Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 68 - BIGger Things

Alooooha everyone!
I hope you guys all had a great Thanksgiving full of stuffing and cranberry sauce and all those good things, because ours definitely wasn't. It was probably the most interesting Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. Turkey, rice, chop suey, and potato/macaroni salad. Our Thanksgiving day started off with a song practice for our musical fireside. We basically sounded terrible and hadn't gone all the way through the song and that was 4 days before the actual performance. So that was fun. Then after me and some other missionaries went to a member's house in the Samoan ward and played pool and ping pong. It was the most impossible game of ping pong because the table was outside. There was barely a gentle breeze, but the way the ping pong ball was going you would've thought we were playing in the middle of a hurricane. While we were there, one of the elders brought out some ghost chili peppers. I thought I was a seasoned vet when it came to spicy stuff because I grew up eating Korean food, but this pepper was something completely different. I ate it, and a few seconds later started to tear up. That's when I made the huge mistake of wiping the tears away with my chili pepper stained hands. As soon as I brought my hand down this elder gave me this look like I just told him I had cancer or something. I immediately realized what I did and ran inside to the missionaries' apartment on the side of the house and washed my eyes out with soap and water. Probably not the brightest idea because I also got soap in my eye which just increased the pain. After a while it all subsided, but a couple hours later we were getting ready for our branch Thanksgiving party and it felt like I was giving a porcupine. Apparently hot peppers aren't the best thing for your stomach because it felt like something was eating its way out of mine. But the pain went away and we had our killer Thanksgiving dinner and ice cream after! (no pie)
We also had our musical fireside last night that I mentioned we practiced for. Our whole zone sang a couple songs, along with some solos and testimonies from other members and Mormon messages. It was a really spiritual fireside and we had way more people show up than we were planning on! I had a sore throat for a couple of days before the fireside and after singing I could barely talk. I had this raspy, squeaky voice and no matter how hard I tried, couldn't talk normal. Picture Golem as a chain smoker. So it's definitely been fun whispering to everyone I talk to.
The church is also pushing this new campaign in line with the Christmas season called "He Is the Gift". It's a short video that really helps re-center our thoughts on Christ this Christmas season. It talks about how He was the first Christmas gift, a gift of love from the Father. They gave our mission 35,000 pass along cards with the phrases: Discover the gift, Embrace the gift, Share the gift. They really want us to emphasize having everybody, members and non-members share this gift as much as possible on all social media, so that everyone has a chance to receive the gift. I'd encourage all of you to do the same!
I also got a call from my mission president telling me that I'm going back to Big Island. He told me Hilo, but apparently told an elder in Kona that I was going to be his new companion, so I guess you'll find out in my letter next week!
We also went to this Hawaiian history museum called Bishop Museum so here's some pics from that. Love you guys!
-Elder Merrill

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