Sunday, March 4, 2018

Micronesia/Guam - Reports to the Mission President December 1983

12/4/1983 - 12/10/1983
Dear President,
This past week on p-day I and my companion had to go on a hike to find a certain house. A boy had stopped me on the road and told us he wanted us to teach him. He then pointed to the mountains and he said "I live up there". We eventually found and taught his family. I also placed a Book of Mormon and we're going to go back soon and help him with the "thee"'s and "thou"'s and "thine"'s. I'm going to try to send in some language material this week to have it copied up. Thanks! Love, Elder Monson

12/11/1983 - 12/17/1983
Dear President,
I had to spend a bit of time on broken bikes again this week.We shouldn't have any more problems anymore. And between rain and the power going out at night several times, this has been a slow week. Although I did get some good teaching done. If we can get one of our investigators, Thomas, out to church, I think we'll baptize him. We got the Carlson's car this week, but no Carlsons. We keep going to the airport (well, not me always but Bennet tries) and we keep thinking "... the next flight for sure". We'll keep trying. Thanks! Love, Steve

12/18/1983 - 12/24/1983
Dear President,
The Carlson's really surprised us by coming on a day when there weren't supposed to be any flights. They came up and said "Is this the elders apartment?" We just about hit the floor. It's great to have them here. I'm excited! They're so neat! They're really going to help out in Sapuk. Monday we had a great p-day. Everyone came in and found all the care packages piling up on the floor. What a wild mess! I was fixing a huge dinner in the midst of the confusion. The next day (Tuesday) we had our conference. It was so good hearing from everyone. Especially the news and testimonies in Trukese! I got a bad cold that lasted through from Wednesday to Friday. Even now while I'm writing this I'm just barely recovering. I'm okay now. The Sapuk branch had a Christmas party on the 24th that was really good. I loved the food! You can sure tell I loved it; I'm fat. I've gained 25 lbs since I've come on my mission. Hope you had a great Christmas. Thanks for your card! Love, Steve

12/25/1983 - 12/31/1983
Dear President,
This Christmas was okay. The Sapuk branch had a special presentation which was fairly good. It was only fairly good because I spoke last. Just kidding. I did get to speak and I spoke of the 3 births we go through to return to Father. Physically, by the water, and then [birth of] the spirit. We got some excellent Joseph Smith pamphlets in Trukese given to us, but we need a lot more. I've given away 3 so far and the people love to read these things in their own language. There are 2 investigators that are so neat. One is reading the Book of Mormon. I invited them out to church in the nicest way I know and offered to pick them up, yet they haven't come (yet).Well, I take that back,. They've come once but they're not coming any more. They give various excuses. Now that I think about it, it might have been the people in the branch not being too nice. I think I'll talk to them about it. Thanks president for your love and concern for me and my companions here. Love, Steve

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Micronesia/Guam - Reports to the Mission President November 1983

11/6/1983 - 11/12/1983
Dear President,
It's still going great. I'm teaching the discussions without a translator now, and it is interesting. I seem to be able to speak with less problems, but I still have trouble understanding what they say back. I've talked to the other Elders and they have the same problem. This is going to be my greatest challenge. Its easy to memorize words, and lines of a discussion, but there needs to be a good program to help understand what others say. I guess it just comes about by memorizing lots of words and listening. It was good to see you and Elder Marvin J. Ashton. It was also very thoughtful of you to bring and give us some cookies, filmstrips, a church film cassette, and also General Conference. We watched 2 sessions, and the next time we went to see another session, the machine we had broke so it might be a couple more weeks before we can see the rest of the conference sessions. I hope you don't need those tapes again soon.
The Huffs told us we might be getting a new couple to replace them soon, and even an additional couple. We have looked a little for another apartment. I don't know how much the Huffs have looked. I talked to Herta (our land-lady) and she said she might make the big storage building next to our houses into an apartment. I told her we might need to find another apartment to rent for an extra couple. Then she said "I'll build that into an apartment then." Then I told her not to do it just for us because we weren't sure if we'd get another couple or not. All the Elders around the various outer islands here are going to come in the 21st of this month for our first zone conference. We'll have it every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. Will you do me a favor President? Please drop me a note and tell me how one of those meetings is supposed to run. I remember you saying we should start and end with a song and a prayer and bear our testimonies in the meeting. What else? (besides a business account from each elder). Does that make me a "zone leader" because I'm the most senior on this island? Just joking! Love, Elder Monson

11/13/1983 - 11/19/1983
Dear President,
The work is so great. I'm speaking and understanding so well! It's pretty fun. We all went to a special meeting (a FHE) at the Mwan chapel that was so neat! The spirit was so strong there. It was at that place I realized that the Lords spirit is here on this island and he wants us to work at it. We're sad to be having the Huffs leave, and glad that they could serve here. Just yesterday we had our very spiritual first zone conference on Truk. It was super! I love what I'm [doing] here! I found a book of the first 24 lessons of the Gospel Principals book and I would like to send it soon so we could get more copies. Also, there are I think other things we've found that are Trukese that we'd like to get copies of later. Thank you and lots of love, Elder Monson  - Be a Smiler- I try to be :-)

1120/1983 - 11/26/1983
Dear President,
I sure wish we had more materials translated for our meetings, etc. The distribution center in Salt Lake in not answering our letters for additional copies of our small hymnbooks. They have printed up the copies we have now, and they're taking an awful long time printing up more. With all of our expansions, etc, we need so many more hymnbooks. this week I sealed an anointing and gave a blessing in Trukese! It was hard, and I did it a little slow, but it came out alright. Who is going to be the next president in Sapuk? Will it be long before another is selected? They're going to need one bad now that Elder Huff is gone. Love, Elder Monson

11/27/1983 - 12/3/1983
Dear President,
This week was sure busy, and sad, the Huffs leaving. It sure seems empty, not having them here. We still hold our devotionals where we have a song, a prayer, spiritual thought, and of course, our Trukese thought. We had a special zone meeting the 30th (the day the Huffs left) where everyone from the outer islands came. We have planned our next meeting to be the 19th of this month, where the elders will get to meet the new couple and we'll have a special Christmas dinner that night. It should be great. My seminary class went great. I taught them about Moses and the tabernacle, and that they followed the cloud when it moved. It's fun teaching seminary, especially when the students help you. Its really strange; there are some days I understand everything everyone says in Trukese, and some days I understand beans. I've been doing more bible study lately (Trukese bible) to work on the language. The bible itself is not a doctrinaly correct, but it helps a lot more with the language because its newer. The language actually changes over the years. Anyway, take care and I'll write again soon. Love, Elder Monson

Micronesia/Guam - Reports to the Mission President October 1983

10/2/1983 - 10/8/1983
Dear President,
It's been great to have you here. Since you've now learned about everything that is going on here and have given your advice, we'll now act on it. This past week we had 2 seminary classes. We usually have only one a week, but I wanted to show them two good filmstrips about Abraham. They are captioned filmstrips and simple and easy to read. T. M Mailo helped us translate one of them. When we went to the second seminary class, we showed them the one filmstrip and I read the Trukese translation to every frame. The second one I translated off the top of my head, only missing one or two (or three or four) words. I can speak Trukese far better than I can understand it. I need somehow to drastically sharpen and build my understanding skills. Will write you again soon. Hope you had a good time on Truk. Feito ikei sefani non ekis fansoun. Am meinisin tongei en me Sister Keeler.

Tong seni, Elder Monson

10/9/1983 - 10/15/1983
Dear President,
I taught me first seminary lesson all by myself in Trukese. What I did was show another filmstrip and translated the captions in Trukese, and talked a little about the film before I showed it. The volley ball is great! The net too. On that day we made everyone quit playing and come to seminary! One time at Sapuk (I think the 2nd day after they got the net and ball) I counted 60 youth hanging around the area. They were all taking turns playing. I'm glad they have it. Thank you. I've raised my sights and goals a lot more, thanks to you. Love, Elder Monson
P.S.:  Upwe chechemeni en ese much.

10/16/1983 - 10/22/1983
Dear President,
The biggest problem I'm having is understanding what the people are saying. I guess I'll have to listen more closely and think ahead. Mote said he learned how to understand English by listening to people speak it. I better start listening more people. We've challenged [someone] for baptism and it looks like he'll some through. I feel good about it. I turned 20 years old this past week, and I still feel like 16. Time seems to go too fast. Since its easier for me to handle the reports, I'll be sending them in, along with the DL's report. (At Elder Mundinger's request.) He and Christensen are busy when they come in from Uman. That's all I have for now. Love, Elder Monson

10/23/1983 - 10/29/1983
Dear President,
Thank you very much for the birthday card! It's neat when you can listen to someone in another tongue and understand what he is saying! I was listening to one of the members the other day and it was fun 'cuz I knew what he was saying and I could talk back. I'm not perfect at it, but with more practice and study it'll come better. I can't wait to see you come and open up some new islands and bring more Elders. We have one more discussion with our baptismal candidate, and he is looking very hopeful to be baptized next week. Thank you and we'll see you soon. Love, Elder Monson

10/30/1983 - 11/5/1983
Dear President,
Thanks for coming in the other day with the new Elders and placing us. I always enjoy seeing you. Being a senior isn't all it's cracked up to be; especially when your companion can't even speak English well. I got to teach the first discussion a couple of times all by myself and I got to do it without a translator even. It was fun! Even a little exciting. Looks like I'll have to teach the discussions for a while by myself until my companion learns enough Trukese. Our one member Joss is so super. He is always looking for guys that we can teach. In fact our baptism was one of his friends. He gives us a Trukese lesson every time we go to his house. He helps us every chance he gets. We sure appreciate the bikes. Everybody wants to ride them all the time, including Joss. Kilisou me kene nom! Love, Elder Monson
P.S.: When is the organ you promised Sapuk going to come? Or do you know? Thanks.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Heard this is church today (12/10/2017)

A Builder or a Wrecker

As I watched them tear a building down
A gang of men in a busy town
With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the side wall fell

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need.”

“I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What builders have taken years to do.”
And I thought to myself, as I went my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play'

Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by rule and square?
Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan
Patiently doing the best I can'

Or am I a wrecker who walks to town
Content with the labor of tearing down?
“O Lord let my life and my labors be
That which will build for eternity!”

-- Charles Franklin Benvegar

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Micronesia/Guam - Reports to the Mission President September 1983

9/4/1983 - 9/10/1983
Dear President,
We had the seminary reps come this week and setup the seminary in two of the branches. In the Sapuk branch the teacher is expecting and she will be leaving the island in about a month. This will leave me to teach it until she comes back, which will be quite some time. We might start teaching an English class since there are a lot of non-members requesting to go to the one in Mwan. Since Sapuk is so far away from Mwan, many kids cannot attend. Thanks! Love, Steve

9/11/1983 - 9/17/1983
Dear President,
I'm working on the discussions a lot now and hopefully this week we might do some tracting... alone. Mote is learning the first half of the first discussion, and I've just about got all of the first part finished. Our discussions [numbers] are going down because we've finished teaching many people, and many can't [be] baptized because they like to be taught but they won't commit to anything. What do you do? We are trying. It's hard for us to get investigators in Sapuk, but we're working on the language all the time, so we'll try hard to get ready to go out on our own. Love, Elder Monson

9/25/1985 - 10/1/1983
Dear President,
Elder Mote and I are ready to give the first discussion by ourselves. Now we need to find more people to teach. We had a great seminary party this week, but the Sapuk members didn't show. We surely invited them to come but they didn't come because they expected us to give them a ride. We can't give them a ride every time they want one, or we would've gotten them. Looking forward to get the next MGM soon. Love, Elder Monson

Micronesia/Guam - Reports to the Mission President August 1983

7/31/83 - 8/6/83
Dear President,
Its hard to believe, but I caught a cold this week. How does one catch a cold in a tropic zone? I left my fan turned on me all night and that does it. I have a small cough now. It's going away slowly. I did double my study time, which is a good thing for me to keep up. I'm sure you read me letter in the MGM and I'm trying harder now. We're not having too good of success finding more investigators. I never thought reading books like "Jesus the Christ" and "A Marvellous Work and a Wonder" would increase my faith and testimony. I was sure wrong. They open so much to my eyes and understanding it's great! It actually shows how many churches are wrong and confounds every other false doctrine they have. I'm thankful for these books and their testimonies. I'm thankful for your letter in the MGM. I'm glad the church is true. Love, Elder Monson

8/7/83 - 8/13/83
Dear President,
I am late getting this report to Elder Mundinger (the "DL"), and part of the reason is that I got sick. I don't know why I got so sick so fast, but I did. That was the past 2 days, and I'm almost completely over it now. It was so bad for a while I almost thought it was cholera. I went to the hospital and they checked it out. Everyone else around seems to be getting sick too; Elder Huff, Elder Mundinger, and a few members in Sapuk. Today I'll be going out and working. Take care and thanks. Love, Elder Monson

8/14/83 - 8/20/83
Dear President,
Your coming to Truk was perfect timing. Just the day before, both Mundinger and I were sick and had to stay at home. We were just over our colds the day you came. I wish all of us were free from colds. Elder Huff has been getting sick often it sounds like. I surely do appreciate you coming over to see us. It was a real thrill to see you both and feel of your great spirit. We're working on the discussions full blast now, working on it in-between appointments, etc. I'm certainly sharpening up my typing skills. Thanks! Love, Steve

8/28/83 - 9/3/83
Dear President,
It's been fun adjusting to being a senior companion. It's good though. It teaches me to be more self starting. I'm glad for the opportunity. I think Elder Wilson has sent in the first part of the discussions, and we are still working on the rest now. One of translators, Happiness Ichin, changed his work shift to the evening so he can help us at any time of the day. It's really good. Today before Mundinger and Christensen go back to Uman, we're going to have a Trukese class with him. I guess we'll be getting the seminary guys in two days. We have the material for the classes, but they need to distribute it. Just curious, but when (and if) will we get bikes? Being with Elder Mote is a giant advantage because the people love to see him (since his skin is darker). He's going to get us into a lot of houses too. Thanks. Love, Steve

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Micronesia/Guam - Reports to the Mission President July 1983

7/3/83 - 7/9/83
Dear President,
Today we had a district conference at the only chapel here on Moen. I got to conduct the singing and Sister Huff played the organ. It's pretty fun leading the choir, and really great hearing them sing. Yesterday all the branches had a pretty big party with lots of food and dance, and my companion and I got to sing in the program. We celebrated the 6th year anniversary of the first Elder's dedication of this island for missionary work. We're all looking forward to seeing you again. God bless and take care! Love, Elder Steven R. Monson

7/10/83 - 7/16/83
Dear President,
Ran Allim, as they say in Trukese, which means "good day". There are several things you need to answer for us when you get here. The missionary couple here, the Huffs, have some questions. They might have already written you about it though.I'm doing good for now. Last week (last two weeks really) I tried to learn 5 [Trukese] words a day, and have a test on all the words that week on Sunday. I'm going to increase my goal to 7 words a day and if that goes fine, to 10, then maybe 20. We need to get the language down. Take care and we'll see you soon. Love, Elder Monson

7/17/83 - 7/23/83
Dear President,
I hate to talk about bad news, but something has been brought to my attention. The Huffs seem to have a lot of things to tell you about the problems in Truk and mainly the Sapuk branch. It's true we have our problems, but please don't take us as complainers. They are only problems that need some working on and the Lord will help us. I can see some differences in the branches here, but I think the main problem is that the members themselves aren't informed well, which is really our fault. I hope we can straighten things out. Hope I didn't sound too negative or sound like I'm putting anyone down. I hope we can "turn all of our afflictions to our gain" (2 Nephi 2:2). Thanks very much for the letters; we appreciate them, and we're looking forward to meeting you. Thanks, "tong seni" Elder Steve Monson

7/24/83 - 7/30/83
Dear President,
We've been setting higher proselyting goals and we've been doing a lot better. [We] would like to get up to 40 hours or over though. Elder Wilson is getting the language a lot faster than I am, and he's helping me a lot. Part of it is my fault though. I haven't studied hard enough, but I'm raising my goals and trying to get more Tukese bible study time in. I think part of my problem is that I see the language as an unclimbable mountain; the peak is so far up there I'll never make it. It's like someone once said about eating an elephant. The task is impossible at first, but you could really do it. You'd have to cut it up small and put it in lots of freezers and eat some every day. I'll try harder. Thanks for your letter! Looking forward to seeing your message in the next [Micronesia Guam Mission newsletter]. Love, Steve