Monday, December 14, 2015

Maiana 22 Nov 2015 handwritten letter arrived Dec 14

Peace, chill, swag, Dawg

That's pretty much our life our here nowadays. Haha not. But seriously though how y'all doing nowadays? Sitting here with one of my Maiana sisters Nei (respectful way of addressing girls) Teitiranga (Tayee-gee-rah-ngah) who is same age as Beth. Weird making comparisons like that when the Beth I remember is what like eleven...

So what's life like in America nowadays For us here on  Mwaiana we are stoked for our baptism this Saturday with some of our favorite people including Teitiranga so that's exciting (This paragraph was written in different handwriting.)

P.S. She's the one that wrote that part for me. Writes better than I do huh?

Also this past week I learned/gained the finishing touches on my building Kiribati houses. Including building walls out of coconut branches and make rope out of decayed coconut husks which is called "Taokora". 1001 uses of coconut trees right? People can survive on just that tree and its fruit. Or in other words WE survive on just that tree and its fruit. :) I'll have to bring one home and show you all how it's done.

Yeah so other fun news. We're starting/started a temple class for the members here to get a few families ready to head out and the eventual goal is obviously all of the families here. We have one sweet RM named Johnny and his wife Rereiti (recent convert of Elders Klatt and Loe) who I think will be farshore ready to head out in a few months. Different RM is teaching the class for us, named Tebwi (from Beru, taught his dad while I was there) who's going to do a great job teaching the class.

School's different here and summer break is starting now so all of the kids who go to school on Tarawa aka Moroni HS are coming back for break. So that's fun. Also Christmas package showed up this past week. Geesh Mom. That thing is huge! But way thanks. Stoked to give all the toys to kids at our Christmas party! It's going to be rough not to open the presents and stuff before Christmas. Big thanks for all the gifts for my comp since he likely won't get anything from his family for Christmas but you all gave us more than enough for both of us.

Sorry. Email hasn't been working so I guess letters will have to do for now!

I love you guys tons of buckets full

Elder Pettingill

These pictures were posted by a member last week on Facebook. I believe they are from when Daniel was in Tarawa before he transferred to Maiana. The older man is President Weir, the mission president.

This pictures does not include Elder Pettingill but look at that amazing view!

Maiana 16 Nov 2015 handwritten letter arrived Dec 14

Hey Guys

Fun Fact: the humidity here seals shut any envelopes that don't have a peel off for their sticky part. So I have different ones I found on Christmas.

Wasup? Yeah much not here either, just got back from checking the internet...Not working again. Hey but the fact that even has been working before was more than anyone expected. So I'm chill with it. I like writing letters anyways. I always feel very relaxed (optimistic) afterwards whereas emailing just drains me. Not used to handling electronics anymore. : )

So this morning we ate home cooked chicken. We biked through the pouring rain to a northern village to pick the chicken up. We were soaked. It's been raining pretty nonstop lately. Haha kinda lost my train of thought just met this guy next to our house our age who's way chill. He's been kinda friends with all the elders here on my Maiana since they came almost 2 years ago. Also these way nice members (one is our investigator) came and washed our clothes for us. We got a volleyball sent out to us. So stoked to use that on P-days nowadays.

Spiritual experience: One problem I have seen time to time is I get a prompting/random verse come to my mind to share with investigators but I won't know where to find it/it would take too long. One thing I've really been working on is recording/putting it in easy to find place every time I find a lesson that would be helpful. Well, this past week I asked an investigator what he thought it meant to be saved, following a prompting. The answer to my own question came in a verse I'd read a week or two ago. Alma 11:37 I thought it was cool and it really clicked with our investigator. His name is Teinatoa (Te enan toe-ah ). I think especially since he was the first one to church on Sunday with his little daughter, even though it was his first time coming. Way sweet. We are working long hard days out here trying to do our very best obediently and leading this unit/branch. Nice to see fruits of your labors/tender-mercies every now and then.

Lesson we got in an email from Pres Weir a couple of weeks ago. Talk of Pres Hinckley's to missionaries and how we "should get on our knees and plead with the Lord" every morning in prayer for specific blessings. That includes weaknesses. We can pray for specific weaknesses to be strengths.

Love you ALL

Elder Pettingill


Monday, November 23, 2015

Maiana 5 October 2015 (letter in the mail)


So yeah, no email today. Sorry. Apparently, the power/some battery died in Tarawa so the internet's not working today. Hopefully they'll have it fixed by next week though?

Would like to start by saying a huge THANK YOU for the package. It showed up last night when the plane came. (Flies here on Fridays and Sundays). Yeah, you're all pretty much the best. We were way tired from the whole fast Sunday and tons of biking thing but then I had to stay up late reading the letters and stuff. One good thing about letters vs emails is I might actually try and answer Q's from letters/respond (which I have been horrible at so sorry for that.)

It's night right now and I'm about to go to bed, but I need to finish writing this so here goes...Today was pretty busy. Did not get studies in today so I've been feeling that. Instead woke up and we fixed Elder Nauer's bike, then hand-washed our clothes. Then ran down to a marriage we were going to be doing for some of our investigators (not doing, just witnessing.) Yeah they didn't show up. Everyone's all busy right now cause the Kiribati Pres (who's final term is up) came today to have a celebration/party/gathering here since Maiana is his home island. Pretty big. He'll be here tomorrow too and leave Wednesday. So since we got stood up, we went and Elder Nauer dropped us some coconuts (moimoitos) and we messed around and had a good time. Then we played volleyball with people who are actually good and on a low net. It was fun. ; ) Elder Nauer's a stud at volleyball. Then with no one home (the whole island but us is staying at the gathering) we had noodles and crackers for a lunch snack and dinner. And Elder Nauer got chatty and I got tired...

P.S. to answer Fanning Island trip Q's:

-no missionaries on Fanning because no plane that comes, only the boat every 3ish months. So round trip boat rides. :)

-we stay at church maneba/Kiribati house (chapel/giant shade structure) for the Elders near it. Members feed us the WHOLE time. Between the two of us we had one pack of fruit snacks. I didn't bring them.

-we had two people get baptized by their dad who we interviewed. We gave the Aaronice Priesthood to the dad.

-Easily the greenest, most alive agriculturally place I've seen yet in Kiribati (Maiana's the 2nd.)

There should be pictures on the SDs Elder Stone took back with him. So those should be getting to y'all around now.

Love you all,

Elder Pettingill

Pictures from his trip to Fanning Island

Also, if you haven't watched the videos he sent from the boat and on the island, here they are again. Just click on the links below:

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Maiana Week 6

We fasted that we would be able to successfully combine the
whole island for fast sunday church and it worked out! The little
stick chapel was packed. We had a sweet break the fast lunch
afterwards and planned a Christmas party! I felt like it was a pretty
sweet answer to our prayers...

Pretty much the same old same old living in our stick house and taking
bathroom breaks in the woods and stuff. President Weir and the two APs
visited us (elders Davis and Openshaw) to give us a pick me up
(homemade bread and 4 apples and some pringles) and to do other church
stuff.  It was fun and we spoke English and everything! Also we got
this way good feast made for us. Elder Davis who's preparing to go
home (only has like 2-3 weeks left) reminded me of how different
America is from here and stuff  #thedifference

prayer as a form of communication has really been a focus of mine this
past week and I have started teaching investigators to ask in the
personal prayers the question Ko uara? or How are you? to our Heavenly
Father as a way of starting out and have actually used it myself. If
nothing else it is a great reminder everytime that someone is
listening. Talk to him.  Definitely seen answers to our prayers this
past week.

Love you all so much
Elder Pettingill


I'm guessing the internet was down last week? yeah the internet was out last week

How is missionary work going over there? Are you able to teach a lot? Do you have good bikes? yeah we teach a bunch and we have nice bikes, I think we average 20-25 miles a day on these super nice dirt roads that should be flat but never are ;)

Can you tell us about one spiritual experience you had this week? too many spiritual experiences to share any of them sorry...actually I forget them all and don't bring my journal (I record at least one every day)...OH! We've been teaching these kids who's parents are more than happy to let them have lessons but they aren't ready themselves and then lately they have been hanging around listening in until nowadays they get ready and listen silently and support their children. We talked with the wife yesterday and she said that is because they've seen such a change. Before it would be her husband doing one thing and her another but the lessons bring them together as one and she really likes it and wants to take lessons too she's just gonna wait a little longer to see if her husband will take them with her. I then quietly testified to her of how we don't want to teach people so bad for any other reason than the one that she just stated. Te bitaki or "the change"

Here is a video from Daniel's birthday in June that we loved watching. This was when he was still on Christmas Island. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Maiana Week 4

Hey guys,

So you all want to know what it's like living in a hut huh? Well
transfers went down yesterday, Elder Nauer left and went to go re open
an island called Butaritari with a trainee and I got elder Aru (same
intake as me but couldn't make it to the MTC on time so he stayed and
worked in his home country (Vanuatu) till Elder Stone and all of
that intake after me) as my new companion. First thing he said when
he walked in the house was "is this it?" Haha I said no we have a
bathroom (native outhouse) out back. So in answer to that question I
would say "yeah it's cozy"  actually it's not bad at all. It's life ;)

Food, we eat plenty at night. Normally eat here and there throughout
the day for lunch and will normally have noodles and/or homemade "bun"
which is just bread made in little stacks or whatever. We'll see if
things change with elder Aru since he doesn't like either of that...

Maiana's pretty long. 2 or 3 times the size of Beru. I think Beru was
something like 22 kilometers long and Maiana is 19 miles (about 30 km)  and has a
couple "etimwakoro"s or small islands that you can only get to during
low tide. Both are normally not wide at all. skinny parts you see both sides of the ocean

Last week was fun. Had a picnic with everyone on the island for Elder
Nauer before he left. Got a bunch of investigators there so that was

Love you all tons!
Elder Pettingill


yeah sorry I always forget about the Christmas package.  A new journal

please. Mine is about halfway through so I don't think it will last
the rest of my time. Uhm food is always happily accepted, these
members gave us apples with barbequed chicken from Tarawa the other
week (Maiana is close maybe 15 mintues plane ride, you can see Lights
from Tarawa at night in the distance) wayy good. Obviously you can't
send that stuff but it was good :)  Yes I got your last package. Thank
you soo much. like seriously. If you find a flashlight that uses
double aa batteries that would be awesome too! Hand sanitizer for
unexpected bathroom trips ;)  Black trash bags that we could use for
make shift ponchos or something for the rain like for my companion and
I (rains a bunch here haha it's definitely not Beru) sugar free gum
(they don't have any here and after awhile I always run out and it
stinks cause I hate sugared gum nowadays...) cheap sunglasses (ray
bans are the popular expensive brand so if you see some that are the
knock offs that should be like 5-10 dollars? probably even cheaper
actually)    None of those are needs so if you can't find it  (except
maybe the journal) it's all good. and one package is more than enough
for both of us.  I love you guys so much and means a ton that my
family still supports me so well on my mission which in one way has
fulfilled my setting apart blessing which said that I won't have to
worry about my family while on my mission. You guys are awesome!

Love you

Watch this video to see them bike riding in Fanning Island

Pictures from the trip to Fanning Island