January 24, 2011
Dear Mom and Dad,
Well, I have to apologize to you. Last week I failed to write you. We were on Pohnpei and had meetings all day on Monday. When we finished we had dinner and that ended our whole day. I wanted to write you on a different day, but we are not suppose to so I didn't. Sorry. I know I broke my promise to you.
I have to talk about this week. I will start with two weeks ago. Work was good, but we didn't have the baptism we were planning on. The man's name is Bacardi. He needed a little more time to get ready and agreed to push it back until the 29th. We picked up some good investigators that are great! The big news from that week though was that I performed a marriage for the first time. The couple is a couple that is working with the Mechetiw elders. The guy's name is Sad and the girl is Tara. Sad is 18 and Tara is 15 and they have a baby boy that is still very little. They are a really happy young couple. They live in a small wooden room with a tin roof. Tara was baptized on the 22nd. She asked me to speak at her baptism so I went and spoke at that. It was a good service by the ocean. Sad was going to be baptized but needs a little more time to get ready. I think he will be baptized in February. At the marriage we had a small gathering and Elder Johnson and Elder Butler got a cake from a lady from the Philippines. They wrote out their names with M and Ms. I had to translate the wedding ceremony into Chuukese which was honestly a challenge. I also found out when I arrived they wanted me to talk about marriage and I had to do that on the spot. I spoke briefly about eternal marriage and told them that they should set a goal to go to the temple. I also spoke about them founding their marriage on Jesus Christ and his gospel. After that I performed the ceremony and then we had a small party. It was a lot of fun. One of the best parts was the kiss at the end. I told you already that public displays of affection are never performed in Micronesia. In the handbook it said to follow the ceremony written so I had to tell them to kiss. It was funny and awkward. He hesitatingly went in for his kiss and she fought it. He won in the end and got the kiss. It was a small peck. It got a good laugh out of everyone.
That Sunday night we went to Pohnpei. We go there really late and woke up early for the training. It was a 4 day training and really good. The trainings really help me to be the teacher the Lord needs me to be. I had the chance to see some of the recent converts in Palikir. I stayed with Elder Brandenburg and Elder Schuster. It was really fun seeing the Pohnpeu members again. I was able to see the Seiola family and Derno's family. Derno was having some struggles and Elder Brandenburg did not know what else he could do to help. He was hoping that just me being there would help. I think it did. I had a good heart to heart with Derno and he said he is going to get his life back in order. I don't think I will get the chance to see everyone there again so it was sad saying good-bye. Another good thing happened on Pohnpei. I had a great interview with President Dowdle which always is great and is helpful to me.
This upcoming Saturday we have 2 people who are scheduled to be baptized. The people are Bacardi and a young woman. They are both really good people. I hope it works out for the girl. Her name is Austerina and she recently moved from another island. She is 17 and her parents really don't want her to be baptized. We hope to work things out so she can. The parents live in Mechitiw so it is a bit of a challenge. Hopefully it works out.
I got a package from you this week. Thank you for the lanterns! I am putting a camera chip in this letter. Sorry it took so long to get it to you. I know it is long overdue. I hope you like the pictures. There is way too much to explain now, but I will explain it in person in a couple of months.
Love you both! Take care!
Elder Kevin South