Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tidbits from email (25th June '12)

On water: "We have water in a big tank, but not enough and so often have to draw water! =) So absolutely always cold. We have half a bucket each a day and we use a cup as a shower"

A couple of weeks ago, on wash day: "Washing by hand is OK, just takes ages!"  This week: "I'm most definitely getting better at washing!! So much faster and all my clothes are actually clean once I've washed, so I must be doing something right!!" Phew.
On teaching people about the church: "About a week ago we walked past (a lady) and I kept getting prompted to turn back; so we did. In our lesson today she told us that she'd been praying and looking for a church to attend. Vivien is married (unheard of here!) and has 3 daughters, what a blessing to have found her family! What she shared really was a testimony to me that as missionaries we're just instruments in the Lord's hands and that the spirit is working much harder than us at preparing people to hear our message"

When asked what the area his was living in was like: "We're staying pretty much in a city, but a city here being lots of people close together, not necessarily real buildings..?! Our area is totally sandy, it's one giant beach which 'houses' erected on it. Some of the guys have jobs, but many households don't have guys living there, so women cook and sell their wares on their heads as they walk around"

Monday, 18 June 2012

Email from Elder Pentreath, 18th June 2012

We got a brilliant email from Elder Pentreath today. We're starting to glimpse pieces of his life out there and he sounds very happy. Here are some highlights:

"On Wednesday we left our boots just outside the appartment over night, upside down. I put  them on and quickly ran to the loo one last time before leaving (there's nowhere to go during the day, everyone just stands still, whips out their willy and just wees right there - I don't want to do that!!) So I was standing there wee-ing and I felt something running up my boot so I took off my boot, after finishing my wee, and literally a ginormous cockroach ran out! It was genuinely 10cms long and about 4 or 5 cms wide.. It was SO fat! I'm just confused how I managed to put on my boot without feeling it at first! It was proper loud as it ran across the floor.. and straight into our bedroom!! =O Ahh well!"

On Sunday: " N.K.T (new Kru Town) was buzzing today - lots of schools finished and so there was lots of graduations! Not all kids go to school and so a whole community come and celebrate a little 6 yr old's graduation from just no particular year. They get out HUGE speakers and all dance and sing super loud. Apparently it'll be like this for the rest of the month! On the super wet flooded day we came across one in which they'd just balanced the speakers on a rock sprouting out of the foot deep water. About 40 or 50 people were all singing along and all doing this same dance in sync knee deep in water. It was just incredible to see!! We really are entering the rainy season and quite a few days this week we've worn our wellies and waded through water up to our knees all day."

"On Tuesday the rain was particularly bad and Elder Esiaba found ourselves walking down the beach, totally totally saturated and singing 'Joseph Smith's 1st Prayer' - 'Oh how lovely was the morning..' There's something incredible about getting through difficult circumstances on a mission. Things which you'd usually weep at at home we just smile and don't think twice about - and don't even understand why it doesn't really affect us!!"

"Food here is good, all because of Elder Esiaba! He is the man with the cooking plan and we eat (in the evenings (that's the only time we do eat)) well enough. All rice and a few different types of sauce. They love hot food out here! Lots of 'pepe' (just crushed chilli peppers)."

Monday, 11 June 2012

Email from Ed, 11th June 2012

A couple of bits from another happy email from Elder Pentreath:

"I actually love Elder Esiaba! This past week we've really grown close as friends. My favourite thing about him is probably how much he says 'wonderful' with his super cheesy grin at whatever anybody says. He's such a great teacher and just such a diligent missionary. I'm so pleased that he's my trainer!"

"I'm starting to get tired of callings of 'white-man hello' and 'chinese-man!' all day everyday. Pres Roggia said that we'd shake about 30,000 hands on a mission - I reckon I've already done twice my allotted 30,00 just from all of the kids wanting to touch me.  Bless 'em :)"

"I love the work, but really miss you all!! It's so so soooo nice to read all of your e-mails and I'm so thankful for those!!

Fab. Hint, hint: more emails/letters please! :)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Extracts from Elder Pentreath's email, Mon 4th June 2012

He is doing much better this week! Here are some extracts:

"Ahh what an amazing week I've had! It's been incredible! I want to start by apologising to everyone for the really dreadful e-mail I sent last week! I'm really sorry, it was very negative and I've been so annoyed with myself all week about it! I'm really sorry.  There's no real excuse, buttt I really was feeling sick..?! Feeling like a beast right now though! Walking all day, exercising and slimming down and tanning up guys! Love it here."

He said that after his first really tricky week he had been praying a LOT and sais that "I genuinely felt a new spirit come over me! It's still not easy, obviously, but I'm loving it so much and have seen everything in a totally different way!"

"We spend the WHOLE time outside! When we come to teach people we never go into their houses. They bring their best wooden bench they have, bring it out for us, they wipe it down with anything they have (take their top off and wipe it for example) and we sit down and teach!"

One day last week- "What blessings we received today, one of which was stumbling across 13 Kingdom Builders all sitting together and ready to hear the restored gospel! We taught them all at once, it was really surreal! Elder Esiaba and I sat down and we just had a class of 14-25ish year old guys sitting in front of of us and lapping up everything we taught! It was awesome! =D"

Missionaries are asked to study their scriptures every morning before they begin their missionary work. The study for an hour by themselves, and an hour with their companion. It sounds like loads to me, but he says: "I absolutely LOVE study time! It's literally the best part of the day! Actually, it's not, getting out and teaching is, but I love my personal study hour! I remember reading letters from missionaries who would say 'read your scriptures properly, because on your mission an hour isn't long enough!' I'd kinda laugh and struggle to do 10 minutes a day. I certainly didn't think that one month into my mission I'd ENJOY studying so much! I love it"

And some photos:

Meeting the Mission President and his wife last week (they are responsible for all the missionaries in the area)

On his way to his first area and about to meet his trainer

So sounds like a pretty good week!