Monday, August 30, 2010

Tragic Events

August 29, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad,
A lot has happened this last week. It has been a good week in terms of the work. We had a lot of good lessons and a lot of people have accepted baptismal dates. I am excited to keep working with them and helping them.
I am glad that your cruise was good. Your adventures up there sound amazing. I'm sure it was beautiful up there. We were probably in the most opposite climates possible while you were up there. Everything is just hot here. Dad asked if I ever get cold and somtimes I do when it rains all day and we get soaked. Usually after the sun goes down is the coldest. That is really the only time though. Other than that we just sweat all day long.
I did get the package you sent with the toiletries. I needed some of the things pretty badly so thank you for that.
So I didn't say too much about the missionary labors this week because I have some other stuff that I need to tell you. Unfortunately tragedy has struck here in our area. We have a recent convert family, the Gallens, (the one I told you about who used to be a teacher in the Protestant church) and their 13 year old son committed suicide on Friday night. His body was found on Saturday by his mother while she was hanging up laundry. He had hung himself in a neighboring house that was abandoned. They hang their clothes up there to dry and unfortunately the mother was the person who found him. We found out around 6:00 pm and rushed over to their house. When I heard I thought it was only a sick rumor. We got to the house and in the house right next to theirs they had a viewing of the body with lots of people there. The mother was devastated as you can imagine and sat next to her son the whole time crying and wailing. Patrick, the father, was hurt too but took control of the situation. He wanted his son to be buried that night for different reasons. One being that traditional Pohnpeian funerals last for four days and everyone drinks stuff called Sakau that is against the word of wisdom (Kava in Samoa and Tonga). Second, so that he could go to church the next morning. I was blown away at the faith he exhorted by telling everyone that the traditional Pohnpeian funeral would not happen and that the boy would be buried that night. I'm sure many people were upset by that. We stayed up really late that night helping with everything. Most of the branch was there to support and help as well. We helped to dig a grave for him right next to their house. We had a small service and around 2:30 AM Czaq (Jake) Gallen was buried. We returned home after that and got to bed. The next morning Patrick and his oldest son Jeff were at church. The mother was too torn up by the whole experience to go and I think the two younger children were too tired since they stayed up all night. Patrick was a true man during the whole thing. I don't know what the Lord has in store for Jake but I am grateful that Christ's Atonement is infinite and things can be fixed. The Gallen family can be reunited and be together forever. I am grateful for the gospel principle of eternal families and I know that the Gallen family is too. Please keep them in your prayers to help them through this hard time. They are an amazing family who is going through a lot of hard times. I really do love them dearly.
Well, that sums up my week. Things will turn around here and everything will be fine soon. Thank you for everything you do. I love you both so much.
Love Always,
Elder Kevin South

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