January 15, 2017
Thanks for the email! This week on Fanning Island was definitely a lot better than the first few days that I got here. Things aren't perfect yet, but I'm sure that things will continue to get better as we settle in. I really like the members here, but there are some problems in the branch because there is only one place for church and most people don't have transportation. It would be nice if we could hold church in multiple areas or if there were transportation. Getting either of those is a lot harder than you would think, but we will see what we can do. We are also feeling the effects of having no missionaries here for a month. Most of the investigators that they previously had lost interest or even moved to different places. We found TONS of new investigators this week, but it's too soon to know if they will progress. We should have four baptisms coming up in about the next month, but after that I have no idea.
My companion, Elder Murri, is awesome and I get along with him really well. We finally found some kerosene on the island so that helped us to be able to use our little camping stove. Now that we are settling in, we are starting to get some more dinner invitations and so we are getting enough to eat. I'm almost done with the New Testament and then I think that I'm going to try to read the book of Mormon again.
Believe it or not, my birthday was seriously one of the best days ever. There happened to be a ward party on the night of my birthday. It was planned for the kids, but they kind of surprised me and turned it into a birthday party. There was dancing and speaking--someone even made me a birthday cake. I got TONS of gifts including three of the local-made swords that can only be obtained here on Fanning. They are made of fish bones and stuff. It was an awesome birthday and I was so grateful to all of the members. I wish that I could send pictures, but the internet is terrible here.
Fanning is interesting because I have found some American candy in the small stores, but I haven't seen any toilet paper on the whole island. We live in the village called Te Reitannano.
I love you and I hope that you guys have a good week!