Monday, September 30, 2013

September 22, 2013, So Happy for a New Companion


This week had some ups and downs, which is pretty normal.  The weekend was pretty bad since my companion spent most of the time we really didn't work very much.  Or she just got mad at me when I tried to plan for a fireside that we had last night.  We hadn't really prepared very much for it, and we had to be there in about 1 hour, so I asked her to help me translate my part into Marshallese.  I ended up figuring it out on my own because she insisted that she take another shower...but it would have been nice to get her help to make sure I was saying things correctly.

Sis. Ieie, me, and Bertina (one of carolynn's daughters)

Anyway, I'm glad she's gone.  Her flight leaves for Hawaii this evening but she left Laura last night and she's in Long Island for the day.  The APs drove Sister Samuel, my new companion, over and they all stayed for the fireside and then took Sister Ieie back with them to Long Island.  Sister Samuel is really great.  She's from Vanuatu and she's really small and short.  She speaks French, Tout, Bislama, and English.  "Tout" is what she called "my language" I think it's a language that only some people in Vanuatu speak.  She also says she speaks some of her sister in law's language, but she doesn't know what it's called.  Sister Samuel has only been here for 4 months, so her Marshallese isn't great, but her accent is really good and she knows enough to teach and be just fine.  It's so nice having her as a companion because she knows we need to learn together and she's willing to help and explain things.

Sister Ieie left about half of her stuff and so the house is a mess.  We spent some time this morning throwing away old clothing, books, and papers.

Ieie, Kaka, Jimma Jolet, Bertina, and me
Jimma Jolet works as a policeman across the street from his house

One night this week Sister Ieie and I ate dinner with a family from Kiribati.  It was the best dinner I've had here.  We had yellowtail 3 ways, rice, bok choy (these are the people with the big garden), and jekamai.  Do you remember jekaro?  Jekaro is the coconut sap collected from the trees and jekamai is boiled down jekaro.  It gets to be a thick brown, sweet syrup, and then you dilute it with water to make a refreshing drink.  I like it a lot more than jekaro.  It has a slightly burnt taste.  It's really good.  They gave us a water bottle full of the concentrated stuff, so we've been drinking it a lot this week.  So, the fish:  one typed was fried, but only cooked halfway (which was intentional).  It was really tasty because it was really soft but still fried.  We had two types of sashimi.  The sashimi here is always in a sauce.  The first type was yellowtail in jekaro with little hot peppers.  I liked the spice, but jekaro isn't my favorite.  The second type was my favorite.  It consisted of coconut cream, curry powder, and lime juice.  Oh it was so good.  They make the coconut cream by chopping a waini (brown coconut) in half and scraping out the meat.  They then mix a little water with the waini and squeeze out all of the cream.  Sometimes they'll put it in a wet cloth to squeeze it out.  They usually filter it to make sure there aren't pieces of the shell in the cream.  They scrape out the meat using a piece of metal.  A lot of people have a little bench with a flat piece of metal sticking off one end, so they straddle the bench and scrape out half a coconut at a time using the metal bar.  I'll have to take a picture of it sometime.  The kiribati woman is going to make me a kiribati style shirt, so I need to get some fabric in town today.

Coconut Crab
I think I'm adjusting to the heat.  I've been getting really cold in our house.  What is 24 degrees Celsius?  When our AC is set to that I get really cold.  And most people (those that have the bishop's/clerk's office) is set much lower than that.  I think I've been here a while now that when I see someone's house I think to myself, "dang, that house is so nice," as opposed to when I saw it the first week I was afraid I'd get 4 diseases from just stepping inside.  
I made pizza this week!  That was fun.  It was only cheese pizza though because I forgot to get other things for it...and because a can of olives was so expensive.  
I got the package last monday!  Thank you!  I loved all of the balloon notes and the star charts (I have yet to use those because it's been so cloudy recently) and the treats.  The chocolate all survived.  As Sister Crane said, when she saw my package, "Aw, they love you.  The sent you photos and chocolate.  Wait...they sent you bob's mill?  They really love you."  So yes, thank you for the bran too.  The photos of Eliot and Linus are very cute.  

 The best garden on the island. This family from Kiribati gave Ellen some bok choy.

Ellen was excited to see such nice chickens in these pens
One day we went out and did service for a less active family.  They had a big field that needed to be weeded, and the weeds were about 4 feet high.  It was mid day, so it was blasted hot, and the four of us (the Laura elders came too) weeded for about an hour and half.  We used machetes, since that's what everyone uses here, so that was lots of fun.  I really need to try to find some work gloves in town because I always get blisters.  

Janet and Ellen after weeding

Bubu Jolet weaving baskets/ trays for the pacific forum
One thing I hate about the Marshallese translation of the book of mormon is that it's awful.  That's a good thing to hate, right?  Basically Marshallese doesn't have passive voice, and the whole book of mormon is in passive there are issues.  The translation is really bad because they basically just translated it word for word so much of it doesn't make sense in Marshallese.  A lot of Marshallese sentence structure is similar to english, so some of it makes sense, but whenever we find a verse we want to share we have to go read it and make sure it makes sense in the translation.  I wonder how many of the members have actually read the whole book.  I don't know if I'd have the patience to do that if I was Marshallese.  It must be pretty frustrating.  A lot of them have scriptures in english since some understand english, and so they get more out of the scriptures by reading them in english.
We had a RS picnic on Saturday.  It was supposed to start at 9 am, so of course it started at 2 pm.  There was so much food.  They had a huge plastic bucket full of raw chicken and it took them a couple of hours to grill it all.  Of course there were hot dogs (they're so gross), rice, breadfruit, pumpkin, and bananas.  

This is the kind of water tank that Ellen has for fresh water.
It catches rain water off of the roofs.
Alje is getting baptized this Saturday, so we're excited for that.  She lied and told us she was 25, but we just figured out that she's actually 32 (we were filling out her baptismal form).  I can't figure out how old people are here.  Everyone looks so young.  She's doing really well because she has a friend that's a member.  The focus of our fireside was about teaching members to do home teaching and visiting teaching, how to fellowship, and how to invite others to come to church.  We're hoping that people in the ward will start actually talking to investigators and welcoming them.

A baptism at the lagoon
Okay, I think that's all for now.  I'm so happy to have a new companion.  Things are already so much better.  I miss you all.  Thanks for your emails!  I'm sorry I don't have time to reply to all of them.

Sister Butler

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