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