Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Iokwe from OK! A Christmas Miracle


Happy New Year! It's especially big for Marshallese people, since many families combine their Christmas and New Year's parties together, so it was pretty fun on Saturday. We had to dance for our presents. 

Today was super fun. The youth in the branch had an activity at the church and we played volleyball. I was on the old people team. We didn't do too poorly. Except when I would mess up, all of the women would sass me in Marshallese I couldn't understand. Definitely not an ego booster. 

A lot of our time this past week has been spent on organizing our areas. We've split up our maps into several sections to help us use miles and time wisely. We're excited to be more efficient.

Updates on transfers round 2: Elder Nicholas is back! Super exciting. He and Elder Lazarus are together on the East side. Myself and Elder Tetea are still on the West side. Also, we realized this is my fifth transfer on the West side. That's 7.5 months. Wow.

A big miracle this week: Rose and Mottan are two people that we see. Rose (formerly called Lucy, if you remember her) is waiting for her and Mottan to get married so she can get baptized. Mottan is already a member, but currently struggles with drinking and dipping and hasn't been too active in the church. They've been concerned about whether they actually want to get married or not and Rose has been debating on just moving out. However, this past week, they have really come together. They are struggling a bit financially right now and on New Year's they had next to no money to purchase gifts for their children. They were especially concerned for their 1 year-old son, Francis, who had run out of diapers. Rose and Mottan decided together that they were going to pray for help together as a couple for help. After our New Year's party together, Rose felt she needed to make amends with a neighbor on this street that she had some issues with in the past, and asked Mottan to pray for her. They talked and resolved their differences and it turned out that this neighbor had already purchased a gift for their family. When they opened it at home, it turned out to be diapers for Francis who was going to have to sleep without any that night. Rose was so grateful that she told us she cried when she saw it. They are really happy to feel that Heavenly Father is watching out for them. It was a wonderful Christmas/New Year's miracle.

One thing that has really struck me again this past week has been humility. I actually believe that I wrote my first letter on humility. Well, it's come back around and I have been reminded of the importance of being humble. It's not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. I was so impressed with an elder who has been having some communication issues with his companion recently. He was so concerned that the issue was him and had such great desires to know how he could change to resolve the problem. He went to his companion so humbly seeking to know what he needed to do to change. They had a good talk and have set their differences aside. I am convinced that it was this elder's humility that prevented further conflict.

This is a new year and a good time to make changes. I have recently been considering the ways in which I could be more humble. One way I am working on right now is using defensiveness and rationalizations to justify my frailties and failures and cover for injured feelings. I have felt that if I could just be humble enough to accept when I need to change, it would make for a better experience for myself and those around me, and save us the pain of hearing all of the excuses I could make. I don't have the time this week to come up with a well-worded challenge, so I'll just leave you all with my promise that humility is a landmark on our path to inner peace and happiness in our relationships with others. I hope that in this new year, we can all become a little more humble and relieve ourselves of the burden of pride. 

Love you all, have a great week!


Elder Josh Kilmer
OklahomaOklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking

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