April 10, 2016
Family and Friends:
Zach did not send a group email again this week. Apparently, his time on the internet is very limited so I am sharing the short email he sent to Blake. Also, the prospects for getting bike parts don't look good. I thought about trying to send some myself, but the package we sent to Zach several weeks ago is still stuck in Fiji. There are only two flights in and out of Kiribati each week. Both go through Fiji on Fiji Airlines. But for about three weeks, there were no flights in or out of the country at all. Fiji Airlines was refusing to fly to Kiribati until the Kiribati runway lights were fixed. But the parts they needed to fix them were sitting on the tarmac in Fiji. When there are no flights for that long, everything gets incredibly backed up. We hear that many of the islands are completely out of rice and flour.
Sorry for not emailing last week, but the internet was broken. We didn't have cell phone coverage or internet for almost two weeks. It just got fixed late last week. There was a problem with the cell tower. Sometimes things like that happen when you rely on the sun for electricity. The reason I keep emailing so late is because the computer that we use belongs to the guy whose land we live on. He lets us use it when he gets home from work, but he has to power up a generator and stuff to even get power to charge the laptop I'm using.
To be honest, it's been a crazy past few weeks. They've definitely been some of the hardest and most trying weeks that I've had as a missionary since I've been to Kiribati. I'm still super happy, but I'll explain why it's been so tough.
The thing that has been making things really hard is the fact that we have no bikes. Elder Vaai's bike broke and so we have been walking for the past two weeks. We have only made it to the village down south one time in the past two weeks to work because it is a three hour walk one way. The village we work in up north is a solid 45 minute walk and the closest village down south is an hour walk and we don't really have any investigators there. It's been really frustrating since we had no way to communicate with the mission leadership about the bike. When we finally did get in touch with the people in Tarawa, we learned that there are no bikes on Tarawa either and they can't even get any parts. It's definitely been a little frustrating and we don't know when we will get help.
Despite the bike issues, I'm really happy and doing great. My personal conversion is coming well and I have such a desire to help these people to grow. I restarted the Book of Mormon again. I have a desire to be obedient--just a real desire to help people grow in this gospel. The highlight of these past few weeks was our baptism. We baptized an awesome 18 year old girl and she wanted me to do it.
All is well! I promise I'm doing well. I am so happy and love being a missionary. I hope that all is well at home! I love you!