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Sunday, October 16, 2016


October 9, 2016

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

Elder Parrish

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 2, 2016

October 2, 2016
Thanks for the email. I don't have tons of time to email today because I spent some time this morning getting a Kiribati driver’s license, but please know that I'm doing well. I'm super duper happy and I still love being a missionary. We don't have the opportunity to watch general conference this week.  We will watch it next week after it is translated to Kiribati so that the Kiribati people can watch it as well. 

Otinteiti's baptism went awesome this week. Seriously the most golden investigator that I've ever taught and I have no doubt that he will stay strong. He actually had a decent support from the branch and I was super grateful for everything. His wife is a member but she was starting to become less active and prayed to Heavenly Father that he would lead her husband to this church and if he didn't, than she was going back to the protestant church. Her prayers were answered when we showed up, started teaching him, and baptized him. They are a strong family and I can picture them going to the temple sometime in the near future. We have another baptism this week of an awesome 30+ year old guy who is one of the coolest investigators ever. He is awesome and has changed so much and it has been awesome working with him.

We had a really uplifting zone conference this last week. President Larkin brings an interesting background as a counselor and I had a good interview with him.  He is really trying to strengthen my area and the area around it because he wants it to become a stake. I feel good about everything. Transfers are happening this week so next week I will have more to report.  I love you!

Elder Parrish

Otinteiti's baptism

Kiribati driver's license 

September 18, 2016

September 18, 2016

Thanks for the email! We are a little bit late to email today because we went fishing this morning with some members at low tide and caught some small fish.  It was pretty fun! All is going well over here in Buota. I really do like Buota. There are two families who I just love. One family is actually naming their baby after me and making shirts for all the girls and mom so that's pretty cool. The work is still a little bit of a struggle but our golden investigator came to church again this week so he should be ready for baptism. He's going to be a solid Melchizidek Priesthood holder and I'm way excited. We also got another way cool golden investigator who's like a 30+ year old guy who is a sailor but already has come to church so hopefully we will be able to baptize him before I get transferred. Those are definitely the bright spots and we are super blessed for those guys.
The transfer for October still isn't 100% confirmed but I think that I will still be getting transferred-- either on October 7th or October 27th. I still get along with Elder Tuikolovatu.  He's a pretty nice and laid back dude so we have no problems on the companion front. It's crazy to me how fast the time has gone. When it's all said and done it was a pretty fast few months in Buota but it was fun to meet a couple people and I believe that there were reasons that I got sent here and I believe that this guy we are baptizing was a big part.
I hope that all is well at home... I love you guys and I continue to pray and work hard for you guys every day! 
Elder Parrish

P.S. My package came so thanks so much!