Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 2, 2013, Church yesterday was awesome! (read why...)


I have a pretty crazy week in Laura.  I had strep throat for the first few days, so we didn't get very much work done, and then Sister Samuel got the flu right when I was getting better.

Since we're working in a trio, it's actually not that bad when one of us gets sick because we just need to find a female member to come be with the sick one so the other too can work.  But of course it's difficult because only some people have phones and very few people have cars or bikes.  On Monday evening we got Carolynn to come over and sit with me.  We told her we'd pay her back for a taxi to come to our house (50 cents), but she ended up getting a ride from a policeman since her dad used to be a policeman in Laura (meaning he sat in a chair in front of the police station or sometimes rode around in a police car).

Tuesday afternoon Mercyla came over after school and I found out a lot more about her family. Tomiko came over Wednesday and normally she's pretty quiet, but she just talked and talked the whole time. I think the members were all happy to come over because they got to enjoy the AC and use the stove (they were all pretty excited to cook using the stove). On Saturday night we asked if Tomiko could come over to sit with Sister Samuel, and she said yes, but then she didn't show up. We got Carolynn to come over, and then a few minutes later Tomiko and another member, Mami, came and they all ended up having a party while we were gone. When Sister Tafili and I came back they had cooked dinner for us and had gone through old clothes that sister missionaries had left in the house. It was nice that members were willing to help us.

On Thursday we all went to Long Island to the mission home to eat Thanksgiving dinner. I guess it was actually lunch. It was nice to see everyone, but every time I go to the mission home I just feel so claustrophobic. I think there are just too many people in the house and it gets so loud. It probably doesn't help that the last couple of times I've been there I've been really congested, so with the noise I can't hear anything anyone is saying. I also think I'm just tired of being with people 24/7.  It's kind of nice being in a trio because I can let the two of them make fun (they're islanders so they're always laughing about something) and talk when we're in the house, and then I don't have to talk. It's nice.  

We had John and Helasha's baptism planned for Saturday night, but then Friday morning we got a call saying the baptism needed to be that evening since there was a program going on in the middle school (where we meet for church) Saturday night. So, much of Friday was spent preparing for the baptism and letting people know about the change. Finding baptismal clothes was an adventure, and so was finding Tomiko and the boys to let them know about the change. Luckily Marshallese people aren't really that busy, so switching the days wasn't a problem. The baptism was really nice. Not very many people showed up, but that's how baptisms go. One of their friends, Helmer, spoke at the baptism, and so did Tomiko.  

On Saturday morning the Relief Society had a picnic at Laura beach for Sister Barlow's birthday. The Barlows are a missionary couple that are assigned to serve in the Laura ward, so they've been coming to this ward since they've been here. They're some of my favorite senior couples. It started a couple of hours late, as usual, so sister Barlow and I walked along the beach and found shells. We then started by singing a bunch of Marshallese birthday songs, and then we did a sort of iakwe iakwe, where everyone sings and walks up to the person of honor and gives them gifts. She was given Marshallese flowers, shoes, earrings, and shells. We then ate a lot of Marshallese food (rice, hotdogs, chicken, bub, bananas, banana and coconut balls, sashimi, coconuts, spaghetti noodles with ketchup (so gross), etc).  

Church yesterday was awesome! The water pump for the bathroom was broken, so we only had sacrament meeting. It was just the right length. I didn't feel completely exhausted afterwards. It was great. Last night we went and visited an old man that doesn't come to church because he can't walk, and we had a good time with him. We shared a short lesson and then sang hymns together. We're happy to start singing Christmas hymns now. It's so weird that it's December and really warm. We're actually in the rainy season right now (Oct to Dec) so that explains why it's been raining so blasted much recently. It also hasn't been quite as hot, which is nice.

I'm trying to think of what else happened this week. I made a quinoa and chick pea salad. I added canned tomatoes (wish i had fresh ones) and steamed carrots and broccoli, and a lot of salt, pepper, Italian spices, olive oil, and a little vinegar. I wish I had lemon juice. It was okay. I think the broccoli was a weird addition. It wasn't bad though. I made more lentil soup. I eat a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches too. I made one for Sister Tafili, which was a bad idea since now she likes them and I've got to share the cheese now haha.

The sister that got injured is going to Fiji a week from today to get her knee looked at. If she's okay, she'll come back...but most of us think she'll go home. So, this may be my last week in Laura. We'll see.  If I have to move, I'd be okay with going to Ajeltake because it's pretty similar to Laura, but I don't really want to leave Laura.  

I miss you all.  Tootles, 

Sister Ellen Butler

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