Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Letter 12-15-13

So news of the week:
Transfer calls came! On Wednesday Sister Larsen is leaving and a Sister Smith is coming. I will have to teach her everything she needs to know about this area. Luckily we have a GPS so getting lost isn't a concern (that's a huge blessing to anyone who is familiar with my sense of direction ;) ). I really love Sister Larsen and I am going to miss her. But a new adventure comes! The members threw a party to say goodbye to her and they gave her gifts. It was so heartwarming. There was a member here that even gave me a beautiful necklace, bracelet, and earrings. They are all handmade from the islands. Her kindness humbled me so much and broke my heart a little; the Marshallese people are the most genuinely kind people I have ever known. That level of kindness is just amazing. I felt so loved. I FEEL so loved. I love it here SO much.
Sister Short

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Letter 12-09-13

I am SO thankful President Shumway is the Mission President here! He and his wife are exactly what I need! They are kind and funny, but also driven and dedicated. When other missions have too many missionaries to know what to do with, President Shumway is requesting more! I love it! If I'm going to be here then I AM GOING TO BE HERE you know? :) I want to push--I want to reach! :)  
So not two days ago, but the week before we had a baptism! I can't believe I didn't mention it!!! AWG! He is the sweetest 9 year old boy and I am so excited for him!!! His name is Myron and he is just the brightest, quietest, most gentle boy ever!
Some things about Marshallese Culture for your edification;
-they don't wear shoes inside; much like the Japanese, you leave them at the door 
-Chicken and rice or chicken and fish is always on the menu
-Marshallese people park on the lawn
-Marshallese people always wear shorts--even with big coats in the dead of winter. They also wear sandals always. We see it a lot.
-Marshallese people have the BEST parties
-Marshallese people LOVE pictures.
-Marshallese people are always polite.
-Marshallese people teach their children--from a very young age--to greatly respect missionaries. We are treated like honored family--even being told by some that they love us like their own children. It makes me want to cry; it is so sweet. 
-In the Marshallese language there is no distinction between "mom" and "dad" or "aunt" or "uncle". Therefore, they refer to their aunt as there mom, their cousins as there siblings, their great-aunt as grandma, etc. This makes figuring out family relationships somewhat of a challenge.
-Marshallese people keep their houses nice and toasty.
-Most Marshallese people don't like bread.
-Deoderant is referred to as roll-on
-Marshallese people love rearranging their furniture--it's common to come back to everything in the living room rearranged like biweekly. 
This week I went on exchanges for a day and talked with ri palle (white people--pronounced "ri bell-aye") and it was SO fun! :) I enjoyed immensely knowing I can still just talk (I'm still working on my Marshallese language barrier)
That's all I can think of for now! :) love you tons!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Letter 12-1-13

This week has been interesting--lots of exciting things have happened. Firstly, when Sister Larsen, Masako, and I were out for an appointment, we got hit on and invited to "party". It was super funny and also awkward--I mean we look totally professional and also exude the Spirit so do we seems like we would be up for that. DEFINITELY NOT. But hey, it happens. The Spirit did not warn us of any danger, so we knew we were fine. It is amazing how the Spirit directs us--an unsettled feeling warns us of danger, a peace gives us bravery, and sometimes, as happened this week, the Spirit simply and continuously draws our attention to a person. The spirit is our guide, protector, comforter, and friend. I am convinced now more than every that ANYTHING THAT DISTANCES US FROM THE SPIRIT PUTS US IN DANGER. I am not saying this to come down hard; it is simply a fact that we NEED the Spirit, and we love it. We want it. So I am finding more and more that simple things like reading my scriptures daily, praying often, being obedient (or following the commandments, for the Strength of the Youth, council of the Prophets) to the best of our continuously progressing knowledge and ability, is the best way to be happy. Because, it is the Spirit which brings true joy. God gives us guidelines so that WE CAN BE HAPPY. This in no way excuses our responsibility to think and act; in fact it gives us the responsibility to seriously be true to that Spirit which connects our hearts, minds, and souls to the Father of our very existence. Without the Spirit I am blind, with it, I need not even see. 
I love this work with all my heart. This Gospel heals, helps, and brings joy. What more could I want?
--Sister Short

Letter 11-24-13

Everything is really going well!

So on Saturday I missed my first Weddingtism (that's what the missionaries call it) It's when an investigator gets married, then baptized on the same day. We were too busy to make it BUT that's okay BECAUSE the next one will probably be our investigator! WOOOT! Anyways, later that night something I've been looking forward to all week happened--MY FIRST KEMEEM!! Okay let me explain; a Kemeem is a really big birthday party for a baby that turns 1. This Kemem was for twins and also the family knows like EVERYONE so it was HUGE. They do them at the church (it's an awesome fellow-shipping opportunity) and basically the whole gym area was full of tables and people. They made TONS of food (seriously everyone who helps bakes all day) and it's all delicious. Since we are missionaries, they fed us right after the actual family, and they gave us like a Styrofoam to-go box with both halves entirely filled. I got to try this stuff that was like coconut mashed potatoes (I really liked it), got a rib (yum!), tried their raw fish in this sauce stuff (that was new :) ), little baggies with like this rubbery sweet stuff (you bite the corner of the baggie then suck out the stuff), this really yummy vegetable mix (I think there is crab in it), hotdogs and rice (love it!), chicken, pork, some boss potato salad, pickled veggies (I think it had Kimchi in it), pumpkin sweet-rolls, a rubbery desert square (dunno what they're called but I love them), sushi, etc. They really go all-out. So then we all go up, and, as is customary, everyone places a dollar (or more) in a dish for the family, then they say hi to everyone in the family. Then, entertainment starts. We didn't get to stay for the whole of the entertainment because of our missionary bed-time, but we saw like four performances by groups of young girls. They did like western and some hula and it was ADORABLE. Probly the funniest part was when, during a western song, the mother of the twins got up and pulled like a classic cotton-eye Joe type high-kicking dance. IT WAS GREAT!!! People would just go up and randomly join the dancers every so often. Kemem's are just SO cool! 
I think that's everything, 
-Sister Desiree Short