February 26, 2017
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!