Monday, May 31, 2010
So Much to Tell You and so Little Time
The above picture is from Margery's baptism on Romonnum in February.
May 30, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad,
I could probably spend about 3 hours to you writing about this last week and everything that has happened. It sounds like everything is going good back home. I can't believe that you got snow in May! I hope that next winter will be a short one so I don't have to experience that. I dread coming home in the middle of winter after being in the tropics for 2 years. Your trip to Utah sounds like it has been good.
So Rickson and Justin got baptized this Saturday. We had a great experience with them. The baptisms happened at the church building in Kolonia. It is the nicest building on Pohnpei and seeing how the Kitti branch doesn't have a building let alone a baptismal font we came to Kolonia for it. We also had a child of record baptism for a little boy named Junior in the branch. His older brother AJ baptized him and did a good job. AJ is 16 right now and is a super stud. He comes teaching with us at least 2 times a week and does a great job. He is preparing for his mission. I had the privilege of baptizing Rickson and Elder Sandvik baptized Justin. On Sunday we switched and I confirmed Justin and Elder Sandvik confirmed Rickson. Before the baptism I was under the impression that Rickson was in his mid 20's but I actually found out the he is only 18 years old right now. He has a strong testimony of the restored gospel and he has seen amazing changes in his life over the last few months. We are going to work really hard to help him prepare to serve a mission. Justin is only 9 right now but he is the first member of his family to be baptized so hopefully he will open the door for other people at his house. We will work on helping them here. His parents both work in Kolonia which is about a 30 minute drive from Kitti and they work crazy hours so it has been hard to meet with them up until now.
All of our other investigators are doing well right now too. Olfred and Elizabeth were in another part of Pohnpei for a while and we didn't get to meet with them for a while but they came back on Saturday night and came to church yesterday. We met with them again and their scheduled baptismal date is now on June 12th. That makes me sad because I will have been transferred out of Kitti by then. I will be able to attend the service though and show my support at least. Yesterday we didn't have quite as many investigators at church but we did have 4 (not including Rickson and Justin who previously counted in the total). The work is still going good in Kitti. Unfortunately, I won't be around much to see it.
We had our zone conference this week and it was amazing. It was probably the best one I have had my whole mission in terms of getting me pumped for the work and helping me to improve on things that I do. President Dowdle trained on a training that he received at a mission's president seminar. It was all about how to work for the investigator. We don't ask ourselves "What do we need to teach them" but rather "What do they need to hear." It has shown helpful. I was better able to understand how to do the work and focus solely on the investigator. They are the most important and what we have to share with them is the most important message they will ever hear. The improvements are going to help their needs be met a lot more as they feel the spirit and not just us teaching them.
I had a good interview with President Dowdle. In the interview President did tell me that I will be leaving Kitti this next transfer. I was a little bummed about that since I have really grown to like the branch and our investigators. He didn't tell me specifically where I will be going but I know now. Last Tuesday we got a call from the office elders who told Elder Sandvik that I will be on a plane to Guam tomorrow. Transfers aren't until next week but I will be going with the zone leaders to zone leader council. Elder Linzey is going home this transfer and they want me there so I can take everything from zone leader council this transfer and have it for the next two transfers instead of being in complete darkness as to it all. Zone leader council provides instruction to zone leaders which, they, in turn, instruct the missionaries on in the next two zone conferences. I will be on Guam until Friday afternoon for that. I'll let you know how all of that goes.
My new area is called Palikir and my new companion will be Elder Larson (the missionary whose grandparents met Grandma Jenny and Grandpa Duane). I am looking forward to serving with him but am a bit daunted by the position I am getting put in seeing that I don't know Pohnepeian very well yet and have never even been a senior companion before. I'll do my best though and trust in the Lord.
Well, that covers my week here. I hope that everything back home is still going great. Thank you both so much for everything that you do for me.