Monday, May 25, 2015

Ebon Week 15: May 25, 2015

It was nice to get everyone's letters and especially all the little cousins. Elder Ayala flew in this week and I'm stoked to be working with him. Also this week the school had graduations, Amy and Russell got married, and I ate sea turtle.

First, Amy and Russell's Marriage happened very quickly. They've been wanting to get married for awhile but they decided Tuesday to get married the next day. The decision was made quickly because Elder Wilson has the authority to marry people. In the lesson Tuesday, Amy told us she want to marry Russell but he has to give up smoking first; but, she was saying how she'll stop drinking coffee after they're married. It can be hard; Marshallese people have this mindset that they'll start obeying commandments, that quitting smoking and drinking coffee is easy after they get married or baptized. I basically just called Amy out and told her that if she thought that, then they will never get married. They were going back and forth on their decision but they got married this Wednesday and are really happy.  Sunday we dropped by and they told us, "We want to be baptized next Sunday." They both still have to give up things but it's fun to see how excited they are.

School got out here recently and the Marshallese have huge graduation ceremonies for the kindergarteners and 8th graders. Both times the Elders got put at the main table and had designated seats. Its cool to only be 18 but have a similar position to that of the other pastors and church leaders. Wednesday at the main ceremony we were given plates of food that were huge and way heavy. The kids who graduated performed songs and it was pretty funny because they sang both Marshallese and English.

All of the investigators are doing well. I started recently with another couple, Zebedee and Murica. Imita told us how she saw Toni reading the Restoration pamphlet and Book of Mormon. She asked him, "what's that?" and he responded, "nothing, just a book." Imitate is progressing really well and hoping Toni continues to open up. The rest of the investigators are well. This upcoming week will be interesting because the boat for summer will be leaving and coming.

Ayala is the best; love the kids. It's nice to talk to someone and enjoy working with him a lot. Wilson was good but just a little socially awkward and was really keen to follow the schedule. I actually changed his clocks 10 mi9nuts back so I'll have time to finish my personal study rather than starting right at 9-. This week has been really good and I am loving it in Ebon. I started the Book of Mormon this week, especially after just finishing the Old Testament. It's great how easy and simple it is to understand. I love how the Book of Mormon helps to fill in the cracks of the Bible. For example, how reading Nephi's vision helps me better understand the visions of Ezekiel and John because they are similar. I've always know the Book of Mormon is true but just reading it strengthens my knowledge and testimony of it.

Elder Spencer M. Weenig

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ebon Week 14: May 18, 2015

It's killing me not to be able to communicate. I feel there's quite a few things that have happened. This week was pretty much a blur. Elder Wilson still hasn't flown out...

This week everything was good for Wilson to fly out and we heard the airplane flying in. So Thursday morning we cross the lagoon and see the airplane fly in. All of the passengers get off and then we realized Elder Ayala never flew. We found out the next day that he missed the flight. I felt way bad for Elder Wilson and I was a little bummed because I am way excited to get letters and hear about things. However, today we heard that the plane is broken again. If it doesn't get fixed Wilson will still be here. It's hard to be with someone for so long-just over 3 months. Twenty four hours a day with the same makes it worse that Wilson is not that talkative or that interesting.

To be honest, this week sucked. It was raining and because Wilson was supposed to leave we spent quite a bit of time saying goodbye. We only had six lessons and then yesterday only 16 people attended church. Obviously, slightly depressing. Bahn has stopped coming to church and we haven't studied with him in almost three weeks. It's just kind of sad to see him slipping and little by little stop talking to us. Amy and Russell weren't at church, but they are progressing well. It's just sad, I feel like I haven't helped convert anyone. I guess this is the longest I've been in an area and I'm trying to be optimistic about everything but I feel like I should be having more success.

I other news, I finished The Bible. I use the institute manuals in my reading and so I'm getting a lot of information. Especially recently about all the prophecies concerning Armageddon, the Second Coming. It's nice here in Ebon because I have so much time to read.

This will most likely be the last letter you get until I return to Majuro in July or August so be sure to send the things I asked for.

Love you all

Elder Weenig

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ebon Week 13: May 11, 2105

Happy Mother's Day! Yesterday for church we had the children sing "Mommy's Homecoming" and gave all the women laundry soap. Also Wilson still hasn't flown out yet but will most likely this week. This week has been pretty much a blur but slow at the same time.

Yesterday after church Relief Society and a few of the other men went and celebrated Mother's Day with Nira, the 90 year old woman who lives behind us. Well, I guess she's 84 but still way old. We went and sang to her and danced and all the Marshallese customs. Afterward she serenaded us and gave us all mosquito coils, she also danced a little-so way funny to see. After all that we ate some food with some rice, gravy, and bread. It makes me so grateful for bread and how much of a delicacy it is.

Tuesday we had a ship come. It was way exciting for the island. Basically, everyone stops working, school is cancelled and work for the Elders is slower than usual. It wasn't too exciting because right now we have enough food and supplies and no candy came, but there is gum. However, all the Marshallese were pretty excited because they didn't really have any food.

I can't really tell you too much about the lessons because we only had eight this week. It's just been pouring almost all week. We were down at the Protestant event with all the West Side of the island-there's probably 300 people on the island of Ebon, with another 300 on the island of Toka and another 40 scatters across the other islands-the whole atoll of Ebon is 600-700, so it can obviously be pretty slow here. We've been wanting to go to Toka but all the boats are busy. Also, when studying with Anije she's not sure about marrying Bahn and might Uoloke so she can get baptized (sorry, Uoloke is throw). Sometimes I forget English words. With Imita we have been reviewing the Restoration. It's a lot more interesting because we can teach her more in depth things, like I was able to explain dispensations to her. What's cool about learning and teaching more about the Restoration is how it strengthens my testimony of knowing this is the only true church.

Everything is going good; surviving out here. Also, if I ended up being here for six months, this week is my halfway point. Hoping the plane will fly and you'll be able to receive all the letters and I'll be able to get news from you.

Elder Weenig

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

It's a little sad knowing I'm not able to call and not really speak to you until August at the latest, but I love you and hope you can feel my love and have a good Mother's Day. I hope work is going well and it will be nice to hear about everything. The bishops Delap and his wife are actually in Utah now so she can give birth. Just to let you know in case you see a Marshallese couple. Actually, there's quite a bit of Marshallese in the West Valley and also in Cost Mesa.

I hope you're enjoying your new kitchen and that when I get back you can bake me a bunch of food. I miss communicating with you and want you to know how grateful I am you are my mom. I've shared how you told me, "I wouldn't let you go unless I knew this church was absolutely true." I don't know what else to share because we haven't communicated in a while. But know I love you and appreciate your sacrifices. Also share my love and appreciation with my other moms: Grandma, Rachel, Mo.

Love, your son,
Elder Spencer M. Weenig

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ebon Week 12: May 4, 2015

Well this week Wilson didn't end up flying out so it seemed pretty long. I feel bad for Wilson though; he's going a little insane because there is really nothing to do. Today I probably read The Bible for a sold five hours straight.

First off, the beginning of the week was just hot-just miserable-and no one wants to do anything in the heat. Tuesday we heard Wilson was all good to fly out but then on Wednesday we hear the plane is broken. Way awkward Wednesday because we didn't find out until 3:00 so Wilson had spent the day packing. Also we had a going away party but it was kind of half-assed. Some people came and others didn't and just an interesting assortment of food that was made before the island knew about  the plane. All of it was pretty depressing. Also, it was just sad to see how bummed out Elder Wilson was because he was way ready to leave.

This week was pretty good. What's funny is just the way Marshallese people are. For instance, this one kids made a comment about my veins. I like didn't understand him him and he starts telling me I don't know Marshallese; it was a little annoying being told that just because I don't know the word for vein. What can also be irritating is there are quite a few English words that Marshallese use, but when I use an English word or someone's name and they don't understand. Like I'll say, "Have you seen Anderson?" They look at me super confused and I'll have to say a name a few times just because I don't say the name like a Marshallese person. Another time, I asked when someone's birthday was and people will be just looking at me and I'll say it super slow, then they'll be "oh, birthday" and try and correct me how to say it even though it's an english word. Also, this week we went over and was helping a member, Mercy. So I was "danke" which is shredding the coconut to cook. It's hard to explain in english. Anyway, I was doing it pretty slow and this old lady, Betty, was hitting me and telling me I wasn't doing it right. I was just laughing and told her, "I know, I'm practicing."

Church attendance was good-35 people this week; lessons for the whole week was 13. So it's good; work is going slowly but surely. What's been a little disappointing is that we finally found out about Anije and Bahn and so they are all good to get married but are now saying they're not sure. Also, Amy and Russell are good but Amy keeps putting off starting to read The Book of Mormon. I was getting on her about that in a lesson-how she needs to start it and she's king of giving me excuses, and then Russell backs me up and he's just says, "Amy, you need to do it. Just read it." Other than that not too much is happening. We are working with a less active, Miriam. It's interesting she was baptized in elementary school. It was just her that got baptized too-like to friends or family. So you will hear about more of that.

Elder Weenig

P.S. Got the news I have quite a few letters so I'll get those when Ayala flies in. So excited to her from you all.