Let me explain the meaning behind those three words that I used for the subject. Obviously Culture is easy to explain, but let me give a little culture lesson for everyone that is reading this. Since we are ministers we are seen just below the mayor so if we ask for something, which we try not to do, we can have it done. Plus we are imatangs (white people) and so we then get pushed to the top. At every single house they want to feed you something and it is very rude to reject or to tell them that you are full. They expect you to eat a lot of food and for me that has been hard these past couple of weeks. Possible problems from being on the top of the food chain is that everyone "must" listen to you and so we get a lot of fake investigators which is devastating but true.
Number 6. We had 6 baptisms, 4 of which we know for sure are convert baptism, 1 is child record, and the other we are not sure if it is a re-creation of a record of convert because she was baptized in the 80's, but Tarawa doesn't have the record on file so we'll find out later. That was fun! We had a picnic which is basically where we hire the car to drive from the south to the north and have the baptisms in the causeway. (The area in the picture behind Elder Haycock and Elder Powell)
POP! Is the motorcycle tire that popped yesterday just outside of Temanoku which meant that we had a very low stat church attendance as we didn't have a motorcycle to ride in front of the car to tell them that the car is coming to pick them up to take them to the church service. Well any way, we talked to Koonono because he is supposedly really good at fixing it, which is ironic because he doesn't even have a bike. Turns out his brother is really good and he is the helping hand. Well we borrowed a bike to do the church service up in Teuabu because we had to confirm a member up there and we get back to Temanoku and have the church service there and we had some investigators there that usually don't come so that was awesome. After the church service Koonono and his brother go to see what is wrong with the bike and try to fix it. After four hours they come back and tells us that the rubbers are not lining up properly, meaning that if driven on it could mean more problems. They went to another guy and fixed the tire. By this time we have taught two other lessons when they come riding in with it fixed. It was now six and we still had to confirm five other members, so that put a lot of stress on Elder Powell. Luckily one of the people needing to be confirmed stayed in Matang or else we would have had to go to Taboiaki.
Comfortable bubble. I have days that I break it and days that I don't, so I try more often to break it and speak loudly so they can fix my mistakes. Good news! Elder Powell is staying here until January so he'll be here a total of 9 months when it gets to January. One other thing I don't know if you have heard, but they are trying to plan on bringing in all outie island missionaries for Christmas. I don't know what for yet. Temotu this week: we taught them Koki and Bong again. Wow what sweet spirits and their willingness to try to change. I can see them being really strong members. Well the package should be here by Thursday at the latest that is what Elder Powell said. (from my letter to him: I'm a bit worried about Hydrogen Peroxide shipping to you because if it leaks....everything will be ruined. Is that something you can get from the Jenks? I can email them and ask if you want. I would think the mission nurse could get that stuff to you guys. By the way, what did you mean when you said, "to clean out wounds of the ever so more popular 'doctor' "? Have you got sores? Do you need more ointment like mupirocin? )True that with Hydrogen Pyroxide! It would be nice to have. I'll ask the nurse if she has any. Elder Powell said that since I have come here, the use of my first aid kit has increased, as we have cleaned the wounds of many members, less actives, and investigators. Knock on wood I have not had a boil yet. So I have not had to use the mupirocin.
1. Best part of the week? Why? What did you learn from it?
The best part of the week would have to be when we could see the fruit of our labors. The baptisms this week came with some difficulty as Satan tries to stop and thwart the work from moving forward. I learned that if you keep moving forward and trying your best it will all work out.
2. Greatest message you've shared this week? To whom? Why? How did you feel after sharing it? How did they respond?
When I shared Aramwa 37:7 (Alma 37:7) this week with a member. After, as I tried to explain it in broken Kiribati and then bore simple testimony of how I know by small and simple things Heavenly Father brings to pass the great things and confounds the wise. I shared this with Teorabi because I felt impressed that is what she needed to hear that week. I felt great for trying my best effort to share what I knew was true. She laughed at my kiribati as it wasn't perfect and at some of the words I said, but you could tell that she was touched by the Spirit.
3. Hardest moment of the week? Why? How did you persevere? What did you learn from that moment?
As I explained earlier that the tire of the motorcycle popped and created a lot of stress on Elder Powell. Well we started off differently this time, we actually had a companion prayer which was awesome because it put us in the right mood for the help and guidance we needed from our Heavenly Father. I know that Heavenly Father Helps in all situations whether they big or small.
4. What service opportunities have you had this week? How has it developed your love of the people of Nonouti? What have you done to help serve your companion? Has this helped in bringing the Spirit to your companionship when you teach?
Not as many (opportunities) but we did dance with Marebu which brings happiness to her as she is a widow, but loves to dance. So she helps us by teaching us the dances. I love the people of Nonouti. I have developed a different sense of time here. There is fast, slow, Kiribati time, and then Fiji time. Which tells you a little about their culture. This week serving my companion would be just having an ear to listen to his complaints and offering my help when he needs it. We don't fight or have any grudges I think.
5. What would you say is the biggest conversion factor for you? How has serving a mission converted you to the gospel? Any experiences you'd like to share?
So far the biggest conversion factor would be the Book of Mormon and how it has blessed my life. It has opened my eyes that I may see wonders beyond imagining. The gifts of the spirit are real as they are used to understand how a person is feeling. I haven't shared this yet I don't think, but two weeks ago, I finished the Book of Mormon again and wow! the power from it! My prayer with my Heavenly Father after that I have never felt His love so strong for me as He just poured out His spirit with me. So wonderful! I knew then without a doubt, my faith unwavering, that the Book of Mormon is true and that the promises in the Book of Mormon will come true and that His coming (again) is near. It made me think of Enos and his prayer and I definitely prayed for my repentance and then for my brethren and then for my enemies. I have never tried this before, but the power and spirit of it was so cool. It was cool for the first time to be able to have a conversation with God. I mean I would say something and ask and he would answer and ask a question and then I would respond. Wow what a beautiful Spirit.
I rangi tangiriko naba, (I love you lots too!)
PS A couple of things that would be nice is some more pens as Elder Powell keeps borrowing mine. I would like a Purple pen if possible. Well that's sums up this week can't wait to hear from hear from you guys again!
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.