Week 6, da Spider

August 3, 2015

Talofa lava, tina! (Hi alot, mom!)

Oa mai oe? (How are you?)

Annnnnd that’s about all I know.

Okay, not really. I know more. I’m just not good enough to actually use it yet.

Sooooo this week was good! Really good.  And really long.  In fact, I don’t even remember what happened on Tuesday. Or Wednesday.  Just kidding.  Wednesday we went and did service at Pearl Harbor where we met the lovely Elder Neff, Elder Valdez’s replacement.  Then it was ward night, so depending on how you measure success, we got practically nothing done.  They did give us lots of dinner though, yay! And then we came home to da Spider #2.  Thankfully, Sister Smith was not in the mood, so she smashed that thing with the frying pan the first chance she got (Mm, well, the 14th chance).  I haven’t had any eggs for breakfast in a few days.

Thursday we had dinner at the “House of Burgess.” They. Are. Hilarious. Brother Burgess is getting a little old, but his humor.  Mm.  Still at 200%.  After dinner, Savannah, his granddaughter served me pie, so I said Fa’afetai (thank you).  For some reason he just DIED laughing.  He was saying things like, “You’re so luck I didn’t have any food in my mouth or… ” Well since he uses his hands a lot and English is his second language I’m not doing it any justice, just know. Hilarious. Is it really so funny for a palangi to speak Samoan?

It turns out, though, that depending on how you pronounce it, tai/tae can be a bad word. Maybe that’s why, except I didn’t find that out until Sunday.  My bad.  Actually, it was Sonny who told me!  I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned him before or not, but Sonny is one of our many Ani Ani place friends.  We met him a few weeks ago whilst speaking to a few drunkards, and we’ve been cool ever since. It wasn’t until a few days ago though that I finally asked him if he’d be interested in meeting with us as MISSIONARIES.  It was really awesome.  He’s a really quiet guy, but he’s so, so, so, sincere and I’m way excited for him. His birthday is today so we gifted him a Samoan book of Mormon and he committed to read. Whoop whoop.

Friday we had zone meeting.  It was nice. For training they had a few of the elders giving sales pitches.  Elder Neff did some protein powder and…. oh man.  Knee slapper.  So his companion, Elder Tavita, is Samoan– A sizable guy. And at the end of practically every sentence Neff was like, “Look at him, now back to me.” and “If you want a body like this [motions to skinny Marshallese self] you must buy this. It’s free. After you buy 5. So look at him [Elder Tavita] and back to me.” It went on and on and it was soo great. Probably had to be there… oh well. Too bad?

You know, I think one of the reasons I’m out here is because the islander people are so relaxed and happy go lucky that they really need someone to give it to them straight. Like me.  Saturday Morning we met with Alex (Paulo’s older brother) again (unplanned) and had an amazing conversation about what and where he wants to be. Incredible. (I may or may not have cried a bit. It was a ROUGH day). By the time we finished Paulo was back so we had our lesson with him. Alex came around the corner of the house with a hard lemonade in his hand and I was like, “Uhhhh no.  What are you doing?”  Then I told him to dump it out where I could see it.  And he did.  I love my mission! Seriously.  So fun.

Other things that happened:

  1. Definitely shouted to wake up our investigator, Onosa’i, for church. He came. It was good.
  1. I don’t understand exactly what was going on, but apparently I look Amish?  At least, to Storm I do. Alrighty then.
  1. Also apparently, I’m a really funny person. We had Dinner with a less active family (Lina and Mau are their names) and I’m pretty sure I was acting and saying stuff like I normally do, but she was laughing non-stop just watching and waiting for me to say the next thing. She kept on saying, “So ditzy!” then clarified “not stupid ditzy.” So that was a relief. In a weird way, it was very confidence boosting. I’m soo excited to get them through the temple soon…… long ways to go, but we shall see! Also, once I left the room to take a call and I came back and they were all silent so I asked, “Were you guys talking about me?” and Mau said, “All good things, all good things.” Except I thought he said “Awkward things, awkward things.” Because I’m always stressing out about the awkward things I do, so it seemed to fit.  Little did I know I was just adding to the list of things that will continue to haunt me throughout the years.
  1. We caught a baby gecko in the house yesterday! There was another, but it disappeared somewhere on Sister Smith’s desk.  It’s name was Karla (We let it go after singing God be with you). Oh the adventures. 🙂
  1. I forgot to fast yesterday.
  1. I’m a missionary, and I forgot to fast.
  1. On fast Sunday.
  1. It’s probably because Lina sent me home with three pani popo. From Tammy’s Polynesian market, and those ones are the best ones. Plus it was 5:30 in the morning and I wasn’t really awake. Oh well. There’s always next month!
  1. We met with another inactive a few days ago, and I remember Sister Smith praying before we went to see him that we would be able to answer any unspoken question or concern that he might have. Clever.  So when we got to the actual teaching/spiritual part of the meeting I totally spaced on what we had prepared so I just flipped through the Book of Mormon. First I landed in Alma 5.  But I wasn’t feeling it, so I flipped again to 3 Nephi 27 aka the Gospel of Jesus Christ which didn’t seem to make sense but I didn’t want to make anyone wait, so I went with it. And then somehow tied it into our conversation and asked if he had any thoughts. He said not really, just that he knew that was speaking to him.

I know that I’m supposed to be out here on my mission to help others, but Truthfully, this is exactly the thing I’ve been most looking forward to. I know that hundreds of times other people have been an answer to my prayers, but I never felt like I’d been someone else’s answer. It was so empowering yet humbling to knowingly be that person.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hecka hard out here, and I may or may not have dreamed several times this week about being home, and also cried some, of course. But I’m really glad I’m here. Just don’t forget about me, okay?  Okay.

Alofa atu, Aubrey

P.S.  Thinking about turning 20 gives me anxiety. No jokes. And tell Pop and Chick thanks for the birthday stuffs 🙂 I can’t wait to get yours! I figured last weeks package was the one…. best family ever. Also shout out to all my friends who still remember me. I like them. I like the other ones too. You know. Kind of 😉

I had Korean chicken for lunch.  I’ve never eaten out this much/this consistently.  Eek, as long as my skirts still fit, right?

Editor’s note

I believe this spider is called a fishing spider.  They “are known for being aggressive enough to hunt small fish or tadpoles  Although they’re large and freak some people out, the good news is they typically don’t bite humans–and if they do, they’re not poisonous and the bites feel similar to a bee sting, the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) says.”

The females are larger up to 4 inch leg spread.  Males are about half the size.  They have been known to eat cockroaches and beg bugs.  Maybe they should quit smashing them and let them wander in the apartment to keep the critters in check. . . . . just a thought. However, I must confess it would be a gonner at my house as well.

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