Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Our New Assignment - The Pre-Mission Training Classes

Aloha…from the beautiful island of Oahu!

                              BYU-Hawaii is one of the best kept secrets in the world!

 How are all of you?
 We have thought of you so many times and unintentionally get busy with the mission and don’t get the time to share!
 We hope that things are going well for you and your families!

Each and every student has their own unique story and circumstances.  This is Sally (which is the English name she chose to use). Her actual name is Niu Jukui. She is from Bejing, China.  She has had her degree in Chinese History for years and is a professor at The Minzu University of China.  Her government sent her here to learn English for two semesters.  She is a mother.  She is a very diligent and serious student.  Her husband and 9 year old daughter came to visit her a month ago.  It was a pleasure to meet them.
 I have three Chinese students.  None are members of the Church....
They each are taking religion classes.  They each love the atmosphere and blessings they receive at this college.   As you can see, we are the best of friends...but I feel that with all of my students.  They range from 18 to 32 years in age.
The weather is very conducive to having our tutoring sessions outside.  Most of the time it is marvelous weather.  If it rains, we are under a porch.
All of the students must pass an English proficiency test and reach a certain level before they are accepted to attend the college.  So a lot of their tutoring is helping with pronunciation, listening, and reading skills.

 We are enjoying our service as missionaries here, but “boy”, they sure keep us busy!
 I am tutoring International students in English, one-on-one for 1/2 hour with each of them each week.  Last semester, I had 28 of them.  They were from 10 different countries,…. China, Japan, Taiwan,  South Korea, Indonesia, Tonga, Samoa, Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand.
Craig is teaching in the BYU-H Religion Department.  This semester just ending (today is his last day of the semester), he has been teaching classes the  Book of Mormon 1, and Book of Mormon 2.  He is enjoying it.  With young adults, there are many challenges.  With international young adults, there are many more challenges than expected.  They all have different languages, traditions, customs and cultures that they struggle to integrate into the college atmosphere.

We have both been given a new assignment on top of our others.  We were asked by President Wheelwright, The BYU-H President, along with the two Young Single Adult Stake Presidents (which includes 18 wards) to begin a Pre-Mission Training Class.  There are many young students who turn in their mission papers and receive their mission calls here at BYU-H, while they are away from home.  From the time that they start their mission papers, get their calls, wait for visas, and actually leave for the MTC, can be up to seven months long.  In the past, they have lost some of those waiting…..SO, Craig (along with committee counsel) is working on a curriculum of 48 lessons that won't duplicate their future MTC training nor the Institute Mission Preparation class.  Thus far, the core of the material is from the Savior's "Sermon at the Temple" where He prepares His disciples to both understand their sacred covenants, as well as know how to teach and share His gospel with the world. These lessons will be revolving from now on, to engage the students and keep them focused on missionary work until they leave. Elder Frogley (Craig) interviews each of them and counsels, if needs be…or sends them to their bishops, if needs be.  Each Sunday we go to two different wards to meet our new missionaries.  Once a week, these young pre-missionaries have the opportunity to pair up with the full-time missionaries here in the Hawaii Honolulu mission to go on splits and experience missionary work first hand. They are eager and love those opportunities. The missionaries enter and depart the class each on their own timing, depending on their mission calls. 

We work together on all of the secretarial, book keeping, etc. for all of this.  We are into our 12th week of training.  It has been a good start.  We had 81 missionaries on our rolls this semester…..18 young Elders and 63 sisters with or waiting for their calls. There are three one-hour classes that we teach per week. Craig does a lot of power point and other preparations for the class. The reporting and paper work and keeping track of all of these vibrant missionaries is challenging. It is a challenge, but we are continually learning and adjusting conditions to improve and meet needs.  We love the energy and enthusiasm that comes from the hearts and minds of these eager and excited young missionaries to serve their Lord, Jesus Christ and the build the Kingdom of God on earth.

This is one of the Tuesday 7:30 am  Pre-Mission Training classes that Craig is teaching in the Heber J. Grand building.  As you can see we have mostly sisters!
Just to give you an idea, I will list where some have been called.  Brazil, Mexico, Boston, New Zealand, Nevada, Philippines,  California, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, China, Poland, Arizona, Nicaragua, Australia, Idaho, Washington, Japan, New York, Belgium, Rome, New Jersey, France, Ecuador, Guatemala, Colombia, Michigan, Chile, Costa Rica, Florida, Maryland, Argentina and of course, Utah!

We love to share the gospel!   We love the Lord, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer and his restored gospel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We love how it changes lives for the better.  We are thankful to goodly parents who raised us in the ways of the Lord.

These are some of our missionaries as they were pictured in the BYU-Hawaii Leadership Magazine.

 The “hastening of the work of the Lord” is exciting to watch and be a part of !

"Let him make speed, hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it."     2 Nephi 15:19

Thanks for letting us get caught up with you a bit!!!  We miss you!

May our Father in Heaven bless you and all of yours!

We send much love and gratitude for your friendship!

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