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