This week was one of my most successful but also my hardest. Elder Angilau and I ended the week with 34 lessons and had found 6 new investigators. both my and my companions most successful weeks so far on our missions. Elder Angilau is way cool and it's good because he wants to work hard. It's been really cool to see all this success but at the same time I have never felt more homesick or plain fed up then this week. I know I was doing so much good but the whole week I was just negatively thinking how my Marshallese should be better or like I just want to eat American food and not see Marshallese people. I do know that all my negative thoughts are the adversary working hard to prevent good work. I really just had to push myself to finish the week and it's good I am working on changing my thoughts. My situation is a lot better than I think it is. I know I have all of you supporting me back home and I am doing well. I just need to work hard and not think about myself. Hope all is well back home. Love Elder Weenig
Sunday, January 25, 2015
The beginning of this week was pretty tough. Monday night we had two lessons with people one we studied with this woman and her brother and they kept asking a bunch of questions and things about Joseph Smith and the Church. It was our first times studying so it was pretty tough. They came from an outer island of Kili so they speak insanely fast and I could not understand anything they were saying. Also the other lesson we had Monday night the investigator, a 16 year old girl, was just trying to flirt with my companion and I the whole time and was not paying attention. This week I had a really funny experience where I was like talking to these two 12 year old something girls and one just mumbled in English "you're beautiful" it was really funny and I was trying to not laugh at them the rest of the conversation. Another funny experience is that we studied with a recent convert's friend and her friend the first lesson, we just studied about prayer and the Godhead, when we asked the recent convert to share she goes off "I know Joseph Smith is a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, the Book of Mormon are true." I was thinking that her friend was going to be confused but, when we asked if she had any questions she was like "no I'm good." Another great think is we found out a couple were studying with planned a marriage date but on April 27th. It's good because basically everyone Marshallese person just lives together and I have met very few who are actually married. It can be difficult because we can't baptize a lot of people until they get married first. So I am really happy they have a date but that means they can't get baptized for like another 3 months or so. It was amazing week with a lot of funny experiences.
Although the week was really great but I still have bad times. I can sometimes feel homesick and the last thing I want to do is speak to Marshallese people. But it just pushes me to work harder and to try and forget about my own needs. In Alma it tells the story of Alma and his friends' missions. in Alma 28:8 it states "And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever." Missions can make you have "incomprehensible joy" but there are still times when you feel down. On your mission you kind of develop a bipolar attitude sometimes you're great so happy to be here and other times you just want to go home and sleep all day. Although my mission has been pretty great and I love it I still experience being down. Our mission president said "a missionary that works hard is a happy missionary." I know as I continue to work hard I will see blessings.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Everything is great out in Majuro. My mission has been pretty great. I'll explain what happens in a basic week for me here.
Monday: we have our preparation days on this day. This means emailing, grocery shopping, and other basic things. Washing clothes is fun because there is no washing machine. I wash my clothes in a bucket and then hang them on a clothes line. Grocery shopping we'll usually go to one of the major grocery stores. Both grocery stores are owned by Americans so I have access to everything in the states but just somethings can be really expensive like 11 dollars for a thing of cheese. Emailing we go down to the satellite building. Emailing is kind of a pain because they charge you for Internet which is like $5 an hour. P-days activities can be a little boring here because usually the only thing that happens is we'll go to the church building and play basket and volley with all the other missionaries.There are about 30 missionaries working on the main island of Majuro. There are 6 in another major island of Ebeye and then some companion shops in the outer islands adding up to about 50 missionaries.
Tuesday: is a normal proselyting day so after waking up, studying and eating we will try to leave the house around 11-12 and then return at like 9 at night. The areas in the mission are pretty small so fairly dense. Right now the area we cover is about a mile long but has quite a lot of people.
Wednesday: we have district meeting every week, our district is made up of two wards with 6 missionaries. Then every beginning of the month we have a zone conference, which is made up of my district and another. Wednesday night the ward does this really cool thing called rescue. Rescue is where all the ward gets together to bring back the less actives to church by just seeing how they are doing. There are quite a bit of less actives here in the Marshall Islands and I found out that about 1 in 6 people are members. Which is crazy to thing because work started here in the early 90's. On the main island of majuro alone there are 7 wards.
Thursday: is a regular proselyting day
Friday: is a regular proselyting day
Saturday: we will try to do a service project in the morning if not it will just be a regular day. If there is a baptism for the district we will all go.
Sunday: we've tried trying to proselyte before church at one but with not too much success. Sunday is really lazy here all the people just sleep, go to church and watch movies. The majority of people are Christian so there is nothing going on and all the stores are closed.
That is my basic week. I really love it here in the Marshall Islands. The people are great a lot of the guys have fades here and play basketball. Women in Marshall only wear dresses and skirts so I haven't seen a woman wear pants in quite a while. All the Marshallese people are really kind and love to feed missionaries which means enormous plates of rice. If we eat at people's houses it is always rice and then it varies between either fish, chicken, spam and sashimi (raw tuna).
Other highlights of my week is going on an exchange with a new Elder who got here a few weeks ago. During companionship study we went over the Law of Chastity and the Elder was really awkward about it. He wasn't sure how to teach and like didn't know how to explain it. I told him straight up you just teach "no sex before marriage." After a few times he like finally was able to teach it straight out. I think he felt awkward talking about sex.
I am doing really well my language skills are well and the Marshallese people are always impressed. They ask me "how long have you been here?" When I respond with "three months" it is always the same responses. "You're fast at learning Marshallese" or "you really know Marshallese." I love these people and am so happy to be serving here.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Happy New Year! I had a great New Year's Eve to finish off a great holiday. It is crazy to think I have been out as long as I have. It is really strange how fast time goes by here. I think the time goes by so fast because of the time you think of serving and thinking about others rather than yourself.
New Year's Eve the Delap had a ward party that apparently went all night to 7-8 the next morning. Sadly we weren't able to go to the party for long but the Elders help to make the BBQ for it. Elder Lesser and I were on my way to a lesson when the Bishop drove by and he said "get in the car we are going to cook the chicken and sea turtle." I told him "we have another lesson but will come right over." After our lesson we walked over to the Bishop's house and we missed the actual killing of the sea turtle. We did get to help cook the turtle as well as BBQ all the chicken for the ward party. Cooking the turtle was pretty cool, we missed seeing all the way it's prepared but to cook it you first make a big hole and start a fire. After the fire has died down you but the turtle in with some breadfruit and cover the whole thing with palm tree leaves. It takes about 4 hours to cook but was definitely worth it. Turtle does not taste that great, it's kind of like a dry salty meat.The rest of my week was good I transferred areas and now work with Elder Angilau in Rita. Elder Angilau is one of the coolest guys ever- he's a Tongan from Seattle and I am really excited to be working with him. My new area of Rita is different from my last area. It is still in the city side of the island but I was downtown in my last area so it is much quieter out here. I am way excited to be working here. There is an island with about 100 people that you are able to walk to a low tide. Elder Angilau are talking about going to proselyte out there and just convert the whole island.I am just grateful to be out here serving a mission. It is hard at times but generally really great. The work out here is going well and it is such a cool experience to share my beliefs with so many people throughout the day. Love you all, thank you for the Christmas cards and all your support.