prayers. I know that like the brother of Jared that we need to do our best and our part and after have faith that our Father In Heaven will do the rest. I know and can testify that every time we feel something is impossible if we pray Our Father In Heaven will help us.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Well it's crazy how time flies! I know that it's weird to think about, but two years ago at this time I was just getting ready to finish high school. I remember unlike the other kids in my class who were planning college or jobs, I had a mission call!
I remember being really excited but being indescribably nervous. This adventure has been the best adventure of my life and has taught me so much as a person and as son of my Father In Heaven.
This week there was changes and NO Mom I didn't have changes. I'm fortunate to have the privilege to finish my mission being the assistant to President Russell. One of the Elders in my own zone went to go to another zone and my companion remained the same.
Another big event that took place this week was the return of Elder Bachez!!!! Elder Bachez is a convert from Guatemala. He arrived in Nicaragua on July 22, 2014 with me!! After 3 changes of being in the field he returned home due to family and sickness problems. Now after 18 months he has returned to his mission here in Nicaragua. President Russell told me if Elder returns to his mission he is very blessed and returns with his sight set on working hard. Now Elder Bachez is in my area and we worked together yesterday. He is an out standing missionary.
This week we also were able to have another miracle happen in our mission. We have a great Elder in our mission. He is an out standing teacher and really loves the people. This week his grandmother was baptized. After more than 60 years knowing and hearing about the church, she finally was baptized. It's amazing what blessings families of missionaries can receive. Reminds me of a great scripture found in Matt 19: 26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
On another note I had a great spiritual moment this week in my area. It was 8:57 PM and we were returning home when I glanced and saw an older man washing dishes in the front of his house. At that moment I felt a feeling in me saying YOU NEED TO TALK TO THIS GUY!!!!! I went to his gate and said Hi. He invited us in and started asking questions. His name is Valentine. He recently had a surgery on his pelvis and he in his own words was looking for peace. He came to church today and really loved the art in the church.
The month of May is going to be my best month of my mission! I love you guys very much and hope for the best for each and every one of you. Be safe!
Love you guys!!
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Hey FAM BAM, it's your friendly neighborhood Elder Hironaka!! This week has been awesome, just full of blessings! The mission this weekend was able to have more than 80 baptisms in one day!!! I was excited to hear the awesome news from home this week as well. This week was just awesome!!
During this week we visited a lot of zones! Before we have baptisms here the APs sometimes like to visit and give animo packets. Animo means like excitement in Spanish. We came home late very night because we had such a good time speaking with all the investigators around the mission. The missionaries have worked very hard and we are now seeing the fruits from it!!!
This week as well we were able to baptize Luis!! I met Luis about 4 weeks ago when I was visiting his cousin. He started reading the stuff we gave his cousin and ended up stealing most of it because he like it so much! Yesterday he was baptized and it was an awesome experience to see how much he has changed in these last weeks!! That’s pretty much all that happened this last week for me!!
A shout out to Elder Stott who will be making his way out here!!! He is going to kill it here. The other AP is super excited to meet him. Parker well bless the lives of others here in Nicaragua. President Russell And Hermana Russell would have loved to be his mission Presidents. They have taught me so much as a person and I have learned things here on my mission that I know I would have never learned if I didn’t serve. I’m very grateful. (Note from Susan: Parker, a friend from home just got called to the same mission. Their paths will not pass in the mission field however as Parker will leave just as Eric returns home. But all are excited! :)
I LOVE YOU!
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Hey it's your friendly neighborhood Elder Hironaka from Nicaragua!!!! I'm excited and grateful to the opportunity I have to have wonderful supporting family. This week was full once again of more trainings. We had 3 straight days teaching the sisters in the mission how to be bolder when they are committing. It was a pretty good week.
So like I was saying we spent most of the week traveling around the mission visiting the sisters. In the mission we have a ton of sisters in fact when I first arrived in the mission 60% of the mission was sisters. Now it's more like 40% but it is s rising back up. The sisters work really hard and have a lot of love for their investigators. However it for that same reason it's hard sometimes for them to drop an investigator after they’re not progressing. To have the training we went to other locations in Nicaragua. We visited Granada, Masaya, and San Juan. All the 3 of these places are awesome.
A part from all the training this week I also went to Jinotepe to visit people who will be getting baptized the 16th. There they have around 30 people they are looking to baptize in one day. That's crazy for one zone. Right? I'm proud of them!!! One investigator I interviewed was a big time surfer, and his first interaction with the church was in Hawaii at the Polynesian cultural center. He thought it was interesting but felt he was too poor to join the church there so he didn't. Later when he was surfing at none other than Ventura beach (yes, same beach we always go to) he talked to the missionaries!! Now living in Nicaragua he is preparing to be baptized this next week!! The world is small sometimes.
Another miracle we had this week was two baptisms. Their names are Julie and Emburto. Julie's mom was baptized a long time ago and we have been reactivating her. She gave the prayer for her daughter’s baptism. So, that was something cool!
Just wanted to say I miss you guys and that I love you guys very much!! Be safe! I love you!
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Well family!!!!!!! Is your friendly Neighborhood Elder Hironaka. I’m excited to have the chance to write my wonderful family. I would like to say I'm very very sorry for not being able to write this last week. I have been very busy as of lately and the load isn't getting any smaller, which means really I'm just much happier and grateful for the opportunity to be here in the mission.
This last week was a great week because we were able to have a baptism. It was with an old time boxer named José, or whom the neighbors call Gato. Yes, he goes by "Cat" in Spanish. He is a cool guy and at the age of 87 I still think he could beat me up.
Last week was mainly filled with multi-zone meetings. I rather enjoyed watching the missionaries practice and better their teaching. I was also pleased to see that the the way we teach has gotten so much better since I first entered the mission. In the multi-zone the APs don't really have a practice or a training we need to give, that part is done by the ZLs. We however have the fun part of the day by leading the zones in a game. This time I made a cool family feud game that was based around the church! It was pretty fun and I think the Elders and Sisters really enjoyed it.
This week was pretty cool as well as last week. It was the ZL council. I have been to many ZL councils as a ZL but as an AP only 4 times. In this meeting we talk how we can help the mission more. I like the meeting because the spirit works through us in a different way. The ideas that come to us in that council are, as I believe directly from God so that we can better our selves and the mission.
This week as well me and my other companion who I work with had a good spiritual moment. We were contacting in a little more dangerous part of our area when we passed by a house. Elder Penalba looked at me and said can we please go back and talk to her. I thought it was a little strange at first because usually older women don't seem to like to listen to us and usually tell us that they are Catholic or that they are too sick to listen. As we first introduced our selves as missionaries we found out that her name was Katherine. Inspired I told Katherine we were there because we felt to come and knock on her door and that, “we know Our Father In Heaven loves you and that many special blessings are prepared for you. Katherine if you were able to receive any special blessing from him, what would you desire to receive?” As I asked the question she replied, “I want my two little children.” We later found out that her two little children are not with her and that she has been living with the empty felling for a long time. We taught that Our Father In Heaven has given his Son and that through that sacrifice we can be together forever as a family. We promised her if she followed the path of our loving brother Jesus Christ she would be reunited with her children. Today she was able to come to church with us and is progressing to be baptized.
I know and bear testimony that the plan of our loving Father In Heaven and Jesus Christ is that we can be together forever. We will be given obstacles, challenges, and at times hardships. We need to remember that like the scriptures teach us any obstacle that is given to us is for us to show our faith, and that in the last day we will be honored for our faith. (1 Peter 1:5-7) As I have been given the great opportunity to represent the Son of our loving Father In Heaven and my family here in Nicaragua, I have come to learn that the scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:13 is true. Every problem or every hard thing we pass in this life can be overcome. Our Father In Heaven loves us and doesn't give us challenges that we can’t over come. He'll help us and will provide the way for us to be on His path. In this life we at times forget the importance of struggling. When our loving brother Jesus Christ was sent here He was an example in everything. He was perfect and He himself had obstacles, challenges, and had to feel the worst any of us could ever feel. I know if it was hard for Jesus Christ and I believe that life will be hard for us too. I testify that what President Uchtdorf said today is true. Like a beautiful building was constructed over the span of 20 years that has fallen in the matters of hours and then later was put back together we too can rise again and that we can and will conquer obstacles. I know these things are true in the name of Jesus Christ.
I love you all please. I pray for you each day.