Monday, August 31, 2015

Ebon Month 7: Week 29 and 30

August 31

About ten more days here in Ebon. I have hit my year mark, so less than a year left. I got to take a little Marshallese boat to buy food at Toka. Days are slow but it's better knowing the end is in sight. 

Wednesday Russell and I kadkad'd to the other main island so Ayala and I could have food to eat. It was way cool because the kadkad is a tiny Marshallese tamarack canoe with the main part about a foot and a half wide, so pretty tiny. Usually only one person uses it but the max is two. We rode across the lagoon and it was pretty neat to see Ebon at a distance and to see more of the island. Toka has about 200 something people, just a little smaller than Ebon. It's a little disappointing that Tokay is too far away so we can't really do any work there. Toka only has the Protestant Church there and doesn't know about the Mormon Church too much. We now have food which is a lot better. Our flour isn't maggot infested. The store I went to in Tokay was out of flour but luckily they old us one of their own. 

Thursday, August 27th was my year mark so Ayala and I went to the uk to burn a shirt. Funny story, Emi and Russell borrowed Saratov Approach and Emi asked why in the movie the Elders got drunk and burned a shift. Crazy to think it's been over a year since you've dropped me off at the MTC. The year has been long at some parts but generally seems really quick. It just feels like I've been out here forever; I guess it's been more than half my time in the Marshall Islands. To be honest I was a little hesitant about leaving. I was a bit dubious about all of it and the months before I left were pretty hard. When i was taking the Book of Mormon classes I would unintentionally end up on anti-Mormon websites while I was doing homework and never read too much in the Book of Mormon (explains why I didn't do so well). However I new I had the responsibility to serve a mission and be an example to others. I have now read the Book of Mormon twice and I am currently reading it in Marshallese. I can now say without a doubt that it's true and the church is true. I never told you guys before because I didn't want you guys to worry. I would not have been able to be here if it weren't for your examples. Mother, I'll always remember that before I left you said, "I wouldn't be sending you if I didn't know this was absolutely true." It was very hard to leave but it was one of the best decisions I have made. I love you all and am thankful for all your love and support.

"I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." Alma 36:3

Elder Spencer Matthew Weenig

P.S. I still have not missed a week of writing to you or a day in my journal

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ebon Week 28: August 24

Yet another week in Ebon. I have finished the Doctrine and Covenants and there is absolutely no work to be done meaning I'm bored out of my mind and go more and more insane.

I'm not sure what to read now. I've read all the standard works. Along with all the scriptures I've read all those manuals as well as Presidents of the Church and Eternal Marriage manuals. I've finished Jesus the Christ, Miracle of Forgiveness, In Tune, Power to Become, Autuobiography of Parley P. Pratt, History of Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, besides countless Lioahonas and othe rbook I"ve read in the past month. I am grateful for how much time I have had to read the scriptures. Also really glad I have an iPod so I could read all those other books. The knowledge and understanding of reading Doctrine and Covenants alone is insane. To think where I was spiritually before Ebon, before my mission, is lightyears behind. The only problem is I don't have anything else to read or do. I'm reading the Book of Mormon in Marshallese. I'll probably reread the scriptures I'm just not sure because I feel like I've just read them all.

This week because of no investigators Ayala and I ahve been going around doing service and just going on jambos. Thursday we went to Anen Aetok with Emi and Russell and a few others. We dragged the boat-the one the Mexican guy floated up on, all the way to Ebon, Ebon. We went down at 10:00 and got home at 5:00 so pretty late day. Ayala, Russell and me dragging it in the water. Some parts of Iar have a lot of coral so my feet are all cut up. Wednesday Ayala walked down to the channel where all the boats come in. It was pretty cool the channel just has a big prop off and there was a bunch of birds fishing at the time. Because of all that I've gotten pretty dark here.

Speaking on the phone with Majuro Tuesdays is useless. I try to tell them I'm insane but they don't listen and tell me I'll be fine. I guess it is just two and a half more weeks so I guess I can keep sitting around. Luckily we do have some movies to keep us sane. Don't worry, they are Disney and church movies. It's fun to watch The Other Side of Heaven because of how simlar it is and picking up on things only people in the outer islands understand. A lot of times Ayala and I just quote the Disney movies to each other. Both of us are just insane. There was a fishing boat and everyone said it had food on it. Sadly, it had nothing and I'm just hungry most of the time. I checked and the scale at the airport said I had lost 10 pounds.

Well I'm fine. I'm learning patience and relying on God. I now know what it's like to be stuck on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere. Miss you guys but on a positive note it will be a very short time when we Facetime in September until Christmas.

With love,
Elder Weenig

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ebon Month 6: Weeks 26-27

August 10th

September 10th. That is the day The Mission Office told me that both Elder Ayala and myself will be leaving Ebon. We will see...I'm not sure I can do another month here I feel like I already lost my sanity. The work here is not going at all. The three worthy members (Amy, Russell, and Mercy) will all be leaving on the boat in the upcoming week. Very few people come to church. I have lost my mind to add onto that. I cannot sleep anymore, I'm irritated all the time-it's like every single noise gives me a headache. I feel all the time like people are screaming at one another, children yelling, dogs barking. Nelly who lives not even give feet away just got a tiny puppy who cries all the time and also has another dog who's always barking. The people around us always yell at their children to come and that they'll beat them. I am exhausted but then when I try to sleep I am unable. The majority of last week I was woken up Jeluke repeating my name over and over, "Weenig, Weenig...Weenig," asking to use our bicycle. At this point Ayala and I don't do weekly planning much less daily planning because it's too depressing. There's no one to see on the island and I need to get off.

Mercy, one of our members is planning to go to Majuro so she can then travel to go to the temple in Hawaii. She will be coming back to Ebon but probably not until next year. Amy and Russell are planning to emigrate to Sacramento. One of Amy's brothers lives there and both want to be there and prepare to go to the temple. Because our members will be leaving I see no point ot have Elders still here because there will not be anyone at church. I am really glad that the members are preparing for temple blessings but once they are gone I'll lose my mind even more.

Things weren't so bad last week. I think hearing the news Tuesday stressed me out. I was expecting to leave soon and then find out I'll be here another month. A lot of missionaries are going home and we don't have enough English speakers in the upcoming intakes. I am guessing by the end of 2015 there will only be 20 some elders in the Marshall Islands. For that reason, a few of the outer islands will also close down. It is bittersweet knowing Ebon will not have elders for a while but the work for now is done the investigators and members who worked are reaping the benefits. In a way it's also symbolic that those members who strived gained the benefits while those who did not have nothing. Like the 10 virgins, only 5 were prepared to go greet the bridegroom.

I am trying to figure out for what reason I'm still out here but I can't. I know that people are blessed for enduring tribulation. I am reading in the Doctrine and Covenants and see that theme time after time. However it's been too long out here. Most elders only got to outer for 4 months. I'm planning to come back sooner but we will know Tuesday when I ask. I guess whatever is the will of God.

Elder Spencer M. Weenig

P.S. My mission was planning to bring me back to Majuro and fly directly to another island of Ujae (I'm a little relieved).

August 17th

Still out here in Ebon. I feel like I've been here so long I don't know what to do. My sanity is gone and to be honest I don't see a point in writing this letter. I do remember when I was being set apart the Stake President said I should share the good things as well as the bad.

I figured I've hit the worst part and that it can only get better. The plane is starting to fly in Ebon again, this week there was the first one in over a month. The boat that's supposed to have a lot of people coming back on it and food isn't here yet. It was supposed to be here last week and there's no news about it. Ayala and I have run out of a lot of food (flour, soy sauce, oil) and so now in a day I'll have rice and tuna in one meal an dramen the other. There's no one to study with. We've told the investigators that to continue studying they have to start coming to church. That anti-Christ I told you earlier about flew out so we have people at church again. Earlier today I had Toujen, on of the less actives, asking about him going to the temple. He asked if he paid tithing if he could go. I replied that he needs to clean up his life-come to church, marry his girlfriend, etc. I guess it's good he understnads temple blessings but he doesn't even understand basic stuff. Because lal Marshallese are Christinan they know what they shoud be doing but continue to live in sin. I feel like I need to shake the dust off my feet towards these people.

My patience is lost with almost everyone. Ayala has been especially irritatin and is kind of rude. He'll ask me why i do things a certain wasy or corrects bme because it's not his wasy or how he would do. Basically the kid is very stubborn. Companions on the outer islands are a lot tougher. I Majuro there's P-days, exchanges, things to do even. Here it's you and your companion and that's it. I'ts almost a contradictin grelatinoship because your companion is your best friend ut also the one tha tcan drive you craziest.

I'm hungry and tired of eating the same things and ma ready to be in Majuro whre I don't have to worry about church, can eat more kinds of food, and can email you guys.

In Doctrine and Covenants 103:12 "For after much tribulation as i have said unto you in a former cmmandment, cometh the blessing." I know these expreiences are making me strong, helpin gbuild my character and be more Christlike. I know I am blessed but stressed.

Love, your insane child,
S. Weenig

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ebon Week 25: August 3: Pigs, Antichrists, and Sharks

Ao Baamle Im Ro Mota

The week was shark fishing, getting Ayala's pig, and dealing with an anti-Christ.

So last Thursday some Marshallese Pastor from Oklahoma flew in. He's been holding sermons and feeding people to hear him speak. The pastor told Amy and Russell if they convert to his church he will buy them an engine. He also claimed to heal Catherina, telling others that the blessing we gave was invalad, from her sicknesses by praying with her. I addition to that he states he has a medicine that Jesus had put on his body before he was buried, saying it's in the Bible. Basically, the man is acting like he owns the place. Ayala and I were talking about him with Jola, the island's only other Melchezidek Priesthood holder who's less active, about all of it and it was great conversation. He really understands the gospel and scriptures he's just not going to church-it's really sad.

The pig that Ayala bought nearly two months back we went and grabbed this week. For awhile it's bee with a group of pigs over at a guy named Sher's house. However, when we went to his house this week he told us Mercy got it. We later checked with Mercy and she didn't have it, lying straight to our faces. We got it back with the help of Russell and it is now safely tied up to the tree behind our house.

Tuesday morning both Ayala and I are studying and Nelly comes and aksi if we can help her with her net containing a 6 foot shark. Ayala and I just look at each other and change really fast to go out and see the shark. We all go over to her fishing net and although the 6 foot shark was gone there were a few decent sized ones, one of them is still alive. So we take them over to Nelly's house and I have to take over the live one. It was almost dead but moved around every once in awhile. It was very heavy. I ate shark again this week and still don't like it-it's just gross. Although I heard bigger sharks are tastier.

Honestly, all of the investigators are not really progressing. Anije is our only investigator who comes to church but still needs to get married. I'm a little ready to be off Ebon. I love the people here but I am just ready for a/c and food as well as communicating with you guys.

While reading in Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness, I came across a quote by Marcus Aurelis, "a wrongdoer is often a man that has left something undone, not always he that has done something." Kimball goes into talking of sins of omission versus comission with the majority of the member's sin being not doing what they should. I strongly believe because we are blessed with the true Church of Jesus Christ we have to share the knowledge and blessing of The Resoration.

Love you,
Elder S. Weenig