This last week we had transfers! Actually, the only thing that changed among the Marshallese Elders is that Elder Oberender transferred to Ponca City! We're sorry to see him go, but we know he'll do really well there. That leaves Elder Nicholas and me in Enid West and Elder Smith and Elder Menlove in Enid East.
A funny experience from earlier this week: We talked to a few Marshallese men outside of some apartments. We greeted them in Marshallese and talked with them for a bit. One of them, who must have been a bit out of it that day, started asking us questions in slow English. We responded in Marshallese. He asked us (in English) if we know the Marshallese language, to which we responded that we did. He then continued asking us questions in English and we continued responding in Marshallese, all the while his friend kept saying, "Dude, they know Marshallese better than you know English! Just use Marshallese." I'm pretty sure he asked us if we knew Marshallese 3 times to which we responded in Marshallese. Finally, we gave up and told him (in Marshallese) that we didn't know the Marshallese language so that we could move forward in the conversation past that particular point. We somehow managed to set up a return appointment with him, but that backwards, bi-lingual conversation was the strangest we had this week.
Following up on last week's challenge, this week has been better for me as I've tried to live the principles I discussed in my last letter. I studied with purpose and filled my life with good things. My prayers were more meaningful. I was more grateful for the blessings in my life. I also lived the way I know I should, I talked with everyone, followed our schedule, and worked to exhaustion. The result: a happy, guilt-free Elder Kilmer who has found more peace and contentment in his life. I know as you work to nourish yourselves with good, uplifting things and choose to be proactive and make decisions for good in your lives, you will experience the same change.
As Marshallese missionaries, we have challenged ourselves to eradicate negative comments from our conversations with and about each other. We have been trying to create a stronger bond of unity among the missionaries in our district and, even though a negative comment may not hurt someone's feelings, we all have emotional bank accounts--we only deposit or withdraw in our interactions with one another--and we have chosen to only make deposits in one another's emotional bank accounts. This is my challenge to you this week: seek to make more deposits than withdrawals. Avoid relationship debt at all costs. I know that as you do, you will be more united in your friendships and families and a new spirit of peace and love will be found in your homes.
Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking
Fudoshin: immovable spirit