We didn't hear from Elder Haycock this week via email because of his Mission wide conference, but did receive a letter dated October 30, 2017.
Before I go over teh contents of the week, I just want to say thank you for that package. It has been a HUGE help - especially the white shirts. You know I started my mission with 15 white shirts. Well, the week before the package came, I was down to 1 white shirt. When it got dirty I would wash it at night and hang it up to dry. So yeah....thanks!
Contents of this week: Tuesday was a normal busy work day. Wednesday was a little tough as everyone does what is called "the Market". Basically it is like this: they prepare some food such as the breadfruit, fish that has been sun dried, sand worms that are cooked, or they prepare stuff for smoking. Then after they prepare it all, they get on a waa and take it to South Tarawa and sell it and that is how people get their money here. Thursday was very busy as we each taught 10 lessons for a total of 20 that day. Friday is known as the bwakabwai as that is when government jobs get their money or when retirement money is paid. So everyone works extra hard to make sure that they have stuff for this past weekend so that they can have money for the week. It is basically the same in how we get paid every other week for the work we do. So there was no one in their houses until after 6:30 when the waa came back. Saturday was the same as Friday plus there was a bootaki for the teachers from the KTC (local church that doesn't really like Mormons) and so everyone on the south end of the island was busy as it was their turn to feed them. Sunday was interesting. We had President Tongoi, the District President, come and he called a new group leader which should be good for Kainaba. Yep, that's what happened this week. Still struggling with being lied to, but, I know without opposition, there is no growth.
My spiritual thought this week comes from a scripture that was quoted by President Uchtdorf in this month's Home Teaching Message. It comes from 1 Corinthians 1:27 which says, "God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." I really liked this scripture because that is how our Heavenly Father works. I can name countless experiences such as David and Goliath, Elijah, Adam and Eve - even Jesus Christ. But I want to focus on just one and that is the name of a 14 year old farm boy, Joseph Smith. He was born and raised in a family who believed in the Bible and taught him to read from it. He also lived in a time of great religious excitement. He was really confused why there were so many churches because they were all different to the point that he didn't attend any of them. But one thing he kept doing was reading from the Bible when he came across this verse in the Epistle of James Chapter 1 verse 5. It says, "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not." Because of Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ's church is back on the earth restored in fullness - never to be taken again. I know my Savior lives. What joy this sentence brings. I know that through Him I can be saved. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
How has your week been? Any fun and exciting projects coming up? What are your plans for Christmas? How are your prayers? How is your Book of Mormon reading going? These last two questions we ask every investigator, recent convert and member. We might think that these little things are so simple and that sometimes we can put them off. However, that is not the case. Eternal salvation is on the line. Only through our small righteous actions can we be ready for the daily temptations of the Devil. Through prayer we can build our testimonies and our truths here a little, there a little. But if we don't exercise our faith, we lose those precious truths. This is my thought that has touched me this past week as that is the only way investigators can progress. I know that my Redeemer lives! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
How's the new calling going? I heard that you are taking a class at school. How is that? I am sure you are doing great in your personal study of the scriptures. This past week I have been studying the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi. It is so cool to see his prophecies that he foretold of long ago apply to today. He really saw our day! This week has bee my first whole week in training and so far it has had its ups and downs, but I'm excited for this experience and I am thankful for the Lord's trust in allowing me to train this missionary. It has brought a new perspective and has forced me to open my mouth to explain and to put my trust in my Heavenly Father to help me with what I should say. It has also helped me to know how I can help others come unto Christ. I really liked this scripture in 2 Nephi 12:2 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above hills, and all nations shall flow unto it." - The mountain of the Lord's house refers to the temples of God and all nations shall flow unto it refers to the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. I love how this prophecy has already come true and will probably continue to grow. I am so thankful for scriptures that teach us about these latter days. I know that as we continue to study the Book of Mormon, we can know what Heavenly Father wants for us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
How are you? How is school treating you? What are your plans for after school? Are you still thinking about a mission?
I will share a small mission experience with you. So in the end of September, we baptized a lady named Eretia. She is 23 years old and hasn't married yet. So anyway, I was lessoning (teaching haha) with her and I asked her if she had received her truth about the Book of Mormon and she said she did. I then asked her how she got that truth. She said, " I was praying one night after a long day of work. And I asked my Heavenly Father for the truth of the Book of Mormon. " She continued, "As soon as I said those words, I felt this overwhelming feeling of joy rush over me. I knew in that instant it was true." Because of her sweet little testimony, my testimony was strengthened. I want to testify to you that if we have a question, we can "ask of God" and He will give the answer to us. I know this to be true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
What's up bro? I want to share a mission experience with you - it's with this family - her name is Bwataua and her son's name is Kauma. So she was reading one night and had a picture out of Joseph Smith. When her son came in and said, "What's that?", hit the picture and then spit on it. As soon has he spit on it, a small solar panel that was placed very securely fell and hit him in the head. Because of this experience, she now has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I want you to know how much your Heavenly Father loves you and I want you to know he wants what is best for you. I know that as you follow his counsel, you will be blessed.
What's new in Montana? I heard you went to your first Stake dance. How was that? Have you recorded yet? I am anxious to hear you play. I thought of some things I want to tell you that will make you a successful person:
1. Put God first. If you do this everything will run smooth.
2. Daily scripture study and prayer. By building our faith daily we are ready to face the fiery darts of the adversary.
3. Keep the Commandments - keep them all so that you may be blessed, so that you will prosper.
These are three things that I know will help us stay on the path, the straight and narrow path. I know my Savior lives and loves me too. I atongi bwaai aikai, Amen.
Ko uara? (How are you?) What have you been up to lately? I heard you got in as the class student council secretary! That's really cool! I wanted to share with you something. I know that God loves us with whatever decision we make. It may seem like He is upset with us, but in reality, He's dissappointed in the decision we made and is hoping and waiting for us to come back to Him. We can do this through repentance. This includes both the small and large things we do. Here is the process:
1. We need to know what we are doing is wrong and recognize it.
2. We need to feel remorse for what we did.
3. We need to ask for forgiveness from our Heavenly Father.
4. If we committed a sin against someone else, we need to ask for their forgiveness too.
5. We need to work hard to never do it again.
I know that was we repent, we can feel our Savior's love. I know He lives and loves us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
How are you? Are you helping mom and dad out by being a good girl? I want you to know how much Heavenly Father loves you and wants what is best for you. As you follow the counsel of your parents and listen to what they say, they will love and help you to choose the right. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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.