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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

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