Thanks for the quote about “Gifts” that you sent... sometimes I try to think if I have any gifts at all... and those gifts that were mentioned are comforting cz I know I have portions of some of them :) komol (Marshalese for thankyou)
So I’ll talk about Abemama first.... best experience of my life. We were there for 1 week... Wednesday to Wednesday... first day we got there we started work... went to all the people that needed to be taught and we also got some who joined in... so we were really blessed.. we visited every member / less active member on the island and told them there will be a transport on Sunday for church. So we were just teaching our people... Sunday came around and we had 50 something people come to church... usually only 1 or 2 families get to church.... so it was awesome as... Elder Van Dyken and I taught them about the Plan of Salvation in Sunday School... and all the members got really excited and said they'll try and come every week... there’s just a distance problem though... they live too far away to walk to the chapel and we hired the transport with our own money so that’s why everyone came :) so they really need a truck... but its the same on every outer island so it’s a pretty big problem... but having missionaries there lifted them so much... it was awesome.... and then on Monday it was Pday... me and Van Dykes went and saw the end of the island... it was fun as... and then we had a fun as FHE that night... then on Tuesday we had the baptism... we ended up having 13 baptisms... it was really cool... I baptised and Elder Van Dyken confirmed them all... we did the baptisms in the ocean and it was low tide... so we had to do the baptising sitting down :) it was funny... I fell over once haha. We were a little bummed just cz all of them were kids... the oldest was 16... but that’s what we were given so that’s what we worked with... we even found more people that wanted to be baptised the day before we had the baptism... so we couldn’t teach them in time... so if Elders went there they would have work straight away.... it’s so awesome there!!
We slept at a members house the whole week... in their hut thing... its called a Buia... its cool as... we just set up mosquito nets and slept on mats... woke up in the morning... they had breakfast for us... lunch, dinner... we were just living like Kiribati people for the week... so mean. I’ve got heaps of photos... I’ll get them to ya's.
Marshalls..... we got there on Thursday and left on Monday... it was pretty cool there... it was good to meet some of the elders and see the mission home and the office and everything up there... President tells the missionaries there that Marshall Islands is like New York City compared to Kiribati. and he’s pretty right... some places you look left and right and you think you’re in America!! So many stores and hotels and cars and banks and heaps of things.. the Elders there have no idea lol. We stayed with an Assistant and a Zone Leader while we were there they were pretty cool guys... it was fun catching up with all of the Elders and Sisters serving from our Kiribati Islands while we were there. We had heaps of fun with them... I got heaps of photos there too... good times. It was kind of boring at the same time though... I wanted to go back to Kiribati.... all of the houses have air conditioning... so I was cold every night... lol woke up with a cold every morning. I had a hot shower!!! It was amazing... stayed in there for ages! I can’t wait to get home and have hot showers every day. I ate pizza... it was kangkang as but I had a messed up gut afterwards so that sucked... I think it was the cheese. Lol! It was pretty cool... but it was like a holiday... and I just didn’t really feel comfortable with it. I was sure glad to get back to my islands and back to my work.
Elder Van Dyken will be getting transferred next week... he'll go to Christmas Island which is great for him, but I am going to miss him heaps… he’s the man! I am going to be staying here… still... and am getting a new companion. He is from Canada... Elder Lowry... it is always hard changing companions. I am sure we are going to work well together... I have always found if you and your companion do the work, then the Spirit turns your companionship into a friendship.
Good luck with everything at home… there is so much going on for you… the world seems really busy right now ... we must be getting close :)
Love you, please give my love to everyone