Monday, December 29, 2014

12/28/2014 Happy New Year

Yep, I'll be in the first country to welcome the new year, ya'll shold be jealous. Except that it will probably feel the same, and be before I wake up anyways.

Before I start I want to say sorry for last week's email.  I forgot that poop is a very not allowed subject in America. Here it is just very casual. Members ask me all the time if I have bekanako or not. Bekanako literally means 'poop go' so basically it's no big deal if your poo goes and you have diareah. Sorry. The important part of that email was the last paragraph. read it again, it is still so true.

Oh my this week has been crazy. So first off I'm not in Abaiang. I was supposed to get transfered there last Saturday. Check in to the Airport was at 3:40pm. So we got there at 2:50 and they told us that the airplane had just left 10 minutes before.... Oh I was so sad. But as of friday there is a new transfer so they switched stuff around and the only one without a companion was Elder Fausett the Zone Leader, so now I'm with him and am a sorta zone leader. I'll be going to Abaiang on Thursday if all goes well. That is the soonest flight. I say I'm an almost zone leader because usually ZL's get to drive and stuff, but since I'm just a filler for a few days I have been denied the privlege of getting a drivers license. Which I complain about but really it should be nice because the roads here are aweful. Usually they're alright, but it's sorta rain season right now so they have more potholes than usual and a lot of the road workers are from Australia and they went home for the holidays. But it should still be fun.

Ah stink. My computer was broken so I was delayed an hour behind everybody else and the new intake just came in four days early, so I, the Zone leader, have to go pick them up. SO lets see how much I can say about last week in my last few minutes. So um actually, I had to write president instead. SO I'm sorry, but I had a wonderful christmas! I hope you guys did too!
Elder Morley

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dec. 21, 2014 Merry Christmas Tikiraoi Kiritimati!

So last monday I got to see the President of Kiribati. I forgot my camera but there should be a picture on the Waldron's Blog (supposing they have one). It was cool, but sorta boring. It was just a dinner (do they call it a cocktail dinner?) with The President  and the American Ambassador speaking. He is very passionate about global warming and said that unless they do something Kiribati will be under water in 30 years. Personally I don't know what 'they' could do, and believes that God loves The people here to much to let them drown. After we got to talk to the imatongs (White people). But for a Kiribati party it was pretty lame. No dancing, no pig, not even any cake. It was a good time, but I missed being able to go to dinner with some of my kiribati families (I have 2 and they both had a botaki (party) on the same night). Ah well, it was good all the same.

Here are some funnies from the life of Elder Morley. This week was the first time I cut my self while shaving, but I never guessed that I would cut my finger! I have so little hair on my face that there is never a chance of injury there, but I guess it had to happen somewhere. I was grabbing my razor out of my bag but for whatever reason I tried to slide it out with my finger, right on the blades... Sometimes i'm not very smart. But it is healing quickly and probably won't even scab, it was just funny.

  The food is just so different and not always healthy so diarrhea is common. I've been amazingly healthy, I think the most healthy of anyone in my intake (the group that came in at the same time as me).  This one is more cool then funny.

There are certain words that don't have to be translated over from kiribati to English in my brain. Some examples are hello, how are you, then some words in lessons like life and happiness then some casual words like, oh you're really good at that. It just makes it really interesting when talking with people that speak english.For example in this letter I have had to stop and erase what I was writing because you guys wouldn't be able to understand. Or when I talk to some of the white people that live here I have to be very careful. For example one day I was talking with a guy from Australia and all the things he said translated perfectly to Kiribati. He said 'take care' and so I said 'thanks take care naba' I tried so hard to speak english but I slipped. Naba is like also. So, take care too. It works better in Kiribati. The white elder next to me burst out laughing because couldn't quite stick to one language. Now I'm sorta worried about when I get to talk to my family. When I translated for the mission president I had to translate their words and then my words. It is always an adventure here!

Probably the coolest thing I've learned on my mission is that the lord is always there for me. He always gives me just enough for me to stay happy and well. And it is always when I need it most. The lord's timing is simply miraculous. For example, last friday was super rough for me emotionally. And we'll leave it at that, but on Saturday morning the Zone Leaders came and delivered 5 letters from my mom. I read the first one and it was so perfectly what I needed that I stopped there to spread out the joy. It was so simple to, a taste of mom's day and some of her adventures with the neighbor kids so I got a great taste of home. Then there was a Talk by Elder Holland called Lessons From Liberty Jail that was spot on for what I was feeling. There are too many examples of the Lords tender mercies to count or share here. Sometime it is with a letter, sometimes with a scripture, sometimes with somebody coming and helping me, sometimes it's just somebody to talk to, etc. The lord is always right by our side. For me I always see him in the little things more than the big. Oh, being a missionary is so great!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dec. 14, 2014

This has been a crazy week.
First off I love the simple faith of the people here. One day this week, while on splits, we went to a house to confirm our dinner for the next day. While there they offered us a drink (and pretty much it would be super rude to say no). But then they realised that they didn't have any preboiled water. My companions said, that's fine we'll just bless it! So that's what we did. They gave us a nice jug of sugar water (side note, that's the most common drink we get here. It's not bad, the only sugar they have is closer to brown sugar than our white granulated stuff, but diabetes is a problem...) and we said a fervent blessing it and my imatong (white man) bowels. They were absolutely sure that there would be no problem. Which there wasn't. I had super bad diarrhea, and some stomach fun (see Jeremiah 4:19) but it stopped as soon as we went out to work. When ever I was with people teachin there was not a problem. Their faith is so great.

A couple of days ago I got an invitation to go to a dinner with the President of Kiribati. Aparently every year or so and American ambassador comes and all of the americans on the island (probably only 10 actually on Tarawa) get to go and have dinner with him. So tonight I get to go to the State House and meet the president. That should be cool. Maybe I'll get a new investigator too!

Last night we had a Stake Priesthood meeting and since I was the only white missionary in the room, Pres. Weir asked me to translate for him. I told him that I am probably the least qualified person in the room, but he said that we would just struggle together. And struggle we did. It was hard because for some of the talks I literally only understood words here and there, so I had a general idea of what was going on, but no idea how to put that into english words. Plus everytime I would restructure the words to english I would have to disconnect from what was said so that by the time I figured out what to tell pres...  (Pres. Weir).
I translated, and as time went on it got better. I learned that I have progressed lots with the language and it was lots of fun. My language is coming and the Lord helps me lots every day.
I love you all!
Elder David Morley

(To Mike and I)
I get mail slowly but surely. This week I got 3 packages from you guys. One with presents, one with stockings, and one with headlights. 2 had a big notes on them that no more mail will be sent from the Marshalls which you know. Am I allowed to open anything yet? I opened the small 3" pictures and the candy canes. Thanks! now I have a perfect small gift to give to those around me. Everyone loves american candy and Christ!
I also got a package from Mason and Sarah that somehow had three letters from mom in it all postmarked SLC on the 12 of November I think...   I am very aware that I don't have many physical trials right now, more the emotional type. But God only gives me what I can handle. I firmly believe that I was given an easy spot to live so that I wouldn't break down with a tough companion. God loves me, probably more than I deserve!
  Transfers is on Thursday, but I don't know who my companion is. But I am 85% sure that I will stay in Betio! We'll see, I'm sorta scared, but excited at the same time. We'll see how it goes...

The Walls are in charge of all packages. They don't live in the town with the post office, and they are in a different zone from me. So delays are to be expected, but like everything else I have complete faith that they will get to me when I need it and can use it.

The Walls are pretty much the Mission President while he's on a different island/country. They take care of most everything.
Do you have any ideas for the celery or the spaghetti sauce? They don't have spaghetti noodles (though I might start using ramen noodles)

Do you pray for my teeth, I have never brushed or flossed so consistently in my life!

I got everything from Sarah that was on the customs paper. Tell people I'm sorry about my time cutting out. I really don't have any time now.
I love you all so much, and if the 3:00pm time on christmas works somebody will probably let you know.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dec. 7, 2014

It's been a great week. Here are the answers to some questions.

The stake leadership is great, they seem to do lots of great things. The Bishopric of this ward seems to be a little weaker, but we do what we can to help!

I'll send pictures of my chapel (if it ever loads). Stake conference was attended by around a hundred in a large chapel.

Inside Beito Chapel
Outside Beito Chapel
I supposedly have one hour for personal study a day, so I study one chapter in the Book of Mormon. I read it once through, then again taking time to mark things that stand out. I really love the second time through, I always get more out of it. That usually takes around a half hour, so I spend the rest studying specifically for my investigators. Then we are supposed to have companionship study, but that usually doesn't happen. So, really I study for about 2 hours, then language study with a variety of sources. My favorite is chatting with Claude the security guard at the chapel that we live at. But I still really only have time for one chapter which is sad.

I go to bed almost exactly at 10:30 every day, because I am so tired that I can't stay up any later. Sometimes I slip up and fall asleep lots earlier. It's only happened twice, but it feels so good afterwards. Then some  days my companion wants to run early so he'll wake me up at 5:30 (it's so early, but it beats the heat), some days he forgets to wake up to run, but I wake up automatically around 6 or 6:15, then some days I'm exhausted, so I sleep in to 6:30-45. You never know, but it's always pretty early. The sun comes up at about 6am, with the sky just barely starting to get bright at 5:30. I copied in a pretty standard sunrise from the corner of the property we live on. Oh it's always so beautiful. The sun goes down at about 6:30pm, but there are trees so it could be + or - 15 min.

Elder Carrington and most of my intake is on the same island as me (Tarawa) it's the main one, so there are 2 zones. He's on the other side so I don't see him very often. We don't do very much work after dark, it's weird culturally I'm told. But we go to dinner around 7:30, and get back to the house around 9. There are a fair number of chickens around my house, but only rarely do they wake me up. I'm always pretty pooped.
This week I Korokarewe (I cut karewe). Karewe is the sap of the coconut tree that is a really common native drink. Usually they boil it and add water, some times I drink it straight. It's definitely an acquired taste, and at first the only way I could get it down was with a big scoop of rice right after, but now I don't mind it. SO this picture was taken by one of my Kiribati family members. He put the bai (bay, like a lava lava) on me, then showed me how to climb up into the tree. Right then we were both in the tree and he would circle around it showing me where to go and how to place my body to best cut the karewe. It was so much fun! But relatively sketchy, cause you know, we're in a tree hopping around on the coconut leaves (which are so strong that they function like branches, but it's still sorta scary). But all of the people here were super impressed, because It's about as native of a Kiribati thing as you can do. Ah it's a good time in the islands.
Hope you guys enjoy the snow!
Climbing a coconut tree.  Picture taken from above.
Sunrise from his house.
Love, Elder Morley

questions:  Have you climbed other trees?  The trees around our house are fun. I use steps cut into the tree for easier climbing, it's super hard without.
There are steps cut into almost every tree on the island already. Climbing with steps is super easy, you can pretty much just run up the tree, but getting into the top part is sketchy.
I ate the shellfish (the stuff that I ate on my 2nd day) again. Now that i'm used to the Kiribati food it really wasn't bad. Definitely not the worst thing served at that meal.

Have you received any of my letters yet?  (7 weeks) 
I have recieved letters from Oct. 23 and 24th and November 3rd.
I loved your scripture study. On it's way is a letter about Nephi from me. He is my favorite. I love the thought that he prayed for me. Also I love that we are connected in our love for Nephi.

How are you feeling?  Do you have any stomach problems or anything?
I am surprisingly healthy. I have not gotten sick at all, the last time I remember my stomach hurting was about a month ago. Usually I only feel yucky when I eat too much (which is really often, because they give me so much food and then expect me to eat it all)

  Do you have a refrigerator? We have a fridge, but it's pretty pathetic, but I think that they will try to fix it this week. Bread is easy to get here.

Do you know about skyping yet?  The plan is for me to skype on the 26th. Which by the mysteries of time change happens to be your Christmas!!! That's all I know, but I'm excited!

Do you see any rats?
I've seen a couple rats, but only far away.
I got the 2 part nephi study (it was so awesome). It was perfect for what I needed.
The problem with this companionship is that he rarely welcomes advice or differing opinions. He almost got angry with me for suggesting a faster way to get to the baptismal interviews that we were late for. I would need to be incredibly brave to challenge his disobedience and lack of work. Usually It only feels safe to offer wishy washy side comments about different ideas. I usually feel that it is better to keep both of us relatively happy so that we can invite the spirit.
I have lots of friends. One of them took that picture in my email. Yes just about every one is full of love and wants to help us as much as they can. That's one of the reasons that I wouldn't be sur prised if I start getting fat...