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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas, New Years, Birthday #19 (bam, bam, bam!)

Elder Parrish is back on Tabiteuea North with Elder Musser. We were able to Skype with him on his first P-day back in internet coverage to make up for our missed Christmas Skype. This fell on his 19th birthday for us (although it is a day later in Kiribati). He was full of energy and happy as ever. It was fun to finally hear a little bit about the day to day life on the island that is too hard to portray through an email. Although he misses Tabiteuea South already, we were happy to see him back with internet. Here is his most recent email:

January 10, 2016

HELLO! It's crazy to think that it's been a month since I've heard from everyone let alone seen a computer. This past month that I have spent in Tabiteuea South living with a Kiribati family and companion was the best month of my short 19 (hehe) year-old life <3 I hope EVERYONE had the BESTTT Christmas & New Years
There's only one problem: Trying to catch you guys up on this past month away would be like trying to drink the ocean through a straw. I'm going to give you guys the highlights <3
CHRISTMAS (Fishing): BEST DAY EVERRRRR. I'm not sure it felt really like Christmas or what but it was the bestttt. My Christmas was spent deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean. We woke up at 6:30, got ready, and hopped on the boat. Because of the massive parties for every religion working was pretty much impossible. No such thing as fishin' poles here but we had our line rolled up, hooks, and a simple weight. Crabs for bait were caught the night before. We fished and relaxeddddd for like 5 hours. When we got back to the hut there was island music playing and fresh cut papaya, fried breadfruit and moimoto's waiting. The fish we caught went straight to the campfire and was cooked up with a nice sear. Need I say more about the Christmas I spent in Tab South?
NEW YEARS (Crab Hunting): The MOST humble New Year's I have ever spent... Although I would've loved to go to bed at 10:30 that wasn't really an option given the fact I'm living with Kiribati people. We made a mixture of a Kiribati fruit and coconuts. We went around the forest at like 11 and spread it on all these trees to lure out crabs. It struck midnight when I was sitting on the buia in humble prayer. We did a small church thing in our small family. We praised the Lord for the way he kept us in the past year and sang Kiribati songs. We concluded with dinner of crab before passing out before 3. <3
BIRTHDAY: YESTERDAY was my 19th birthday... It was spent back in Tabiteuea North. I had 2 HUGE packages waiting for me when I got back (Thx FAM) <3 I felt so blessed. It was pretty much a normal day. Elder Musser gave me a fan and my b-day dinner consisted of lobster and turtle (that's a delicacy here) <3 The BEST gift I was given was the opportunity to just Skype my fam today where it is my birthday back at home <3
I AM BLESSED <3 The growth in the culture and language that I saw this past month is something I wouldn't trade for the world. The work in Tab South was amazing as well. We were averaging about 40 lessons per week and were working really hard. With a lot of people close to done with lessons a lot of baptisms should be in the near future if they can stay strong in church attendance and keeping the commandments. It was like leaving my area when we hopped on the airplane Saturday afternoon to come back to Tab North... I already miss climbing coconut trees, deep sea fishing, net fishing, cutting karewe </3 

I hope this explains a little bit! I'm doing GREAT! I hope everyone has a great week <3
-Elder Parrish 
P.S. CHANGE IS IN THE AIR. Elder Musser just got word that he will be transferring from Tab North. His flight is 2 weeks from today. My new companion on Tab North will be Elder Johnson who is coming from Kiritimati.

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