Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Missionary with an Official Chuukese Name Tag and a Huge Box of Cereal


Dear Mom and Dad,
We got relief this last week after Thor and Arinda got baptized. I can't remember if I told you that because of Chuukese pronunciation I used to spell their names wrong. This week was crazy getting ready for baptism. The kids had a lot to be taught and it was hard to track them down to meet consistently. We got desperate a few times and had to run around the island looking for one or the other. It was stressful, but everything got taken care of and it ended up great. The baptism went well and I couldn't believe how many people showed up. There were about 50 people there which is about 5 times more than any other baptismal service that I have been to in Chuuk. Most showed up to see Elder Kuss but they attended the service at least. It was Elder Kuss' first time back to Romonnum, his home, in over a year. He was happy to see a lot of the people but also regretted coming because everyone was clinging to him the entire time he was there. I think he may have felt slightly homesick as well. The baptisms happened in the ocean right outside the church and it wasn't the greatest weather. It rained off and on. We were going to go have the baptisms on a nearby small island but Thor and Arinda's mother has a three month old baby and it couldn't go on a boat. We also had a member's child get baptized. She is one of my favorite kids here on the island. Her name is Bensi. Elder Wells baptized her. (that was why Elder Kuss was at the service as well) Now we are really working to help Thor and Arinda's parents. We will be holding a wedding for them on December 12. Hopefully they will get baptized the following week. They want to get baptized but have a lot to do first. Today was a big step for them because we got them to move out until they are married. That will be a big help to get them prepared. They have been to church once already so need at least two more times coming as well. Our other investigators are doing well but none quite prepared for baptism. We just need to keep pushing and they will be ready soon.
We got some really cool stuff this week. Elder Wells brought us back a huge box of cereal from Guam! We were stoked to get that! He also brought my language mastery certificate. It is laminated and everything. That wasn't all though! He brought back official Chuukese name badges! It finally got approved for Chuukese and we got them now! They will also be getting copies of Preach My Gospel in Chuukese. It is already translated and they only need to format it and then it will be ready to be printed! I am curious to see that. Preach My Gospel would have been hard to translate as it is not first grade English! It must have been hard to translate. I want to see how it turned out. Soon the first Presidency might approve a full translation of the Book of Mormon. The only thing that makes me sad about that is that, if approved, it won't be printed until after me mission. I'll still buy one though!
I got a letter from dad this week and was excited to hear that BYU basketball should do well this year. I'm hoping it won't be another one and done team. I hope football finishes strong this year too. From here the only things I really want to see is beating Utah and winning a decent bowl game. By the time you get this the Utah game will probably be done. Know that my heart still bleeds blue and my soul abhors red!
To answer some of your questions, no our water pump hasn't been fixed. It probably won't be for a long time. I will probably be off Romonnum by that time. We don't shower outside any more. There is a lower water spout in the shower and we use that to fill up a large bucket. We use a cup and then pure water over ourselves.
You asked what the people do here with such a calm lifestyle. Some fish and some do gardening, but not a ton of other stuff.
This week we will go to Weno for Thanksgiving. I am excited. we will eat with the Duncans. They found a full turkey here which is hard to believe!
Elder Ako and I realized the other day that in a months time we will get to call home! I am looking forward to talking to you again. I'll even be able to speak Chuukese to you. I can't believe how long it has been since I have seen you or talked to you. The Lord has really helped me to not get too homesick. I think of you both frequently and keep you in my prayers. Thank you for all that you do for me. Take care and stay safe.

PS Dad, what's up with Cummard going to Germany? No NBA team wanted him?

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