This week went by really quickly. It is officially breadfruit season and everyday we see people climbing trees to pick breadfruit. They have these long wooden poles with a sharp end that they use to break the breadfruit stems. The breadfruit fall 30 feet or more, but they're fine. They then throw them on some hot coals (aka hot coconut husk/shells) and make kwanjen me. We get about one breadfruit a day from people. A few weeks ago it was bub season (pandanas fruit) and wherever we went we got free bub. Have any of you googled what pandanas looks like? You should do it. It's pretty cool stuff. The trees look crazy and the fruit is even weirder.
On Saturday night we went to Ajeltake for a baptism. A 16 yr old girl that sister Samuel helped teach was baptized. The ward members in Ajeltake are friendlier that the Laura ones. Maybe that's why so many of the members in Laura are less active. I learned yesterday that the old branch president (before the branch became the Laura ward) now goes to church at Assembly. We have enough members to split the ward, but not enough of them are active. The Area presidency people have a goal for us to have two stakes in Majuro in a couple of years, so we're trying to reactivate members. We're trying to figure out why so many of them don't come to church. The baptism was really nice, but it wasn't quite as cool as the baptisms in Laura because they have a font at their building. Baptisms in the lagoon are much cooler.
We've been spending a lot of time visiting a woman named Tomiko and her family. Tomiko is a strong member and she joined the church last year. Her mother (or step mom...I'm not sure how they're related) is less active so we've been working with her. We've also been teaching two of Tomiko's teenage sons, Elijah and John. Tomiko's father, Aneja, is one of the Laura elders' investigators but he's been jambo-ing up to our area so we've seen him a lot recently. He's really ancient and his english is really good. He told us he went to Pohnpei and outer islands in the Marshalls with Tomiko, and he taught english there. We're doing FHE at their house tonight, which should be fun.
Christmas is coming up so we're going to start learning beat. All of the members in Majuro and the missionaries meet up in Long Island at the stake center and everyone performs dances. The missionaries learn a dance (or maybe more) for it.
We have combined P day today, meaning we get to see the missionaries from the East zone. We usually just see everyone in the west zone on P days. A new batch of missionaries is coming in November. More people will be transferred then, so we'll see if I stay in Laura or if I go somewhere new. One of the missionaries in Ebeye will most likely be coming back this next transfer because she leaves in January and I don't think they ever have people spend their last transfer on an outer island. So, someone's heading to Ebeye in November.
Can someone send me a calender? That would be really helpful. And if you haven't sent a box yet, which is fine, can you send some prunes? That would be a good way to get some fruit in me.
Oh! We won the cleanest house award for the month of September, so when found a bowl of fruit on our kitchen counter when we got home one evening. We got apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes. The grapes were amazing. Holy cow. They tasted so good. The month of September had 5 mondays (5 P days) so we're so excited to get money from the ATM today and buy a whole lot of food. Sister Samuel and I decided we're not even going to worry about how much we spend today. We just want food to eat.
One evening as we rode our bikes home we saw 17 dogs. They're everywhere in Laura. Some days they're really mean and some days they just ignore us. Sister Samuel is pretty afraid of them and so we get off our bikes sometimes to walk past them, since they love chasing bikes. The Marshallese think it's so funny and a lot of the little kids run around imitating the dogs to scare us.
Do you remember when I told about dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, chickens and chicks all over the island? Well, I forgot one animal: Pigs and piglets! They wander around wherever they want to, although there aren't quite as many pigs as there are chickens here. They're pretty cute though.
There's a ripelle that teaches at Laura High School that we see sometimes. We want to go visit her sometime. She told us where she lives so we might go take food and make dinner with her one evening. There's also another ripelle that I think teaches PE or does track/cross country with the kids because I see her running with them a lot.
I made some lekoor this week. I don't know how to spell it. You basically mash up yu, which is the baby coconut the sprouts inside of an old, brown coconut (it's soft and spongy) and then you add water, sugar, and milk and freeze it in cups to make popsicles. I froze mine in cottage cheese cartons. I also added vanilla. It's like a coconut popsicle. We still have a lot of yu so I'll probably make more this week.
All of the cool missionaries make covers for their planners. They take off the black spiral plastic, make a new cover and poke holes in it for the spiral, and then roll it back on. I discovered I could use postcards that ya'll sent me, so my current planner has the postcard that eliot sent me with the steam shovels on it. I only had to trim it off one side and I can still read it.
We get to watch general conference in a couple of weeks at the mission home. I think all of the missionaries get together and we take off a couple of days and watch it together there. Are there any cool temple announcements this time?
I think that's all for this week. Things are going well. Sundays are always exhausting because church is painfully long and everyone that says they'll come to church don't end up coming. But it's good. We're teaching a 14 yr old girl named Mercyla that has a baptismal date for a few weeks from now. She's been taught by missionaries before (like every single person here) but she says she's really ready this time...and she's been coming to church and she has friends at church. It's so much easier for the teenagers to come to church because the teenagers are friends with each other. The old people don't come because the older members don't talk to them.
I love and miss you. I'm at my 3 month mark, and in a couple of months I'll only have a year left because my "release date" is(does it sound like I'm in prison) but they'll send me home before Christmas, so I'll most likely be back mid-December next year.
I hope you're all doing well and that general conference was good. Tootles,
Sister Ellen Butler