January 11, 2010
Hello family and friends,
I hope that you all had an amazing week this past week and that the new year is treating you all well. I hope that you are all finding 2010 as enjoyable, or more enjoyable, then 2009. If not don't worry, the year is only a month old!
ANYWAYS, it's good to hear that everyone is doing great and that you are all loving life back in Utah. It's still hard for me to think that it's snowing back there and that everone is freezing. Here it's still summer! I think we are going out to play football on the beach this afternoon. Are any of jealous? If so don't worry. It'll be warm in what, 4 or 5 months?
Sorry. I hope that didn't make you guys sad.
Anywho . . . the work here is going great and I will update you on what has happened in my life this past week.
We were on edge all week because it was still up in the air whether we would be
transferred to a new area or stay in the area where Elder Bailey and I had been working all last transfer. It really depended upon whether the senior missionaries were assigned to leave the island. If they did we were going to go live and work in their area. As far as I know, they are not going to be leaving. So for now, I am just island training -- not island training and white washing (or working in a new area). But believe me, your prayers were felt this week. The biggest challenge this week: the language! haha!
When Elder Bailey was here I wasn't able to pick up Papiamento as well as I should have. I'm not really sure why, it just didn't come to me. They sent me a new Elder to
the islands, Elder Roggeman, and he knows absolutely no Papiamento. In the mission
when they send you a new Elder who has never been to island we call it island training.
So right now I am an island trainer. This week has been incredibly hard and I have had to rely on the Lord so much to help me with the language. But one thing that is good about the language barrier is that it forces you to talk. That was sure a blessing from the Lord because right now I am feeling a lot more comfortable with the language. The thing is that it has nothing to do with me. It's all been the Lord and His blessings. It's been such a miracle to be able to communicate with these people this week even though I really don't know their language that well.
The thing with not knowing a language that well and struggling to talk to people every single day, it forces you to grow a love for them. If you don't love them you honestly aren't going to make the effort to look like a fool and talk to them. One of the things that I have really noticed this week is the way that my love for these people has grown.
It really is incredible to look back on the start of the week and notice the change in the desire that I have to talk to them. At first I was scared out of my mind but through the struggles that I have had this week I feel so terrible when I pass someone that we don't talk to. All of these people are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and they need this message so much. I am just so thankful that I have this opportunity to be here and be able to focus on them all day every day.
Other then that our week went amazing. We have a goal for numbers each week in our
mission that we call the foundation. It has to deal with talking to people and teaching lessons. It's something that President Martineau promised us from the very first day that would help us have more success. Elder Bailey and I wanted to get it so bad when we were here and for one reason or another we were just never able to do it. But this week,with the blessings of the Lord, we were able to accomplish the foundation and get the numbers that we needed to. I don't know what it is but something about me and Elder Roggeman just clicked and we have been able to do a lot of great work.
Elder Roggeman is a great missionary. He is nothing close to a buck dog and all he
wants is the best for our area. I can tell that we are going to do a lot of good work in our area. I can't wait to see how far we can go! I'm thankful that the Lord didn't send me a crappy missionary to island train. Haha! It's made the experience a little bit easier.
This weekend we had zone conference. It was way good. We discussed a talk by Elder
Bednar called "Learning by faith." It's really good and I would challenge you all to read it. Anyways it's just always a really cool experience to be able to get together with all the missionaries and the mission president down here on the islands. I love it when they come! It feels like a little bit of home. I'm not sure if that's because of how cool they are or just because of the fact that I get all of those letters! But I love it!
Our baptismal date is doing well. It's the daughter of Vivian and we haven't been able to start teaching her yet. I don't know what it is but almost all of my baptisms have been little kids. I guess when you do what the Lord asks you to do He will just bless you with blessings in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Anyways, I was glad to hear the BYU basketball is doing so well. Maybe the BYU football team didn't have a dream season but it sounds like the basketball team might!
Thanks for all that you guys do! I love you so much! Keep in touch. I will talk to you all soon!
Keep the prayers coming! They help so much!