Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"I have never prayed harder that I wouldn’t get struck by lightning."


Sorry I didn’t email yesterday, we were gone all day.

So lots happened this week. I had divisions in Nargana for two days at the beginning of the week. Nothing happened there but I saw some big fish.

On Thursday, I think, I was fishing at the muelle and two pangas pulled up, full of white people. It was terrifying. I ran to the first Kuna people I saw to hide because I didn’t want to talk to the mergi´s and ended up good friends with them. But eventually I had to talk to them and they were a group of Christians of some sort that came to do an activity. Everyone in the pueblo was afraid of them because  they would walk up to people and yell at them to repent because Jesus was coming today. And they gave bucco candy to whoever came to their thing. We were hanging out with some people by where they were doing it and all of a sudden there was a bunch of shouting and confessing of sins in this big prayer circle and the Kunas were freaked out and so were we so we went to the chapel to watch Mormon messages and prepare for Institute. It started raining super hard while we were in there and we could hear thunder super loud so we were talking about how cool it would be to see lightning strike like close by. And a few minutes later I walked outside the office and was looking out over the water and like 150 feet away, lightning struck the water and I fell over it was so loud… ha ha. It was so not cool. And the rain was coming down sideways so I ran back to the house to close everything up and it was already half flooded. So I got some kids and we ran around to all the houses in the pueblo to see if anyone needed help. We mostly moved stuff off the ground or built up sand around their house or caught pigs that were running away. We were literally running around up to our knees though so I had boardshorts on and lightning kept striking super close. Like you’d see the flash and instantly hear thunder. I’m sure it struck the island a few times. And there were two tornadoes over the ocean! So sick but so sketch! The best part of it was that everyone blamed the white people for bringing the storm because it doesn’t rain here that often.

I have never prayed harder that I wouldn’t get struck by lightning.

Also I was reading in the Liahona this week about how they translate the Book of Mormon into different languages and how it takes like ten years, but it’s super important because it is said that everyone shall hear the gospel in their native language. So we tried to do lessons this week using the Kuna Book of Mormon. Only it was translated in Ustupu, on the bottom end of the Commarca, and Tikantiki where they speak Dulegaya. Here in the upper Commarca, they speak Dulegaka. Basically the same thing but they’ve got lots of differences so the book isn’t super accurate for the people here. They still thought it was funny, us trying to read it, and we met a lot of the older people on the island who only speak Kuna.

We’ve also been trying to do more activities, so on Saturday we had all the niños come to the church to play Kuna games. We had like every kid in the pueblo there and they all had a ton of fun. The next day at church almost all of them came so it was hectic. Now we just need to get their parents to come too.

Yesterday we had the dopest P-day. Our branch president owns a couple of tourist islands way out there so he took us and a bunch of jovenes out in his panga. First we went way past the islands to this sand bar in the middle of the ocean where the water was like 2 feet deep and we hung out there for a couple hours playing volleyball and what not before going to the big island which was sick. Kinda like the backside of Tikantiki, just a ton of coco trees and playa. We were there for a few more hours and we were all starving because nobody had eaten anything and we brought no food. So I went fishing and the sand drops down at like a 45 degree angle in the water so it’s like 50 feet deep 15 feet out, and there’s like every type of fish out there. So I caught a diece little one right quick but then my line broke and I had no more hooks. But luckily a cayuco pulled up with a bunch of fish. A lot of the Kunas go fishing way out there then bring them to the tourist islands to sell to the white people. So I ran up and bought three beast sized fish they harpooned. Ask them how much in Spanish and they’ll probably say $30, but I asked them in Kuna and got all three for $10. Seriously the most useful language I’ve learned yet. So we headed back to Carti and we all went over to President’s house for dinner to eat them.

It was a sick activity but I wish we had gotten more people to go because a couple of less active members came and I think it really helped them feel like they have more of a place at church. Like everyone already knows each other here but I think the best part of doing activities like this is that they’re all super good friends by the end of the day so they want to come to church more.

And we’ve been getting a lot more rain the last few days. But the water’s still not running on the island. I think the pipe broke somewhere back in the monte so they’re still working on fixing it, but were mostly filled up on rainwater now and it tastes better than well water.

And fish is my favorite food right now. I think I’ve eaten it every day I’ve been here. We always bring it to Zobey because she knows how to do everything but she’s been in Panama the past week so it hasn’t been as good. 

Anyways sick that you’re the new seminary teacher, mom. I’m glad that I am already done with that. My advice is don’t be annoying. If you play movies don’t leave the lights on so that people don’t fall asleep…that’s annoying.

Send lots of pics from Kate in Tonga when she goes. If I don’t live here after my mission, I’ll probably go there.

Love y’all!

Elder Green

Thursday, June 2, 2016

"So it turns out I'm like a pro dancer."


Just got internet again.

So as you know Tikantiki is now a hermana’s area and I got changed to Carti Tupile. I was super sad to leave but I love it here too. This island's way smaller and a little more crowded, but super fun. There are a lot more teenagers and niños here and like half the Panama Viejo Kuna squad moved back so it’s been sick.

Our house is really cool. It’s the second story of a little shop so we have a view of basically the entire island. I’m sure I could throw a rock from one side to the other. There’s two old Kuna ladies that live behind us, that own our house, and they’re hilarious.

We're way farther from the Monte now, it would probably take like an hour in a cayuco, so we never go, but now we’re closer to better fishing spots so we go all the time.

Carti is actually a little cluster of Islands. I think there’s like four others right by us that are part of our area but we have no way to go visit them, so I asked President for a cayuco and he said we should have one by the end of the change. So stoked.

And we haven’t cooked a meal by ourselves yet. Our neighbor next door, named Zobey, loves missionaries, and they said they’d eat with her like once a week but I’m definitely her fav ever then because I’ve had like breakfast, lunch, and dinner with her everyday- haha. When we’re in the house she´ll always yell for us to come over to eat. She’s our best friend no doubt.

And yeah near about this entire island is members but there’s only like 20 who are active. So really all we do is visit the less actives. They’ll usually come if you invite them. Everyone loves us so it’s easy to talk to people and really try to get them to come. Our main goal is just to be friends with everyone and we’ve been trying to plan lots of activities.

Don’t know what else to say, I guess I’ll just tell some stories.

Like my first week here I was fishing a couple hundred feet off the island with one of the members named Arnie and we could see a storm coming off in the distance. So we were thinking about going in but we were catching bucco fish so we stayed. Like five minutes later we heard conch shells being blown everywhere and the waves started getting huge. Then we were in the middle of the storm and our anchor was dragging on the ground it was so strong. So I pulled it up and we started rowing back towards the dock. Took like five minutes and it was super sketch. We like almost didn’t make it- haha. There were a couple other cayucos out and a sailboat that were getting taken away fast, so everyone with motors was running out to get them. So that was nuts but I’m alive so it was sick.

We had Zone Conference a week or so ago in Ukupa. It’s a little coastal pueblo like half an hour past Tikantiki and they don’t have a dock so the Elders there had to row a boat out in the water and we jumped from our panga to theirs to get to shore. Such a sick little place. They’ve got bucco beach, two rivers, it’s a legit paradise. We were there two days and the second night we had like a talent show with everyone there. I wasn’t planning on doing anything for it, but before it Elder Sagers was singing a song and Elder Senden and I started to dance. And I was like, dude we can dance.  So we danced to that song to start it off. Later Elder Mann, Gibby, and Senden were going up to do the 'Evolution of Dance' dance and he asked me if I had seen it. And I said yeah like 50 years ago, but I joined them and none of us knew it but we killed it. So turns out I’m like a pro dancer.

We also had District Conference this past week. So members from Tikantiki and Nargana came here for that. Super fun because I basically knew everyone. President Carmack came out too and the first day he spoke on authority and power and where it comes from. Like we´ll listen to a policeman because he can put us in jail or shoot us, but like for a parent or teacher it comes from love. When you love someone enough for them to love you back, then they will listen to you or follow what you want for them because of that. Something like that. I thought that was cool.

As we were walking across the island he gave me some great advice as well. He said "Elder Green, just some advice for when you get home from your mission. Get checked for worms. Most of the elders who walk around barefoot out here get them." So remind me about that in 17 months.

That’s it for now, I’ll email again this Monday. I’m the new institute teacher so I teach Tuesdays and Thursdays so I’m gonna bounce to go prepare for that.

Love y’all!
And happy birthday to Hatmotaf (Braiden).

Elder Green

No new pictures this week...but here are some from before he left Tikantiki...

An island cat in a tree.

Kuna kids enjoying the rain.

Friends on Tikantiki.

Bedrooms...look how tidy...



His bathroom...outside and inside.

Taylor drew a picture and asked one of the sisters on the island to make him this Mola tie.