Letter dated July 31st, 2017
This week has been fun. This last P day was a blast not having internet and being able to spend time with members. We did some service for Katikora - it is called borau, which is picking up all of the pandanus leaves that are not broken and are pretty new so that they can last a long time as the roof. After that we went to play games at Titana's home which was a lot of fun.
On Friday the primary had a day called, "Culture Day" in which they did everything of the iKiribati. That meant no English food such as the rice, flour, and sugar, or even canned foods. It was a very fun day as Elder Osborne and I were judges of the events. I'll have to send pictures when I can.
Saturday was my first time going on splits as we just have too much work to do and we were able to visit a lot of people quickly. This past Sunday we had church here in Kainaba and church in Nabeina which is also part of our area, but haven't been able to visit since we are so busy here in Kainaba. Before I go, I would like to share a spiritual experience. I told you I went on splits last Saturday. I went and visited Namwaroro and Katikara and we were teaching them on repentance and for him to stop smoking. I don't know where these words came from (I do now...), but I was prompted to say, "When you have the urge to smoke, I want you to open the Book of Mormon with a prayer in mind and then open the book and read it until the desire to smoke is gone." I want to tell you that this is the power of the Spirit and it is a promised blessing to all of us as long as we live worthy of it at all times. I'm so thankful that I have been able to serve here in this mission for the Lord. I am also thankful to have the opportunity to serve here in Kainaba. I love you all a lot. Ao I atargi bwaai aikai n arau Iesu Kristo, Amen
Letter dated August 7th, 2017
I have had an adventurous week as Satan really doesn't want this branch to be formed. The biggest tool Satan has for Kiribati is their cultural norms and gossip. Last Friday, there was some gossip that was shared about how this family couldn't go to the temple because she supposedly saw them drinking nengkona (alcohol), but they weren't. So it caused some contention to the point that they didn't want to come to church because they are afraid they will be made fun of and cause the church to back downhill. Well we put a stop to that rumor and encouraged them to come to church (which thankfully they did). The other major problem we had this past week was we were supposed to have dinner with a family but one of the members went up to them and told them that "missionaries don't have dinner with nonmembers." When we heard this it crushed our hearts. This week we are having dinner with them tomorrow. That is the gist of this week. Trouble in paradise, but still...it's paradise.
My spiritual thought for this week comes from Moroni 7:15 - 19. In this section of scripture Mormon is talking about the Light of Christ that is given to every person. I know that through Christ, we can be clean and that we will be judged by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, that we should judge righteously. I love you guys a lot and I know that my Redeemer lives. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Dated 24th July 2017
First, Happy Pioneer Day! My week has been full of adventures, getting to know the area, and MIRACLES.
So I want to start off with the miracle of the week: Elder Osborne's foot. You know from last latter that his foot got something in it from walking at low tide without any shoes on. We think it was coral. Anyway, to continue the story, this past Sunday, I fasted for his health and that everything will be ok and that we will be able to go to Kainaba. Later that night after I have already closed my fast and was about ready to have dinner with a member, my thoughts were drawn away and I started thinking of the future and what was coming up. When I thought of Elder Osborne and his foot, I had this overwhelming feeling of peace that everything will go well and that there will be no problems. So the next morning at 8:00 AM, he went to the hospital for his "surgery". It turned out that the appointment was just to look further at his foot and to determine what needed to be done and where it needed to be cut to get the things out of his foot. They decided he would have his surgery the next day at 9:00 AM. He told me afterward that he wanted a blessing, so the AP's gave him one. He went to the doctor the next day to get the surgery don and the doctor looked at his foot and tried to figure out where he was going to cut. He told Elder Osborne to get an ultrasound done to see. He had had this done the day before and when the nurse did this she said, "Yesterday there were signs of objects in your foot, but now there are none." Elder Osborne was amazed and thankful for this miracle.
While this was happening, I was with the West Zone Leaders, heading to Betio to drop someone off when the phone rang and Elder Osborne was on the phone asking where we were. He said we are headed to Kainaba, my foot is cleared and the waa leaves at 4:00. So after we dropped off Scheffield in Betio, we hurried back and grabbed my stuff and went to Eita to pick up Elder Osborne and then headed to Ambo to catch the waa to Kainaba. We got on the waa which was thankfully powered by an engine - which only takes about 40 - 60 minutes to get to Kainaba. (I'll have to send some pics when I get internet.)
I got to Kainaba around 5:00 and started right away visiting members and getting to know them. I have introduced myself many times. My first whole day was Wednesday where we ran to the south end of the island - which takes about 7 minutes to run at a slow pace and exercised with Aroito to help strengthen his back after that we went to Itaia's house and had breakfast soup with breadfruit. It is very good with donuts (fried bread). After we showered and studied, we went to a small island named Biikentoka. To get there you have to wade through waist deep water if it is high tide. We went to visit - honestly THE best investigators I have had. Their names are Namwaroro and Katikora. Katikora is probably the only person that I have seen that is so dedicated. She only has one leg and gets around by using a stick. We lessoned with them and learned that she has finished the Book of Mormon and that she comes to church in Kainaba which she has to cross that 20 yard stretch of lagoon to get to Kainaba. We are trying to get them ready for baptism on the 19th of August. I'm excited! After that, we visited a bunch of people and tried to find some of our investigators to get them ready for baptism as most of them had their date for this coming Saturday. Afterwards, we had dinner with a less active family to try to get them to come back to church. It was so much fun and there are a lot of potential investigators with that family. So we are trying to open more doors to be able to hopefully be able to teach, so we brought with us a volleyball net, volleyball, and a soccer ball to get started having a game night on Friday. We asked them to set up a volleyball court. On game night, we had volleyball, Sorry, and Canasta all going on at the same time. Honestly, is was just a fun time to get everyone out and together.
This last Saturday we were blessed to have a baptism that completed a family.
Now you are probably wondering what Kainaba is like, how are the people?? The best way to describe it is Zion. It has a potential of just getting better and only increasing! The people here are the nicest and most caring people of I have met so far. It is like a little piece of Heaven. This area was opened in January of 2017 and the work has boomed! So far in this area there have been 50+ baptisms. The people here are really excited about the missionary work and if we need anything, the members are there to help us. We eat about 5 - 6 meals a day and this does not include the big dinner that we have every night. I LOVE KAINABA.
My spiritual thought this week comes from Alma 5. I encourage you guys to read it and really answer those questions personally as an interview with yourself. It is true when it says that the Shepherd is still calling. Jesus Christ is that shepherd. He is calling to you to repent and to come unto Him "all ye that are heavy laden" (see Matthew 11:28-30) I know that Jesus Christ lives and is my Redeemer and Savior. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Mauri au utu,
I already wrote a letter for this week but I thought I would attach a short note to say that I love you guys and that there will be pictures attached.
*************we should get that letter in about a month.......haha!*********************
He was online still, which was a real treat so we traded messages back and forth. Here's what he had to say about Kainaba:
"We take a waa to Tarawa once a week for District meetings. It costs about 2 dollars and takes about 40 - 60 minutes to get there. We are allowed to come in on the first PDay of the month and since this is Elder Osborne's las pday, we came in. Technically Nabeina is also part of our area. We are in a district of 2 Sisters and 4 Elders. The people are awesome and they are so helpful and yet stressful as they want us to visit all of them every single day while we are trying to balance teaching new investigators. We stay on the northern end of the Island in a buiia. It is more like my time in Nonouti as far as conditions. It is one village of about 200 people and we have over 80 that are now LDS. You can walk from end to end of the island in 15 minutes. It is very small. I will be able to catch up on emails (the ones you send me) once a month when we have access to internet, and I will keep writing letters. I love you so much!"
I asked him if he needed anything:
"I've had to "loan" my pants and some shirts, and most of my ties to members who just have nothing Mom. I really hate to ask, but can you please send me a pair of gray pants and maybe 2 white shirts or some older ties? Snacks would be good too. "
When asked how his shoes were doing, he replied..."they are ok. Super hot and I've had to make modifications to them. If you think of it, and there's room, a nice pair of flip flops would be wonderful!"
When asked what kind of snacks he'd like most, he said, "peanut butter, trail mix, cheese nips, gummy bears, candy corn, potato flakes or mac and cheese sound sooooo good!"
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.