Monday, December 29, 2014

last email

December 15, 2014

Alright well I guess I might as well respond to the last email, the couple left the island like I said so they didn't end up getting married but hopefully the elders following will be able to finish all that up! And I did have a baptism my last Saturday In the marshall islands so that's just a really good feeling and good to know that I did something. Also coming back here for a little bit is awesome, I freakin love I and you will definitely meet him at some point. Also gave the pkg away to Elder L, but it was received so thank you so much for that! Love you so much and thank you for everything!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

I found some really eye opening things about the atonement

December 8, 2014

Well that sounds like quite the interesting week, hope that you are feeling better now. I'm still in Ebeye I fly back to Majuro on monday, it will be the sisters and I that come back on majuro. Also just saying when we go to hawaii, we definitely have to go to the temple and the polynesian cultural centre, one of the sisters that works in Ebeye now lives in hawaii, and gonna have to go visit her when we're there. This week was pretty good, we went to a picnic this week and had a going away party with all the people, yea that was pretty fun. We also had a baptismal interview so this last week we will have a baptism before I leave which will be nice. The couple however won't be able to married because they randomly went to an island for christmas and then didn't tell me about it... So hopefully my companion Elder K will be able to get them married and baptised. I have no doubt that they will be. Kind of was a bummer this week showing up to their house and finding that they just random went to another island! But we found another investigator in that house so that was nice. Also this week I gave a training that I really liked this week about the atonement and the importance of it and I found some really eye opening things about the atonement, I might share some of those thoughts when I give my homecoming talk... Haha I guess we'll see. And for right now I'm just trying to show Elder K around my area, so he knows the people and where to go.. So that's what I'm trying to do to keep busy and also help prepare our investigator for baptism. And naww you don't have to wait to do anything, if it was early december I would say to wait, haha I just want some root beer and chocolates when I come home hahaha, I wish I could go cut down a Christmas tree but that's cutting it way too close, so just have everything all good to go. And for the thanksgiving thing I just couldn't eat all that much because my stomach had shrunk a little bit and I've been feeling not all that fantastic since I've come to Ebeye, but yeah life goes on! And then to answer your last question, I will be with Elder I for my last couple days that I'm in Majuro. I think that's about all for the week though, just trying to finish strong and help whoever I can this last week. Definitely am looking forward to seeing all of you though and thank you all for everything!
Lots of loving'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

I guess I got a confirming witness this week that my mission has been successful

December 1, 2014

 I'm good, we had the little girl named molliysha baptized and it was a good baptism, and the couple didn't end up getting married this week, but hopefully pretty soon, they said before I leave that they will get married. So that will be awesome, and I really love that couple. We also went to Kwajilien for thanksgiving on friday and that was pretty good, we ate all sorts of good food, way too much food and I could barely eat anything... it was somewhat depressing! This week I guess I got a confirming witness this week that my mission has been successful, and that was just a cool feeling to get that from reading the scriptures. Anyways not a whole lot from this week, and how are the missionaries in our ward? I definitely want to work with them when I come back home. Hope that you have an awesome week and it's ridiculous how little time I have left to serve, it's really starting to dawn on me. But I'm still working and still trying to do whatever I can to help, I also learned this week that I will fly out of Ebeye on Monday so that'll be awesome. Thank you for being awesome! Hope that you have an awesome birthday, and know that I love and am thinking about you a lot! Thank you for being my mama!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

I learned about the enabling power of the atonement

November 24, 2014

I have been doing pretty good, we had our final dinner with president this week and that was kind of weird, I have had my final interview and things like that and I guess just kind of looking back on my mission it's nice to see that I don't have regrets, so that is nice to look back on that and have a feeling of accomplishment in what I did. yes I am excited to come home, I mean I've been thinking about it for a while, but it's not the only thing that I'm thinking about haha. Another thing about this week is that I was pretty sick, that made things not all that exciting... Makes things a little bit harder, but I'm still out doing things. I learned about the enabling power of the atonement how Jesus Christ not only suffered for our sins but also for our shortcomings and weaknesses. How we can be able to do things that we could not do by ourselves, and how we need to rely on him and his atonement. So that was cool, and I like continually learning more. The cooking is going well I'm finding new things to make hahaha cheese was on sale and stuff for a dollar, so been cooking a lot with cheese. And yes I'm getting along well with my companion I think I might have one more before I go home, I guess we'll see what's going to happen. I quote mosiah 24:14 quite a bit, I have like 5 from the book of mormon that I quote quite a bit. And yes I know that I am missed and loved I'm glad for all the love and the support and I hope that your enjoying the Schaffers posts and what not. I love each and every one of you, and I'm excited to see all of you. And whoever wants to come to the airport can come! Just saying, so I think that's all for this week, oh I guess we're having a baptism this week, and also a couple getting married! So that is awesome and hopefully they will be able to get baptized before I leave. If not I have confidence that they will be! 
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

We had a couple of interesting lessons

November 10, 2014

Okay well this week we had a baptism for 3 of our companionships, the sisters our central elders and one from our area, so that was really good and they are all really solid investigators. There were 2 19 year olds and a 14 year old boy so that should be a strength to the youth here. We also had a couple of interesting lessons where we tried to teach this one kid and he literally said nothing to us the entire time a little bit awkward, but we'll see if we can make it a little better. We also have been working with this one couple who are doing well, they said they will get married at the end of this month, which is still kind of weird to me because all the couples that I work with never end up getting married. They are serious about it though and have been doing really well in the lessons. It's awesome to see the changes that people can make, we just need to help them come to church and they will be ready for baptism. So that's awesome, their names are scott and lita. Excited that we found them and they've been progressing well. I guess other than that there is nothing all that new going on n Using Danae's story has definitely helped open the hearts of some of the investigators, I will use that when I teach the plan of salvation. It does help when I can testify that I know there is something after this life and that we can be with our families forever. So yeah, in studies I recently started reading the teachings of the prophet John Taylor which has really been pretty interesting, especially his testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith, and the divinity of his calling, his personal witness of the prophet really helped me realize truly how much Joseph Smith has done for this church. I also have learned a lot about the plan of salvation from his book, hopefully before I go home I'll also be able to read a couple of the other prophets books before I go home. 

we had a run in with a member of another church who really didn't like what we were saying

November 3, 2014

Okay so about the letters and stuff... I still suck at it, and I just don't know plus all the letters that I got I left them on Majuro, it's hard to find time to sit down and write a letter, so everyone that has written me tell them I am extremely thankful for the letters and that I wish I could respond to them all, but I don't have time. I'm sorry if I sound like a punk, and just don't care, but it's hard to get it done when your companion doesn't take time to write letters, I don't want to have to waste his time if he doesn't have anyone to write. So I'm sorry about that once more. When I get home I'll have to get some thank you cards out or something. But yeah this week was a pretty good one, we had some success and one of our investigators is going to be baptized this saturday, which is pretty exciting. He's 19 and is a solid young man, it's cool to see the difference that he has made since we first got here. So that will be nice. Also we had a run in with a member of another church who really didn't like what we were saying haha he just had to prove that we were wrong and wanted to bible bash with us, which literally accomplishes nothing. He just kept talking to us, and kept trying to prove how it's not possible that Joseph Smith was a prophet and how God doesn't talk to us anymore, it was kind of a sad argument. It just amazes me that people will take words from the bible and distort them, or take other things and take away the basic meaning of the message. We testified of Jesus Christ the entire time but this guy kept bringing it back to Joseph Smith and how we worship him and whatever, but anyways the reason why I told that story was because there was a man in that house that we were studying with and this Full Gospel member was trying to get us to stop. I felt I needed to fast for both our investigator and this other man, and then right after I began my fast another lady from the same house came up to us and apologized for her little brother's actions and told us that we were welcome to continue teaching our investigator. That just showed me that fasting truly does have power and that maybe sometimes it won't be answered the way that we think, but he will answer. So that was my cool experience from the week I guess! Also I guess I have to apologize for not sending pictures, you can't send them from the computers here so maybe I'll ask the Schaffer's to send you some. To answer your other questions though, the district is doing well, we had 3 baptisms last week. I work with people mostly just going around and spreading the gospel, nothing different from before. Umm Elder Parkinson emailed me once, but I haven't heard from him since. There is a variety of people in our district, there are people from New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Canada and that's pretty much it. Umm my favourite scripture from the week is not just one verse, its just simply Abinadi's testimony of the Savior. I find it amazing how despite him not coming yet, despite all the tribulations and trials he had to go through, he still stood firm in what he knew to be true. I guess that shows to me how close he must have been and how in tune to the spirit he was, that the Savior truly did make himself known unto him. I think that it's easier for us because we have all this proof that he did come, so many biblical accounts prophets today, and all of that, but Abinadi didn't have all those witnesses that we now have, and I just found that really amazing as I thought about it. So that was what stuck out to me this week, oh and also just randomly saying, but we had a really fun halloween, they put on a talent show and had all this face painting and stuff and we just had a pretty good time! That was probably one of the most fun experiences I've had on my mission, and sometimes you have to have some of those too, don't know if you saw any of those pictures or not, and I haven't been taking pictures because my camera died and I don't have the charger... So I'll try and copy some before I go home. I think that's about all for this week though, thanks and hope you have an awesome time on your safari!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

We did meet a few new people this week

October 27, 2014

Well this week was kind of slow I guess, there was a primary presentation and a lot of the kids that we were studying with were busy with that, which is good, but at the same time makes our life kind of slow. Also there was a funeral which is a pretty big deal here and no one really wanted to see us, they were all just kind of gone or busy or whatever. We did meet a couple new people and hopefully should have some success pretty soon, I just want to make this area better than it was when I got here. Just trying to work more with the members and strengthen the youth here, because there aren't a whole lot of young men, so trying to see what we can do with that. I don't think I've done that much to help the district improve, I just changed the attitude a little bit hopefully and we also have some great elders and sisters out here right now. I guess in terms of my studies, still been studying with the same focus and plan on doing so until the end of my mission. Just learning more about Christ and how I can better follow him and hear his voice in the book of mormon. One thing that stuck out to me this week was the concept of devoting all your time and efforts to serving him. And if we do that he will strengthen us and allow us to do things that we could not do with our own strength. I also liked the promise that if we do all things we will ultimately gain eternal life and become as he is, which is still a hard concept to grasp for me. The possibility that I can literally become perfect and be as Jesus Christ is, is amazing to me. Obviously that takes a lifetime of work, and will require a lot of effort, but I found that to be a really good promise and it helped me in a couple of the lessons that I had this week. As far as I know the couple that I was working with never did end up getting baptized, at least not yet, but I will check and see again because that would kind of not be all that fun if it didn't work out, because they are awesome. The members out here are awesome, they always feed us and will help us, tell us where other people live and whatnot, I think I have 3 ladies that I call mama now. The one family that we go see quite a bit is the Stephen family and they are helping us teach a couple YSA aged young men. The lessons are going well and hopefully one of them will be able to be baptized in 2 weeks, his name is Labuji hahaha good luck trying to pronounce that one right, but he's pretty solid and we had a really good lesson with him last night. Also we've been working with the Couple missionaries from Cardston who are doing an awesome job trying to give the youth here something to do, because in the tiny crowded island, there isn't a whole lot to do to say the least. They are awesome, I feel like I told you that before but it's all good I just love the S they help us out quite a bit.  I think that's about all for this week, Elder L came here and is now training Elder S which is both good and bad. Haha I miss having s around just because he was the man and was just nice to have around. But it'll be good for him to actually be with one missionary, because being with 2 you just have less time to speak and don't learn as fast. Thank you all for all the support and the kindness! I hope you also have an awesome week in Africa! Once again kind of jealous, but I guess that's just part of life haha.
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

In terms of funny stories, I do actually have a couple,

October 20, 2014

I did rennet it was dads birthday! Happy birthday!!This week was pretty good, we had a lot of new investigators, but it's still really slow day to day. Just trying to help everyone in the district and motivate as much as I can. I guess in terms of things that I've been studying about, I've been reading the book of Mormon with a focus on hearing the Savior's voice and I guess to just help me improve. I've had some cool new insights and it really does help me realize how much the Book of Mormon truly does testify of Christ. One of the things that I liked from this week was in 2 nephi I think in 32nd chapter, how it talks about gaining knowledge and how Nephi mourns for those who choose not to gain knowledge, that if we rely on the Savior he will be able to give us knowledge concerning all things. And how as we feast upon the words of Christ we will be granted more and more knowledge and in time we will be able to speak with the tongue's of angels. I found that fairly interesting because I know that in order for individuals to be truly converted they need to feel the truthfulness of these things and that can only happen as we do our part. It sucks sometimes to see that many missionaries just don't understand that, that "as long as I'm baptizing people it doesn't matter what I do" attitude just stinks sometimes. I'm obviously not perfect and have so much to work on, but I wish I could rely more wholly on the spirit, and be able to share with people this knowledge. I guess that's what I learned this week, I like the focus of this study. In terms of funny stories, I do actually have a couple, mostly about my new trainee... he had a scorpion crawl up his pants, which is now taped to our fridge as a trophy. Surprisingly it didn't sting him though just caused quite the scare. Also he's been struggling some what with the pronunciation of some things which leads to some fairly good laughs for me... such as "When I speak English, I have Diarrhea" "You should do me" "Do you want to get drunk with me" hahaha things like that, where he's trying to say "when I speak English, I'm loud" "Can you help me" and "Do you want to take lessons with me" so that's always fun, but he's a champ and I love him. The island is just really really crowded and there are so many kids here. If anyone does anything cool there is just an army of kids right there right away. Sometimes the streets will get flooded and they'll take pieces of plywood and more or less surf down the streets. There is a church building here and it's fairly small, but it works. The people here are really nice though and the member's help out a ton. That's about all though, if you want some more specifics I'll try to answer those questions. Thank you for all the love and support and look forward to talking to you again next week!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Agency, attitude, and accountability and how those three concepts relate

October 10
okay well first off I am no longer a zone leader, seeing as Ebeye is a completely different island and there is no zone here, which isn't a big deal just thought that I'd let you know. I am the District leader out here and this place definitely needs some help, the only missionaries that have really been working hard lately have been the sister's and the other 3 sets haven't really been doing much. So hopefully I'll be able to do something to help that a little bit and help change the attitude out here. I've learned that is something that really makes a huge difference is your attitude and how you look at where you work and what you're doing. My last training that I gave in Zone meeting was about that and I thought it went pretty well, it was about agency, attitude, and accountability and how those three concepts relate. That sometimes we will be placed in situations that maybe we wouldn't choose necessarily but our attitude about that situation makes all the difference. I think I needed to hear that training too because as I came out here, this is definitely not a situation that I would choose to put myself in, we are literally starting from ground zero and have almost no one to see. But that doesn't matter, I'm already starting to see some people and have some people that could be pretty good. Also the member's out here are really willing to help so that's nice to see, I've gotten a ton of referrals since I've been here and it has been pretty good. So I guess that's just a little bit about the work and stuff, I can tell that it will definitely be a little hard at times, but I definitely am going to enjoy finishing my mission this way.  Companion study right now consists of teaching Elder S some of the new things that he needs to learn, he just came on Saturday. I am partially training him until his real trainer comes in. So I'm in a tripanionship right now, and that's going pretty good. To answer your other question, there are 3 branches out here, and I work in the 2nd branch, they are trying to work to help it become a stake, and they are doing a pretty good job of going to the rescue and things like that. That's a little more about Ebeye, the Schaffer's are awesome and invited us over for Canadian thanksgiving, we had chili and scones, but hey I'll take it! But they are awesome and I'm really glad that they are here, they definitely want to help and will hopefully make a change in the Seminary and Institute programs here. But I think that's about all I have to say, nothing too much more. Thanks for everything and hope that you have a fantastic week!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Friday, October 10, 2014

I will be going to Ebeye to finish my work out there.

Oct. 7, 2014

Alright well this week was kind of really slow in all honesty just kind of running random errands and trying to get Elder P ready to go home, we did have an awesome young man get baptized though, so that was a definite positive to the week. I really think that he will serve a mission. But I also found out that I will be going to Ebeye to finish my work out there. Ebeye is an island about 1 square mile with roughly 20000 people on it... from what I hear it's a little crowded, so I don't think I'll run out of people to teach. I will be leaving on Thursday morning and will try to help out there, because the missionary work out there has been struggling a little bit lately. So my new companion will be Elder K, don't know his first name yet. I definitely did not see this transfer coming, but I guess that's just kind of the way it works sometimes. I also finished the Book of Mormon this past week, which was good to do once again. I really like Mormon chapter 9 I believe it is, kind of have a lot going on right now so yeah maybe I forgot exactly what chapter it is. I guess something that I've learned lately is that I really don't like doing things somebody elses way, it can get kind of frustrating at times and I wish it could change at times. I've also learned that keeping people happy is a lot easier than trying to cause arguments over things that aren't really that important. I don't know I guess I wish I just could have worked a little bit differently in this area and am now kind of sad to be leaving it. I guess it will all work out in the end. I'm excited to be able lead the district in Ebeye and try to help out as much as I can, I definitely want to finish strong and have no regrets! But that's about it I guess for the week, hope you all are doing awesome!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

I feel like I always tell you about food, but ehh that's just something I really enjoy I guess!

Sept. 29, 2014

Alright so nothing all that exciting, Elder P  gets home on oct 8,  I am going to miss him when he leaves and you will definitely be meeting him sooner rather than later he also says he wants to come to the marshall islands with us, but I think that could get a little bit costly...   I will be the zone leader still and wait until my new companion gets here, which I still don't know who it is, which is kind of killing me honestly... Life goes on though. the couple that we were studying with had a little setback and so I guess we will see what happens with them, they will get baptized at some point but we don't exactly know when. However we do have another way solid young man that just caught fire out of nowhere and will be really good, hopefully he will be able to serve a mission. At least that's his plan at this point, I met him out on Wotje though and then he came back here and we ended up studying with him. He's awesome and I'm excited to see him get baptized. I guess in terms of studying Preach my Gospel I just studied a little bit about helping people keep commitments and the importance of following up afterwards. I'm trying to be able to find the right balance and it's hard to show that you care and help persuade someone to do something without nagging them. So that was my Preach My Gospel studying and I also started reading from the Gordon B. Hinckley book, which has a cool interview in it that I had never come across before. It really is eye opening. I think that's about all I have to say for now, sorry I'm a bit rushed, but I love you all very much and I find it mind blowing that I actually have my flight plans and things like that. So I guess I will be seeing Y'all sooner than I realize! Thank you for all the love and support and ps I did get your package and it was awesome hahahah you know me fairly well, just chocked full of chocolate and sweets, we made a pretty nice oreo cheesecake from the cookies... Anyways I feel like I always tell you about food, but ehh that's just something I really enjoy I guess!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan MIchelson

Our prayers are not to change the will of God but rather to align our wills with his.

September 21, 2014

In terms of my week this week it was pretty good. We had a zone conference and I gave a training about the importance of prayer, and I definitely learned a couple of things while preparing for it and also giving it. I love what it says about prayer in the Bible Dictionary about how when we remember our relationship with our Father in Heaven that prayer will become instinctive and it will be easy to receive answers to our prayers, it also states that our prayers are not to change the will of God but rather to align our wills with his. Seeing that he knows literally everything and what will help us more than we do ourselves I found that to be a good reminder, that we need to ask to know what to say and what to do because of it. The last thing that I liked about prayer was that it is a form of work, sometimes in my own personal prayers it just becomes a list of things that I want and I start to become selfish in my prayers and then after the fact, I don't do anything about the things that I pray for. When we pray with real intent, and we really want answers we will do everything in our power in order to allow the Lord to bless us, we can't just wait until he answers. It requires diligent seeking for those answers. So I guess that's a little bit from my studies this week, I definitely recommend reading about prayer in the Bible Dictionary and why it is so important. I know that it has made a difference in my week and my attitude about prayer. Oh it was Elder P's birthday and so I made him a birthday supper that turned out pretty good. I made him a homemade chicken gnocchi bacon soup in a bread bowl, and then we had panna cotta with a citrus berry sauce for dessert, needless to say I thought it turned out pretty good, and that panna cotta was pretty delicious. Haha never thought I'd be able to eat anything close to that on my mission, but just gotta get a little bit creative and just come up with ideas from things that you see. So that was a pretty good day. We also have another investigator named Jemomo that is doing really well, he's been coming to church for a while now, but never really had a desire or a testimony and then one day a switch just kind of flipped and now he has plans to go on a mission, which would be really nice to see. He should be getting baptized on the 4 of October, which is right before Elder P leaves on the 8. That will be weird to see all of them go, I definitely have some good friends from that intake of missionaries and I feel like I came here at the same time. I guess I will be following them fairly shortly. I also filled out some plans for my flight home today... Yeah that was weird, weird that it is almost done. So you should be getting that fairly shortly in an email. For companionship study we watched a CES fireside that Elder Bednar spoke in and it was about learning by faith. It was a really cool training and I don't know if you could find that online or not, but it was cool how closely it related to teaching by the spirit. That the person who is receiving the teaching also has to learn by faith otherwise it will not be accepted. That is why we are to teach investigators and not just simply people, there is a noticeable difference between someone who will act and someone who will just be a "hearer of the word". I did know that my mom loves me, hahahaha one of the senior couples showed me the emails you sent to the mission office right as I was going to Wotje and he got a pretty good kick out of my worried mother emailing so many times and how sister wayas dealt with it. Other people may have been embarrassed by that, but I could care less, it just shows that you are concerned and also is good to have a laugh at. Anyways I think that's about all for this week, still doing well and am healthy and happy. You stay classy there in Canada!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Mom's note... we did get Jordan's travel plans, he comes home really late Dec. 17 and his homecoming is Dec 28. WAHOO!!!

Can't say I miss the snow all that much!

September 14, 2014

Well that sounds like a good week, I definitely miss some good sushi! But I can't say that I miss the snow all that much, it was funny a senior couple from Cardston just came out here and will being working in Ebeye which is kind of the hot slums of the Marshall Islands... Apparently she was crying because well frankly Ebeye isn't a whole lot to look at, and they are having quite the time adjusting to the heat but I'm sure they'll figure it out sooner or later. Kind of bummed that I probably won't see them again, they seemed like a really nice couple. What else happened this week, we set a baptismal date with our couple for the 4th of October so that should be pretty good, they are both awesome. And for the zone picture I'll ask one of the senior couples to see if I could get that, I'm pretty sure they were the ones who took that one. It's also been a while since I've received a package, I got one from the brooks' family after I got back from Wotje, but other than that no I haven't seen anything. Once again I still suck at writing, I'll try to get some letters out before I go back home, I know I need to, just before I didn't really have a whole ton to write about in all honesty so I didn't know what to say. So hopefully I'll have a little more to say to people, and I can get some letters out, but honestly with having this little time left I don't exactly know what to write to people. I just feel like it's kind of the same old same old, but maybe they wouldn't be thinking that. As far as I'm aware my release date will be December 17th and that is when I should be flying out, I don't have my flight plans or anything yet, but those will probably be coming sometime soon. It's kind of weird to make the transition to being on Majuro again even though I was only gone for a week, haha I guess I just got kind of used to being out on the outer island again. Just completely random thing, but one of the members here knows that I love anything to do with watersports or whatever so she showed me this video of this thing called a flyboard, don't know if you've ever seen that, but it looked pretty cool not going to lie. She said that she was going to buy me one, I just had to give her the receipt when I got home... For some reason I don't think that is going to happen, but the Flyboard did look pretty fun and I would like to try it at some point, don't exactly know when or where, but that's going on the bucket list. Sorry nothing all that exciting this week, I think that's about all for right now. Hope you all have an awesome week!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

We stayed longer in Arno

September 9, 2014

Iakwe iakwe everybody!
So this week was kind of an interesting one, we were going out to Arno for supposedly like 2 days... turns into a week because the boat didn't come out, so I wore the same pair of clothes for a week and they may have been slightly yellow... I also didn't shave for a week because we didn't bring our razors either so we came back looking pretty dirty to say the least! But the week was definitely a memorable one, it was fun to be with Elder Schmidt again, he was one of my favourite companions and it was nice to be able to just bwebwenato again (ps you all have to learn that word because I feel like I'll be saying it a decent amount when I go home, basically means chat) but yeah that was a lot of fun. Also got to go out to another island in arno, because they were all doing a fun day there, so Elder Schmidt and I went out and played volleyball and just met some of the locals. They were all really nice, and they had like a volleyball tournament and picked me for their all-star team... hahah needless to say we won fairly easily, they were actually really good out on that island. It was some good volleyball, and had some fun doing that again. Also just randomly saying I forgot how much I miss drinking coconut, that stuff is delicious and I'm going to miss that once I go back home, here in town you can hardly find any. What else happened... Oh we went out crab hunting and just picked up some crabs, that was fun, and we also went shark fishing, but didn't catch anything. The people on that island are also way good, I say there should be a good amount of baptisms there soon and that's kind of exciting. I definitely liked having a little taste of outer island life again, and it was nice with 4 elders out there as well, we worked hard and had fun too. Coming back today was kind of interesting because you forget how much you appreciate the little things like having a fridge in your house, or air conditioning or having a car, just simple groceries all that stuff, haha I feel like the culture shock is going to be fairly interesting coming home as well when I go to the pantry and there is actually food in it and stuff, but we'll wait until that one actually happens to see. I've been studying about the atonement a decent amount lately and read the book "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad R. Callister and it definitely had some cool thoughts and perspectives on it that really improved my appreciation for our Saviour and his sacrifices that he performed for us. It's honestly truly remarkable how perfect he was and how perfect that plan was, without it there would be no purpose to life. So I enjoyed those studies quite a bit, and if you can find that book I would suggest reading it!  As far as investigators go, I literally have no idea, we have one guy who left to Hawaii but should be back on the 15th so I guess we'll see, he's definitely our best one right now. But everybody else I haven't seen in a week so I guess we'll see... The people in Arno are good though! And when I come back I'm definitely going to go to Arno, it's got some cool things to see out there. Anywho I think that's about all for the week, it was an exciting one which was good seeing as the last couple have been a little dull at times. But love you all and thank you for all the help!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Sunday, September 7, 2014

This week we go to Arno... one of the outer islands

August 31, 2014

Just sounds like I keep missing out on the big parties! But life over here is pretty good, I got the package that you sent me, and one of the huckleberry jams kind of exploded everywhere,the senior couples had some fun with that one, but most of the package was still in pretty good shape regardless, and I still got a huckleberry jam so that's all fine! I was literally saying the day before that it would be nice if I could get a package, and then the next day the package came, so that was really nice! And no I still suck at letter writing... haha it's just hard to find the time, but I need to start sending some out before it gets too late, I'm just a punk and I will acknowledge that fully! I really do appreciate all the love and support though and I wish I could thank people for all that they do to help, it just kind of gets put on the back burner sometimes. But this week was pretty good, we had a baptism and she is doing well, has a couple of friends and is continuing to come to church, also we gave a guy named George and his wife Bertine a baptismal date and hopefully they will be able to be baptized before Elder P goes home in October. I guess just a couple of random stories for you this week, I believe on Tuesday night I wake up to this yelling... "Bro!!!!" and I see Elder P come out of the bathroom with a broom and was just really confused, turns out that a cat had somehow gotten through our screen window in the bathroom and then came in our house. I think he might have smelt some tuna or something, but that was pretty entertaining.. And then on Friday I randomly woke up at 1 in the morning and just had these eerie feelings and couldn't get back to sleep.. then at around 2:30 I was just kind of laying there and then all of a sudden I see this kid in our house. Some kid had broken into our house and was trying to steal some stuff, and this was kind of ridiculous because over the past 2 weeks Elder P had lost over 400 dollars and his ipod, so obviously this kid had been coming in quite a few times. We had fun chasing him out of our house and not really knowing where he went seeing as we are both really blind... Of course the kid picks the house with the 2 blind Elders to steal from haha kind of ironic, so yeah that was a little adventure for sure. We still haven't caught the kid, but it was this little 14 year old kid, and just didn't put the best spin on the things for the week. Oh well nothing too important was stolen and no one was hurt. What else happened... oh this week we will be going to Arno, one of the outer Islands to go help a struggling companionship. Hopefully we can go help out there, but that will also just be a good trip, you can get there by boat, and it will be just a short ride. So we leave on Wednesday and will come back on Friday, and I'm definitely looking forward to that it's always nice to jumbo! We also had a Zone Conference this past week, and that was pretty good, enjoyed the training given and they focused a lot on Preach My Gospel, which was nice because I feel like we definitely overlook the importance of that book. I have often wondered what would happen if a missionary truly applied everything from Preach My Gospel and how successful that missionary would be? We're obviously not perfect and will fall short, but if we just had faith to do those simple things, missionary work would honestly be so much easier, it definitely is a combined effort both from the missionaries themselves and the members. So that's a little of what I learned and I hope it helps some of the newer missionaries, because some of them haven't exactly figured it out. But eventually they'll get it! Anyways I think that's all from the week, definitely busy running around doing errands for everyone and that takes away from the proselyting time, but sometimes you have to do those things as they come up. Hope that you guys have an awesome week and I love you all a ton!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Just taking care of the needs

August 24, 2014

Iakwe iakwe!
Hmm sorry that these weeks aren't all that exciting, just kind of going through the same old same old, working with Elder P is really nice and it's just so easy to do everything. But this week since the president and the assistants were still gone so we still have to do everything and have to go try to take care of the needs for the outer islands and things like that, we bought this ridiculous amount of food for this one companionship and I think they'll be pretty pumped about that, I remember how much I missed real food when I was out on Wotje, so just thought we'd spread some love! I figured out how to make a french bread more or less so I've been making a lot of like hot sandwiches and things like that, haha Subway in Majol pretty much. You're week sounds pretty good though and that's so weird that Emily is finished school, I remember when she didn't even know what she wanted to do! What's her plan and stuff though, and is she dating anyone or anything right about now?? What about any cousins or anything like that, is there any potential for them to get married or have been dating anyone serious? Haha just curious and what the hector, Tanner Brooks is engaged??? I'm just way surprised that happened pretty fast! If you could you should send me a picture or something? Umm let's see this week there is a zone conference, which should be pretty good, always looking forward to those and it will be nice to have president back on island. The missionaries are doing pretty good we keep having baptisms in the wards and things like that, they are just struggling to get them to stay in the church. That's always been the struggle. But I feel like that will come with time, and in terms of people writing me, I hear from some other missionaries, I get letter's from Aunt Deanne and Grandma quite often... I should probably write them back, I! What else did you ask...  I'll probably work for the whole year, there's no way I'm going to school in January that's just way too fast!! I don't really want to rush into everything, I think I'll wait roughly like 2 or 3 weeks until all the Christmas holidays and stuff are finished and then I'll start work if I can. That's my plan for right now, and in terms of P-day it's just playing sports and just kind of boring bajjik nothing all that exciting, but I'm glad that people know how to play volleyball at least, that makes things fun! Also I drive pretty much everyday, we got permission to go the gym in Long Island every morning, it's a really nice gym and hopefully I'll be looking not too fat when I come home I think that's about it though. It's going to be weird when all the missionaries from the intake before me go home! That's all the news from over here, we have some pretty good investigators that hopefully will progress, trying to get them just know that these things are true but it's kind of hard when you have to do random errands, it just throws off the schedule and stuff. 
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

We did a lot of running around

August 17, 2014

Alright so nothing all that exciting this week, it was just really slow because the assistants and the president were off island so we were the highest leadership on island and that meant that we had to do a lot of running around and just reporting numbers and all sorts of things like that. So just kind of busy with that and it sucks that the mission office is about 20 minutes away so to do anything over there takes some time for sure. Then I got somewhat sick this week and just slept like a rock until I was feeling better, so that was fun... Had to get our shower fixed which took a huge amount of time, and hence didn't really get to see a ton of investigators, but we do have a baptismal interview coming up this saturday which is nice, she's a 17 year old girl named mina and she's pretty solid, it's nice to see when people actually change. So yeah that's that, and then I guess to answer your questions, yep I still see the ocean everyday and it just makes me want to go barefooting and what not, still missing that, but I guess once again just have to wait. Recently I've been studying general conference talks a decent amount, and have just gained a huge appreciation for talks and things like that. Also I find that weird that Brendan is home now, just mind-blowing really and send some loving his way! In terms of helping the sisters it happens only in special circumstances and that was the man that I was studying with previously, so I had made a pretty good connection with him. He is really worried about the Sabbath and the law of moses and things like that, and I hope that he figures it out soon. I don't know about the most unique food I've eaten, probably turtle?? That was pretty good, or a dried fruit leather kind of thing made from pandanus, that was pretty good, and fairly unique, definitely eat a lot more unique things on an outer island. But I think that's about all for now, just kind of the same old same old! But I'm doing well and I'm still learning a lot, hopefully this next week won't be as slow! I love you all bunches, and thanks for all the love and support.
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

It's nice to see people are changing

August 10, 2014

Alright so this week was pretty good, having some investigators progress fairly well, and it's nice to see that people are actually changing a little bit, it's not about getting them baptized because honestly here, that's easy to do. Lots of people can be converted to missionaries or personalities and they never actually stay in the church, which is hard to see, but it's nice to see some people who are trying to search for the truth and we are bearing testimony of the truthfulness of these things. I went back to my old area to study with Clay, an SDA man who has been strong in that church for a very long time, he's been having problems accepting Sunday as the Sabbath Day and things like that, and we went and had a pretty good lesson with him, I definitely felt the spirit testify through me. I know that he will get baptized at some point he just has to get a testimony of these things, I hope that he changes at some point. We went and helped the sister's because they just didn't really know what to say to him at the point, and I feel like we helped. Also the Assistants are off island over on Kiribati for this week, so Elder P and I are kind of running the Island which will mean that we will be doing a lot more errand running and taking care of missionaries needs, which I have no problem doing. I feel like my first responsibility is to help the missionaries be able to be successful in their own respective areas and then focus on mine. But it's been good on both aspects of it, hmm what else.. I read a really good talk from the october 2013 general conference about doing things the Lord's way, it was a talk by Stanley G. Ellis and it really stuck out to me for some reason.. I just really enjoy highlighting and analyzing conference talks these days, that's what I've been focusing on a lot more lately and it's really been helping me to understand the importance of revelation. I guess in terms of food I made a maple glazed salmon with creme brulee for dessert... Best meal I've had on my mission that was really nice, and never ever ever did I think I would be able to make creme brulee on my misson, and that was really good. I've been making tacos with homemade tortilla shells and all other sorts of things I don't know it's been nice being with someone who knows how to save money and enjoys eating good food as well. But I think that would be about all for the week, other than the fact that our zone had 9 baptisms this past week, which was awesome and I got to baptize a kid named Golden Jello!! haha thought that was kind of funny, but other than that nothing too terribly exciting just loving life really! 
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

We saw some miracles!

August 3, 2014

Alright so don't have a ton of time, but just thought I'd share that I made it back out to Arrak, we're kind of doing a jumbo down here for p-day and it's freakin awesome! I forgot how much I miss the green side of the island, also this week we saw some miracles getting people to the temple this week. My family from Wotje, is on island and happens to be in my new area, so we really focused on getting them to the temple and getting Kooteti the melchezidek priesthood before they
left this wednesday, and we had so much running around to do and only had one day to do it, and some way somehow everything just fell into place exactly when we needed it to. I've honestly never had anything run so smoothly over the course of my mission, where I tell someone to be somewhere at a certain time, or we have to get something and it's
actually there, or whatever. Just everything worked together, so now they have their temple recommends and should be going to the temple this december, which I'm really excited for. That is going to help that family so much, and it's nice to see people who receive all the blessings of the gospel rather than just being baptized and then forgetting about it. I think that's about all this week, and I don't exactly need anything from home, but getting stuff is always nice, and Elder P and I are going to write some letters soon!
Ps also apologize to everyone that I am a HORRIBLE letter writer, I fully realize that, I just really don't have a lot of spare time to sit down and write a letter, but I'm going to try to respond to a couple, because I know how awesome that is to get a letter. But yeah I think that's about all for the week, sorry that it was short and sweet!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

It's not about obeying because we have to, its because we want to and we trust in the Lord

July 27, 2014

This week was pretty good, working with Elder P is awesome, because it gives me feedback and shows me ways in which I can improve. I like working with an older missionary, things just generally go smoother. I'm definitely learning a lot, and it's been helping me, although not going to lie, I miss my investigators in Jenrok. I don't really know this people and haven't established that relationship with them yet, and I wish I could go back and teach those people again. But it's okay, I know I'm where I'm supposed to be right now, and I'll find more prepared people to teach. Just have to be patient, and work hard, and then we'll be able to help those people in the same way. I also got my license this week, which was weird I can officially drive again, and it's honestly like riding a bike, you just don't forget. And I haven't even crashed yet and I don't plan on it! In terms of investigators and all that, I don't really know any of them well enough to say who is progressing and who's not but we did have 4 people come to church which is always nice to see. Plus I've been seeing a ton of people from Wotje here, they pretty much came for the summer, and that's nice to have just random people come up to me and remember who I was and that I did some good out on Wotje. Hopefully I planted a couple seeds and the Elders out on Wotje will be able to continue to work with them. Also have been studying with mama and papa about the temple because they live in my area, which is awesome because it makes me feel at home again I love that family so much. But we're trying to get them to the temple this December if at all possible, the only problem is the fact that they live on the outer island. So we'll see what we can do, but they are definitely ready in my mind. I would love to see them at the temple, that would just be awesome! Which leads me to another question.. Would it be possible to send a game system with some games? Like the ps2 or whatever that we don't use, just put that in a box with the controller's and all that stuff, or whatever game system we could get for relatively cheap, because here it literally costs an arm and a leg and papa kooteti was asking me for one, so if you could do that, that would be awesome! And also if you could send some more of that huckleberry jam, I would love that, made some huckleberry milkshakes out of that with maple syrup and brown sugar, and that was probably one of the best things that I've tasted on the island what else do I have to say... Umm oh yeah, I shaved all my leg hair off and stuff like that, I'm basically a hairless cat now :p so Elder Parkinson and I made a little deal, that I would shave off all my body hair if I could teach him how to play volleyball. Since I figured we'll probably be working together until he goes home, I figured everyday of him playing volleyball was worth me shaving all my hair off,  that did create quite the pile of hair though, I must say. But yeah it looks weird, I don't even feel the same, but on the plus side I am less hot, and I might maintain it a little bit I don't know though. So that's probably the funny story from the week! What else did I learn.. Oh been studying quite a bit about sacrifice, just trying to finish the Book of Mormon and loved the story of the Anti-Nephi-lehies, those people truly understood the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I wish I had that same amount of conviction. Despite all trials and sufferings they encountered, they never ever fell back after the time they were truly converted, and that's what I am trying to do right now, is help people become converted so they will never fall away. It's tough to look back and see that some of those people I baptized have already fallen away, and I don't blame myself for it, it just shows a lack of true conversion. I've been focusing on that lately as well, is helping people become converted, not just relaying information, because sometimes we as missionaries tend to get into that rut, of just relaying the same information over and over, which is really not what we are called to do, we are called to help people change, and in order to do that, we first must make that change. To live that higher law that we have been called to live, so people can literally feel the difference when we enter their home, I know maybe that won't happen every time, but that's what I'm working towards. It's not about obeying because we have to, it's because we want to and we trust the Lord enough to be submissive. So I guess that was something that I learned from my studies this week, and just randomly putting this out there, but it is crazy how fast time is going, not too long ago I just realized that I had been out for 18 months. Pretty soon I'll be home trying to adjust to living in a freezer and trying to figure out how to relate to normal white people but I'm excited for sure. I think that's all for the week though, thanks for everything and hope that you had yourselves a fantastical week!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Sat in the house most of the week

July 13, 2014
Alright well this week was fairly unimpressive, sat in the house for most of the week to help m's back heal, which should be good now, at least I hope so. Watched the work and the glory which was really really good, not going to lie! That's how I kept myself sane this week. We had like 3 lessons this week total, with 5 coming to church, which is fairly mind blowing. I guess that just means the Lord is preparing people in this area. But yeah that was kind of cool to see! And what else, oh yeah everyone got their packages and you're probably going to get a ridiculous amount of letters here fairly shortly! So have fun reading all of those and then responding?? Don't know if you'll have time for that, but you got people like the perfect things and they were all pretty excited about it. So thank you so much for doing that, hopefully everyone will get their packages fairly soon, I hope they send them out to the outer islands! But yeah everyone loves the things that they got so you're awesome! What else, oh just trying to figure out some details with president regarding my release date and things like that, which is really weird, I also couldn't sleep all last night so I came up with a rough plan of what I want to do when I get home. It sounds pretty good to me, but there are a lot of variables and I'm going to have to check to make sure my plan isn't absolutely ridiculous, because it could be in all honesty but I'm really trying to analyze it and figure things out. But that's not that important right now, because I still have quite a while left to serve. But the district is doing fairly well, had another baptism this week which was nice, but everything will be changing now so I don't know. I guess I have the whole zone to worry about now, so that'll be a different experience, but I'm looking forward to it. Especially since I get to work with Elder Parkinson, that'll be way nice! Oh and random Ps Sister Kayla Tago says hi and to give you some love so that's from her. But yeah I think that's about it for the week, nothing all that exciting, but this next week should be better!
                       Lots of lovin'
                       From Elder Jordan Michelson

Nothing too exciting

July 6, 2014

Alright well nothing too terribly exciting for the week, just kind of boring and what not, m has been in and out of the hospital because he's having back problems and I've spent quite a bit of time in the house, which is not all that exciting at times. But all is well, and really nothing to say for this week, I think we're about to go though and since I didn't get an email from you, I don't exactly know what to say, maybe we'll come back and email later, but I donno.. Hope you had a fantastic week, love you lots!

Mom's note
I sent an email he just didn't get it:( He didn't come back

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's amazing to see what the spirit can do!!

June 29, 2014

Alright Iakwe aolep!! This week was pretty exciting, definitely had some good experiences and learned a couple of things for sure, still a whole lot of frustrations at times and I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing but hey as long as I rely on The Lord everything will work out for the best. I guess the first story I'll tell is about one of our investigators named Ennah. She is around 30 years old and she is a really nice lady, her boyfriend is a member and they are working on getting married which is nice. She agreed to study with us at the beginning of last week and the lessons have been going fairly well, then we got to the lesson of Joseph Smith and the Restoration and she had quite a few questions. She didn't disagree with anything we were saying she just had a difficult time believing it. So anyways on Monday we were supposed to do a family home evening there with her and her husband, but when we got there she was really sick, both her and her daughter. They couldn't eat anything, they were dizzy and trouble moving around and were just not doing that well. So my companion and I went and gave them both a blessing and literally within 5 minutes, they were eating walking around and they felt as if they were never sick. The main question that she had about this church was where Joseph Smith received that authority from and if there really was any such thing. That experience was definitely an answer to her question, as she spoke I could tell that she was beginning to understand the truth of these things and the things that we were teaching her. After she recovered from her sickness the first thing she did was she went and watched the restoration video, and started asking her soon to be husband a bunch of questions. I really love this couple and they are doing well, plus they both came to church on Sunday and stayed for all the classes which is a feat in and of itself. So that was a huge blessing and definitely see miracles in this work. The second investigator is a man named Clay, who is probably one the most prepared people I've ever studied with. We just started with him last week, but he's very intelligent and understands a lot about the bible, which truly does help. Every lesson that we have with him, the spirit is always there, and as we were teaching him about the plan of salvation, he started talking about his father. His father was a religious man, but he didn't always keep the commandments and things like that, he was a smoker, and his son wanted to help him change, but before he knew it he had passed away. That experience set us up perfectly for the temple and the knowledge that he can do his father's work still, that it's not too late and there is a way to still help him. I have honestly never felt the spirit testify so strongly to me of my Father in Heaven's love for each one of his Children, it's amazing to see what the spirit can do. He also said that in the week that he has been studying with my companion and I, that he feels that he knows us better and feels more connected to us than he does his own son who he has known for 18 years. Now we're just trying to take all that and help him strengthen his own family and build that relationship with his son, and all of his other kids. But that was a pretty cool experience as well, and I've been having more and more of those lately. I've also had some of the best personal studies I've had lately and I've been focusing a lot on preach my gospel. The two cool things that I learned this week, were about service and success. I believe in chapter 3 lesson 5 it talks about service, and I love the first sentence in that section it says "one of the great blessings of the church is the opportunity to serve." That really stuck out to me because I've never really thought about it like that before, it's not that we have to do all these things, or we're forced to, it's that we are blessed to have the opportunity to do it. No matter if we're busy or we get tired or whatever, when we serve and fulfill our callings we are, first and foremost, allowing the Lord to bless us and help shape us into better people and more successful people. I really found that interesting and when we change our perspective, on service, and working and doing all these things, we serve because we want to and it does not become a burden. Then I gave my district meeting on being successful missionaries and one of the interesting things that I saw about success is that success stems from our desires, and there are different levels of success. If our desire is simply to just get through the day, and at the end of the day we got through it, okay I guess that was successful, you achieved the outcome of your desire. But if you change your desire and remember that desire, before you go out and work, or do whatever, your level of success will be vastly increased. If your desire is to go out and help everyone you come in contact with, and then go and do it, you will become a successful missionary, that's the key. You can be successful according to your own wants and desires, but in the grand scheme of things, that is not really success. We need to allign our desires with that Supreme Being that knows all, and then we will become happier than we can even begin to realize. Hopefully that made sense, because I thought it was a pretty cool study and I learned a lot!! But yeah let's see what else did you ask about.. haha this email is huge.. The district is doing well, the comp still is having struggles. I have just made the sad realization that I am quite his mom. I cook, clean and take care of him. The family from Wotje will be sealed sometime in December, most likely in Hawaii, if I could some how be there, that would be awesome! But I think that's all for now, nothing else I think, since I said a lot, but I love you all a ton and hope that all is going well back at home!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Mom's note
Jordan didn't send pictures for a bit they don't really go with this email but they are pictures and fun to see.
 Elder Michelson and his BYU football playing companion Elder Mafuli

 Elder Mafuli is from Samoa but is Half Tongan too. He is pretty artistic.

Loved this one!!!

I am half Kirabati and half Canadian hahaha

June 22, 2014

Tuesday was awesome, I got to work with Elder Ingalls!!!! It was awesome. I'll send you some pictures and stuff but that was pretty magical, I wish I could work with him so bad. He came from another island because he had to get some dental work done and then we got to work together because I was close to the Dental office. Then later on that night I went to a party with my Kiribati family that came back from Wotje for the summer, it was mama Bonnie's 49th birthday, and then also she made the announcement that as part of her Kiribati culture she officially adopted me into her family and I am now half Kiribati and half Canadian hahaha. It was really cool in all honesty. In terms of lessons and people and stuff, this week was kind of slow, but every single one of the lessons we had this week were just powerful, and we have a lot of people who are progressing and doing well. It's really not about the numbers or how many lessons you get, it's about changing people and inviting them to make that change. So that was a good lesson I learned from this past week, that sometimes just based on your numbers you feel like you're not accomplishing anything but then you begin to realize and see all the people that are doing well. As long as we are going out and trying our best based on the situation we are put in, so that was nice. What else... Oh the sister's had a baptism this week and also another set of elders in my district, so they are doing well. I was able to baptize the sister's investigators and I will send some pictures, because I got some pretty good ones this week, I think that's about all for the week, I love you all a bunch!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson 
This is from the island of Wotje
 Elder Michelson and Elder Ingalls together again
Sisters baptisms Elder Michelson got to perform

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What I learned from a seventy 'Fake it until you make it'

June 8, 2014
Last week was a frustrating week but I will keep pressing forward. Sorry about not answering questions and then not sending any pictures. The place just shut down right after.  I guess I'll tell you a little bit more about this week, this week was really slow in terms of numbers and seeing investigators, however we had a zone conference with Elder Hamula and his wife of the area presidency and that was a really cool experience. Once again I also was able to interview with him, don't know how I have had the privledge of interviewing with two seventies now, but that was just awesome. Despite all the difficulties in this work and not being able to accomplish all that I think I should be able to, I have never felt the constant companionship of the spirit more than I have in this past month. It truly is amazing and it is amazing to see how the spirit can work through me and also through other's. I had been praying, before Elder Hamula came, to have some way to help us as missionaries become more mature and truly understand our purpose, because when I came back from Wotje, that's something that I saw was kind of a struggle.  Missionaries weren't acting like missionaries. Then Elder Hamula came and spoke on being sober missionaries and touched on literally everything I asked my Heavenly Father to help this mission with. It was kind of a humbling experience for me, to say the least, and I know without a doubt in my mind that our Father in Heaven hears and answers our prayer's if we pray with faith. So that's more or less the lesson learned from this past week, and hopefully we as a mission can make that change, rather than just being comfortable with who we are now. One thing Elder Hamula said that I enjoyed was "Fake it, until you make it" I really thought that was awesome that no matter what happens, if we're not good at something we need to fake being good at it until we become proficient at it. That truly can apply to anything we do in life, whether it's sports, academics, the gospel, whatever. I just thought that was good life advice, and have been trying to do that throughout the course of my mission, didn't really like singing so I sung. Now I can say I enjoy it. Didn't like talking to random people, so I went and did it, and now I can say I enjoy it. Just little things like that, but I truly can see the difference. I think that's about all for the week, I love you all very much and thank you for everything you continue to do to help me be the best missionary possible!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

Monday, May 19, 2014

Best week of my life!!

Alright so before I answer any questions I just want to say that this past week has probably been the best week of my life. No word of a lie, I cannot begin to explain or even comprehend the things that I have learned in this past week. Elder Mafuli is the man and has taught me so very much. He taught me how to love, to truly love and how to be the best missionary and person that I can possible be. I don't know how to explain and I wish I had more time to write and just explain the things that I feel right now, it is truly amazing. Do you remember the movie limitless? That's kind of how I feel right now, like I honestly feel like I can change the world and that one person can make a difference, One thing that I really tried to focus on this week is being obedient and something that came to mind is Obedience is contagious, one person can make a difference and change not only the attitude of missionaries but the attitude of the other people and all those around him. I really love being a missionary right now and Jenrok is the best area that I have ever been in, in my life. The people are so welcoming and I feel like I already have a family there and I have literally been there for a week, so it's kind of cool and I'm grateful for everyone who has been helping me out. Remember that kind of shy kid that was afraid to be himself and didn't exactly know where he fit in? Well that kid is gone, I talk to literally everyone now, it doesn't matter big, small, tall, short, brown, white, whatever, everyone is now my new best friend and it's amazing the way that I see life right now. I know God has put me here right now for a reason, I know he has made me a leader for a reason and I know that I can do things I can't even begin to understand. I feel like that one small thing could change the attitude of the mission because frankly there has been a war between the islanders and the white people and I want to stop it. We're all on the same team and if we get united we will be able to do so much, because there is so much work to do here. I want to be the change and make the change, anyways so that's that. Sorry if that's kind of a lot to take in, but that's what I want to do. I think that's about it, so okay now to answer some questions, I have been cooking everything, I made taquitos, bbq chick pizza and breadsticks, pasta, meatball subs, chicken tortilla breakfast wraps and some breaded fish with fresh lime. Slightly different than the outer island food and I have so many stories and things to share with you I don't think I can share them all, but I have never had so much fun being a missionary. Plus since I've been here my district has had 4 baptisms and are just getting so much stuff done, it's incredible, I honestly don't think it's impossible to get like 20 baptisms in a month like it's awesome. 
Lots of lovin'
Elder Jordan Michelson

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's been a long 3 months

So I haven't been posting any emails because we haven't received any. I just got my first one late Friday night saying that he gets to call!! YA HOO best Mother's Day Gift ever. I didn't think it was going to happen but was very surprised! Of course I cried. He said he will start emailing regularly now, so hopefully this blog will get regular posts again.

Here are the 2 I got that I didn't post

Feb. 17, 2014

I'm gonna kill someone, the message didn't send uhhhh.... Well I'm
good life is good, and I don't even know what to say now. Okay
well let's see I guess we'll go to the condensed version, I was a
judge for a speech contest for educational week here in Wotje, that
was cool. They also want us to teach English at the high school so
we'll see about that. We have a phone out here, which is nice, but 

the service is kind of shotty. My companions name is Francis Va'aulu 
and he's the man, just a way humble nice guy. There's no priesthood 
out here, no branchnno branch president, no church building, no sacrament 
trays, like literally nothing. So it's kind of cool, we take the sacrament from
the same cup and just pass it around. People feed us all the time, and
that's nice, sometimes we'll get fish or traditional marshallese
cooking, which is cool. They love talking about food here, if
we cook it's like ramen and some sort of canned meat, so yeah that's
always fun...  at least there is food! Haven't exactly
picked up Kiribati yet because I don't have a book to learn it, but
the kids know Marshallese, so that helps. They are our most
progressing investigators, their names are Toantau and Uonite and they
should be baptized soon if we can get baptismal clothes. Sorry this email 

sucks and is short, but the computer deleted the
other longer one that I sent, which sucks... But yeah I'll tell you
all about Wotje either when I get back to Majuro or when I'm home.

I'm keeping a good journal :p but I love you all tons and thanks
for everything! Elder Tentau got his package and was apparently pretty
stoked! Thanks for your kindness and all that you do!
Lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson

So this was the most painful process ever, I waited like an hour
and a half yesterday only for this not to work, and then waited an
hour today and finally got on, so this is a blessing that I finally
was able to sign into this ridiculous thing, oh my goodness I think
that was the most frustrated I've been on my mission.

Lots of lovin'
From your Son Elder Jordan Michelson

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I'll try to answer your questions

January 26, 2014
So I don't have a lot of time so I'll try to answer all of
your questions really fast. We held church this week at our house, the
turn up was less because the high councilman who came with us left on
Saturday, but this upcoming week it should be better. We have
it at our house because there is almost nothing established here. No
branch President, no anything, my companion and I run everything. So
that's kind of exciting, gave the talks, blessed the sacrament
just did everything. We have some potential priesthood holder's here
and will try to give them the priesthood and get them more involved,
but interesting scenario to say the least. Definitely got a lot to learn and 

will grow a lot from this experience as well. The lady
who doesn't speak marshallese is an English teacher at the high school
here, the marshallese people, at least the students generally will
know a little english and also the other teacher's and a couple other
people have decent english so that's how she communicates. Her kids
are starting to pick it up, just because they go out and play with
other marshallese kids all day and they are also learning at school,
so we teach them in marshallese. Our days are fairly slow right now,
seeing as we only have a couple people to teach we tend to go to the
same houses and teach them and then go around trying to offer service
or just go and talk to people because that's kind of a part of the
culture, very welcoming friendly people even if they have no interest
in our message, if we really wanted to, we could force almost anyone
to study with us or whatever, but don't think that's going to do a
whole lot of good. The house that we live in now is fairly nice,
and the people who previously lived there just went and lived with
their family right beside them, so they stop by and kind of talk to us
and give us food and what not, which is way nice seeing as we have
nothing. I haven't cooked a meal forever seeing as we don't have
any cooking supplies and stuff like that, so that's fun. Hahaha canned
green beans for breakfast anyone?? That's kind of the way it
is out here. Well the way to get mail or whatever is the same,
just send it to the mission home, and at some point it'll get to me.
That's what happens with that. In terms of bugs and stuff, nothing 

too dangerous or anything, just kind of sketchy when you wake up 
in the middle of the night to see 10 cockroaches on the wall, so yeah 
gotta love bugs and spiders and stuff. I don't know how far from Majuro 
it is exactly, you could probably google that and check that faster than I 
can, it would have to be there somewhere. That should answer all the questions
and stuff, hopefully that's good. What else is fun that I have to say... 

had diarrhea for pretty much a week now... always fun, I'm sure that'll go away 
sometime soon though. We went and checked out some more cool Japanese world 
war 2 stuff, and got some pictures of stuff like that.  I would send pictures but that 
would probably take a millenium so we'll just wait on that one until I get back to 
Majuro. The work will come slowly and surely, we just kind of have to
set evening up and try to get things going out here, I'm sure I'll
have some good stories on that aspect of the work soon enough. But
that's all for now!
Lots of lovin'

From Elder Jordan Michelson

Monday, January 20, 2014

This place is ready, I can feel it!

January 19, 2014
Alright so I finally figured out how to write you back. The Internet is way slow, but this place is way nice.  I think I might have burnt my neck today, just randomly saying because we just kind of walked around the island today and tried to figure out where stuff is. There is quite a bit out here, and it was cool to see how prepared this place is, we had 23 people to church on our first Sunday, and we'll see if we can keep that up, we've located 6 or so members now, and this one family already wants their children to be baptized, so that'll be good if that can go through. The only problem with the solid family is that they don't speak Marshallese so when we held our service on Sunday she didn't really understand what was going on, but it's all good. We'll figure it out little by little, oh it's super funny how surprised some of the people are when they hear this white boy speaking in understandable Marshallese, the smiles on some of their faces is like priceless! My companion is Elder Va'aulu from Samoa he's been out for a while now, almost 2 years, he goes home at the end of March, so I'll get someone new at that point obviously. He's the man and it'll be awesome working out here, definitely different but still good.  Naw the dialect is relatively the same, they just speak way fast and stuff and it's a little harder for them to understand what I'm saying because my pronunciation isn't perfect to say the least, but hey, I do what I can and as long as I can get my point across that's all I really care about. I'm going to attempt to learn some Kiribati while I'm out here. That'll be fun starting from square one again but hey I learned one language so why not try to speak another? The family with the two kids they want baptized don't speak Marshallese at all, but they do know a little english, so that's nice we'll see how that goes. This island is sick, there's all sorts of world war two stuff on it that the Japanese left, and there's nice shady beaches and it's a really neat island. It's also a whole lot cleaner and the water is so blue... haha but don't worry I promise I won't go swimming :p I think that's about all for now, we're still just trying to get stuff established and figured out right now, so it'll be different for a bit. But this place is ready, I can feel it!

Lots of lovin'

From Elder Jordan Michelson (laddik in Wotje)
Moms comment
Usually we get emails on Sunday afternoon so when at 10pm we got this, it was a WONDERFUL surprise!! 

Sorry for the Craziness

January 19, 2014 
Haha okay so sorry for the craziness, and not letting you know what's happening exactly, just kind of been rushed and running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but it's been good! Haha so basically I got to say goodbye to almost no one, it was way rushed and then I just went and worked with a bunch of other companionships throughout the mission, it was weird not having any investigators and what not, so yeah and my companion right now is Elder Vaaulu and he is the man, it's going to be really fun working with him, plus we're going to go do work! I don't know we'll see what the island is like when I get there, I heard that maybe it has email, so we'll see once again. We're kind of just going in blind and setting everything up from scratch, we don't even know if we're going to stay there or not, we need to go find a place to live, and all that. We have a week, if the irooj or like the king i guess of the island says its okay to work there then we are good to go, and we can find a house and figure stuff out. If we don't then I come back and probably head out to arno, where there definitely is no email. So it'll be an interesting next month, but it'll be fun for sure! Oh and the lady that I worked with for all that time, I was not able to see her get baptized but oh well it's not that important, I know I did my part and as long as she does get baptized right? And let's see what else Wotje is, from what I understand, the most beautiful island in the marshall islands, so I'm kind of excited to see it! And we almost flew out this morning, checked all of our bags and were on the plane, flew for 2 minutes and then came back down because there was a problem with the plane, hahaha aindein majol in (just the way it is in the marshalls) but hopefully we'll fly out later to today and all goes smoothly! I guess just send some emails on Sunday and I'll try to respond when I can and see if I can get some internet access! But I love you all a ton and thanks for everything,
lots of lovin'
From Elder Jordan Michelson (Ri-wotje)
mom's note
we got this on friday and didn't know if we would hear from him again for 6 months. I was on pins and needles. Other families with missionaries in the Marshall's haven't heard from them in 5 months so I know it was a possibility.:( 

January 5, 2014
Let's see just like a bit of new news this week... Like maybe I'm going to open an outer island or something and I might be out there for like 6 months with probably no email, and I also get to fly to another outer island and see if that's ready for missionaries, if that's the case that's where I'll call home for the next 6 months. Haha so I'll either be working on Wotje or Arno, I don't know, but then again I don't really care either way I'm opening up a whole new island to missionaries. It is going to be awesome, apparently President trusts me a little so that'll be nice! I'll be working with the former AP which will be nice because Elder Vaaulu is that man, oh it's going to be awesome! It was weird saying goodbye to all my investigators and the area that I was accustomed to once again, and it kind of sucks that I'll miss Katline's baptism, but it's not really important if I'm there or not, at least I helped her progress. And my last sunday in the Laura ward there were 7 investigators that showed up to church, which was just a really nice way to end leaving! So hopefully all those people will progress and do well, so hopefully your online for a bit because otherwise I don't know if I'll be able to talk to anyone for a while. 

Mom's note 
This is the email we got, and got left in the dark with no other emails for a couple of weeks. I needed to know more info so I emailed the mission office. They said that he would be able to email before he left. Unfortunately he didn't email for almost 2 weeks.