So, there is a phrase in Marshallese, which is "kiki in jibenben", meaning "to sleep like a sea cucumber". Do I know why they say that? Not exactly.... But if cucumbers sleep anything like rocks do in English, then that is exactly what I have been doing this week. At night, during studies, during lessons... I even fell asleep during a phone conversation with Elder Lazarus. Somehow Elder Smith and I don't know how to make sure we get enough sleep at night. There always seems to be something that we have to take care of that lasts past .
However, despite the continual exhaustion, life is so great! We had 115 people at church this week. 115. That, in my experience, has only been surpassed by one week when we had 4 baby blessings, which is a family event, so Marshallese people ate it up and invited all of their relatives. The great thing though, was not the number of people, but rather that all of the people that attended were people that I have been working with for a year now. Families that we have consistently visited in an effort to get them a ride or to build up the desire to come to church, all suddenly attended together. The Spirit was so strong as so many of the members stood up in front of the congregation to share what they believe and the blessings they have received in their lives.
Also, one of our members is a very prominent figure in the Marshallese community (he used to be the president of the community and still has a lot of interaction with important state representatives from all over the country), and a couple reporters came to interview him, which involved coming to church and sitting through the entire service. It was pretty fun to translate for them, especially since it was a testimony , so I got to translate to them the everyone's testimony of a living prophet today and of our Savior and Redeemer about 10-12 times.
In other news.... BARMEL GOT BAPTIZED!!!! 10 years in the running, having finally had his divorce papers filed and processed and having married his (now) wife, he was ready to go. He was so excited and he seemed so happy. Talking to him beforehand, he explained how he had made a promise to himself that when he was baptized, he would put everything in his old life behind him and move forward in doing what was right. I know that he has put behind a bad past and he said that while it was hard to leave behind a few things, he will now endure to the end of the world. What a blessing it was to hear such commitment from him. One thing that I am really learning to appreciate is commitment, especially commitment to following Christ. I know Barmel is going to be a strength to his family and everyone who knows him.
As we lead up to Easter, I invite you to view this 2 minute video celebrating Christ as the PRINCE OF PEACE: https://www.mormon.org/?cid=
HP_SU_9-4-2017_dMIS_fMORG_ xLIDyL1-A_ . This message is why I am serving a mission.
Life is so good. Enjoy this next week!