Friday, February 28, 2014

February 24, 2014, You Know You Are in Micronesia When....


It's been a rainy week in Ebeye, which is weird because it rarely rains.  The streets have been flooded.  There are gutter drains of some sort, but they're all filled with dirt and garbage, so nothing drains.  Walking through the streets has been gross.  I just make sure to wash off my feet when we get home.

Elder and Sister Gardner came from Majuro last week for a few days.  They're CES missionaries and so they make sure seminary and institute is happening.  They changed a lot of things around to get seminary to actually happen.  Some of the teachers didn't come last semester, so in order for the kids to get credit for last semester they have to read the book of mormon through the end of mosiah and write a short summary on each chapter.  So in order to help them, Sister Tafili and I are reading with them everyday.  We just started yesterday so we'll see how it goes.  We set up our chairs in a circle and went around and each read a verse.  We're reading it in english because the Gardners want them to do seminary in english.  Some of them are pretty good and some of them struggle a lot.  It's so hard to see how much they understand.  But it went pretty well for the first day. 

One of the great things about working with Sister Tafili is that she makes cocoa samoa for us to drink.  That stuff is so good.  She's also been telling me samoan legends this week.  She had never been on a boat until she came on the ferry from Kwaj to ebeye and she doesn't know how to swim.  What sort of Samoan is that?  We joke that she doesn't know anything about Samoa, because I asked her what the Samoan flag means and she doesn't know.

There are two island chains in the RMI (Republic of the Marshall Islands).  The "ratak" chain in the eastern chain.  Majuro is in the ratak.  Ebeye is in the "Ralik," or the western chain.  We sang "come, come ye saints" on Sunday in one of the many sacrament meetings, and the line that says something like "we'll find a place prepared far away in the west" made me think of Ebeye because it's in the west for the Marshallese people.  West is relative anyway.  Maybe the song's really talking about ebeye.  It's the zion of the Marshall Islands.  And the garbage dump.

I'm glad to hear that Eliot likes watching the bobsleds.  I actually got to watch about 10 minutes of 4 man bobsledding yesterday.  I saw something about one sled going down on it's side for half the course.  they weren't too happy.  I watched the speedy Germans and Russians, and I think the Americans we're fairly speedy too. 

You know you're in Micronesia when you keep anti-diarrhea pills in your purse at all times.  It's fun.  I don't even think I've been drinking bad water!  Whatever.  It's fine. 

The Weirs are coming to Ebeye again this weekend.  They try to come once a month.  And the sister training leaders are coming with them for the weekend, meaning Sister Crane and Sister Tago.  I'm glad I get to see Sister Tago again before she goes home to Australia in a couple of weeks.  We're going to do splits with them this weekend.  Sister Tago is really excited to come back to Ebeye because she served here at the beginning of her mission.  Crane has yet to come to ebeye, so she's excited as well.  (mom, they're going to bring my box from Majuro.)

We have a baptism this Saturday.  A girl named Kella is getting baptized.  Everyone thought she was a member, but we can't find any records for her anywhere in the church.  She's doesn't remember getting baptized, so I don't think she did.  We taught her the lessons in just a few weeks.  Although she's been coming to church forever, she needed the lessons.

Things are pretty good overall.  We're busy and tired.  I am going to try to take a real nap today.  Last p day I found a 5 lb bag of whole wheat flour in the store (one of two bags)!  I made some 2 hr rolls and I've got a bag of them in the freezer right now.  I've been eating them with peanut butter.  I've also made whole wheat pancakes this week, which were surprisingly good.  I think lentil soup is on the menu for dinner. 
I'll try to take more photos this week so you all can see what Ebeye is really like. 
Love and miss you all,
Sister Ellen Butler

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