Sunday, April 24, 2016

Best adventure of my life...

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

Week 97

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! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 96

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

Week 95

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 foreverWe 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.