Monday, June 29, 2015

Ebon Week 20: June 29


There is now an English class Ayala and I are teaching, we learned how to make breadfruit chips, also I continue to get a little more insane gradually.

This week has been fun but more and more people keep flying out to Majro so there's even less people to talk to. It kind of sucks; I've asked quite a few people to study but if they don't want to they will just hide and I've basically done finding on the whole island. Also teaching Primary sucks because the kids don't even listen; in Sacrament I've talked about every topic I could think of. I guess it will only be another month until the boat returns and members are back. It's hard I realized I've been here now 138 days in Ebon. It's difficult to just pushing and working we only have a little bit of investigators and I've talked to everyone in Ebon.

There are some investigators doing well mainly Murica and Camila. In our most recent lesson Murica really opened up to us. She told us how she really wants to come to church but she was the one who started PNJ on the island. Murica thinks if she leaves it the Church will be shut down. She also told us how the man, Zebedee she's living with is not her husband and wants to change. I love studying with her-she's attentive and asks a lot of questions. She is one of the nicest people; for Father's Day she gave us soap and mosquito coils. Camila is also doing well. She is coming to church regularly and has a strong faith in Thomas S. Monson and is continuing in reading from the Book of Mormon and building her faith by studying. Although we have a few investigators a lot are doing well.

About the English class it went well and Mercy, Anije and Nelly came. Ayala and I taught them about the alphabet and a few other things. It is pretty fun to teach English and watch them try. Most Marshallese don't knkow too much English but they joke around in English so they know a little bit. We're hoping the English class will be a good finding tool.

This week also had some funny stuff. One day we're talking to this one guy working on something and found out he's building a bathroom he says, "jikin Kubwe, Rimajol Re Ba Kubwe, Ripelle Re Ba Shit." Basically Marshallese call it Kubwe, Poop: Americans call it shit. The guys said it in the funniest way. Also Ayala and I have been eating a lot of spam and one night we made spam burgers and cut and fried up breadfruit so it would be like french fries. It sounds good but it didn't turn out great.

I know my time here is still pretty good but there's a quote that helps me keeping going by Orson F. Whitney, "no pain that we suffer, no trial wer experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All we suffer and all we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable." Although it's hard here and it's testing to keep sane but all of it helps to improve and strengthen me. Just with all trials we need to bear and remember there is a greater outcome.

Love you,

Elder Spencer M. Weenig

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ebon Week 19: June 22

The week was way good; it went by fast. Most of the week nothing really happened. Tuesday and Thursday there was funeral stuff for Iroiu, and both Saturday and Sunday it basically rained for two days straight. The time with Ayala is going by way fast and I've just been content.

On Tuesday they buried the body and the whole island including people from Tokay came together. Also, a plane came and grounded for the day to bring the Iroiu's kids and the Marshallese President flew in. So I've met the President of the Marshall Islands but it was really whatevs. Thursday they did the 'edak' where the Iroiu's children flew in again. The first funeral I've been to is a Marshallese one. Both those days they flew in food and ate "American" food which is basically just the food I ate in Majuro (chicken, ham, potato salad) and on Thursday I drank a Coke-my first since February-except it was orange soda made in Malaysia so it wasn't that great.

Although Sunday was raining most of the day it didn't rain the whole morning and so Father's Day went well and Relief Society put together a little program. After church was over they had the men sit on one side of the room and then the women serenaded us and gave us strands of gum and Elder Ayala and I got Marshallese fans. After we just had a lunch of rice and tuna salad. It was really funny and right afterwards everything was finished it poured until late at night so I got a nice Sunday nap in.

We weren't able to meet with too many people this week but we started teaching Russell new member lessons. Amy flew out this week but should be back in the next week. It was way coold teaching Russell; we're getting him prepared to be ordained to the Priesthood. I am impressed-he has been reading the Book of Mormon through and is somewhere in Alma now.

One thing I came to realized from reading the Book of Mormon is understanding damnation better. In Mosiah, King Benjamin refers to hell as fire and brimstone. However what I realize is that is how he is trying to describe the pain people have, that self destructive guilt. Because the only people who go to hell are those who know the truth and deny it just how bad they feel and how we need to endure and avoid those things. It also speaks a lot of service and one verse and one verse pointed out that we can see those less fortunate we sometimes think they brought it upon themselves. We must try to give and help and always try to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith said that Jesus Christ is the center of our religion; everything else is appendages. That the greatest commandment is to love God and serve him an dlove our neighbors. We must strive to follow Christ's example and love everyone as our brothers and sisters.

Hope all is well. Miss you all.

Elder Spencer Weenig

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ebon Week 18: June 15

Good news! Both Amy and Russell were baptized and confirmed this week. The Iroiu (Lord) of Ebon passed away. Work is going well and I may have begun to go insane.

Amy and Russell: Rusell hadn't smoked or broken The Word of Wisdom since we blessed him and he felt he was prepared to get baptised. It has been a neat experience to find them and study with them from brand new investigators to Ebon's recent members. I had the opportunity to baptize them in the ocean and it was a way cool experience. It was great to see them bear testimonies about the church; Amy shared how her life was just lost and pointless; Russell about the gratitude he had for everything. I am really proud of these two.

The Iroiu died late Saturadya night of Sunday morning so today and yesterday we have had funeral customs. Sunday people just went and sat outside of their house then today we went in and the coffin was sitting in the house and a few people gave a few remarks. It's expected for the burial the plane will ground so a few people can attend. I heard the President of the Marshall Islands might come. It's slowed work a little and until it's over the work here will probably not be happening.

I fear I may be going insane just because I've been here forever; it's now been 4 months. I don't know if I cold do another two months here. The island is tiny and I know everybody more of less in Ebon. It's bad. I've started getting annoyed with people, pretty mych all the people living around us. ONe of the members-Irena-I cannot stand at all. She's just annoying and always comes and asks for things. It sucks just work is going good but everything is so slow. Also, not having contact from the outside world is hard.

This week as I read in Jacob, I was able to understand the allegory of the olive tree. In Jacob 5:70-72 it reads "and it cam to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; the the servant went and did as the Lord commanded him and brought other servants; and they were few. And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: go to, and labor in the vineyard with all your might. For behold, this is hte last time I will nourish my vineyard, for the end is night at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come." This is God's last dispensation and we have to work hard to share the gospel and work diligently. I know I must work hard ot share this church and am obligated because I have been blessed with so much.

Love you guys,
Elder Weenig

P.S. Happy Birthday Mom

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ebon Week 17: June 8

This week I became addicted to spam, despite it wrecking my stomach. Amy had her baptismal interview and will be baptized this coming week, and investigators are doing well.

First off I was able to get the Conference Liahona so I've been reading all those good talks and it's way cool President Haynie is a member of The Seventy now. Reading the talks makes me miss watching them at home and eating good food but I guess it's better in some ways because I'll read the women's talks instead of falling asleep.

We actually had baptismal interview for both Amy and Russell; they're really good and ready but Russell still needs to quit smoking. Elder Ayala and I gave him a priesthood blessing and he says he hasn't smoked since. Hopefully in his follow up interview all will go well and he'll be baptized in a little bit. Amy and Russell told us the story about the guy from Mexico getting washed up and how they were the first ones to see him. First, the guy sees Russell and gets really scared and starts running away puking and Russell is trying to get him to stop. Then Amy, "sacrificing her life", runs up to him and calms him down and they tried to communicate with him, but neither the Mexican or Amy and Russell speak English. When Amy told us that story she related herself to be the Good Samaritan. She said she first thought it was a spy coming to check out Ebon the share information with Muslim terrorists. I told her The Marshallese don't have to worry-especially the people of Ebon. I am really excited for those two-they're my favorite.

Other investigators have been good. Murila studied twice on Sunday. One lesson we studied with her at noon and she sat in on Imita's lesson that night. Murila asks a lot of good questions, is really excited and actually reads her Book of Mormon. Camila started the Book of Mormon and come to church. All of the rest-Anine and Bahn and Imita are doing well just not too much progress with them.

Church is a lot smaller here now; we had 20 yesterday and only on worthy adult church member which means Ayala and I will have to teach most classes and share most Sundays in sacrament. It will be fine it's just until the end of summer and I'll be gone from Ebon before then.

One of my favorite quotes from Conference is from Nelson Mandela: "I'm no saint-that is, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying." I have come to the knowledge of what enduring to the end really is-it's not just doing what's right and keeping the commandments but rather to constantly improve oneself. The goal in this life is to follow Jesus Christ's example and become like him; we can achieve this by mastering ourself and being in tune with The Spirit-always pondering what we can do better.

Elder S. Weenig

P.S. I'm starting to get sick of the food again (rice, ramen, and tuna everyday)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ebon Week 16: June 1st

This week may have been the most uneventful week in my mission. The ship came so everyone has been doing Kawainini and I was sick.

Wednesday I started to get sick and it just got progressively worse throughout the week. Wednesday morning I woke up with a headache, a temperature, and just sore body but I was still able to work. By Friday and Saturday I couldn't even get out of bed. My body ached too much to move and I basically laid there for two days. It's all good; I'm fine now. I got chickengunia, a bug that is transmitted through mosquitoes.

The ship was here all week so we had a few new people come. Everyone was busy getting work done so our work was pretty slow.

Not too much else. I'm good. I hope all is well with you all. This week has pretty much been a blur.

I love you,

Elder Weenig