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Sunday, March 26, 2017

March 19, 2017

All is going well out here on Fanning Island. I am really enjoying myself.  I am so used to the life here on outer islands and I am enjoying every moment of it.

We were able to baptize a young couple this last week, which was awesome to see and a way cool experience.  It was my first time doing a baptism in the ocean since last July! I think that we are going to be having some more baptisms in the next couple of weeks, which is way great!  We are starting to clear up a lot of time for finding new investigators so all is going well. We have gotten a little bit of help on the paperwork for the marriages that need to be performed, but we still need to get a few of them figured out, which has been really hard.  We still need a lot more help if we are going to get things done.

This week was a little hard because we had to leave our area for a day and a half to help out with transfers since one of the elders on the other side of the island had to leave.  We are working in a threesome until his new companion comes in a week and a half.   Hopefully this week we will be able to stay in our area and go on splits so that we will be able to get more done. 

Last week we went fishing but didn't catch tons of fish... I think that we are going to be going again today and that we should be able to catch some more.. it should be fun.

Time is flying by... I'm currently almost finished with 1 Samuel in the Old Testament and I love it. I don't know why I never read the Old Testament before.

Love you all.  Have a great week!

Elder Parrish

Saturday, March 25, 2017


This week we were fortunate to receive some photos that Elder Parrish's last companion, Elder Murri, sent home with a returning missionary.  Enjoy!

The church property.  The house where the missionaries live is on the left.  Sacrament Meeting is held in the Maneaba (Center).


Doing service in the Kiribati pits with the native root called called "bwabai."

Going to pick up Elder Johansen

Goodbye Elder Murri!

March 12, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Fanning Island is greattttt! Elder Rowsell and I are enjoying our time out here working hard and having some fun. Last P-Day we went fishing and I caught the biggest fish that I have caught on my mission. Like a 30 pound fish--it was soooo sick! We are going out to get some bone fish today. <3 I love working out here and the work is going great.

We haven't had fewer than 16 investigators in each of the last three weeks at church.  Yesterday, we had 90 people overall at church, which was the most we have had in attendance at the Fanning Branch in months.  It was way cool to see so many people at church.  Pretty much all of our investigators have come to church and are progressing at this point... Sometimes things change week to week with our investigators, but all of them are searching for truths and I think they will all get to the finish line at some point.  We have four or five families who are pretty much READY.  And we have a list of 10 marriages that need to be performed before the investigators can be baptized, which is really overwhelming. But the hardest part is knowing that it's out of our control... We are relying on people from Kiritimati and government workers to get the paperwork through for the marriages. We are praying and hoping that things will get there at some point.

The one family I want to talk about is Tekannoe and his wife Neinang and their 3 angel daughters (ages 14, 12, and 10). They haven't been super religious in the past and Tekannoe has been a drunk for years.  But when we started lessons, they began to change until they have completely changed and are currently keeping the Word of Wisdom and are waiting to get married. They hold family prayer, read their scriptures everyday and have come to church the past three weeks. It's been a complete 180 degree change and it's so cool to see. Pray for these marriages so that these baptisms can start flowing.

I Love you all.  Have a great week!

Elder Parrish


1.  Missionaries at the District Conference on Christmas Island that Elder Parrish              attended a few weeks ago
2.  The Fanning Island Branch at their Meeting with Elder Johansen of the Area 70            who recently visited
3.  Biking to Church
4.  Recent Baptisms
5.  Fishing
6.  Full boat

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 5, 2017

March 5, 2017

Dear Family:

Thanks for the emails.  Last week was a good week!  I would love to send you some photos of Fanning, but the internet here is way slow and I think that I would be wasting time trying to send any. I guess that you guys will get to see them soon enough since I’m down to four months left!  It's crazy how time flies.

Nothing too mind blowing happened this last week.  You asked about my area.  Fanning is a big island, but a lot of Fanning is unpopulated and so our area isn't too huge! Maiana and Tab where I previously served were definitely a lot bigger in area than Fanning, but we still bike an average of about two hours a day.

Last week, we did have two baptisms, which was nice (my first baptisms on Fanning) and we should be having some in the next few weeks, which will be great. The two baptisms we had were of two kids whose parents were both members so it was cool to see their father perform the baptisms. He was the first missionary in Kiribati and a former student at the Liahona High School.

We had 16 investigators at church, including a couple of awesome families, but it's difficult because most couples in Kiribati don’t get married and these couples won’t be able to be baptized until they are married.  Even when the couples are happy to get married, the process for getting that done here is not an easy one. And it is a bigger problem when the person who doesn't want to get baptized out of the couple refuses to get married to the person who wants to be baptized.  I guess that we will just keep working and see what we can do.  Missionaries who will be coming after us will be able to see some of the fruits of our work here on Fanning once these marriages are performed.  I guess that's what happens when you spend most of your time teaching adults and families.

My new companion Elder Rowsell is a great guy and we get along with no problems.  He's way laid back and we have been working hard and having a good time together. 

I don’t have much time today because we are going to go fishing.  We haven’t been able to go because there hasn’t been any gas on the island until some just came on a ship.  I'm pretty excited! 

It sounds like all is going well at home! I love you and I hope that you have a good week!

Elder Parrish

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

February 26, 2017

February 26, 2017

Hello everyone!!

These have been two of the sickest weeks of my mission! I can't wait to tell everyone about all of the exciting things that have happened/are happening.

Two weeks ago, Fanning Island was visited by a member of the Area 70, Elder Johansen. It was almost a disaster because we woke up in the morning and it was POURING rain. Kiribati people DO NOT deal with or work in rain so we were having a hard time getting them motivated and making it to the airport on the boat and we had no clue if the airplane was even going to come. To make a long story short, we were SHOCKED cuz when we got to the airport the airplane was there and we had made a member of the 70 wait on us for like 20 minutes. HAHA--just one of those things we had to laugh off cuz we didn't know if we were going to get killed. We didn't end up having much time with the members because the plane was supposed to take off at 12 and the weather still wasn't great, but the weather cleared up quite a bit and we got tons of members to come at the perfect time to meet and greet with a member of the 70.

There were so many little miracles. Elder Johansen is such a powerful man-- He is from Tonga and he is exactly what the people of Kiribati need. He spoke and he said that "the job of a 70 is to pave the way.... He was the first to come on Fanning. There will be other leaders to come on Fanning, mission Presidents, and maybe 70's, until the Savior Jesus Christ comes himself to Fanning." As I looked out I saw everyone crying.  It was so powerful!

Due to the weather, we didn't get to charter the plane to Washington Island as we had planned, but we returned to Kiritimati Island where we had an awesome weekend. On Saturday, we attended the Priesthood Leadership session and had an awesome activity at night with local dancing and singing and then on Sunday we had a conference with all of the saints on Kiritimati.  On Monday, we had an awesome meeting with Elder Johansen before we flew back here on Tuesday. It was so awesome to meet with members and other missionaries on Kiritimati island. I was able to hang out with some of my best friends from my intake and then I was able to have one of the coolest weeks of my mission.

We flew back to Fanning Island this past Tuesday. I came out here with my new companion, Elder Rowsell, who is from Idaho and has been out for about four months. He is a way cool guy and we should have no problems.

The work here on Fanning Island is CRAZY good. We had 19 investigators--yes 19 investigators--at church. We had like 5 families come to church. It was INSANE!  Everything came together and ALL of our investigators came to church. We have many hills to climb with the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity (marriages especially), but people are coming unto Christ. It's nice to see these things happen and to know that you are fulfilling your purpose as a missionary. It's awesome to see how this area has changed even in the one month that I've been here. We will be having two baptisms this week and hopefully a family the following week.

        One quick story:

A couple of weeks ago, we were lessoning with a family. They are members of the Protestant Church and the minister had been getting mad because they had been meeting with missionaries. We were at their house teaching them about the restoration when the minister showed up at their door. We had the picture of the first vision with our bibles open to James 1:5. We had just said "amen," when the minister came up to us and told us that we couldn't visit this family anymore because they were members of her church. She said that she didn't visit our members. I told her that we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people and try to help them increase their faith. She told us to never come back, but we didn't back down. To make a long story short, she left the house and we closed our lesson in prayer with this family. The father gave a powerful prayer asking for the truth. This family came to church yesterday and are preparing for baptism this month and happily accepted their date this week. Such a COOL experience. I had literally told Elder Murri earlier that day that I really wanted to have a conversation with a minister before I finished my time and it happened like two hours later. So funny how the Lord works!

    All is well and people are changing through the gospel! Have a great week!

Elder Parrish