Tuesday, March 27, 2012

still here

Bula!  Yokwe!  Hello!

This week was pretty uneventful.  Sister Konou was sick for like 5 days so we didnt get out much.  I did a lot of reading and cleaning.  Ive decided that whoever is put with me will become deathly ill within one transfer.  I seem to make all my companions sick!  (then again, Ive only had two in the field...)  We had zone conference last Thursday and it was amazing.  I love being a missionary!!!  I got to sing a musical number for it, too and it was great.  Singing musical numbers is kind of like insurance that President won't ask me to give a talk.  Why do you think I always sing??  ;)  kidding!! 

General Conference is this weekend!!! YAY!  I'm so excited to hear inspired words from our prophets and apostles!  I dont know why it never occurred to me, but General Conference in California starts at 9 instead of 10 was a surprise!  Why did I think it started at 10 all over the world?!  Thats impossible!  Then sister Konou told me that in Hawaii they start watching at 6am.  Oh my days!  Glad I dont have to do THAT! 
In other news, WE ARE GETTING A NEW ASL SISTER IN AUGUST!!!  I CANT WAIT!!!  I'm probably going to train her (I'll be the only ASL sister left...)  Its too far away, I am soooo excited! 

I love all of you!!  Sorry this is a short one!

Sister Wilson

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

me again

Marshallese people are always in the Pajamas.  Like seriously, always.  The women stay home and all of them that we meet are just chillin in front of the tv in their PJ's.  Its kind of sad to see the lack of motivation here.  I feel really out of my element down here but I'm sure I'll be back to my Deafies soon enough.  Church is in Marshallese so I kinda have a lot of time to ponder.  Its funny, they stand up and say "Yokwe" then we all say "yokwe" back.  Then they say "Bula" (Hello in Fijian) and we say "Bula!"  Then they say "Good Morning!" and we say "Good Morning."  Its great.   I am able to understand some of the lessons because Marshallese has a some pidgin to it."Chapter" is pronounced "Jebta"  and "Jesus Christ" is pronounced "Gee-joot Kraist."  Lots of the Marshallese have cockroaches.  Good thing I got used to those in Carmichael.  haha.   One of our other investigators can't read, so we have to read it to him but he just wont come to church!!  Why wont they come to church?!  It will change their lives!! 

Last week we had a really bad run-in with a Marshallese bible-basher.  It was a really terrible experience for me.  All I knew was that this guy who is a pastor for another church (I shoulda known)  "Wanted to learn more with the missionaries."  So we went over with our member, Sister Emos.  She's a recent convert of 2 years.  He invited us in nicely and Sister Emos and Sister Konou started explaining the book of mormon.  He seemed to be talking a LOT and I thought he was asking questions so I thought the lesson was going well, until his voice got louder and louder and I felt the spirit leave.  He began arguing with our member and the poor dear kept looking at me and asking me questions in English of where she could find certain scriptures to support our religion.  He was FULL of anti-Mormon information and we couldnt satisfy anything he asked us.  The only thing I understood from the lesson was when he looked at me and said in English, "YOU need to repent!!"  I repent every day, thank you.  I told Sister Konou we needed to leave several times because I was at boiling point.  I could feel my face get hot and even though I cant speak the language, I knew my beliefs were being mocked.  I knew my Savior was being mocked.  He understood some English, so I said "if you don't want this book, we can take it back and I'll give it to someone who does."  And he gave it back to me.  This man was so hard-hearted he wasn't worth our precious time as missionaries.  Our member kept arguing with him, and we struggled to get her to stop.  Finally, I turned to Sister Konou and said "We need to leave.  I am going to walk out in about 10 seconds."  and we left.  Bible bashing isnt worth it.  I am reminded again why its discouraged. 

It was 90 minutes without the spirit, and it was the worst 90 minutes Ive ever had my mission. 

Its been raining quite a bit here and contacting people with puddles in my shoes has been fun.  We had an ASL conference with President Lewis and the 4 ASL sisters that was really good last week.  We explained some of the struggles we have and why Deaf work is a little bit slower.  President basically understood that we need to be companions with other ASL sisters so we will see what my future holds.  I really really miss that Deaf work. 

I'm doing well, family and loved ones!  Miss you all!  Once again, ANYbody can send me emails, I just cant write you back if you arent family!

Sister Wilson

Monday, March 12, 2012

funny things...

Hey all!

My mission President is back!!  He is finally healed from surgeries and President Lewis is back to work with us!!  ALSO!  We had ANOTHER mission conference this past week!  Guess who was there?!   L. TOM PERRY!!!  Wow.  I am so blessed to be up close and personal with these apostles!!  Dont worry, I sat on the front row.  yup.  In the middle of his talk to us, he pointed at me and said "Sister!  Do you know the 6th article of faith?"  uhhhh...nope.  I dont.  For some reason I never memorized those in primary like everyone else did.  I think they started that after I was done in primary or something so there I was and I had to tell one of the 12 apostles that his missionary didnt know the 6th article of faith!  Gosh!  I should really memorize those....  oops.  Lucky for me, Sister Williams who was sitting next to me, was able to recite it for everyone.  Good thing she memorizes EVERYTHING like a champ.  His talk was really great.  He told us that we are in the spotlight right now more than Mormons ever have been before.  We were all happy and encouraged. 

Fried chicken and rice for dinner.  Every.  Day.  Fried chicken and rice.  Its a good thing I LIKE fried chicken!  But I probably won't after this transfer!  Also, I forgot to mention that our branch is in combination with the Fijians.  I'm constantly reminded of Saneh Echols because of their accents when they speak English.  Sadly, I much prefer the Fijians.  They're very bold, loud, funny, and crazy like me.  They dont get offended easily, and they eat fried donuts for dinner instead of rice rice rice.  We have one or two Fijians that we are teaching right now which I LOVE because I get to teach in ENGLISH but none of our investigators will come to church!! Its frustrating. 

Living in the Ghetto is interesting.  We meet all kinds of humble people.  Some Marshallese families are living 3 to one house.  Or 8 people to one small apartment.  Its very sad to see.  I kinda gave up on the "dont let children sit on your lap" rule for a bit...These little Marshallese kids with big brown eyes and curly hair are so adorable and they just stare at me all the time.  They all plop themselves down on my lap and I kinda just shrug.  dont tell president. 

Daylight Savings did a number on me.  I had a really hard time getting up at "5:30" and then that night when I was exhausted, I couldnt fall asleep because it was only "9:30!"  BUT!  I am very VERY happy that when we go knocking doors at 6 pm, the sun is still up so people can't yell at us!  YAY!  Its time for a funny story.  So last Saturday, elder Jones and elder Zepty had 2 baptisms and they asked me to sing a musical number.  NOBODY in that branch can sing, so even if I did a crappy job, I figured it would still be great to them.  They also put me down to be the chorister because nobody knows how to lead music.  We often sing Acappella, but I was able to find a "pianist" who plunked through my song a few minutes before the baptism.  I stood up and conducted the first song and the Fijians and I sang loud.  Then the baptism happened and I noticed that my name wasnt on the program... Elder Zepty runs up to our branch president and explained that I was singing a musical number after the baptism so when the two recent converts came back, president turned the time over to me to sing.  I started the song and about 3 words into it I noticed that everybody was singing with me.  I didnt really know what to do and I didnt want to embarrass anyone because they came in when it was supposed to be a solo, so I just started waving my hand like it was a rest hymn!  hahah.  I could barely make it through the 4 verses because I was laughing so hard.  All the elders knew it was supposed to be a musical number so I couldn't look at any of them and I just thought "Oh who cares.  I didnt feel like singing anyway" and kept directing everyone else through the song.  We all laughed about it for a long time. 

Other funny story:  Sister Konou heard it was her Aunt's birthday and birthdays are a BIG DEAL to their culture.  We went to buy a quick cake from the grocery store to bring it to her.  Dont worry.  It wasnt her birthday.  Her birthday is in June.  Once again, lots of laughing commenced.  :)  

I love you all!  Im liking the Marshallese branch better than I thought I would, but I'm ready to go back to Deaf work where I can actually TEACH people the gospel!   Jesus Lives!  I love you all!

Sister Wilson

Monday, March 5, 2012

weekly update

Things in the Marshallese branch are...different than English/Deaf work.  But in some ways similar.  We have a really difficult time getting people to church (thats the same.  haha).  Everywhere I go we sit on the floor.  Some Marshallese don't even bother with furniture because they all sit on the floor all the time.  We also get SODA at every house.  I dont even like soda but Ive been drinking it not to offend people.  Marshallese people say they will start a party at 6 and it starts at 8:30 pm.  Our investigators aren't home when they set up appointments with us and they're so "nice" that its frustrating they arent being honest in their intentions to never join the church.  Its a problem we have here but we are doing our best to find those who are truly interested! 

California's weather has been good to me.  It feels like a Utah's April or May, but the Marshallese are always FREEZING.  Each apartment we enter, we get blasted with heat.  Their heaters are constantly on and its like 80 degrees.  They always look at me and point the space heater my way.  "You cold sistah?  here."  uhh...thanks.  I usually end up sneaking it to blow the other way or turning it off.  haha.  I forgot to mention that at the birthday party I went to, we ate everything with our fingers.  They didnt use silverware.  I feel like I'm in Ghana again at times.  Lets just say I'm quite happy that I won't make any more etiquette mistakes of which fork to use for what! 

In the Marshal Islands, men are the respected sex of the two.  When we are sitting on the floor and there are men sitting on the floor, we can't stand up until they do.  Nor can we use the restroom.  I spend a lot of time on the floor.  :)  Dinners usually include about 18 kids.  They all LOVE me because I'm white.  Oh yeah, and I dyed my blonde streak again because I missed it so much.  Its back and I love it.  Still.  I did a small one in Sister William's hair the night before I left, too, so she could have a reminder of me (and because I had extra bleach).  She's still pretty sick and I was sad to leave her to the care of a different companion, but she will be fine I'm sure. 

Sister Konou had the flu for the weekend, so after studying my brains out, I decided to craft.  And by "craft," I mean the closest thing I have to crafting which is cutting out pictures for a bazillion old ensigns and making picture collages.  Ive read every Ensign for the last 6 years, seriously.  I think I miss creating things with my hands.  I did a lot of that when I was home.  Ensign cutting, gluing, and taping is as close as I can get to creation of something beautiful here on the mission.  haha. 
My back is doing better, this is the best week Ive had since like November.  I love all of you, don't stop the prayers because I can feel them working!!
                                                                                                         yes, I meant to cut off my head.
Sister Wilson