Elder Colby Ross Smith

Elder Colby Ross Smith

1st Report from the Marshall Islands

Iokwe Aolep,

Things are all good in the West Zone here in the Marshall Islands. I‘ve now been here for 2 weeks and time has flown by. I'm loving the work, people and new language, despite the many many differences with things I love about Kiribati.

It's starting to get fun now because I'm able to speak a little. All last week I taught the entirety of our lessons, with Elder Logalaca following up to make sure they're on the same page due to my accent and limited vocabulary. Really having a blast learning Marshallese. Just speaking all the time and not worrying what others think, combined with lots of study, and even more prayer and fasting makes for a good combination of learning quickly. Already knowing another language (Kiribati) helps a little, too. Which brings me to another point...! We've been given authority to teach all Kiribati people throughout our zone (as ZLs, we have a car). I'm now the only Kiribati speaking missionary here since the assistants just left for Kiribati for a couple months because we are having a senior couple shortage. So...we inherited all of their Kiribati investigators, which is good because, though there are no Marshallese in Kiribati, there are loads of Kiribati here in the Marshall Islands. And that means more time teaching for Elder Smith, which makes him very happy!

Our immediate area of Arrak, though beautiful and lush as it is, it is not exactly ripe with prepared individuals. Hahahaha. Nah, there are plenty, I’m sure. We're just having trouble finding them at the moment! I remember times in Kiribati, such as my last area of Betio, there were many prepared people. It took lots of praying and fasting and hard, hard work to find them. But Elder Christensen and I did find them, and it was the same in all my areas. We intend to do the same things here and show everyone that this place CAN and WILL have many baptisms, despite the differences in culture and life here, and despite the low population of our area (we are in the “bush” of Majuro). There have been very few baptisms here. BUT WE BELIEVE. We have a vision, and goals for that vision, and plans to accomplish those goals. Mostly this consists of work, work, work, work, and more work (We can sleep or rest when we die, right?) Of course, all hard work must be combined with much prayer and fasting, since we can’t accomplish anything without the Lord’s help.  

Anyways, yeah, things are on the rise. Average lessons a day? 2. But it’s on the rise. And I'm stoked (though I love this language) to be able to also teach in Kiribati. Man, I love Kiribati. 

Elder Logalaca is the best companion! He's great. At some point I'll probably talk a little about him and his life because it’s a crazy story. We're having fun and working hard, just sad that the time is flying by...

I signed a paper last week for my return home... something about my flight. It's been moved forward to the 23rd of June. Just about 3 months left.... I don’t know where the time has gone. I'm excited to go home, of course. Many great things to come. But, I don’t know.... I just don’t know what else I want to do, really. I don’t know how to live and not be a missionary every day. Of course that’s what I'll continue to do when I get home, but yeah, you know what I mean. It’s not the same. It has gone too fast.

A little sad about that... but doing great. I love my mission. I love my home of Kiribati, but I also love the Marshall Islands. I love the Lord, His church, His atonement, and the gospel created to access its power. I love to serve!
Until next time, 

Elder Smith  

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