Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Many Great Meetings

December 6, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad,
Well, Chuuk is similar to when I left it before. The missionaries I worked with are all gone except for Elder Krause, but the unity is still strong. This last week was pretty crazy here. We had three days of straight meetings over the weekend. On Friday we had a zone conference. Elder Awiagi (spelling?) of the 2nd quorum of the seventy was there with us. He speaks a little bit of English, but not much so there was a translator there with him. It was fun having a man there speaking Japanese. The training was way good. President Dowdle gave a training which was one I heard on Pohnpei. It was a shorter version and even though I had heard it before it was so helpful. It was about learning by faith. I am trying to have faith in my work now. I need it since I am doing all the teaching right now. This area has a lot of work that needs to be done.
Saturday I went to three seperate meetings. In the morning I went to a seminary inservice meeting. I am the seminary teacher in Sapuk. The person in charge was the former Elder Kuss who is now done with his mission! I was so excited to see him again! He is a super stud! We had time after the meeting to hang out and talk. He is doing so well back on Romonnum. He is helping so many people. The branch is so strong now because of him. After that there was a priesthood leadership meeting. I went since I am the branch president. It was a good meeting too. The last meeting I went to that day was an adult session of district conference. There weren't many people there which was sad, but it was okay. After the conference we had interviews. President Awiagi interviewed me since he interviewed the leadership. The interview was a good one. He asked about an experience I had that has really stuck with me and then aksed if I had any questions for him. I did not as the conference answered the ones I had.
On Sunday it was the general session of district conference. It was a big time reunion. So many people were there from Rommonum. They feel a lot like my family away from you guys. We all had a great time together and the meeting was good. We had two people from Sapuk get sustained to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. They will hopefully get that next week. One of them is an 18 year old who plans to go on a mission!
I guess everything else here is same old same old. Elder Fisher and I are doing well and the work is progressing slowly but surely. I have not heard from you yet, but I imagine I will soon. I have one more thing I would like to ask you for. I would like to get a lamp like the rechargable one you sent me on Rommonum. It will be a present for a member family here. People think those things are the coolest things ever here! Thanks in advance.
I trust you are both still doing well. I am looking forward to hearing from you at Christmas. I love you both!
Love Always,
Elder Kevin South

PS I already heard about the BYU vs. U of U game. That is ROUGH!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Quick Phone Call and Pictures Make a Happy Week

Still no mail at our house, BUT we did get something even better this week! On Wednesday I picked up the phone and heard a wonderfully familiar voice say, "Hi, Mom!" It was Kevin calling to arrange his Christmas phone call with us! Not wanting to be greedy, I quickly called Brett's office to get him in on the call. Our conversation was brief, but we were able to determine that our Christmas packages had arrived and that Kevin was going to be able to fulfill his wish and share a "candy filled" Christmas with the people in Sapuk. Kevin says he has mailed us a letter every week so maybe the Christmas rush is slowing the mail down.
Today we had another great day! Yesterday Elder Fisher's family received their first letter from him since he arrived in Chuuk. Elder Fisher is Kevin's companion. He is a new missionary and arrived in Chuuk a day or two after Thanksgiving. It was a happy day for them to finally hear from him and to know he is doing terrific! Elder Fisher also sent home a camera card and the Fisher family shared several pictures with us. Our first Sapuk pictures! Thank you Fisher family for sharing! We received 5 pictures, but are holding one back so we have a picture for our next blog post.

This is a picture inside the missionary house. We were happy to see that there is a stove and oven in the house. I have heard the power goes out several times a day, but for the most part there is power.

Bedroom. I am assuming Elder Fisher's bed.

Outside the house and the familar bue water tanks.

This is the road that Kevin and Elder Fisher walk along each day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Year's 2010 on Romonnum

No word from Kevin yet. This video was taken last year on Romonnum. Romonnum is an island in Chuuk which is the area Kevin is back in. A feast to celebrate the New Year was being prepared.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sapuk is the Coolest Place Ever and Farewell to the Duncans

November 29, 2010
So! My first week back in Chuuk! It has been really interesting so far. Sapuk is the coolest place ever. It really is like outer island lifestyle. The people in the branch are all really awesome. We weren't left an area book so work has been a little rough. We had a few names to start with and will move on from there. I have made it a goal as branch president to see all the members in the branch so that is taking a lot of time. I love talking to the locals! I think that will also be really helpful to get the work started. We have had a few contacts with a few really good investigators. As of now, we have one who wants to be baptized and that will happen on Christmas.
My companion's name is Elder Fisher. He is from Texas and plays rugby and loves to cook. He is a brand new missionary.
The language has been coming back pretty well. Since Elder Fisher doesn't know any Chuukese it forces me to know it. People tell me I know it pretty well,though I hope to learn a lot more. One of the fun things about being in Sapuk is the accent. They have the most noticeable accent. It is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Romonnum accent. I am doing my best to pick it up. Sometimes I slip up when I get really going. I'm sure I will be great by next week.
The zone has changed a lot. The only person who is here that I already knew was Elder Krause. He is still just as studly as ever. The rest of the elders are all good guys too. The zone is super young and inexperienced with the language but they get by. They will get a ton of good work done here.
The Duncans were here when I arrived. We had Thanksgiving at their house the day I arrived. It was way good. Two days after that they left. Their plan is to go home and then go on another mission. I am sad I missed Thanksgiving on Pohnpei, but I am grateful I was able to see the Duncans again before they left.
I've only been here a few days so I don't have a ton of fun stuff to say yet. I am waiting for good news about the BYU and U of U game. I really hope BYU dominated them! Tell me how it ended up.
I know something else I want for Christmas. I would really like to make Christmas and New Years special in the branch and would like to have candy for everyone! Could you please fill up a flat rate box full of candy that I can give to everyone? You can just buy the bulk type candy. People here LOVE candy and it would make it a great holiday for them. Other than that I am set for the rest of my mission.
I may or may not have told you yet, but I will get home on March 18th. They sent me a paper to fill out so they can make my flight plans.I should get that in about a month and I am sure you will get a copy too.
Well that about sums up everything here. It was sad to leave Pohnpei but coming to Chuuk feels like coming home. A huge chunk of my heart is in Pohnpei and a huge chunk in Chuuk. Life is good out here.
I hope you are both doing well and everything is good at home with everyone.
Love Always,
Elder Kevin South

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Travel News

This picture was taken when Kevin previously lived in Chuuk. It was taken while he was visiting on the island of Weno (also known as Moen). This is the island Kevin is now living on.

We have not heard from Kevin since he left Pohnpei and went back to Chuuk. We did receive a letter from church travel and would like to report that Kevin will be arriving back to Reno on March 18th. We know it will be hard for him to end his mission, but look forward to having him home!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pohnpeian Stick Dance

We have not heard from Kevin since he left for Chuuk, but thought we would post a video clip he sent home. When the chapel was dedicated on Pohnpei there was a celebration which involved dancing and singing. Kevin sent home a clip of a very spectacular stick dance, but the clip is too long to load on blogspot. This is another stick dance that is shorter.