This week we have been progressing our investigators along. Sorry for the confusion, it is still the same daily missionary schedule, but Elder Fonseca and I changed how we were visiting our investigators each week from how Elder Powell and I did it. I love it a lot better because we are visiting most of our investigators at least twice a week. We go South on Tuesday and Thursday, North on Wednesday and Friday and then Temanoku and Teuabu on Saturday. Thank you for your prayers as I have felt them this week and also for the prayers for our investigators - I have seen them change. As Elder Fonseca and I changed where we were going each day, we have grown closer to our investigators.
Two boats came (to the island) which is good and bad, the good is that the gas for the cars and motorcycles came and the boat that takes the coconut came. The bad part is they came on Sunday and since we are on an Island that is their main income. Consequently we did not have a car even though we hired it this week. So we had to do multiple church meetings on Sunday this week and our attendance was down because nearly everybody was working on the boat to help load it to get the coconut off the island.
New things that happened this week: there was a soccer tournament where the winner competes in Tarawa, I'm going to have adjust my bike today, and I had dog last Saturday. Let's just say it tastes like roast beef.... For service this week we dug a hole for Marebu, [Read Nate's Email about service below].
My thought for the week:
Imwain I waaki Kam ni bane ni mauri! Te reirei aio e menia Ana Boki Moomon, n Ana Moan Boki Nibwaai Mwakoro itiua te kibu tebwi ma uoua. ngkai E tuangiia tarina Nibwaai. Ni Kangai "Eng, ao kam kangaa ni
mwaninnga ae e kona ni karaoi bwaai ni kabane te Uea ngkana a kaineti ma ana kaantaninga ibukiia natiia aomata, ngkana a kammwakura onimakinana irouia? Mangaia, ae ea riai bwa ti na onimakinna." Te berita bwa inanon te kibu aio bwa ti na karekea ibuobuoki ni kabane ngkana e iri ana kantaninga Tamara are i Karawa. I ataia bwa rinanon onimakinana Iesu Kristo ti kona karaoi bwaai ni ibukira. I ataia bwa e tangiringkami Tama are i Karawa. I ataia naba bwa e korokai Iesu Kristo ibukin ara bure bwa ti aonga ni manga oki nakon te Atua. I kakoaua e te Tia Kamaiu Iesu Kristo. I ataia naba bwa Ngkana ti tataro ti kona ni karekea kaeaka nakon ara titiraki. I atia n nooria te kakabwaia mai iroun mwaakan te tataro. Ngkana I maamaa ma ngai i angareirei ni kaineti ma te rairanano. Ibukin Tera I tuai ni bwati n taetae ni Kiribati. Ma I tataro nakon Tamau are i Karawa ao i bubutia ibukin ana ibuobouki. I kakoau bwa ko kona ni karekea te ibuobuoki ao te rau. I tangiringkami. I tangiria toau. I riki tangiria Tamau are i Karawa ao Iesu Kristo. I atongi bwai ikai N aran Iesu Kristo ara Tia Kamaiu, Amen.
(Before I start, Hello to you all! This message comes from the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 7:12. Now Nephi is commanding his brothers, It reads "Yea, How can you forget that the Lord can do all things if the be about his purpose for the children of men, when they exercise faith in Him? Moreover, it must be that we will be faithful." The promise that is in this verse is that we will receive all the help if it follows his purpose for us Our Heavenly Father. I know that He loves you. I also know that He suffered for our sins, Jesus Christ, so that we may return back to our Heavenly Father. I testify that He is the Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that when we pray we can receive answers to our questions. I have already seen the blessing from the power of prayer. When I was nervous in giving a lesson about repentance, because I wasn't very good at speaking the Kiribati. But I prayed to my Heavenly Father asking Him for his help. I testify that you can receive help and peace. I love you all. I love my companion. I love even more my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I say these things in His name, Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen.
1 Nephi 7:12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.
This week has definitely been a new adventure as Elder Fonseca and I got invited to the Koro Mwaneaba of our Kaawa. To be polite we attended all three days of it. I'll explain more later. I'm glad that I'm over my sickness as that was huge hiccup for me. I just had a 100 degree fever and my body felt like I had been hit by a semi. I feel tons better but I think that my companion is getting the sickness.
Taraita's family enjoyed the rotten flavors of the Beanboozled game, but by far the best reaction was Elder Fonseca's when he ate the barf flavored one. Highlight of the night! My new companion is amazing, really good with the language and pushes me to succeed. We definitely serve each other every day. This week both of us have been adjusting to this new schedule and still trying figure out the best way to visit everyone as best as we can. Our investigators that we have been visiting twice a week are progressing really fast and we have three or four baptisms coming up next month that I'm excited about as these investigators that I started teaching are finally getting ready to be baptized! The Branch is definitely going to be formed as they asked for us to send the information again to the AP's for a form for President Tuune. Since we have started this change, we have grown closer to the members in the central three Kaawa's (villages) next to Matang. The biggest problem right now is the WOW (Word of Wisdom) as Koben and Moko (alcoholic drinks?) are huge here in Kiribati. Ritebwa is a recent convert and this week she opened up to us and asked some good questions. She asked us what she can do to help her father want to be baptized and to stop his nangkona drinking problem. We asked her has she prayed for her father yet. That has been the focus of our prayers this week as she is trying to be an example.
Now back to Bootaki to explain this bootaki - Leremia was in charge of planning the bootaki, and as he lives right in front of us, they invited us to go. I need to explain how the schedule works for each day. Each day you showed up at 8:00 for breakfast, 1:00 for lunch, 8:00 for dinner. We did this for all three days starting Thursday. The way this bootaki worked was if you were late, there was law (literally) in place that you had to pay ten dollars for being late. So breakfast usually consisted of us eating and then a few games usually done by nine. Lunch we would eat, followed by some swiss (dancing) and games. Dinner is when everyone gathers and it's more of an official bootaki as they would do the full formal bootaki program with the flower crowns, dress us with a new bai (long strip of cloth) and baby powder the back of our necks and there would be a couple of mwaiae performed for us. Then we would eat and then it is time to get out your money, for that is how you buy songs and get people to start or do certain things. Four word story that describe my dancing at the bootaki this last week - "Samba Hips Never Lie". I got everyone laughing pretty hard with my dancing. One of the strangest things I ate this past week at the bootaki was octopus.
Spiritual thought of the week comes from: Aramwa 26:37 (Alma 26:37) ni kangai "Ao ngkanne tariu [ao mwaneu], ti nooria bwa te Atua e mwannanoia aomata nako, n aba ake a mena iai; eng, e atai mwaitia ana aomata, ao nanona e onrake n te nanoanga ae kabuta te aba. Ao ngkanne aio kimwareireiu, ao au kakarabwarabwa ae korakora; eng, ao N na anga au kaitau nakon Atuau n aki toki. Amen." I ataia bwa e
tangiringkami te Atua. I kakoaua bwa e kiningkami te Atua. I atongi bwai ikai N aran Iesu Kristo, Amen.
(My brothers and sisters, we see that God he is mindful of all his people, to every place; yea, He knows his people, and his heart it full of mercy that he gives to the earth. And this is my joy, and my great thanks; yea, and I will give my thanks to my God to no end. Amen. I that He loves you all God. I testify that He knows you all. I say these things in His name, Jesus Christ, Amen.)
Alma 26:37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
PS. The Backpack you asked about: I love the canvas idea, gray with a brand that you trust, bag big enough to hold Gospel art book, BOM, Bible, picture book, first aid kit, bike kit, money, so multiple compartments would be nice. That is what I would like. Love you lots!
What a week for me also as it has gone by very quickly. Let me tell you being sick really sucks because nothing moves forward with the work. I was sick last Wednesday with a fever that everyone seems to be getting too.
Elder Fonseca has been a blast working with this past week as he has helped me so much with the language and encourages me to try new things. The Beanboozled game was a lot of fun especially when your companion gets the barf flavor and had a hard time keeping it down!
Well this week with our investigators we gave changed how we are visiting them to try and progress them faster and build up the church in the central part of the island. I'm borrowing someone else's shoulder bag that they are not using because they have a backpack that they can use. But for my next package I would like a backpack that is waterproof as that will be the easiest to carry stuff around in.
I will share a spiritual thought as this keyboard is frustrating to use since there are no laptops here at the moment. My thought comes from Moroni 6:8 Ni Kangai "Ma ngkana aki toki n rairinanoia ma n ukoukora kabwaran aia bure ma nanoia no koaua, a bon kabwaraki aia bure." (In English it is: But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.) The promise that we receive when we don't fail to repent and when we repent with real intent, we can be forgiven of our sins and trespasses.
Sorry for the really short e-mail but I sent a bunch of pictures this week! I love you guys lots!
In a blurb to Nate:
I just sent a batch of Pictures to everyone. Let's see.... a story about one of my Grandma's here on Nonouti. Her name is Tearabi. She is in her sixties. She is very good at Kiribati Sorry and a very good cook. We have dinner with her and her household every Thursday night. She was baptized back in 2014 by the Elders in Aranuka - another island in the central part of Kiribati. Her conversion story is so cool. She was originally part of the KPC (local very strong church) and whenever the Elders would ever come near her house, she would hide from them. Until one day she let them in to hear their message. Ever since that first visit, the Holy Ghost testified to her that what they were saying was true. She is now the most active member of our "branch". Well that's the only story I got for this week. I'll attach a picture of her with this e-mail.
I tatangiringkami! I kan kam ataia bwa I maiu ngkai ao I roko i Nonouti n te kaabong ae nako. (I always love you all! I want you all to know that right now I live (I am alive) and I came to Nonouti on last Thursday (our Friday).
As we ran out of people to tract (contact to be able to teach the gospel), we asked the Zone Leaders if we could go to Bikenibu (on Tarawa) to buy stuff to make cookies with and then while waiting for the bus we would pass out cookies and pass along cards to invite people to the First Presidency Devotional. So cool in Taetae ni Kiribati! Anyway, they told us that we could, so having ice cream for the first time in two and half months was really good, and eating at a restaurant where they served french fries was sooo good!
President of Kiribati Party: We received an invitation to this event after we finished our conference with President Haleck. Ehennwe arrived there the next day for the bootaki. The run down for the night is this: MC welcomed everyone and we started the bootaki with a prayer offered by one of the people there. Then the MC introduced the dancing group that will be performing for us. They were from Betio,Tarawa. Dances (on Tarawa) are very different from dances on outi islands because on outi islands like Nonouti, it is a bit more intimate with the audience. We swissed a little bit and President Larkin got down into the Swiss! Basically it is like a school dance, but usually just for one song, and they invite you to the dance floor by waving both hands in front of you. After that President Maomao (President of Kiribati) gave an address and announced that this was the first party that had no alcohol beverages served, and that he wanted to keep this tradition going as he didn't drink himself! Then President Haleck, acting on behalf of President Monson (President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) gave the President if Kiribati a miniature Christus statue. Just to hear that he was acting on behalf of President Monson was so cool! After that we enjoyed a little more dancing and then we were able to eat a very large buffet of food which was so good compared to some of the outer island food. Well after the party was done, we were a little upset because the President of Kiribati was willing to take pictures with us but, President Larkin rushed out even though it was already 10:30. (Way past curfew) So to make us not very late, our driver was just flying down the road driving really reckless causing some of us to almost fall off the vehicle and be hurt. New Years generally they celebrate New Year's by bathing together as a kaawa which is a city to celebrate the coming of the new year.
I'm so excited to get back to work, to get our investigators back on track and getting them progressing again! I'm most excited to see the people again as I have missed them so much already.
P-Day/Skype Day: since this pday was the first of the month, we had a super combined pday where they organized teams and we played volleyball, basketball, touch football, and frisbee. My pday I got there and interview with the President Larkin for an hour and then got back in time to Skype you all, and by that time most of the games were done, so I just enjoyed relaxing and watching everyone play.
Intake: It was so nice to see everyone and be able to catch up on things that happened over the past two transfers getting to know where everyone has served and where they are going! I really enjoyed finding Elder Murri again and being able to just talk to and enjoy his presence and see what we each learned from being on outer islands. So now Elder Murri is my twin brother since we now both have the same trainer and we are from the same intake group. I have some pictures from my intake group I want to send but I'm on a device that can't send them at this moment, so we will have to wait and see this next week if I can send them to you.
New Missionaries: The ones I have met are awesome! It's also kind of nice not being the youngest on the mission anymore. As of now there are two intakes younger than us.
Interview: I had two interviews with President Larkin. We discussed in one about my personal life and in the other we talked about the plan for Nonouti. I will share this from President Larkin -he kept sharing with me with how grateful he is that I am here serving a mission and that in the future I will be given some leadership responsibilities. So the plan this year for the Kiribati region, is to set up three more districts and the only way to do that is we have to form branches (functioning church congregations). That is the goal this first quarter - to form the branches on all the outi islands.
Conference: Honestly conference was the only reason we were brought in for these two weeks. The focus of this mission tour by President Halek and President Larkin, was chapter 13 and 8 in PMG (Preach My Gospel). President Haleck stressed the importance of building a relationship with church leaders and establishing the church and teaching the investigators to "Come and Stay Forever". That is what I feel comfortable in sharing with you as there were things discussed that can't be shared because of the type of information it is.
Nonouti: What Sister Larkin meant by that statement was that they were touring Tarawa to try and open up a new area for Elders to work in. I'm so excited to get back to work, to get our investigators back on track and getting them progressing again! I'm most excited to see the people again as I have missed them so much already. I can't wait for tonight as we are playing the jellybean game (Bean Boozled) with Taraita and her family.
Elder Fonseca: Working with him for these past two days - I have grown the most - as he has pushed me the most in trying to speak the Kiribati language. A physical description of him: he is short, has black hair and is from Brazil but raised in the US all his life. He is really good with the language and answers my questions really well. He reminds me a lot of Elder Murri (personality) and I can't wait to work with him more.
Package Update: I received all three packages! Your package that you sent has been at the airport since the 14th but I didn't get it until the 28th when it was about to go on the plane to Nonouti! I have also received Aunt Jody and Family package and the Nibley 4th Ward Package and a Letter from the Mason's who I don't know yet. I really enjoyed everything in the packages and I can't wait for tonight as I get to give more of the presents you made for them. Thanks for the towel from the family back east! I needed it! It's been so nice to enjoy some American candy too!
Bag and Bike Seat: For my bag I have found a temporary replacement as the strap completely came off and I left it in Tarawa. For my bike seat, we should get another one today as that is when the Jenks were planning on sending the package of our needs to us.
Spiritual thought of the week comes from: 1 Nephi 18:3 in taetae ni Kiribati ni Kangai "Ao Ngai ae Nibwaai, I aki toki n nanakon te maunga, ao n aki toki n tataro nakon te Uea; mangaia ae a mwaiti bwaai aika kakaawaki aika e kaoti te Uea nakoiu." (And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.) I love this verse because it is a promise to all of us as we continually try to pray to the Lord, He will show us many great and important things. But it is only when we continually pray to him, that we receive this blessing.
I tatangiringkami, kam batin rabwa ibukin bwai aika tangira, Tiabi n te wiikiae na roko,
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.