For those reading this who may not understand all the ins and outs of serving an LDS Mission, two of the most important days in a missionary family's life (let's face it - Mom's life) are Christmas and Mother's Day. Those are the days we set in our calendars for a countdown until we get to hear our son or daughter's voice and hopefully see their sweet face. We hang on to those moments and cherish that one hour of time we are allotted to spend gazing at and listening to our beloved. So to say that our Skyping opportunity left a little to be desired, is a bit of an understatement. We were traveling back from a tournament on Mother's Day, so I knew it would be tricky to be in the right place at the right time, but we managed to hear from Elda Haycock in the afternoon via email that his companion would be speaking with his family first, and then he'd be in contact for ours. He sent pictures and a brief explanation of his week - which I greatly appreciated.
Here are the things that we did this week. We helped Taketi with his schooling because he was failing. And we started building a house. That is about all. Well love you guys lots.
Nathan, my handy navigator and hands free device operator, responded,
"Cool are we still skyping? Give us a time frame if we are so that we can get off the freeway and talk."
"Yes, it will be in about half an hour."
As luck would have it, we were just outside of Ashton, Idaho where we typically take a break to stretch our legs because we are halfway home. It would be perfect timing! We all piled into our Yukon and waited patiently for his call. At ten minutes past the allotted time, we got another message from him saying, "Will you guys be up at 10:00 tonight or should I try tomorrow because it is cutting in and out here?"
"It would be better tonight because of school and work. Planning on tonight at 10. I love you! We are going to hit the road again to get all the way home. Be safe."
Ten o'clock came and went. My phone dinged again. "Sorry for the let down... but there will be no power tonight... so...can we Skype tomorrow at 10:00 pm? I'm sorry for the disappointment but the generator is out of gas and will not have any more until tomorrow and that is the best for here to have the internet work the best. I love you guys lots and can't wait to talk to you tomorrow!
I swear I heard the words to Annie's lament....."Tomorrow, tomorrow, you're only a day away...." and felt them keenly too. The day passed as usual and we all gathered for the 10:00 call. It came through, but was not what we were expecting. Please understand, I am not begrudging or complaining about our experiences - we are so happy we got to hear his voice - it has been so long, but to be anticipating seeing his face only to find out the camera on their island is inoperable, was heartbreaking. The best news was that he was able to see us, so that brought him great joy! We quickly passed the phone around so he could see everyone. Just after seeing his brother and sister, the call dropped. I prayed we could reconnect. After 20 precious minutes of trying, we decided to just skype written messages back and forth - like texting. He was only able to answer a few, I will share them below. The gem though was an audio recording that had Allan and I laughing. His accent is so thick now and he struggled so hard to speak English. I am happy to report he now sounds like a native!
Does that work if you send me questions and I will record so give me a moment?
Works for me! What do you like best about your mission experience so far? How are you doing with the added responsibility of being the senior companion?
(He never did answer these questions - the call dropped again. It took another 10 minutes to reconnect.)
Good luck understanding him - his accent has really developed. We had to listen to it many times before we could understand what he was saying entirely because of his inflection.
Dad wants to know if you're speaking a broken English mixed with Kiribati or just straight Kiribati... How prevalent is English used in speaking?
not used that much I am mixing and it is hard to speak straight English to you all
That's what we figured. Dad wants to know if you speak to your companion in Kiribati all the time or does English slip in too?
It is definitely a mix but we try our best to speak in Kiribati. I have some questions for you. 1. What is your favorite color? 2. What is your favorite hobby? 3. What are your plans for the summer? 4. How is reading in Ana Boki Moomon? 5. Are you praying in the morning and at night. and as a family? Good night Sarah, Hannah, Nate, and Liz I love you all!!!!!!
1....are you serious? I feel like you should know this if you think about it....perhaps blue??
Who is this? A name would be good. If this is you mom, you told me a long time ago it was lime green.
2. Hobby? I dont have just one. I guess you could say my hobby is creating things. I like to create by being a mom, by cooking, by sewing, crafting, singing, reading....the list goes on...
This is your mom, because everyone has passed out. Except dad...
What color of blue? Navy?
Lime green is your dads by the way. I love Prussian blue, but navy is just as good. Summer plans...I want the kids to come up with a fun bucket list like spend the day in our jammies, hike, eat a shaved ice, go on a picnic at Hyalite Dam etc. We will probably do some tournaments so Nate, Liz and Dad can ref. We read the Book of Mormon every morning as a family and pray together morning and night. Personal scripture study - I am patiently plodding along at. I seem to be listening to conference talks more often than not because I can listen while I'm doing something. Can you send us some pictures of you?
Dads being a dork, he wants to know what your favorite color is. I'm guessing it's still blue
It changed I like the gray and whites better. I'm trying to send at least my testimony by audio clip.
Dad says those aren't colors😂How much more time do you have? Josh is snoring. He loves you too.
The battery is almost dead I have about 10 Mins if it doesn't send I'm going to write it.
Are you on a phone or computer? Dad says I love you and am proud of you.....and keep practicing English Haha! I love you! Did you open your letter for your first mothers day alone? I don't even remember what I wrote, but I'm sure I expressed my love and thanks for you doing such a great job serving the Lord. Keep doing good work. Love your companion. Embrace the adversity. Lift up the hands that hang down and enjoy the time you have left on your mission !
I love you all if it sends it sends but here it is. My testimony: Imwaain I waaki Kam na bane ni mauri n te katairiki aei. I tangiringkami ao I nangi kukurei ibukin te tai aio I kona n tibwaua au kaoti koaua. I ataia bwa e maiu Iesu Kristo. I ataia bwa e tangira te Atua. I tangiringkami, I atangi bwaai ikai n aran Iesu Kristo Amen. Love you guys a lot and thanks for this time that I can communicate with you guys.
Thank you! Love you! Can't wait to hear from you next week!
Elder Samuel Haycock
I am called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This blog is about my adventures in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ for the next two years in the Republic of Kiribati.
Rachel Haycock - I am the mother of 6 amazing children and the lucky wife of a dear, sweet man. I love to write, read, cook, teach and sew. I hope you feel the Spirit of the Lord as you read about Elder Haycock's adventures in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.