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