Finally! News from Chuuk! We received an envelope with several letters! Letter days are always happy days at our house!
Dear Mom and Dad,
Sorry for the sudden stop in my last letter. Last week while I was writing we got word that there would be a zone p-day the next day. We had a Chuukese BBQ and it was fun. (dad's BBQ is still number 1) Then we played basketball.
The rest of the week turned out to really suck. I started feeling really sick. I tried to work but had to come home. I felt dizzy and had nausea. I was sick all night. I was sick for two more days. I hated being sick.Saturday rolled around and I had very little strength but I was so tired of being stuck in the house that I went out. I still have not felt 100% but I am not sick to my stomach any more. I have also lost my appetite.
The last few days have been exciting here. We got transfer calls last night! After 4 transfers on Romonnum I.... stay on Romonnum! 5 transfers in a single area is not common, but I am fine with it. Elder Cherrington got transferred though. That was a bit of a shock. He was only blessed with one transfer here. He is going to Mwan to be with Elder Kuss. My new companion will be Elder Schuler. He is from California and has been out about 15 months. He hasn't spent all his time in Chuuk though so I know the language a little better. I am looking forward to him coming. We get along pretty well so it should be fun. I am excited to stay on Rommonum again as well. Other news for transfers though: Tonoas re-opened and Uman closed. We don't have enough missionaries to keep all our areas open all the time. There were some other changes in our area but nothing else too big to report.
Exciting news for this week. Margery is going to be baptized. The plan is for this week and if it does not happen this week then for sure next week. The only thing that it is based on is if Elder Kuss will be able to come. He can't come this week and Margery really wants him to be there. (he is related to her somehow) If he can come next week it will be next week, but if he can't come next week it will just happen this week without him there. Margery is excited and the whole branch is good about supporting her. That helps missionaries work so much better when the branch is active in supporting our investigators. I'll write you this week and let you know all the details if it happens on Saturday.
We have some other investigators as well. Elder Kuss' older brother, Sainus, is doing really well. He has a smoking problem but is working really hard to kick it. He has made some big improvements. A big part of that is that we have become really good friends. We hang out with him whenever we can. I love hearing his amazing fishing stories. Today we hung out with him and his family. They made us tapioca cake which is awesome. We bought the stuff and gave it to them to make so we could see it made. It was cool seeing their Um. (pronounced oom) That is their traditional oven for cooking dogs or pigs but now they make tapioca cake in it too. I got a lot of cool pictures of the different stages of it. The cake was huge and turned out great. We all hung out and ate it afterwards. We have a bunch of leftovers that they loaded us up with. We are going to give some to our close member friends and investigators. All of this time on Romonnum has helped me to get really good friendships with the members. This will make departure so much harder though.
So another cool things happened this Sunday. I saved a cat's life. Two kids threw a cat in the ocean just off the shore. I walked up not knowing it was there. I spotted it and got scared when I saw it in the water and I could see that it could not swim and it could not get its head above water. I managed to get in and get it but by time I could get it, the cat had stopped fighting and was limp. It was not breathing at all. So I busted out cat CPR. It spewed up salt water as I pushed on its chest. It was sad to see it. I thought for sure it died. I kept pushing on its chest and then it started breathing again! It was stunned and weakened and we helped it back to health. It was a really cool experience. The cat is good now and we gave it back to Siramino's family. I had a serious talk with the kids about not torturing animals and throwing them in the ocean if they can't swim.
I did get some letters and a package from you brought out to me this week. Thank you so much for the package. It sounds like Christmas in Washington was fun with everyone. Thank you for the chapters from Chad Lewis' book that you sent. I read those while I was sick in bed and really enjoyed it. The surrounding yourself with greatness idea is really good. That is a part of being born again spiritually I have found from my studies. I have tried to improve my life a lot as far as thoughts go. Being a missionary makes avoiding a lot of crud really easy but I plan to continue it after my mission. That is when the true test will come. Mom, thanks for all the pictures you made for the Chuukese. They love them so much. Please continue to send those whenever I send home a camera card. (another one will come soon) I also love the tie and was excited to hear Reilly had one just like it. I'll send you a picture of me wearing it in my most pensive pose on the next camera card for sure. The sacto pictures of Tori and Kolby were really cool. It is so weird whenever I see a woman without a sacto on. Jeans and pants don't exist for women here. Tori helped keep the scato tradition alive. Kolby looked like a regular Chuukese kid going to the shower. A lot of kids wear scatos in the shower. That rocked.
Tell Grandpa Duane I pray for his recovery every night. Tell him I know he is in the Lord's hands and I look forward to coming home and seeing him again greatly.
The Lord is truly watching over our family. He has blessed us immensely and I am so grateful for it all. I know he is watching over all of us. I am so grateful to be here amongst these amazing Chuukese people. This church is true and I am so grateful for it in my life. I am grateful for both of you as well and for being able to be sealed to such loving parents. Thank you for all you do for me. You are always in my prayers.
PS I am on Weno!! The computers are not working so I can not e-mail. I also forgot the Wanlass' address on Romonnum. I am putting a note for them in the envelope. Will you please get them my note? Thank you!!