Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stressed to Relaxation

This week there was some up’s and downs. A lot of the kids were not listening and not wanting to learn at all. The learning style of the kids is very different than in America. You tell them to do something and they will just look at you with a blank look. Until you actually go over there and tell them right to their face, they will not do anything. It is a very big adjustment, but I am getting the hang of it! I know that I am here for a purpose and God wants me here for a reason. I really hope that I am reaching these kids somehow.
Now onto something positive! This weekend the SM’s here took a trip over to Carlos, an island about 30 minutes away. This island is pretty desolate. No running water, no electricity, and not to many houses on the island. We started our adventure on Friday around 5:00pm. We got to the island via boat and set up our camp, which we had to hike about three quarters of a mile with all of our stuff. I found two good trees and set up my hammock and then helped set up the rest of the camp. By the time we set up and had supper I was pretty tired and just went to bed. I had a pretty good sleep, until the rain came. I unclipped my hammock and went under the tarp till it was done. It only rained for about 5 minutes.  The next day we woke up had some breakfast and then had an adventure getting coconuts from the trees. I learned how to climb the tree and then knock the coconut off. I then proceeded to learn how to take the husk off and drink the coconut.
After my adventure it was church time. We all gathered on the ground to worship. It was a great sermon given by one of the island pastors. After church a group of us decided to go snorkeling on the lagoon side. This side of the island was very nice. There was not much coral until you went out past the reef, which we were told not to because of the sharks that like to live there. We got don’t snorkeling and then went and ate lunch. After lunch the group kind of just hung around and chilled. It rained a few times off and on all day long.
Now, for a real adventure I tried spear fishing in the dark. We went on the ocean side because we heard that there were more fish on that side. To get out there you have to walk on a bunch of coral and then you wait till you see a channel in the coral reef. I had the principal, from here, with me so he knew what he was doing. We saw the opening and went for it. Now, what you have to do is time your entrance with the waves. After the waves crash you have to swim hard before the next one or else you will get smashed against the coral reef. So, here I am swimming hard. I don’t have a flash light. That is with the principal and he is ahead of me about three feet. So I really can’t see much. I see him make it through and here I am still trying; I didn’t make it so here comes the wave smashing back on me. I can’t see anything, because the waves crashing produces tons of bubbles and sediment to fly everywhere. I just hold my head and hope for the best as the wave takes me back in towards the sharp coral. The wave passes and I am still alive! I got smashed back but luckily it was just a rock and not coral. I swim hard again and finally finagle my way through the 2 foot channel that is lined with coral on each side. We were out there for about 15 minutes and did not see much at all so we decided to go back in. same process all over again except the waves are making you fly towards the coral at a fast rate. I mean I have done this during the day, but doing it at night adds another element. The final wounds were just a smashed right shoulder and a pretty good cut on my heal from coral from the way back in. Today we packed up and headed to the dock to be picked up. There was a big Japanese ship there that was some sort of decoy. We got to jump off and have a blast.
God has been good to me so far. Yes, there has some down moments, but He has helped me through them and that I am glad for. I’m sure that there will be more down moments, but I can always count on Him being there. I am glad that God has put me in this position to not only teach the students, but to get closer to Him.
Until next time!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

                                                        Speaking at a Saturday night vespers.

Monday, January 16, 2012


So, the Manatee I saw.... it was actually a Manta Ray. Yeah, sorry got the two mixed up while writing. They don't look anything alike just was writing fast...! But it was still really cool to see!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The First Week.....

                Well, the first week is over! To my knowledge it was a success; no one hates me yet. I actually had fun at some point this week! I didn’t know that teaching would be so hard. So, props to all you teachers out there! My first lesson plan last Monday took me about three hours. I just made another lesson plan on Sunday and it only took me like two and a half hours. I think that I am getting the hang of all this! One thing that I have really enjoyed is getting to plan when they have homework and quizzes to do.
                Ok, now on to information besides teaching. On Satuday morning, early, about 5:00am I was sleeping and I heard some commotion our side of our apartment. I just heard two guys yelling back and forth and then there was a woman yelling also. I had no idea what they were saying it was all in Marsharllese. So, to my curiosity I went and looked out our window and it was two intoxicated grown men fighting each other. I heard the fists smacking against the face and then one of them took a pipe, or something hard, and started to hit the other one. When we headed out to church I saw dried up blood from the fight that morning. I have no idea what they were fighting for, but come on guys really….
                Now, to a positive note! I went to shell island today. This island is attached to Ebeye by a gravel road. I got to go on my first spear fishing adventure. Right away when we started we saw this manatee just gliding in the water; so cool! Here I am just about to be done spear fishing and I take one more dive down to about 13 feet and I speared this little blue fish. Supposedly it is edible. So I am going to try it tonight sometime! It was a very relaxing Sunday here in the islands.

Until next time!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The First Day

Alright, alright I’m getting accustomed to Ebeye! I know I said before that it is over populated here, but the people are really nice. I went for a run this morning and pretty much every one that I passed said, “good morning!”
In the last blog I told you what I was going to be teaching and today I actually got to teach. The first day went pretty good. My 6,7, 8th grade kids were really good for me and then it gets to the 9th grade English class. These guys just don’t want to be there. So it is really hard to get them motivated to do anything.
I know that I can do anything that I want to with God’s help. I’m definitely going to be needing His help. I really hope that I can reach these kids though my teaching. If they only get one thing out of this class, I hope that they see that I am a man of God.
Until next time!!
Thank you everyone for your prayers and motivational speeches!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ebeye SDA School

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Streets of Ebeye

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Final Destination

Here I am thinking that I am done with all the complications and then I get to the Majuro airport on Thursday morning. I get through security fine and make my way up to the agent. Lets pause here for a second. The security checks in Majuro for your check in bags are very sketch. They just open your bag and then just kind of look around a bit. Lift this up here, that up there, and move that to the side and the cram everything back in not even close to the way they found it. But, they didn’t even check my whole bag. Anyways, I finally get to the agent who is going to check me in and she takes a close look at my ticket and says this is for the date April 13,2012. I was just in awe and thought to myself, man, you have got to be kidding me. It all worked out and the agent lady was very nice and straightened out my ticket.
 I have FINALLY made it to Ebeye; Wow, what a long jouney!!!! It feels like I have been traveling forever. Ebeye is…… different. There are SOOOO many people here, just crammed wherever they can possibly be. Kids running around everywhere, dogs running around everywhere, garbage everywhere on the streets, houses almost touching each other, small gravel roads, beat up cars, horrible aroma in the air, houses that about to fall apart, everything is flat, ocean surrounding us, beaches filled with garbage, and barely any trees. That pretty much sums Ebeye up. On the flip side of all the negative, the people are very nice, kids just want to be around the missionaries all the time, everyone says hi, the breeze of the ocean, and no rabies with the stray dogs so they are all friendly.
I really enjoyed my first day here. I have not taught any classes yet, but I am waiting in anticipation! I observed my classes that I will be teaching and it should be interesting to see the outcome. I have finally gotten my schedule from the principle here. I will be teaching 6,7,8 grade science, 9th grade English and 9, 10th PE for boys. I made my first lesson plans today. That only took 4 hours. Hopefully they go a little faster next week. I cannot wait to start teaching. I am going thoroughly going to enjoy giving my students home work and tests. I got to go snorkeling yesterday and I saw a stingray for the first time. It was probably like a foot and half in diameter, but unfortunately I did not have my camera. I was very upset, but I’m sure I will get another chance.
Even though my schedule is a little rough, I know that God would not give me anything that I cannot handle, so I am ready for this task. I am excited to see how I can use myself to show God through me to these kids. He has a good plan for me over here and I am ready to execute it. Until next time!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wakiki Beach- Hawaii

Plane ride to Majuro

View of the ocean outside of my window in Majuro

The Confusion

                I ended my journey in Hawaii.  I got to stay in Hawaii for about a day and a half. On the full day we got the chance to go to Wakiki beach and then we also took a little walk in Diamond Head Crater. Pretty cool stuff. I will post a picture of the view.
                Now, we start my adventure to Ebeye! We boarded the plane in Hawaii at 5:30am Hawaiian time. The last we heard was that the principle of Ebeye would be picking us up from the airport. Ten Minutes before the plane departed, Emily and I started wondering which airport the principle would be picking us up from? The plane that we were on stops at a lot of different islands; the first stop was Majuro. Emily and I look at our ticket and realize that our ticket ended here. We were really confused,  because we should have gone onto the next island called Kwajelan. When we landed it was 8:30 am the next day, so we were just really confused and on top of that the United air flight staff said that we had to get off and you would have to buy another ticket. Still confused at what to do, we got off and stayed there, because we still weren’t sure if the principle would be picking us up there plus we knew our bags were going to be stopping here.
                Here we are wondering around this outdoor airport trying to figure out where to go. We came to the conclusion that we should call the SDA School here in Majuro. Lucky for us, the principle of Majuro was already coming to pick another missionary that was working on Majuro. We hoped on board of his truck and started our adventure back to the school of Majuro. But first, we stopped at the end of the airstrip and watched the plane take off. When they do, the air that the jets put out almost knocks you down. It was the coolest thing ever. He showed us around Majuro (very different than what I had pictured before I came over) and took us back to the school. So far I have been snorkeling, drank and ate a coconut, had curry for supper, saw the town of Delap, and now going to observe some classes being taught here in Majuro. I am still confused in which day it is, but God is good and we just had staff worship and now off to see more Majuro life! Until next time!! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The View!

View from the back yard of the place that I am staying in Hawaii. I know...... rough times!!

The Starting of it All

WARNING: I am not a writer.... deal with it!!

Sorry about the length of this first blog. I had to get the whole background of how I got to where I am now. The next blogs will probably not even be close to this length. Enjoy!

Now, to start the story of how I got to where I am at this moment. This "feeling" of being a student missionary has always been in my heart. I love to do mission work and always thought it would be nice to actually go be a missionary for a longer period than a week. This “feeling” got significantly stronger in March of 2011. I kept telling myself, “I can’t go do this, I have a pretty good job and why would I want to leave that.” I kept fighting it and fighting it. I have worked At Camp Wakonda for the past three summers now, and have loved it. Well, this summer at camp, there were ex-missionaries there that were just on my case of how I should just go do it and it was the best experience of their life. I could just see that they were happy with the decision they made and did not regret it at all. It really made me want what they had; that life changing experience story to tell everyone. At camp there was also a staff member that was going to be a missionary at the end of camp. She just seemed so excited to be going and this really made me start to think of the possibilities. So, what did I do, I prayed.
I had graduated from Andrews University at the end of December of 2010. At the beginning of the 2011 Fall Semester is when it really started to hit me and I remember thinking, “this is not a “feeling”, but now a calling!” The confusion now was, where? So, what did I do again, I prayed. There were just so many options and callings that were open. I knew I wanted to go somewhere, but where? One person would tell me to go here and another to go there; both having very good reports of the places that they went.
By the end of September I had narrowed it down to an island somewhere. So, the next step was start talking to Andrews Campus Ministries Department. They told me a couple islands that I could go to which included: Majuro, Jeh, and Ebeye. I had heard stories of all of them and they all sounded great to me. So, one day I told the missionaries office that I wanted to go to Majuro. Right away they started the process. I just had this feeling that this choice that I made wasn’t right; I wasn’t going to the right place. So, I prayed some more and I finally came to the conclusion to go to Ebeye in the Marshal Islands. I immediately went and told the department that I wanted to switch. After I told them this decision I felt so relieved. I knew it was the right decision.
So, now to get the funding for this decision I have made. Where was I going to come up with the money I needed? I had three months to get the amount I needed or I was not going to be able to embark on this journey for God. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed some more. I started to make my phone calls and within just a few days I had all the money I needed to go. “Alright God, you want me to go I get it!” I am just very thankful to these donors that were willing to fund me. There is no way that I would have been able to do this on my own.
Everything just kept falling into place; vaccinations were done, appointments were met, paper work filed, money received, and plane tickets bought. All of this brings me to the last week of The Starting of it All. I received an email from the principal in Ebeye and he informed me that he wanted me to teach 6th, 7th, 8th grade science, 10th grade biology, and 12th physics. Wow! That is a very big responsibility. But, I kept telling myself that if God wanted me to teach this than I would do just fine. Some voice in my mind just kept saying, “Just email the principle back and tell him that would like to just teach the sciences.” I was alright with that voice, because I had never taken a physics class and haven’t taken biology since the 10th grade. So, I emailed him back. The next day he counter offered me to teach 9th grade English and P.E for high school boys. I knew right away that it was for me and emailed him right back and told him, “Yes!!” I love sports and being active and I can teach some English….! Hopefully it stays with these classes; who knows it may change again.
This brings me to the last couple days of this week. So far I have traveled on two different airplanes. Starting with the first one leaving Chicago Saturday morning and then changing planes in San Francisco heading to Hawaii! I have a one and a half day layover here and am excited to see the island life. I am staying with this awesome family that was willing to take my friend Emily (another SM going to the same place) and I in and give us a home for this layover. Last night I got to experience a New Year’s Eve in Hawaii. Crazy stuff; lots of fireworks EVERYWHERE!!!!
Well that is all for now. I will be updating this blog with more postings and pictures every so often so stay in tuned for more of my adventures. I am very happy about where God has been leading me in these past few months and am excited to see what will happen from here!