Total Pageviews

Sunday, November 27, 2016


November 20, 2016

Hey guys;

I have no time today. We were at the airport from about six this morning until two in the afternoon getting people on flights and picking up missionaries. Not much of a P-Day at all. This last week was one of the busiest weeks of my mission. We didn't even get to teach on Thursday Friday or Saturday because we were busy doing tons of stuff. I promise that no mission in the world has transfers like this mission. We had a new intake come and spent TONS of time at the airport with transfers and orientation. On top of that, we had a district conference and two baptisms. I'm honestly wayyyy tired. It's very cool to see tons of missionaries but it makes everything crazy because we’ve had five missionaries sleeping and working with us in the house last week. I was sleeping on the ground again and it reminded me of Maiana. It will definitely be nice once this transfer is over (hopefully) this week.

We didn't get much time to work this last week so not TONS to report in terms of investigators, but our baptisms went so well. They were honestly two of the most meaningful baptisms that I have had on my mission. Everything went well and people from the branch came and supported our baptisms. Taakoa is legitimately the man and it was so cool to see his entire family come to church yesterday. He is SO active and at every activity and church on time and has been giving us referrals like CRAZY. He was more on time to church than we were yesterday. One of our way cool returned missionaries did the baptisms and it was way cool because he has actually played a role in fellowshipping our investigators. Kiteita is also SO solid and I'm secretly counting down the time until she can serve her mission!

The district conference was way fun this past week.  Saturday night was filled with native Kiribati dancing and singing and then conference on Sunday was great. The new district presidency was called and people are excited. A change in the branch presidency here in Buota should be on the way in the next few weeks. Elder Peeti and I will be here for at least another transfer serving as Zone Leaders here in Buota. Love you guys!

Elder Parrish 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Little Miracles

November 13, 2016

Just a quick updateeeeee,

This last week was a busy one. We are super pumped because we should be having two baptisms this upcoming week. One is the daughter of the minister who I mentioned last week (Kiteita) and the other is Taakoa. I haven't talked tons about Taakoa but he is the maaaan–one of our homies. We go fishing with him almost every p-day and just have tons of fun. He told us this morning that we were "his saviors."  He's the man. He has changed so much from lessoning with  missionaries. I mentioned before that he quit smoking after his fast. The Lord literally took the temptation 100% away. He went from smoking 10 cigarettes the night before his fast to quitting cold turkey and hasn’t touched a cigarette since. I love seeing a visible difference in people's faces and he has changed tons. We should also have a few more baptisms coming up in the next few weeks. We have just had so many little miracles in the past few weeks-- more than I think I have had (or noticed) in the rest of my mission. They are literally everywhere and it's so cool. I guess we must be doing something right. We have been led to the right places at the right times and to the right people. I know that it's not us.

A really cool little story that happened this week was with our investigator Mikaere (Michael). He was one of the least progressing investigators that we had so we informally dropped him a few weeks ago. We didn't say anything to him, but we just stopped visiting his house. When we would see him, we would always say hello but we never set up a lesson or anything. I think that he was a little confused as to way we stopped visiting. To make a long story short, we visited him this past Friday.  He told us he felt bad that we had stopped visiting and felt that he needed to change.  He prayed to Heavenly Father for the truth and asked what church he needed to start attending.  Before we even started our lesson, he shocked us when he said that he was coming to church with his six-year-old daughter on Sunday.  He had work (he's a security guard) from 6 pm to 6 am and went home and slept for three hours before coming to church. Pretty cool little story.

This week will be a busy week due to transfers.  We will be spending TONS of time at the airport. I will be staying as Zone Leader with Elder Peeti here in Buota for another transfer. This Friday and Saturday we have our District Conference with the members, which will be a pretty cool experience.  We are looking forward to being with all of the members from the district (many of whom are traveling on boat to come). 

Have a good week!

Elder Parrish 

Sunday, November 13, 2016


November 6, 2016

Hey everyone,

This will be a quick update because we have a combined P-Day today and we are going to have a picnic and chill and play sports on the beach. This was a wayyy solid last week last week. Let's just say Buota is on the rise!  We had to do tons of administration stuff on Tuesday and Wednesday so it took a little bit of time out of our work, but overall we had a way awesome week. 

I know that everyone is wondering what happened in our visit with the minister. Let's just say that the minister was maybe a little bit intimidated when President Larkin came. I think that it was a little bit easier for him to bash the church when he was sitting behind a telephone. Anyway,  the theme of our visit was "kill him with kindness."  He was actually nice and to be honest, I think that he was a little bit scared. To make a long story short, he made up an excuse and said that he was happy if his daughter joined the church if she can go to BYU Hawaii, but that he doesn't want her to join the church if she doesn't go to BYU Hawaii. We told him that our purpose for giving her lessons wasn't for schooling and that she had not told us she wanted to go to BYU.  We also told him that she won't necessarily get into BYU Hawaii if she is baptized. When we met with his daughter the next day and asked her why she was interested in the church,  she started crying.  She bore her testimony and told us that she is interested because she has a testimony, not because she is interested in BYU. She's so solid and she came to church again yesterday. 

Church was amazing yesterday. So many people came and it was so great to see. I think that the work Elder Peeti and I have been doing was accountable for about 30 people at church yesterday--10 investigators and so many less active members. We have literally been bringing family by family back to church. It's crazy how just little things (having tons of dinners with less active families, doing service with less active families and just being friendly by a simple invitation) can make all the difference. We also went and rescued some young men who haven't come forever and almost every single one of them came yesterday. 

We  have another great investigator named Taakoa who is the man. He fasted yesterday and hasn't smoked since. He has a 12-year-old daughter who is a member and he should be on track for next week. I seriously have the strongest testimony of fasting. It makes an immediate difference.

We will work hard this week and then we should have three or four baptisms next week which will be a great payoff. I hope that all is well at home.

Elder Parrish

Sunday, November 6, 2016

October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016

Hey everyone!!

     I hope that everyone is doing well at home. I was shocked when I looked at my watch today and realized that you guys were celebrating Halloween. I was thinking back to a year ago from today when I had my first Halloween as a missionary on Tabiteuea. It's crazy how fast my mission has gone by. 

     I've had a lot of questions on how being a Zone Leader differs from being a regular missionary. To be honest, it's a lot the same, but we have just been given some extra responsibilities. We drive a car so we are able to transfer missionaries around on days when we have district meetings and on P-Days, including getting them to the trainings that we give. We also have a meeting on Tuesday morning for mission leaders and we prepare and send the things needed on the outer islands.  We also insert and keep track of their statistics etc. We have been setting a lot of goals for our zone in terms of baptisms and we are just trying to make our zone be a fun zone. Because our area is a ways out of the way, we can spend a lot of time driving in the car, but all is well. 

     This week there were a couple of things that took us away from our work time, but yesterday was probably the best Sunday that I've had on my mission. We had a branch conference and it was the first Sunday on my mission where I felt like everything just went well. We were able to have eight investigators come to church and we taught a gospel doctrine class.  It was great! President Larkin also came to our church and spoke to the members and I could finally feel the excitement in our branch. Lots of changes are still on the way, but we are working so hard to make changes here.

     Do you remember Otinteiti, my recent convert of about a month?  He received the Aaronic Priesthood last week and performed his first baptism this Saturday. Seeing our investigator be baptized by my recent convert was one of the coolest things of my mission…  It's sometimes so hard to see that here in Kiribati and I was so grateful. I felt as if I were in the water myself.

    Elder Peeti’s and my focus is to really work with men in our area to teach, baptize, and prepare them to become full tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders. We have really been working with the Branch Presidency to get a branch mission leader called, as well as to work toward some priesthood advancements. Our branch just announced its first "branch rescue night" to go and help some of our many less active members. When we got here, there was nothing... Now there are priesthood advancements, callings being given. rescues being performed, and activities being planned. We feel that things are on the way up and I'm learning so much about how to work with branch leaders. It's something that I've never had to do on my mission because I spent so much time on the outer islands, but I know that this is how missionary work needs to be. The Lord's house is a house of order and I know that the keys and things that we have flowing to us in the Buota branch can start to bring the changes we are hoping for.

     One investigator who I would like to tell you about is Kiteita. The Lord had a plan for her and for me and I know that she is one of the reasons I was sent here.  She is 20 years old and way cool... I first met her on Maiana, but she then moved away. I somehow met up with her here on Tarawa in Buota because she now lives here. She is SO smart and has such a strong testimony and we were so excited when she came to church yesterday... We were a little shocked when we received a text from her father (a minister in the Protestant church) during Sacrament Meeting saying some pretty harsh words.  He called us a "cult" and other things I probably shouldn't mention. We were surprised because we didn't know she was having a problem with her family, but it really demonstrated her faith in coming to church. To make a long story short, we are going to visit her father the minister on Wednesday and President Larkin (our mission president) is going to come along with us. It will be interesting but I have a feeling that the Lord is going to prepare a way on this one. Pray for her please!

    I hope that everyone has a good week!

    Elder Parrish