Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Testimony of the Gift of Tongues . . .

Sean is doing great! He is learning the language quicker and better than he lets on. He has always been a perfectionist and expects so much of himself. We are so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and an awesome companion for Sean at this time of his mission.

February 18, 2013

Hello McEwan Family!!

Wow! It feels like just yesterday that I was writing you guys and now I am 2 weeks through my mission here in Mechitiw!! Crazzzy!! Oh, I love it here!! The people are great, except they're all of the belief that "every church is true" and yet they still take our lessons and WON'T  be baptized. Super confusing, I know, but it's super fun!!!
Elder O'bray has been helping me to learn the language and in fact, he had me write down a testimony (which I shared with an investigator) and a prayer (which I said yesterday to start off branch council:). I feel like I'm slowly starting to learn the language but I almost think it'd be easier if I don't think about it too much and just say what I know.

Right now we have two less active members named Rimano and Sad, and they are super sweet! They know the church is true but just have excuses as to why they're not coming. When we were meeting with them, one of our investigators, Asher, showed up and we had a super sweet lesson on the Restoration, then the role of the prophets, and why we need the priesthood. Elder O'bray asked if I wanted to share my testimony with them. I hesitantly said yes. But a miracle happened then. I opened my mouth . . . and my testimony came out strong and confident, and I surprised everyone (even myself). It was a huge testimony builder for me and I know now that the gift of tongues is real as long as you work and ask for it.

I also found out today from Elder O'bray that Kolby (hereafter called Elder Linford) is heading to Guatemala in June!! I'm super pumped for him and I know that he'll be a great missionary! It's awesome to think of all my friends that are getting ready to leave soon! I found myself thinking about Elder Sorensen this morning and was wondering how he is doing. I'd like to write him and find out, so if you could talk to Sister Sorensen for me and get me that address, that'd be great!!

Oh man, you guys would love the other two Elders in our district. Elder Allen is from Grass Plains, MT and he reminds me a lot of Garrett. Just in that he is way funny and jokes around a ton, but also knows how to work hard and get everyone else to work hard (maybe that's why he's District Leader). He's really good at the guitar, too. He likes to play and sing, and he's just an all-around nice guy. Elder Pita, he's from San Jose, Ca. He is hysterical! He's companions with Elder Allen and the two of them are constantly joking around with each other about "white people and brown people" and it makes me cry I laugh so hard. Elder Pita reminds me a lot of Big Buddah, that could be why I like him so much!

So a little about my "new" family history. Elder O'bray is my "dad", and his last trainee (Elder Rainey from Knoxville, TN) is my "big brother". Elder O'bray's trainer, Elder Jones (from somewhere up north in Utah) is my "grandpa." Elder Allen, also trained by Elder Jones, is my "uncle." I love it out here! We are all having the time of our lives! I love these Elders as if they really are my family.

By the time you get this, I will most likely have given my first talk in Sacrament Meeting on "Manauen Krist", meaning the Life of Christ. Needless to say, I'll be super nervous for it :_, but I know that Heavenly Father will help me to say what the members need to hear.

Also, we're hoping to have one, if not two, baptisms here in Mechitiw on Saturday. The investigator I told you about last week, Boi Boi, is by far the coolest person I've met here that isn't white (other than Sdawe, whom I'll talk about later). The last time we met with him, we talked about how to stay strong in the gospel after we are baptized. Then, he fell this last week, to something that has never been an issue for him. But we met with him on this last weekend, and he is not going to fall again (hopefully :).

Things are going really well here. We're on track to have a huge month of March for baptisms and lessons taught with a member present. I love it here so much!! I realize that I've only been away for a little over one month, but I love being a missionary out here. The experiences I've had so far have really helped my testimony to become stronger.

Now, about Sdawe. He is the most amazing person I think that I could know out here. Elder O'bray said that when he got here, Sdawe was a punk and a gang banger. But he's straightened up to the point that he's going on a mission!! I'm super excited and I can't wait to write him. He's coming to Utah to go to the MTC, and once I talk with President Mecham (and if you guys are okay with it), I'd like to have him stay with my family until he goes in. I know you would all love him, and he speaks really good English :).

I love you all, I miss you all, and I can't wait to tell you more later!!

I tong ngeni kemi!!
Elder McEwan

When you figure that these young men (and young women) have a such a short amount of time to learn a new language, it's a true testimony to us that a loving Heavenly Father is helping them because without Him, this feat would not be possible so quickly.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Apartment Living in Mechitiw, Chuuk

 Cozy yet perfect for these humble servants of the Lord!
Yes, I AM cooking!
Elder Nick O'bray ~ Trainer
We think this is their car because it is in many of the outside photos
Didn't know they made an 85 SPF!
Guess the 30 SPF he took is nothing :)

Beautiful Island . . . Beautiful People . . .

Taking a rest from playing
Shopping on P-day ~ Gotta get rice!

Definitely the Chuukese signs known by all!

An email on Sunday and then a letter and pictures in the mail on Tuesday (even though the letter is from February 11) . . . What a GREAT week! We can feel the excitement and love in Sean's letters that he has for the people of Mechitiw, Chuuk, his companion, his zone, just his whole mission. He is learning the Chuukese language and sharing some with us. We are always grateful for his "hints" about what the words mean though. Now we just need a pronunciation guide!

February 11, 2013

Dear Family,

Ran annimabi!! Ifa usubi? Ha Ha, by now you all know the big news . . . I am serving in Mechitiw, Chuuk with Elder O'bray and I am super excited!!! I'm learning lots, including the language (which is SUPER hard!) but it's actually pretty fun, too. We've been teaching a lot of investigators, including one that Elder O'bray was meeting with before I got here. His is so awesome, and he knows English!! That helped a lot last night when we met with him and talked with him about THE ARMOR OF GOD. It was a super good lesson and I ended up giving him my medallion so that he can always have a reminder to PRAY ALWAYS and stay strong. He was so pumped coming out of that lesson that he's going to be baptized this Saturday!! :) Super excited!!

I'm glad that everyone is doing well, and yes, I heard about the Super Bowl (Elder O'bray wasn't too happy).

It's super hot here, a lot hotter than I thought it was going to be, but it's nice and I'm hoping I get a tan out of it. :) A little about my zone: There are 14 Elders whom I love like family and 2 senior missionary couples that are pretty much the greatest. I'll be here in Mechitiw for at least three transfers barring something crazy happening) and then I'll probably go somewhere else in Chuuk (hopefully an outer island, then you can call me Elder Kolipoki :). It truly is beautiful out here, as you will see from the pictures.

Our schedule is arise at 6:00 a.m., out the door at 11:00 a.m., teaching until 6:00 p.m. (with breaks for food if we're hungry) and I really like it that way.

We're hopefully going to have 4 baptisms at the end of this month, which is fakkun sweet!! (A hint, fakkun means really :))

So tell me what's happening at home. Have tryouts happened yet? Did you redo the house again? Did you move to a new house ('cause you know, that'd be nice to let me know). I want pictures so I can see what you guys are doing. If you could print some of you guys and also some of the ones I sent home and put them in a photo album for me and send them to me, that would be great! I could also use some okasi (candy) ~ we don't really have that here, a nice water bottle with a filter, and some SHHS baseball stuff (if it's not too much to ask).

Man, I'm so pumped to start getting into the work :). I've been here only a week and a half and I already want to go teach EVERYONE!!

Tell everyone to send letters, TONS of letters!

Kinison for being my famini!! :)

I tong ngeni kemi,
Elder McEwan

Sounds like he needs another medallion :). So proud of him for sharing something that is very special to him with these wonderful people.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ran Annim from Chuuk . . .

We got an email from Sean this week and we were sooo excited! We wanted to share some of his letter here:

RAN ANNIM!! Things are going super well, just trying to pick up the language as fast as I can so that I can start teaching people. I'm super pumped that Elder Obray is my trainer, and I'm trying to learn everything I can from him. Anyways, yeah we were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday but it didn't end up happening. The investigators name is Boi Boi, and he is super cool. He is way smart, and he strongly believes the Gospel, so we are hoping to shoot for this upcoming Saturday if nothing else gets in his way.

So you've probably figured out, but my P-Day is on Mondays, and I love it. It's almost like having an extended weekend. Almost though, as we are still working hard to make sure that we have everything prepared for the coming week. It finally rained here too!! We had gone a full week without having any water in our house, and on Friday it finally dumped on us!! The only problem with that was that it was on the day that we decided to do a Blitz of Mechitiw. It still worked out though, and we were able to meet with a lot of people.

I love you, I miss you, and I hope this finds you well :)
I tong ngonuk!!
Elder McEwan

Already has the Chuukese signs down - Elder McEwan doing great and learning tons in Mechitiw. —  at Mechitiw LDS Church, Weno, Chuuk, FSM (with Elder Tiffany)
He does not always have easy access to email, so we never know if a "letter" will come every week. However, since his P-day is on Monday (and they're a day ahead of us in Utah), we STALK the computer pretty much all afternoon on Sunday! He's learning how to give a little more details of what he is doing and we're learning to be patient. It takes a while to get packages and letters (in and out), so he was very hopeful that he had letters to read when they all went to Weno this week to pick up the mail. His brothers are faithful writers (especially Dylan!). He says things in Chuukese in his letters. We've "googled" and found the meanings of some, but I think we're going to need to get a Chuukese dictionary!
What a blessing it is to have this amazing young man on a mission! We miss him so much but are so extremely proud of him for his choice and desire to share the great knowledge of the gospel that he has been blessed with with the people of Micronesia! It is incredible to see the extreme growth in a 19-year old young man in just a short period of time. We are very grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over Elder McEwan and helping him to be His hands to these wonderful people!

Friday, February 1, 2013

From the United States to the Island of Chuuk . . .

From Salem Hills High School to Chuuk, Micronesia! It's incredible to think Sean has traveled half-way around the world and is companions with a former classmate, Elder Nick O'bray! What a small world we live in. We are so grateful to see these two happy faces as they begin their companionship serving and teaching and loving the people of Chuuk. We can't wait to hear from Sean (hopefully on Sunday because his P-day is Monday).
Called to serve with the missionaries on Chuuk. It was so fun to wake up to these pictures this morning. Elder and Sister Tiffany are some of the senior missionaries serving on Chuuk and they appear to take AWESOME care of these Elders! Elder Tiffany is pictured here and we're guessing Sister Tiffany is behind the camera! Looks like a great group of "brothers"!

Elder McEwan and Elder O'bray