We got to Skype with Elder Haycock for a few moments on Christmas! It was heaven to see and hear him! He is VERY tan, just got a haircut - compliments of his companion, Elder Powell, and was so excited to talk to us. We are counting our blessings for the gift of internet, skyping and phones in general! He is doing well and reported that they are currently teaching over 50 investigators and he can't wait to get back to Nonouti to begin teaching again. That is a lot of work and it keeps him busy. He is returning to Nonouti later this week after spending nearly 2 weeks in Tarawa at a Mission Conference with all 82 missionaries serving in the Kiribati Region. I am so thankful to President and Sister Larkin (his Mission President and his wife) for sending us pictures of him and his fellow missionaries. It warms the heart to see them having fun and being happy. He also informed us that his companionship will change, as Elder Powell will be transferred to another island and Sam will be paired with Elder Fonseca. We are excited for this change and pray for their success with the investigators on Nonouti! Elder Haycock reports that his favorite food is Kiribati Pasta - ie. Sand Worms! He claims if they are completely dried, they taste like beef jerky..... I think we will take him at his word. He misses privacy, but surprisingly doesn't miss technology. We asked how his bicycle was holding up and he told us the seat has split in two. We asked if he could repair it with duct tape, he told us, "not really because the bolts holding the seat poke up between the seat cushions." Naturally one would ask if he just rode the bike standing up, to which you'd be surprised to hear that, "nope. I've just developed great callouses." I can't imagine riding 1 1/2 to 2 hours each way to get from one part of the island to the other like that - callouses or not! He expressed his love for all and laughed at his younger brother's change in height and voice cracking when he spoke and was surprised at how much his little sisters had grown up in 4 short months. Mid-way through our conversation, we lost audio on the Skype call and thankfully the missionary couple serving there, the Jenks, allowed Sam to finish his time on his allotted phone call, on their phone. Parting was sweet sorrow, but we are counting down the days until we get to see and chat with him again on Mother's Day!
Marshall Islands Majuro Mission - Kiribati Region Conference December 2016
Elder Haycock is in the top row in the back 11th from the right. This photo has all 82 missionaries in it and President Larkin and his wife in the center toward the left with leis on, and President Halek and his wife are in the center and toward the right with leis on.
Lunch time at Moroni High School in Tarawa. So happy Elder Haycock got to see some of the missionaries from his intake group at the MTC. Elder Murri is sitting beside him, with Elder Morphonios just to the left. The handsome young man smiling over Elder Murri's shoulder is Elder Fonseca - Sam's new companion.
Mauri Au Utu!
I'm writing you all in one letter this week as my time is very limited as I went on another adventure in the ocean. We took a Wa to the Island of Birds called Numatong. I'll send pics.
We celebrated Kakiritimati last Tuesday, since we are not going to be here for Christmas. Something that is interesting about the culture here is when they celebrate Christmas it really isn't with the family it is with the Aro (religion). I love being able to roll with what comes! Our Christmas party had a lot of work done by Taraita as she prepared the kids, wrote a play that was never acted because the lead parts did not come to the picnic (because they were too shy or they forgot to get their food items ready). So what we did for the presents was Ni katoa Mweenga (every household) brought a gift which consisted of uoua te yards ni kunnikai ibukin te baa ao te toab n tebotebo (two yards of fabric for a baa and soap for showering). And if kids followed they had a gift that consisted of candy, gum, chips, and te katibu (balloon). Our gift to everyone was a bengbeng bar which is basically like a 100 grand, a twix, and a kitkat mixed together, really good. They really don't have Christmas Trees here, but they have a fir looking tree that they cut a branch off and stuck it in a bucket of sand and blew up balloons for the ornaments, I thought it was very cute.
Picnic: This is the last picnic (baptism for more than one person) for Elder Powell on Nonouti. We hired a car to drive us to the spot by the causeway. We ran into a little problem as the car didn't go when we wanted it to. There is a cause way with the ocean current that acts like a natural water slide it looked like so much fun. I wish we had these in America! Tokataake and Ritebwa were both baptized this past Saturday. We played a new game called te Riikoto which is basically like capture the flag but with like no rules except only one person who is designated can grab the stick from the other team. We performed two dances at this picnic. I'll have to send the flash drive in another three months with all of my pics and videos. The picnic was ended by a singoff competition between Moaa ao Toroman. Boy was that a treat! Wish I could've gotten the video, but both of our cameras died. Sunday we ran into a little problem as we already hired the car but it didn't go so we only had 44 people this last Sunday which is kind of sad.
Mom to answer your question from last week:
Package: It's a tie, I really liked those Mac & Cheese packages and the drink mixes. I really loved the plain lemonade flavor the best, maybe for the next package send some orange flavor please. What Made It?
pens, gum, candy, mac and cheese, gravy, cheese, powdered PB, raisins, apricots, pineapple, jolly ranchers, POTATOES, chapstick, drink mixes, oatmeal packets, fettucine noodles, and Hannah's notes. I
really loved the Catholic stickers on the box! I find it funny because when they send it to us they stick a big piece of paper on the box that reads THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS ELDER HAYCOCK. Nothing leaked and nothing was eaten by rats which is good. Peanut butter is very delicous and tastes a lot better and is really good in bannana's and cream oatmeal. Send more of this please!
The Spiritual Thought for this week comes from April 2016 General Conference and it is in the Priesthood Session entitled In Praise of Those Who Save by Preident Uchtdorf. The following stuck out to me Ni Kangai "In the Book of Mormon we learn of a people who had discovered the secret to happiness. For generations, 'there was no contention.... And surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.' How did they do it? 'Because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. Whatever problems your family is facing, whatever you must do to
solve them - the beginning and of the end of the solution is charity, the pure love of Christ. Without this love, even seemingly perfect families struggle. With charity, even families with great challenges succeed. 'Charity never faileth." As I have faced many challenges this week with leaving Nonouti for two weeks and facing adversity on every side, I found peace with this council that when we humble ourselves and show this love to everyone it makes things run smoothly.
Travel plans: We will be flying this Thursday to Tarawa. I will call you from Tarawa on my Monday - your Christmas - very late at night as my time is 1:00 PM here so we are looking at sometime between 7-9 PM your time is when I will start trying. So fingers crossed that everything works out good! I haven't received your package yet we'll see if it came in the plane as we had troubles this last week with the gas for the plane.
I rangi n Tangiringkami,
Elder Ekaki (kika)
PS: Here's my list for foods I've eaten since I have been here:
1. Kika - Octopus
2. te Iibo - Sand Worm (very delicious when dried)
3. baiku - sting ray
4. uaro - Mantis Shrimp
5. oraora - raw fish
When you read this I hope you have gotten a good nights rest. My week was unbelievable as I was able to feel the Holy Ghost guide me, go fishing, and have a cooking disaster.
Holy Ghost experience: Miriam is the name of our investigator in Temotu. This last week was our second time meeting with her as she was busy with her two year old daughter the last time we saw her. She is so awesome and humble and you can tell that she wants to know the truth. When we met with her this time we gave her the commitment to start reading the Book of Mormon. When we asked her "E Uara am Wareware?" she responded "Ti teutana". We thought Oh no not again. But when she showed us that she was in 1 Nibwaai 4 (1 Nephi 4). We asked her where she started reading and she had started at the first page (Title page) and has read all the way to there and you can tell that she just loves the book and has felt the power of it. I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon and the power that comes from it. She is one of our most solid investigators that we have found since we have traveled down to Temotu. I just love how she is so committed and wants to change.
Fishing on PDay (preparation day = personal time) with Tom was unreal as I was able to go out onto the Ocean for the first time. Let's say that today I caught the most fish. The way they fish here is with your hands. You throw your line and let it go about fifty feet and while your letting it go the boat is moving forward to make the hook more life like and want to be eaten. As you can tell pulling it in is kind of problem as it is hard to pull it in when the fish is huge. I landed 9 fish today all over what seems like 20 pounds each with all the blood but really 10 pounds of meat each once they're cleaned. We tried to catch a shark but nothing was biting. We did however catch a barracuda so massive and very skinny. I'll have to send a pic later.
Cooking Disaster: We tried so hard this past Thursday to make chocolate donuts. Let's just say we are not making chocolate donuts again as we tried to fry them they just fell apart. It is very hard to cook on a fire.
Well Elder Powell Says we have to go because it's late, so I'll write more next week sorry for the let down.
I Love you a lot and hope you are feeling the Christmas Spirit,
Letter to Liz
The Weather is great I just wish sometimes it would rain a little more as we are in a drought and the Kiribati people are freaking out because that means the banana trees will die, along with some of the coconut trees which is not good for this environment. Actually at 4:30 this morning as we went fishing with Tom and enjoyed a spectacular sunrise - I'll send a pic. I just love the people they remind me a lot of my siblings and people I know back home. It's kind of sad this last week as most of them left for Tarawa to celebrate Christmas with their family. It has been an interesting adventure as the dogs hated us and now today they fear us so something is up. Awesome sauce with the Temple work! Keep it up! One question I have to ask is Have you found the Spirit of Elijah? Have you tried researching your ancestors? This week we have planned another picnic with two more baptisms which will be fun.
We've received information from Elder Haycock's Mission President regarding packages to the mission. Please know that while Samuel would love to have packages from home often, it is currently not feasible. He will be limited to 4 per year. The costs to the mission budget to get the packages from the main office in Tarawa to the outer islands is pretty prohibitive and will now be passed along to the sender. I am not sure how this is to be done, but will update as we receive more instruction. All packages that have been sent for this Christmas are ok because they will remain in Tarawa for the missionaries to open there when they come in for a mission conference at Christmas. We will be trying to come up with a game plan for packages for Samuel and a kind of time table - we are thinking for sure his birthday in July and Christmas, and will probably figure something else out for the other 2 quarters. There must be wisdom in it that we cannot see. Perhaps this is our part of sacrificing for the mission and having the faith to know that the Lord will watch out for our missionary. Now we need to focus on giving our missionary spiritual nourishment through letters in place of all those treats we keep sending....dig deep people!
Please write to him often - mail is still ok. Email is quickest at firstname.lastname@example.org, but there is something special about being able to hold a letter in your hand and reread its contents. We recommend buying international stamps because it will save you some change in sending a letter. His address is:
Elder Samuel Haycock
PO Box 400
Republic of Kiribati
Package size limit - anything significantly larger will not be delivered to the missionary - 11-1/4" x 8-3/4" x 6" (this is the small sized standard USPS box)
Packages to missionaries will be limited to one per quarter - if additional packages are sent in the quarter they will be not be delivered to the missionary until the following quarter.
The delivery costs for sending the package to the outer island (Air Kiribati) will be the responsibility of the sender of the package, not by the mission.
Wow! What a week this has been! The Lord is so merciful to everyone. A couple of experiences I want to share. Number one: I have started to teach more lessons this week as I have started to master the language. The greatest message I shared is tied by two. The first being about the Book of Mormon. We are teaching this investigator named Mawauane, very strong catholic, who has come right out and said that the only reason he really wants lessons is to learn English. We still teach him and hope that he will feel the power of the Spirit from this religion. Elder Powell just finished teaching about the Book of Mormon and I was supposed to give the commitment to read it. Here's what I said "Ni Kangai Ko Kukurie ni waki ni wareka Ana Boki Moomon ao imwiina tataro ni kaineti ma e koaua ke e aki? I berita bwa Ngkana ko wareka Ana Boki Moomon bwa ko na namikin te rau, te kimwareirei, ao karakea nano ni kan wareware riki. I tangiria te boki aio. I ataia bwa e koaua Ana Boki Moomon. I atongi bwai ikai n aran Iesu Kristo, Amen". English translation: (You happy to start reading The Book of Mormon and after you read pray to know if it is true or not? I promise that when you read The Book of Mormon that you will feel peace, the joy, and receive the desire to read more. I love this book. I know it is true. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.)
The second tie is I have been working on memorizing the whole First Vision Joseph Smith had. But I am memorizing it in Kiribati: "Ni kangai: I nora te buoa n oota, ae e tei raoi ietau, ae raka raneaneana nakon ootan taai n te tawanou, are ruorikaaki ni karokoa e roko iaou ... Ao ngke e rabunai te oota, I nooria aomata
aika uoman, ake akea kabotauaia, mimitongiia, ke ootaia, aika tei iaon te eea. Temana mai buakoia, weteai n arau ma kotea temana are irarikin ao e taku nakoiu ni kangai "Iotebwa, aio Natiu ae Moan te tangiraki, Ongo Irouna!" English translation: (I saw a pillar in light that is it stood good high above me, that it increased brightness to light at noon day, that it gradually descended until it came upon me ... and when it covered me the light, I saw them people that are two, that nothing is comparable, glorified, or bright, that is they stand on the air. One from among them called me by name and pointed to the other and spoke to me "Joseph this is my Son who is loved, Hear Him!"
A little about the people that I've recognized this week is if you show that you are excited and energetic they love you for it and want to help you speak the language even if you fail to speak it properly or perfectly.
That's about all for this week as we are waiting to hear from Tarawa about travel plans so that we can plan a Christmas activity for the members here while we are gone. A couple of things that happened this week and I'll upload the pics, baptism, new food, and 55 people present at Fast and Testimony Meeting on Sunday!
I rangi Tangiringkami,
I promise that when you read The Book of Mormon that you will feel peace, the joy, and receive the desire to read more. I love this book. I know it is true.
So tell me about the pictures. What food is it that is in the pics? It looks like bread pudding. Whose baptism? Why is it so dark? You and your companion and the members of the church there look so happy! Thanks for sharing this one! Your pants are pretty dirty, how are they holding up? Where are your shoes???
Bread pudding is kind of what it is. Elder Powell forgot the name, but it is basically flour, rice, coconut and a little bit of water and stuck in a rice bag and boiled into a bread. Katatia's baptism with his brother baptizing him was awesome. The reason is it dark is because it is six o' clock here that is when the sun sets. My pants are doing great! They are getting a little dirty but today we take them to get washed. No shoes because I'm in a Mwaneaba and it is very rude to wear your shoes in it but they are close by for when you leave.
I tangiriko naba,
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.