Sunday, August 24, 2014

Beru-Week 6

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beru-Week 5

Okay first off I didn't get Dad's email this week so I don't know what's up with that?

Anywho, I'm glad to here you all are all doing great, and I am wayy thankful for your prayers!

What to say about this week? Well let's just start out with waking up Tuesday morning with my left eye swollen shut from an infection about an inch above my eyebrow...just think of that, it almost looked like there was no eye there at all. Elder Klatt after yelling 'That's awesome! Let's take pictures!' told me that if he only saw my left side I kinda looked like Two Face. Like the villain from Batman? So that was fun hahaha. It was sweet because I had made a goal to have at least one conversation with a Kiribati person a day, like a legit conversation. So what does Heavenly Father give me to help with that? He turned me into a cyclops...haha I got some special Kiribati medicine stuff to help (oil rubbed three times around, three different times and then a burnt leaf stuck to the spot) and, after a couple days and a lot of pus, I could see again!

Gosh I am really starting to love Kiribati. Funny story from yesterday: We just opened a new unit last week and so this past Sunday they all were wayy excited for church I guess. So as we rode by the house they have church in, we saw them all sitting there waiting for us 5 hours early. We yelled and told them that church wasn't till 4 for them but they were just like 'ti na tanginaiko!' (we will wait for you!) and they did. They are so awesome here.

Quick miracle about church attendance: 3 weeks ago there used to only about high 60s overall attending church. Yesterday we had 93 people at church.  It was just so awesome to see that when you just forget about whatever Satan throws at you and work real hard and with the Spirit, Heavenly Father is going to bless the people you serve and I have seen it.

Other miracle: It rained for the first time the other day but not enough for us to collect any real amount of rain water and since I hadn't been able to shower for 4 days at this point because of my infections, I was just sitting outside praying for more rain. It didn't come, but I had a prompting to go and put a small can under our gutter to collect some water and turns out I got enough to wash my face with, which felt so good! I would have been happy with that, but that night I got prompted to put a bucket underneath the gutter and in the morning I woke up with enough water in it to take a shower with clean water.

I don't know what I've done to deserve such tender mercies and to be in a place like this where every night I ride home to the most beautiful sunset you'll ever see, or if it's later, a sky full of more stars than I thought existed because you can literally see all of them so clearly.

Last thing, I got to go to my first baptism for four of our investigators (two brothers, and a brother and a sister) and I baptized two of them named Atuatu(13) and Angimaua(14). It was soo cool and I just felt so humbled and I hope so bad that they will all choose to stay in the church.

I hope y'aall doing dandy and maybe I've been able to calm some of your fears because as brutal as this place can be, it can be as equally rewarding, if not more! I love hearing from you all. kam tiku kareve! stay sweet!)

Elder Pettingill (the younger)

Psych, just got dad's email!  

Quick answers to his questions

What do you on pday now that you're settled? Pdays we wake up kinda take our time with things, I'll do morning study and breakfast and stuff. After we go to the house where this one sweet member does our laundry and we're there for a bit then email...and after today we're going to hear these three people we're friends with sing us some of their songs and play some Kiribati card games which aren't nearly as fun as American ones btw so I'm teaching them some. Next week hopefully we'll go explore the island.

What do you usually do for breakfast and lunch?  Do you always have a dinner appointment or do you sometimes have to make your own dinner?  

breakfast: peanut butter and noodles and crackers
lunch: nothing unless we get fed at a lesson which normally happens
dinner: if there's a gathering we'll eat there and it'll be wayy good, otherwise we'll figure something out at our house.

How is the language coming for you? I am understanding more for sure. Our goal is for me to be self sufficient by the time Klatt leaves. I am doing wayy better than I should be. This language is really something for sure hahaha.

Has your foot ever healed or is it still partially numb? still partially numb my foot

Are you able to see the pictures I send or is the Internet too slow? I can see the pictures you send just can't open them which is fine 
How is the teaching?  We have like 13 progressing investigators and a bunch of new investigators that we will be teaching soon. We also have a bunch of baptisms planned in a couple weeks, and we just had 4.

Elder Pettingill (the younger)

P.S. Elder Klatt said you could totally send me cinnamon rolls when you make them for conference. Just put a piece of bread in with them in a couple ziplok bags and they'll stay good. Also frosting in a separate container!

P.P.S. Our mission pres is coming out to our island this Sunday so we'll get everything that's been waiting for us then!

Note from Daniel's Mom: I got an email tonight from Elder Klatt's mother. Apparently, after Daniel got off email, his trainer got word that he is being transferred to a different island. Daniel and Elder Klatt are super disappointed because they are working so well together and having such success.  The Mission President says Elder Klatt is needed someplace else because he is such a hard worker.  Daniel was really blessed to have such a great trainer, even for such a short time!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beru - Week 4

Alrighty! haha first off to answer your questions Dad:

Do you drink the last part of the drink with bugs in it every time?  The shot of protein? always there, turns out though that if you're in a setting where you can just toss it out then you can, I normally just drink it though. I honestly really don't care anymore...haha

Is the toilet in the house or outback; what kind of privacy do you have; does it ever get cleaned out?  Toilet is outback, and as far as I know it doesn't get cleaned, basically we just dump water down it after every use and then it all just goes away. And privacy is a little sticks and leaves wall that's falling apart around it. It's fine, all of my trips are pretty quick ;)

Regarding the shower, do you have running water, or do you pour a bucket of water over your head?  Shower is a bucket over the head and I'll refer to that later.

Do they BBQ the fish or what kind of ovens do they have?  Do you have propane stoves?  Do they BBQ it? haha I laughed so hard when you said they set it out in the sun and it dries out and then you eat it and every now and then they use a fire (this really cheap gas that you can get out here makes the food taste a lil funny). Normally they'll have this rice and water stuff in the meal 
that I'll eat it with (tastes like oatmeal to me, so good), goes perfectly together in my opinion.  At this point I have eaten almost everything that they'll feed you but not the bocaboca (the mud), eel, or turtle. They are all on my list to eat.  Did have shark though and lobster and these things called donuts that taste exactly like Mom's scones back home if they're made right haha.

By the way I've started wearing the baiis (the skirts) around my house and I like them wayy too much haha but I mean you can use them as a blanket when you sleep so it's just perfect. Although I do feel a little less like a man when I wear them. 

Alright my week:

Tuesday I woke up and guess what?  Diarrhea had gone. SO nice and I also had a bunch of revelation that really cheered me up and I had a great day and went to work.

Wednesday: we decided to only speak Kiribati on Wednesday outside of the house, I had always wanted to do that and Klatt was down. It was an exhausting day, but at the same time no joke we saw every single one of our investigators gain a desire and just had a day of spiritual lessons. I knew God was blessing us for our hard work.

Thursday: I woke up exhausted, and on top of that my whole face and swollen up. Why? The well water we shower with had infected all of my acne so it was pretty nasty. It was a pretty tough day to push through, but I just prayed all day and made it through.

Friday: I woke up even more tired and of course strep throat. But I didn't let myself think negatively and I had an amazing day. Tiiua (see why), one the less actives we've been teaching that I really like and we want him to be able to baptize his wife had an amazing experience where he and his wife talked through a fight for the first time and then he promised to us on the Bible that he was done smoking and doing nangkona (a sleep drug).

Saturday: I woke up at 5:30 in the morning barely able to swallow because of my strep throat, but I just prayed to God and remembered his promise that nothing would prevent me from working so I got up, took some ibprofein, took a shower, dumped hand sanitizer on all of my infected spots on my face (one was now the size of a dime right above my lip) and some anti biotic, and started my studies. I think I hit the lowest point of my mission so far, but I read 2 Nephi 4 and it really inspired me.  Later that day, an tuun aine (old lady) we've been teaching told us how she can't read because of her eyes but when she sat down that morning to read like we asked she could see perfectly. Then we gave her some glasses.

Sunday: we went to the 4 different units across the island and I got to give a lesson w/ Klatt at each of them and a talk as well haha.

Basically I learned this week that as hard as it may be, when you forget your problems and just work, there is nothing Satan can do to stop you. In fact, he only helps because the more trials he gives, the more blessings the Lord gives in return. I love it out here, the people are amazing, the language is coming, Elder Klatt works so hard and I am learning so much from him. Being a missionary is awesome and it so humbling.

Elder Pettingill

From Daniel's Mom:  I have to add something because this letter includes a special miracle for me.  I had a hard time with last week's letter from Daniel. After thinking about it, I realized my biggest worry was the diarrhea and the dangers of that. So I went to Heavenly Father in prayer last Sunday night and told Him that I would stop worrying about everything else and trust Him to take care of Daniel if we could just get rid of the diarrhea. In today's letter, Daniel tells us he woke up with the diarrhea gone on Tuesday morning, which is our Monday (he is 19 hours ahead of us). I know that prayers are answered and also that the heavens are watching over the missionaries.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Beru-Week 3

Hey everyone so I'm still alive in case you were all wondering. Although I have had at least double digit bathroom/ocean/bush visits a day. I took some Pepto-bismol and that helped for a bit and then I ate more Kiribati food and we were right back where we started, or rather I was right back where I started. Elder Klatt is doing just fine...

Haha funny story actually: So on Mondays Elder Klatt really likes to have conversations with people back home so he'll have the lady lock us in so no one bugs us and we'll be in the email room until she comes back. We just got locked in and settled down when it hit me (refer to my previous bathroom comments to know what it is) and without saying anything I grabbed a plastic bag headed into the back room for a bit with my notebook and hand santizer and that was that...although Elder Klatt had a good laugh about it.

Let's give some details:  My house consists of the size of our living room and dining room combined and then walled off to make 3 rooms: a sort of kitchen, sleeping/study and then the one where all the junk and luggage is kept. Then we have a hole in the ground for our bathroom and then a well where we get our super clean water from (sarcasm) and then a group of rocks where we shower. So all in all it's pretty sweet and I have no complaints.

And the food: typical meal, dried rotten fish, that has flies on it from the second they take the cover off to the very last bite we take, and rice. Then we've got kareve (coconut sap that's been boiled) which tastes ok and smells, well not the best for sure. Oh and did I mention that flies like to dive bomb our drinks and then drown in them? Yeah when that happens you just flick it out and keep going. ;) Oh and the last gulp? It's not just backwash you're worried it about haha because the last gulp is basically just bugs that at some point got in the cup. It's like a pure shot of protein.  The worst part about it though is I actually really enjoy the meals here, like they're really good. Elder Klatt doesn't agree.

This week? We hit 35 lessons (we ride anywhere from 15-45 minutes to each group of lessons)  with like 16-20 different investigators and we have 5 planned baptisms for the 16th. I've had 3 different parties (all of the different church groups on the island, about 4 units of like 20 each) thrown for me because I'm new. And I have one last one I think tonight. And yes Beth I got to dance with the girls haha it was wayy crazy and wayy fun, but exhausting, like everything here.

My Companion?: Elder Klatt is wayy fun and yeah he works pretty hard. I can already tell we're going to get along great. I know I'm going to learn tons about the culture and the language from him.

Anyways I straight love it here and yes I have been having a really positive attitude because I don't want to waste any time letting anything get to me. This last week I learned a really valuable lesson about how when things are at their toughest, just forget yourself and go to work helping others.  It is the truth.  Because I'm not gunna lie, I feel like this place preys on every weakness I have. In fact, the other night I had a dream where I saw Heavenly Father choosing where to send me and he chose here and all of the angels gathered around just gasped because it requires so many things that I am weak in here and uses so few of my strengths. Then Heavenly Father just responded and said, "Just imagine who he'll be afterwards though."  Gosh it just hits me so hard everytime I think about it.

But anyways I love you all thanks for your support! It means tons!

Elder Pettingill (The Younger)

P.S. Hey mom thanks for sending some packages but it's really ok. I don't need too much and so you don't need to worry about me!  Although I could really use some triple A batteries, a calendar would be nice, Gatorade mix and fruit tootsie rolls would also be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to get settled with the food here in Kiribati for awhile and eat as little American food as possible. And since I'd like to be as thankful as possible for everything I receive, I'd ask that you just send a little every now and then or if I ask for something I really need! I'm not sure if this making sense but what I am trying to say do not feel like you need to take care of me out here, but if you could send a little something every now and then that would be more than enough!

I seriously am so grateful for you all back at home and trust me that isn't something I developed out here when I said all of those things at home. I really meant them! I love you all and it's always so fun to hear about life back at home!

Daniel's mom: Here are some pictures I found of the Beru chapel, outside and inside. Also, you can see how the people all sit cross-legged.