Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Getting Soaked for a Great Cause
April 12, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad,
I can't believe how fast this last week has gone by. It seems like I was just emailing you. So this last week has been going well. We have some really good stuff going on that is exciting. I wrote to you earlier today in a hand letter about a couple specific investigators and their stories that I will send out to you today. I will try to mail the camera chip today so you get that soon. Sorry that took me so long to get it out. It is completely full and I just put it in the pouch on the carrying case and kind of forgot about it. The camera chip will have pictures and videos from New Years on Romannum that you will really like.
So this last week I tried teaching for the first time. It went pretty well. Nothing overly spectacular but what I said made sense and was clear. I still have to think about stuff a lot in my head before I can say it but it is coming along. The part that is hard for me with it all right now is that I can understand about 75% of what is being said by people but I can't put it all together to speak it yet. That is good though for now because I will at least know how to say stuff in the future. On Chuuk I could say a lot more than I could understand when I first started. That was a big obstacle being able to understand the islanders when they spoke. I have an advantage right there so that is good. This week I will try to do more teaching. I figure the more teaching I start doing now the faster I will get the language and the less stressful circumstances will be for me now. Just sitting in on lessons and not being able to teach is hard for me. I want to get involved so badly but I can't really do that effectively yet. Every now and then I do find some Chuukese people that I get to talk to and I really enjoy that. It gives me a chance to be able to talk to someone here. It isn't very often though that that happens and when it does it isn't usually an actual Chuukese person but someone from the Morchloks (sp?). They speak a different dialect and I can understand most of what they are saying but that is the place that uses "l" when they speak so catching their words is harder and they use some different words. I had one guy use a really strange word that I had no idea the other day and I gave him a puzzled look and he said it to me in English "laugh" and I had never heard that word before. It wasn't one used in the Chuukese dialects I learned.
It has rained almost every single day since I got here. Not a light shower, but a hardcore pouring rain. It never stops us though. We get soaked everyday, but it is for a cause greater than staying dry.
We do have a truck to drive. It is a big Toyota Tacoma that is 4 wheel drive, It is the only 4 wheel drive truck in the mission.
So your trip to Half Moon Bay sounded like it was a lot of fun. Your beach adventure sounds like it was a lot of fun too. I laughed when you said that you got wet from the ocean and had to change. I can see you two trying to scramble away from the water and getting wet. haha it was probably really cold water though. The ocean is so warm here that I probably can't imagine how cold it must have been.
That is exciting that Shain will be going home in a couple days. Tell him I said "hello". That is really neat that their will be videos of it and stuff like that.
The stuff that dad sent to me about the church history in Micronesia was really interesting. The first person baptized that was mentioned in Chuuk's history is a member in the Mwan branch. I have had the chance to meet him a few times. He is a pretty good guy and just went to the temple for the first time last year.
This last week we had a branch conference and the district presidency came by and spoke to the branch. It was so awesome. The district here functions really well and all of the district presidency are studs. The District president is from the Morchloks and knows Chuukese as so is one of his counselors. I got to speak to them a little bit and they are studs. Not many micronesians understand how the church actually functions but they have it down. They gave awesome talks on Sunday too that will really help the members. We had a really good turnout on Sunday for the conference so hopefully that helped the members to have a stronger desire. I know the spirit was there while the district presidency spoke and the members felt it. I am excited for this upcoming Saturday and Sunday. We get the chance to hear the general conference sessions. The only sad part is that we will probably watch them in Pohnpeian. That means I will have to take them to the house after and try to find time during lunch and dinner hours to listen to talks. I am super excited to hear what the brethren spoke on.
Ok so dad had a few questions in his email:
There are no wards in our entire mission yet. Only branches. So there isn't ever a stake conference. They are trying really hard to get Guam to become a stake but it doesn't qualify yet. There aren't enough active Melchizedek Priesthood holders now or enough full time tithe payers. Hopefully soon that will change. The members here are decent with member missionary work but not the greatest. It is hard with such a small branch. Previous missionaries have sucked all the referrals they can out of them and there is a limited number of people who can go teaching with us. There is one woman who wants to go with us but we have to coordinate to have a male there as well so it poses challenges. The members are really nice to us though and I really enjoy seeing them. We have joined the branch president a few times for family home evening and I have really liked that. His family just came back from the temple and they are doing really well.
I have been able to get apples here which is really good. I like those a lot.
I really liked the scriptures that Dad put in about the isles of the sea and what the Lord has promised them. I never noticed before my mission how often the isles of the sea are mentioned in the scriptures but it is quite often. It happened long before the Nephites took sail into the west sea too so I wonder what islands were inhabited by people other than the Nephites and which ones were direct descendants of them. I think about that sometimes with the Pohnpeians and Chuukese.
Alright, well that covers my week here. I have a hand letter that I will be trying to get out today as well. I hope you are both doing great and all is well back home. Thank you so much for everything you do for me. I love you both tons.
Elder Kevin South