Friends on Paata
Chuuk Gang in November
Dear Mom and Dad,
I bet you will be happy now. I will be able to have a steady email stream coming to you now. It may make it harder for hand letters though. I will try to write to you when I have time. The rules are that I can only email family now so I have to respond to other stuff by hand. The p-days here on Pohnpei are different than what I have dealt with before. We don't give our laundry to a local here. And there is a laudromat! We also do shopping once a week so that takes up time.
Pohnpei is a really nice island. It is huge and there are a ton of people on it. The people are all pretty friendly and they live a simple life here. The culture is a pretty respectful one and they have their cool things they do. It is sooo much bigger than Chuuk. The area I stay in is enormous. It takes like 30-45 minutes to get from one side to the other in a truck. I live in a home that isn't by the church. The house is really nice. It has 3 bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, and a study area. I feel spoiled. We have an oven, microwave, fridge, freezer and all the good stuff. It is a big step up on living conditions. It is still way lower than what I had before my mission though. I miss my little house on Romonnum right now. That was such a simple life. I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss Chuuk. Nobody comes and asks us if they can have stuff. I miss it...weird, I know. Right now I am definitely having a hard time adjusting. My heart has a big hole in it now that I am not on Chuuk. I love those people there so much and I loved how amazing their language was. Even their annoying traits are missed right now. The hard part about this all is that I probably will never get a chance to go back and see those people and I will lose a lot of my Chuukese abilities as I learn Pohnpeian. I have faith this is where the Lord wants me though so I'm going to push on and do my best here.
The hardest part here is having to learn a new language though. The languages are similar in aspects but different in a lot. The structures are close and I am picking up on it quickly but it is still going to be hard. I sort of wish I had just had the chance to go to Guam then go back to Chuuk. The people here are different than the Chuukese so it is an adjustment. They don't joke around a lot and they aren't as frank in their language. I loved how bold Chuukese people were. I'll make the adjustment though. There are quite a few people here that speak Chuukese. They moved here from the islands that are out of the lagoon so they actually speak another dialect but I can understand them well enough to speak with them. Their accents are outrageous though. They sound nothing like a Chuukese. I am so afraid of that happening to me. I'm sure it will in about another month. I should learn the language fairly quickly. I have been working pretty hard at it and have learned quite a bit already. I can understand a lot more than I can speak now though. I can only give a simple broken testimony at the end of lessons but as Elder Parker and the people speak I can follow most of it as long as it is gospel related. This is going to be a frustrating bout at learning Pohnpeian which isn't something I thought I would ever really have to do.
The Elders have a much different perspective of Chuuk than what it really is. It is unfortunate. The Pohnpeian people hate Chuuk too. They think it is some horrible place and when they hear that I came from Chuuk they always ask if the people treated me well. In their minds it is some super primitive place and all the people are barbaric. They will never know what it is like unless they actually get the chance to live there.
My companion is Elder Parker. He is a good guy. We get along well. He is good with the language so he will help me a lot.
I don't have to much to really tell you about Pohnpei yet since I have only been here for three days now. Ask me questions if you have any and I'll do my best to respond to them all.
About me getting the chance to serve in Guam... I probably never will get the chance unless I go for my last two transfers or something. I would feel robbed if that happened honestly though. That would only put me here for 6 transfers which wouldn't give me enough time to learn the language really well.
The work has been good here. We have a ton of investigators right now and some are making some small steps of progression but nothing huge yet. I honestly can't tell you too much about any of them because I have only seen them like once or twice and have no idea what they are saying. Maybe in a couple weeks I'll be able to tell you more.
As a zone, Pohnpei is doing really well. We have around 27 baptisms for the year I think. That is really, really, high. There are 10 elders here and 4 sisters so there is a lot of good work going on. The other Elders are all good guys. It is so much different than the Chuuk zone though. We had a brotherhood back there and here it isn't as close knit. We all get along well and everything though. I feel somewhat like an outsider but that will go away with time. The elders here are all really far into their missions. There are only 2 here that have been out for less time than me. About half the zone goes home in about 4 1/2 months. I think that means I will have to work extra hard with the language.
I was happy to hear that BYU wasn't a one and done team again. That must have been a really scary first round game if it went into double overtime. Too bad they lost the second round. I haven't heard anything about the MWC tournament but I am assuming that because we were given a 7 seed we didn't do very well in it. How are the other teams from the MWC holding out? Is New Mexico giving it to the other teams good?
Your cruise idea sounds like a lot of fun. You should change the plans though. You should all come to the Micronesian islands. Jk. That wouldn't be very good. Maybe at a later time though.
I am happy to hear that Grandpa Duane is still getting better and is back to his old self now. I still keep him in my prayers so the Lord can help him. Give him and grandma my love.
Well, that about covers my week. I hope that you are all doing well back home. Thanks a bunch for all you do for me. I love you so much. Take care.