Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beru--Week 1 (still on Tarawa)

What's up y'all?

First off I need to start out by explaining that I have not left for Beru flight got pushed off until today and then when we went this morning they had too much weight on the plane so I got the boot which sucked. Oh and by the way there is only one flight a week because Beru is so far out so I just might not make it until next Monday...Good thing I know the Lord knows what he is doing haha

My companion situation for the last week has been a trio, Elder Loe from Utah been out same out amount of time as Jacob, a native Elder named Iotebwa (Joseph in English) and me.  Let's just say my Kiribati has skyrocked this past week..why? I'll tell you.

Tuesday morning the day after I got here we woke up, did our studies and then after companionship study Elder Loe was like "Here's how it is going to go for all of our lessons from now on, Iotebwa will do the initial talking and ask them who they want to open with a prayer (which was always me because I'm new..), then [Elder Loe] will ask them about previous commitments and introduce the lesson and then you Elder Pettingill, you get to teach." and then laughed and said "How's your Kiribati by the way?"  We taught 30 lessons, not including dinners, this week all of them in the cross legged position. But hey I found out that when I'm having a hard time if I just picture Dad's face if he were in the same position as I am, I can just laugh it off and work through the pain/inability to speak the darn language.

Haha and then Sunday rolls around and I'm just like sweet just a few more lessons and church and I'll be on my way to Beru and   Nope.    The Bishop asked me to give a talk in Sacrament meeting. Straight up Other Side of Heaven.  So I gave a quick introduction (My name is Elder Pettingill, I'm from Beru I love eating the bocaboca [Beru is famous for eating mud aka bocaboca] and that's my mom over there Elder Loe and my Dad Elder Iotebwa) and they're all laughing and then I'm like hey might as well keep having fun while I'm up here. So I started my talk with "Ti riai n nakon te roki ni katoabong bukina bwa e bon te tua mei te Atua."  - We must go to the toilet everyday because it is a commandment from God. 
Hahaha I got all kinds of looks from that one.

But seriously I love it here even though it is really hard. But I could go on all day telling you funny stories about the toilets, the kids, my companions but I think I'll save some for later. Just know this the Lord gives us weaknesses that we may be humble and when we are humble he will make weak things become strong unto us.  He is on our side and he wants us to be spiritually in a position that we can help these people who struggle with so much.

When I see how the gospel can change all of these people I have no problem teaching every lesson, saying every prayer, drinking water that makes me wanna puke, eating food that has been giving me the number 3 all week long despite the pills, sitting cross-legged for hours on end with sand eating away at my skin, heat like the hottest and muggiest I've ever felt all day everyday, and language that some can't even pick up after a year of being out.  Yeah all of that is nothing. and I mean it nothing, when I see how the gospel can help these people.

The amount of faith asked for from Lord is not much, only a mustard seed. Please don't come up short because then we can't see the miracles God is just itching to perform.

I love you all bunches or heaps as the Auzzies say haha.

Hopefully I'll be in Beru when I email you all next but for now 
Tarawa will just have to do!
Elder Pettingill (The Younger)

One more story:  

Kids here are straight like monkeys and they have this game where they all do handstands and then they fight each other with their feet trying to knock each other over. You'd think I'd have an advantage when I play because I'm way bigger but that just means they have prime access to the kill shot if you know what I mean. Plus I can hardly ever stay up long enough to compete. Although one time I did stay up longer than one of the companion pushed him over for me hahah

From Daniel's mom:  No pictures this week. If you want to see more about what it's like there, check out this blog which tells about a couple traveling with their boat all over Micronesia and Melanesia and has lots of pictures.  Scroll down to the pictures of locals and you can read about how it's a cultural tradition that everyone sit cross legged, as Daniel describes above.

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