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