Sunday, December 29, 2013

It was awesome talking to you!

Sounds like a good week, and when's the rook tournament then? You gotta keep that thing in the house, and who's going to be Erc's partner?? That'll be good that you're teaching seminary, something to keep you a little more busy hey? And transfers are really random, it's just kind of whenever they need to happen, I guess, nothing too set in stone. And recently with this new president, transfers don't happen that often, people have been tending to stay in their areas a little bit longer, but I guess we'll see what happens. I think it's pretty clear that I will be moving soon, I just have to no clue as to where. And no I haven't received his letter yet, I got one from the Holt's and one from Paige another from the Brooks' fam, and I think one from Grandma Mich, that's all for now, so I guess we'll see when I go into town today. I was fine after talking to you, I mean this whole Christmas season is kind of busy and different to begin with, so it didn't make me homesick or anything, it was just really nice to talk to you all, and I do just miss being with you guys. I guess I only have a year left, which is weird to say, and weird as to how fast it has gone thus far, I feel like I say that a lot, but it's true. And I don't know something that was kind of nice, was on Christmas eve I read the story of Christ's birth and then read Jesus the Christ about his death and just kind of took some time to reflect on his life and everything that he did, it was nice and I definitely felt the spirit. Definitely a different Christmas, but it was good. It was also nice that I got to spend a lot of time with Elder Parkinson, that kid is a stud, and we are officially in a bromance! But don't worry about it :p And a scripture that I used and liked this week was Isaiah 55:8-9. I liked it just because I'm able to relate to it personally and also help relate it to my investigators, it's a great scripture to use for teaching the word of wisdom. But yeah I think that's about all for the week, it was awesome talking to you and looks like you are all doing wonderful! Have a crantabulous week and thanks for everything that you do! 
Elder Jordan

Talk to you all in like 3 days! Whoop whoop i'm pumped!

Dec. 22
Sounds like a good busy week, this week was a tad bit slower just due to some christmas caroling and people just kind of being gone, they really like to just jambo and go different places, but oh well it was still good. Had a really good lesson with my investigator, Danny, about Enduring to the End and I really felt the spirit when he bore testimony at the end of the lesson. We read the story from the book of Mark about the seeds by the way side, in Mark 4, and he really understood it. Hopefully he'll be able to progress and come closer to baptism! Also I got asked if I was a wolf this week, or if my Dad was a wolf hahaha just because of the hair on my arms and legs. Had some like 12 and 14 year old kids playing with my hair in church and that was just kind of funny, apparently I'm a wolf now though. Beat will happen on Christmas Day, all day, haha it's kind of a big deal. So we'll be doing a Samoan dance for the beat, all the elder's and then the sisters will do their own separate one, it'll be good and I'm looking forward to it. I'll finally get to wear a lavalava and rock that for the beat, so that'll be nice! Tell Emily and Tori I say hi back then, the next time you see them. I started running and stuff every morning. Elder Parkinson and I are going hard, and it's nice to run in the morning. It is so much easier here though, like back home I was just sucking air and stuff, but here it's nice to be able to breathe and stuff when we go on runs. So now I bike everyday, run, and then work out a bit, so hopefully I won't be getting too fat. With a diet of rice, chicken and fish I don't think that'll be happening anytime soon. But yeah I definitely miss the Christmas chocolates, oh dang, but I guess that's what happens when you go to an island for 2 years! Anyway I think that's about all for the week, didn't really have a Christmas Devotional or anything, we had Brother Tiban the high councilor from Rita come and that was awesome, he's a powerful speaker and just love that guy and his family to death. So that was the week, hope that you all have a fantastic Merry Christmas and I will talk to you all in like 3 days! Whoop whoop I'm pumped!
lots of lovin'
from Elder Jordan Michelson

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I am starting to feel the spirit a whole lot more

Dec 8, 2013

Happy FREAKIN birthday by the way. I heard that a lot of decorating didn't get done just because you're so popular and had tons of people call you. Anyways I hope the day was awesome and I send some loving from the Marshall's! This week was actually really good and am starting to feel the spirit a whole lot more, I don't know it's just kind of different. With training and having to do literally everything, it's quite the new experience. It's hard to find the balance between helping my companion learn and grow and give him time to speak, and actually having lessons. When he speaks he tends to stutter a lot and then will stop and ask me how to say every second word, so people just have a hard time trying to understand what he's saying half the time, plus his pronunciation is a little off. Needless to say he is doing good though and we are having success, I just am trying to figure out when I need to take over and when I should give him his time. It's getting better. But what else this week, I've been having some really good personal studies lately and have been guided by the spirit more so in lessons. It's nice, for example on Tuesday morning in my personal study I studied about Joseph Smith and the Restoration literally not knowing why I was doing that, I had nobody who was at that point in the lessons and was supposed to be studying about dispensations and prophets. But I continued on in studying the Restoration, annotated once again and had a really good study. Writing things down and asking questions really does make a difference,  and also asking yourself ways in which you can improve on teaching the concepts and also how they can apply better to investigators. Had a really good study, and really felt the spirit and I thought that was the purpose of me studying that. But we went to our first lesson, the one we were supposed to be studying about dispensations with and I felt prompted to share the whole message of the Restoration, which I normally don't do. The Investigators were really able to understand and that was one of the most powerful lessons I felt I've shared over the course of my mission. It's cool how much the spirit really does lead and direct us, if we choose to listen and obey. So that was my cool experience for the week, and just had quite a few spiritual lessons. Also I've been thinking lately about why we are put in the situations we are put into, sometimes I feel like it's to help our companions, ourselves, and even the ward, as much as it is to help our investigators, if not more so. To answer your questions, so for christmas activities, all the Elder's and Sister's are doing a combined pday today to practice for beat, which is like the marshallese dance and christmas celebration. So we'll see how that goes, as for getting invited over for christmas, nope I don't think I've really ever had a scheduled dinner appointment with members, I had one where a guy fed us shark and that's about it. You just go to people's houses and they'll feed us, that's just kind of Marshallese culture and I had some delicious rice with coconut milk and iu, which is like another part of a coconut. That was pretty good, and the language is coming very slow with the companion, he understands fairly well, but his speaking is slow, and he tends to say the same thing every time. Trying to help him change it up a bit and I know it'll come. Just kind of adds to the responsibilities, but it's all good a little extra stress always helps, makes us stronger, right? But my favourite scripture from this week, is probably 1 Nephi 7:12, just a simple verse about faith, but it really stuck out to me and I used it a lot this week to help my investigators understand the concept of faith. Anyways I think that's about all for the week, hope I answered your questions, and that it warms up a little back home! Oh and my companion probably won't have a lot of christmas stuff, just not part of the culture as much so if you want to help him out or whatever that would be nice. Thanks for the emails and the love!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Dec 15

Monday had a really good family home evening with a less-active lady and her husband who is not a member. They have a couple kids also and one of them is 9 and hasn't been baptized yet, so we're trying to work with the whole family but it makes it a little tough because the dad works all the time and has almost no free time. But anyways, I made their family a pizza and had a really good family home evening. The kids and the dad loved the pizza and were just talking about how it was real pizza and not like the fake stuff that some of the restaurants make I thought that was kind of funny. But after eating and starting the night off right, we sung the song I am a Child of God. It was just a simple idea that popped into my head, because I had planned to teach about prophets. Once again being led by the spirit was able to share a simple message that was powerful. The lady (Justina) was really able to feel the spirit, and said that we should have another one on Friday because she liked it so much. So that was a cool experience, and the best part of that is that we went and did another one, she had some friends there this time, and then on Sunday her and her family came to church. So that was really nice. On wednesday we had district meeting and I had bought a gingerbread house kit or something because it was on sale, so to celebrate Christmas and just have a little fun, we made some houses after the meeting. Haha see the attached pictures, but Elder Parkinson and I totally won! That's like the perfect marshallese house, and then afterwards we didn't really want to eat it... So it was like let's go give this thing to some random kid! So we go walking around for a bit and we didn't find any kids. There was this shirtless guy doing some lawn work though and just cleaning up his house and whatever, and we went up to him and just gave him this random house. It was hilarious, we went up to him and the approach was "Do you have any kids? Because we made this house and it tastes good, and just want to wish you a Merry Christmas" and then gave him the house and walked away. I wish I could do that back home just to see what someone's reaction to that would be. That was awesome and just kind of funny, totally something I would do though. And then on Sunday we went on an exchange and I went and worked in Laura with Elder Parkinson, who is my new District Leader and is just solid. Such a stud and I love that kid. But the work was just so easy and fun, it's so easy when you don't have to think about literally everything, when you don't have to worry about explaining things or whatever, when you can actually build off what each other is saying and have really powerful lessons. I hope that one day I can work with Elder Parkinson, that would be such a good time. Plus we made some Gnocchi which was good and I also made some Chicken Parmasana this week, which was also good nice to just be able to make some random good stuff, just saying. Oh also another random fact, I found a place that sells bubble teas here... Holy freak I was pumped, so good and it was the same as at home, good thing that store isn't in my area or I feel like my money would be gone a lot faster! I think that's pretty much all for the week. Overall a really good week and I can't wait to talk to you all at Christmas, Crazy how fast that's coming!
lots of lovin'
Elder Jordan Michelson
I love Jesus,and on the other side WWJD (what would Jesus do?)

The Marshellese gingerbread house
Elder Parkinson and Elder Michelson lovin' there Marshallese gingerbread house
Dec. 1
 Hello and Iakwe nan aelop! haha ejjet ami mour? Life is pretty good out here, had some good experiences this week, and learned some stuff this week for sure. So on Monday, we went to a lesson and it started pouring rain afterwards, so we biked home in the rain and definitely got wet, but oh well, it was kind of fun! One of the pictures is after us coming home, kind of hard to see how wet we are, but if you look at all the water droplets on my glasses you can see that we got fairly soaked and then the rest of the week was good, Thursday was Thanksgiving so we went to the mission presidents house and ate some turkey and whatnot the whole nine yards and then watched a movie when it was done, it was fun and was a nice change up for the week. Have you ever seen the movie Ephraim's Rescue? It was actually pretty good and I would recommend seeing that one if you could find it! Friday and Saturday went to 2 baptisms the one was in our ward, the other was in the other ward of the other elder's and sister's in our district. So that was good and got to be a witness for the one on Friday, always fun! Then on Saturday learned a valuable lesson on just working no matter what, we went out for the whole day and literally no one was ready, all the scheduled appointments we had fell through, the people that we tried to go talk to weren't interested and it was just kind of a rough day frankly. But I learned that (working) no matter what, even if it a bad day, I felt proud because I went out and did what I knew I was supposed to be doing, despite the setbacks that I had, when I went back home that night I still felt the spirit and knew that this is what I need to be doing even if I don't find the success I'm always anticipating. My companion is starting to open up a little more and speak more, which is nice,  it's still not perfect but at least he's talking to me a little more. And he's good at talking to the people and trying, despite not really knowing what is going on so that's nice. He'll be really good soon, he just has to learn this language, which he is picking up pretty fast, since it is similar to kiribati. But yeah let's see to answer your questions... What did I say was wrong with the bike? I don't remember saying anything about that, although we got some new bikes lately and are the only elder's with new bikes on the island so that's nice! Those things are speedy! I don't really have a favourite scripture this week, since my studies are focused a lot on my investigators, and I've been annotating Preach my Gospel lately which has helped me see some new things and has given me some new insights. I've actually been reading a lot from Preach My Gospel lately so I guess that's my favourite scripture of the week. Preach My Gospel chapter three and talking about the Plan of Salvation. Lately I've been trying to figure out how I can better incorporate scriptures in my lessons and apply these lessons to my investigator's so I'm not just talking at them, that's where my studies have been focused this week.
Best meal was probably Thanksgiving although I did make a pretty good pizza this week with some bbq ranch dipping sauce, crap I cook for everyone now, I have made so much pizza dough lately. Kind of getting sick of it! So some new food ideas would be good! I want to make some butter chicken and naan bread if that is at all possible! Give me some other meal ideas if you could please? Although Elder Parkinson, my District Leader, who is a stud, has this cookbook that we were looking through and just getting sort of homesick because we couldn't even make a quarter of the stuff in that book. Haha and it looked so good! Freak I miss good real food, I think I would kill someone for a good steak, although just need to have patience, it'll come. But that was kind of funny this week, just looking at all the stuff we can't eat and talking about real good food. That's about all for the week! Take care and I love you lots!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson
I don't know if you can see the water droplets on Jordan's glasses but they are soaked!
Getting ready to be a witness to a baptism in the ocean

The ocean baptism

There is a reason why we study things

Dec. 9
 Training is definitely an interesting experience, sometimes I feel like my trainee is another investigator, it's hard having to do literally everything and trying to help him learn the language and how to be a missionary while still trying to have powerful lessons that will help the investigators progress. I'm seeing a lot more success and I'm definitely growing a lot, and my personal studies have been some of the most effective they've been. This past week I had one morning where I studied about Joseph Smith and the restoration and honestly had no clue why I was studying for that. I read Preach My Gospel and annotated all of the lesson, made notes, things that stuck out to me and it really helps me to see the big picture of all the lessons, anyways I thought it was just going to be a good personal study and I was going to know a little bit more about Joseph Smith. But I go to my first appointment and it's these 2 ladies that I just started studying with, had just got to the point where we talk about Prophets and dispensations, and I start explaining things, and feel like I should talk about the Restoration. Usually I'll wait and really break it apart and make sure they really understand all the concepts, but for some reason I really felt like I should share it all. I was able to be directed by the spirit and gave one of the most powerful lessons on the restoration that I have given. There is a reason we study things, and if we listen to the promptings of the spirit the Lord will be able to direct us and give us what we say, I'm starting to learn that a whole lot more now, and see that promise in my work. Anyways this week was pretty good, and had some other good experiences, it's amazing what we can do when we are put into new situations. Anyways hope all is well at home, and have another great week, thanks for taking the time to write me!

Mom's note:
Jordan wrote this to Dad, I loved that he shared a experience of the listening to the spirit!! He is training a missionary from the Christmas Islands, he doesn't speak English, and only learned Marshallese in the MTC so that makes communication slightly more difficult!

Monday, December 9, 2013

My life is good!!

November 24, 2013

> My life is good, and before I forget to ask could you send some maple syrup? I have these investigators who are going to make a marshallese mat, which is called a jaki and I said I'd get them some maple syrup, so if you could do that, that would be awesome! This week I have some good stories, on Thursday went on an exchange with Elder Parkinson, who is my new district leader, he is the man. We get along really good, anyway we did an exchange and I was not feeling so good, so decided I would sleep for just a little bit, a little bit turned into like 4 hours! And then we went out and did some work, and I was still feeling crappy so came back and just thought I'd take a little nap, another 4 hours later I woke up. Apparently I really needed some sleep, and was not feeling too good, so that was Thursday. But I'm better now, just to let you know. My trainee really does not know english that well, so makes things a little more difficult, like I said before. It's just hard not really being able to communicate with someone let alone converse with them. So, that's a little tough, but oh well, it could be worse. I got some really good mona in majol this week, which is like marshallese food. I had bwiiro, which is marshallese cake as the lady described it, but it is so good. The way she cooked it is the best I've had on the island, so that was really nice, she made me and my companion our own things of bwiiro and just so good! I've been really getting into the marshallese spirit of just sharing everything and it works well. I'll cook people breadsticks or pizza or whatever and they just love me. A big part of marshallese culture is sharing food, inviting everyone to come and eat with you, so when you share that same interest, it works very well and people are a lot more open! So that's something new I found out this week, I also get to eat more traditional marshallese food that way, which I like because when I get home, I don't think I'm going to get it that much! To answer some of your questions about the senior couples, the senior couples all live next to the presidents house which is in Rairok or Long Island, the center of the island pretty much. Then they will drive out to the Laura ward, which includes the Laura Elder's, the Laura Sister's (tripanionship) and us in Arrak. In terms of hearing from the outer islands, we hear a bit here and there. Maybe if they have a baptism or something, but I'm pretty low on the chain of information right now especially with where I'm working, it's kind of isolated and I tend to be out of the loop quite a bit, but oh well! I honestly don't know my companion's first name, it's something fairly difficult to say, but I'll get that to you next week. He was baptized when he was 15, 5 years ago. He is the only member of his family who is a member of the church and yes he emails his family. He's kind of quiet and shy, but he's learning jiddik kon jiddik. In terms of packages, I got the Halloween one and that's been it for a while, I got one from Sarinah and the family as well. That was nice, but yes I did keep my promise and have been patiently waiting, the wrapped contacts and toothbrush are just sitting there waiting for me. Haha Best experience this week was probably the fact that I baptized someone in the Ocean, her name is Mercyla Lolin and she was one of the sister's investigators and asked me to baptize her. That was awesome, it was pouring rain and super windy, with the ocean really not being that nice to us, but we continued with the baptism and that was cool! So that was a really good experience from this week! Companionship study is difficult, just because I am the only one talking for pretty much all of it, but it's been good, and doing role plays where we take the spot of our investigators really helps. It helps me see things from a new perspective and helps me think more like my investigators. Also I think working with an islander will help me understand more as well. I don't know if it's all that powerful or whatever but it really answered my investigators question about the sacrament and the sabbath day, there are 2 of them in acts 2:42 I believe and acts 20:7, that was exactly what my investigator needed to hear and really helped her understand more and more because she knows the bible extremely well, so I have to use the bible in those lessons to help her. They both talk about Sacrament and the Sabbath Day and when it should be and how often we should do it, because she believed more of the Mosiac law and didn't fully understand how Christ fulfilled the law of Moses and made it better. I'm working with a lot more perspective missionaries and kids around that age, and have been finding some success in finding new people to teach around that age, so we have an 18 year old named Richie that we just started studying with and his cousin Bobson, who is 19, there both pretty good and they like having us around and are always ready to study, so hopefully that will go well and we'll be able to help them get baptized. That's the plan anyway. Then we have Danny, who has a lot of desire right now, so we'll try to continue working with that, but first we have to get him divorced, married, and to live the word of wisdom, so that's just a patience thing. He's been coming to church lately and we just had a really spiritual lesson with him last night, so that was good and hopefully it will give him that extra push to really live all these things he's learning. No real Christmas festivities yet, those will start soon though, getting into beat and all that stuff. I haven't really heard from anyone that surprised me lately, and yeah I heard about the disaster in Phillipians, it sucks to hear stuff like that, but it hasn't really effected us that much, its just been raining a little more lately, but that's about it! And well if you haven't told me you loved me lately, you just did! Haha and I love you all a lot too, and thanks for the email, this thing is huge, well have a great week!
> Lots of lovin'
> From Elder Jordan Michelson

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Serving a mission is the best thing you can do for your life, no question.

Okay so first of all the craziness from last week and just the weird times and whatnot was due to a combined p-day in laura that didn't happen, we switched everything and then it didn't end up happening so we did it this week in Laura which is why I'm late again this week. So that's that! Combined p-days are awesome, I don't know about the other missions but because there is such a concentrated population of missionaries on this tiny island all the elders are pretty close. I have made some really good friends out here, and am definitely going to go visit some people when I get home, weddings and all that good stuff!! This week was good, I wrote you a letter, so hopefully you'll get that sometime in the near future. Like I said I'll try to get better at writing letter's. To answer the questions... medicine I'm good, if I need anything I can ask the nurse for it, and plus I haven't really been that sick yet, so that's been nice. I think I've put on sunscreen once ever, and never put on bug spray so I'm good for that as well! There is one local missionary in the whole mission, a lot from New Zealand and Australia and other islands as well, and then a lot from the states. I am the only one who is truly from Canada still, there is another one who was born in Canada, but lives in Washington. His name is Elder Whetstone and Holy freak do I love that kid, so funny and I  am going go jumbo and visit that kid. Gotta be his wingman after the mission! It's good I have a half-canadian brother, since he has dual citizenship, but I am the only true Canadian still! Christmas is kind of a big deal, they do this beat or dance celebration every year so that should be good! I'm amped always love dancing and acting like an idiot, I think I explained about that in the letter, but I still don't know what it's like since I haven't done it. I've only heard about it, but that should be pretty cool. Getting people to serve mission's here is difficult, just getting active member's here is hard, there are like 6000 members or so maybe 5000 on this island and we just had stake conference on sunday and only about 400-500 people showed up, so that's what they're really trying to focus on here. We're trying to bring back all the less-actives and get people going to the temple, you can totally notice the difference between someone who has served a mission here and all the other people who just struggle a little more. It really does strengthen your faith so much serving a mission. Serving a mission is the best thing you can do for your life, no question. If you really serve with all your heart, you will grow and learn so much. Favourite experience this week, was on Saturday we went and tried to learn how to climb really tall coconut trees with our less-active guy named Baby, just a super awesome guy. I got like halfway up, then just started to get sweaty and my legs started shaking like crazy, it was pretty funny. And then after that he taught us how to make like some handicraft or whatever and that was kind of funny just three 20 year old guys sitting around in a circle crafting, thought that would be kind of a funny picture to see. Sorry I don't have my camera on me right now, but I will send some pictures next week! Thanks for everything and take care!
:D lots of lovin'
Elder Jordan Michelson

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good food this week!!

Haha first off I'm sorry that I am a terrible letter writer, I'm working on doing better on that, it's just difficult in this area and I don't know what to write, but I will send you some love soon! Sorry! This week was really slow, a lot of rain which just makes it really difficult to go out, it's bad manit (manners) to go to people when you're wet. Definitely destroys a week when the houses are few and far between and your on a bike, but oh well. Had a little halloween party with the Elder's and Sister's that was nice, there was so much food and we ate some pretty good stuff, it's nice when some other people know how to cook as well! A nice cheesecake and just some good stuff, so that was fun. In terms of money and what not I'm good, pretty good at budgeting and don't really do any excessive spending, it's crazy to see what some other Elder's do with their money. I don't know really what I need for christmas, I don't think I need anything.  Right now we have a lot of people to go see and have been seeing more success with less-actives, we had quite a few come to church this week, which was nice. Hopefully we'll be able to get a couple married here fairly soon so they can really become active. We didn't have any investigators show up for church, it was pouring rain which just makes it difficult to begin with, and the people who usually come were sick, so that's kind of frustrating sometimes, but that's just part of the work I guess. The favourite scripture this week is... just basically the New Testament, I have been reading that more lately along with Jesus The Christ like I've said previously, just a lot more insight and depth and understanding are coming to me through my study. I don't know but I guess for a verse I liked Isaiah 55:8-9 that was a good one, I mean I've read it before, but for some reason that verse just really stuck out to me this week. Sometimes I don't understand things but I just need to continue and press on, and know that my Heavenly Father has a plan. Hmm... best meal was probably the meal we had with our landowner ladi Jack, it was his 50th birthday party on Saturday and he invited us, and just had a lot of really good food, some Sale fish sashimi and all sorts of American food, some vietnamese salad rolls, and then just a big smorgashborge (no idea how to spell that word, or if that's even a word, but I feel like using it) of whatever anyone else wanted to bring.  Most of ladi's family had been to the states before, so they know what good food is, definitely some good stuff there! The weather is either hot and sunny or hot and rainy, no difference it stays pretty consistent.  It is clear now, that in the middle of this month, I will be training, so that'll definitely be a growing experience for me. Excited and nervous for that at the same time, I don't know if I sound like a robot and just say the same things over and over again, hope it's not boring! This week was kind of slow, but just doing what I can. I also just want to say thank you for all of your love and support, it really does mean a lot to me, and I hope I'm not a punk and make you all feel like I don't care, because I really do. I think about you all a lot and I am so grateful for all the prayers that are sent in my behalf. I'm trying to make good use of them, because I know I need them! I also can't wait for the christmas call, and I am looking forward to seeing all of your faces again! Thank you for everything, and I also got the package, thanks so much! I promise I won't open the wrapped gifts until christmas, haha I'm a man of my word. I think that's all for the week, take care!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Saw a Cruise Ship didn't know they came to the Marshall Islands

Oct 27, 2013
Well sounds like you had a pretty fantastic week. The other day I saw a cruise ship around here and didn't know that they did cruises around the Marshall Islands, that would be cool to do one day! Life is pretty good over here, nothing to complain about and had a pretty good week, other than the fact that I just wasn't feeling to hot, but just worked through it. We had 2 really good lessons this week, where the spirit was really strong, it's nice to be there when people receive those spiritual confirmations. I love having people explain to me what the spirit feels like, that is such a cool experience and really helps give me more push to help people feel that same spirit that I have felt. One of the hard parts about this mission, is that everyone tends to believe in God and Jesus Christ which is good and helps, but at the same time, they think as long as they pray and go to church somewhere, that it doesn't matter. They don't understand the covenants that they make, or have made and makes things a little bit difficult, so it's really good when they actually recognize the difference between this church and other churches. Dang, your going to make me wait until Christmas to open them, that'll take a lot of patience, but alright I promise I'll wait. Nope there's not a whole lot to jumbo (exploring) in my area, it's just a skinny piece of land almost like the highway of the marshall islands, and also we go into town every week so we don't really have a lot of time to write letters or do anything else other than shop, and play a little bit of sports. Oh well, it's good I like it, this area's p-day's just aren't quite as relaxing but I will try to be better at writing letter's I have one ready to send to Grandma and Grandpa now.  It's just hard to find the time, but that's something I've been trying to improve on lately.  We don't really have any baptisms scheduled other than maybe a lady in November, we went to a baptism for people last week in a different ward and that was good. I'm able to translate a lot better than I thought I could, which is nice. Still not perfect, and sometimes I get frustrated because people don't understand what I'm saying or I won't understand all of what they are saying, but I'm still learning and just need to continue to be patient. I don't really have any way to keep in contact with my other converts, I'll hear stuff every once and a while, but I haven't heard anything in a while, they apparently haven't been doing that well, which is kind of frustrating to hear. Gossip is kind of a problem here, but we continue to try and do what we can. It's also just hard because the church is still so new here, the key is the youth and getting people to serve honourable missions, that is what will really help the Marshall Islands. In terms of service, we help whoever needs help, gardening, cleaning, husking coconuts whatever we can do. In terms of moving, people don't really do that, if they do they can pack all of there stuff in like 15 minutes and be ready to go, they don't have a whole lot which keeps them humble. The ones that do, usually just stay in the house that they already live in, because it takes a while to make a nice house. Recently I've been trying to teach more like the saviour and teach in the way that he would teach, it's hard sometimes because I realize how truly imperfect I am. It's also hard to find the balance between joking with the marshallese people and studying because if you joke too much, they won't take you seriously but will love you.  If you are too serious, they won't listen in the first place. Some Elder's are able to get lot's of baptisms just based on their charismatic personalities and their ability to talk to people, but I realized that's not exactly what I am, and also that's not what I'm here for. Most of the time once that Elder leaves, the people they baptized will fall away and they will lose all of their desire.  I'm trying to help people have a more lasting conversion which is not easy to say the least. I understand more about how the Saviour feels when seeing his children not accept him and his teachings, that because of old traditions that have been ingrained. They won't accept the truth and don't do anything to even see if it's true. So I guess I learned more about how our Saviour feels about us when we fall, or when we don't reach our full potential. The scripture this week that I learned a lot from in Companionship study is Jacob 4, the whole chapter, the verses within that chapter just really applied to our investigators and helped a lot this past week, I love that chapter. Verse 16 I think it was really stuck out a lot, and was a helpful verse. A characteristic that I have seen improve is just my ability to talk to people, it's still not perfect and I tend to be a little more shy, but it's easier to just talk to people now, without fear of rejection or anything like that, it's good. I feel like that will help me once I start training, because when I'm training I am going to be doing a lot more talking. I think that's all for the week, have a great week :D
lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sent some pictures for no reason. NICE!

First, just thought I'd send you some pictures, just because it's been a while, nothing too exciting just some pictures bajjik (for no reason) I don't think they need any explanation, nothing super exciting going on. This week was pretty good, nothing too exciting, other than the fact that I almost passed out on monday night. I don't know if it was just exhaustion or what, but didn't feel too good and had to take Tuesday off to recover, but now I'm good to go, no worries! I don't know we didn't get a ton of lessons this week, but the people we did study with were really good lessons and I felt like we better identified their needs and taught accordingly so that was good. I also went on another exchange with another Elder who is still relatively new, and just doesn't really have an idea of what's going on. It's crazy to think that, that was me not too long ago. Crazy how much the Lord blesses us and I truly do believe in the gift of tongues if we study and we do our part. I guess to answer your questions now, the person that I heard from this week that surprised me was Sister Draycott, that was nice and unexpected.  Oh and also thank you for the package! Before I forget to say thank-you for that it really was a nice package, I literally just started running out of good spices, so your timing was impeccable! That was good, and scripture from this week, well one lady asked me who Jehovah was and what was the difference between Jehovah and God and things like that, and I knew the answer but didn't exactly know how to answer it with the scriptures. So I went and did some searching and found some good scriptures in John 8:54-58 that perfectly answer that question, that before Abraham was I am. And how the term "I am" means Jehovah, and then also looked up in the bible dictionary the other meanings behind the word Jehovah, and found out that it meant unchanging one, and other things like that, add hebrews 13:8 to that and I think that's a pretty good definition of Jehovah. So I learned a lot about Jehovah this week and have also been continuing to read Jesus The Christ, which is a really good book, full of interesting insights. Just gives you a different perspective on some things and also makes the Gospels come alive for me. There is a lot of huge words and James E. Talmage speaks in a very intellectual manner, but it's still really good, just have to really focus and ponder it, rather than just read. Person I remember meeting the most... I don't know maybe my recent convert Franky, just a solid kid and just from the first visit I could tell that he was really solid and just a happy down to earth kid, which was nice, super friendly and then all of his cousins and whatever just all really funny and love to just talk with all of them.  That was a good first meeting I think, nothing crazy, just good. As for the rest of the questions, I guess a spiritual experience I had was when we were teaching an investigator, he has all these problems that he has to deal with, he has to live the word of wisdom, get his probation revoked and just all this stuff, and I'm not sure if he believes that he can do it, but a marshallese proverb and I guess also a verse popped into my head when he was speaking "an pilinlin koba, e komman lometo" which is like from tiny droplets it will make an ocean. It was kind of like by small and simple things great things can be accomplished, so it made me realize how simple this gospel is. If we do the small and simple things everyday, the big things will begin to take care of themselves. We will begin to see changes within ourselves and all of life's problems will seem not as significant, because we have more of that eternal perspective. We explained to him that through prayer, if he just prays daily, everything else will be able to fall into place and that he will be able to overcome all those things that causing him to not be worthy to be baptized. I thought that was a cool experience, but nope nothing super funny from this week, hard to explain some of the things that are funny, just because in English it doesn't really make sense. And no new foods really, although bwiiro is still delicious, love me some bwiiro, but yeah I think that's about all for the week, hope that your week was equally fantastic, and try not to have too much fun in Cancun!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

 Jordan just chillin' in the sand.
Elder GQ anyone??

He's still Jordan!!!

Had some cool experiences this week

Oct 6, 2013
Something completely random, but husking coconuts is ridiculously hard!! Way harder than you would think, the first time doing it, it takes you like forever to get one, but once you get into a rhythm it's not that bad, just feel like a total white boy doing it! Just I guess another random experience from the week!

This week has been pretty good.  I don't really eat a lot of fruits and vegetables due to the prices.  That sounds like you had a pretty solid week, busy as always but good nonetheless!  We had a slower week but also had some cool experiences, so on Saturday we had our investigators get interviewed for baptism and they both passed, so this upcoming week we have 2 people getting baptized! I love teaching them and it's gonna be hard to not see them as much, just because it is honestly so fun every time we go over there! So that was good definitely a highlight of the week, and then on Sunday we planned a ward missionary night, to help strengthen the ward and help them all fulfill their callings. My companion and I were assigned to talk about Home teaching and the benefits that come from it, it went well, but it is tough when you have to teach the class 4 times and also speaking in another language in front of a group of people. I feel like it went really well and hopefully it will help the ward grow stronger. The goal from the area presidency in the end of 2 years is to have 2 stakes on Majuro and so in order to do that, they have to split the current ward so that's kind of our focus right now, to help strengthen the ward and bring back Priesthood holder's so that missionary fireside was a way to help achieve that. I feel like they have a greater understanding now, and hopefully will be able to fulfill their callings better. So in terms of teaching a lot of lessons this week, it wasn't that great but I feel like we did a lot of good this week and that we are doing more than just teaching lessons, we need to work more efficiently with the ward and that will help monumentally! That was our week, also my companion got some tough news from home, and so he wasn't in the best mood, it's hard to strengthen him and know what to say so I just gave him his space and let him come to me when he wanted to.  I guess it kind of made me realize that's how our saviour does it as well. I'm definitely no where close to the level of the Saviour but I guess it gave me a new perspective of how he sees us hurting, he knows we're struggling and he's willing to help, but he won't force us. He will wait for us to come to him, and he can do all he can to make the trials in this life easier. That's been my week! To answer your questions now though, the food is good nothing too new or exciting but it's good. I am trying to see what else I can do with what I have... I'm glad I have a creative mind when it comes to food, otherwise life would be boring. At least in this area pretty much all the expenses go towards food which is nice, don't have to pay for laundry or taxis where as in other area's you do. So I like this area quite a bit, with the washing machine in the house, a propane stove so when the power goes out you can still cook, it's just a really good set up. If you just don't be stupid and eat out all the time you can make it to the end of the month. I'm glad I know how to budget so I can eat well and not have to worry about running out of money, that's definitely nice. Nothing super funny this week, and I guess in terms of spiritual I guess I just have been realizing how much I've been growing, I tried reading Jesus the Christ at the beginning of my mission and really wasn't getting a whole lot from it, due to the complex language and I think my lack of diligence in trying to read it. I recently picked it up again and it's amazing the power that is in that book, James E. Talmage is just ridiculous and I couldn't imagine the relationship that man had with the Saviour, just incredible. That book has definitely been opening my eyes lately and giving me new things all the time. In terms of companionship study, it's just amazing what can happen when 2 people want to do it, and have both studied for the investigators, how the spirit can lead us and direct us. Role plays are hard to do for sure, but they definitely help a lot and prepare us for the lessons we teach during the day. I think that's about all for the week, it was a pretty good week, and hope you guys have an awesome week this week! It's crazy how fast the time is going!
lot's of lovin' 
From Your Son Elder Jordan Michelson

Companionships are put together for a Reason

Oct. 13, 2013

Thanks for the email, this week has been fairly interesting, just trying to work with some of these investigators is kind of difficult.  This work definitely requires a lot of patience and has to be led by the spirit. I think it's interesting how we are put in companionships, because there are certain things that I wouldn't say that my companion does. His way of working is different than mine, that the spirit is able to work through him differently then it does through me. For example this past week we had an investigator who started drinking again, which was hard, but I feel like we dealt with it appropriately where the things that we both said worked well with each other. They complimented each other, sometimes before I would think that maybe he shouldn't be saying those things, it will hurt people's feelings or whatever but sometimes people need that push. I'm glad to work with a companion who has different strengths. There are certain things that I do better than him, but he also has things that he can relate to investigators better. I think it works well together, just something interesting I've noticed from this past week. I mostly study for my investigators and that really helps identify people's needs, role plays are an interesting thing, where if we do them with the spirit they can help us identify certain problems that we couldn't on our own through just studying. I've also been reading from Jesus the Christ again, and it is really a powerful book. It gives more detail and insight into the life of Christ and truly how perfect he was.  I find it amazing just reading about all the miracles and how he dealt with adversity and problems. The best discussions I've had lately are probably with this lady Katline, she really has a desire to learn, and the discussions go well. She asks good questions and has a desire to come closer to Heavenly Father. One thing that is difficult though is to get people to ask questions, they will usually just say that they understand and say they will do everything we commit them to do, and then when we follow up, there is a clear lack of understanding. I've been trying to ask more questions lately in order to test people's knowledge and it seems to be going better. I think that's about all for the week, thanks.  Sorry I won't be there to clean up all the leftovers but I'm sure it'll be fine. Have a great week and take care

Elder Jordan Michelson

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I just can never seem to smile haha

September 1

I guess you guys are getting back into the swing of things again, but it's crazy to me that it's already September.  Where the heck has the time gone? I don't know if you guys feel it but it has gone so fast so far, and thanks for the what 34 steps on how to be a happy missionary. You know how I struggle with being happy, I just can never seem to smile, I'm generally miserable all the time :p haha totally kidding, but I do appreciate it. I'm loving the work in this area right now, because everyone in the mission seems to think that this is a hopeless area that the people are all too busy and that it's hard to have success here, but things have really been picking up and hopefully we will help some more people within this area. We have 5 people with baptismal dates, but as you already know have some crazy situations, but we are doing everything we can to help out. I hope I don't get transferred, I definitely want to follow through with these people in helping them accomplish their goals that they have set for themselves. Another random question, about food again... seems like I talk about food a lot, but could you hook me up with another recipe. Any new news? Any people getting married that I don't know about and are any of the cousins my age dating anyone or anything?? haha just curious. Got some pretty glorious tan lines from doing some service on saturday, the kids at church thought they were pretty funny to go from like reddish, because you know how I tan, to a super white. They all tend to laugh at that, I'll tell you about an investigator that I'm pretty excited for his name is Franky and he's this 16 year old kid who's living with some members, one of the hardest parts about this work and these people is getting them to act, or use there faith in any degree, if they don't want to do something they'll usually come up with an excuse like they're sick or whatever, things like that. This kid is just a champ, I can see him being a future missionary and a really good one, we ask him to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, and he does it, we ask him to come to church, he does it, no questions asked. He pays attention in all the lessons and just really has a strong desire, it helps that he's living with such a strong family as well. There's this bubu who always feeds us and gives coconuts or makes coconut cookies and gets like offended if we don't stop and eat, she always has to give us something, just love that woman to death, super strong. And then there's the teenage kids, that just love me and think I'm cool, and always ask me to beatbox or whatever because it's entertaining. We'll go over there and play with the bubu's grand kids and I just think that makes her like us even more. I love going to that house, it's just so perfect, always the highlight of my day. Franky has a baptismal date for September 28 and I really don't think there's anything holding him back, so hopefully he will be able to get baptized then and continue being strong. Also the power has been going of in our house a lot lately, kind of rough, especially after you come back from being in the sun and there's no way to cool down, so there's tile on the floor and that's how we cool down when the power is out. Reminds of home sometimes when I would overheat and couldn't sleep just go lay on the tile floor to cool dow, kind of funny. Anything else magical or exciting about this week? We found this new investigator named Katline she is an older woman who works at the college super nice lady and really has a strong desire to study. We taught her the message of the restoration this week, and I don't know it was just a really powerful lesson, I felt the spirit very strong so hopefully we will be able to help her and give her a baptismal date as well. I think that's about it for today, today is combined pday random fact for ya, that's always fun to see all the elder's and sister's again. Hope you have a fantabulous week and hope to hear from you all soon, good luck in starting school again! Miss you all, and jeramman nan komi aelop! lots of lovin' from Elder Michelson

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Truly amazing .... he is growing so much!!

Aug 24
Sounds like a pretty exciting week, and kubwe ekwojarjar!! (holy crap) hahaha but no one actually says that I just like saying it. That's insane that Joss and Taylor are both going that soon, I mean I guess I've been out for quite a while now, but it still doesn't feel that long. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot, but at the same time I feel like you guys are missing out on a lot of the stuff that I'm learning out here. When I really sit down and look at myself it's crazy how much I have grown, and I haven't been out that long. I'm still the same person obviously but just things I am able to do now, 7 months ago I never thought that I would be doing them. To answer your questions, the best thing I have learned about myself is how well I can get along with people, I always tried to get along with everyone before my mission, and I feel like I don't know if it's patience or what, but I can really get close to people. I've made so many really close friends since I've been out and it's almost like another family in all honesty. I guess I've learned a lot of patience. Umm most spiritual experience I've had thus far is when Kevin W. Pearson came and I was able to sit with him one on and one and just talk, the power I felt in that room was incredible and the whole rest of the day I literally felt like I could do anything, it was like a shot of spiritual adrenaline is the best way I can describe it, just being super confident and powerful, it was really an amazing feeling, I wonder if that's how prophets feel everyday? Random thought. But let's see how has my testimony of the saviour increased, I don't know how hasn't it increased? Just seeing the effect it can truly have on people's lives when they accept it, is amazing. Like I've said before my best investigator, Trina, had no idea how to pray before, went out and partied and just didn't know what to do with her life, she has seen the benefits and has shared with me how she has felt the spirit. One example is when she went in for her baptismal interview, she had to be interviewed with the mission president because she had done some things that required a higher power to clear her for baptism, and she was really nervous about it and thought that she wouldn't be able to answer the questions. When we helped practice with her before, she was still forgetting things and thought she wouldn't be able to get baptized, but she prayed before her interview and was able to answer all the questions and she told us that she didn't even feel like she was answering them, that someone or something was telling her what to say, I thought that was cool. And just to see how she could go from her life before, to that, has really strengthened my testimony of the power of the Atonement. It is clear, it does have power and it is truly incredible. Umm miracles.. still working on that, just with our investigator on probation, he has to show us a desire to change and he hasn't really showed that, he hasn't come to church for the past 3 weeks which makes it a little harder, he said he was sick, but sometimes people just make up excuses and its frankly pretty frustrating, but we just have to keep being patient and working with him. It's not our job to change him, that has to come from him. I guess one thing that is difficult about this mission, is that there are lots of people that we can baptize, but they aren't truly converted, they don't truly understand and most likely they will fall away shortly, I'm trying to prevent that as much as I possibly can, I don't care about the numbers or about what everyone expects. I want to try and help these people truly become converted, and I hope I've been doing that. There are so many less actives here, who have forgotten everything they have been taught, they have no clue who Joseph Smith is, and they have never even opened the Book of Mormon, they were just baptized either because they liked the Elder's or they were too scared to say no. So yeah I don't know, kind of went on a little rant there but, still working on seeing miracles in the work, I saw one with Trina and also Selina I would say, but still working on seeing some in this area. The investigators are doing fairly well, had more of a slow week because my companion was sick, but no worries, still managed to go out and work. The problem is the people who would probably be really good investigators can only study once a week, or not even that, because they are so busy working. The educated people are always busy, and then the other people frankly aren't that educated so it's harder for them to understand, which is also where the patience comes in. Just trying to do what we can to help everyone come closer to the Savior, we have some young kids who are really progressing towards baptism, but we are still looking to try to change someone's life. The church is also still so young here, that the people don't exactly know how it's run, and bring ideas from their previous churches into our church which causes some arguments and hard feelings, so hopefully as this next generation grows up in the church the wards will continue to get stronger. Sometimes I lose sight of that, it is frustrating sometimes when people don't understand how the church should operate, or they're too lazy to care. I feel like it would be easier to explain all of this once I'm back home, just saying but I'm trying. Umm things that I can't get here, I don't know anymore, I'm pretty much content with anything haha those mios last time were really good, enjoyed those, made drinking water a lot better, and I mean we can get a lot here, it's just ridiculously expensive. Umm a side bag would be nice though, one I can put my scriptures and stuff in just a small little bag, because apparently we're not supposed to be wearing backpacks as missionaries anymore, so I've been using another missionaries side bag and it's actually pretty nice, I think I like it better than a backpack. I dont know exactly how long letters take to get here, it's not ridiculously long or anything, they definitely get here faster from the states though, I can tell you that much. Umm let's see, person I've heard from that I was the most surprised to hear from, probably Angie? Wasn't expecting that one, so yeah. Umm funny stories... okay the other day we were teaching a nine year old what repentance is, and he just wasn't quite understanding, so we tried to give him an example about how stealing is bad, and how if you steal in order to repent you need to give what you stole back, or pay for it. So we thought he understood and then a couple days later, we were preparing him for his interview and he forgot, so we asked a little girl what repentance was and she just remembered our example, her response to what repentance was is " when you steal something" haha and that was it, that was pretty funny i thought. Did you get my letter yet? I tried to break down how many missionaries there were on the island, but we keep getting more so it's hard to keep track of, so hopefully they'll start opening some more outer islands. Right now there are 3 open as well as Ebeye which is I think the most populated place on the planet? I don't know maybe check that one out, but for one square mile there are 15000 people, so that's fairly ridiculous. I don't know the exact number of missionaries now in this mission, its somewhere around 58 I think. This email Is ginourmous so I hope you enjoy it! Take care I think that's about all for now, lots of lovin' from the pacific!!

 Here are some pictures he sent from while he was riding his bike in his new area... Arrak

 He laughed when he saw this one

 This is his MTC companion. Elder Ingalls they aren't serving together but still get to see each other sometimes
 At zone conference
 He said he knew he was being tempted to go bare footing but resisted it!!

The Marshall's need I say more was his comment

Thanks for the recipes

Aug 18
Well that's nice that you get to know some of Eric's friends, do they ever come by?? Does Erc just kind of chill with the same people?? That's cool that Logan went through the temple, when is he leaving exactly?? I'm definitely going to make the orange scones, excited for that for sure!! Crazy that school is almost starting again, time out here has been flying, it still seems to me that I just got here, but I have 2 intakes of missionaries after me now. I'm starting to be one of the older missionaries and it's weird to me! The investigators are coming little by little it's hard to find time to see them all because of the length of our area, but it's going well! I love biking places, the tire got destroyed one day and I just remembered how much I don't really enjoy walking out in the hot sun, with the bikes you get a breeze and it's just way better. On p-days so far it has mainly just been drive into town and come back, no time really to relax, just go get your stuff done and come back, hopefully today will be better, p-days have kind of not been so fun lately. Still am able to get all the same stuff I was before, hasn't changed, just if I ever go to an outer island, that'll be the huge change. My companion is pretty good at Marshallese, I mean he's been to an outer island and been out 21 months so he should be pretty good, but I understand pretty much all of what he's saying and I just need to keep learning new words. He's helping me out and I'm getting along with him pretty good, in terms of working with him, I'm actually loving it. We've been teaching better together and working in unity which is nice, and also I had to give a talk in church today, a little nerve wracking for sure, but I think it went pretty well, it was also these new missionaries first sunday, so I wonder how much they understood of what I said. A couple of people came up to me after the meeting and told me they appreciated what I said and they understood it and said that my marshallese was good. All the Marshallese people say our marshallese is good, I don't know if they're just being nice, but regardless I'll take it. So that was exciting, pretty good experience and I felt confident speaking, more so than I thought. Yes we use object lessons, that is the way to teach these people, use rocks, pictures whatever you can find, object lessons are what's up!! Random question are Geoff and Andrea still sort of interested in our church, I was wondering if the Elders could help them and be normal?? I don't know. Hopefully found some new solid investigators that we can help them progress. Life is good out here, just chilling and hopefully I can send some pictures, but this computer is kind of jorraan so yeah... we'll see. Anywho love you lots, hope your week is fantastic!

Haven't posted for most of the summer so here are Jordan's summer emails ENJOY!!

Aug 11
The week is going pretty good, and we got the transfer calls and me and Elder Parente are staying together for another transfer, I think. I don't know for sure but I'm definitely with him for some more time. You're a seminary teacher?? haha who are you team teaching with? I just want to thank you for the package and the letter's, I got them today and that was really nice. Do you know if the Brooks' got the letter I sent to them a while ago? I hope so, because it was a fairly big letter, if they didn't let them know how much I appreciated the packages and all the time and effort they put into doing all those nice things, that was a really cool package, and I also love the tie they gave, super classy! Random little funny story before I tell you about the rest of the week, we were driving into town today and in the middle of town this little kid just pulls down his pants and starts peeing in the middle of everyone. You really see some crazy stuff out here! We did a lot of biking this week, like a lot, hopefully the legs are getting stronger, because I am definitely sweating a lot! Everyone always asks me if I'm new to this island because my face goes all red all the time, haha dang genetics, oh well. When my face isn't red the tan is actually quite nice, just saying. I have a couple interesting situations to deal with in this area, and it's going to require some miracles, but I have faith that these things can happen. So first we have this investigator named Moen, good solid guy, and has the desire to get baptized but he is on probation from the Marshallese government, so right now he can't be baptized, but they are willing to excuse his probation if he is baptized and shows that he changed his life. If he starts living the word of wisdom and coming to church every week we can go down to town on his behalf and I guess testify of the fact that he has truly changed his life and is worthy to be excused from his probation. Then the other story is that we are starting to study with this less-active couple. The man is a member since he was young, served a mission and did all that, but his "girlfriend" of 8 years hasn't been baptized yet. In order for her to get baptized they obviously need to get married, but the problem is that he was married before and his wife refuses to divorce him, and is now in america and they don't really know where. Makes life a little interesting to try and see how to solve this problem. Those are a couple of the difficult situations we have right now, so we'll see where those go, we are also studying with this 9 year old kid, just way smart and the bishop wanted us to study with him, hopefully he will be baptized in 2 weeks, but in the meantime we are trying to find some more investigators who want to progress. One thing that I've really being trying to focus on lately is my diligence, sometimes it's hard when you don't see people making the changes that you think they should and that sometimes this work is pointless, but once I really studied it 
out in the scriptures it really helped me gain more of an understanding for what we need to do. The key is our 
attitudes and how we think, it really has helped me in this work and I'm grateful that we receive answers through the scriptures. I'm still cooking and stuff, anything that's on sale is usually expired or something like that, but I always buy stuff like that and see what I can do with it. There was this random pomegranate raspberry salad dressing, and it was on sale and I was like what can I do with this! So I marinated some chicken in it and made pomegranate raspberry chicken and breaded it, that was quite a good meal I would have to say. Yes I still do most of the cooking, that's just what I do but it's good, I find that I'm getting more and more creative and just seeing what I can use. I've also been trying to ask people for recipes in Marshallese, I really want a Marshallese cookbook regardless of how effective it will be back home. Still get a lot of coconuts, not quite daily, but a lot, and I've definitely decided when I get home, I am going to help the elders out, the work is just so much more effective when working with members!!!! Anyways I think that's about all for the week, thanks for all the love and support, oh and did you get my letter yet?? I sent it a while ago so hopefully it'll be there shortly, anyways thank ya muchly and you didn't even use the marshallese word for mom, haha wat kain jina! Anyways tell everyone I love em, and have a crantabulous week!
Elder Michelson!

Still don't know what will happen with the newbies

Aug 4
August 15th the newbies come in, but we'll see if either of us are training. Don't really know anything anymore, it's all speculation and I've heard so much different stuff, but I'll know for sure on Friday what's happening, that'll be good to just kind of clear the air. Dang it, I miss bubble teas!!! Not so much climbing coconut trees here, the people usually do that, but before I get home I am learning!! The new area is coming along very well actually, found a ton of part member families, so we'll see if we can help them out. There is this one less active lady named Justina and she said she prayed that she would be able to go back to church and that something would happen in her life to help her change, and then the next day we showed up. She said she knew that God answers prayers and helps, so that was cool and she also said the bracelet I gave her answered her prayer too. She's being struggling to pray recently and said that the bracelet reminded her that she needed to go to church and pray everyday, so I'll continue to let you know how that goes but that was a cool experience. Then also we found this other investigator through a returned missionary (the rm is a huge stud and helps us so much). He's this 18 year old kid who has lots of questions about religion and we were able to talk to them in english which was nice, sometimes you can't say everything you want to say in the way you want to say it in marshallese, so the english lesson was really good. Hopefully we are going to be able to continue studying with him and help him find the truth, this area is really coming along, because frankly when I got here it was struggling a bit. Hopefully through faith it can get a bit better day by day. I guess how you would say mother to me, would be jinam pronounced Geenum but if i was talking about you I would say jinu Geenuh because for certain words you have to add a possessor to the end of end it to declare who's it is, that's one of the hardest parts about this language is the fact that you can't just like say "see you later" you have to say like see the 4 or more of you later, or see you three people later, its kind of cool, or when your praying you have to differentiate between all of of us which is like the prefix "Je" and convert it talking about everyone excluding the person your talking to like "kom". Kind of confusing and you probably don't understand anything I just said but oh well, I'll try to give an example you would say jenaaj katak which is like we all of us will study and there's komironaaj katakin eok which is like the two of us (excluding you) will teach you. Hopefully you understood that a little bit, if not sorry :p and lets see what else, oh Elder Parente and I are getting along really well actually, not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but if you really try to get along with people you can get along with anyone, because he said himself he's hard to get along with. On p-day's we go into town and going shopping that's what is exciting, that's what I get to look forward to, and Jeff's getting married?? What that happened pretty fast, when I talked to him 6 months ago there really wasn't anyone but that's good glad he found someone! Is Benton or Brandon dating anyone?? Just randomly was thinking about that the other day, and life is moving pretty fast just saying, I can't believe I've already been out for as long as I have. The weeks just fly by, and of course I'm doing what I'm supposed to, Michelson's aren't mediocre momma! Well rain out here frankly destroys days, its bad manners to enter into someone's house if your wet and dirty it just makes life a little but harder, when it really pours, it's hard to find things to do, but I guess that's just part of the work. I think that's about all for now, hope your doing well! You're all in my prayers and I LOVE YOU TONS 
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Arrak is totally different

July 28
So that sounds like a pretty fun week for you guys, this side of the island is crazy totally different then the other side, and i'm loving it! The members are way solid and just really nice, and they're still spam lovers but I haven't eaten spam for a while now so that's good I guess. I've been using the heck out of the spices, it's so nice, our land owner gave us some freshly caught marlin this past week and that was freakin delicious breaded it up and put some fresh lime on it with pepper and stuff oh baby that was a good meal! I seriously get coconuts like daily out here, they're a little harder to come by in town, it's cool out here! I miss just about everything honestly so whatever you send is fantastic. I have been making some cakes with orange frosting on them and my companions have been loving that, so that's good. Teaching people, or just talking to people in english is crazy, we talked with this military guy who's working on island and he was asking us what we did and stuff and it started out as a pretty good conversation and then he went all inception on us and starting pulling out these crazy theories and using physics and science and explained his idea of God. That God was sound and chance, and every single person is God, even rocks and stuff, and then proceeded to talk about this perfect sphere and stuff and it was just totally random and after 3 hours or so my head felt like it was going to explode. He asked some pretty interesting questions and it was just a nuts lesson. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that on a daily basis, it's nice that all the marshallese people pretty much believe that there is a God and they have the same definition of him as I do for the most part. Had the inception lesson, because quite literally I felt like I was watching the live version of inception and then after that we went and taught a nine year old and it made me realize how grateful I am for the beauty and the simplicity of this gospel, you don't need crazy formulas you don't need to overthink it, it just makes sense and its so simple and beautiful that a 9 year old child can understand it. So yeah that was a little from my week. English people are interesting to talk to sometimes. That's one of my goals to find someone who knows how to cook marshallese food and find like a cookbook or something like that, not that I'll be able to make much of it when I get home but still I saw another missionary with a cook book and I want to find one like that. I got a letter from the Holts today that was nice, Ty is freakin hilarious and I'll be sure to write them back. Holy cow I almost forgot that Eric is almost 17 what the heck HAPPY FREAKIN BIRTHDAY ERC eat some cake for me!! That's been the week so far, I miss you all but I'm still alive and doing well 
lots of lovin from the other side of the world! From Elder Michelson

Part II

July 21 part II
Elder Ingalls is now working in Uliga which is in the other side, where I sort of was before. In the letter I sent today, I drew a little map of the island so hopefully that'll help you understand a little bit more, give you a nice visual even though I stink at drawing. Define shopping... haha we have little mon wiias that we can buy stuff from but we have to go into town if we want real food, and because in 3 and a half weeks the new intake of Elder's and Sisters comes in and either me or Elder Parente will be training because there will be 8 new elders. The island is going to be packed with newbies, most likely I will be training because they just moved me to Arrak, which is in Laura sort of, not exactly sure yet. The new Mission President is awesome, knows how to work and definitely getting some stuff done for sure. He's planning on reopening some of the outer islands which is awesome! Yes I'm in Arrak now and I'm getting used to the area a little bit. My day consists of riding my bike and teaching people about the gospel, and when that falls through we go ride our bikes some more and see if there is anyone interested in learning about the gospel and when that falls through gotta go get some majestic pictures because I am still in the islands! So far nothing too exciting still just trying to get used to the area and stuff like that, but sounds like you guys are just big party animals, just partying without me!!! haha but I shink that's all for now, talk to you next week thanks for the email and I'll send pictures afterI finish these other couple emails

Mom' note he didn't send any pictures so you can't see them either. Sorry :(

Am I really transferred today???

July 21
What's up what's up! So a couple of random things you should hook alina up with an email account or something like that haha because she told me to ask you that, and you should let eric buy a blowgun, because they are so fun, and I'm definitely gonna buy one when I get home, he'll be responsible with it and it's just cool!!  How's life with you?? I'll probably send you some more love once I actually get an email from you but I'll let you know a little bit about my week so I thought I was going to get transferred on wednesday so I was getting ready and saying good bye to everyone and then turns out the assistants called and said I wasn't get transferred until Thursday so just kind of had that awkward day where it's like "why aren't you gone yet?" No worries and so Thursday was the transfer and that was good, Trina the lady I was able to baptize threw me a nice little going away party where she brought us some pizza and then had a marshallese tie made for me, so that was nice. I'm really going to miss her, and hope she stays strong, she said she might go to Hawaii and the states because her son is sick and so I'm not sure if I will be able to see her again, but hopefully juon iien juon raan imaron bar loi e maybe one time one day i can see her again. That was kind of sad leaving and then I went to the green side, the west side or the darkside as Elder Ingalls calls it I am replacing Elder Ingalls so all his stories that he's been telling me I get to now go see that's kind of cool. RIght now I'm working with Elder Parente, he's 6'4 and I think I probably weigh more than him, he's a good guy and he's just being himself can't complain. That's my new comp and I definitely will say that I miss working with Schmidt that guy was awesome, and we got along very well, but yeah I'll probably only be working with Elder Parente for 3 and a half weeks or so, we'll see what happens. Cool experience, on Saturday I was able to witness a baptism in the ocean, I'll send some pictures of it later on, but yeah that was cool, I was pretty much soaked at least my pants were and stuff but hey, totally worth it! If I stay in this area long enough hopefully I can baptize some people in the ocean! That would be unreal! I'm excited for that, then on Sunday met all the new people in the ward and stuff, and they were telling me that my marshallese was pretty good and that I learned it pretty fast for the short amount of time I've been on the island which was nice. Then the bishopric in this ward is super legit, the members seem to be really solid and hopefully will 
be good at fellowshipping any investigators we have, which will be nice. The bishopric all rolled up in suits and stuff and I was blown away, and the people in this ward actually sing, it's crazy!! Like they belt it and I was able to really feel the spirit there, the ward in rita was good but the bishop was kind of relaxed. They had a pretty relaxed attitude, which made it a little harder, the problem on this side though is that the area is so long that they will have problems getting people to church they have a van that goes and picks people up but it is too full sometimes, and can't get everyone, so we'll see how that goes. Oh my goodness it has been a while since I have ridden a bike, I might have almost biffed it when I first got on, but no worries, it was pretty funny! We all have to switch over to side bags now, which is sort of inconvenient but oh well ejjelok joraan, it makes us look more professional I guess. The investigators in Rita that I was studying with will hopefully get baptized within the next couple weeks, anxious to hear how that goes, because they were all pretty solid. What else is exciting in my life right now, there's a bunch of drunk guys that always want to talk to missionaries, some of them are just so ridiculous and make it hard to study with people but hey that's kind of just the way it is in Marshall, but I think that's about I'll for now, I'll send some pictures and answer anymore questions when I email later today, thanks bye!