Monday, August 1, 2016

Last Letter: Going Home

My last email to all of you. Thank you so much for our the support from all family and friends alike. Being back in Majuro is a bit strange and not much has been going on since I'll be leaving in a couple of days. Stationed here in the Uliga ward with Sieler and Namak. Able to finish my missionary work in the same area I started. 
   Leaving Ebeye was strange, I thought I'd be a bit more sad but all I felt was content. I felt okay knowing I had done what I could and that everything was going to be fine. Of course I was sad to be leaving but at the same time happy that I will be coming back to see my family and be back home. Last Monday the Ward held a Family Home Evening and a going away party. Great to have that final goodbye with everyone. The next couple days in Ebeye were spent  visiting members and saying final farewells. Ebeye was incredible experience and truly never forget the work I was able to do while I was there. That Wednesday I flew out from Ebeye and hopped on a big airplane and knew I would be on the same flight that very next week but this time continuing on to Hawaii. 
   Here in Majuro there's just been some kajemloks, going away parties, so it's been pretty chill. Saturday night the Delap Ward had a going away party and had the sister missionaries step dance for everyone then a few other dances from the youth and a song from the primary. Afterwards the elders perform the 'whip and nene' for all the ward members. Friday night had dinner with all the other missionaries going home at the mission president's house. It was the first time all of us have been on island since the beginning of our mission two years ago. 
   One of the greatest blessing being back in Majuro is seeing all those members that were out in Ebon with me. Reim and Lynn are now in Delap with their kids and nephews and nieces. Judy Luke and all her kids in Rita. Mercy and Sara (who's parents Emi and Rusell are in Sacramento) in the Delap Ward. Even Bahn and Anija who introduced themselves to my companion as members just not baptized yet. Truly blessed I was able to see all of them and know they are active in the church and are doing well. Sometimes I look back on Ebon as if time was wasted because the work was extremely slow but being able to see those members and know that my work there did have a difference was truly a blessing. 
   Less than 50 hours until I'll be on a flight to Hawaii. This mission of being in the Marshall Islands for these last two years has been an incredible experience that will never be forgotten. Looking back now at where I was than when I started is vastly different. I remember at my farewell talk just breaking down because it all hit me at one time that I would be leaving my family and everything for two years to serve the Lord. I bore my testimony on the gospel of eternal families and honestly I knew that was true but not entirely sure about all the teachings of this church. Now I can say that the teachings and gospel of this church are all true, that Jesus Christ leads and guides this church, His church. I have been blessed to see miracles worked and peoples life's changed by this gospel. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet who our Heavenly Father speaks through. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and undeniably true. The Book of Mormon and Bible are true and speak of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. That God answers our prayers and that fundamental doctrine is how this church was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. In this church there is priesthood power that blesses all families and can be had with those that live worthy but in addition to this that families can be together for eternity. But as Nephi of old I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. 1st Nephi 11:17. These things I share in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Love you all. 
Elder Weenig 

S. Weenig

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 24th: Last Week in Ebeye

Wowsers 5 people were baptized this Saturday and another 4 are set for the following week. Sad I'll be missing the next baptism but glad I am able to go out with a bang. Also 9 investigators at church and the most lessons I think I've ever had. 
  Those baptized Saturday were Betty and her daughter Mathlynn as well as three little boys; Clary, Jr, and Binton. Betty and Willy had their wedding Friday with a great turnout from relief society we had the ceremony had her brothers house and all went very nicely. Jr's parents are both members but he just slipped through. However able to go through the lessons with him and his two friends Clary and Binton who were supportive of their baptisms. Binton's mother came and watched the whole baptism. When we asked permission for her baptism she asked if it's okay to come because she's a member in another church. Before the baptism she was telling the boys how important baptism is and what it means. So amazing to see how supportive parents are of their children coming and getting baptized despite themselves not feeling ready or members in another church. 
  Roseann and Tony are finally ready to be baptized. They've been busy with family things and deaths and sicknesses so it's been over a month of postponing baptism. They were able to be there this Sunday so they'll be baptized Saturday but sad I'll be missing it. I'll be flying back to Majuro Wednesday afternoon
   Had my birthday this week as well. An official adult of 20 years old an no longer a teenage. The day before on Wednesday the district put a surprise lunch together where Sister Ricks made some soup and put a carrot cake together. They turned off the lights and had candles and sang and the whole of it. Thursday night I was able to be with Shelly Ann and Ned where they brought a cake over from Kwajalein and was sung to in Marshallese by the family, the other missionaries, and a few others. Really grateful how much these people care and look out for me and it really makes separation from my family not as bad. I'll be having a farewell family home evening with my ward tomorrow night so my president told me I should say my birthday is then. 
   Doctrine and Covenants 123:17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
  So sad to be leaving Ebeye but glad I was able to do such great things here but I have a few more days here. 
Love you all and be seeing you soon. Love Spencer M. Weenig

S. Weenig

July 10th

 3 more weeks to go. I'm a little sad knowing that I'll be leaving soon but, leaving working hard and on a good note. Although there is several people I still wish I could stay and teach I'm glad I'll be able to see a few through baptism. Probably none this upcoming Saturday but potentially seven if not more the following week, coincidentally will be my last Saturday in Ebeye. 
   Well Monday was 4th of July so the plan was to go watch the fireworks from the top of the elders apartment, the tallest building on island with 3 stories. However found out that this year they didn't do any fireworks over in Kwajalein military base and it's done only every other year. Still chilled on the roof for a little bit talking about life and eating some snacks. Just thinking it will be my last holiday in the Marshall Islands is exciting. 
   Sister Elanzo left us to go back to the main island of Majuro. Sad to see her go it's so weird having a missionary leave this little district of Ebeye because it's never the same. Sister Paku just came from the MTC so sister Clark is training. She's from New Zealand and way chill. She's already got a great nickname Sister Paku or Sister Shark. I'll most likely finish my work in Ebeye with Kalinowski before Salanoa and I fly back to Majuro a few days before we leave island. 
  Work has been going extremely well and were averaging 30+ lessons a week so it's nice to stay busy. Have quite a few investigators so we'll get out around noon if not earlier and work until 8-9 non stop. 
  One of our investigators now is Jorbi. His wife Mary Ann is an old member and they were able to get married back in March with Elder Waniel. He has been studying for a while and has gone through quite a bit of elders, studied with him for a bit in December and January. One of the lessons we had though talked about Thomas S. Monson and present day apostles and we asked him to read some of Monson's talks and to pray about it. The next lesson he told us that he knows that Thomas S. Monson has the spirit of God with him so he's progressing well. Plus I know her, Mary Ann, son Nephi from back in Utah and I was able to find a few pictures of him online. 
   Betty is doing really well and is on track to be baptized with her daughter, Mathlynn, the 23rd of this month. Her and her boyfriend, Willy, will be married this upcoming week. Willy hasn't studied yet but he has warmed up to us a lot. Started with them because he asked us to teach him when he was drunk. Whenever we teach her we have a member with us or take her to someone's house. Her brother is always one of the strong members in the ward, Hener. Her daughter is great and we study with her and some of her friends and has been coming to mutual the past few weeks. The other day she shared how she knows this church is true. 
   2nd Nephi 4:34-35 Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen

Love You All. Only a short time until I see everyone and get in contact. 

Elder Weenig

S. Weenig

July 4th: One Month Left!

  Missing everyone and all you guys. Only 4 weeks left so time is really winding down. 

   Investigators are good have about 15 investigators right now so it can be a lot but it's nice to stay busy. Started with some new investigators as well. Every now and then they'll be someone who everyone assumes is a member and then we find out they're not and are ready for baptism in a matter of weeks. Also have some more less active families that we started with who have some children that are at the age to be baptized so we'll continue with them. 

   We started with a man Kyler, had studied with him before but he can talk a lot and likes to go into deeper doctrine. After he went on for 30+ minutes about the 2nd coming and then answering his own questions. I shared John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. Told him we aren't here to study with him about all these deep doctrine and chapters in the Bible. I told him we are here to help him to make a change in his life in order to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and from that being able to answer his own questions. It doesn't matter how well we try to study the bible and understand the word of God unless we are doing his will and keeping his commandments. 

  The last 2 Saturdays have been way fun. Last week went with the other missionaries, the senior couple, and all the seminary kids down to Gucci Gue. It was raining all day but had a blast. The Ricks are still continuing seminary despite it being summer but now they're doing it at night time. This Saturday got to Abejdik, an island south of Ebeye for the day. There was a funeral there for one the men we studied with. Only a few more weeks though so really trying to make the most of the days off. 

Have a good 4th of July weekend and love you guys. 

Elder Weenig 

S. Weenig

June 14th

A lot has been happening here in Ebeye. This week had a couple married, RoseAnn and Tony. Last week had two baptisms. Our mission president came to the island one last time. My finish date is coming up fast but, I'm glad work is going well to keep me going strong. 
   Roseann and Tony marriage went well. We will hoping to have the married soon just got to get Tony coming to church, Roseann has been this whole month. Roseann and Tony our my parents age and so it's pretty cool with them. They told me how they were a little nervous before the wedding but, I asked how long they have been together. 21 years. Weddings in the Marshall Islands are very simple and just have close families and friends come to a small ceremony. 
   AJ and Betawin got baptized last weekend and both just beaming. Had all of AJ's family out there and quite a few others come as well. AJ's family is less active so although he was attending church for the last 3 months his family kept saying he wasn't ready so it was great to finally get him in the water. Betawin's story has been quite the experience with him feeling he was worthy and able to be baptized and has been coming to church for the last 3 months as well. I know Betawin will continue to be an example and because of that bring others into the church. 
   Our A/C broke so it had been pretty miserable and with it fixed now it makes all the difference. There are days where you just start to sweat from being outside and it's tough. Knowing I'll be leaving the heat in a short time can make it hard to get out and work in it sometimes, especially because during the hottest times people do not want to study or asleep. 
   Investigators are doing well. Betty is studying more regularly and always studying with a member. Has been reading the Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back a little bit later one day because she was just able to start reading and didn't want to stop just yet. With her we just got to get her husband involved and get them married. Started with Rodney and Kane, she's a member and his brother Stanford referred us to him. He's still pretty sick so we're taking it slow with him but, is listening intently. One of Renny's friends, Newton, started taking lessons. He just came from one of the outer islands and his grandma is a strong member so lessons have been good with him, took him over to the church for a youth dance one night. 
   Work with less actives has been good as well. Ned is coming to church every week for all 3 hours. Came Sunday despite having pink eye. Hoping he'll receive the Melchezidek in a few weeks. Also Johnny has been a break through as well. His wife Nesia is active and she told us we've been the first elders that let him visit and go over lessons with him. We were able to bless his 5 year old in the hospital and because he was fine instantly it helped to strengthen his faith a lot and we were able to bless him as well because he was sick Sunday. He said he'll be there this coming Sunday. Know the majority of less actives in our area and some are not interested in having of us visit but generally most are really receptive. Most were recent converts that fell away after baptism and need that encouragement to help them come back into the church. 
   Have been able to get subway a couple times this week from members. This last p-day went to Abejdik again went and night so walked crossed to the other island at low tide at night, slept over there and came back the next morning. Got our hammocks set up and way nice to get off the island of Ebeye only if it's 20 minutes away. 

Doctrine and Covenants 80:3-5 Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss. Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true.Behold, this is the will of him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Weenig

P.S. One more thing Betawin told me how he was a baby turtle he's taking care of and he named it after me and says its birthdate is June 4th, the day he was baptized. 

S. Weenig

May 29th

 Interesting week. I almost left Ebeye to go work back in Majuro then the last minute told I could stay. Either than that work has been good; solid investigators. Two people will be baptized this Saturday and have set up dates with quite a few others. 

   So last week Saturday I get told by the senior couple that I have a ticket to fly out that Wednesday. When I heard I was absolutely devastated, definitely not ready to leave the island of Ebeye quite yet.  Well I was contacting the AP's seeing if I would be able to stay and they said they'd try to figure it out but Monday morning I got an email from my mission president telling me I'm transferring to Majuro. 6:00 that night, right before a family home evening/going away party, I get called by the AP's saying I am able to stay here in Ebeye. Elder Kim ended up flying to Majuro in my place with Elder Polson. Tuesday we had Elder Salanoa, my companion from back in MTC days, and Elder Mahanga fly into Ebeye. Both elders are from Brisbane and so it's pretty funny to here them go back and forth and just rip on one another. 
   Also Elder Waniel, the one in the south area flew out to Ujae. It was pretty sad because I've been able to work with him for the past 6 months here in Ebeye and also in the first few months of my mission as well. Since he'll be on an outer island it was probably the last time I'd be seeing him. Ebeye is definitely different with having all the elders and sisters I've been working with for so long changed up but still good. 

   Pink eye this week that broke out Sunday night and has been on and off. Both Monday and Tuesday I was out of work and just confined to my house. Well actually Monday I tried to work, but... With the Ebeye sun I was out for maybe over an hour before my eyes start burning really badly then wind up with the worst headache. Tuesday I decided it would be best to stay in. Had Kalinowski go with Elder Kim and Elder Polson that day as a three way to cover both areas than I had Sonny just come stay with me. The pink eye is mostly gone but my eyes are still a bit sore. 

   Elder Kalinowski is good. His Marshallese is pretty impressive and a lot of people are amazed how much he knows for being out for a couple weeks. He still doesn't understand what people are saying but know a lot of vocabulary. Seminary ended so we won't have to be waking up kids at 5:00am anymore, I think it was draining this kids energy a lot. 

   Last p-day we went down to an island south of Ebeye, Abejdik. A lit over a mile we walked out there because our relief society was doing an activity and we were invited to come help out. Walked to the island at low tide and then came back on a motorboat. The day was really fun, first time being there and it's nice to be somewhere besides the 2 mile island of Ebeye I've been on for the past half year. Kalinowski and I were down there with Nelson and Sonny. What we did is just set up our hammocks and chill and sleep in the shade so really nice way to spend pday. 

   “Man alone, of all creatures of earth, can change his thought pattern and become the architect of his destiny.” Spencer W. Kimball

Elder Weenig

S. Weenig

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 15

Iakwe. Iakwe. All is great in Ebeye. Sorry for not writing these past couple weeks. My new companion Elder Kalinowski flew in the other day and Sister Lafaele finished her mission this week as well and returned to Samoa. Investigators or good and started with this really great couple. 
   The couple we started with are named Tony and RoseAnn. She had been coming to church a couple weeks and so we were able to start with her husband. Really neat experience the day before we started with them Tony says to her that they want to get married and study with the elders and says we need to ask them, Roseann responded that the elders would find them. The very next day we contacted them and had a lesson later that night. They have a really good foundation and are very ready to make a change in their life. Roseann is Nita's daughter and I'm not too sure if I've talked about Nita. I think she would best be described as matriarch, her grandkid Sonny was the one that got baptized about a month ago and the majority of her grandchildren are baptized and most of her children are studying at the moment. She has given us great referrals and was baptized not even a year ago. 
   Another woman we are studying with is named Betty. She's was at church Sunday and at the relief society activity this week. We have had a few lessons with her and it's good because with her we have MaƱin as a member present to help us in the lessons and study at her house. Still continuing with the other investigators they're doing good just not coming to church yet so I'll keep you updated. 
   Elder Kalinowksi flew in from the states Thursday and got here to Ebeye on Saturday. Really cool guy he's from the Bay Area and enjoy him. He seems like a hard worker and ready to get to work so I'm excited. 
   Sister Lafaele left though and it was really sad. I've been able to work with her in Ebeye for the past 5 months as well as other times during my mission. Really hard worker and I respected her a lot. She did a lot to make pday fun and always coming up with something to do. As she left leaving for her flight she broke down and it was pretty sad. Might be one of the first missionaries to be sad that they're leaving. 
   Right now in my district we have Elder Kim who went down to work with Polson. Elder Waniel is with them and will be until they have a plane out leaving out to Ujae. Sister Clark and Sister Elanzo are the sister missionaries on island and pretty cool. Elanzo is Marshallese and her family is from Ebon so it's cool to talk with her about it then Clark is from Utah. It's a good district and have been blessed to work with only the best in Ebeye. 
   All is good everything is good and time continues to wind down. It seems as if Satan has picked up his game and work harder to finish my mission. Just feeling more tired or getting sick or some other thing, all for the best. 
  Doctrine and Covenants 54:10 and again, be patient in tribulation until I come; and, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, and they who have sought me early shall find rest to their souls. Even so. Amen.

Love Elder Weenig 

S. Weenig