Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 17, 2017

Got a surprise email and some photos from Matthew today.  All the missionaries from the zone went to Chuuk on their P-Day to have Thanksgiving Dinner prepared by the senior missionary couple that oversees the area.

Heyoooo Surprise Email!!!!

Haha.. we are actually in on the main island today because today is our ThanksGiving! So we will be doing some good ol' turkey bowl here in Weno today and then Sister G will be preparing some delicious food for us!

On top of a WWII Japanese artillery gun.

That is a slug underneath his missionary badge

I'm super dooper pumped for real food for once.... haha, we may even somehow have a turkey. But I love the islander food, just sometimes its just starchyness upon starch. But its delicious and especially the seafood too. 

I just had turtle the other day (I cooked it myself) and it was Super Yummy. Definitely high up there on my favorite meats list. 

I got the packages and the shoes and THANK YOU SO MUCH for everything y'all do for me, it really does help me and mean a lot to me. And I thank you for the letters you have been sending it really does make it easier to respond to but just expect one big letter from me for the past couple weeks because all your letters came in at the same time... but they shall be responded to!!!

As for the Christmas whatevers, it pretty much just stays with yall, I cant really think of anything that stands out. And believe it or not, i should actually be good on socks for the rest of the mission. Another departing missionary gifted me many so I wouldn't worry about those as of now.

Anywhos my time is short but my love is Greater than Ever. 


your fav elder in the World, Elder Zebley

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 22, 2017

We received a handwritten letter from Matthew last week and some photos from a senior couple that are serving on the islands.  It's good to see and hear from him. It's been several weeks.  

The island of Tonowas where he serves has no electricity or Internet service so we only hear from him via letters or when he gets to the main island of Chuuk, once a month.  Here's some excerpts from his letter:

Chuuk is a awesome as ever, and Tonowas is also the bomb diggity.  This island is one of the bigger islands in the lagoon, and at one time was the capitol of Japan. There is a ton of things from WWII and Japan.  Its awesome.  Its not unusual to see caves dotting the mountain and big guns just hanging around.  They also have bunkers in the ocean surrounding the entire island. The other day on a boat trip to Uman, we found a sunken ship that was only about 7 feet under the surface of the water on the highest peak.  Super cool to see.  It was like I got to go diving without the swimming part.

Tonowas is super duper pretty and has a lot to offer.  The people here are awesome as ever and easy to love. Right now we live in the worst house in the mission. It was built in the early '90s and everything is trashed and falling apart. The house is 19 x 15 feet and is almost literally a trashcan with windows. But I love it, and we get to share it with 2 other elders.

However, the Church recognized the house was bad and since has built us a new one. Its smaller but is super nice and everything is brand new. We got a bunch of new solar panels and batteries so we should be powered pretty well.

I eat pancakes every morning, usually Ramen and tuna for lunch and rice and some canned food or seafood for dinner.  I don't know about the other elders, but I'm digging it. We get fed a lot by the people like fruits, breadfruit, tipen, koi, fish, crustaceans, taro,

rice and some weird thing that come from the sea and land ~ octopus, sea cucumber, sea slugs and snails, shark, stingray, gigantic lizards, pretty much any thing and everything that you see anywhere.

Allright, well I'm gonna wrap this one up.  I'm including some pictures taht kids drwe for you.  I hope you enjoy.  I love you all so much. It's been good to hear from everyone.  Thank you for everything you do!

Love, Elder Zebley

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 28, 2017

We've only heard from Matthew once in the past few weeks.  He says he is enjoying his time on Tonoas, a small island that is a boat ride from Chuuk, the main island.  He and his companion Elder Thomsen are working hard to find those searching for the Gospel.

Brother and Sister Grimshaw, a missionary couple that watches over the missionaries on several Chuuk islands, took some recent photos and posted them on Facebook.  

Nice to see Matthew and his companion, the house they live in and the church on the island.

Matthew's companion, Elder Thomsen. He only been in the 
mission for 2 months

Brother Grimshaw and Matthew

The house on the left is Matthew's new house that was just completed.  The old missionary home is on the right.  I don't know if they use it any longer.

Some young visitors on the missionaries' porch.
Inside the church building in Tonoas.
This is early morning seminary ~ looks more like Primary. The Seminary teacher is instructing below. He is a former branch president.  They all leave their shoes at the door. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 6, 2017

Matthew sent us a very short email message on Monday ~ the first one we received in 3 weeks since he has been on his new island.  

He said he is doing very well and excited about the work there. We haven't heard much more, but he did send us a box that contained beautiful shells, a wooden carved turtle, some lava lava skirts, some carved fish and other items.  

He sent two photo cards as well and has been taking lots of pictures. So until we hear from him again, I'm going to post a bunch of his pictures. If you hover your mouse over a photo, it will enlarge.

Thanks for following his blog.

Looks like Octopus! Yuck

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 18, 2017

Matthew was transferred for the first time last week and will serve on the island of Tonoas, a boat ride away with a new missionary ~ Elder Robertsen.  He is very excited to work on this 3x5-mile island with a population of about 3,200 people. 

Matthew and his new companion, Elder Robertsen
He says he'll only be able to email once a month or longer depending when they go to Weno, the main island where he was previously serving. His mailing address remains the same in case you want to write him.

He sent us a box with a couple of camera cards so I'll try to include some of the photos the next time I add to his blog.

Soooooo, we honestly do not have all the time in the world right now but I'll try to cover some things pretty quickly.

Sooooo, I'm in Guam! haha only for the week though, because as ya'll heard through vicarious means I was called to be a trainer! Don't know who my son is yet but I will find that out this Wednesday. We got transfer calls at like 8 at night and then we packed, got through security at 12 and took off by 3. Got to Guam at 4 something and then went to the assistants house and attempted to sleep. haha yeah right. so we are pretty much running on no sleep for the past 2 days but its awesome as ever. 

And other news, I am leaving Neuo!!! It will be sad to leave my people but according to the Lord, 11 1/2 months there was enough time. So I have been called to serve on a different island, one of the outer islands, Tonoas. My trainee and I will be white washing the island so it is gonna be a lot of fun! Now I'm leaving the main island here family. That means that I will only be able to email once a month, if possible. sooooooooooo I don't really know when the next time i will be able to email is. We will later see. But do not fret! Just because I can't email ya'll does'nt mean that I'm dead or whatnot. Hopefully, I will be able to email before I go out but I don't know. haha, It's gonna be fun cuz I'll be living the camping life that is for sure. No electric, no running water, pretty much nothing other than a roof over our heads. if that. hhaha I'm suuppppperererererererererererer pumped and I can't wait to get out there and do some work.

Alright, so I guess this is me signing out for a bit, I'm gonna be writing a bunch more letters so be prepared! ya'll should do the same;)

Love you all!!!!

Elder Zebley

So I just go back to Weno (the main island ) once a month sometimes possibly more depending They are actually building a new house finally on the island so we will see what that is like. Everything is still the same with the P.O. box and what not, if you want to send a letter. As long as I am in Chuuk it will be the same. 

And thank you for the sandals ~ they are awesome!! (everyone is jealous...) and the candy graciously fed a houseful of missionaries about to go to Guam.


Elder Zebley

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 6, 2017

This week has been superb and i have enjoyed it this very very much. I don't really have all the time in the world today to pwarous so I'm gonna keep it a little shorter.

We have been doing a ton of service lately and we have seen it open the hearts of many. haha We went to collect firewood with some people and we went all the way to the top of a mountain, got a TON of wood and started to walk down, then we decided to rest and go to this awesome view and drink some coconuts. Service ~ the island way. We then continued down the mountain and it was HARD service. 

I had 2 logs for my load that probs weighed 80-90 pounds and it literally destroyed my shoulders, but it was a good work out. Later in the week we also built a Fanang or a cooking house, and this one was massive! This was probably the most worthwhile service because it was for someone that just had his heart opened and can be the leader of his eternal family. 

Oh how AWESOME is the work of the LORD!!.  He also gifted to me this cool shell and Elder Robertson bought this cool WW2 gun that he found in one of the caves in the mountains. Super awesome.

Oh on other news some people broke into our house, at night. while we were sleeping... but anywhos they stole a bunch of things, but i was very lucky and nothing of great importance was taken from me, including my camera  which was sitting SMACK DAB in the middle of my desk in which they stole everything else around it. 

Elder Robertson wasn't too lucky as his watch and shoes were taken.  But we were able to get everything back in vicarious ways. haha. Anyway super, super short so I be sorry, hopefully i can get on a little later, but the outer island missionaries are in, so no promises.

Love you allllll!!!

Elder Zebley

July 30, 2017

So this week was wonderfully awesome as always! 

we had P-day blah blah blah

Tuesday was just a normal day of teaching for us here in Neou. We had an awesome, awesome lesson with one of our investigators Mare (who was literally ready for baptisim day -4) with Brandy, that fellow who post bunches of photos of us missionaries on Facebook. 

Super duper, awesome lesson. It is just so satisfying to see and feel the spirit working through someone and them gaining their own testimony. That's pretty much all that is happening with her, and its awesome as ever. It was pretty rainy so nobody was really out and about so it was a little more quiet.

Wednesday we had District meeting which was super good, and we went on an exchange so i went up to Wichap with Elder Zonts. All day we worked in the upper part of the Area Epinup and it is soooooo pretty with the mountains and the views they provide. 

I had the opportunity to meet some really cool people that are loving and caring as ever. Haha have you ever seen a Weed TREE?? nope not just a plant but a legit tree. Pretty much a plant but its like 13 feet tall. Well they have them all over here and its not unusual to see entire farm areas of em. Now that's omething to check off the bucket list. But anyway,Wichap is awesome and doing well and one of their investigators is making me a leaf, or the piece of wood that they pound the breadfruit on. Super cool.

Thursday we continued our exchange and we only really had time to go see this one investigator family who fed us this delicious sardine, ramen, papaya, rice mixture until I was full (not a very easy thing to do by the way). And then I also got a Pwo! it's the coral mallet thingy they use to smash the breadfruit with! Now I have my own set so I can make  my own kon and puna! 

After the exchange ended we went down and Elder Robertson and I were able to have couple super good lessons with some of our investigators. We also started talking to this one family from Hawaii in that area and they are super cool. haha Its still weird talking to people in English here. Also on Thursday we got the call that we would be moving out of our house. Our house was deemed unsafe and dangerous by the church, so we prepared ourselves to move.

Friday we literally went out and did some service in the morning and then the rest of the day we just packed. packed. packed and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned till our house was all empty and clean. Then we left to go to our new temporary home, with the Mwan Zone Leaders. It's a smaller house with not that much room so everything is kinda crammed in there with the 4 of us. That night was just organizing things so we could actually move around. I really enjoy the house and the Elders though so we are going to have a good time I'm sure.

Saturday we went out and did some service with some awesome potentials, and then after it started POURING pretty much all morning. As we walked back we invited some people to this picnic that we were having at the church, and we just hung out at the picnic, cooked and talked to people the entire time. Super awesome. Thankfully the rain stopped for the most part of the cookout, and after it started back up again. Afterwards we made the rounds and invited people to come to church for the next day. HAHA DRUNK PEOPLE that is all I will  say.... haha

Sunday was super good at church, and afterwards we had the opportunity to take the sacrament to the ill and the homebound in our area and pwaraous with them. We had a little extra time after so we went up the mountain and met Chiro's cousin who told Chiro he wants to get baptized and serve a mission just like Chiro. Talk about member missionary!!

Anyway that was pretty much a quick sum up about my week. Everything here is good. do not worry about anything that you hear or blah blah blah. Just trust me that the Lord's work is moving forward ever so quickly and I'm so glad I can be a part of it.

Anywhos I love you all sososososososososososososososososososososososososososososo much

Elder Zebley

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9 2017

This email just came in from Matthew a couple of minutes ago.  Make sure you read his July 4 post as well below and check out the photos.

Woo! this week was awesome! So on Tuesday was our last p-day so i guess this one will be a little shorter i guess i dunno. But Wednesday we went up the mountain to do some awesome service as always to cut some grassy foliage stuffs.

When we got up there she wasn't there so we pretty much just went on a quick service finding trip which isn't hard to do because literally every one is doing something and you can always just jump in and help them. (that's what we do pretty much everyday, just today we were not in proselyting clothes and we actually had our machetes with us.) 

So we went to this one old lady's house where her relative of some sort was chopping down a coconut tree, so we helped him with that.  There is a rule for the missionaries that we are not allowed to climb trees specifically coconut trees, so we just get around it by chopping them down instead;) haha it was super good though, they really appreciated the help and we chopped it up in pieces and carried them to jungle for them. 

In return they showered us in Nuu (coconut) and ooch (banana) which was awesome. I can't remember what else exactly happened otherwise... (BTW Chuukese people literally do everything with machetes ~ cut grass, chop trees, wood, people, take apart cars and fix them, literally everything. I honestly would not be surprised if they used machetes in the hospital to perform surgery or something.)

Thursday- We had district meeting and I was pleasured to give a training on the talk and Jesus beholding Him loved him. Super awesome talk, I encourage all to read it. We also had an awesome beginning with a spiritual thought and white handbook and Ewe Ngun mi Fen a fakkun kuu netipach. After we began another exchange cuz exchanges are awesome. Elder Haduet came down to Neou with me and Elder Robertson went to Nantaku with Elder Ervien. Later that day we went to a member's house and they gave us food to take home because they thought that their son was coming home that day from his mission but he was actually coming home the next day, so they gave us a ton of food and told us to come back the next day for the actual welcoming home. So that night we chowed down pretty hard on some awesome fish, pork, kon, puda, ooch, pretty much every type of islander food.

Friday- we went out in the morning and taught an awesome lesson to a new investigator, and after we met with the Zone leaders on the road and the two returning missionaries, Elder Ichin and Elder Atkai. Elder Ichin served in Logan Utah and Elder Atkai served in Vanuatu speaking Bislama. Elder Kiapen taught me some Bislama so i was able to talk to him for a bit in Bislama. It was pretty cool. But we went to Elder Ichin's welcome home like we said we would and Elder Robertson and I were the guests of honor. Literally they served us before Elder Ichin. And all they were worried about was us and all Elder Ichin sat with us. haha its hard to explain but that's the culture of Chuuk for ya. They sang some awesome songs and they LOADED us up with food to eat. The picture didn't show it but we had our own table that had like 4 huge fish, rice, tipen and some other awesome island food. We were so stuffed we didn't really eat anything for lunch or dinner that day.

Saturday ~ was just full of a bunch of AWESOME lessons. Got a lot new people on date, found some new investigators and did some major work in our area. We also destroyed some kids in basketball which was awesome. If you have not noticed I love the word awesome and that's pretty much what describes everything here and serving a mission. Just AWESOME. I love it and there is absolutely nothing better that I could be doing with my time. Ugh typed words don't do anything.

Sunday ~ Did A LOT of walking to get investigators to church, but it was all worth it. After church we went around and gave the sacrament to people which is fun as always. 

Running out of time so im going to have to shorten things up a bit.

Talk to you next week!
Elder Zebley

July 4 Post

This week has been super good! 

It has been a super calm and kinamwe week which was pretty nice actually for a change. Monday was P-day and then on Tuesday we just did normal proselyting  and I cant really remember what happened exactly... 
I'm pretty sure it was just a get to know Elder Robertson day for everyone in the area so that was always fun. Elder Robertson is from Canada, Alberta from a little town called Sterling. He is a newer missionary in Chuuk so he is still working hard and learning so he can get their language mastery. 

But I love him to death, so its awesome. He actually lived in the Neou house before when he was with Elder Anderson but then they moved out to another house for a transfer, but now he is my companion! So he's back in the good ol Neou house. 
Wednesday we had district meeting and I was able to give a training based on the talk by Robert D. Hales from this past general conference, called Becoming a Disciple of Jesus Christ and it is an awesome talk, so I encourage all to read it and live the principles it talks about. Then Elder Robertson stayed up in Wichap while Elder Ervien, my Zone Leader, came down with me to stay in Neou. One of my favorite things about being a District Leader is all the exchanges. I love having opportunities learning from other Elders and coming closer to them and helping the people in their areas come closer to God. 

While walking, we met a girl named Mare who is SUPER AWESOME and has come to church before and pretty much asked us why we haven't baptized her yet. This is just one of the cool moments of being a missionary, where you can see God's hand in doing his work. Haha i always thought she was a member sooo i never really expected her not to be. So hopefully she will be baptized within some time! Its super funny cuz she knows English and she wanted to be taught in English so any time we teach her or talk to her look like an idiot because I pretty much forgot English and then everyone laughs at me and calls me the missionary from America that doesn't know English.. great..

Thursday we just continued the exchange and had a BOMB lesson with the mother of a bunch of our investigators which was SUPER BOLD but with the Love of God felt through the Holy Ghost it was AWESOME. Having these moments where we as missionaries help others to open their spiritual eyes to see a little glimpse of Heaven is easily the best part of being a missionary. These moments happen all over the world, it doesn't matter where we teach the people, but when we devote our whole hearts to the work and love the people, that is when these moments will happen over and over and over again and it is AWESOME!
Friday was some service with a member where we just otot(ed) where we just cut pretty much everthing in sight which is always fun. We then got some well deserved ramen and rice, and of course some delicious coconuts. BTW coconuts in America stink. They are nothing like the ones here or on any other island. They are literally magical here. We also did some weekly planning which is always a blast... haha everything here makes you sooooooo tired so sometimes it is a  little tricky to stay awake for the whole thing... But weekly planning is super important because it helps us to plan and conquer the week in a more effective manner and help our investigators more.

Saturday I know something happened but I'm to rushed to try and think of it right now.

Sunday was fast sunday which are the best Sundays in the month by far. Its just an opportunity to come close to God through fasting and prayer like the sons of Mosiah talk about in the book of Alma.

And Monday again we had an short notice Zone conference with President Zarbock over Skype because he got a week extension to his mission and wanted to do one last one. So our day was pretty much filled with that which was awesome, inspirational, and emotional as ever. President leaves this Thursday and the new President, President Posten, comes in on Wednesday. So we are sad to say goodbye to our wonderful mission president, but the work must move on. With President K (some hawaiian name) getting sick, there was an emergency calling to president Posten. He got his call and about a week and a half later he entered the MTC to become our mission president.
An elder from another island brought me this huge conch shell that we turned into a horn and its awesome. He is from Tahiti so he is pretty skilled at this kinda stuff. He also wants me to visit him and stay with him for a bit after the mission so be jealous.

Anyway got little time so Ima log off!

Love Elder Zebley