Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 27, 2013, The Week Goes Much Faster When I'm Not Sick


It's been a pretty good week.  The week goes much faster and better when I'm not sick.  

On Tuesday and Wednesday we went to the mission home to watch conference. They have a bunch of couches in the home and they also set up a lot of chairs since there are about 45 missionaries that came. They had a computer set up to a projector, so the picture was nice and big. We used some really crappy speakers at first, and since I was still really congested at this point I couldn't hear very much. A few elders went off to get their can count on missionaries to have good speakers since they all listen to music all of the time.  I enjoyed Elder Holland's and President Uchtdorf's talks the most, but that's not really surprising. It was nice to have a break, but there were so many people in the house and I couldn't hear very well, so it was a bit uncomfortable at times.

 Ice cream sundaes at conference

Sister Seegmiller swears that garlic cures all sicknesses, so I tried making some garlic sandwiches this week. I just put butter and a chopped up clove of garlic on a piece of bread. They're actually pretty good, except that you then smell really strongly of garlic. My congestion is mostly gone now and my chest hurts just a little when I cough, so maybe the garlic helped.

I got some really cheap picture frames at a store in town last week so I could display some of my pictures in the house. I now have pictures of Linus and Eliot, the family, and friends in frames so I don't just have them in a stack on my desk.  

I made another big pot of lentil soup this week. We usually make a good lunch everyday and then I heat up a bowl of lentil soup and eat it with a grilled cheese for dinner. I'm excited to get some spices so the soup isn't so bland. 

I got a halloween/autumn themed package from LATE last week! I especially appreciate the jar of nutella, the fall stickers, and the ensign from last conference. We have yet to make the green jello or the jiffy mix, but I will think of Michigan when I make the jiffy mix muffins.  

On Saturday the Johnny family gave us a huge bunch of bananas! The type of bananas is called "jilubukwi" which means "three hundred." I thought maybe because there are supposed to be three hundred bananas on one bunch, but my dictionary says they're called that because of how plentiful they are on the island. Only the top bunch was yellow when we got it, and now that it's been hanging in my closet for a couple of days, most all of the bananas are yellow. They tied it to the rack on the back of my bicycle and on our way home whenever anyone would see us on the street they'd say "wow...pinana!"
Ellen and the bananas

We went home to drop of the bananas and to use the bathroom before we went out again. When we got on our bikes to leave the house the power went out in Laura and it was completely dark. I have a flashlight I hold while riding the bike, so we got that out and then we went to a shop to get some candles. We then visited a part member family and they were sitting eating in the dark, so we gave them a candle and sat and talked with them for a while. They gave us a fish for dinner.  We went home and lit a candle and planned for the next day. We were sad we didn't have any rice to eat with our fish, but then the power came back on and we were able to make rice!  Sister Samuel then skinned and cleaned the fish (she gets really mad that the marshallese people don't clean their fish). They usually just cook the fish whole and the eat the good stuff and leave the gut, but it's kind of gross. So she cleaned it up and fried it a little more. I looked it up in my dictionary, and it was a surgeonfish. It doesn't have any scales and it's a pretty ugly fish. But it was really tasty.


We're going to get some more candles since the power goes off so often. The power went off again last night when we were going to bed, and it was still off when we left the house today. We had water for some reason though. I guess because it's Monday and the water is turned on from the town on Mondays, but I didn't think that was attached to our house. Usually we don't have water when there's no electricity since the pump from the pontoon runs on electricity. I was grateful for a shower this morning.  

Roscoe was such a naughty puppy in church yesterday. I guess one of the Jolet kids brought him to church, and he started barking at another dog during Sunday school. I held him on my lap for most of Relief Society (they really need to let us take dogs to church in the US.  It makes church twelve times better) since Roscoe really loves me.  He's scared of most people and growls and snaps at them (does this sound like a Roscoe that you know?), but he always is happy to see me and licks me all over.  Well, I thought it would be good to hold him and keep him calm since he likes me. It worked really well for about 2/3 of Relief Society, but then little kids would come up to pet him or tease him, and he got scared and started growling and barking.  I tried telling them to go away and just let him be, but the kids are kind of crazy here and do exactly the opposite of what you tell them.  I eventually just put him on the floor since I think people thought he was making noise because of me. He then went up to the front and the Relief Society teacher almost stepped on him and let out a big yelp. Both of them yelped. It was a little crazy. I have a feeling he's not going to be allowed to come to church again.

Ellen and Sister Samuel in a new church building

We got some papaya from Tomiko last night. Fresh papaya is so good. I don't know what they do to that nasty dried stuff in the US, but this stuff is so good. I'm excited for more of them to ripen in Laura so we can buy some or get some from people.  

Things are going well. I hope I stay in Laura for at least another transfer. I feel like people are actually starting to progress and open up to us more now. Sister Samuel and I get along really well, and I like that she's relaxed about things. We know about the same amount of Marshallese, but we know different things, so we help each other. 

I'll probably get your package today, mom and dad.  I'm excited for chili powder and other spices! 

I love you all.  Tootles.

Sister Ellen Butler

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