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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The week I spent in Tab South

October 19, 2015

Mauri mauri mauri aomata ni kabane! (hello everyone)
How is everyone doing at home and various parts of the world?! We are still under the same moon I promise (Just an 18 hour time change) <3 

This has been a little bit of a crazy week! You've probz realized that I'm emailing a day late. As I mentioned last week in my email, Elder Musser and I were going to go Tab South this past week. Last Wednesday, we hopped in a tiny single engine fishing boat and boated south down the coast for Tab South. After a 3 hour boat ride, we arrived. To answer your question, no one was there to greet us. How would they even have any idea that we were coming w/o internet or phone coverage? They had been expecting us for weeks but because of the problems with my plane to get here we couldn't go earlier. Regardless, we were there and there was no stopping us!! heheh
Anyways, we showed up to the "Unit Leaders" house, which consists of 2-stick houses, a "buia" (raised open air hut), and a bathroom (picture "The Other Side of Heaven"). We found out that the stick house being built for the elder's hasn't even been started let alone finished. We could tell they were a little surprised to see us but nonetheless we had arrived at home! 
The rest of the week is about how our stay in Tab South started. Every night, we slept on the buia on "kie's" (the woven mats) under "bongos" (mosquito nets). There was a well a little ways away that we would use to get water to flush the porcelain hole and to get water for showers and such. Hahah try taking a bucket shower with dirty well water and tell me if you feel like you get any cleaner. 1 night I was a little sick from something hahaha I don't want to know what animals were living inside that bathroom when I was using it for a good portion of the night.

It sounds a little bit scary but it really wasn't that bad... It's just different! I was able to live like a Kiribati person and I was able to experience the things that they do every day-- for just 1 week. The family that we stayed with was seriously so amazing and so kind. They fed us every meal and when I wasn't feeling well they were so kind. I really learned a lot about the culture and I felt my language forced to improve as we were literally living Kiribati 24/7. Studies were a little interesting when you are literally living in a families living room but it was an awesome week and it was hard to say goodbye to Tauetebong and family-- in Kiribati when you leave you don't know if it's the last time you'll see that person.

As for the rest of our week, it was good. There were lots of visits and lots of lessons taught. There is already a great pool of investigators there and when Elder's come next week they're going to see loads of success. The people there are so curious and so ready to receive the gospel. there aren't enough hours in a week to teach the amount of people in Tab South that would want to be taught in 1 day. I'm super excited for the Elder's to open that area and continue to prove that this gospel is going to the "isles of the sea." I'm grateful I was able to play a small part in getting it ready. 

Other than that, it was a good week. 

Never take for granted how amazing your local ward and stake is. Seeing Tab South in the very baby stages of development was truly humbling. It takes good members and people that are willing to make the church flourish and grow in your particular area. As of now, there are a total of 20ish members of the church on Tab South. Sacrament meeting 1 was held in Tauetebong's buia with approximately 6 adults and a 8 or 10 kids. We blessed and passed the sacrament and then Elder Musser and I gave talks. We then proceeded to do the same thing to another family in a different village consisting of 1 adult. It was a pretty humbling and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Well, that's about it for me! Time to settle back into the normal lifestyle in our MANSION on Tab North with a table to study. Great experiences this week... ALWAYS "Wareki Am Bwai" (count your blessings). I'll never forget the week I spent in Tab South.

 Don't forget to drop me an email :')  

Elder Parrish

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