Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Romalum . . .

What a wonderful Thanksgiving Day as we woke up to news from the "islands"! All the Elders had Thanksgiving together in Weno, so Elder McEwan was able to send a letter.

November 28, 2013

Dear Family--

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Things are going good right now, and I'm glad to hear that the sports
We even had a Turkey Bowl before Thanksgiving Dinner ~
with American Football!
equipment got off successfully. I don't even know if you guys told me what happened or if I just read it in the Ward Newsletter (BTW tell Sister Miller thank you so much for writing to me sending the newsletter every month), but I've been praying everyday that you guys will know what to do to get it off and now I hear that the Lord has given you all a very big blessing. I'm doing okay, just trying to open my mouth every day with new people and share this message that has become so dear to my heart. I realized last week that I'll soon be 20 years old, and after I'll be out a year on my mission.... I'll be honest, I don't want to go home. I miss you guys, and I love you guys but I have grown to love these people in such a way that I never thought I'd love anyone, and I can't imagine not having the Chuukese people in my life. Me and Elder Telona are doing awesome, we are hoping to have a baptism this Saturday, and then a ton more in December along with a wedding or two. Also, my branch president in Romalum wants me and Telona to start teaching an English class, and we also might start teaching a temple prep class.

What a GREAT Thanksgiving Dinner with my
brothers! We had SOOO much food :)
The rest of my brothers enjoying Thanksgiving.
We can't believe there are so many of us now that
we have to sit at two rows of tables!

Dad, have you had any luck in locating some of your mission pics? Also, one thing that my district is wanting to do to help the work move along is show our investigators pictures of us when we were baptized. If you guys can find some and send them to me through the mail, that'd be great. And I also told Elder Telona about the homemade Oreos that you sent me in the MTC, Mom. Do you think it is possilbe for you to send me some through the mail? If not, no harm no foul. I'm glad that you guys are going to the temple, continue to do so. Also, next month I'm sending a memory card home, please PLEASE pull the pics and videos off and send back the card empty so that I can continue to take pictures. Thers also some pictures and videos of the Primary activity in Mechitiw, so you all can see what the Primary is like in Chuuk.

Umm, I really have nothing else, other than yes Parker and Dylan, I'm still working out. Thankfully, I have a basketball court outside my house so I just go outside with Elder Telona every morning and we shoot free throws, jump shots, we run, we do suicides, and I feel like I'm losing weight and getting in shape. Speaking of basketball, how's the high school team doing? They any good? Thanks for keeping me in the loop. I know I'm not the best at keeping you guys in the loop, but I'll try to be better next month.

Well, it's late and we're having story time with all the Elders here (for some reason they always like when I tell stories). I love you all so much, and I hope you guys know that. I know now that this work is an inspired work, and I relish in the fact that I get to wake up every day and do this work.

Love, Tong, Kinamwe,

Elder McEwan

Monday, November 11, 2013

Humbling Experiences on Romalum . . .

November 10, 2013

Dear Family!!

Things are good here, and I am so glad to hear that you are all having so much fun! Dylan, I'm trying to be better about getting up and exercising, and I try to go outside and shoot some baskets with the little kids at my house. Parker, that's awesome that you got to sing for Veteran's Day. What song(s) did you sing? That's too bad about the football team though, but that's good that they did that well. Also, I'm sending a letter your way for your birthday, hopefully you get it before your birthday.

Me, I'm doing great, even though the work is sort of slow for me right now. We have 2 investigators on baptismal dates, Rico and Benjamin, but we have a TON of people that we have been talking to, but they haven't really expressed any interest in investigating the Church, but I know they will.

Oh my goodness, the Lord has blessed me so much lately, it's hard to find a good place to start. But, I think I will just start with yesterday at Church, and about the new girl in my life . . . ;) a cute little newborn girl named Jaslyna Josef, and yesterday, because her dad was not in attendance at Church, I was given the privilege of blessing her in Sacrament Meeting. Man, most humbling experience of my whole mission, not to mention my whole life, and now that beautiful girl has a very special spot in my heart, along with her family. That's the one thing I've noticed about my life in Romalum, is that my love for the people has deepened and grown to a level that I didn't know that I could go to. There are days when all I want to do is simply just go and spend the whole day with the people, and that's why it's hard for me to have to come in at 6 pm.

Anyways, I've been having some great study sessions as of late, specifically in Alma 5. By far my most favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon that I have never really read until now. The chapter just talks about a series of questions that the prophet Alma developed to determine ones readiness to return to Heaven. The verse I'm studying on right now comes from verse 10, which asks on what conditions are we saved? I'm studying through the footnote for the word "saved", and I'm finding a lot of conditions and things that we need to do in order to be saved. And man, there are so many good verses and passages that it would take up about 2 or 3 more emails just to explain all of them. But, I look back on my time before missionary life and feel sad, because I didn't take advantage of the time to read and really enjoy the Book of Mormon. And now, the Book of Mormon has become my best friend, I read it maybe on average like 10 times during the day, and I can feel like my testimony of it is really growing and deepening as I try to apply what I learn.

Rodney doesn't report to the MTC until next March, the 11th I think, but Keireen leaves this January 28th, the same day I left the MTC. I love serving on Romalum with Elder Telona. With blessing Jaslyna and trying to spend as much time with the people as possible, I know that they love me and I can't imagine what my life would be like without these people, and no offense, but I actually dread the day I have to come home, not even just that I'll no longer be a missionary, but that I'll have to leave these beautiful amazing people. I know that my Father in Heaven has put me here for a purpose and a reason, and I feel like I'm starting to learn what that reason is. I know that this Church is true, because every time I teach to someone about the Restoration or the Book of Mormon, and they don't accept it, it breaks my heart, but at the same time I realize that I still have my own testimony. I pray everyday that my Heavenly Father will help me in His work, and that I can develop myself to become like the Sons of Mosiah (Mosiah 28:3, Alma 17:9). I realized on Saturday that I have just 1 year and 2 months left in this, so it's now or never. I know that this work is true, that at this time the Lord is hastening this work, and I simply pour my heart out in thanks and gratitude for this opportunity to serve among these Chuukese people.

I love you all, I miss you all, and I pray for you all the time!! I'd also love it if you guys would send pictures of what you guys are doing (actual pictures) because I love looking at them, and the people love looking at them too.

Seni ewe aten Romalum, pwan fiti an tong mi fakkun tekia,

Elder McEwan

P.S. Also, if you look on a map, you satiw (drive down) from Weno, and then you run right into Romalum. Kinda far out, but I love riding the boats. Don't know if you guys knew that, but that's the only way that we can get to all the other islands. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Things Are Good . . .

Dear Family-

Things are good with Elder Telona, we have a few people on baptismal dates. Rodney will be going to Provo before Hawaii, and Keireen will also be serving in Hawaii. Thanks for the letters and I'm so glad that you all are doing well. Please send pictures and letters, I love you all!!

Elder McEwan