Sunday, March 29, 2015

Christmas Week 2

So before I start should probably say that I'm emailing you all on our smart phone which is a first for me...and I'm also sitting cross legged with the ocean in the background ...haha good luck trying to get me home ;)

Something funny that I started doing this last week that I think is worth mentioning comes from the fact that almost all Kiribati parents tell their kids the imatang (white people) will shoot them if they don't I found that small nerf gun y'all gave me for Christmas and have been telling the kids it's true while preparing my gun to fire inside my bag...its a triple shooter so I have 3 shots...I count to three, everyone laughs, and then I pull the gun out and shoot the kid and the parent and some other unlucky person who happens to be around !  Hahaha the look on their faces as, in their minds, their elda just shot their whole family...and they realize they aren't dead and everyone's laughing and then they start laughing and ask me to go shoot all their friends as well!  Stone shakes his head but I think its wayy funny every now and then ...

Spiritual stuff has been happening too ...looks like elder tareka's brother (my kid who's serving in the Philippines who's from banana (Kiritimati)) is going to be baptized in a couple weeks which is awesome ! (He's our investigator btw)

Kiritimati is good. Glad to hear you're all doing great! We probably won't get conference in English but we will get to watch it in Kiribati after a week or two.

Love you all,

Elder Pettingill


McCormick is our district leader and I met him right when I came here...he's elder vaai's trainer

No we didn't get to see pres much. They kinda forgot about us out here haha but it's good.

We do have district meeting every week...

We got some letters from February which was fun.

Love you Internet's over

We discovered this week that Elder McCormick (Daniel's District Leader) is the son of Rich's second missionary companion when he served in Argentina. It was a fun connection for Rich to make! 

Also here are a couple of links (first, second) to videos of evening entertainment at the Captain Cook Hotel in Kiritimati. I think I might like to go there!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Questions about Christmas

Does the word Kiritimati actually mean Christmas or do we call it Christmas in English because of the way it is pronounced in Kiribati?  Kiritimati = Christmas just spelled with Kiribati letters just like
Kiribati = Gilbert

Are you sleeping in the bed in the hotel, or on the floor on your mat? Which do you prefer? I sleep in the bed. It's like a small pad on a frame and it's nice. It's the same really to me I guess. Sometimes I like the floor
sometimes bed.

Tell us about your first week in church there. What time do you meet?  We meet at 9 o'clock.  

How big is the ward/branch? 
It's about 80ish+ strong members here. Branch. Working on going stake/ward real soon. 

Did you have to speak? Do you help teach lessons? Or do you do less there than you did on Beru? Helped in Priesthood.  They are pretty good about lessons here. Much less than on Beru

Have you gotten to spend much time with President while he has been there? We have not. Actually here in Banana we are wayy separated from everyone else.  Which is nice until President comes...haha it's been 
wayy fun though.

Is the weather different there than Tarawa? Beru? It's hot. classic desert island. wayy pretty.

Do people have jobs, rather than just collecting coconuts and fishing? Yeah people work in the government/are teachers/own stores.

What kind of food have you been eating? good food.  Milk fish = wayy good fish and there's tons here.

Also I think I'm going to try to transition more to letters rather than emails but I'll let you all know more about my thoughts on that next week. The computer can just be rough sometimes....headaches ;)

I love you too!

Here are some pictures of milk fish, which grow to 3-5 feet.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


So yeah I'm out on Christmas nowadays and it is solid.  Stone and I are basically whitewashing Banana since we got left with two investigators, one of whom moved down to Tabwakea (one of the 3 main cities: Banana, London, and Tab'akea).   So yeah this past week has been fun.

So for everyone's information I took a plane to Fiji. I took a plane to Kiritimati and I will take a plane when I go back. We're not animals.

The hotel's pretty nice.  We have two basically small bedroom sized rooms.  One for cooking/whatever and one for sleeping. We'll see if it lasts cause it's pretty expensive....

Weird cause on Kiritimati they don't even speak Kiribati so I guess I have to learn a whole new language for here so that's been's chill though

Christmas is like a half outy half Tarawa.  One store with a lot of American stuff flown out from Hawaii. Expensive but we bought and cooked pancakes with peanut butter for breakfast so it's cool.

We have a shower here, cold water but that's typical. But I will tell you what, that one hot shower I took in Fiji was really something. Oh in Fiji we worked with the airport elders and went on splits and each taught a couple lessons.  Fiji has so many different dialects and Indians so it's rough to get good at the language...

Elder Stone is 18 turns 19 in april. He's from Illinois but grew up till middle school in Provo. Planning on going to BYU and walking on to the football team when he gets back.  Quiet around other people but me and him have no problem talking or getting along. Love the guy.  He's way good at Kiribati too so that's legit.  We both like to work hard and be obedient and since almost everysingle missionary that comes to Christmas leaves about 20 pounds fatter, we are planning to work way hard and leave in better shape than we came, which we're already at.

Kiritimati is awesome. The people here are legit and it's kinda nice taking a tiny trip back to civilization for a bit and it will be way awesome when president comes on Wednesday. (The mission president, President Weir, is planning to come to Kiritimati on March 18 and stay for a week.)

Spiritual experience?    We got two district meetings last week: one in Fiji (Tuesday) and one in Kiritimati (Thursday) and they were both way good and have really made me want to start off really well here in Christmas.  One of the ideas is praying for things by just giving thanks. Or in other words think more on the blessings I have received in the past and giving thanks rather than asking for the new ones I would like to be given. I have thus really tried to to minimize blessings for myself to just a few and have the majority of my prayers be for my investigators and other people (aka family aka you guys ;) and thanks for the blessings I have already been blessed with. I will tell you all what, this past week has been a really good week.  I am always so happy to be a missionary and I am really grateful for that and I hope you are all happy for where you all are. 

In other words,  there are about a million spiritual experiences I would like to tell all of you but they would all take too long to explain. To give the short version of one: Tareka's family lives here. We visited them. His younger brother is now taking lessons and really seeing a quick change in his life all because I think he was touched when I told them that I pray for Tareka all of the time because I love him and they can too.  He really took hold of that idea and so now this 10 year old is praying daily for his brother and he came to church on Sunday and really liked it. 

Elder Stone has this one inspiring talk he plays every morning before workouts and it says "if you're not happy where you are, then what are You going to do about it."     

I'll tell you all what, I'm really maturing out here. And that is really something I am fully realizing that hard work and faith are a very dangerous combination because they can accomplish soo much.

Anywho love you all, internet is really bad here but I'll try to get pictures out


Elder Pettingill

If you want to see the hotel where they are living, search Captain Cook Hotel Kiritimati. There are lots of pictures on tripadvisor.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finally on Kiritimati

Hey y'all so yeah I didn't email last week cause they were doing construction and some guy decided to hit something that not only gave a nice lil smoke display but it took out our power aka no internet.

Also didn't email on Monday cause I was in Fiji like whaat? And now I'm in Christmas with Stone guess they needed us earlier cause they told us last week on Wednesday that we were going soon. That was fun.

Just sending a quick little email that I'm all good (welcome mom;) and that hopefully I'll have some pictures for you all next week.  (PS we're staying in a hotel...a Kiribati hotel but its still a hotel and we all have smart phones...not really sure this is the same mission but I'm going with it for now.)

Kiritimati is wayy cool and a very attractive place. I'm excited to work here.

BTW we were in Fiji like 3 1/2 days and we had McDonald's and a mcflurrie while we were there.  Sooo good.  Its got nothing on fish rice and coconut though, that's my stuff!

Hey love you all but we're going to go put in work now so I'll see you guys on Monday!  PPS bigger time difference now, first place to see the new day each day. 

Elda Pettingill 

(Kiritimati is the world's farthest forward time zone. It is UTC+12 which makes it a 21 hour time difference right now. So we just subtract 3 from PST and add a day.)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tarawa Week 9

We did not receive an email from Daniel this week, but the mission nurse sent this picture to her daughter who shared it with the mom's group for his mission on Facebook. It was such a treat to get a surprise picture!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tarawa Week 8

We didn't get much from Daniel today. He was emailing us for a few minutes, answering my questions, and then suddenly he was gone and never got back on. Here is the little we received. 

Did you check on that address for me? I have a package all ready to send but don't know where to send it. If I can send it to Christmas, I would like to. You could probably wait on that until I actually go out there and I'll get it.  I should be going out like the 23d nowadays.

Is there some kind of keyboard on Tarawa or is the singing acapella? There are pianos and keyboards yeah but mostly we go acapella.

Do you attend any other wards beside Bikenibeu 1st? Is it a 3 hour block or shorter like on Beru? Nope just bikenibeu 1 and yes it's 3 hours.  Hitting up that 12 oclock block.

Before getting with Elder Stone, did you speak Kiribati all day every day? Has it been a change to speak some English as well? Yeah I did, it's no big deal. It's fun to speak english but honestly they are kind of the same for me nowadays, well we're getting there anyhow.

What is your daily schedule like there? Is it similar to Beru or completely different? We teach a lot more lessons here, like 10+ everyday.

Did I ever tell you Elder Davis had an older brother serve in France? I think his time ended like last year or something.  PS Did I tell you all we had zone training two weeks ago or did I not?  Well we watched Meet the Mormons if I forgot. It was cool.