Monday, May 11, 2009

Chuuk is Amazing

We were able to talk to Kevin on Mother's Day and then we received a letter today. Our house is a happy place to be!
Because of the time difference and Kevin's schedule, we talked to him at 11 PM on Saturday night. We were able to talk to him for about two hours. Even then, it was hard to hang up. It was so nice to be able to ask questions and get the answers right away. We noticed several things, such as that Kevin seems to talk with a draw and that he was extremely grateful and appreciative. He loves the packages he has been receiving. We expected him to say he loved the Werther Carmels and he surprised us by saying how wonderful it was to eat the canned chicken and the tortillas that Grandpa Bob and Grandma Helen sent.
We are sad to say that it will be a little while before we can post new pictures. Kevin sent us one of his two camera chips. We unloaded everything and sent it back quickly. The chip never made it to him so until we get another chip and mail it to him, he can't send us anything new. Sigh.. We are working on this.
Kevin says hello to everyone! He loves all the letters! He is excited to hear Skyler is going to Virginia! Wanlass family, he asked for your address which I have passed on to him.
The letter we received from Kevin starts with this paragraph, "Another week has gone by with some good memories made. All is well here in Tonoas right now. Nothing has changed. Then again, things in Chuuk never really do change. It stays awesome all the time."
Kevin says his Chuukese is progressing though he is impatient when he is not able to say what he wants to say. He has learned to love the people there and would love to be able to communicate better than he is.
Kevin gets a day off each week. For those of you who don't know about missions, this is called a P-day. Kevin said this last P-day he and his companion, Elder Wood, went exploring in an old World War Two tunnel. It started as a tunnel and turned into a cave. There were a lot of bats in there and Japanese remains. They saw many artifacts that were left behind, including items such as trays that the Japanese ate off of.
Since many of you are very interested in the Chuuk culture, I always ask Kevin a culture type question and he is getting pretty good about answering them. This time I asked him about school. He said, "The children do go to school here but it is not mandatory. Most only go a couple times a week. They have grades just like in the states. The problem is that there is only one school on the island and it is about 3 miles away from our house. that is a long way for the kids to walk. Most don't like doing it. School is only a few hours as well."
Kevin reports that he is teaching a mother with three children and a 15 year old boy. He is enjoying working with these people. His zone had 14 baptisms at this time last year and right now they have 42.
This week Kevin will be staying on Weno for 5 days as he attends a zone conference. There are 14 missionaries there and Kevin reports that he really enjoys working and hanging out with the other missionaries. He said several are as big of BYU fans as he is and he loves talking about all the "fun stuff" at BYU.
He will be hearing one of our church leaders named Elder Stevenson talk during zone conference and he is really looking forward to that. Kevin also mentioned how much he loved Elder Holland's talk from the last conference.
It is amazing how much Kevin has learned and experienced in the last three months. We are very excited for him and very proud of him.

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