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Tuesday, December 20, 2016


December 11, 2016

Holyyyy cow... One more week and I will be Skyping homeeee. I haven't even skyped for like a year and it will be way good to chat with you guys for a minute <3

Things are going well here in Buota. We have a lot of plans for things that are going on for the end of the year. We are trying to finish up everything that we possibly can and we are trying to get some baptisms completed because we are pretty sure that either Elder Peeti or I won't be here next year depending on how this next transfer goes. We think that we will be able to get seven baptisms by the end of this year. We should be having three baptisms this week if all goes well. There are some exciting things going on in this branch. 

One of my recent converts Taakoa just received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and is going to be called as the YM President which is pretty exciting. He will be baptizing his 18 year-old sister this Saturday.

Another exciting thing is Taakaio who is the man... Such a big change and so cool to see him grow closer to the Savior and to really show faith and overcome his biggest fears and challenges.

I also mentioned a family last week that we found.... They keep getting better and better. Tony and Tiebo are legit the sickest family ever. They came to church yesterday with their kids and they are progressing so well. They have a baptismal date for Dec. 31st and I think that they will be able to make it.  They are SO willing to change. They are progressing faster than we can give them commitments. They aren't perfect but they are overcoming all of their challenges and it is helping them to gain a strong testimony of the gospel as they continue to make changes and to see the peace and the spirit come into their home. They will be getting married in a few weeks and will hopefully be baptized soon after.

So many little cool things that are happening every day with our investigators. I guess for a quick little spiritual thought:

Here in Kiribati, the main religion is Catholicism and the next largest is Protestant. Things are going crazy here because the Protestant church got in a huge fight over the name of their church and they ended up splitting into two different churches.  Both churches teach the exact same doctrine, but just have different names. There are police watching chapels and ministers with the exact same faith and belief getting in huge fights.  There are also kids getting kicked out of school because of the church they chose. I have been reading and studying the New Testament and it just been great. I am so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ (3 Nep. 27) where things are the same worldwide (1 Cor. 1: 10). It's been interesting to see how this Protestant church is falling because it it is run by imperfect men (Acts 5). Anyway, hopefully dispute will lead to many converts for the Church of  Jesus Christ  of Latter Day Saints once these people can overcome the hardness of their ways.

 Love you guys.

Elder Parrish

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Update from Elder Parrish

December 4, 2016

Hello guys!

This last week in Buota was probably one of my favorite weeks here in this area. Elder Peeti and I feel like the work is going well and that we are hitting our stride. We feel that there is a lot of potential for this area for the rest of this month and in January. We just didn't have enough hours in the day to visit everyone that we would have liked to visit this past week. We were able to get a new branch presidency called this past week.  We were also able to get 40 plus lessons and over 10 new investigators. We also had eight investigators come to church last week and we feel that several will be prepared for baptism by the end of this month.

Last week I mentioned Taakaio and he is staying strong. His wife is crippled and can't walk, but shared with us that she had a dream a year ago where Elders came and brought oil in a container and told her that it could heal her from her sickness that she has had for over six years.  That was pretty amazing since she is Catholic and had no clue what a priesthood blessing was.  We were able to give her a blessing last night, which was a very cool experience. 

The rest of our investigators are doing great and we were able to pick up another family this last week who seems pretty golden.  The wife and children came to church. 

I'm super grateful to be a missionary preaching the restored gospel. I love you guys!

Elder Parrish 

Monday, December 5, 2016


November 27, 2016

Dear Friends and Family:

I guess another quick update from Tarawa! This past week was another great week. It just seemed like another dayyy and then it was Monday again. Transfers are finished, but we had to do some other stuff when a couple of missionaries in our zone were taken off of an outer island due to a sick Elder. We were bouncing between the hospital radioing the outer island and the airport and stuff so that was interesting.

I was able to see my MTC companion Elder Zamora for the first time in a year and we were able to work together this week and go on splits while Elder Peeti went and worked with a member of the Elder's quorum. He's the man and we were able to get over 40 lessons as a companionship, which was pretty good. The work is a day-to-day grind. Marriages and the word of wisdom continue to be the biggest problems that we experience. Mikaere, whom I mentioned 2 weeks ago, is staying strong and is getting married in the next few weeks and then hopefully baptized after that. We think that we should have about 4 baptisms this next month if all works out, which will be a great way to end the year. The story that I would like to share today involves our investigator Taakaio.

Taakaio is a 40+ year old man who lives in the middle of the forest.  The reason he lives there is because he is SHY-- so shy that he hates being seen by people. He lives there with his wife and no one else. We found him a while ago and he wasn't progressing very much if it all because he was too shy to come to church. Anyway, this past week we were lessoning and he told us that there was something that he wanted to tell us about. We said okay and he proceeded to tell us about a crazy dream that he had. To make a long story short, he saw Jesus in his dream and Jesus brought him up to the clouds and told him that he wanted him to become a teacher and help people and teach them the gospel. He never thought that he could fulfill his calling because he was so shy and he would have to overcome his fear, but we talked with him about the importance of church attendance and he came yesterday. Crazyyyy. God works in mysterious ways.

Give me a what’s up next week. Love you guys!

Elder Parrish 

Sunday, November 27, 2016


November 20, 2016

Hey guys;

I have no time today. We were at the airport from about six this morning until two in the afternoon getting people on flights and picking up missionaries. Not much of a P-Day at all. This last week was one of the busiest weeks of my mission. We didn't even get to teach on Thursday Friday or Saturday because we were busy doing tons of stuff. I promise that no mission in the world has transfers like this mission. We had a new intake come and spent TONS of time at the airport with transfers and orientation. On top of that, we had a district conference and two baptisms. I'm honestly wayyyy tired. It's very cool to see tons of missionaries but it makes everything crazy because we’ve had five missionaries sleeping and working with us in the house last week. I was sleeping on the ground again and it reminded me of Maiana. It will definitely be nice once this transfer is over (hopefully) this week.

We didn't get much time to work this last week so not TONS to report in terms of investigators, but our baptisms went so well. They were honestly two of the most meaningful baptisms that I have had on my mission. Everything went well and people from the branch came and supported our baptisms. Taakoa is legitimately the man and it was so cool to see his entire family come to church yesterday. He is SO active and at every activity and church on time and has been giving us referrals like CRAZY. He was more on time to church than we were yesterday. One of our way cool returned missionaries did the baptisms and it was way cool because he has actually played a role in fellowshipping our investigators. Kiteita is also SO solid and I'm secretly counting down the time until she can serve her mission!

The district conference was way fun this past week.  Saturday night was filled with native Kiribati dancing and singing and then conference on Sunday was great. The new district presidency was called and people are excited. A change in the branch presidency here in Buota should be on the way in the next few weeks. Elder Peeti and I will be here for at least another transfer serving as Zone Leaders here in Buota. Love you guys!

Elder Parrish 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Little Miracles

November 13, 2016

Just a quick updateeeeee,

This last week was a busy one. We are super pumped because we should be having two baptisms this upcoming week. One is the daughter of the minister who I mentioned last week (Kiteita) and the other is Taakoa. I haven't talked tons about Taakoa but he is the maaaan–one of our homies. We go fishing with him almost every p-day and just have tons of fun. He told us this morning that we were "his saviors."  He's the man. He has changed so much from lessoning with  missionaries. I mentioned before that he quit smoking after his fast. The Lord literally took the temptation 100% away. He went from smoking 10 cigarettes the night before his fast to quitting cold turkey and hasn’t touched a cigarette since. I love seeing a visible difference in people's faces and he has changed tons. We should also have a few more baptisms coming up in the next few weeks. We have just had so many little miracles in the past few weeks-- more than I think I have had (or noticed) in the rest of my mission. They are literally everywhere and it's so cool. I guess we must be doing something right. We have been led to the right places at the right times and to the right people. I know that it's not us.

A really cool little story that happened this week was with our investigator Mikaere (Michael). He was one of the least progressing investigators that we had so we informally dropped him a few weeks ago. We didn't say anything to him, but we just stopped visiting his house. When we would see him, we would always say hello but we never set up a lesson or anything. I think that he was a little confused as to way we stopped visiting. To make a long story short, we visited him this past Friday.  He told us he felt bad that we had stopped visiting and felt that he needed to change.  He prayed to Heavenly Father for the truth and asked what church he needed to start attending.  Before we even started our lesson, he shocked us when he said that he was coming to church with his six-year-old daughter on Sunday.  He had work (he's a security guard) from 6 pm to 6 am and went home and slept for three hours before coming to church. Pretty cool little story.

This week will be a busy week due to transfers.  We will be spending TONS of time at the airport. I will be staying as Zone Leader with Elder Peeti here in Buota for another transfer. This Friday and Saturday we have our District Conference with the members, which will be a pretty cool experience.  We are looking forward to being with all of the members from the district (many of whom are traveling on boat to come). 

Have a good week!

Elder Parrish 

Sunday, November 13, 2016


November 6, 2016

Hey everyone,

This will be a quick update because we have a combined P-Day today and we are going to have a picnic and chill and play sports on the beach. This was a wayyy solid last week last week. Let's just say Buota is on the rise!  We had to do tons of administration stuff on Tuesday and Wednesday so it took a little bit of time out of our work, but overall we had a way awesome week. 

I know that everyone is wondering what happened in our visit with the minister. Let's just say that the minister was maybe a little bit intimidated when President Larkin came. I think that it was a little bit easier for him to bash the church when he was sitting behind a telephone. Anyway,  the theme of our visit was "kill him with kindness."  He was actually nice and to be honest, I think that he was a little bit scared. To make a long story short, he made up an excuse and said that he was happy if his daughter joined the church if she can go to BYU Hawaii, but that he doesn't want her to join the church if she doesn't go to BYU Hawaii. We told him that our purpose for giving her lessons wasn't for schooling and that she had not told us she wanted to go to BYU.  We also told him that she won't necessarily get into BYU Hawaii if she is baptized. When we met with his daughter the next day and asked her why she was interested in the church,  she started crying.  She bore her testimony and told us that she is interested because she has a testimony, not because she is interested in BYU. She's so solid and she came to church again yesterday. 

Church was amazing yesterday. So many people came and it was so great to see. I think that the work Elder Peeti and I have been doing was accountable for about 30 people at church yesterday--10 investigators and so many less active members. We have literally been bringing family by family back to church. It's crazy how just little things (having tons of dinners with less active families, doing service with less active families and just being friendly by a simple invitation) can make all the difference. We also went and rescued some young men who haven't come forever and almost every single one of them came yesterday. 

We  have another great investigator named Taakoa who is the man. He fasted yesterday and hasn't smoked since. He has a 12-year-old daughter who is a member and he should be on track for next week. I seriously have the strongest testimony of fasting. It makes an immediate difference.

We will work hard this week and then we should have three or four baptisms next week which will be a great payoff. I hope that all is well at home.

Elder Parrish

Sunday, November 6, 2016

October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016

Hey everyone!!

     I hope that everyone is doing well at home. I was shocked when I looked at my watch today and realized that you guys were celebrating Halloween. I was thinking back to a year ago from today when I had my first Halloween as a missionary on Tabiteuea. It's crazy how fast my mission has gone by. 

     I've had a lot of questions on how being a Zone Leader differs from being a regular missionary. To be honest, it's a lot the same, but we have just been given some extra responsibilities. We drive a car so we are able to transfer missionaries around on days when we have district meetings and on P-Days, including getting them to the trainings that we give. We also have a meeting on Tuesday morning for mission leaders and we prepare and send the things needed on the outer islands.  We also insert and keep track of their statistics etc. We have been setting a lot of goals for our zone in terms of baptisms and we are just trying to make our zone be a fun zone. Because our area is a ways out of the way, we can spend a lot of time driving in the car, but all is well. 

     This week there were a couple of things that took us away from our work time, but yesterday was probably the best Sunday that I've had on my mission. We had a branch conference and it was the first Sunday on my mission where I felt like everything just went well. We were able to have eight investigators come to church and we taught a gospel doctrine class.  It was great! President Larkin also came to our church and spoke to the members and I could finally feel the excitement in our branch. Lots of changes are still on the way, but we are working so hard to make changes here.

     Do you remember Otinteiti, my recent convert of about a month?  He received the Aaronic Priesthood last week and performed his first baptism this Saturday. Seeing our investigator be baptized by my recent convert was one of the coolest things of my mission…  It's sometimes so hard to see that here in Kiribati and I was so grateful. I felt as if I were in the water myself.

    Elder Peeti’s and my focus is to really work with men in our area to teach, baptize, and prepare them to become full tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders. We have really been working with the Branch Presidency to get a branch mission leader called, as well as to work toward some priesthood advancements. Our branch just announced its first "branch rescue night" to go and help some of our many less active members. When we got here, there was nothing... Now there are priesthood advancements, callings being given. rescues being performed, and activities being planned. We feel that things are on the way up and I'm learning so much about how to work with branch leaders. It's something that I've never had to do on my mission because I spent so much time on the outer islands, but I know that this is how missionary work needs to be. The Lord's house is a house of order and I know that the keys and things that we have flowing to us in the Buota branch can start to bring the changes we are hoping for.

     One investigator who I would like to tell you about is Kiteita. The Lord had a plan for her and for me and I know that she is one of the reasons I was sent here.  She is 20 years old and way cool... I first met her on Maiana, but she then moved away. I somehow met up with her here on Tarawa in Buota because she now lives here. She is SO smart and has such a strong testimony and we were so excited when she came to church yesterday... We were a little shocked when we received a text from her father (a minister in the Protestant church) during Sacrament Meeting saying some pretty harsh words.  He called us a "cult" and other things I probably shouldn't mention. We were surprised because we didn't know she was having a problem with her family, but it really demonstrated her faith in coming to church. To make a long story short, we are going to visit her father the minister on Wednesday and President Larkin (our mission president) is going to come along with us. It will be interesting but I have a feeling that the Lord is going to prepare a way on this one. Pray for her please!

    I hope that everyone has a good week!

    Elder Parrish 

Sunday, October 16, 2016


October 9, 2016

Note from Jill:

Blake and I received an email yesterday from Zach's mission president indicating that he had assigned Zach to be one of the Zone Leaders for the Tarawa East Zone, which is the largest zone in the mission.  That explains why he was off getting a Kiribati Driver's license last week.  Thanks for all of your support.

Hey fam and friends,

It's been a whileeeeee. All is going well here on Tarawa. I'm just posted up here in Buota. We got word of transfers last week. I am going to become a Zone Leader, which means that we are going to be watching over 40 or so missionaries here on Tarawa and most of the outer islands. It's going to be stressful, but I feel like the Lord has a couple of things about patience and charity that he wants to teach me. My companion is going to be Elder Peeti who is getting released from being AP (Assistant to the Mission President) after serving for seven months. Legit the coolest Maori Elder from New Zealand who is a recent convert of only a couple of years. We are gonna put in some work in Buota. 

This last week Elder Tuikolovatu and I were able to finish off with a baptism of a 34 year old seamen named Kireua. When we first lessoned with him, he said that he wanted to lesson with missionaries so that he could change and receive a good life. From that time, we saw a huge change come to him. He used to be an alcoholic, but from the time we taught the Word of Wisdom, he hasn't touched a can of alcohol despite being tempted several times. He told us that he knew he couldn't ruin the Word of Wisdom since he has been given the law and since he knows that sin comes when you ruin the law (1 John). As we read Mosiah 5:1-5, we knew how converted he was to the gospel and how prepared he was to make a covenant with his Heavenly Father. It's so refreshing to see a person truly understands repentance and turning away from sin. He told us that we were his heroes and that we helped him feel that he could be cleansed through baptism despite the many sins that he had committed. His wife was a hardcore Catholic but is thinking about lessoning with missionaries after seeing the change in her husband. We are super grateful for his baptism.

The other crazy thing that happened this week was when we were pulled out of General Conference to hear that one of our recent converts just passed away from leukemia. He was only nine years old and his parents are less active members. We baptized him only a month ago. Seriously the saddest thing ever. (So grateful that he was baptized before he passed away.) Our hearts hurt and we felt terrible, but as we walked back into conference, the next speaker spoke on the Plan of Salvation and made us feel so much better. Tells you all you need to know about this conference.

Love being a missionary-- Change is always hard, but I've learned that change is when you see true growth. I guess this next step will be a good opportunity to look outward instead of inward. Love you guys <3

Elder Parrish

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 2, 2016

October 2, 2016
Thanks for the email. I don't have tons of time to email today because I spent some time this morning getting a Kiribati driver’s license, but please know that I'm doing well. I'm super duper happy and I still love being a missionary. We don't have the opportunity to watch general conference this week.  We will watch it next week after it is translated to Kiribati so that the Kiribati people can watch it as well. 

Otinteiti's baptism went awesome this week. Seriously the most golden investigator that I've ever taught and I have no doubt that he will stay strong. He actually had a decent support from the branch and I was super grateful for everything. His wife is a member but she was starting to become less active and prayed to Heavenly Father that he would lead her husband to this church and if he didn't, than she was going back to the protestant church. Her prayers were answered when we showed up, started teaching him, and baptized him. They are a strong family and I can picture them going to the temple sometime in the near future. We have another baptism this week of an awesome 30+ year old guy who is one of the coolest investigators ever. He is awesome and has changed so much and it has been awesome working with him.

We had a really uplifting zone conference this last week. President Larkin brings an interesting background as a counselor and I had a good interview with him.  He is really trying to strengthen my area and the area around it because he wants it to become a stake. I feel good about everything. Transfers are happening this week so next week I will have more to report.  I love you!

Elder Parrish

Otinteiti's baptism

Kiribati driver's license 

September 18, 2016

September 18, 2016

Thanks for the email! We are a little bit late to email today because we went fishing this morning with some members at low tide and caught some small fish.  It was pretty fun! All is going well over here in Buota. I really do like Buota. There are two families who I just love. One family is actually naming their baby after me and making shirts for all the girls and mom so that's pretty cool. The work is still a little bit of a struggle but our golden investigator came to church again this week so he should be ready for baptism. He's going to be a solid Melchizidek Priesthood holder and I'm way excited. We also got another way cool golden investigator who's like a 30+ year old guy who is a sailor but already has come to church so hopefully we will be able to baptize him before I get transferred. Those are definitely the bright spots and we are super blessed for those guys.
The transfer for October still isn't 100% confirmed but I think that I will still be getting transferred-- either on October 7th or October 27th. I still get along with Elder Tuikolovatu.  He's a pretty nice and laid back dude so we have no problems on the companion front. It's crazy to me how fast the time has gone. When it's all said and done it was a pretty fast few months in Buota but it was fun to meet a couple people and I believe that there were reasons that I got sent here and I believe that this guy we are baptizing was a big part.
I hope that all is well at home... I love you guys and I continue to pray and work hard for you guys every day! 
Elder Parrish

P.S. My package came so thanks so much!

Friday, September 30, 2016


September 11, 2016

Hey guys, I'm running a little short on time but I'll hit it up with a quick update.

I've now been in Buota since the end of July, but I'm still in my first month of training my Tongan-American companion Elder Tuikolovatu. He's the man and it's already been a good experience training. I'm grateful for the opportunity to train. The branch here in Buota is still a little bit of a struggle, but we are trying our best. Most weeks we have between 70 and 80 people at church. We have been working a lot with less active members and it's been rewarding to bring a couple of less active Melchizidek priesthood holders back to church. We are trying to get them re-activated and keep them active.

We have lots of investigators and some families, but it is a challenge because the chapel is far away and many of them work on Sundays.  But we do have one investigator I really want to tell you about.

Ten Otineiti: A 110% golden investigator. Never smoked, drank, etc. He's a 30+ year old guy who's a fireman at the airport. His wife and sister are recent converts of one year but he refused to listen to missionaries for a super long time because he was a really firm protestant. A couple of weeks ago, we came to their house and I felt prompted to ask him if he wanted lessons and he shocked us and said yes. It's gotten better and better since then. He legit has the strongest testimony and just little miracles have been happening to help things out. He went and bought a white shirt and ties and then got work off all by himself without even being prompted by us to do so.  (That's unheard of here.) And then all these crazy little things happened and somehow he was able to come to church yesterday after it seemed like Satan was trying to do all he could to keep him from it. He told us that he has gained a testimony and won't move from it. It was pretty easy to see the Lord's hand in it all. His wife bore her testimony in our lesson and said how this was one of the happiest days of her life and she felt so happy that her husband was led to the truth and how she knew that this was the true church. If he can come to church next week, then he will be ready for baptism. Legit why I was sent here! I know he's going to stay strong and is exactly what this branch needs as he will prepare himself in time to become a Melchizdek priesthood holder.

That's pretty much it. <3 Love you guys and I would love to hear from everyone! The church is true.

Elder Parrish

Monday, September 5, 2016


August 28, 2016

Somehow I became a trainer this week. 

We were called on Tuesday night and told that I would be training a new missionary who would be coming on Thursday morning. It was all really, really fast. I said goodbye to my Young Single Adult (YSA) comp and said hello to my son, Elder Tuikolovatu. He is a  big 340 pound Tongan American who just barely came to the mission. He was a late-comer after having to go home to his family when he tore his meniscus in the MTC. Luckily he is feeling better and super blessed to be a missionary. He's a super nice kid and a lot like a teddy bear haha.  I think things will be fine. It just really took me back to day one! He has lots of questions and obviously will take time to learn the language, but I'm excited to be training.  I decided from the time that I was trained that I would be a good trainer if I got the chance. I remember those first months when I would bawl to Heavenly Father every morning for help with the language and the culture shock. Eventually it got better and training has already reminded me of how hard it was and how far I've come. 

Other than that, the branch where we work is a real challenge.  It's difficult to be a missionary when the members won’t fellowship.  Church is a great distance for most members and we have far too many less active members. We have a list of 1,030 members and legitimately had fewer than 50 members at church yesterday.  It's difficult because we don't know WHO to visit or WHERE they live because the member list has not been updated.  But we have plenty to do.  We should be having four baptisms this week, which will be nice.

Just a quick spiritual experience:
I finished the Book of Mormon for the third or fourth time as a missionary yesterday and had the strongest spiritual experience as I read Moroni 10 and prayed for the truth. I received such a solid definitive answer and it made me so happy. And then later that night we were teaching a lesson on the Book of Mormon to our golden investigator (a 30+ year old man) and I like legitimately teared up teaching Moroni's promise.  What the heckkkk?  I couldn’t have imagined this before my mission. 

Love you all,
Elder Parrish 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 21, 2016

August 21, 2016

Dear Friends and Family:

Like I reported last week, all is going well here in Buota. My Yong Single Adult (YSA) companion is legitimately an awesome guy. I'm glad that I get to work with him for a month. It's not like training at all because he's good at the language. We speak in Kiribati, but his English is decent with a really strong accent. We have some good spirit-filled lessons.

The work here is going well! We should have three baptisms in the next few weeks and are working on getting three marriages done. We also brought back a Melchizedek Priesthood holder yesterday who just came to church for the first time in about 10 years. We are super duper duper busy and we are just fasting and praying to find some really good families. It's pretty hard to find lasting converts, but if we can find families who are converted by the spirit then they have a better chance of staying active.

One of my FAVORITE members from Maiana called me this last week and she's coming to Tarawa. I legitimately think she is coming just to say hi to me.  She wrote me a letter when I left Maiana and asked if she could be my "Kiribati Mom."  It will be cool to see her!

I hope you all have a great week!


Elder Parrish

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 14, 2016

August 14, 2016

Hey fam!!  I'm doing fine here in Buota! My new companion is Taam Teebeta. He's actually a way cool guy. Obviously he hasn't been the Temple and stuff, but he is a 21 year-old guy who just got his mission call to serve in the Philippines. He is going to work with me for about a month right up until he leaves for his mission. When he leaves they will find me another Young Single Adult companion until the new intake comes in October when I will be training.

When I think of how I was a year ago, I'm pretty impressed with my new YSA companion given the fact that he is leaving his family for two years in a month, but he's happy to be spending his last month doing full-time missionary work on Tarawa as my companion. I think it shows that he's a pretty cool kid. He's a hard worker and he's way more prepared for a mission than I was when I left a year ago. He's been out with missionaries before so this isn't his first time. This is just his first time becoming a full-time missionary. He actually held a calling in his ward as the clerk and I think he's pretty on top of things.

Elder Hoskins actually just left to Maiana yesterday. He was my companion this entire week. I was super jealous that he got to go back to Maiana, but I was able to write a couple of letters and stuff for some members in Maiana and he is going to deliver them. The hardest part about being on Tarawa is missing Maiana, the members, and the life on the outies. The lessons and teaching and stuff is the same wherever you go. Sometimes I really miss Maiana, but it's hard to be sad if I truly believe that the Lord needs me here in Buota. I think Buota has a lot of potential and some exciting things should be coming up pretty soon. 

We are going to have a Zone Conference this week which will be cool! My district is a district of six sisters.  We are working hard and we are going to be putting in a lot of work with part-member families and reactivation. There are 1030 baptized members in Buota and only 70 active members. This area has TONS of potential and we need to work hard so that our branch can be made a ward. I'm happy that I'll be here for a while so that I can see some things through.

I love you guys and I hope that you guys have a great week!

Elder Parrish


August 7, 2016

Dear Family:

This mission never surprises me anymore...

Last Tuesday a car came with the ZL's and I was SHOCKED when I saw that Elder Hoskins was in the car. He was back after a quick four days apart. There was an emergency transfer and he was back on Tarawa for a week.  I thought that there was a possibility that I would get to go back out to Maiana for another transfer, but they were super-duper set on having me stay in Buota. I said last week that I was going to be comps with a kid from New Zealand, but he's now going to be Elder Hoskin's comp on Maiana. A couple of Elders went home this week, so to make a long story short.... I don't have a companion. I am going to be working full-time with a Kiribati guy who's a member of the Young Single Adults who's leaving his home and stuff on Tarawa to be my companion. He hasn't yet been to the Temple and hasn't served a mission etc. He just barely received the Melchizedek Priesthood. Talk about training...

The work in this area should be good as we have more time to find and teach. It is basically like I'm white-washing because everything was done so fast that the missionaries who worked here before didn't even show me the area. I have seen some small miracles this week as we have found a couple of families that I'm way excited about. The Branch in Buota needs some work. Transportation is a huge problem here and there are tons of less actives. Our average church attendance is about 70 each week. 

Right now, I am the DL of a small district. There are very few missionaries on Tarawa at this time--most of them are sisters. I hope this gives you guys an update... It's been a crazy week. What a cool thing to be able to be comps with Elder Hoskins again this week before he heads back out to Maiana. I love you guys! 

Elder Parrish 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


July 31, 2016

Dear Friends and Family:

Last Wednesday, I got a call from the ZL's and I was told that my Flight had been changed to this last Friday. I guess there were some problems with Elders on Tarawa. I was so upset and my heart just hurt. More than anything I wanted to cry. I think that two families are getting baptized this week and if they wouldn't have changed my flight then I would have been there to see those families get baptized. We had so many fun farewells and stuff planned with all the members this upcoming week, but we didn't get to do what we had planned because I left on such short notice.

After the initial shock, I was somehow able to say bye to everyone and leave last Friday. We hired a car and all the members jumped on and they gave me a flower crown. We headed to the airport where they saw me off. The flight from Maiana to Tarawa is only about 10 minutes but I don't think that my tears were quite done by the time I got to Tarawa. It was so ironic because it was exactly my one-year mark. My one-year mark of my mission was a lot like the first day of my mission-- leaving a family. And to be honest, I don't know if I'll EVER see my Maiana family again. It was honestly a lot harder than leaving you guys one year ago (lolz). I was overcome with emotion by the love and the support that they showed to me on my time on Maiana. As I prepared to leave I was showered with gifts and things showing their love and I couldn't give them anything but hard missionary service. I will never forget the five months that I spent on Maiana. Best five months of my life--no doubt about it.

Now that my sob story is over... I'm on Tarawa. I'm serving as District Leader in Buota, which is actually a big adjustment. I feel like a missionary on his first full week of missionary service in a lot of ways. I think that when I hit my one-year mark, I had been to two district meetings and maybe two zone meetings. Being in Tarawa is just different. You feel the poverty so much more and you miss the wind biking and the food and everything. I miss taking cold bucket showers and being in the open air 100% of the time.

The area that I work is actually really large, but it is only a branch and there are about 80 members who regularly come to church. We go to
church at a chapel. Sacrament is done in a Mwaneaba.

I love you guys.... I hope you have a great week.

Elder Parrish