Monday, October 11, 2010
Weddings are Awkward in Micronesia
Dear Mom and Dad,
It sounds like you both had an awesome week. I am glad to hear that dad did so well with golfing and dominated KR. Don't get too comfortable though, dad. I'll be there next year to put you in your place again...hahaha jk. You will probably beat me for a while before I get back up to where you are now. An 85 is a really good score. It sounds like all the boys are doing really well and you had a good visit with them. I am excited to see them again. I can't believe our house got struck with lightning. That is such a rare experience. It must have been really scary.
This week was a good one for me. I guess I'll start first with general conference seeing as dad made some comments that I want to respond to. I really enjoyed conference this time but still have a few talks that I need to hear. There were a lot of disruptions for us with our responsibilities so I had to miss part of a few sessions. Once again Elder Holland's talk blew me away. It was such a different style for him but it was so powerful. I could feel how much he genuinely appreciates all the saints and the things we do. The Spirit bore a strong witness to me of Heavenly Father's love for all of us here. There were also many other talks that I really enjoyed. Many because I was able to take a step back and analyse myself to see if I am living the counsel that was taught. General Conference is always a good call to repentance in our lives to make sure we are living in harmony with the standards of the restored gospel. I have a testimony of the 15 men who hold the keys of the kingdom here on earth. They are inspired men and they gave us the will of the Lord concerning all of us. It touched when you wrote that President Packer worked so much with Brother Mcallister too.
In other news this week, we have a lot of people who are doing really well right now. We should have 3 people from Palikir get baptized this week. Synthia, Donna, and a 9 yr. old named Maureen. They are all doing really well and will get baptized at the open house that is going to happen here on Saturday. I guess I haven't made much mention of that yet but this Saturday is an open house for a new chapel here in the Sapwalap area. It is the exact same building as the one they built in Chuuk. Members are excited and it is causing a big stir all around the island. To celebrate it we have about 9 people scheduled to get baptized there. With Synthia and Donna it worked out well because they may have been baptized already but because of general conference they wouldn't have been able to be confirmed. This way they will be baptized and confirmed in the same week and have a special part of the open house. Elder Stevenson of the first quorum of the 70 is coming on Friday. I am super excited for that. He is going to have a missionary meeting with all of us here. I remember the zone conference that he joined us for on Chuuk. It was a great experience for me. I am sure this one will be too.
We also have some other investigators who are doing really well here now. We should have quite a few baptisms in October and November. I am excited for it. We have gotten close to the people in our area and I am grateful for the time I have had to grow to love people here and help them.
On a sad note this week Elder Standage got transferred early. We found out when we were on Guam that he was going to be the new office elder. Elder Krause is going back to Chuuk to be the zone leader so Elder Standage will take his place. He was really torn up about leaving Pohnpei. He will most likely end his missionary service in the office. He only has three transfers left. We took him to the airport and had a sad goodbye. I know he will do good work there and as it is transfers, I know it is revelation, so that is where the Lord wants him to be.
We had two investigators get married this last week. Like the other marriage I told you about this one was awkward. The two held hands in front of a gathering of about 15 people. They made their vows and then just sat down. There was no exchange of headbands and no kiss. Honestly, if they had kissed it would have been more awkward. I haven't seen people kiss in a LONG LONG time. It is just against the culture in Micronesia.
So I guess nothing else really exciting is going on this week. We do have transfers this week. I don't imagine I will go anywhere but I am not safe yet. I won't be until Wednesday night. I really want at least one more transfer in Palikir. I have so much more I want to do there. And I want to be a part of the harvest.
Oh, so I was writing in my journal the other day and I wrote down the date then realized that it is my birthday in a month. I remembered that last year you all sent out presents and stuff early for both my birthday and Christmas so I wanted to make sure I get this in now. Please don't send me anything. I have more than enough out here for the next few months and you can put the money to use for something else. Put it to a jungle gym and sand box for Jaxson and Kolby.
I have been realizing lately that I really don't have much longer out in the mission field and that scares me. I have seen missionaries who think a lot of home and others who have done really well with focusing on the work. I want to finish off stronger than I have ever worked before and stay focused on helping others here. I am excited to see you again but I want to make sure that I work for the full two years that I have been called to.
Thank you so much for everything you do for me. I am grateful for a loving family on the earth and for the gospel. I love you both so much!
Elder Kevin South
p.s. I can't believe you saw Elder Perry again! We got news about him the other day. He is coming to Guam to organize a stake in December. I might not see him but it is a super exciting thing for us all here.