Monday, April 1, 2013

Three steps to a better day—Dallin-style

Dear Family,                                                                                     March 17, 2013

Yokwe, it’s Sunday today and P-Day is tomorrow, so I thought I could write a letter so I can send it when I go to town tomorrow!  Trying to give you the most updated news on what’s going on with me!  It’s going great out here.  The language is so hard, most days I feel like I don’t understand anything, but I pick out words and try and grasp the meaning of it.  I never realized how incredibly tiring it is to bike 10-12 miles a day!  I know the missionaries back home probably know about that…  but with it being 85-90 degrees…  I’m sweating like no other….  I have a nice tan though!  Maybe the last week of my mission I will tan for a couple days and even it out!  You guys all will look like ghosts!  My stomach is as white as my Sunday shirt!  But, not really any sunburns yet!  I’m a ri-major (Marshallese) so of course there aren’t any sunburns with me.  Hahahaha.  That sentence made no sense.
FoB = Fresh off Boat; a term we use for when we use Marshallese grammar with English words!  FoB!  Bet you can point that out a lot in my writing!  The other day I jammed my finger and I yelled, “My finger pain!”  Haha, that was probably the best FoB I have ever done!  After you learn a bit of Marshallese, it’s fun to mess with the people and teach them wrong English words!
I taught them that “eno” which means “delicious” is “disgusting”, so when they like a food, they say it’s disgusting!  Hahahaha, it’s amazing!  Sometimes, I will teach them that it means something else!  So… I was thinking about throwing my letters in a bottle and see if they would work, so I found a bottle, threw in the ocean as far as I could… (Probably 2 football fieldsJ)… or so…haha, and it ended coming back within a few minutes.  So I’m not gonna risk it!  So airmail it is!
I was wrong when I email, I believe it’s the first P-Day of the month… So not necessarily after Fast Sunday!  So hopefully I get some e-mails April 1st!  If I were you I would send little updates in e-mail once a week, or questions, etc.  And still mail letters!  I haven’t got any that recently!  I need some!  But I’m sure they are coming!  The mission office gets them, and then eventually they get to us on Sundays or P-Day!  It’s a long wait, but with the amount of patience I’m receiving! (a lot), I know this is good for me!  It will come someday.  That’s basically all I can say!  So Watkins went out teaching with the Bishop and I stayed with his son…he didn’t speak a word of English to me even though he knows it…  We had some pretty silent moments, but wow, did I grow.  You learn a lot when you are forced to use it!  It’s fun, learning the language is like a game to me and I want to do my best and win!  I’m gonna start working really hard at it.
Kinda weird… last time I had fast food was two months ago…  I miss McDonalds and Chipotle!  But, they are waiting for me!  Which is good!  My favorite food out here… (I’m not lying) is lime-salted raw fish.  Wow it’s good!  I can’t eat a lot, but I do like it!  I don’t have those exotic foods as much as I thought.  We usually eat with members two or three times a week.  When we eat at home, we usually have spaghetti (Dallin-style, no sauce), chicken, rice, tons of peanut butter, more rice…  and toast.  Toast for every meal!  I haven’t weighed myself yet, but I guarantee I have not gained a single pound out here!  Few missionaries do, according to President Shaw.
I never thought I would gain such a love for reading.  When your library is limited, the stuff you can read, you read over and over again, which is good.  We got to read Seminary manuals and some BYU religion-history books.  It’s awesome!  I learn a lot.  It’s nice that I have time on my mission to read about that stuff, because after I know I would be busy!  I learn a lot of cool stuff!  Like stupid reasons members left the church, one—Joseph Smith spelled their name wrong in an announcement…Dang.  Crazy what people got offended by!
I love all the cats and dogs that are here.  Little month-old cats and dogs and chicks are everywhere.  Holding them is so therapeutic!  I love it.  Basically every day I get to hold cute little puppies and kittens.  It’s neat.  I’m not homesick, but I do miss you guys so much.  I think about you guys a lot.  I miss being in the comfort of my friends and language, but I’m growing so much because of it.  I hope to get a letter from you guys soon!  I wanna hear from you soon!  But I can wait! ß (see, I’m patient now!)  I love you guys a lot and I think and pray for you daily!  Stay safe in Minnesota.  The Church is true here in the Marshall Islands!  Send my love to my friends!  Post all the funny stuff on my blog or something.  Read the scriptures every day, bear your testimony once a day, and never start your day without prayer!  Three steps to a better day—Dallin-style.
With love, Elder Dallin Ingalls (3.0+) P.S.  I love you!

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