This week has been awesome as it just seems like yesterday that I was writing to you guys. Well I'll answer these questions then I'll share something else.
1. What does your daily schedule look like?
Well we wake up at 6:30 everyday and usually say personal morning prayers and hang up mosquito
nets and go to the bathroom and then start our exercise. Thursdays we go running on the beach which is a lot of fun because the sand is nice and cool and soft. I usually stretch for the big long day that is ahead. After thirty minutes I fill up my five gallon bucket full of well water add the chlorine to it and then go put my bai to go shower. The cold shower in all honesty is almost the best thing besides sleep. After that I get dressed in missionary clothes and get ready to start my personal study. By this time it is almost 8:00. We have our Personal, Companion, Language, and 12 Weeks study. So were out of the house by about 11:30 On Tuesdays we go to Rotimwa, Wednesdays, Temanoku, Thursdays are Matang, Fridays Temotu, and Saturdays Teuabu. So biking can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 Hours and 30 minutes depending on what town we are going to. We usually stop at the store and grab a snack for the bike trip usually some type of cracker and Ice which is honestly an awesome cold drink but sometimes frozen. We usually have dinner around seven at someones house on Monday's it usually Teraita's house and Saturday's is at Teraamiira's house. After about 1 to 2 hours later we head home and arrive anywhere from 9:30 to 11:00 plan for about thirty minutes, write in our journals and go to sleep.
2. How many discussions or teaching opportunities do you have each day?
We average at least six lessons a day but try and shoot for more as our goal each week is to get above 50 lessons in a week. This past week we hit 41 lessons.
3. Where on the island are you? Meaning, near what village? What are the people like?
We use one of the buia from another family and sleep there and have a little house that we keep our belongings in. We are between Matang and Taboiaki pretty much in the middle of the two villages. So we are really not near any village unless you bike about fifteen minutes north to Matang. The people are so nice and loving and want to the best thing for you which is awesome. They do have solar power lights from Taiwan and they do have cellphones which they use for games, however since they have this technology they don't know how to use it and so it is very harmful, like they use the f word and they really don't know what it means. Smoking is a huge problem here because they don't understand that it is harmful to them and causes problems.
4. What is the most powerful testimony you bore or learned this week?
I ataia bwa e tangiriko te Atua. I ataia bwa rinanon te tamnei ae raoiroi ti kona karekea kaeka ara titiraki. I kakoaua bwa e maiu Iesu Kristo. Bwa e korakai ibukin ara bure. I atongi baikai n aran Iesu Kristo, Amen.
5. Are there any specific investigators we can pray for as a means of combining our faith with you and your companion's?
We were supposed to have a baptism this week, but as Uaneta is struggling with his health and was prescribed with TB. He is doing much better but could use your prayers as he is still recovering since he received his medicine Thursday finally.
6. How is church on Sundays for you and Elder Powell? What are your responsibilities? How can we help you from here?
Church is amazing We have 5 church services every week except fast Sunday. So this next Sunday we will just have one meeting. We set up the sacrament making sure we have all the parts of the sacrament and if Elder Powell calls on me to give a prayer or to bear testimony, I do it. We hire a car every week to pick up the people who want to come to church. and then we hire two cars once a month for fast and testimony meeting and that usually costs us about 90 for both cars to pick up the people.
7. What is the most exciting thing you've learned this week?
Well later today we are going to learn how to dance. But in all honesty, just trying to listen to the Kiribati people speak and tell stories is so funny. This week has been great as today is extremely busy as we are going to go learn to dance and then play games at another house and then have family home evening essentially at Teraita's house.
8. What is the funniest thing that has happened this week?
How many times I have hit my head on something - usually our buia. Nothing too crazy.
9. How is riding bikes? Any experiences you want to share? How are your pants holding up? How are you doing with driving a motorcycle?
Long and painful but a good time to think. So there is this ghost house on our way to Temotu and Elder Powell told me about Elder Kennedy and how much he believed that he was there. My pants have had
no problems yet, but they are very gross by the end of the week. I usually ride on the back of the motorcycle I have not had the privilege of driving it yet, which I am thankful for.
10. How are your feet and stomach adjusting to the food and water and conditions? Were you able to find the soap in the well?
They are slowly adjusting. Our water filter is amazing. Last Tuesday we cleaned out the well and found the two bars of soap and now the well is really clear which makes the water taste better.
11. Liz wants to know what kinds of food your eating and the sunsets- are they all the same? Sharks?? Have you eaten Kiribati pasta yet? Is that cat a pet?
Types of food Rice is with every meal, usually some time of meat ika (fish), pig, or chicken (a lot lately), and some time of soup usually noodle but we sometimes have clam which I struggle with eating. Other things I have had are: papaya both melon and regular, bread fruit, tue which is glorified fruit leather that they make from the pandana tree. Sunsets are extremely beautiful. They are pretty much the same, but they do vary from time to time of color but are usually very beautiful and I have taken some pictures. I'll have to see if I can send some. I haven't seen any yet (sharks) but we do have a guy who is willing to take us dolphin hunting so I'll tell you about it when it happens. I have not (Kiribati Pasta - ie sandworms) that I am aware of. That cat is our pest control it takes care of the rats and we don't feed it so technically it is not our pet, but we keep it around to take care of the rats.
Here's my message to the family:
Aren (Allan)- Dad great that you are happy and that everything is great can't wait to here from you next week. In these past three weeks I have finished half of the book of Mormon and I really love King Benjamins address.
Reteo (Rachel)- Love you lots. And feel your prayers all the time, as I have had times where I have felt that feeling and have seen those chariots. The Book of Mormon has been really great and I challenge you to read it in three months as I have finished my halfway mark in the Book of Mormon. It has been such a blessing and the story line is unreal. (I shared a quote with him in my email, "In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike...you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
Riiti (Liz)- Keep up the good work with the studies and keep moving forward I know times our tough when you have a lot of homework but I know you can do it.
Neti (Nate)- Congrats on finally finishing up your Eagle. Glad that I can be there in spirit. That's awesome that you can read and play the music - definitely try out for All State it is worth it especially if you can get in as a Freshman.
Ioti (Josh)- I'm glad that you are making friends here is your piano assignments for while I am gone I want you to learn how to play Waterfall and I am a Child of God and Raomi Iesu from the Kiribati Hymn book.
Tiera (Sarah)- Keep up the great work with the testimony that is how it grows is when you bear it. Love you keep singing.
Ana (Hannah)- Your so cute. Keep helping mom with what she needs help with. I love you.
I ataia bwa e tangiringkami te Atua. I ataia bwa rinanon te babaire ni kamaiu ti kona ni manga oki nakoina. I kakoaua e maiu Iesu Kristo. Bwa e mate ibukin ara bure bwa ti aonga ni manga oki nakoin Tamara are i
Karawa. I ataia bwa e boni burabeti Iotebwa Timiti ao Thomas S. Monson. I atongi baikai n aran Iesu Kristo ara tia kamaiu amen.
Letter to Dad
The language is growing little by little (teutana teutana). The Kiribati people are still trying to figure me out as I can read very well and speak very well, but yet not understand what they are saying. It confuses them but that is okay because with the Lord's help I can master this language. It's crazy to think that I'm almost at the halfway mark of the my first transfer here in Nonouti and that I could get a new companion after that and most likely be senior companion that is weird anyway. Glad to know that everything was a blast last week. Happy Halloween as it is Halloween here.
(Letter to Mom)
I Tangiriko naba, (I love you also). We did not hear any special
instructions in coming to Nonouti, but that is definitely true if we
told you all the things that go on here you would cringe, but that is
part of the mission right? I'll tell you when I get home after the
Mission all of the crazy stories. Anyway Yes that was Elder Powell in
the background we have to walk the motorcycle across this 2 and half
foot path because riding it would be a little more scary. Elder Powell
is a lot like Elder Murri, It has also been commented by other
missionaries how they are similar. Some of the things he likes to do
are Soccer, He played the Cello and performed at all-state, and he
told me he really loves clothes which I thought was weird but makes
sense. His Favorite treat is Watermelon Sour Patch Kids or Mini chewy sweetarts he says either is
great and is up to you.
In the meantime Elder Kennedy left his towel so I am currently using
it. Showers are awesome. I have not used it yet because we use the bucket shower is so
awesome. What we use is called a bai which is about 2 yards of fabric
that you wrap around your private parts and slip off your garments and
use that water with Chlorine and a small cup and pour it on yourself
and basically wash that way so much more effective.
The Welcoming Party was basically the Matang members. I'll try and share
those photos with you. What they said to do is every six months is to
send home a zip drive of the first 6 months of pictures, but still keep the sd card.
So basically copy them and send them home. So I may need a couple more
zip drives. Sorry for that tangent. So the welcoming party Elder Powell
said wasn't that good because everyone was really tired so it was kind
of dead. It consisted of a lot of food and some singing by the Relief
I do have that book I'll have to read it and reevaluate myself. But
the biking has been strenuous but has gotten better with practice. I
ataia bwa e maiu Iesu Kristo. I kakoaua bwa rinanon Iesu Kristo ti
kona ni manga oki nakoin Tamara are i Karawa. I ataia bwa e Korakai
Iesu Kristo bwa ti aonga kabwaran ara bure. I ataia bwa e tangirira te
Atua ao bwa ti bon natin ngaia Tamara are i Karawa.
PS I told dad some of things I would like in my package but the main
thing I would like is a lot of the water flavoring packets because
that is what helps to get over the flavor of the well water. I'm very
grateful for an awesome water filtration system that takes care of most of it.
One of things we might have to do this week is clean out our well as it
seems some soap has fallen in. I definitely have something for you to
try when I get back home it is what they consider as there dessert
here and is really good with rice. The question is, can I find that
fruit in America?
(Letter to Dad)
This week has been great. Sounds like you have a lot to do Hey I have
assigned Josh and Nate to take charge of Family Home Evening and they
are supposed to come up with a spiritual thought I pushed them more to
their experience at the temple and wanted them to lead the discussion
about how they felt and share those feelings. Well some things that
would be nice is some more pens, Mac and Cheese sounds really good,
but the number one thing would be lots of water flavor packets to help
with the taste of the water I'm almost out
Well I love you lot and I ataia bwa e koaua Ana Ekaretia Iesu Kristo.
I Kakoaua bwa e maiu Iesu Kristo ao ibukin bwa e maiu Iesu Kristo ti
kona ni manga oki nakoin Tamara are i Karawa.
(Letter to Sarah)
Well it's been great Ekaki is actually how Haycock is spelled in Kiribati.
And Sarah in Kiribati is Tiera So that is how your name is spelled in
Kiribati if you want to use it. Any questions (are good in letters) I want you to tell me
about school, your friends, what you like to do on your free time, and
if you are pest or are you helpful to mom.
To answer your questions: how many parties they have they are currently
celebrating an mwaneaba anniversary. My favorite food would have to be
the rice with fried ika (fish) really good if it is tuna. I haven't
seen much dancing but we are learning one later today. Favorite fruit
that is here would have to be the papaya but if i was in Tarawa the
banana (because they're)super sweet. If you read mom's email it tells you more in there so
you'll have to wait and read.
I tangiriko, (I love you)
Excerpt from a letter to Elder Ekaki about his stress level and how he was adjusting...
I here in Nonouti. I made it safely here from Tarawa I arrived here
last Thursday so I've been here for four days now. The Relief Society
in Matang is throwing a welcoming/new party this Thursday so that will
The travel story. My travel group left the MTC at 12:00 pm to catch a
bus to take us to the UTA Front Runner. Our driver was very nice and
we took our luggage onto the second to last car like it said on the
instructions. Sit Down and wait for the train to take off. We then
were greeted by a Train Hopper, definitely a very interesting guy, he
slowly starting to accept the gospel knows kind of what was bad. The
conversation we had about religion was interesting. Then an older
couple got on and they were headed to the airport to go and see their
granddaughters mission farewell then go on a little vacation after. Then
the train started to move and we were supposed to get off at North
Temple and then take the GREEN TRAX to the airport. So excited that it
was just going to be a straight route to the airport. The intercom
turned on and said "The trax are closed from draper to Murray and
there will be a bus bridge between the two stations." Oh that is great
now that means I have to take all of my luggage off the train onto a
bus back off the bus back on to the train. On the next stop this older
gentlemen gets on and you can tell he has had a great life, lived a
great life, but he didn't want anything to do with our church and
didn't want to hear about our religion, but gave us this great advice
"listen to your heart and follow god's commands". Sweet and Concise.
So time passes and we are at the America Fork exit and the intercom
comes back on and says the North track is cleared from the accident
that happened earlier today. From talking to this older gentleman we
found that there had been a Butane? tanker that flipped over on the
highway causing the tracks also to be closed. So we were able to get
safely off the train at North Temple. Take the Green Trax to the
Airport, I hope you got the photo of our group that a lady sent from
here phone while we were waiting for the train to come and pick us up.
They helped us with our luggage to get it on to the train and we were
off to the airport. After arriving to the airport and going to the
wrong terminal. we were able to find the airline we were supposed to
check in with, DELTA. After looking confused this guy was nice and
helped us get checked in to give us our boarding passes it was weird
when I checked in it brought up four other names with mine so that
sped up the process a little bit. We then had to go check our luggage
and pay for our extra bag which was a little ridiculous price of $150
to get it all the way to Tarawa. For some odd reason the lady that was
checking in my bags kept messing up but my total kept coming to $200
but both of my bags were under weight so that was good so it should of
been $150. So I had to go to another counter and get checked again and
they found the problem it was how they entered in my information which
was weird anyway they got that fixed and I was able to go to our gate
and wait for the plane. I basically watched the bags while I waited
for some to call their parents, some were trying to find phone cards,
and others were using the restroom. While waiting for our flight to
LAX we met this girl who broke her hand from being kicked during a
rugby game. They then called us again to check our passports which was
weird but okay. When we finally boarded the airplane it started to
rain on the runway. I was seated on a wing two seats behind the
Emergency Exit next to the window which was nice. That was probably
the fastest flight that I've been on, Oh wait that was my first flight
that I can remember. It was nice to look out the window and be able to
see the beauty of the earth. When we touched down in LAX we got out
and had to walk around from the terminal that we were at and walk to
the International Terminal to go try and check in so that we could
possibly eat before we got on the plane. We found out when we got
there that check in wasn't until 7:30 which wasn't until another hour
later but that didn't give us much time to really go find something to
eat so we decided that we would try and find some phone cards what a
joke when you are trying to talk to people that have no clue what you
are talking about and don't know how to work the computer. Just a
nightmare when we actually found the guy that knew what he was doing
it was time for us to check in. What was nice about our flights is
that we were able to just to check in with the airline and go through
the "express lane" connecting flights. We then were able to go to the
International security check which by the way is really ridiculously
long and took us an hour to get through. So by the time we got through
it was 9:30 and boarding was at 10:20 so that gave very little time to
eat because all of the lines were really long and so elder Jackson
and I decided we were going to try the pizza because it had the
shortest line at the time. It still took 20 min to go through the line
and get our food which wasn't terrible. It was some great Fresh
Italian Pizza. Our next goal before our flight was to find a phone
that we could use our cards on. That was a joke when i tried to call
you it somehow hung up, then i tried to call you again it went to
voicemail, then I let my comp use my card and his went to voicemail, so
by the time I called you again it had no time left on it so I just
gave up trying to call you. By this time boarding was about to
commence so they load the plane the smart way they load the people
that have seats in the back first which is smart so you are not
tripping on people's stuff so where we were seated on this airplane
was 5 rows behind the premium class as it is called This airplane
fitted eight across 2 on each side and 4 in the middle we each had our
own portable movie player that had games, music, and movies on it. We
were supposed to leave at 11:30 PM but we didn't leave for another
half hour because of the "FIJI TIME" as they called so no urgency.
After driving the plane to the runway we finally were off and because
it had been a long day we tried to get some shut eye which was nice
because they gave us a pillow and a blanket to use. So that we could
go to bed. Once the plane finally leveled out and most of us were
asleep they woke us up so that they could give us a meal. I was still
full so I just told them know I was so glad I did because they others
said that it was disgusting. I then fall back asleep unaware of what
was going on while I was asleep. I woke up because Elder Herr must
have been fighting something because his arms came out like he was
going to sock somebody, but yet he was still fast asleep. So I check
back up our flight because it shows how much longer we have and find
out that we are already half way back to LAX Airport and I had no clue
why. I later find out that one of the crew members had a stroke on the
plane and while I was asleep they made an announcement asking if there
was a doctor on board. Sure enough there was. So when we touch down in
LAX we still had to stay seated while they unloaded the passenger that
needed Medical attention, Unlock the International airport because it
5:30 in the morning and it is not open at this point. After sitting on
the airplane for 3 hours we were able to finally get off and go back
out to settle with the airline our tickets. So as travel leader when
we got to the base floor I had to go call the church office about our
flight. I was greeted by a nice lady whose name was Rachel and here
first plan was for us to stay there in LA and catch the flight on the
eighth and then one on the tenth to Tarawa, but we find out that our
luggage will be locked on the airplane and just moved to the next
flight which is no bueno if you don't have a change of clothes so I
call again and transferred to Rachel again and they tentatively said that
we will catch that next flight then stay in Fiji for a couple of days
and leave on the Tenth, she had me wait on the line while they talked
to their supervisor, plans were confirmed. Then we had to wait in a
two hour line to get shuttled to the hotel they were providing. When
we finally got to the counter it was 8:30 and we had to wait for the
next bus to take us to the hotel which was on the other side of town
and that trip took an hour and then we waited in the lobby of the
hotel while they prepared our rooms until 11:30. When I finally got up
to our room I had to call the office again to find out more
information about our flight itinerary. She had me call back at 1:30 to
get more information because it was still night time in Fiji. I call
back after a shower and nice nap and find out that we are supposed to
meet a guy in Fiji by the name of Meli. So We get back on the bus to
check back in to the airline to get our boarding pass go back through
security and wait for the plane to get there which didn't come for
another hour after but they were nice and fed us some subway to hold
our hunger. When we finally boarded the aircraft it was 4:30 in the
afternoon We actually didn't leave till five thirty which meant that we
would arrive in Fiji at 12:30 in the morning which was a little crazy.
The flight was nice and they fed us two meals which were actually
decent. When we arrived in Fiji it was a shock. Customs, then trying
to find our luggage to a long time the Airline tried to set up hotels
for us but we told her that we had someone waiting for us outside.
When we actually went through the security process. We were able to
meet up the guy. Who said that the church would take care of us. so we
jumped in the vehicle to go just across the road to the hotel they set
up for us. The time right now was 2:30 AM when we finally made it to
our rooms we were so exhausted from staying awake for a good 36 hours
that Elder Murri and I just fell asleep after a little exploration of
our room ...
The rest of story is pretty boring but you know that we made it safely
to Tarawa so I am going to end there.
I packed great all I forgot was a towel which they are sending from
Tarawa on the next shipment. Mosquitoes are great have like maybe a max
of 20 mosquito bites without bug spray right now. The heat and
humidity are bearable compared to Fiji. Occasionally I'll wear socks
but in order to build callouses on my feet from sitting cross legged I
have to go bare foot. Weirdest thing I've eaten so far Bread Fruit
which tastes a lot like water chestnuts no flavor I have also had
coconut water which is very good and fresh coconut. So they made four
of our group stay in Tarawa so that they can meet their companions and
fly to Kiritimati and spend 11 hours on flying. I did meet Elder
Berends he is one of the west zone leaders and I worked with him for
the three days that I was there in Tarawa.
I love you guys a lot. Can't wait to talk to you next week as you can
tell my pdays are on Fridays so if you want to email me, email me
Later Today we will have some beach time which will be nice to sit and
relax for a little bit here is the address if you are going to send
any packages they are actually pretty fast at getting them here
usually no more than six weeks.
PO Box 400
Republic of Kiribati
Elder Ekaki (Haycock)
PS I sent that package home for you guys to enjoy because they told us
that dictionary is crap so you can look at it some of the words are
correct so that will help with my testimonies. It would be nice if you
could edit this before you put it on the blog some of the spelling is
really bad as I don't have spell check. I can't wait to talk to you
next week after my welcome party.
While I am excited and happy for Elder Haycock's adventures, I may have a ginormous outbreak of gray hair before he returns! This week has been an adventure for sure and I have counted my blessings more than once. Here's how the story begins:
Travel plans were set that his travel group (6 missionaries he's responsible for and himself) were to leave the MTC in Provo around 11:50 MST and travel via Front Runner Train to Salt Lake City International Airport to catch their 5:00 flight to Los Angeles. Heavenly Father must have had an inkling of how this day, (which has stretched into nearly a week) would go. He sent me a tender mercy in the form of a picture of my son's group of missionaries from a random, passing stranger, who kindly contacted me with a sweet message.
Sam called me from the airport and said they were getting ready to board and he'd have time to talk when they had a huge layover in LAX airport before their flight to Fiji. Like a good mom, I kept my phone charged and my ringer on high alert. No phone call came. I'm sure I checked it at least 27 more times before 9:45 PM (their flight was scheduled to leave at 11:30 PM). Nothing. Finally, at 10:00, I heard from him. They had a hard time getting through security and customs and had just arrived in the terminal. He told me briefly that they were all safe and sound and ready to board their next flight. He had made plans that I would call him back on the pay phone number he was calling me from to save him some money. We tried that. Although I tried on my end to call him over and over for the next hour, he never picked up. Apparently on his end - he could hear the phone ring and ring, would pick it up, but there would be no one there. I was a bit crushed to say the least. When you haven't heard a loved one's voice for six weeks that you've been hearing every day for the last 18 years, you long for the opportunity. I checked my flight tracking app and saw that their plane departed LAX. I put my game face on and said a prayer that he and his companions would be safe and that I would know more in the morning.
I woke to a message in my inbox from Elder Schoeny's mom.
"Just a little hiccup to our boys' flight to Fiji. The flight was diverted back to LAX at 5:18am ET due to a medical emergency and landed around 7:30. I have heard from my elder yet. We found out why it came back through twitter. Hopefully I will hear from him soon."
Any mom in her right mind, would wonder and maybe pray aloud, "Please don't let that medical emergency be my boy or any of the missionaries traveling with him. " I also said a prayer for whoever had needed help and that we would hear soon what was going on. Can I just put this here - how grateful I am for modern technology? Within seconds, I could check on flight status, network with the other moms whose missionaries were headed out with him and feel a sense of peace as we slowly got more information. That is a huge blessing to me while my son is so far away. Around 8:30 am, Elder Haycock called me briefly to let me know that they were safe, all together and in good spirits. He asked me to relay information to the other moms, because there wasn't much time to talk on the phone because of his responsibilities with contacting the missionary travel department to arrange alternate transportation . My first communication to the other moms was this:
They are being rerouted today on the 5:00 flight to Fiji. Missionary travel is working to get the boys there because all their baggage, including carry on luggage had to be checked if it was over 7 kilos. This means none of them have a change of clothes and Fiji Airlines will not release the bags which is why they will head to Fiji instead of holding up in LA. Missionary travel is contacting both President Larkin and the Fijian Mission President to find accommodations for these 13 travelers for 2 days while they wait for the next flight to Tarawa. They are tired but in good spirits. Keep praying mammas! It will all work out...come what may and love it!
As the morning wore on, more information trickled in. We all shared every tidbit because we were desperate for information about our boys. My friend Julie said, " I just got a call from my son. He said someone on the plane had a seizure but he never saw any of it. Apparently they will be bused to a hotel and then back to the airport tonight for another flight to Fiji. The problem is that there is not a flight to Kiribati from Fiji everyday so they will be in Fiji for a couple days. Lots of prayers for our missionaries! " And then Sam called again to say briefly this: "They landed at 4:45 and had to stay on the tarmac until 7. I am thankful the airline is sending us to a hotel for a bit while we wait for the next flight out. You'll all probably get to hear from your boys again very soon." Julie Herr shared her conversation with Andrew, "I just wanted to comment about our missionaries delay. I spoke with my son before they boarded the plane and he sounded happy and said that their group of missionaries were being of service, they offered to be the last ones to check into the hotel so while all the other passengers were being checked in they were in the hotel lobby, playing the piano and singing. They were uplifting and bringing joy to the angry and tired passengers. One passenger even had tears in her eyes while watching them. They are doing what missionaries do... spreading the light of Christ!! :)"
We waited for more information - like a flight number and time, and nothing came, so I prayed again. The phone rang. It was Elder Haycock with the final lowdown on what information I need to pass along again to the other moms and an apology for not having time to talk. (I didn't care that we couldn't talk - I got to hear his voice and I knew he was safe.)
"Ok moms. Here's the latest. It's brief. They are at the terminal now getting boarding passes. Flight number is FJ 811 - same as before. It will be a direct flight and should leave in an hour. They have been in touch with missionary travel and have the name of the gentleman who will be meeting them in Nadi when they arrive. Arrangements have been made for them to stay until their connecting flight to Tarawa with the Fijiian Mission President. They will have a short period of time to contact us, but it's not guaranteed. They asked for continued prayers and said they can feel your love and prayers for them. They are very tired, but Elder Haycock assured me they are safe, happy and fed. Hang in there!"
And then it was quiet. For days. We knew collectively (because we've all gotten pretty adept at flight stalking) that the only flight to Tarawa from Fiji would leave on 10/10 at 8:00 in the morning Fiji time. We watched as that flight was delayed too. It is not uncommon to have problems traveling from Nadi, Fiji to Tarawa, Kiribati, but we were worried if they missed the flight, they would be stranded for another week in Fiji. All is well however, because Elder Schoeny's mom is awesome at tracking down flight information. Her post said, "Ok. I checked the Bonriki airport arrivals and it said the flight left at 11:09 local time. It is en route and should arrive in Tarawa 1:40pm. They have about an hour left in their flight." Happy news to my ears! This info came just before I went to bed last night, so that knowledge allowed me to get a very peace-filled sleep! I woke up to the best email from Elder Haycock:
Mauri Mauri au utu!
I'm Safe. I made it to tarawa today super pretty I'll have to upload photos at another time. I'm going to be serving on the island of nonouti for I don't know how long. So this will be the communication for a little bit. I love you guys a lot and will have a story to tell about my trip here. Can't wait to talk to you more.
Love it! My heart is so happy for him and to hear his excitement and know where he'll be serving is fantastic! But that's not all, I received a second Email from Elder and Sister Jenks, the missionary couple who are in Tarawa taking care of the missionaries, and ...... a picture!
Mauri Brother and Sister Haycock,
We were very happy to welcome Elder Haycock to Tarawa today. The picture was taken after our orientation meeting. His first assignment is to work with Elder Powell on the Island of Nonouti (pronounced no nose). He will fly to his new area on Thursday afternoon. We know you now live in Montana but we love the Logan area and have two of our children living there. We have participated in many fun runs in Cache Valley. Our daughter in law is the girls basketball coach at the new High School. Thank you for sending such a great missionary.
Elder and Sister Jenks
Kiribati Mission Region
Now I am left to my devices to find out everything I can about Nonouti! What an exciting time to be a missionary! Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers in behalf of Elder Haycock and his companions.
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.