Monday, May 16, 2016

Homecoming talk

Daniel gave his homecoming talk on May 15, 2016.  Here is a link to the audio file.  It is a google drive file and you will need to use one of the third party links they give to listen it. Sound quality is supposedly better on a computer. It starts at quiet but gets louder within 30 seconds. 

We are so grateful to have Daniel home! He is happy and adjusting. Surprisingly, he is eating American food with no trouble. He is easy-going and cheerful and helpful. From his homecoming talk, we recognized a humility and a maturity that he did not have before. We are so grateful for the opportunity he had to serve a mission! Specifically, we are so grateful that he served in Kiribati, as hard as it was sometimes. We know that he touched lives, including his own and ours, in ways that have helped us all to change and grow closer to the Savior and to Father in Heaven. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Last email

For the last email of his mission, we sent a few quick emails back and forth:

Hey what do you think I should try and get for the boys? Also imma try
and Skype today if its free. There's a LOT of missionaries and I have to do
some leaving stuff too any prefer times?

I hope buying things for the kids isn't taking up all your money. I was
hoping that was enough for some things for yourself and also a little cash
for the flight home

Its not I just have to try and find something haha not The most
tourist friendly place if you know what I mean:)

On another topic, you are speaking next Sunday. Your topic is faith 
promoting experiences from your mission. You get as long as you want. There
is one youth speaker, a musical number, you, then another adult speaker who
will use whatever time is left.

Ohh k sick but like mum what are you doing? Don't you know I'm trying
to stay focused on my mission? ;)

aight Im on :)

skype wanna see if it works

Hey looks like I'll try later like maybe on thursday ;)

or maybe tomorrow let you guys know!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nonouti Week 13

Quick note while he knows the internet is working:

Oh hey so yeah internet is working again. Apparently I get to take a

charter plane into tarawa tomorrow and elder Powell will be coming out
here.  I am feeling way healthy nowadays. Like just like my old
self. I got a fever so I've been sweaty a ton nowdays but other than I
am great!

Love you guys!

Longer email:

These past few weeks with Kennedy have been fun. can't remember what

I've told yall but I've gotten healthy then sick again and now healthy
again. A baptism which was awesome, although things escalted when a
missionary from another church showed up...whaat?  We planted a garden
by our houose of papaya so we'll see what becomes of that.. got a cat.
hey we could either have pet rats or one pet cat. you choose which ;)
And had a blast trying to get my homemade machete done in time but
we'll see if it makes it haha

Love the people here actually way sad to leave them even though I've

only been here for three months. They have been so nice to me and we've
had a ton of fun! They've been my family while being away and now like
I'm leaving them ALL for realz. Gosh...although innout is calling my
name and I want to see all of you too ;-)

so you know how it goes

ps I'm on the lookout for any Kiribati women over 6'5" 220 pounds who

is willing to carry me off the plane for pictures sake, if I'm
successful everyone's dreams of my mission will come true :)

Oh you know I'm down for a night of what you americans call "camping"

(in reference to fathers and sons campout)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Nonouti Week 11

Early this week, we heard that Daniel was sick and had been unable to eat for at least three weeks, causing him to lose a lot of weight and to be so weak he was unable to work. We were naturally very worried. We immediately reached out to a group of missionary moms on Facebook and our family, asking everyone to pray for him. Mid-week, we heard from the mission president that they were watching his health closely but keeping him on his island. We were hoping to hear from him today, and we were so grateful to receive these emails. 

Hey Mom,

Don't worry about me. I'm doing fine. I am a little emotionally drained
from all of this but I'm getting back on track. This past week (since
last Monday or Sunday) I started eating normally again. Not as much as
I normally do but I ate a lot more than I have in awhile and it's just
been getting better ever since. 
Before I would have to force any small
amount of food I could down until I just couldn't anymore. Like I
would throw up or something if I did. Now I just eat normally and am
really hungry all of the time. Still pretty tired all of the time but 
getting better. 
My new companion has come with a lot of energy and ready to work. He's an 
awesome elder. I  wanted to work too and so on Thursday we went and taught a 
couple lessons and then visited a less active/member family that just showed up. 
Man that wore me out and so Friday I slept basically all day long. We didn't do 
anything but go and buy food and toilet paper (this whole going to the 
bathroom in a hole in the ground has got the new elder a little...well let's
just say he's not sure what to think about it ;) ) So I decided it
would be worth it to take the trip to get toilet paper since going to
the BR in a hole and doing without toilet paper might have been too
much for him. Then Saturday I was feeling better again and we went
to teach lessons and ended up getting fed papaya and parrot fish
(I think?)  I ate a LOT and felt so good after and then we cooked
dinner too and Sunday I was able to handle the rough church schedule
without a problem and now here we are!  Not the best but getting
there little by little.

Elder Pettingill

Hey Dad,

Thanks for the update. It's always weird to get such a current update
from you every week and then get another more in depth one from mom
about a month later but it's way fun to read both and have really
enjoyed it my entire mission. Thank you both for putting so much
effort in just so that I get to hear what's going on with my family.

Like I said in my quick email to mom, this past week has been one of
getting better so I guess all of those prayers really did work. Crazy,
everyone starts praying for me and then almost instantly I finally
start getting better after being sick for almost 4 weeks (don't know
if you all knew it'd been that long.) It's been fun to have my new companion 

here as welll but kinda been lame to have Elder Larsen go
since we got along really welll. He was stoked to get his second outy
though so that's fun for him. Hahaha he didn't kow that he was about
to go and be senior companion with a junior comp who has only been out
2-3 months haha. Sure that was a surprise for him!

By the way, somehow innout double-doubles and shakes as well as jamba
juice and oranges have been making it into my dreams a lot lately. Maybe
that's why I finally got hungry enough to eat? haha but seriously I am
going to need all of the above when I get home please. ;)

So yeah that's what has been going on with me lately. Way stoked that
email is sorta working today.

love y'all

Elder Pettingilll


Man this is crazy. almost 2 years ago I turned 18 and then left for my
mission 3 days later and now Josh is exactly where is was age-wise now
that he turned 18. That is insane! Time really does fly.  Like I left
so long ago and have been gone until now and now Josh is where I was
when I left. I can't believe it, too crazy

love ya Josh

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Nonouti Week 10

Hey guys,

The internet is sort of working this week. Got to read all of your
emails but responding is sketchy cause if it dies on you, you are
stuck. This past week has been fun. We had a few new people show up
to church in one of the villages called Matang.

Yes Elder Larsen is transferring. He is headed for Marakei on Friday
and is leaving here on Wednesday. Elder Kennedy will be coming to
replace Elder Larsen. I know him from Tarawa  and he will be fun to
work with for the few weeks I have left :)

I have been falling behind on my journal entries lately so I have been
working real hard to get all caught up with those. I always try to
find a miracle and a spiritual prompting for every day.

I got the package and with it quite a few letters. It was way fun and
Elder Larsen and I really enjoyed the oreos and the nutella packets.
so good. Also the new shirts fit perfect. Thank you so much Mom for
sending them! Also thanks for the flashdrive and everything in the
package. It was really packed with stuff huh? Loved the dried fruit too

gunna make this short cause again, internet isn't too good but I love
you all and hope you are doing swell ;)

Elder Pettingill

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Snail Mail letters written February 15 and February 22/29 from Nonouti

15 February 2016

I'm currently wearing a pink cloth wrapped around me. Also there may or may not be flowers on it. A lot of flowers. Prep yourselves America.

We had a pretty productive preparation party today. Highlights of the day: patched our thatch ceiling. Cleaned, fought coconuts and won. OH and we built a BAO BAO (a counter hut thing that is used for dishes).

By the way, it turns out they have a few solar powered freezers here at the main stores and so they make little square plastics called ICE (but are basically weird shaped otter pops) and sell them 20 cents a piece. So for $2, we brought home 10 of them and put them in cups of water. Then we used that ice cold water to make ice cold water chocolate milk! It was pretty good.

 Oh yeah, internet hasn't been working for the past couple of weeks. Typical. Any outer island I go to has internet when I get there and then it breaks and doesn't work again until I leave. Sorry guys. S'not my fault. (This has happened on all three of his outer islands!!)

Also, remember the bao bao we built? 100% natural, almost. 1) old coconut husks pulled apart, twisted back together, rolled/twisted again  =  rope 2) rope + sticks + coconut leaves  + 3) more coconut leaves weaved together (thatch) + rope + sticks + coconut leaves + more thatch = 4) our new bao bao : )

Elder Larsen had his first baptism this past Saturday, woohoo! 

Have a GREAT WEEK. Read Acts 4:12 so good, Joshua 24:15, Alma 37: 33, 35  The Lord loves us!

Love, Elder Pettingill

22 February + 29th of Feb, 2016

So this morning we woke up and checked email and it TOTALLY WORKED! Just long enough for me to type out my email and then it quit on us. So I am just going write out what I said...

It read:

Hey so it looks like email is working again. #miracle (I hope you see the irony of this)

Past few weeks have been legit. Elder Larsen and I are both healthy which is sweet. Church was great yesterday and saw a couple of miracles that have been awesome!

One was this Melchizedek Priesthood holder who had a problem over the past couple of years with drinking alcohol decided on his own to quit. He had a knarly Lorenzo Snow beard (to give you all an idea of what it looked like) and then cut it and shaved almost all of it off, only leaving some sweet side lambchop sideburns, as a symbol of his commitment. His name is Tokarerei, and he is a changed man. It's sweet.

Also, one of my recent converts from Beru is here! Her name is Teruku. Her and her husband were one of my favorite families on Beru. Elder Klatt wouldn't know them but he would know her younger brother Taakaio (Bioia + Teanako are the parents' names). Taakaio was a YSA and now he's an Elder here in Kiribati serving in Abaiang. Anywho seeing Teruku and Koraweite was the greatest...SO cool. They haven't missed a beat and were at church on Sunday.

Elder Larsen had his first baptism in the mission a few weeks ago and we were both so stoked! The kid's name is TeBaa and his grandfather is a member and used to go to school in Tonga at the Liahona School. He's doing great. Plus I got Mom's name tag picture at the baptism spot that she requested.

Nonouti is long but we're figuring things out and being blessed for working hard! I love being a missionary and I love you all! Can't wait to see you all in May!

Love, Elder Pettingill

Monday, March 14, 2016

Nonouti Week 7

We got a series of short emails from Daniel late last night:

Hey internet is working a tiny little bit not sure how many minutes

we'll get if that but Love y'alll and I've gotten to read y'alls emails at least :)

These last couple weeks have been awesome. We had a couple baptisms and saw bunches of miracles...I've been sick again lately which kinda sucks but I'm feeling better now so hopefully it stays that way :)

Way fun to hear about everything that is going on

Everyone is soo oold nowadays huh?  Katie's married, Josh is graduating and going to college, and Beth will be in High school and just everything haha kinda hard to believe. Seeing pictures of you all is like seeing season 7 cover pictures of "Meet the Pettingills" and I still haven't seen seasons 5-6 crazy.

Elder Larsen is doing great and we are having a blast haha. Sometimes 
we get along a little too well and just talk fur dayz.  It's definitely way fun having an american comp again and I think it's getting me prepped a little for the real deal in a few months.

Sounds like church activities are still the same. I'm sure that father/son competition was way fun. Elder Larsen and I certainly had a good laugh about it ;)

Anywho it was way spiritual this past week when we baptized this deaf and mute girl named tienii (seny). She is so cool and has been coming to church faithfully since we got here and she washes the elders (our) clothes every week. We just drop them off with soap and bleach and she takes care of it which as you can all imagine is soo nice. Her baptism was a pretty sweet miracle for sure.


love you all! see yall next week!

Elder Pettingill

PS Dad try not to break my younger siblings while I'm gone aka nearly
smashing josh during that father/son race ;)

(Here is the story Rich shared with Daniel that he refers to in his email: The priests had a father/son team competition. The first event we had to race about 25 yards with one partner on our back, switch, and then race back.  Let's say we had a 1st place finish coming our way before I was too much for Josh, and he tripped and fell. It was a bit painful for both of us, and we finished 2nd by stretching out our hands to cross the finish line (Pulsipher's won). The 2nd event was wheel barrel race. Same thing: 25 yards, switch, and come back.  We did finish 1st in that event.)

Also, he answered a couple of my questions:

Did you receive your package yet? It arrived in Tarawa several weeks ago, so it should be coming soon.  Haven't gotten the package yet but I'm sure it'll come soon.

We discovered recently that there is Scouting in Kiribati. Have you seen any boys participating in scouts since you have been there? Yeah the only scouts I have ever seen are like typical youth activities in the church IDK if any people run it just by themselves but I'd assume not...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Surprise mid-week email

Love ya dad

So sweet to hear all that's happening! Something quite of a miracle
and internet is randomly working way well today when we came by and so
looks like we are on haha. Just kinda of way cool to see the tender
mercies of God all the time.

We just came from a lesson where we haven't been able to get a time with
this guy for a while. He's way cool and we taught him about church and
law of sabbath. He said he would come to church and the lesson went
way well...then we asked him to say the closing prayer and he did.
There was just this really warm feeling as he said the prayer and 

afterwards he had tears in his eyes. I told him we felt something and 
Elder Larsen agreed and then he told us he felt something too. 
I asked him what he thought it was? and he said that he thought it was
just so great that we could come and help him come up with the thought 
to go to church on Sunday. Then I asked if he really thought it was us 
that brought the feeling? He said no it must be the Holy Ghost!

The whole lesson was awesome and I was able to testify that THAT is
why we are here, to help him be baptized, cleansed and feel that all of
the time! We are seeing miracles here. It's so true that the Lord
blesses you when you push through the hard stuff and be obedient and
work hard especially when it is hot and you are feeling sick and


Elder Larsen's a bro. Way cool. Way stoked to be with him.  My email
that I had all written out last week wouldn't send so I wrote it as a
letter and sent it.

Elder Pettingill

A few email exchanges with Mom:

Why do you get to email at this time of night? 

uhm we were picking up our money and 
they told us internet is randomly working so we took the opportunity and checked 
and turns out it is!

Lucky for us! I'm sorry that you're sick!  

Hey sickness is just part of the job description right? It's rough but
you push through and get blessed so not too bad ;)

It has been really fun to work with Elder Larsen. He's a bro. And he's
really enjoyed the change that's farshore and I really have enjoyed
being here! We are definitely seeing miracles.

I'm stoked to go back to school. I love learning stuff so much more
nowadays haha, before not so much...


P.S. from Khristine--the day this email arrived, March 1, was Elder Larsen's mom's birthday. I know this was not a coincidence that the email was working. After not hearing anything from her son for a month, she got two emails in one week, one that came on her birthday. The Lord watches out for his children and sends them indications of His love. Tender mercies. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Nonouti Week 5 email from his companion

We did not receive an email from Daniel, but his companion was able to email his family and they shared it with us!! It was so good to hear about the work they are doing together. They sound like they are super happy and working hard! I will share some of the things Elder Larsen said, with permission from his mom.

Elder Larsen explained why they have not had internet: the internet thing they had broke so they have been waiting for a new one to come from Tarawa! It came on Wednesday so now the internet is finally fixed! Anyways it has a been a great first month with Elder Pettingill! 

Elder Larsen shared about a baptism they had:  had my first baptism as a missionary! It was such an amazing experience!! The kids name is Tebaa. Me and Elder Vaai started lessons with him like the 3rd week that I was here and we had set 2 other baptism dates with him but we never hit them cause stuff would always come up which was disappointing. But it gave him more time to prepare and to gain a testimony! He lives with his grandpa who is a very strong and faithful member and he asked us to teach him and we finally got to do his baptism. It was so cool to do a baptism in the ocean! It made for a great day!!

Elder Larsen shared about some exciting things that have been happening: There have been some way cool things that we have seen and that have happened over the last 3 weeks! First off, Tokareirei who is a Melchizedek Priesthood holder has had a problem with drinking and when Elder Pettingill got here, he made a deal that he would shave his beard and cut his hair! So we we set up a time and had a huge dinner and we cut off his huge santa beard. His beard was a lot like Lorenzo Snow's beard. Then a couple days later he shaved it off and cut his hair. We showed up at his house to talk to him and see how he was coming and we didn’t even recognize him. Elders have tried doing this thing with him before and he said no and he finally let us do it and he hasn’t drank since! Pretty sweet!! Then when we had fast and testimony meeting there was a recent convert that bore his testimony about how grateful he was for the church and the Elders that helped him stop drinking alcohol and change his life.  He and his wife are two of our strongest members! We are baptizing their daughter this Saturday who just turned 8! It was such a strong testimony and the spirit was soooo strong! That fast testimony meeting was so amazing, the spirit was so strong and everyone got up and bore their testimonies!

Elder Larsen shared the transfer news: Transfers were this last Tuesday and I am not going anywhere! I just hit 4 months here on Nonouti and I am over 5 months on my mission now! So crazy the time has gone soo fast but it has been awesome!!  We had a boutakie (party) after our baptism and elder p.. is sooo funny. When he dances he goes so hard and everyone laughs.

Elder Larsen talked about the weather:  Ha it has rained soooo much that the entire road had about 6 inches on it in all the places where it used to be dry, and the places where it wasn’t dry was about 1 foot! Our well was almost all the way filled! Haha it was crazy! We built a little thing to wash dishes and to do that kind of stuff and we didn’t have time to dig holes and put it in the ground and the wind was so bad it blew it over!! It was like 70 MPH winds. It was insane! 

Elder Larsen talked about one of the investigators and the work in general: There is this kid named Toroman! He is just this massive kid and just is way friendly to Elders. I have talked to him in my limited Kiribati and I have just always had a feeling he would be a sweet inv. So when E. Pettingill got here we asked him and he is keeping commitments and we just gave him a baptismal date and he has come to church the last two weeks! He is the man!! Things are going great! Everything here is going up and up! The work and all of our investigators are progressing and keeping commitments and coming to church. We had 8 of our investigators come to church this last week! So amazing.

We are so grateful to hear from Elder Larsen that they are happy together and working hard and seeing lives improve from their efforts. Happy day!! Thank goodness for Elder Larsen, who is obviously a very hard worker and a great missionary, with a deep desire to help the people of Nonouti. Daniel is so lucky to be working with him!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Nonouti Week 4 No email but some videos of the islands that I found

No email again this week. I went searching for some information about the island and found these videos posted by a fishing group that explored the area as a possibility for fishing expeditions. The videos give you an idea of what the island is like, and you also see how beautiful it is. It's probably only something a mother cares about, and a teenage boy who dreams of serving someplace like this! As a side note, according to their website, the fishing group decided not to pursue regular trips to Nonouti. The living conditions were too primitive for them. :)

Introduction to Nonouti click here  (3 minutes)

Nonouti September 2011 click here  (11 minutes)

Blog post about the trip by the fishing group, with pictures click here

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nonouti Week 2 & 3 No new emails but travel plans

We have not received emails from Daniel for the past two weeks. Elder Larsen's mom told me that the internet doesn't work when it is raining. It's the rainy season, so I guess we better not expect many emails. However, we did receive his return travel itinerary this week! He will arrive home on the evening on May 12. We have his homecoming talk scheduled for Sunday, May 15 at 9 am at the Mormon Center (which is the building next to the Sacramento Temple.) Jacob is coming from Provo, and Katie and Tanner are coming from Idaho to be here when he gets off the plane and for his homecoming talk. Our whole family will be together!!! I can't wait!!! So I guess we can be patient with no emails for now. We get to see him soon! 

See the itinerary below. My favorite part is the second picture. When he travels from Fiji to LA, he arrives 8 hours before he left. Now he can add 'time traveler' to all his other amazing mission experiences! --Khristine

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Nonouti Week 1 (we are back to semi-regular emails! Hooray!)

This email is all responses to questions I asked him. I will put my question in italics and then his answer.

so I already replied to this email once but it was lost #outerislandemail

Did you figure out that Elder Larsen (new companion) knows Tanner Fonnesbeck yet? (Tanner is his sister Katie's new husband--they are from the same small Idaho town) Yeah we figured it out this last week when looking at the pics that you sent me

Are you okay with these classes for summer term at BYU? I'm down for Calculus and CS 142 (what is that exactly though?)

Do you think you are going to be big into the social when you get back (like sleeping over to get good seats for the football games, etc) or do you think you got that out your freshman semester? We'll see about the social part ;)

Are you going to get mail on Nonouti? I heard it takes longer. I am gathering the things for your package, but I am wondering if you will get it while you are out there or not until you come back into Tarawa? I
t's the same and thank you! That's way sweet. I still have two unused SD cards (that should be enough right?) but another flash drive would be nice cause those are way useful out here.  

You told us that you are coming home May 12. How accurate is that? You put it with question marks, so it left us wondering. Pretty accurate since I saw it on multiple papers and it was the scheduled date when filling out our itinerary forms but once y'all get the itinerary it will be 100 percent

What are the living conditions on Nonouti? House or hut? Bathroom or ocean/trees? Electricity? Tell
us about the island and what you think of it. What are the members like? Is there a branch? or just multiple units?
Island is great, it's so long and kinda harsh and IDK haha but it's great. Hut but bigger than in Maiana and bathroom if you count the hole in the ground ;)  Members are legit and there is not a branch yet.

How is it going with Elder Larsen? Elder Larsen is legit and him and I get along great. He really is
enjoying the change in companions since we're working hard and being really obedient and stuff.

Love you too! Thanks for the prayers! Praying for all of you as well!

Elder Pettingill


Maiana 28 Dec 2015 Snail Mail letter arrived 29 January 2016

Monday, December 28, 2015

     not much
          yeah me either
                                    We're about to throw down at this new year's party we're having at the                                                   church/now at the local village manieba (still haven't figured out how to
                                    describe what that is in English
Way stoked I got to talk to all of you on Christmas, way fun. It all started cause we were trying to help Elder Aru call his family and so I decided to try and boom. I hear mom trying to figure out who was calling speaking some random language. Haha "Mauri! this is elder Pettingill!" Classic :)

Just listened to Jefffrey R. Holland's 2008 general conference talk "Safety for the Soul" about the importance/truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Loved the part about how Joseph Smith and Hyrum would not read from and "take solace from" a book that they had fictated hours before their death if it wasn't true. Elder Holland's a real great teacher!

Uhm not sure where my comp went, one sec...Haha he was just helping bring some food into the manieba...islanders, right? You'll all probably see some stuff like that in me when I get home. ; ) Well we will see, it's hard to tell if I'll switch back or not. Not obedience wise but things like being laid back and sharing everything and stuff. 

Oh and I've finally conquered mosquitoes and speaking in front of large groups of people (well at least in Kiribati) is easier. I really enjoy being "marurung" or active/productive. Love reading the bible. 

We're about to start. Love you all! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Tekeraoi nte ririki ae bou!

ao nte kiritimati aei

Love, Elder Pettingill

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tarawa another quick email before leaving

For the package, maybe like 1-2 little bit smaller shirts...(hate to admit it but I'm smaller :/) and razors for shaving and I just filled out a form for my flight itenary Sacramento airport is what I said and should be coming to you and Dad  may 12th is our departure date? let me know when yall get the itenery Gosh darn   oh and a another flashdrive maybe would be nice

Love you thanks for being so awesome!  

Wednesday flight was busy so we're leaving on Monday FYI

Monday, January 18, 2016

Missed flight! Tarawa on the way to Nonouti

Turns out Nonouti might have good internet (we'll see how long that
lasts if at all?)

oh yeah and I kinda missed my flight today whoops so we'll see wednesday

Elder Vaai will replace me once I go and replace him on Nonouti :)

 I'm realizing that as all of my english encounters with
the missionaries have left some kind of awkward pause where no one
really knew what I was trying to say...and I don't know.. and I'm
still in Kiribati haha at least I'm going to have an American
companion now in Nonouti so that should get my english back up to par
I hope

Also Elder Young (an elder from Australia that served in my district

soo long ago in Bikenibeu) and I saw each other again after a full
year. Had some Deja Vu and some fun time Reminiscing and then I
realized He's one of the only elders I know on Tarawa along with a
couple others that I've seen a time or two here and there haha

Love you talk to you all next week hopefully.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Email from Tarawa: off to Nonouti

I received this email at 12:45 am, when I woke up to turn off Pandora. 

Hey Mom.

I'm back :)

for now. I'll be headed back out to a different island, Nonouti tomorrow so...?  

Haha love you

I quickly emailed back and was able to catch him before he got off. Here were my questions and his answers: 

Who will your new companion be? Elder Larsen. 

Any email? Sounds like there isn't email but we'll see. 

Was it hard to leave? It was hard but different than leaving Beru and Christmas that's for sure.  Haha we held a combined church before we left cause otherwise it wouldn't have gotten done and almost missed our flight cause our car ran out of gas and then the person that went to buy more gas didn't bring any money so we ended up saying a prayer and hitching a ride with a random dude who turned out to be a way long LA (less active) member haha.  I'll try to get on tomorrow morning before going and talk then. 
Here is what I found out about Nonouti from an Elder who served there previously:

Nonouti! 2nd biggest outer island in Kiribati, with a roughly 2 hour bike ride from the airfield in the center to the farthest village. Pronounced No Nose, with a hard s as in ice at the end (big joke before I came here was that people felt sorry for people from Nonouti, because they didn't have noses. Kiribati people love an English pun.) Reopened for missionary work in 2014 after 20 years. House has no running water, no electricity, no bathroom, but there is a kerosene stove. They get fed all the time by everyone, members and non-members. There are little stores all over the island. They usually ride 40 miles per day to get all over the island for teaching. Lots of rain which makes bike riding hard. 

His companion, Elder Larsen, entered the MTC in September and arrived in the country at the end of October.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Maiana 14 Dec 2015 Snail Mail!!! arrived 12 Jan 2016

Hey Guys. Coming up on 3 months out here on Maiana. Time has seriously gone by so quickly out here. Quick apology that no letter came for last week. We were way busy past Monday and could never find time to make up for it until now. Sorry. :)

But seriously, my brain is so full right now. Let's just say there's a lot on my mind. Our Christmas Party is next week (Monday & Tuesday) so a lot of figuring out and reminding for that (mostly reminding :) ). Then you have typical member problems to figure out, missionaries we're trying to send on missions, other minor problems, oh and all of the typical missionary workload on top of it. And funny thing is, I'm not complaining. I like giving my all to help our people here. It's a nice spirit. Keeps my prayers real too. ;)

Elder Aru and I are getting along great. He's getting more used to/adapting to living on an outer island and things are going smoothly. Dibs on Jamba Juice when I get home BTW.

Recently I've taken to the "kabuti maan" or the cultural way of asking for someone to wife/husband and doing it for someone else. Don't worry, most of the ones that I've found have been for other people. ; ) Just kidding. No one has to worry about me taking home a Kiribati woman or any kind for that matter, but I have found/kabae'd (set an engagement) for quite a few wives for Adam and a couple husbands for Beth. You're welcome! Also a sister for Anna and nothing for Jeffrey (sorry bro, wrong age group.) Again apologies if my letters don't make sense. Too much Kiribati nowadays!

Spiritual Experience: Assigned one of our recent converts, Kamaraia, who is 9 years old, to speak in one of the Sacrament Meetings, giving him two weeks to prepare. Well apparently he went home that day and read ABM (Book of Mormon) until he found a verse in Alma 9:18 and then wrote his talk. He applied it pretty impressively with some help from his Dad. By the time his time came around he gave an excellent talk on changing our lives from bad to good and had a good amount memorized. We were all impressed (about 15 of us) and it was pretty cool. Also, we had the chance to interview a different RC (recent convert) to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Hard work but tons of blessings right? I'm sure you all will attest to that!

I miss you all and can't wait to hear/talk with you all again.

Love you guys!

Elder Pettingill