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