Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's cool how inspired this work is!!

Hey Mom,
Its your favorite son. Dallin. So today is the big 8th month mark!!! I can't believe that I have made it this far!! Very impressed with myself!! Haha I can't believe that I am 1/3 done… What the heck… This is flying for me. I can't believe how far I am with the language, that I am working with somebody younger than me, that I have opened up a new area and started from scratch… its pretty crazy all the things I have done so far. I am glad to have worked on both sides of the island here!! Many of the Elders here have been to outer islands but have never even been on the west side of the Atoll…. Haha its pretty funny!! Some people never get out to that side so I am really happy to have gone there!! Its completely different than the work here. Its hard to believe that I am still on the same island, just 30 miles down the road!!

So lets review, in the last 8 months:
Favorite new food: sashimi, raw fish. It’s the best, and I really enjoy it. Idk if I’m gonna like the fish when we get home, but I like the fish here. Maybe it will be just a 2 year thing… haha probably… we will see I guess. And coconuts… love them. Don’t get to have too many on this side of the island, but I love them. Idk if I will like coconut flavored candies or foods, but I know that I love the real deal now!!
Favorite Word: Jumbo - Just walking around, chatting, visiting, doing anything. Just cruising. Basically the best thing to do here in the islands is jumbo. Its probably my favorite word. I’m definitely gonna use it when I get home. I read in a textbook that had all the countries and a little bit about them, that “Jumbo” means the art of walking around to visit and chat with people and is “a national pastime in the Marshalls Islands” haha what the heck. Whoever wrote that is crazy… haha
Favorite thing to do: Volleyball. For sure.  Haha I swear the 8 year olds are as good as the adults, but they are all good.  Its fun playing the kids, cuz I am pretty much taller than 90% of the island and I can jump to the moon. So yeah I love playing with them! Some of the Elders here are pretty good at the game as well. Its awesome.
Favorite thing to do on pday: email Mom
Favorite scripture: John 14:18, its just comforting. I really break the scriptures apart and study them and its one of my new favs!

So this last week. It was pretty good. Looks like I might be whitewashing a new area next transfer. So that would be crazy… I will probably still be with Dui or another new guy. Haha I’m up for the challenge. I was talking to President and he is saying how I am a missionary that is easy to get along with and I can really handle any type of missionary, so he told me I might be the one that gets put with the difficult guys cuz I can handle it and try and help them…. What the heck…. But it’s cool that he sees that in me and that I can better myself by helping these guys. So we will see… haha

This week I am not speaking English. That’s gonna be interesting haha I have gone full days where I haven’t spoken English, but a week is going to be so hard. But regardless, I will be doing it!!

So Conner at BYUI huh!! How is he saying he's liking it?? I bet he is having a blast!! I hope he can adjust well. He’s lucky to have friends out there and people he knows. I never got that… But I made some ballin friends out there that’s for sure!! Speaking of Bunji and Geoff, I will email you their emails separately cuz I have to look them up!! But I’m sure they would loveeeee if you sent them mail and such!! They are cool, I get to email them quite a bit and try and send a few letters here and there. I have really really slowed down with the letter writing because I can email now, and I am just so busy… but I try to at least get you letters. I am going to send home about 350 pictures next week. I am nervous because you guys haven’t sent me a new memory card and I have one but it cant hold that many pics on it… so send on quick!!

Give the yokwe to everyone for me!! I feel like a ton of people broke their hands or something because the letters have been lacking lately… haha at least that better be the reason ;) just kidding no worries as long as I hear from mommy, nobody else really matters. But it never hurts to get a ton of mail or something haha birthday is coming up soooo

Let's see what else can I tell you about this week…. I’m getting less stressed about things. I am getting used to talking to investigators more, just relying more on myself, and trying to help Duiriba the best I can. This was a good week. We try hard. I have learned a lot. I am trying to read the Book of Mormon with the BYU class manuals and really try and become an expert on the scriptures. That is my focus these days. I really wanna get better at them. I feel pretty confident to share and explain scriptures, but I wanna just know them better, really study them and be awesome at them. My mish is the time to do it!! I got all the time in the world! Haha So we will see how that is going a month or two from now!! Hopefully well!

I have really learned a lot while I have been out here!! I know this is the mission for me. And Heavenly Father knows I couldn’t manage anywhere else!! I talk to a few people that are serving missions right now all over the world and, boy, is it crazy to hear their stories and experiences and then try and relate them to mine!! They are just so different and I don’t know if I could do what they are doing and I don’t think they could do what I am doing! Its cool how inspired this work is!! I hope Conner serves soon!! I am so blessed to be here!

I love you guys. Sorry my email is short, but I tried to make it sweet!! We don’t have that much time cuz the internet wasn’t working!! I love you fam, love you friends. You all stay safe and remember I’m thinking about you guys over here on the other side of heaven. 8 months down… a couple more to go!
Love, Elder Ingalls the great

PS [I guess he forgot what he was going to PS because he never got around to it! LOL]

I honestly am laughing and joking all the time

Mom!!! You are the best.
Haha I feel like I start all my emails out like that. But its true, you are the best. Thank you so much for writing to me and thinking about me. I miss you a lot!! It’s starting to get weird how fast time is going. I feel like every other day I am back here emailing home!! Time flies!! I sent out a handwritten letter to you and to grandma. So in the next 2-3 weeks hopefully you should be getting those!!! Hopefully it doesn’t take 3 months!

So this week: it was pretty good. It seemed like we were kinda lazy this week. I didn’t really wanna get out and work, so it was difficult. But we managed through it and taught quite a few people. Its hard being with a companion that will literally do anything you want. So if I don’t wanna work, we wont. If I wanna work, we will. Its super nice until you have those days where you just need that push. And its not there. But I love Dui he is the man. One of my favorite Fijians! I swear we have the best and the funniest elders ever in this mission. I honestly am laughing and joking all the time haha

Macey…another bf…. What the heck. I managed to get through highschool with none (official ones) ;) haha but whatevs that’s cool too. Matty is a cutie pie too. Wonder how long that is gonna last…  hopefully its good. Is he a senior or a junior? I don’t even remember.  Anyways I cant believe I am talking about macey and boys…. What the heck happened to my little baby sister….. that’s the real question… and her driving. Limit it to once a week and bike the rest of the time. You guys are gonna owe me a car if she crashes it…. Its probably weird dad driving just one car to seminary for the first time in years….. haha he always tried to race me but I kept him under control ;) you know me! but give macey the yokwe for me and tell her to kick some butt in tennis and tell Fedor I say wadddddup and as for BPA, its awesome and I loved it. But just work hard and give Ms Rice cakes a hard time for me!!

Anyways, I am currently just emailing back and forth with Tanner as we speak. Well, as I write you this email. I miss that kid. Make sure he is taken care of, cuz I am not out at BYU to babysit him right now haha and Logan, holy buckets how many hours does he work???? Works more hours than hours in a day haha but props to him. Missions put a sense of work into people and that’s the way. I hope he gets into BYU!! That would be legit to get the brothers going there and then maybe Conner after his mission!! I’m so proud of Conner and Retard, whoops Ricky, for them getting ordained and heading out to school. I love those kids and I think they will do great out there and I hope they both can get on missions at the same time and help each other go!! I’m pumped that they are rooming with Nick too. That kid is the man!!!

Yeah talking to people isn’t difficult. Having small talk and talking and talking is one thing I am really good at. Haha Who knew that not knowing when to shut up would ever be a good thing ;) But yeah I can literally talk about anything and everything with these people. Its fun being the guy that has to do all the talking. I learn a lot about their culture and their lifestyles. Its fun to teach lessons and stuff, but gaining a vocabulary bigger than that is what helps you find people and helps people be more attracted to what you have to say. They say the broken testimony of a Elder that is trying is the same as a polished testimony. So if they are the same, might as well be the better one! I really try to sound like these people and pronounce things the way they do. I notice that I do say some English words differently, nothing like an accent, but I just say them the way a Marshallese person would haha and rolling my R’s and flicking my tongue. Probably the coolest thing to do ever. Haha I cant really do it, but I can really act like I can and fake it haha all of the elders when talking about the language just say the same thing, “fake it until you make it” haha and its so true. Just act like you know what is going on and that will give you the confidence you need to learn the language. And I take that to heart. Its funny when old ladies are talking to me and I really have no idea what they are saying I just act like I do then respond with a yes or a no and hope that they asked a yes or a no question… haha and a lot of the time it works and they all love me. So yeah getting the lovin from the grandmas J they are called Bubu’s here and grandpas are called Jima’s haha its funny
Question and answer time with Elder Ingalls
1. What do you eat out there? Food? Duh. Haha I eat a lot of chicken and rice. There is quite a bit of American food here, but it is so expensive and idk I would rather eat fish and bread and stuff. Idk American food is bomb, but I just am not used to it anymore and I get sick a lot of the time from eating it haha
2. Do you cook much? Whenever I wanna eat? Haha just kidding. I do the cooking and destroy the kitchen in exchange for Dui to clean it up cuz he doesn’t know how to cook that well and likes what I make haha and that soup recipe you sent me… haha nope definitely wont be able to make that any time soon but I am gonna save and hopefully buy all the ingredients and make it for Christmas or something. If I am not on an outer island. haha
3. Do  the members feed you much? Not as much as they did in Arrak. On Mondays for FHE they do. Big time, we eat until with literally have to tell them we're full… and its hard for me because I eat small portions. haha
4. Do you go to the grocery store? Yeah we go on pdays usually. We have the store in our area so if we need something, were set, but its nothing like a grocery store in the states.
5. Are there fruits and veggies that you can just eat as you are walking around? Like growing wild. Coconuts yes. But not really anything else and you don’t eat in public or while you are walking. Huge culture no no… haha standing up and eating… nope don’t do that. ALWAYS sitting. Its extremely disrespectful if you stand and eat. haha
6. Why are there big coconut piles? Because they eat a lot of coconuts ;) haha and there is just no other place to put them when they fall. They make coconut oil so they have to let the coconuts age and do that stuff so they just make piles and in the jungle side, they are everywhere!!!
7. What foods do you miss from home that I made you? Yeah quite a bit. Haha I miss not having to make my food, do the dishes sometimes (when I wasn’t fast enough to run away) and just knowing that there was always gonna be something good to eat. Cuz the food I make is good…. But that’s just cuz I tell myself that its good haha
8. What have you eaten there that you would never eat again? (Please tell me the answer is lizard!) Lizards are actually dece. Like I would eat another one, but not all the time. Haha just to show off and make everyone think I’m crazy!! And I would say 4 month old giant sea clam. haha
9. Are you still a little eater? Do they try to get you to eat a lot? Yes and yes. I don’t eat too much, But I eat quite often. Its just healthier for you and I never have that big of an appetite.
10. Are you skilled in getting a coconut open? I am the best J there are tons of different ways to do it. One is just a machete, and the other way is this sword like thing they put into the ground and husk the coconut with. Its legit and I am really fast at doing it haha it’s a really good work out too. I’m gonna miss coconuts when I come home to the frozen wasteland.
11. Did you get your package from GMA yet? YESSSSSSSSSS!!! That was awesome!! The belt fits great and I love it!! Thank you thank you thank you!! I wrote her a letter so she should be getting that pretty soon haha and thank her for the candy and the SPREESS!!!!! That was  awesome. It is always nice to get packages of things I need and can't get. I wish I didn’t have to ask for everything, but who ever knew you cant buy belts here…. Haha

So lets see what else can I tell you before I close…. Probably the coolest thing about my mission is the fun I have, but more the spiritual experiences I have every single day. Giving people blessings and just knowing what seems like perfect Marshallese for that prayer is the best feeling ever. Even if I am making mistakes, I know that Heavenly Father is making it make sense to them and that they understand. It’s a thing that could almost bring me to tears to be honest and I don’t cry. The language… the language is awesome. Its just fun to learn knew things and just try and speak Marshallese all the time. This next week I am gonna celebrate my 8th month by speaking only Marshallese this week!!! So that will be interesting J haha  its cool. I understand a ton of the language, but when I have to go and translate it to English its really hard. But I understand… haha pretty cool when you start thinking about objects first in Marshallese!! Trying to think in Marshallese is hard, but wow does it get you good at the language fast!!

Funny we had a lesson on the mission of saving souls in church yesterday and when asked why leaving the 99 and saving the 1 was important, I said, because a dollar is better than 99 cents and they all roared with applause and they were all laughing soooooo hard haha I’m just having fun with the language. When I can start cracking jokes, you know that’s when you are just having a good time and got this stuff down!! Haha

Well, I should close now and get on with my pday and go play haha I love you, family. Love you Mommy. Love you friends. You guys help make me who I am. I need you guys - keep writing me and see you guys soon!

Kin iakwe
Elder Ingalls the 4th

Monday, September 2, 2013

Don’t worry about me, sharks can't walk!

Mom :) Man I worried that you didn’t email me, then in the middle of Dad's email I got yours!! That was pretty neat!! You are so funny in your emails I love getting them!! You tell me all the important stuff and the fine details of Macey's love life ;) haha too bad its all gonna end when I get home and the enforcer and the protector of the family is back. Second to Dad, of course  But I am meaner…. Ahaha  This week was pretty good. Nothing extreme happened but we taught a lot of people. We made a goal to talk to 50 people a day just contacting and running into people on the streets. The housing here is not like anything I have ever seen. Its all stacked on itself and you never know who lives where and when you ask someone where they live, they just say by a green building…. Hahaha I am basically whitewashing/opening this area because its new and I have a new companion who is good at Marshallese in lessons!!! So I made a list of stuff to email home about so its gonna be completely random…. So here goes… haha
So a drunk guy came up to us elders after we were eating and he starting talking to us and he said “praise Jesus” then rubbed my belly like I was budda or something…. Haha that was the most awkward thing ever. And all of this was just after I was saying how its like impossible for an elder to get kidnapped or anything out here…. Then… I had icecream and milkshakes for the first time in 7 months…. Ice cream is so sweet and to be honest, I don’t think I could have it again…. I can't believe I just said that especially because I used to be obsessed with it…. But not now… And beef…. Haha nope…. I’m not a vegetarian but I just get sick from it…. Then in one of my lessons where the lady knows English, I yawned… and she asked me If I was tired and I said no I’m a robot… and she believed me! Man some people are so funny… but its okay. One other person asked me if there were cars in the states that can turn into robots the size of trees… I said yes and showed him a pic of my car…. He's a firm believer now… hahaha someone watched transformers!!
I came to realize this week that us elders were all called here because we just could not function in a state side mission. Its weird and I don’t know how to explain it, but none of us could do it.. haha Heavenly Father works in some mysterious ways… haha and oh yeah whats the  recipe for Wild Rice Soup? And I received a letter from you guys that was sent back in March…. Haha it was asking me if I would get to Skype you guys.. haha the answer is yes :) and I did get your package with the candy and the journal in it!! And Elder Parkinson got his and he is bragging to everyone that you love him and he is so happy you sent him candy!! He is the man and I work one district away from him… which here… is about a mile haha so I see him a lot. He's like one of my best friends here. What else…. Oh yeah dogs….in the chapel during sacrament there are dogs that come in and run around… its crazy… they are so skinny here. American dogs have it so easy. I love how there are hundreds on hundreds of puppies here though :) they are my friends  Haha

Okay on to the questions…
1.    Do you write in your journal every day? Yes…. Well no, but I write about every other day because I was running out of room on my first journal but now that I got the 2nd one, I will be better! I write down all the good stuff though!! I don’t write a page everyday.. sometimes more sometimes less. Depends how good or bad the day was haha I write all my bad things in Marshallese.
2. Tell me a spiritual experience you had when you were young.
Young as in, when? Probably me just getting asked questions about my religion all the time at school. Just being able to share everything and just bear my testimony. I wish all my friends had the knowledge of our Savior's love that I do right now.
3. What Primary or Sunday School teacher had and influence on your spiritual progression?
Brother Holt. No questions there!! He is the man and I just loved his knowledge of the scriptures!! Brother Wengreen was the man too!!
4. What Young Men leader do you think most influenced you to be the man you are today?
See above!
5. What is something you learned when you were younger that you still believe in today?
That I am the best! Still have my strong ego, just kidding. Well I do, but to answer your question - its simply that I can be with my family forever and I know what I need to do. Its so plain and simple. I am glad I get to share that with people here!!
6. Who is the greatest influence in your life?
Probably you and dad. I don’t wanna compare you to the godhead… but kinda the same thing. You guys are separate people but with one purpose… to raise this amazing kid the people here call Elder Eagle ;) haha but seriously. I always try and copy what you and dad do, except for your poor driving skills and dads lame jokes ;) haha just kidding  love you guys!! [I am a great driver, I don't know what he's talking about! No accidents and no speeding tickets, can't get any better than that!]
7. Was there a moment in your life where you realized Heavenly Father's love for you personally?
I don’t know if there was a specific time, but a combination of small little things. Definitely finishing reading the Book of Mormon while I was in college. I don’t think there was any stronger time where I just felt God's presence its my life.
8. Do you feel like you receive answers to your prayers?
Every day. One thing I learned out here is that the answers don’t come right away sometimes. You just gotta wait for God to give you the answers when he knows that you need them. Its hard telling that to investigators, but God's time is not our time and His ways are not ours
9. What advice would you give for those who are searching for answers to their prayers and feel that they haven't received one yet?
Accept God’s time. We are promised that if we read and pray, we will receive answers so we just have to have to the faith to wait.
10. What part does reading the Book of Mormon have in your life?
It has 30 minutes a day at least! Haha It is my manual, it is my tool for answering questions and it is where I go to read stories and apply them to my life to make me a better person. Without it, there is no religion.
11. Do you think that Heavenly Father is aware of us all personally? How do you know?
Without a doubt. I know that He knows me. He knows I hate lettuce and knows that I love cars. Its simple. He is our Father over everything. We are his child. I know because I prayed about it. I know because there is no other way that all this could be. He helps me everyday.
12. Why do you think He lets good people suffer sometimes?
Our ways are not His. Its simple. Its horrible, but without pain, is there joy? Without evil is there good? We are on earth to gain experience. Some people need some experiences. Do I know why? No. I wish everyone could have the best, but we are here to be challenged and tested.
13. Do you feel like you understand the power of repentance and the Atonement in your life? How?
Yes, just because I have had to apply it in my life. I’m not perfect… (As much as I hate to admit it) haha but I have to do exactly what everyone else has to do. I repent, I live the gospel of Jesus Christ and I try my best to be a man. I have gone through struggles and it helped me teach with my conviction. Some Utah kids just don’t understand some of these people's problems cuz they just grew up so sheltered and nothing ever happened to them. I’ve experienced what they have, I understand them. Its through my mistakes that I can relate.
14. Do you feel like a person can make a lot of mistakes and still be forgiven?
His hands are opened to all those who come. Yes. God knows we will always fall short. So He provided a Savior to atone for us so that we can always be forgiven.
15. Can a person still be good if they don't follow the Prophet's counsel?
The prophets words are God's words. Plain and simple. But, yes, a person can be good if they have the desire. They need to act on that desire, though. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, but it depends where our heart is and where we want it to be. [I think you can still be a good person, but you are leading yourself down a rocky path which can lead to sin if you are not diligent.]
16. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t know. My missions' changed me. Advertising/Marketing/Business/Psychology/Management. I will pick from there someday. But I’m gonna be the best at whatever I do!
17. What is your fondest memory of your childhood?
Probably growing up with brothers that I got to play the same sports with. Conner and I killing it in football was always awesome. And when we used to go to skateparks with you and got to scooter and rollerblade and skateboard… haaha soooo funn. I miss that stuff. And playing with your hair with conner!! [They put every clippy, barrette and other hair accessory they could find in my hair - there was even a brush tangled in there! Good times!] Haha and wrestling with the boys and always beating up Dad and just being happy. [Dad says that he doesn't ever remember you guys "beating him up". Wimps!]
18. Do you feel that FHE, family prayer and family scripture study are important in strengthening families or can they be strong w/ it?
 Its important if you do it right, but if you just go through the motions its pointless. That was my problem. I just went through the motions and didn’t get anything out of it. At some point in time, I realized this and started to pay attention more and learn from what we were reading. That's when it became a lot more meaningful for me. But I applaud you for being adamant about doing it all those years when we were lazy and didn't want to do it or we were crabby or too tired. It taught me the importance of doing it daily no matter what. I would say focus on reading a bit, then read from preach my gospel.
19. Can you remember a time where you were told "no" for something and you were glad about it?
Haha no because when I was told no I would fight for it and get it ;) haha just kidding. Maybe a cell phone or something [He never did get a cool cell phone before he left no matter how hard he fought for it! - good parent moment!]… It just made me have to be more creative and really figure out how to convince you guys. It was good for my people and persuasion skills!
20. Isn't your Dad adorable?!!!! :)
 Yes Dad is pretty neat!! Shout out to the best Dad I got. Everyone that reads this go tell my Dad he's the best cuz were all thinking it haha

Haha wow that was a lot of questions!! I get to check today if I got a package from grandma! Hopefully! I hate not being able to know until after I email you guys!! Haha Its all good though!! Grandma still hasn’t responded to my last email I sent her so tell her to get on top on that!! Hehehe Love her and give her the yokwe! Thank you Conner for your little note. You have a good time at school and find some cute girlz to hang out with (ditch Ricky… you might have an easier time ;) haha just kidding but seriously.) Hi Tanner, Logan, Conner, Parker, Macey. You guys are awesome. See you guys soon when I come right back.
Love you mom. You have a good day. And don’t worry about me, sharks can't walk. Haha love you babe
Elder Ingalls the Great