July 17, 2016
Thanks for the email! I love you guys... It's pretty crazy how fast the time is going.
The first thing that I need to say is that I am getting transferred on August 7th to go work in Tarawa in an area called Buota. I found out this morning and I just laid in bed for like two hours and didn't want to move because I don't want to leave Maiana to go to Tarawa. This place is my home with my second family. I'm just trying to tell myself that nothing is permanent and I'm praying we can get some of the stuff done that we would like to so that I can feel like I accomplished what I was sent here to do. I'll continue to work hard until I leave. I just really will miss everything about being on an outer island. Maiana has been great and working in a ward will present challenges and stuff that I'm not used to. It's definitely a different game and it will take some adjusting. Elder Hoskins and I are both really sad to be leaving each other. Elder Hoskins is the man and I've had a lot of fun with him. Seriously, he is just a way great kid and a good friend. He is one of those people that I could see myself hanging with after the mission
We should have three families get baptized in the next few weeks before I leave if all goes as planned. We just need a few of them to quit smoking and then they should be about ready for baptism. The one family moved houses temporarily and I think that they should be back this week so it should be good.
Anyway, I love you guys and I'm going to enjoy it here on Maiana this week. Love the people, the fish, the ocean, the beaches and everything. I'm going to miss sleeping in the hut. (I know my back is going to be in for a treat when I get back to Tarawa.)
Coming up this week is Independence Day in Kiribati and it should be awesome... There is a march and tons of food and sporting events for cash prizes. The whole island is in one place so work should be a little hard, but we will make it work alright after the celebration is over.
Also a bunch of the village kids broke in the house and ate all our food last week haha
It sounds like all is going well at home. I love you guys.
Note from Jill:
We received a couple of photos from the mother of Zach's companion. They are attached. His companion sent the following explanations of the photos:
Here is a baby we blessed. (Elder Parrish didn't know how to hold her so I had to in the picture.) The other pic is a kid we sent on a mission. He couldn't afford the ticket to go to Tarawa or for his passport or medical stuff so we paid for it all. Since we are acting as branch presidents, we get to do all that cools stuff like bless babies. (She is actually a year old, but they are new converts.)
We also received the following email and photo from President Larkin, Zach's new mission president.
Dear Brother and Sister Parrish
I am the new mission president for the Marshall Islands Majuro Mission (arrived two weeks ago) and yesterday my wife and I visited a number of outer islands in the Kiribati region, including the island of Maiana where your son is currently serving. I just wanted to let you know he is doing well physically, emotionally and spiritually - and is fulfilling his calling magnificently.
I have attached a photo from yesterday's visit - includes your son and his companion (Elder Hoskins) and my assistants, Elder Peeti and Elder Lessor, and myself.
President and Sister Larkin
Marshall Islands Majuro Mission