Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dec 27, 2011 - Jan 18, 2012

With Christmas over, things have slowed down a bit. It was so great to be with all the Missionaries in Majuro. We are very excited to go to Tarawa and be with the missionaries there. We took Christmas decorations down and got ready to leave again. Sister Badger had a Birthday and the senior sisters went to lunch to celebrate. Sister Perkin’s birthday was on Jan 6th, so we will need to go to lunch for hers when we get back. We attended Long Island District meeting, where Elder Rigby is the District leader, he does a great job.
On Dec 31 2011, we had the Assistants and the senior couples over for dinner for New Year’s Eve. We were also prepared with candy for the kids who usually go around singing from 12:00 am till whenever! Last year we didn’t know about this tradition and when the kids came and sang at our door we had nothing to give to them. So this time we were prepared but no one came! We found out later that the security did not allow them to come into Lojkar where we live so we missed out. So we went to bed and didn’t wait to bring the New Year in. We hope you all had a great New Year’s and that you spent it with family and friends.
Tuesday afternoon we had Elders Waqatairewa, Fue, Peck, and the Assistants to lunch. Elders Waqatairewa and Fue will be leaving before we return. These two young men have served so well and we had a wonderful final interview with them. We were hoping to see Elder Abakite before we left but he came to Majuro a day late. Then we thought we might get to see him in Kiribati before we left but Air Marshall (maybe) didn’t fly, surprise surprise! We will now have to see him the next time we go to Kiribati because he has now completed his mission. We are grateful that he is another missionary that we will continue to see as he lives in Kiribati.
We left Jan 4th to go to Hawaii. We spent a few extra days as I had a few Doctor Appointments. We went to dinner with President Dalton and his wife, the mission President of the Hawaii mission. We started our missions at the same time and we hadn’t seen them again until now. They are so nice and it was great to talk about our missions, and compare notes!
On Sunday, we then flew to Fiji (Monday) and stayed overnight there, then on to Tarawa on Tuesday. We were met at the airport by the Elder & Sister Bonnemort; it was great to see them again.
We did not have a Zone Conference this time as we just had one in November. We ate with all of the senior couples at a new restaurant that night. We had an enjoyable time and the food was good. The next day we had lunch at the Bonnemort’s with Elder Nye. He was leaving the next morning for home in Melbourne, Australia. We worked closely with him and we were grateful to be there to give him his final interview and see him off. He unfortunately had been sick for a week and was still not over it. He was such a good leader and we know he will be successful in the future. Please pray for him as they are doing tests to figure out what he has. He was the last person to get on the plane as he had many at the airport to see him off. We then had interviews that day with Elders Decker, Staley, and Bush. Elder Decker is one of the new ones we had not met yet. He will be a great asset to our mission, he came ready to go. Elder Staley had been on an outer island for quite a while; it was good to touch base with him. Here are some fish they were selling on the side of the road, anyone up for some tuna?
Thursday, we went teaching with Elders Green and Eneri. We went to a young family where they had just baptized the father. The wife was already a member and they had a little boy 11 months old. They talked about the priesthood and there was a good spirit there.
Friday, we had interviews with Elders Sauaki, Tiree, and Rubena. Elder Rubena is from Kiribati and we are grateful he is serving with us. Elder Tiree will be finished when we return and he is also from Kiribati so we will get to see him occasionally which will be great. He has loved serving and he has shared the gospel with many people.
Friday, following the interviews we met the zone leaders for lunch. They are all great young men who carry a lot of responsibility as we are not always there. That night we had Pizza with the seniors and watched the movie Seventeen Miracles. What a touching movie that was.
Saturday, we went to some baptisms in Bairiki area. There were two people who got baptized a lady whose husband is already a member and a man who was in his forties. The baptism went well and it was the first one for Elder Rubena, he is one of our new missionaries and he did a great job. After they were finished another branch came to use the same font. They were Elder Green’s and Elder Eneri’s baptisms. They had three baptisms. There were a lot of members there which is always a plus. Afterwards, we had been invited to a wedding reception which was held at the new restaurant where we ate with the seniors. They had nine girls and nine guys on either side of the couple. We shook hands with all of them and then sat at a table. There was a singing group performing and a few people were dancing. There was food for everyone as well. We left before they started to eat. It was interesting to attend, as it was the first one we had been to. Some of the Elders also came who were in the district of the groom.
Sunday, we went to Betio and attended the First and the Second ward. We had not been there before and it was good to be with those members and missionaries serving in those wards. We had interviews with Elder Tutu, which was his final, and Elders Banks, Mills and Mickelson. Elder Tutu will be finished before we come again; he is an Elder from Kiribati, he’s another super Elder. We are excited to have these returned missionaries go back in their home wards and help wherever they can and hold responsible callings. It was our first time to meet Elder Mickelson, he is from Rupert Idaho and he too is excited to be serving.
On Monday, we interviewed another new missionary, Elder Tiaontin, he is a Kiribati native. We are so blessed to have so many new missionaries and we look forward to many more coming between now and May. On Monday evening we went teaching with Elders Anderson and Anderl. We had gone with them before to this family where they are teaching the Father. The wife is a member and many of their extended family. He really just needs to start coming to church in order to be baptized so we are praying that he will be able to do so. On Tuesday we went to dinner with the seniors. There was one of the prettiest sunsets we have ever seen that evening. On Wednesday we went to the Betio district meeting. Elder Mills is the district leader, and he does a good job. It is always great to see them in action. We thought we were going to receive some new missionaries today, but found out that they were not coming until Thursday.
Between the Ogborn’s and the Bonnemort’s they kept us well fed as they always do, thank you so much. We had three of the senior sisters have their Birthdays this month, two while we were there, Sisters Bonnemort, Ogborn, and Thorne.
Seven new missionaries came to Kiribati the day we were leaving. They were on the plane that we were taking to Fiji. We were so glad that we got to see them for a few minutes before our flight departed. The Elders come off the plane with their suit coats on looking so hot! We also had three sisters, one who was returning from her mission, and two who are serving in our mission. Two Elders (Fesioli’a, Ataatanake) and one Sister (Roota) will be going to Majuro whenever Air Marshall decides to fly!
Our new missionaries now arrive trained on the New Eight Teaching Principles, which is so great, because it will help them to be great teachers. They all have their individual talents and when combined with the spirit they can be such good missionaries. The Lord has need of missionaries who will devote their time and talents to this great work and we know they will be successful.
We love you all and send another Happy Birthday wish to Kellie whose Birthday was January 17th. We absolutely love our plates you sent us for Christmas and we will be using them and thinking of all of you. Love Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President & Sister Shaw

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