Well President and Sister Zarbock have been here the last couple days which is fun but always really stressful. We had Yap District Conference on Sunday and then Zone Conference yesterday. District Conference went really well, all the talks were really good, the food was really local, and there were a ton of people there! So I logged on to my email and then Sister Zarbock and I had a pretty good conversation… that lasted for over thirty minutes and then President Zarbock and I had a pretty good conversation… that lasted another thirty minutes.. so I have to be quick today!
After the District Conference we went over to Levida’s house and talked to her about it to see if she liked it and after a minute she just started crying. She told us how she really loved the testimonies about how the gospel blesses families and she really wants that in her life. She is skeptical if it is really possible for her because her husband won’t get legally married to her. That is her only set back for her baptism. But she is a tough girl, she does not cry easily so it was super cool! I love that women!
This week I went on my first exchanges! Which was a little hard because since I am Sister Training Leader I was leading the exchange. It went pretty well! Sister Smith is already a good missionary! I think the extra week in the MTC really helps! But it was pretty fun to get to know her.
On Saturday we had a branch activity and we cleaned up all around the church. Before it started we went over to some ladies house and helped make local food and assort the individual plates. Then we went I whacked every bush (and person, jokes!) I could see with my sipo(machete)! And it was the best day ever because I drank 4 coconuts! That’s hard to come by in a drought!
We also helped the other Relief Society President plan the first relief society activity since I have been here and set up Visiting Teaching. I feel bad for all Relief Society Presidents because that was not an easy task. But we got it done.
Okay the pictures are of me and Sister Saimon, one is my “local mangos” (dried mangos) and her real local Yap mangos. The other is of her sleeping. She likes to sleep a lot!
And the other one is of me drinking a coconut and the guy pointing at me is Wuyoch, he is our Branch Mission Leader.
Love and miss you all. Have a good week!
Hey friends and family!
I’m learning Pompeian a little bit thanks to Sister Saimon. She loves it when I speak her language! It’s pretty funny, but Pompeian is a lot easier than Yapese!
Last Monday for P-day we went way up north (like 20 mins, haha not that far) into the Elders area for Elder Taylor’s birthday party. His Recent Converts made us some Chicken and Breadfruit. So good! We just hung out the whole time, nothing crazy. But it was fun!
On Tuesday we went to the restaurant where Presi works to get lunch and to see her. It was really fun, she got to sit with us and we shared a scripture. Then her boss called her over and the other Sisters called my phone and we just walked out and left… I FORGOT TO PAY! I can’t believe it still. So that night when I saw her I just payed her and it was fine but pretty embarrassing. Yesterday Presi got Confirmed and it was really cool! She is going to help our branch a lot and is a pioneer for outer island people in our area.
On Tuesday it rained SUPER hard, almost all day. But it is kind of funny because even rain like that doesn’t help our reservoirs, so it only helped the plants! I’m not really scared about El Nino. I think we are fine. Thanks for all the prayers though!
Tiff and Alex sent me a chalk pen in one of their packages and I whipped it out at our District Meeting and everyone freaked out. They loved it! But also everyone made fun of me. Everyone wanted to use it! Missionaries love funny things! Also the package I got from mom had little rubber CTR rings and almost every single person in my zone asked if they could have one. They were a hit.
On Friday we met with the Relief Society of Thol branch and I helped her plan out Visiting Teaching. It took us a long time. But we did it. She was supposed to announce it and get it started on Sunday… but she didn’t. So I will have to keep on her to make sure she does it. I always feel like my mom though when ever I help the Relief Society Presidents.
On Saturday the Zone Leaders had a baptism and it was so fun! We got an investigator there so we were allowed to go! When Jessica came out of the font she just started like waving her fist around and dancing and then put them over her head and said, “I did it!!!” it was really funny because she is soo shy! But I am really happy for her.
The Assistants are on island now and leave tomorrow. President comes this Sunday for our Yap District Conference on church. It will be fun to have both the branches together. So I might email Monday next week, but don’t be surprised if I email Tuesday.
Love and miss you all,
Picture 1- Found this “cool” pic of my Zone Leaders (Elder Herman, Elder Li-Khau) hahahaha
2- Elder Taylor’s Birthday party at his Recent Converts house (E. Taylor, E. Golightly, E. Palmer, Tyrese)
4-Jesmina taught me “The Gospel of Jesus Christ” so I let her wear my tag
5- Over 38 people on the bus yesterday!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! I hope you had an awesome day! I was craving Strawberry shortcake all day. I told Elder Taylor it was your birthday so he demanded that we take a picture. It says, “Happy Birthday Greg”
Thing week was pretty crazy. Lots of changes. Lots of miracles. Lots of sweat.
On Tuesday I had to say goodbye to Sister Calder in Guam.. Forever! Or until I go home. She leaves May 20th. I will really miss seeing her. She really misses Yap, but she had 3 baptisms in one transfer in Guam! In Guam I met a Sister serving on Palau, she is the new Sister Training Leader. Her name is Sister Keetch and we got along really well. So I attached a picture of her as well.
After we came to Yap on Tuesday we went to go see one of our old investigators, Mark, because it has been a long time. he told me that he quite smoking!! I freaked out! It might have been kind of creepy. But I was so happy! He told us so many times that he had been trying to quite for like three years! So now we are going to try to work with him more so he can finally get baptized! So many miracles are happening on Yap right now.
Since there are two companionship’s and only one car we have to share. So this week we walked a lot! My face got pretty burnt even though I put on like four layers of suncreen. I told one of the new trainees that I have gotten whiter on my mission because of how much sunscreen I wear and she just looked at me and said, “That’s a little embarrassing.” She is pretty direct. It’s okay I like to wear sunscreen. But it is hard because we can’t see as many people when we walk. It will be a good finding tool though. The only problem is at night because we don’t walk at night. But I think everything will work out.
The night we got back from Guam the Zone Leaders gave me my package! I was so happy! It was 2:30am but I still just opened it alone! I was excited! Thanks for everything in it! I loved the notes, rings, food, everything!
Alright now to my new companion Sister Saimon! I love this girl. She is crazy. I am pretty much fully immersed in Micronesian culture now. But she tells me a lot about Pompeian. Even though it is an island it is a lot different than Yap. Even she is going through a little bit of a culture shock. She wears tights and a cardigan every day because she doesn’t like to show a lot of skin for some reason. I melt in my t-shirt dress so I don’t know how she does it. I am trying really hard to teach her English and Yapese which is harder than it sounds. I am just trying to be as positive as I can so she won’t get discouraged. She is really nice though. I am buckling in for a long ride. I don’t think I am getting a new companion any time soon. We have fun and talk as much as we can. Having four sisters on Yap is another thing to add to the list of miracles.
Now for the best part of my entire week: PRESI GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! Presi is one of my investigators that I have taught since I October. It has been a long, hard journey with her but she finally did it! She was really happy! The other sisters are her missionaries so I was just kind of a side show but I was just so happy all day! Hard work pays off. I went over to her house after the baptism to talk to her about it and she was just telling me how much she misses me as her missionary or whatever and said that every time the new sisters walk into her room she says, “Where is Sister Steven?” and they tell her every time I only teach Yapese people now. She is super funny. But I love and miss teaching her a lot. She has changed a lot and definitely has a special light in her eyes now. I am excited to see her keep progressing. She is already excited about the temple. I know I am leaving her in good hands with Sister Bradford and Sister Smith. Presi also weaved me an awesome outer island skirt. I’ll send a picture home next week!
There has been some more rain here. Not enough to really make a difference but it was pretty stormy last night. Hopefully it will be enough to keep us missionaries on the island. El Nino.
Yesterday we went to church in the Thol branch, we are going to start trying to get Primary going. They only ever have primary when we go there to teach it. It is fun but hard because the kids don’t sing the songs enough to really know them. Hopefully we can train someone from the branch. It would be fun for everyone!
I have been kind of a stress ball this week even though there have been so many miracles and good things. I am having fun and loving it out here but sometime I get a little too overwhelmed. But during my prayers I have really felt the comfort of the Holy Ghost. It has been a big blessing for me. I am really grateful for the gift of prayer and the Holy Ghost.
Hope all is well!
Thanks for the emails, thoughts and prayers.
I really love and miss you all!
Nuther MCL, nuther trip to Guam nuther short email.
This week has been pretty under and overwhelming. We left Tuesday night for Guam which is rough as always and then had all sorts of training meeting and driving people around since I have a license.
On Thursday I picked up my cute new companion. Her name is Sister Saimon from Pohnpei! She was in the MTC for 9 weeks learning English so she is pretty good. But she is super sweet and I am really excited to be her companion for the rest of my mission.
Then we just went around teaching in Guam areas which is a lot different than Yap! I almost got eaten by a viscous dog, not even joking I almost had a heart attack!! And we taught some fun Chuukese people. A little girl asked me: “Are you pregnant?” nope. So that was fun. But everything is going well.
Sister Bradford is training Sister Smith from Utah. They are back on Yap and hopefully they are killing it. But they didn’t answer when I called last night so I’m not sure.
The MLC yesterday went really well. Staying awake was a lot easier because I got more than 2 hours of sleep the night before! I’m really excited to go back to Yap and keep working hard! We talked a lot about teaching more simply, never feeling comfortable and setting high goals.
Sorry, no pictures this week because I can’t load them onto this computer. Lots next week!
Glad to hear General Conference was amazing, I won’t get to see it for about a month but I am really looking forward to it!
Love and miss you all!
This week has been pretty intense but it was so fun and we got a lot done! Last week I talked a little bit about El Nino, the hot wind current coming through and the drought. I didn’t really realize it was that serious until this week. They put up signs everywhere for it. Some Elders on Chuuke got taken off and put onto the main island for now. If there continues to be no rain we might be forced off the island as well. We got some 5 gallon containers of water and apparently there is supposed to be no more water by the end of April. So this week we fasted for rain, a LOT of rain! Never thought I would ask Heavenly Father for a typhoon, but here we are. I have the personal feeling that everything will be fine, so don’t worry too much.Jesmina (our Recent Convert) has been doing really well. She loves coming to church, she invited a less active girl to come with her and has helped us start teaching her friends. She is really solid. I really wish she was old enough to come teaching with us! Her grandma Matilda is getting baptized this Saturday. It is going to be a crazy day, but I am so excited. I am sure my entire email next week will just be about this upcoming Saturday. Oh funny story: So we were asking Matilda who she wanted to baptize her and she thought for a second and said, “What about that big guy, who told all those stories about fighting the sharks and family night?” And I immediately knew she was talking about Elder Li-Khau. He is one of my Zone Leaders and he is from New Caledonia, his family is a bunch of fishermen so he always tells us these super awesome stories about how him or his dad had to fight off sharks while they were out fishing. So he will be the one baptizing her!We started teaching some cute teenage girls in one of the elders areas and it has been pretty fun. They need girl support for a lot of reasons but I am happy to drive all the way to see them. I hope I can start getting their families involved and have some success over there. We put them both on baptismal date and every Friday we take them over to Thol Branch sports night which is so fun!Okay… I AM STILL SICK. Happy 3 month anniversary to this cold. It’s been fun having on and off headaches, fatigue, sore throat, and running nose. I am done complaining just thought I would mention it. I thought the meds from Guam would work but these last couple days have been a bit of a battle. Still happy and still kicking.The church produced an Easter video that we showed some less actives and most of our investigators and it was cool, I know that they really felt the Spirit. I love Easter time!We got to see Precy a lot this week. But it was kind of disappointing because she didn’t make it to church. She is still progressing though and I have faith that she will make her baptismal date. We went over to her house for her sons birthday party and shared a quick message. Her son, RP, was just walking around like a king with his bubble gum lei all night. She is starting to get more proactive about helping us teach some of her relatives which is really cool. And last night we went and watched the Restoration video with her and some other girls and after it was pretty cute because she walked us to our car to make sure no drunk guys would bother us. She’s a keeper.On Saturday we got to do Zone service. Lucy was the Elders convert. While she was getting baptized her cookhouse burnt down, I guess her dad was pretty upset so all the missionaries got together and we built another one for them! Haha pretty funny, but I am glad we could try to make it better!Oh yeah, our Chinese investigators gave us some of the BEST Chinese food! I was kind of freaking out. It made me miss China so much! But they were pretty impressed with my chop-stick skillz. Also we got Annie (she is Atheist) to pray. Actually, she asked to pray. It was a really genuine and heart-felt prayer. So I said the closing prayer and it was super simple and short but when I closed I opened my eyes and she said, “I think I want to try.” And it has been a really cool experience trying to help her understand Christianity. I love them!Happy Easter! Love you all!
Well the power went out today and just barely came back on so we don’t have a lot of time because P-Day is basically over. Sorry for the short emails.
JESMINA GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! And everything went according to plans, it was a great day! Also the Elders investigator named Lucy got baptized so double happiness! Jesmina is the cutest little girl and we are so excited to start working closer with her Titaw(grandma) to help her get baptized this month. We also got quite a few of our investigators there. I think we had 4!
Precy finally came to church on Sunday! After 5 months of working with her she came to church and loved it! She told us she felt so happy to finally be there and that after she left she just wanted to tell everyone that she went to church. She will get baptized April 10! That’s my girl so I’m super excited! She was one of our investigators at Jeminas baptism as well. She is doing so well and the gospel has been such a blessing to her. It is crazy how much this gospel and the Spirit can change people.
The Williams, a senior couple from Guam, were here this week talking about Family History. There aren’t a lot of records here on Yap to record things like that so I kind of forgot how important it is. I am excited to start teaching it more and helping our members and investigators get more blessing by serving their ancestors.
We had one of our Outer Island investigators make me a woven scripture case thing and I love it. Local style! Plus it keeps my little triple combination safe, which is always good.
There is a drought here on Yap right now. I guess El Nino is a pretty big deal. Just this week they put a ton of signs up to tell people to conserve water. I was talking to a lady that works as the reservoir and she said there isn’t predicted to have enough water until August. All the plants are dying including the coconut trees. I hope we make it! We need some Bamba over here!
I got another package from Alex this week! THANK YOU! It was much appreciated! Lots of candy and other good stuff. My favorite being my new water bottle. I also got a sweet letter from Michelle and TJ, it was good to hear from them as well. Oh yeah, and Sister Calder sent a letter and it was FULL of glitter. I literally got glitter everywhere, it was disgusting. But it was an awesome letter and I think she is doing really well on Guam.
Sister Bradford and I are just chugging along, having a good time and doing our best to help our investigators progress. So far we have been really successful. I love having her around! We have a lot of similar interests. Although I am a lot more sarcastic and sassy than she is she is still laughing and being patient with me. Thank goodness for patient companions!
Elder Whiting from the 70 came to Yap this weekend which was pretty cool! We got to have lunch with him and the Mnuw today. That was pretty cool! He is going to meet with the Presiding Bishop on Thursday, seems crazy to me! But he talked on Sunday and gave us some good advice as missionaries to remember to have dignity since we represent the Savior and not to get casual even though we are on a small island. I know it’s pathetic but it is harder than it sounds.