Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. It was really hard this year to be away from my family but Christmas in the Marshall Islands was really great. Some Elders were talking about how it will never feel like Christmas here because there is no snow. I couldn't really relate because I think it matters more about what you make out of Christmas. I really did was able to feel the spirit of Christmas and the love from everyone in the Marshall Islands and at home.  
   Christmas Day my companion Elder Lesser and I woke up and opened up some presents and then headed to the Stake Center to watch the Beat. Beat is a bunch of dances and songs performed by all the wards Christmas Day. Beat starts around 9-10 in the morning and will go to 10-11 at night. The stake center was packed with all the ward members that had practiced since the beginning of November and were so excited to show off to the other wards. There was not a beat done by the missionaries this year but, watching was really fun. Hopefully next year I will be in the big island again and have a dance for the missionaries. 
   Christmas Day we also had all the missionaries on the island go eat lunch at the Mission President's and watch Saratov Approach. The whole time I was just so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve in possibly the safest place in the world. Guns are illegal here and alcohol is also prohibited in a lot of parts of the islands. This Christmas was great for me because it really allowed me to focus on the spiritual aspect of all of it. The birth of Jesus Christ, his ministry, and his death and suffering. I am really grateful that we have a holiday to focus on all of that and just be really grateful for all the things that Christ has done for us and that God had given us. 
   This week I have also found out that my Bishop was in Fiji the same time I was last summer. I never was able to meet him but he said how he met the other HEFY group in the Suva side. It was pretty cool the bishop of Delap is the best. Possibly because his wife works so he has full time to devout to being a bishop. Also I was almost hit by falling breadfruit this week so that good have been bad. Breadfruit is this pretty gross fruit that kind of tastes like bland potatoes but like a really squishy texture. 
   This week I was also feeling a little bit unmotivated and really homesick but I just kept pushing through the day. It can be really discouraging to go to a set appointment and have the investigator be gone. However a "set appointment" is not really a thing here it's more like just showing up to an investigator's house at one point in the day. Whenever I feel unmotivated and I start to think about the scripture 2nd Nephi 2:11 talking about iniquity in all things. But because of the bad times we can more greatly appreciate the good in our life. I read this week how Satan works incredibly hard to regress the work of the righteous. I know that I came on a mission to do good in the world and I know the devil is trying hard to put bad thoughts in my head to make me discouraged. I recite the "Nothing exists outside of God. Now go and kick the devil's ass" throughout the day and helps me with motivation. I know that the good in the world is stronger than the bad and we will have bad thoughts and just want to quit; jobs, responsibilities, friendships, missionary work, or life, however just remember to keep pushing and think about all the good you are doing and all the blessings you have rather than dwelling on the bad in yourself. Love You All. Now go and kick the devil's ass.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014: Getting Ready for Christmas

Yesterday I was supposed to give a talk in sacrament meeting but we ran out of time so I ended bearing my testimony.  I don’t know if I told you but I also bore my testimony a couple weeks back, the previous time I was getting a little tongue tied so it made me seem like I was really bad at Marshallese.  So this time when I bore my testimony everyone just told me after “Makre Kajin Majol” or “Pro at Marshallese.”  The people love that you can speak Marshallese and will try to help you with it as well.  Also at church we didn’t have many investigators due to a big rain storm the night before.  However we had one of our investigators Jasper, an 11 year old boy, who came all by himself which was a really cool experience for him and us.  It’s pretty cool how we are able to teach the youth here in the Marshall Islands.  Basically kids have all the freedom they want and can walk around anywhere anytime this usually starts after their first step.  Yeah the Marshallese youth are great especially in the ward I am working in, we have a lot of the priests who want to come and work with us.  Right now I am working with Elder Lesser who came at the same time I did.  It can be difficult sometimes because although I understand Marshallese I cannot always clearly speak exactly what I want to say.  However our investigators do help us out with the language, Tina the I wrote about last week will just finish my sentences for me.  She knows the church is true we are just working on her to continue going to church and getting her friends to come as well.  This week I finished the Book of Mormon.  It was my first time reading it cover to cover and I took time to read instead just skimming over it.  I am able to still feel the Christmas Holiday in the Marshall Islands.  It’s really great we have been getting fed all this week and we will all next week.  The members tell us how they know how hard it is to be away from family for Christmas and then give us an insane amount of food.  Most of it is rice but this one member sent us home with about 5 pounds of leftovers.  Love you all I hope you have a good Christmas.f

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10, 2014: Testimony

I really am able to get through the day because of all of the family and friends out there supporting me. I am so grateful for the support system I have and love hearing that I am mentioned in prayers. Although the same exact weather everyday makes it not seem like the Christmas season, it really does feel like Christmas. I started off the first of this month reading about the coming of Christ to the Nephites and Lamanites. It just let’s me gain a better perspective on the season and what it really all is about. In a family home evening I shared Alma 34:32 “for behold, this is the time for men to prepare to meet
God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” I really emphasized how blessed we are and how grateful we should be to God each day. I talked about how important it is to just focus on the things that matter in life mainly family and the gospel, everything else is just background noise. 
                One of lessons this week with a member and her less active husband we were just talking to them and sharing a spiritual message. The husband Baj said how he was watching the news the other day and they were talking about the group ISIS. He was just saying how grateful he is that they are in the Marshall Islands and how it is one of the safest places in the world and just how glad they are they don’t have to deal with any scary things like that. Even when I have bad days, I realized how much good we did that day. Even if all the lessons fall through or it’s raining all day knowing that we helped one person come closer to Christ is all that matters, that we made one difference in a person’s life. 
                Those who are thinking about serving a mission, do it. I love how much a mission has changed my life. It has not really changed my personality as much as helping me gain a testimony. I realize how true this church is. That this is the same church that Jesus Christ established during his life and it was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is not a new religion but one that was the true church established by Jesus Christ himself. I love how much knowledge of the church has grown and how being in a third world country just makes me appreciate things so much more in life. A mission is something that will help you so much in life. It gives you a chance to get away from all the temporal things in life and to just be able to improve other’s lives each and every day. I am so grateful to be here, a mission is the only thing I can be doing right now love you all. Elder Weenig.