Monday, June 26, 2017

Iokwe from OK: Ryan!


This week has been great!

Yesterday, Ryan, one of the people we have been teaching on the West side, got baptized! I haven't explained about him before because I've really only just gotten to know him after moving from the East side. However, Elder Oberender told me that he has just eaten everything up. When he learned from someone in his house that we don't smoke, dip, etc (big problems around here), he tossed out all of those things immediately. 

(Ryan is in the middle with Elder Oberender. Elder Menlove on the left with myself on the right. The extra guy in one of the pictures is Barmel (previously baptized).  He's the biggest teddy bear ever--so awesome.)

Ryan has continued to love everything we have explained and yesterday, after his baptism, he came out to teach a lesson with us. He told us, "It feels so good to live this way. I want to learn how to teach like you guys do so I can share how I changed my life and how other people can change theirs." 

Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission
不動心 Fudoshin:  immovable mind

Monday, June 19, 2017

Iokwe from OK! Bagudal Triangle


Last week for P-Day, Elder Menlove held the 2017 Bagel Olympics. It was a blast. Events ranged from wheelbarrow races to dizzy 3-point shots to bagel paper airplane contests. Our favorite was chair stacking, which involved placing a bagel on the highest stack of chairs you can create. Elder Smith and I, who formed the territory known as the Bagudal Triangle, took gold with 32 (ish) chairs. 

Inline image 1Inline image 2 

Special mention to Elder Smith's back.  A few of our members joined us as well. The kid with me and Elder Oberender is Kaipo, the son of one of our good friends.

This Wednesday is transfers and I am finally leaving the Marshallese East area. Not a whole lot is changing though, because I'm moving back to the West side. With Elder Oberender! *fanfare* This will leave both Elder Oberender and myself having been companions with all of the Marshallese Elders here in OK. I'm really excited. 

I'm especially excited because this last week has been amazing. In stark contrast to my loss for words the last two weeks, I have too much to say this week. Light has been permeating through the obscurity we had been facing the past few weeks. After laborious counseling and planning, Elder Smith and I have refined our goals and plans for these Marshallese areas and have been putting them to the test this past week. It has been wonderful. I have never worked so hard on my mission. It was everything I thought my mission would be like when I had fantasized about it before the MTC. 

It has also been so hard. I. Am. Tired. We put in around 15-20 miles on our bikes almost every day this week and it has broken 100 degrees Fahrenheit a few times. I have never sweat so much in my life. I actually lost around 2-3 pounds this week by my estimation simply because I did not have the foresight to purchase the number of calories needed to sustain that level of activity this week.

However, things are really looking up right now and here is why: When I came into my mission, Elder Nicholas and I were opening up a new area on our own. We had no direction, no one who was actually interested in studying with us, no accurate records, and we had no idea how to actually do missionary work with Marshallese the right way. It has taken us until this point to get started at the place that we really should have been all along. We have two new missionaries coming in August and I do not want them to have the same experience that we did. 

So, we have a refined direction and new plans that we have the 4 of us to test and complete throughout the next six weeks in preparation for the new generation of Marshallese elders. Marshallese work was absolutely atrocious and a disgrace in years past and we are breaking the chain now. Take that, Satan. 

So, that's the update I have. The reason I haven't really ever mentioned many people that we are working with is because we have been working on the fundamentals. With those close to being finalized (at least this time around), expect to have better reports of what is actually happening. 

I know that God lives. I know He is our Heavenly Father and He loves us. Have a great week as you remember that!


Elder Josh Kilmer
OklahomaOklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking
Fudoshin:  immovable spirit