How was your week in Butaritari? This week was just spectacular as the work is moving forward as we almost broke fifty at church this week and had a baptism this week! I'll share more later.
What have you learned? There is a different culture here in the Islands of Maiang and this last week Elder B'ataua has been helping me get adjusted. For example in the southern islands, it is okay to hit the dogs and cats (to keep them from biting) but here in the north e tabuaki (forbidden).
Tell us about the church membership there on the island. It is about the same as Nonouti, but a lot more active Melchizedek Priesthood holders. The members here are so accepting and ready to help get the work forward. They constantly are giving us referrals and helping us out by visiting people who don't come to church.
How are lessons going? Lessons are great and you can tell that Elder B'ataua teaches by the Spirit and as we are there, it is very easy to follow the Holy Ghost, especially in what needs to be said to help those investigators.
What new things have you experienced or tried? We had limes last Friday and we tried to get some mangoes but they are not in season yet. Lots of breadfruit lately as we just finished the peak of it's season and we are moving into the banana season.
Are the people and customs similar to Nonouti? Two different sides as I mentioned above so here there are different words that are used. The best way to describe the change is the South stayed in their old language and the North changed their language to sound more like the English language. And since it rains here a lot the people look more white.
Tell us about where you are living now - ex. house or hut or what? food? So we live on the southern part of the island in Onomwaru (oh-no-mah-roo) I'll attach a picture of the house. The house is better than the one in Nonouti as it is actually a house. The food - Cargo comes every week so stuff really doesn't run out. since Tarawa is only a 45 min flight it is really close. And there is not a lot of islands in the north. The meals usually consist of breadfruit, rice, ika (fish), some type of soup, noodle, and the drink usually the karewe or the moi moto.
Who takes care of your laundry or needs? Laundry - Tearitao we give it to her on Monday and usually get it back about Wednesday. Needs - B'auro ao (and) Rosary they live across from us and run a store and he is the Unit Leader so he has been a huge help!
Is privacy better or worse on this island? Much better as we don't live on an open buoia, but it is very hot because the circulation of air is poor.
How is your stomach adjusting? My stomach is still adjusting as these last couple of days I just got over having diarrhea and the week before a really bad headache that finally stopped this past week.
How are your cuts and sores? It is easier here to keep them clean as there is very little dust because it rains a lot, however, there are a lot of flies and mosquitoes. Can you send out some more band aids and I'll ask Tarawa too, but the nurse is currently in the Marshals.
Did you get them looked at by the nurse? What did she say? No I did not as she was not there but, I did get my teeth looked out by a team of American Dentists and I have no cavities yet!
Were you able to swap out or replenish things from your luggage in Tarawa when you flew in? Not everything I wanted as I flew in on Monday and left on Wednesday, but I was able to grab the essentials. Is
it possible for you to send more ties out I would like more that I can give away and also wear that are different?
Where is your companion from? My companion is from Nauru but he has lived there and in Kiribati, so he is very good at speaking Kiribati and his native language which is a little different than if your just speaking Kiribati.
What is he like? Short like Schoeney, but a very hard worker in that he will do something until it is done. And he follows the plan to a tee.
How is the dialect change for you? It has been a bit difficult. For example, "Who" in the South is "Antai" in the North, it's "Nantra". Just small words like that.
How are you adjusting to the changes in the island, people, food, etc.? The rain has been a nice change. It has rained every day so far at least some time during the day. People are still the same - still very nice. The one thing that is weird though is not seeing the coconut tree as often as the breadfruit tree. That is the tree that there is a lot of here.
What are your plans as a companionship for the island missionary work? At the end of this month we plan to have a family baptized (husband, wife, and child). They are so ready, but their only problem right now is he smokes one time a day, but this last visit he told us that he would give it up because he desires to be baptized.
And....what happened with the transfer originally? Was there a problem? Okay, so I was supposed to leave on the 23rd of March but the person replacing me didn't come off the plane meaning that I can't leave the island and leave Elder Fonseca alone. So we emailed the Jenks on Monday and that was all the time we had as we had to go find the Kiribati Agent as the flight was early that week and check in was in a couple hours so sorry for not emailing that week. So that was the problem and while I was in Tarawa there wasn't any time to email - so sorry for the worry but I didn't know where I was going until I was picked up by the district leaders when I came off the plane in Tarawa.
Hannah, I love you and want you to know that I think of you. Keep helping mom and dad.
Sarah, I love you lots and haven't heard from you yet how is school going? How are your friends? How is choir?
Josh, I'm excited to hear it, just send it to me it is easier that way then trying to download it from the drive as sometimes the browser doesn't support it. My companion is awesome.
Nate, It's rolling along. That is also moving forward. That has been difficult. I love you lots sorry for the short answers but time is short. Talk to you more next week.
Liz, My favorite part of this week has been the rain as it has cooled down the hot weather. Lots of breadfruit lately is what I have eaten. I love you lots.
Dad, sorry I wasn't able to email that week but we only had enough time to talk to the Jenks and that was about it. I finally read Jacob 5 in Kiribati - very good and I'll share what I learned later. I love you lots.
Mom, some things that I would like are some bandaids, flavor packets, and a nice deck of cards that won't deteirate because of the humidity.
My message for this week comes from Jacob 5:75. I want to testify that these are the last days as in the story. The fruit was overcome by the bad. We are in that time, but as we returning back to the mother tree the good fruit was restored. I want to testify as we keep the commandments of the our Heavenly Father we can receive the eternal life and the joy that comes with it. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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.