Sunday, October 25, 2015

New World, New Experiences

In our letter to Jeff we asked a bunch of questions and he sent me his responses today.  I have posted the questions and his responses, and then posted his letter to everyone at the bottom of this post.
1. Are you safe and happy?

I'm safe and happy, it's really hot here, and I'm a little home sick but I know that as I get lost in the work I will be just fine.

2. Are you still on Tarawa?  If so, how long will you be there?Yeah I'm on Tarawa for my first area, my actual companion is on an outer island and won't get here until Thursday. Now I am with Elder Powell and Elder Vula.

3. Have you met your new companion?  If so, what is his name and where is he from?  How long has he been out in the mission?

My companion Elder Senguine has like three weeks left is all so I don't know how that will work quite yet. I was told he is from Philadelphia

4. Where will you be serving for your first area?  Is it on one of the out islands?

They are going to split an area in two here on the main Island so that is were I will be serving, it is called Temaiku.

5. Is there an address that regular letters and packages can be sent to you?

I am not sure about the address I think that you just have to send them to the mission home.  (Amber and I are going to follow up so we can have the correct mailing address for Snail Mail.)

6. What did you think of your mission president?  How about the Zone Leaders and/or Assistants to the president?

All the leaders are really awesome and really nice! I just love them even though I have only met them a few times.

7. How is the food treating you?  You enjoying it?  Have you eaten anything crazy yet?

The food is really good except it made me sick, I'm not quite used to it yet. My favorite is this coconut cream with flour balls of dough on top of rice!

8. How was your first Sacrament meeting?  Can you provide some details about what it was like?

Our first sacrament was really good, they spoke really fast, and when they sing they do it at the top of their lungs!! There was a dog that tried to get into the chapel and the second councilor just stopped as the kids chased it away! The clock on the wall also broke, and the second hand was jumping and they thought it was the funniest thing they have ever seen!

9. What are your first thoughts of the people of Kiribati?  Have they been kind to you? 

Everyone is super nice! In lessons they speak quite a bit of English to help you out, and everyone smiles and says hello.  They are shy at first but once you get to know them they are really open.  They make fun of us... a lot, but it is super funny, they call us imatong, which means foreigner

10. What is the most interesting or shocking thing you have experienced so far?

They way they live is probably the most shocking, and it's pretty tough to sit on the ground as much as we do.

Letter to Everyone

My first few days were a whole mixture of emotions.  When we first got off the plan, the humidity hit me really hard.  We walked to this building that had a tin roof, and brick walls, it was so hot in there!! There were a ton of kids behind the fence calling us imatong, which is pretty much white person, or foreigner. 

The workers pretty much tossed our bags in through tiny windows in the building.  It was a mess of luggage and people in there.  By this point it really hit me that I was really doing this.  We were in that building for a good hour and a half I was sweating super bad!! WE were in there so long because they had to check everyone's stuff individually. 

When we finally got back out side, we met with the zone leaders, and other mission leaders and the Mission President.  They loaded our stuff in the trucks and drove us to moroni, to drop off the bags then they took us to a church were we were fed and given a small orientation. 

We were assigned areas and companions.  I was super excited, riding in the car everyone pointed, smiled, laughed, and waved, it was super cool.  It was kind of rough saying goodbye to everyone, but I was ready. 

Elders Powell, Johnson and Nagonevulavula
Since my companion wasn't going to be here until Thursday I got put with Elder Powell and Elder Vula until then.  We were dropped off at our house and went to find Elder vula.  My first thoughts of the house was that it was ghetto, haha but I now appreciate it now that I have seen how other people are living.  My first night we got fed, and they made us sing for them! The whole visit they made fun of us, and just joked and had a good time it was really fun!  That night I had to sleep on the hard floor since there was no extra mats, I didn't find out until the next night that Elder Powell had two!!

These days have flown by like crazy!! I can't believe I've been here for five days already! its insane.  For lessons we usually sit under these tiny sitting platforms that are separate from the house and have a roof on it.  My favorite lesson, was after we taught we played volley ball with the family and their friends and it started pouring rain.  I even showed the kids some magic tricks and beat boxed for them they thought it was super cool. They were super cute!

Church was a blast, nothing at all like I was expecting, I was told that the church for Temaiku is the nicest one in Kiribati! 

Elder Johnson

Jeff's Home on Tarawa

View during study time.

Sunset on Tarawa

Canned Ham

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