Finally there's internet! So excited that I can talk to you all! An update: I am doing great and I am really enjoying the work here. The members are great and are really helpful in pushing forward the work. Heavenly Father really knows his children and what they need especially when it comes to hearing of the gospel. We arrived in Aranuka on the 13th of March, and were blessed with someone that wanted to have lessons whose parents were supporting her decision - even though they were of another religion. We plan on having three baptisms this week! Super excited as the the Lord's work is moving forward and cannot be stopped. We were also blessed to be visited by the East Zone Leaders and helped us out with our work and really helped to encourage us to keep trying our best. Hopefully they will send some pictures, as I know that is important to you. Well sorry this is short....
I want to end with my testimony that I know that this church has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, that he was a prophet of God, and that my redeemer lives and loves me and wants what is best for me. I know that God is at the head of everything and has power over everything. He knows and understands his children. I encourage you if you are not reading the Book of Mormon, to start reading it now. It will help us to be protected against the adversary. I know that Russell M. Nelson is God's prophet that lives now. That he leads and guides our church in these days. I know He lives! He is my Savior and through our faith through Him we can be saved and receive eternal joy. I testify of these things in His name, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Later in the week, Elder Jackson - one of the East Zone Leaders - emailed his mom and she graciously shared some of it with us.
From Elder Jackson:
Mauri family and friends!!
This past week was adventurous!! We went on a super cool exchange to an island called Aranuka! We went on an adventure through the forest, cut sticks for building a house as a service, flew back on a private plane, and brought people unto Christ! Missions are the best.
So my companion and I have been so excited this past week to go on our exchange to an outter island called Aranuka. We went and visited Elder Brinkworth and his companion Elder Haycock. It was lots of fun to see Elder Brinkworth again because he was living in the same house as me before he went out to Aranuka. It was so fun working with him! He said it was just nice to hear another voice speaking english besides his companion's. He's been deprived, but he'll be okay.
While we were out in Aranuka we went and cut sticks with an investigator to help build his house. We went to the forst and cut leaves off of coconut fronds as material for the elevated platform for his house. While we were cutting sticks the man called us to come over to a hole in a rock. He told us to look inside and there was a coconut crab the size of a football in there! He took awhile teaching us how to smoke it out. It didn't come out but we had fun!
The day that we were trying to leave back to Tarawa from Aranuka we were waiting in the airport for awhile. Elder Haycock took me to go skip rocks for awhile on the beach. Then he said there is a cool mud pond he wanted me to see. We went deep into the forest along a bike path and we came to this mud pit that natives say is bewitched. I didn't really believe it but I saw a green fish in the pond so that was cool. Maybe thats about as bewitched as his pond gets ha. It was a cooler sight to see the 30 foot tall mangrove trees around the mud pit though. THAT was amazing! They looked like aspen trees.
When we finally got back to the airport a private plane flew in to take a sick person off the island to the airport. Problem was that the engines werent starting back up properly! The plane was there so long that the regularly scheduled plane came in. The airport agent swapped our places with the sick lady so she could get to the hospital sooner. That meant we got to fly in on the private plane. That was neat!
Lesson of the week: I was tracting with Elder Brinkworth and we came up to a 50 year old man's house who was holding a bucket of water. I told him that looked heavy and we carried it for him over to his pigs. He started talking to us for awhile. I could tell he was shy so I just started telling allll sorts of stories to keep the conversation going haha. Then his older brother came up and started talking as well. The brother worked on a ship when he was young and had been to Jerusalem and saw the house of Joseph! Wow! what cake! we used that and started telling them about the Book of Mormon story. They were interested and accepted a book of mormon and a reading in 1 Nephi 8. That was such a good tract! The conversation definitely related well to the gospel.
I think that is about all for this week. Thanks for tuning in! Don't forget to make someone smile today! The Book of Mormon is True! (Yes, with a capital T.) I love you all so much, I'm keeping you in my prayers!
Have a new adventure this week!
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.