I tatangiringkami! I kan kam ataia bwa I maiu ngkai ao I roko i Nonouti n te kaabong ae nako. (I always love you all! I want you all to know that right now I live (I am alive) and I came to Nonouti on last Thursday (our Friday).
As we ran out of people to tract (contact to be able to teach the gospel), we asked the Zone Leaders if we could go to Bikenibu (on Tarawa) to buy stuff to make cookies with and then while waiting for the bus we would pass out cookies and pass along cards to invite people to the First Presidency Devotional. So cool in Taetae ni Kiribati! Anyway, they told us that we could, so having ice cream for the first time in two and half months was really good, and eating at a restaurant where they served french fries was sooo good!
President of Kiribati Party: We received an invitation to this event after we finished our conference with President Haleck. Ehennwe arrived there the next day for the bootaki. The run down for the night is this: MC welcomed everyone and we started the bootaki with a prayer offered by one of the people there. Then the MC introduced the dancing group that will be performing for us. They were from Betio,Tarawa. Dances (on Tarawa) are very different from dances on outi islands because on outi islands like Nonouti, it is a bit more intimate with the audience. We swissed a little bit and President Larkin got down into the Swiss! Basically it is like a school dance, but usually just for one song, and they invite you to the dance floor by waving both hands in front of you. After that President Maomao (President of Kiribati) gave an address and announced that this was the first party that had no alcohol beverages served, and that he wanted to keep this tradition going as he didn't drink himself! Then President Haleck, acting on behalf of President Monson (President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) gave the President if Kiribati a miniature Christus statue. Just to hear that he was acting on behalf of President Monson was so cool! After that we enjoyed a little more dancing and then we were able to eat a very large buffet of food which was so good compared to some of the outer island food. Well after the party was done, we were a little upset because the President of Kiribati was willing to take pictures with us but, President Larkin rushed out even though it was already 10:30. (Way past curfew) So to make us not very late, our driver was just flying down the road driving really reckless causing some of us to almost fall off the vehicle and be hurt. New Years generally they celebrate New Year's by bathing together as a kaawa which is a city to celebrate the coming of the new year.
I'm so excited to get back to work, to get our investigators back on track and getting them progressing again! I'm most excited to see the people again as I have missed them so much already.
P-Day/Skype Day: since this pday was the first of the month, we had a super combined pday where they organized teams and we played volleyball, basketball, touch football, and frisbee. My pday I got there and interview with the President Larkin for an hour and then got back in time to Skype you all, and by that time most of the games were done, so I just enjoyed relaxing and watching everyone play.
Intake: It was so nice to see everyone and be able to catch up on things that happened over the past two transfers getting to know where everyone has served and where they are going! I really enjoyed finding Elder Murri again and being able to just talk to and enjoy his presence and see what we each learned from being on outer islands. So now Elder Murri is my twin brother since we now both have the same trainer and we are from the same intake group. I have some pictures from my intake group I want to send but I'm on a device that can't send them at this moment, so we will have to wait and see this next week if I can send them to you.
New Missionaries: The ones I have met are awesome! It's also kind of nice not being the youngest on the mission anymore. As of now there are two intakes younger than us.
Interview: I had two interviews with President Larkin. We discussed in one about my personal life and in the other we talked about the plan for Nonouti. I will share this from President Larkin -he kept sharing with me with how grateful he is that I am here serving a mission and that in the future I will be given some leadership responsibilities. So the plan this year for the Kiribati region, is to set up three more districts and the only way to do that is we have to form branches (functioning church congregations). That is the goal this first quarter - to form the branches on all the outi islands.
Conference: Honestly conference was the only reason we were brought in for these two weeks. The focus of this mission tour by President Halek and President Larkin, was chapter 13 and 8 in PMG (Preach My Gospel). President Haleck stressed the importance of building a relationship with church leaders and establishing the church and teaching the investigators to "Come and Stay Forever". That is what I feel comfortable in sharing with you as there were things discussed that can't be shared because of the type of information it is.
Nonouti: What Sister Larkin meant by that statement was that they were touring Tarawa to try and open up a new area for Elders to work in. I'm so excited to get back to work, to get our investigators back on track and getting them progressing again! I'm most excited to see the people again as I have missed them so much already. I can't wait for tonight as we are playing the jellybean game (Bean Boozled) with Taraita and her family.
Elder Fonseca: Working with him for these past two days - I have grown the most - as he has pushed me the most in trying to speak the Kiribati language. A physical description of him: he is short, has black hair and is from Brazil but raised in the US all his life. He is really good with the language and answers my questions really well. He reminds me a lot of Elder Murri (personality) and I can't wait to work with him more.
Package Update: I received all three packages! Your package that you sent has been at the airport since the 14th but I didn't get it until the 28th when it was about to go on the plane to Nonouti! I have also received Aunt Jody and Family package and the Nibley 4th Ward Package and a Letter from the Mason's who I don't know yet. I really enjoyed everything in the packages and I can't wait for tonight as I get to give more of the presents you made for them. Thanks for the towel from the family back east! I needed it! It's been so nice to enjoy some American candy too!
Bag and Bike Seat: For my bag I have found a temporary replacement as the strap completely came off and I left it in Tarawa. For my bike seat, we should get another one today as that is when the Jenks were planning on sending the package of our needs to us.
Spiritual thought of the week comes from: 1 Nephi 18:3 in taetae ni Kiribati ni Kangai "Ao Ngai ae Nibwaai, I aki toki n nanakon te maunga, ao n aki toki n tataro nakon te Uea; mangaia ae a mwaiti bwaai aika kakaawaki aika e kaoti te Uea nakoiu." (And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.) I love this verse because it is a promise to all of us as we continually try to pray to the Lord, He will show us many great and important things. But it is only when we continually pray to him, that we receive this blessing.
I tatangiringkami, kam batin rabwa ibukin bwai aika tangira, Tiabi n te wiikiae na roko,
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.