Monday, March 31, 2014

March 18, 2014 It's Not Too Hard to Compete Against Three Sets of Elders

Greetings and happy St. Patrick's day,

It's been a really good week in Ebeye.  It started with a trip to Carlos last P day.  We were going to take two boats so the Beckers could come, but we ended up only having one boat.  They're going to come with us the next time we go.  The boat we used this time was definitely smaller than the last...but it was also longer.  At first we were a little wary of the thing, but once we got going we realized it was a lot smoother than the other boat.  I also think the driver really knows how to drive boats.  He was really good at steering the boat to avoid big waves and sometimes he would just stop it (the motor was still running) so that we would ride a wave instead of force our way through it.
On the tiny boat on the way to Carlos.  We were just leaving Ebeye in this picture
The trip to Carlos was a lot better than the one before.  I think we felt a little more comfortable to explore.  Thelma and Rutha, two recent RMs, were on the island for a week visiting Rutha's grandparents so we met up with them.  They took us to the north end of the island and we took a lot of photos.

At the north end of Carlos with the next island north in the atoll.  The ocean side is on the left and the lagoon on the right.  It was high tide, but when it's low you can walk to the next island. 

 The most beautiful beach on Carlos.  The water was so pretty.

Representing the 692

I was so happy to see trees again!
I thought it was beautiful and the beach was so nice, but they said when it's low tide the beach is so much better and you can walk to the next island north in the atoll.  There was a little bit on jungle on the island where the US hadn't cleared it out for their helicopter landing pad and other electricity generator things, so it was nice to walk through the trees.

 It felt a little bit like being in Laura again, except more remote.  I think I saw about 10 houses on the island.
Thelma and Rutha singing and playing ukulele

 Me and Rutha (the one that just got back from her mission to the philippines).  She and Thelma were visiting Rutha's grandparents on Carlos for the week, so we hung out with them on P day.

On Saturday six of our investigators got baptized.  They're all teenage girls and they're from Ujae atoll.  Three of them are sisters and the others are cousins.  Their parents studied with the sisters right before us and they got baptized in November or December.  The dad is now the high council representative for Lae, which is an atoll near Kwajalein.  They're part of our district.  The best part is that he got to baptize the girls.  We had one of the elders go over and teach him how to baptize them.  It was really great.  All of the girls' friends in Branch 3 came and there were a lot of people that came.  Everyone was so happy to have so many get baptized.  The craziest part for us was finding enough white dresses for them.  I think we spent most of Saturday running around to members to find clothing.  It was a really nice evening.
More photos before the baptism.  That ledge is my favorite place to watch baptisms from.

All six of the girls that got baptized on Saturday.
Three of them are sisters and their parents are also in the photo. 
Outside the church

Girls getting ready for their baptism

We met a Marshallese LDS woman that served a mission in Majuro in 1992-93.  She is less active now and we're studying with one of her daughters.  I talked to a member about her, and they said she can't come to church or her husband's family will kick them out of the house and they don't have anywhere else to live.  The woman is really talkative and she tells us a whole bunch of stories from her mission.  She said in 92 there were 4 sisters serving in Majuro:  2 from Laura to Long Island, and 2 from Delap to Rita.  We have 12 sisters in Majuro right now.

Yesterday or today is the Relief Society birthday, and holy cow, they go all out here.  Yesterday we had a fireside/event at noon and Sis. Tafili and I got there a little late.  we stepped into the chapel and everyone was wearing blue or yellow dresses.  Supposedly these are the colors of relief society?  We asked if it was announced that we were supposed to wear blue or yellow, and they said nope, everyone just knows...?  We were both wearing white shirts and Sister Becker was also, and was really glad that we were also wearing white because she felt out of place.  She later said, "I'll make sure to wear something bright and colorful tomorrow so I don't stand out" and then we laughed at how funny it is that bright colors make us blend in more.  The talks about women and RS were all really good.  The Marshallese women are so strong and I loved being in the chapel with all of them.  Tonight there's an activity/celebration for the RS birthday and each branch is doing a beat.  We practiced with Branch 1 last night so we're going to be dancing with them.  We hope the other branches don't get annoyed that we don't dance with them.  We have a 4 part dance and part number 2 may be to an ABBA song, so we're pretty excited.  The dance moves are like a modernized beat.  At first we're air strumming guitars but then we go and do the regular hand-motions.  I don't know what all of them symbolize, but almost all beats have the same moves just in different orders.  There's a move that means a boat and another where you pull nets in from the ocean.  You also point to the lik (ocean side) and then to the iar (lagoon side).  I'll try to get some good photos tonight.

Relief Society Birthday

Relief Society Birthday

Pretty sunset with the ferry on Ebeye

We had a really great evening on Sunday.  We had gotten a whole bunch of referrals from members, so we had a goal to contact a lot of them. We went and met a woman (Marshallese) that lived in Hawaii all her life.  Her Marshallese is so good for living in Hawaii all her life.  She said it's her first time to Ebeye.  She and her husband are visiting her husband's family (they're all members) and they want to get married and baptized this summer.  It was so fun talking to her because we kept going from English to Marshallese and back to English and she was so nice and talked (unlike a lot of Marshallese that are so silent in our lessons, so it's impossible to know if they understand what we're saying).  At first her husband was going to study with the elders, but it looks like we're going to study with both of them.  We had a nice lesson with her on Sunday.  We then visited a girl's parents.  The girl is 15 or 16 and she spoke in church a couple weeks ago about how she really wants her parents to join the church.  We talked to her about talking to her parents to see if they want to study with us.  She talked to them and her dad said yes but the mom said no.  We went to see the dad and the mom was there...and they both agreed to study.  So we're really excited to study with them and the girl (her name is Marshallese) is really happy too.

We have apartment inspections today and so Tafili and I stayed up late cleaning last night.  We better win.  I don't think it's too hard to compete against 3 sets of elders.  We'll see.  I mopped the whole thing, so I think we've got to win.

A couple of elders are going home on Friday so we get two more from Majuro on Saturday, and they're both white, so I will no longer be the only ripelle missionary on Ebeye.  I kind of liked being the only American.   
It sounds like you're all cold and freezing your fannies.  Stay warm!

Sister Ellen Butler

No comments:

Post a Comment