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!

Part II

July 14 part II 
Gotta a lot of emails to read, life is good and the baptisms went really well the first girl who was baptized is Crystal she's a ysa aged girl and has a way strong desire just super solid doesn't understand everything but really had a desire to be baptized and to keep coming to church. Then the second girl also ysa aged is named Heniko, she was just super solid, got her as a referral and was ready to be baptized. Another Elder baptized her and it was kind odifferent but still good and she is also really ready to be baptized, I hope she will stay strong! I love working with Elder Schmidt, he is the man and we are playing rook together when we get home, I got him to love that game I never ever wear the cotton pants or socks, I die in them, so hotttt!! That's why they're guaranteed to last 2 years haha because I'll never wear them the other one's are good. No worries for pants shirts or socks at this point, and yes I got transfered as I said in the last email, do you get the newsletter's and stuff that Sister Shaw was making?? I don't know what the new mission presidents wife will do, but that's got like  a ton of pictures and stuff on it and it's pretty good. I think that's about all for now, hope life is good and your having fun!! Try not to miss me too much and sounds like you've been having fun at the lake!! I hope your doing well and I hope I answered your questions, you should be getting a letter here pretty soon, so maybe that will help explain a little bit more about the islands and nope you just get soaked, you can't really prepare for when it's gonna rain, you just have to get soaked and that's the way it is! I think that's all. Love you a lot, and I should be able to continue emailing every week although I'm not too sure! 
Lots of lovin from your son elder Michelson

Didn't have power so here's the news

July 14, 2013
I'll read the other email to respond to it but the computers were all closed down so I couldn't email home last week.There was a pretty crazy lightning storm and it screwed some stuff up on the island, but no worries. The church is really close, its walking distance for my whole area so no worries, anyone can come to church it's just if they want to or not. I got a transfer call, I'm officially moving out of my birthplace which is kind of crazy. I didn't expect it at all,but I'm working in Arrak now, which is more jungle and a huge area. I am going to be biking  mostly that's news for me. On august 15th there will be 8 new elders coming in and because i just got moved it's possible that I might be training, that would be crazy,I don't know if I'm quite ready for that. I guess it's just a speculation so I don't really have to worry about it but hey I mean if it's god's will it'll happen right?? That's something they say in the marshall islands all the time, if it's god's will. I feel like when i come home I'm going to have all these weird sayings that I get from my mission, like if food falls on the ground here, at home it's like "5 second rule" but here it becomes kijun satan, which is like satan's food. So funny some of the stuff they say, and let's see had a pretty interesting story, I had a lady ask me and Elder Schmidt if we had diarrhea and we were like... nope? and then she proceeded to tell us how she did and how she pooped herself a little but it's fine because she showered haha. Just random funny stories like that happen all the time! I think I'll read the other email and respond to that too, and see what else I have to say, maybe talk about the baptisms that happened, thanks talk to you in an email that will come fairly shortly