Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov 6-11, 2010

We are still in Tarawa and have many things going keeping us busy. On Saturday, we went to a baptism. A little boy who was nine and a girl who was about twenty. Because of the drought they have been doing the baptisms in the ocean rather than filling up the font. It was a beautiful evening about sunset. We were told that the little boy’s Mother and step Father had left the week before leaving him with a brother about twenty-two and a sister who is nineteen to take care of him. He was so sweet my heart just ached for him. They were both there to support him. The girl was beautiful and was excited to be joining the church. They bore their testimonies afterwards and they were very touching.

After the baptism we took Sam and his wife, who is a counselor in the Mission Presidency, to dinner. They are a great couple who have one little boy and are expecting their second child in December. Having Sam as a counselor will help out so much because he lives in Tarawa and can take care of things that need attention when we are not there.

We went with the Steeds to see the places that our missionaries live. There were some surprised looks when we showed up at a few! Some were cleaner than others and some were in better shape than others. Tom was in his prime driving the van. Sister Steed said it was like being on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland! We ate lunch with them and had an enjoyable time chatting. Elder Steed is the nurse on this Island and he takes good care of the missionaries here.

We also went to a couple of appointments with Elder Lasky and Elder Rameka. One was a young man who was twenty. He seemed quite interested. We sat in his Kia where you normally sit crossed legged. However Tom and I couldn’t stay that way for very long so we had to stretch our legs out to one side. It is tradition that you never point your feet at someone so we had to watch where we put them! We then went to a man’s home who had been a seaman for about thirty years. He had a Kia with chicken wire on the sides. He took one look at us and got two plastic chairs for us to sit on! He could speak English which was nice. This was his second lesson and he seemed interested and focused.

On Sunday we attended two different sacrament meetings. One in Teaoreke and the other one in Bairiki. The second meeting is held in a chapel that has a beautiful setting. The chapel is on a peninsula. We enjoyed being to their fast meetings and felt the spirit in both. We then ate at the Phippens, who invited us to dinner. Staying at the Hotel we did not have accommodations to cook. We always have wonderful dinners with the senior couples and we don’t have to eat as much rice! After dinner we sat in on a discussion for a boy attending Moroni who is sixteen. He will be getting baptized this Saturday.

On Monday, we saw another missionary flat at the far end of the island. The people in an area near the airport do not have electricity. So they get up with the sun and go to bed when the sun goes down. We met a member who helps repair things at the missionary flats. We also met his mother who is ninety years old. She is the oldest person in Tarawa. The life expectancy is about fifty or sixty, not very old. We ate at the Corry’s house that evening and had a good time with them. They are hoping to go home for a daughter’s wedding on December 20th if the small plane is running. Then we would plan on going back to Tarawa on that plane to be in Tarawa for Christmas.

On Tuesday, we went to a couple of appointments with Elder Vesikula and Elder Rameka. We went to a young woman’s home and sat on mats. Elder Joseph asked Tom to explain tithing to her and her mother. So he did while Elder Joseph interpreted for him. We then went to a sweet sister’s house (Kia) who had been recently baptized, with her little girl who is ten. Elder Joseph asked me to talk about the Temple. He interpreted. I hope I didn’t thoroughly confuse her and her daughter. We loved being able to go with the missionaries and see how things are done.

Wednesday, we had our Zone Conference. Tom talked and then I talked. Elder Steed did a medical presentation which was good. Elder Phippen talked about the baptism forms. We had the Elders who are going home next week (Elders Lasky, Green, Latrik and Phillips) bare their testimonies. We also had the new six missionaries Elder Turner, Elder Gittins, Elder Mills, Elder Anderl, Elder Staley, and Elder Finau do the same. We had some of the missionaries train everyone on certain topics. We announced Birthdays and the transfers. It was a great Conference. That evening after Tom had interviewed the Elders who will be leaving we then took them to dinner. They will be leaving next week and so we wanted to spend some time with them. We sure are finding out how hard it is to send them home.

Thursday Morning at 5:00 am, the zone leaders picked us up from the hotel and took us to the airport. As we got closer to the airport the rain started pouring down, something that they have desperately needed. We had a busy but enjoyable time in Tarawa. We were able to get to know the missionaries better there. We have been on our mission for four months now. We are so grateful to everyone for their help and love as we have been getting oriented. We love the work here and hope that we can always be inspired on behalf of the mission. We have wonderful missionaries and members and investigators. The work is going forth here. We love the Lord for His goodness and His care. We love to talk with our family and see and hear all that they are doing. We love all of you and know that the Lord takes care of you for us. Love Mom and Dad / Nana and Papa / Pres and Sister Shaw

No comments: