First off, the mango Hi-Chew candies sounded like a struggle - I probably would have just thrown them away. I am glad that I am worth the sacrifice though. I ran into Tongan Harvey again but I was unable to get a picture, I will continue with that quest. I am getting English down and as far as Tongan, Samoan, and Maori go, I can now recognize which is which so that is a big step. But it still takes me no less than 4 times to pronounce a word correctly. It's getting a little better though. Elder Johnson is the DL and we are going on a lot of trade offs, both with the ZLs and our district so it is a lot. I am not sure how the language programs work - you are just called by inspiration to a program and then you do language studies every morning and your assignment can be changed (like it says in the call packet). It seems like most of the missionaries I have talked to want to be called into a program so they can learn a language. Wrong side of the road is no problem but I still see cars and it looks like a child is driving because the whole steering wheel thing still gets me. Home still sounds like home; sitting around at Grandma's, Dad fixing stuff at the house, helping Gramma with technical stuff, and then a baptism in Idaho... it was a lot of the stuff I remember about the holidays and was definitely good to hear. I hope that Dad converts over to a Double-Double Animal Style with Whole Gr. soon :)
Happy New Year everyone! My New Year's Eve was really not that big of a deal. We were visiting a member family in our ward, the D'sas (Dee Saws) They are one of my favorite families in the ward. Bro D'sa is an Indian man who is married to a Samoan women, raises his kids the island way (smacks them), talks in a high pitched Indian accent (just like the guy from The Simpsons), and is the size of an Islander. He is definitely one of a kind and he is also the Elders Quorum President. We were there to visit them and organize a service project but then we got around to talking about New Year's resolutions. Theirs was to clean the house better and to be more positive in general. We ended up talking to them about the state of our flat. It is probably the dirtiest place I have ever lived. We have black mold in the shower, the dishes in the sink have been there for at least the past two transfers (at least the ones in the very bottom) and we found maggots in our rubbish bin. So yeah, it is pretty gross. Sister D'sa rebuked us for about 10 minutes :) then went to her closet and gave us a super cleaner and committed us to clean our flat. I decided to make this my resolution: Every Flat I have the rest of this year I am going to do my best to keep clean. Elder Johnson's resolution was to control his temper and not say anything clever back to people when they are rude to us.
The next day Elder Johnson's resolution was tested. We were eating our dinner at Subway, just my companion an I, when this older guy, probably in his early 60's walks up to the Subway/Gas station (it was one of the mixed ones). He goes to open the door and it is a "pull" but he pushes it and he smacks right into it. It was hilarious! We chuckled at it but nothing obnoxious and we don't think he even heard us but that was the only explanation that we could come up with for what happened next. He came through the door like a bat out of hell. Yelling awful things at us about how we are full of sh** and F this F that. He was carrying a bottle of juice he slammed it down on the table next to me and then before I knew what was happening he hit me right in the back of the head. It didn't really hurt but I was instantly livid. I jumped up knocking over my chair and I almost swung at him. I didn't because I remembered I was a missionary. Elder Johnson said some things along the lines of, "you're lucky I am wearing a badge." Then the guy picks up a chair and tries to hit me with it. As he is threatening to hit me with it, Elder Johnson says. "Go ahead, hit him with the chair, do it." We manage to calm the guy down and he didn't end up hitting me with a chair. So once he turned around and walked up to the counter kind of like he was going to order something, we sat down and tried to finish our dinner. The guy then decides to sit at the table next to us and tries to tick us off even more. We were mostly just ignoring him but he just kept asking us where we were from and what we were doing. Well, he wanted to talk to us and so I decided to talk to him. First thing I asked was why he hit me. He said at first that he was going through a lot - a family member had just passed away, all he had had that day was a juice so he was hungry too... I felt a little bad for him and ended up giving him my cookie from Subway and even my drink. We talked a little bit and he apologized for hitting me. I started to teach him a little bit about what we do and to answer some of his questions but he just ended up being a jerk again. I had just answered his question about why we are here and why do we need to have missionaries. After I explained it, all he said was "You should really make sure people are listening when you talk to them. Did you think I was listening just then?" This ticked me off almost more than getting hit... almost. We shook his hand said it was good to meet him and left. This was the hardest thing I have had to do so far, just to keep myself from reacting and hurting this guy. If he had been a little younger I probably would have hit him. It made me think about the sister missionary that had the food spit on her in that talk by Elder Holland. That talk means a lot more to me now.
It was funny afterword. All the members reacting and we even had a bunch of members go over to Subway and complain because they didn't say anything. This guy was yelling and hitting and swearing and no one said anything. A lot of the members have been asking me about it and asking what he looked like and where he lives. They are really mad and it is awesome to feel their love. It's good to know that they have my back. Of course I don't want them to do anything to him but they definitely are looking out for us. It is just the island way, they aren't afraid to smack their kids, or to rebuke us if we do something (and I think that they might even be willing to smack us) but as soon as someone else try's to hurt us or their family, in any way, they jump up and defend them, like full out. I have no doubt that if they found that guy they would hurt him pretty bad.
As far as the resolutions go... Elder Johnson cleaned the shower and I managed to stay calm and talk to the guy. So, as a companionship, we have been keeping both of our resolutions so far. We definitely are united in our goals and as long as one of us can do the other person's resolution it still counts. That's one for companionship unity, zero for personal resolutions :)
I hope everyone has some good resolutions for the new year. Keep working on them. Remember the Church is true!