Sunday, January 9, 2011

Special Edition-Christmas Island Temple Trip Dec 2010

The first temple trip of 2010 to the Fiji temple by the saints from Kiritimati (Christmas) Island was a wonderful success. Due to the delay in the ships the group was much smaller than expected, 13 people, 7 adults and 6 children. That means the second trip will be much larger than planned.

This was the first opportunity in about 3 years for the members from Kiritimati Island to go to the temple. The airplane that connects them with Fiji discontinued that route 3 years ago and even though there was a flight to Honolulu that was not an option because of VISAs. We started the temple classes in April when there was word the plane would resume its connection here and prayed that it would be so. Finally, in June the plane started coming and we were able to set a date and start the process of getting passports.

There were many tears of joy shed as the people began to realize their dream of receiving their endowments and being sealed to their families come true. More were shed as some were sealed to deceased parents and family members. We were able to attend five endowment sessions and participate in baptisms, initiatory and sealings. We had just one girl over 12 who was able to do baptisms.

One brother is confined to a wheelchair and in a great deal of pain. We wondered how he could ever stand the trip but he did wonderfully well and was in less pain than usual. He was able to participate fully in the sessions and sealings.

It is hard to comprehend how difficult it is for these people to save enough money to get to the temple even when it is only a few hundred dollars. There are not jobs available for all of the people and many can only earn a little money from diving, fishing, cutting copra or unloading cargo from the occasional ships that stop here.

The people worked hard and saved and sacrificed but without the help of the Temple Assistance Fund (TAF) they would never have been able to save enough. Also the temple housing being made affordable and the meals provided by the Fiji saints all came together to make this possible.

We have two grandsons in Utah who collected humanitarian supplies for the people of our islands as their Eagle Scout projects. Among those supplies were many white shirts, ties, pants and other clothes, fabric and shoes which arrived just in time to benefit those going to the temple as well as the branch members. As they [scouts] stood in line to ship their supplies some people ask what they were doing with all those boxes. When they explained the cause two people stepped forward and paid the shipping for one box each.

We also had friends and family from home who wanted to help and they sent money. That has been so helpful in covering some unexpected expenses that we had not budgeted for.

As we asked them their feelings about going to the temple these are some of the comments we received, the recurring words were Thankful and Grateful.

Taam Tekiera who is the Banana Branch President said he was so thankful for all the things that happened to make this possible.
Without all the help it could not have happened. I feel very blessed, especially to be sealed to my family. It was the most wonderful experience of my life. His wife Miiniko said; we are so blessed that we got to go to the temple. I am so grateful we made it.

Rotia Korere said she was overjoyed, she never thought she would get to go to the Lord’s beautiful house. She was so grateful.

Tureta Tetita said before they went to the temple she had a dream of her deceased sister. In the dream her sister asked her to do her temple work. Turete prayed to know if the dream was real and she felt strongly that she should do her sister’s endowments. She was overcome as she acted as proxy to have her sister endowed and sealed to their parents.

Turetas husband, Teiaki was worried when they went to the temple because it took every bit of money they had and he wondered what they would do when they came back home. Within 2 days of returning he was offered a job. He feels so blessed.

This has been such a blessing for these dear saints and such a privilege for us to be a part of this wonderful event. We too are grateful to have the TAF to make these blessings available to those who otherwise would not be able to go to the temple. This will probably be the only time many of these people ever get to go to a temple so we are very thankful this happened.

The next group will have people from Fanning Island which will be a first time ever for those people to go to the temple. They had to come by boat to Christmas Island two weeks ago and then wait here to get all their paper work done to get their passports. They will be gone from home for a long time. Members here on Kiritimati are putting them up and taking care of them while they are here. We will report on that excursion after we get back Jan 26.

Elder and Sister Moser

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