Well this week can be summed up in three phrases: E bwaka te karau (Rained), E roko ara bwakiti ao te Taabati e nakoroai (our package came and Sunday went well), ao Iai te rongorongo ma Tarawa (there is news from Tarawa).
Before I talk about my week I will answer your questions first:
How are discussions going?
This last week or the week before we found this family who was ready to hear the gospel and this last Sunday we were upfront about it and invited them to church and they came we are going to see later in this week how it goes.
Are people receptive?
The culture of Kiribati is if you are a missionary, white, or a guest. They will invite you to sit down and listen to your message. The hard part for us is determining who is a progressing investigator and who needs to be dropped or needs a little more time.
How are you doing in your leadership position?
It can be stressful but I can definitely say that this is what has grown me the most in these last two months and having to do a lot more. One thing that I have found this last week is stress is opposite joy, success, faith, and trust. As I have put my faith and trust in the Lord I have found the extra strength and success in the field of the missionary.
Are you able to keep the stress to a minimum?
I have tried my best and the best solution has been praying for that help and strength.
What is one good thing that has happened for you personally this week?
When your investigator accepts a baptismal date and is excited to come to church the next week.
One good thing as a companionship?
When as a companionship the lesson and unity starts to go well and is easy to follow the Holy Ghost.
How is the Church growing there in Butaritari?
Little by little but the best way we have found is when you tract you try and teach a whole family as that is how the church is run and it is easier for them to keep the commitments.
How does Fast Sunday work there on Butaritari?
We hire the car for the first Sunday and we go to Kuma as the Mwaneaba is bigger up there and is easier to fit everyone. We take the car to Ukiangang at 8:00 if it is on time and get there by 10 10:30 and start church at 11 and have sacrament meeting, primary/Sunday school, then you have Priesthood and Relief Society. Then we get back on the car at 1 and go back to our house and start normal proselyting.
Do you have to conduct multiple sacrament meetings?
If we do not hire the car we have about 4 to 5 because how long the island is.
Or do you hire cars to bring everyone in centrally?
We do this once a month as the cars are expensive.
What is one thing we might not know about your companion?
What his favorite candy is.
What do you like best about your companionship?
That we can get the most done out of our day as we work our hardest and when your lesson falls through we are able to come up with a backup plan.
What do you need to work on as a companionship?
Unity in teaching is struggling a little bit because we have different styles and have figured the balance little by little. It's still not perfect as we are not yet perfect.
Is there anything we can focus our prayers or fasting on for you or the people you're serving?
That word of wisdom problems can be overcome as it is huge problem here with the Koben (tobacco with imitation vanilla, and toothpaste), smoking, and beer from yeast, karewe, etc..
E bwaka te karau (Rained)
I have officially decided that it is rainy season. This last week it has rained every day and last Saturday, it rained pretty much all day. Not just a sprinkle, but a very good downfall for a couple of hours.
A roko ara bwakiti ao te Taabati e nakoroai (our package came and Sunday went well)
Thank you so much for sending out that package! I got it yesterday on Sunday. The bag has been nice to use so far, the hammock I'm going to set up today and send a pic next week. Ties thank you as I have been giving mine way to Aaronic priesthood brethren who don't have ties. A little side note - can you send some more white shirts as I have given some of those away too? Phase 10 game - haven't played it with Kiribati people yet but they should be good at it. Acne pads have worked so far no problems yet, toothbrush I'm about ready to switch out, chap-stick thank you, drink mixes thank you can't wait to use them, the snacks I'm excited to eat one today. Sunday went well with a just a little hiccup with the car being late, but still we were able to get there on time. Had a church attendance of 52 and we were able to get 5 investigators there! Hopefully we can get some more next week. And I love the power of prayer! We had time to go tracting for a little bit and I had no clue where to go and so I prayed to my Heavenly Father and this image came to my mind of this path that I have seen before but I forgot where. I asked again is it maiang ke maiaki? (North or South?) 'Maiang'. We start biking and as we are biking I'm looking for this path. We get to the counselor's and I ask nuka ke te atai (center or the right) 'nuka'. We keep biking. I ask again as we pass the Kamatu maiang riki? 'Eng'. We keep biking and we get to Vasikano and I remember this person that was really nice. As I approached the trail to his house, I saw the trail I had seen in my mind and asked aei te kawai? (is this the path) 'Eng'. We found a nice, older gentlemen who was ready to hear the gospel and actually prayed with us. Even though he was Catholic he prayed and closed our lesson!
Iai te rongorongo ma Tarawa (there is news from Tarawa)
So I load my email this Monday morning and I found a message from the Assistants to the President. "So we would like you Elders to go work in Makin for a couple of weeks. There is a house for elders over there and there is a family that is waiting to be taught and baptized as well as some kids of members that need to be baptized. We would like you to go over there for about 2 weeks to work with the people there and then come back to Butaritari. If there is a lot of work for you guys over in Makin then you can possibly go back every 2 weeks or at least once a month. The ideal way of transport would be on a plane, which the tickets shouldn't be too expensive. Please if you can pay for them and keep the tickets so you can get a refund. You can leave whenever you would like! Please let us know though when you will be travelling and if you have any questions." Wow! This is a surprise because that means our area is possibly expanding! Well that is awesome and can't wait to go! Still waiting to hear from the Assistants to the Presidents when they want us to go out there.
Message for the week:
Comes from the Bible from the book, 2 Corinthians 5:7 in Kiribati it says this "Bwa ti nakonako n te onimaki, ao ti aki n ane noraki" One of the purposes of this life is to walk by faith and the way we do that is by following our Savior Jesus Christ and following his commandments and teachings. I know that God loves us and cares for each one of us. I love my Savior and Redeemer because I know that it is only through him that we can be saved and receive the Celestial Glory. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that we have a Prophet that leads and guides this church and his name is President Thomas S. Monson. I also want to testify about the power of prayer; that as you pray with all your heart, might, and strength, and if it be for a good purpose, you can receive it. I know this as I have seen it throughout this week. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight:
Grammy Gayle and Pal:
Mom said you'd wondered how the "construction" and repairs were going. I attached a picture of the door and how I tied it on. I first untied all of the rope on the door and retied so it was a lot sturdier. Then I lashed it to a pole to act as a hinge since there are no hinges here. All those Boy Scout knots have come in handy. I will send the picture of the house we just finished in the next email as we are working on building another one.
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.