Happy Birthday Alex! Have a good one and don’t let Jade eat all your cake!Well this week was really hard but went surprisingly well. On Monday I started to fell kind of sick, like I had that gross little tickle/swollen throat feeling. So after we played soccer in the scorching sun I felt completely exhausted and had a pretty bad headache. The next morning I woke up and could barely move. Wednesay was even worse and my voice was gone so it was really hard for people to understand my Yapese because my voice was just cutting out and really quiet. Thursday I was out of my mind but could function a little bit better although my voice was pretty much non-exsistant. andFriday and Saturday have been better but my nose will not stop running. A lot of people have had this flu and it has just been making its rounds. But.. I survived! I taught everyday and Sister Calder was basically my slave just driving me, cooking for me, and talking for me when my voice wouldn’t work. I am really lucky she took care of me! I went out everyday and did all my studies and even woke up/ went to bed on time it was just a little bit more difficult. I just laid in bed and slept during both lunch and dinner breaks. But again, I survived!Some really good things happened this week, the Lord really did bless our efforts! Our fav investigator, Hilary, disappeared after Christmas and we finally found him! We also found out that he has a wife. They are custom married but are going to be legally married! He is still on date to be baptized and his wife is too! I am so excited for them to go to the temple together!We also started seeing Mark again, I don’t know if you remember him but we taught him when we first got here. We finally just put him on date as well.! And this other kind of young guy name Mo’on who came to church on Sunday! I am really excited for February!We went to see Mary this week and are going to start working with her and her family. I mean I respect peoples agency but she will be baptized in February. She is super awesome. We got a call from her on Saturday and she asked us to help her and her family with “cleaning the garden” which is really different in Yapese culture. We hiked up into the forest and just started cutting down all the bushes and small trees. Then we started burning the base of the trunks of the huge trees to clear an area for an old Yapese lady to start her garden. Then we hiked even further back to collect some copra. We swung on these fancy little vines and they call the vines the Yapese word for these vines are “Tarzan” haha we even got a 40 year old man to do it. Score! Then we drank some coconuts, cut some copra and headed back. It was super fun. I also got a gaping hole in my thumb from cutting so many trees with my machete (sipo) because I’m not used to it. I can hardly move my thumb now. On the path up to the garden we saw this huge WW2 Japanese gun that is just left and hidden there. So many cool random WW2 things here that people don’t care about. (Picture Below) Also the picture of forest and ocean is my entire area… it looks big but its not. This island is 10 miles long and 4 miles wide so don’t let the picture fool you.I ALMOST FORGOT (Sister Calders family will love this and Sister Calder is sorry she forgot to write this in her email)… This week the funniest thing happened. We were walking down this little stone path around 6pm. It was Sister Calder then me, then our member named Tini. I was trying to text our Zone Leaders when all of sudden I hear the loudest bloody mary scream ever. Well actually it went like this… “Ahh… AHHHHH….AHHHLKSJO EIUH OEFLIO EIFHIOEJHF OWEIHF IOWEFHIOWE HFIO” and I look up and Sister Calders shoe is FLYING in the air into the thick bush and I’m just staring at her. Then I just can’t control myself and start laughing hysterically. Sister Calder is just yelling as quietly as she can that a huge spider was on her leg–spiders are one of her biggest fears–and was just so freaked out. Tini was trying to find her shoe in the bush but it was long gone. So we had to drive home and get her a different set a shoes. She was so shaken up that I had to drive but it was totally worth it.Alright love and miss you guys!Sister Stevens
1. Sister Calder is a language master!!
2. We taught the family of the lady next to Sister Calder but they are in the Elder’s area so we don’t get to see them anymore
4. Community House
5. Sister Calder and the biggest gourd anyone on earth has ever seen
6. Elder Li-Khau running away from Elder Taylor.. camera shy?
That means: Merry Christmas!
Well this week has been nothing short of crazy! I don’t know if I said this last week but we have been dropping a lot of our investigators that we have been teaching for a while and so we have been a little bit low on people to see but we found a couple new people and have gotten a few referrals. But we finished and this week will be really good, I can feel it!
All things poultry and beautiful. We had our Church Christmas party on Saturday and our District President asked Sister Calder and I to make 20lbs of Chicken… great. We were up until midnight thawing, cutting and marinating the meat. We were so tired on Saturday! But our BBQ chicken turned out pretty well, I think everyone liked it! Kind of funny because it was a District Activity which means both branches on Yap were there and I think 2/8 leaders in both the District and branches showed up. The District President, and both the Branch Presidents didn’t come.. it was still really fun just also disorganized.
So here’s the bad news: We were supposed to have 3 baptisms this week but we didn’t get a single one. The baptism was supposed to be at the activity but we just didn’t get everything in order before. So what happened was we are baptizing a part-member family and the Francis/Memzie was going to baptize his wife and two kids. I thought he was a Priest but I was wrong.. he had only ever been ordained a teacher. So he got sustained yesterday at church and his family is all ready to go next week! I am so excited! And I will help them get to the temple in a year! They weren’t too disappointed and are really excited for next week!
On Sunday Sister Calder and I rode the bus! Every week we get more and more people. First week there was only one person on the bus, next week 7 and this week almost 20! This is the first time in Church history that they have allowed a branch to have a bus. So we are like the trial people and if it works then they will start implementing it on the other islands. So pray that we can keep seeing large success!
Well I will be skyping home in just a few days and I can’t wait to talk to my family! Love you all and I hope that you have a great week!
1. Jermaine.. One of the kids getting baptized this week haha first double chin picture he has ever taken. Those pictures never get old to me!
2. Chicken Party!…gross, I know.
Tibinaw nge pi fagar, the Christmas season is flying by! I’m kind of grateful for that this year because I haven’t had much time to think about family, snow, or anything like that.
I’m going to need some extra prayers this week though because we were supposed to have 3 baptisms this week and I’m not sure.. we might have to postpone them a week. Which is good because they will be more prepared but sad because I’m selfish and was really looking forward to this week. Mary and her son Germane will probably still get baptized this week which is amazing. She gave up betelnut, started going to the institute classes, and just has a light in her eyes now. Their family started to try and do a family night every week and they are looking forward to the temple. Her husband has also been working on getting worthy so that he can baptize his wife and two kids. There youngest daughter is 8 so it won’t count for us but I couldn’t be happier!
Last Tuesday when we were in Guam we got to go to Guam’s training with Elder Whiting of the 70. So in one month I got to meet with two members of the 70, lucky girl! I really loved what he taught about being obedient, loving the people you serve, and applying Christ’s Atonement into our lives and more importantly the lives of our investigators. We had subway for lunch which was pretty miserable but when you are starving and have to sit for another 3 hour long training you just eat it fast and have a couple mints afterwards. Haha I live on Yap but I’m still petty about fast food. I also got to see Sister Bradford my MTC companion and it was cool to catch up again. We are in the same mission but are having very different experiences.
This week we were teaching one of our investigators named Hilary and we taught him about Word of Wisdom and hopefully he starts to give it up but we got him to give us his bag of betelnut. I mean honestly it’s not that big of a sacrafice because he can just climb a tree and get more for free but we still felt pretty good about it. He is also starting to read the the Book of Mormon and I feel like he does have a desire to learn more.
Well there are only 8 missionaries on this little island so feel free to send me spiritual thoughts, sciptures, and any other advice and stories that might help me, especially return missionaries! This week we had some of our busiest days and slowest days but there definitely is a special spirit here because of Christmas!
Can’t wait to talk to you in just over a week! One more letter home and then we will get to talk!
Love and miss you!
1. Is it Christmas? Let’s look in our fridge…
2. Singing Christmas songs with the Bondog kids (I’ll just take pictures since I can’t sing!)