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.