Monday, November 2, 2015
The weeks on a mission seriously fly by so fast. It seems like yesterday that I was dropped off at the MTC and here I am already a month into my mission. Life as a missionary is definitely different than regular life but it's all good things. We are always trying to help people and we are always talking to random people to see if they would be interested. It's so weird to see how polite people really are and how you just have to start having a conversation with them. We went on splits the other day and since I was the missionary I felt like I had to lead. So I started talking to everyone that we met on the street and in the half hour that we spent walking from our appointments we met and received 5 referrals! It just goes to show how people are willing and the Lord prepares people and all you have to do is open your mouth! That's one thing that I've also come to know as a truth, that the Holy Ghost truly will speak through you if you will let it. There have been so many times when I have asked "inspired questions" and they have changed the hearts of the people just by asking a question. The Lord really does prepare people for us and all we have to do is open our mouths. I think I'm finally starting to settle into the missionary lifestyle and things are starting to become habit for me. Things like praying before pretty much everything and always trying to have the spirit with you are things that were new but now I want them to be with me always. The Spirit is the third member of our companionship and we need it to be with us always. The people here are so much different than people in America yet they are so much the same. They are still sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and they still have their own lives and their own culture and ways.
On a completely different note there are lizards everywhere here. I feel like I've told everyone a lot about what we do but I've never told you about where we do it! You should be getting all of the pictures I've taken since I got here and you will see that everything is green. If you leave a seed outside it will grow. If you leave food outside, it will grow... Food here goes bad really fast and pretty much everything you don't want ants in you put in the fridge, ever had cold bread for breakfast!?! The dirt here is always red and stains stuff really easy. Unfortunately Pohnpei doesn't have a single beach on the whole island because there is a coral reef surrounding the whole island that breaks the waves before they make it to the actual island. So in stead we have lots of mud and big black rocks. There are some cool islands that are farther away that have beaches that we are trying to get permission to go to since there are people that live there but no missionaries. I think the biggest culture shock so far is a tie between people breastfeeding in the middle of lessons and everyone wearing Crocs. I won't go into detail on the first for obvious reasons but Crocs in America are pretty much "social suicide" here their are pretty much a necessity. Every other kind of shoes will wear out super fast and crocs just keep on going. Also one thing that you learn really fast is that white shirts were not meant for Pohnpei. My shirts when I got here were like sparkling white and the only way to keep them like that is to scrub and clean them by hand every week. I've been doing that so far but I have a feeling the island will win eventually.. Something that I think will be awkward to adjust back to is using spoons and forks again. Here we don't use anything like that and we eat ramen with our hands all the time. I'm pretty much in love with the coconuts here and all of their donuts things they make. They are so good and so sweet! As I've been thinking about the food we eat, it's pretty much all of the most unhealthy foods all in one. I've already gained 10 lbs as of last week and is probably up a couple more this week. So expect a completely different Elder Hanson when I get back. Luckily it's turned mostly into muscle since we hike to houses a lot because they are like a mile off the main road. Also I'm starting to get pretty good as using a Machete. I can already use it to split a coconut in half and we use them all the time to cut through the jungle. It's funny to people in Kolonia, the main town, everything else on the island is the "Jungle". Also here there are lizards and spiders everywhere! I call our bathroom our "nature preserve" because of all the lizards and spiders that are in there to greet you every day. Yesterday I went in to find a spider the size of my hand eating another spider alive. After killing the big spider, the half eaten one started crawling towards me! Luckily, Eugene, my lizard friend, came and saved the day and ate it! We first met Eugene the first night and we was hanging on our front door when we walked in the first night. Then the next night he greeted me in the shower as he fell on my shoulder and scared me half to death. We have a good relationship though because he really likes to eat spiders. Which I will not complain about because they are huge here.
One of the overlying factors that I've noticed while here is how much God diversified and created beauty on the Earth. There are so many things here that at first I thought were really weird but not I've come to see how beautiful they are. I've learned to love the people and learned to love the island. The rain is now my friend and the humidity is awesome. I love everything here and I know that this island truly is a blessed island and that God sent me here for a reason. I know this Gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is our Brother, Redeemer, and Friend. I know that this Earth is a time for us to learn and gain experience so that we can be like God some day. I know that everyone on this Earth was a great example and a great person, I know that because we are here, because we chose life and truth, because we chose our pure Brother Jesus Christ. I know He is our Brother and that He loves us more than we can comprehend. He knows what we are going through and He knows we can make it through it. D&C 6:36 Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not. There's no reason to fear because we have the strongest and the best team mate in our corner, that's Jesus. I know He lives. I know that God is our Spirit Father and that He loves us and wants us to learn from our mistakes. I have made a lot of mistakes and will continue to make mistakes but I know that I can be forgiven and I know I can become better. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God truly loves us and cares for each and every one of us. He knows us and talked with us. As we become closer to Him, the veil that is between our eyes becomes thinner and thinner and we come to remember our lives before Earth. God loves us. I know this. I say these things with unwavering knowledge and assurance. I know for a fact they are true. In the name of our Brother, Redeemer, and Teacher, Jesus Christ, Amen.