Sunday, July 26, 2009

News from Tonoas

Dear Mom and Dad,

You both must be getting tired of me saying this in my emails to you, but I do not have too much exciting stuff to tell you about. I just wrote you a letter on Tuesday and I mailed it off today. It has all the good stuff in it. Anyways, how are you both doing? I hope all is going great back at home. Things are going great here.

We are on Weno now for zone conference. That was yesterday. It was so good. We got a ton of really good training from our leaders and President Dowdle blew my mind as always with the doctrine that he teaches. This time it was on the fall and agency. He went into some really really deep stuff and then even tried to help us see how the other churches view the fall. I am really looking forward to next zone conference when we hear about the Savior's atonement. I did also have a really good interview with President Dowdle. He is such an uplifting person. He truly does care for the mission here so much and for all of the missionaries. He helped me with things and answered some questions that I have come across.

One thing that may be of interest to you is that I am allowed to take videos with my camera. He just does not want me to go overboard and look like a crazy tourist or something. He said it will be good to create some memories and have them with me from the videos. So, next time you get a camera chip from me it will have some videos on it as I come across fun stuff. I have some things that I want to show you on videos and stuff so I am looking forward to it.

So today is a pretty relaxed day. We are on Weno and will just be doing some shopping and emailing. I really don't have any shopping to do now so I will go around with the others and look at some fun stuff. We will head back out to the outer islands today and then tomorrow we will all be going to Romollum (pronounce Romanum). It is the small island here that has 600 people on it. They just built a new church building there that will be getting dedicated on Sunday and we will just be going for the open house. It should be a lot of fun. I really like the Island there. It is closer to the edge of the reef and has some nice beaches and other stuff like that. It is quite a little paradise. Well, all of Chuuk is in reality but Romollum is different.

We did not baptize Noris this week as we hoped. His mother did not feel well. She is also not sure he should be baptized as she says he is "nukumage." (disobedient) We explained to her that he should still be baptized and given a chance to try to be obedient but she is not so sure. She also said when he is grown up he won't so what he should and will just sin.

This week Elder Wood and I met with the branch president and worked on cleaning up the branch. We had to fill out quarterly reports two weeks ago and it was embarassing. Pretty much every aaronic priesthood holder is behind on where they should be in terms of ordinations. We made a list of callings that need to be filled, ordinations that need to be done, and made a home teaching schedule. When we get these things done our branch will be much stronger. Many people don't want to come to church because of how unorganized it is. That can be changed though. I'll let you know how it goes.

Elder Wood and I hope to go fishing soon. Most people spear fish, but we are going to do it with a line. I am hoping to catch a shark so we can try it. Some of the people here know places where we are pretty much guaranteed to catch one.

Noris just came by with a sting ray. He is cleaning and gutting it right now. It isn't huge, but it is pretty sweet. We are going to deep fry it tonight and eat it. I'm looking forward to that. I actually don't know if it is considered deep frying, but we will put some olive oil in our frying pan and get that way hot and throw it in. I'll take pictures of it so you can see.

Oh, I almost forgot. We got a new missionary in our zone who is younger than me. He spent two transfers on Guam and then came here. It is weird having someone here younger than me, but it was bound to happen! His name is Elder Mitten.

So Mom asked about why the islanders get mad when we burn our trash.. They like to dig through it and find items that could be of value. Pretty much anything that isn't rotten food is used. I helped a member build a little "fanang" or hut for storage the other day and while cleaning up the area I came across a lot of our trash stacked up. People like to see what we "Americans" throw away.

I am still sorry to hear that Pearl has not shown up. There is always still hope. I am also glad to hear that Grandpa is still improving but am sad to hear he has days in which he struggles. I keep him in my prayers and am grateful for the help that he has already received.

I was excited to hear about everyone's mission calls. It is so strange to think that people are going out on their missions now who I was friends with. I am really excited for all of them. Brenden will love Iowa and that is a cool place to go. Eric's call was also an exciting one. I'm sure he will really love it there. (Argentina)

I received a letter from Robbie LaRovere about two weeks ago and it was neat to hear from him.

I received a package from you this last week as well as one from Grandpa Bob and Grandma Helen which is always so appreciated. Oh, and thanks for sending my rubik's cube. I can even do designs on it now as well as solve it. Thank you for all of that. I hope you are doing great and am looking forward to hearing from you again. Take care. I love you!

Tongei fofoch,

Elder Kevin South

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