Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Finding Lots of Youth to Teach . . . Still Learning Myself . . .

July 9, 2014

Dear Family--

That's so awesome when I read through your emails from last month and realize that you guys are super super bsy!! Man, Parker and Dylan, that's so cool that you guys are having such experiences like that. The MTC will always be one of my most favorite memories from the past two years; just keep working hard and preparing and everything will be for your benefits. Good job on your baseball journeys (you guys will have to teach me how to play again when I get home :)).

The house looks super nice and katakat, makes me kind of miss working outside. BUT!!! I've been able to help be a part of some pretty amazing service opportunities as of late. 1) We are trying to build a new church in Sopwota, so, Elder C, and our new companion Elder Paulis (yep, 3 missionaries in one area) have been helping them get the ground and everything ready so that when we get the cement down to us we can get started for real. 2) There is also an investigator/new friend of mine, Kertu, who has been letting us come and work in his garden every WEdnesday. Sorry Mom, but this gardening is a little more intense than what you had me doing back home. We have to hike up the mountain from our house in Pokocho, then we walk for probably another 10-20 minutes and all we do is we cut weeds (MASSIVE WEEDS, trees, etc.) and then we plant banana trees, tapioca, even some watermelon and squash.

Our investigators are doing well, we seem to be finding a lot of youth to talk to, specifically two teenage girls, Foriann and Joyulean. Both attended Church last week and both seem very interested in learning, the only thing is getting permission for them to be baptized, because EVERYONE in Sopwota attends the Catholic Church. We also are teaching a man named Kenio (He's the brother of a member Kasiano). He wants to know that the Church is true, just doesn't really have a testimony yet. We've been teaching him for about almost a week, so we'll see where this goes. We are also trying to help strengthen the members and less actives by doing home teaching (which we'll start next week). I've also been trying to focus on one family, the Kasiano's. They are a family of about...I don't know like 50-60, and they make up the entire member base in Sopwota. They've kind of been struggling as of late, but Kasiano (the father) along with two of his daughters Fita and Mayreen, attended church this last week, so just going to keep helping them and see what happens.
Elder McEwan and Elder Canakaivata

So excited to hear that fun was had by all at the youth conference and the reunion; man I miss stuff like that, but it only makes me want to get closer to my family here. Speaking of, thanks so much for the shoes and all the stuf for the people of Chuuk, not to mention seeing the Obray's. They mentioned that Todd Roberts is also coming to Micronesia. Do you know when he goes into the MTC? I also have received all of the letters and everything that you have sent me, it's nice to know that people still love me and miss me back home.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this last few months here in Chuuk, and I have learned a lot. The biggest thing though (and please, no one think that I'm turning into a muscle head or anything) is learning how important it is to work out and get good exercise. We just barely had our Zone Meeting last night, and the ZL's talked a little about how we can further the work as missionaries AND become better by working out every day. 30 minutes of exercise, lots of water, good eating habits and smart budgeting with money so that you CAN have good eating habits, will help to make a missionary happy, healthy and wise. In Paata though, it's not Romalum where I can go outside every morning and run the length of our court and play ball. I just try to do some puchups, use the band, and lift weights with my neighbor TOny.

I honestly don't know where I would be right now if I didn't come on a mission, but I will say that it would not have been pretty. There have been trials and tests that Heavenly Father has put me through that I hope and pray will help me to be better than the person who left you all two years ago. The Lord truly has blessed me, not just in the things that I've learned, but also in the people that I've met and become close with. On the boat ride in yesterday, I found out that a good friend of mine, Siprian (from Romalum), passed away a few days ago in America. He just barely got there too. I heard that, and thought about the 4 people close to me that have passed on to a better life while I have been away. First, Grandpa Ockler last year, then Miller Toa in March, then recently another Recent Convert in Sopwota, Nikeri, passed away due to severe illness, and now Siprian. I've thought about the things I did before my mission and the person that I was, and I'm reminded of a talk (I think from one of the General Authorities) about road signs. The road we travel on to eternal life is not easy one. It's litterd with distractions, worldly attractions and those that would extend a hand to lead me to happiness right now, but then leave me when things get rough. That's why I love the Faith Walk; because it helps me to remember that I have had some good examples and good road signs leading the way to righteousness.  My problem, I wasn't very good at following them. I was more of the "trial and error" walker, and it made me very miserable. But now, I'm so glad that I get to live among such a spiritual people because it helps me to realize that even when I screwed up or walked a different path, there were always friends and family trying to send me signs to help me get back. It's the same I realize with our Father in Heaven. He gives us road signs (ie Church leaders, prophets, commandments, scriptures, personal revelation, etc.) to help us stay on the straight and narrow path, but if we are not careful, we can succumb to the "wrong directions". I hope that this doesn't sound too cheesy, but I definitely feel that I am the person I am today because of the people that I know. Like the song says "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good." I pray that all those who have been placed in my path know how important they are to me and that I love each and every one of you.

Kot epwe nom remi ach chusefan!! Amo ach Samol epwe tumunukemino tori sa kunafenngenikich sefan!! Oune nom!!

Elder Mikiimik

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