Monday, March 18, 2013

You don’t need much to be happy!

Mommy!                                                                                             3-11-2013

Hi!!!  I write you letters on p-day, and I never know when I can send them, but I can write you letters and tell you what’s up with me for the last week!  The Marshalls are amazing!  A very humbling experience living with people who don’t know what they will eat tonight, but yet they are so happy…  My perspective on a lot of stuff changed really fast.  You don’t need much to be happy!  Just family, God, and friends.  Everything else is just temporary happiness.  I miss you guys, but I’ll be back some day.
In the meantime, I’m here helping these people realize the importance of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It makes me feel so good seeing these people’s lives literally change in front of my eyes.  I love it.  I barely understand a thing these people say but they understand me just fine.  I know I will get better, but the simplest testimony can be the more powerful one.  And that’s what I have going for me right now.  Haha it works.  I try to be social and talk as much as I can, but it’s really hard, especially when you aren’t talking about the Gospel.  But I will get it soon.  The other day we tried to only speak in Marshallese the whole day.  Let’s just say it was a quiet day!  Haha, just kidding.  I know I learned more in that day alone than any other!  So hopefully we can keep it up!
I’m not all sure how long I will be in Arrak; probably at least March, April, and some of May.  And as long as I’m in the west zone, it’s only letters and emails once a month!  And outer islands they barely ever even send the mail, so I’ll probably just write letters and save/date them and mail them when I can!  Pretty crazy!  I’ll tell you that!  It’s Hot…. Very. Hot.  And I’m nice and black…No sunburns!  Not yet, because I am being obedient to you and using sunscreen!  For now!  Some days it’s perfectly sunny then the heaviest storms ever hit and we get drenched!  But then, 20 minutes later, we are dry!  Cool how that works! 
I can solve my Rubik’s cube on average in about 90 seconds!  The goals for this transfer is 60 seconds average!  We will see!  I’m keeping up with my journal writing.  Page 63 as of today!  I try to do a full page a day, but it’s usually more or less.  There is a lot to say!  I’m collecting shells… Hopefully I can make a nativity scene out of them J Maybe I can draw sheep and wise men and everything on them!  Lolz, I doubt I could really find one out here. [I asked him to send me an authentic Marshallese nativity crèche for Christmas - MOM] I found some amazing shells for everyone though!  So hopefully I can send home a bunch of stuff!  I’ll see what I can do!
Food:  we go into town every 2 weeks and do grocery shopping.  It’s pretty awesome!  Other than that, we eat tons of rice and the members feed us every once in a while!  American seafood is gross…  Marshallese seafood is elukkuun Eno Ippa! (very good!)  I love their bbq chicken!  There are chickens and dogs and rats everywhere!  I held a cat that was probably 3 weeks old for an hour during a lesson.  That was some good therapy right there!  Totally adorable!
For p-day, our whole district is going to Laura Beach!  Nobody is going to be there so it will be 8 of us for a really nice game of beach v-ball.  Lots of exploring!  I’m going to take a ton of pictures and hopefully get them sent home!  Once a month when I get to email, I 'll transfer the pictures over to my flash drive and once my card is filled up, I’ll send it home!  Shouldn’t take me too long to do!  I’m in a stalemate writing all my friends right now because I wrote all of them just before I left for Marshalls.  So I’m waiting for them to send stuff here, which takes a while!  But it’s all good.  I have got 3 letters so far!  2 from two girls at BYU and one from Elder Mendivil’s mom!  But by the time you get this I’ll be rolling in all my letters J  haha.  Some group sends Elder Watkins like 6 huge packages of candy!  So we are feasting!  If you find it in your heart to send a package you should send some Sprees!!!!  They are easily my favorite candy!  I’m glad they have some American food out here!  I would die if they didn’t!  I’ll probably write another letter this week and send both in the same envelope.  We will see!  Love you!

Boy, was I jet-lagged!!!

Dear Mom! & Family,                                                    3-5-2013          

Kinda weird thinking that I’m a full day ahead of you.  Boy was I jet-lagged… The last few days were rough, just because I was tired, but life is great in the other (better) side of heaven.  The language is coming along well!  I can speak pretty well but understanding people seems like it’s impossible!  But it will come!  I can understand my trainer pretty well!  This area I’m in (Arrak) is where he started his mission 1 year ago!  So, some of the members remember him not knowing one word of Marshallese!  So there is hope for me!  I bear my testimony and share scriptures in Majol (Marshallese) pretty well!  I taught FHE today which went amazing!  I taught about the people of the Book of Mormon and committed the family to read it all the way through by the end of the year!  So we will see how that goes!
My companion and I are reading the full Book of Mormon (in English) this transfer!  So let’s hope I can do that!  When we have from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. to study, we read A LOT and he speaks Marshallese to me about 50% of the time!  So I’m working on my listening!  It’s all good.  Stinks I only get to email once a month in this area!  But if I serve in the city, I get to email once a week!  So we will see.  The emails will just be more meaningful!  Try to email a lot!  Doesn’t matter if it’s a few emails, or just one huge one!  Ambebe! (your choice!)  Just don’t forget!!!!

I miss the MTC… and the food…  I never thought I would say that!!!  But I do.  Life is easy when your investigators are fake [in the MTC].  Haha, but these people are amazing.  When we passed by some people playing volleyball, they yelled to us to come play and our appointment fell through so we got to play which was awesome!  I enjoyed it.  All the little kids, (which are everywhere) love my retainer!  They all want to put it in their mouths!  I learned that the hard way!  Haha.  Every here calls me Elder “Eagle” Haha.  It’s the closest they get!  I love that nickname!  Literally, all the people when they hear my name say Eagle!  So Eagle it is!  I have a million things to tell you and a billion pictures that I want to send!  So hopefully I can get these mailed off when I fill my card up.  But I can send ones home when I email, too!  I love it out here!  Time is going to fly!  That’s for sure!  But, by the time you get this, I will have probably been out 2-3 weeks!
I love my watch, but Velcro = not a good call for Marshall Islands.  The Velcro doesn’t work anymore L and the band stinks.  It absorbs my sweat and is just no good… :/  I think I might buy a cheap $10 watch out here or if you want to send me a quality one that isn’t Velcro, that would be emmontata ippa! (Amazing).  Again, Ambebe (your choice).  See, I’m basically a rirmajol (Marshallese person)!!!  But seriously, any help would be accepted!  Everything out here is pretty expensive!
I showed people pictures of my family and they all think Macey is really really lukkum likatu! (Attractive female).  So keep up being adorable, Macey!  Remember, you don’t like boys yet. J  Conner – stay golden, keep being a good boy and stay out of trouble!  I hope you enjoy Utah!  Dad! – you are the man.  Keeep being you.  I love you all!  I’m having a great time out here and before  you know it, I’m gonna be home. L  It’s gonna be hard for me to leave this place.  I love my area…  It’s like a rainforest!  Super beautiful!  I will have to take a video or something and show you!  I hope you are all doing well.  I’m going to try and send a package home in the next week or two with all my letters and things I want to get sent!  I will probably be in Arrak for 10-12 weeks because I’m with a trainer and President Shaw doesn’t want us to need two trainers.  I love you all!
--Elder Ingalls 3.0

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dear Dallin

It is so weird not to get an email from you today. I have had a letter from a missionary every Monday, with very few exceptions, for the past few years, starting with Tanner! I received one from Logan today so the streak has continued, but I still miss getting one from you. You say you will be doing a lot of handwriting and I plan to type them up and add them here so that one day, you can print them all up into a book or something.

If I know you at all, you will be making your area of the Marshall Islands a lively place with fun and laughter (and probably some inappropriateness if I'm being honest). I love you kid. You are sunshine and fun, clouds and storm all rolled into one little ball of energy! That's my boy.

I hope that if your friends and family read this blog that they won't give up, I will try to keep it updated somehow!

Dallin, I want you to know that I am grateful for the knowledge that the gospel is true and that God lives, Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He died to atone for our sins. I couldn't have let you leave me for so long with such little communication if I didn't. I know that you are in His hands now and that He will watch over you and protect you and guide you to those who are in need. There are so many out there who are sad, lonely, depressed, hurting... You can lift them up, help them in their time of need, comfort them and teach them how to find God.

When we make mistakes in our lives, we can repent of our sins and, if we change our behavior, He will forgive us and remember them no more. What a beautiful promise! I am not perfect, I'm only trying to become more like the Savior, little by little, day by day. There are always setbacks, but with perseverance and determination we can all succeed. The goal is eternal life when we die and families that can be together forever! I love my family so much - I can't imagine a life without them. I bear testimony that I know these things are true, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, amen.

I love you, my sweet son, I hope you always know that. We are going to be together forever! So this is just a small moment in time in comparison. I know you will BRB and I will SYS!!!
Love, MOM

Monday, March 4, 2013

An unedited letter - First Week in the Marshall Islands

daddy!!! (mommy too) and family!

i dont have much time, so my grammar and punction will be horrible :/ sorry. it was weird not getting an email from mom today... i get to email once a month on the mondays after fast sunday. and i get a good amount of time to email. life is crazy out here!!!! literally nothing like what i imagined!! the island on maps is tiny but its huge!! its about 45 miles long!! my area is about 7 miles long and we are the only ones in the mission is have bikes. (THIS IS MY EMAIL TO MOM TOO!!) i just didnt have anything to respond to from her! so make sure she sees this!!! we teach a crazy amount of lessons!! about 7 a day!! and thats average really!! i bore my testimony on sunday to the ward... probably the scariest thing i have ever done. literally everyone is the ward (about 150-200 people) came up to me and said my marshallese was perfect... so that felt good. everyone here is so nice and everyone wants to study with the missionaries. tonight i am in charge of teaching the FHE lessons to the bishops family... holy crap i am so nervous and scared. but i have been preparing for it for like 2 days now!! i understand about 85% of what my companions says and about 15-25% of what the natives say... its crazy to me how my companion understands everything... haha btw, he name is elder watkins from california. he is a good guy, very hard worker, a band geek, and pretty amazing at teaching and i learn a ton from him! its hard to open up and not be shy when you dont know what anyone is talking about ever... mky first meal here was fish and rice... and beans... and that was my second and third and etc meals too... lolz they are pretty modern, alot of cars, buildings, etc. i am in arrak which is the opposite of the city. very very green tropical place. michelson is it riita which is the city!! we all get together once a month on p-day for games!! so its cool always being able to see them!! i never thought i would say this but i miss mtc food...

hopefully i will be able to send letters home to you soon!! if you and mom could send my black nike sports socks. the ones i always wear.. that would be AWESOME!! the church dress socks are way to hot and nobody wears them. the Tevas are amazing!! i get alot of compliments! if you guys could send the CD's tanner gave me for chirstmas last year that would be amazing!!

Dallin W - French-speaking Madagascar! WOW!!!!!! amazing!! that is sooooooo cool!!! some of my best friends at the MTC went to madagascar!!! they spoke malygasy though!! pretty cool!! i am so excited for him!! he has got to be soooooo pumped!! and same with sister wiberg!! im glad he is serving a mission!! that is so great for their family!! i saw david a few times at the MTC!! july 24th... dang. the MTC will be packed!!!! but i be holt is excited so have another french speaker in the ward!!

im glad conner and ricky are going out to Utah!!I hope they like it!! i miss it!! im already super tan here!! the tan lines are awesome!! haha the 2nd full day here we attended 2 baptisms!! both were baptized in the lagoon!! pretty amazing!! i live in a house that has a big kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a nice living room!! only the outer islands are in huts which most elders go to for 4-6 months sometimes during their mission! and out there, there is no email at all or anything.. crazy stuff!! but its sick!! just think... my house here... is about 3 times the size of tanners apartment in provo!! Lolz :) hahahahahahah <--- me laughing at him! we (fortuantely) have indoor pumping in most of the houses taht missionaries stay in in majuro atoll!! the burn most garbage, or ship in to other places to have it burnt! water... haha well alot of bottled water, and rain water from the roofs here is collected and stored in huge bins! we have a really nice filter system!! we taught a person who lived in a house smaller than my bedroom at home. its sooooo humbling to serve here. it really makes me look bad caring about worldly things.. expecially when these people worry about food from day to day... but its all good. very life changing. makes me realize i dont need that much stuff... so that is a good lesson learned!! they have a store here called payless... basically a cub foods/walmart mix. its amazing!! lots of american food!! they receive a ton of money from america because of nuclear testing and such. i have seen corvettes here in the city!! and bikes outside. literally everything here. the island is huge. once your on it... the airport is expanding!! they scoop sand and rocks from the sea and bring it to the surface and make concrete!! the landing was pretty rough and you dont understand a rough landing until a 737 lands on a tiny like freeway sized strip of land!! haha its good though. i love this place. it takes getting used too though!! the food is good, so far!! breadfruit... google that stuff... its like an island potato... idk yet.... it maybe will grow on me haha my companion and i are readign the b.o.m. entirely this transfer!! (6 weeks) and we are asked to read it with a topic in mind. mine is faith. i want to read it at least 4 times on my mission. so i can go through faith, repentence, baptism, holy ghost, etc but idk yet! outer islands, i could read it in about 4-5 days!! that would be unreal!!!

welll.. im about out of time. i hate to make you guys send me just one email, but if you and mom could respond to me in the same email so i can just write a HUGE email once a month, that would be awesome!! have a mom portion, then a dad portion!! but if you cant, thats okay too!! just email me few days before fast sunday each month and you wont have any problems!!

to my friends: I am Marshall(ese). well im going to be. hope you guys enjoyed my email about random stuff to my parents!! hope you all are reading it!! the islands are amazing and im gonna have a hard time ever leaving this place... especially to stone cold minnesota!! you guys are need to write me letters!! i will respond to them!! the mail service is great out here!! so shoot me a letter or something!! taht would be bomb!! love letters accepted ;) ladies... you know who you are :) haha and geoff and bunji too. s/o to my homies/steve back home thinking about me. i love you are and you all are in my prayers everyday. i mean it. you dont know the gospel of jesus christ until you teach it to someone who knows nothing about it. its amazing to see the joy they receive when i share this amazing knowledge with them! i love you all. ij yokwe aolep armej ro :) you guys keep it real and stay golden!! love :)

i love you daddy and i love you mommy!! please stay safe and continue to read scriptures and prayer everyday!! thanks for getting me into the habit!! very awesome!! i will see you guys in a month!! hopefully i get some letters from you and hopefully i get some sent home!!

i love you,

elder ingalls!!

ps-- PLEASE put this into a word doc and auto correct it!!
pss--all the posts on my blog, i would like to someday publish in a book! president and sister shaw did that for their mission to spain!! i think that would be the coolest thing ever!! so if you could help me out and spell check words for me now, that would be amazing!! and i know mom is always on the computer anyway [How rude! I am not! - MOM] ;) :) love you all.

Elder Dallin Ingalls
Marshall Islands Majuro Mission
P.O. Box 1107
Majuro, MH 96960