Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oct.12 , 2014 Hurrah for Israel!

Hey Everybody!
Well I made it, and I'm still alive. So life is good. It took us close to 24 hours to travel here. We reported to the Bus at the MTC at 3, then took a train to the airport, then flew to LAX and got on a plane to Fiji. That plane flight was interesting because 85% of the passengers were Jehovah's Witnesses going to a conference, so we avoided Bible Bashing, then mostly gave up trying to talk because it felt like we were trying to convert each other. We were being very receptive and respectful, but they would downright turn us down, it was pretty interesting. That flight was about 11 hours long, but it was through the night, so I slept most of it. Then we were delayed in Fiji for another 4 hours and the flight to Kiribati was 3 hours. So long but totally worth it!

Landing in Kiribati was sketchy at best. As we began our descent we could start to see a bunch of islands which were gorgeous. Then we flew over Tarawa, it is shaped like a U, or an almost closed circle and the airport is in the middle. So at the bottom of the U. That made it sorta weird, because I could see strips of  land far away on both sides of me, but there was only ocean beneath me. We just got closer and closer to the ocean until we were only like 10 feet above it. Then at the last moment there was land and 2 seconds later we touched down. It was oh so sketchy. When we landed there was probably 40 people, mostly kids under the age of 7 behind a fence for the sole purpose of watching the planes come in. It was pretty cool.
Tarawa Airport

Then we went through the chillest of customs ever and met the missionaries waiting for us. So we will probably never actually go to the mission home, but we went to the next best thing. There is a senior couple that is basically the Mission president for Kiribati taking care of the more temporal things like $ and if we are still alive. Then we went to dinner, had a brief training and met our companions. I will be serving in the Betio (Bay-so) 3rd ward. My companions are Elder Karekataki (yeah, it took me a while to say it, so give it your best guess) and Elder Timeri (Sorta like See-Mary, but at the same time sorta not...). They are both Native Kiribati which is a problem because they will just chat with each other and I will have no idea what is going on. The accent here is so different than that of the MTC that even though I know some of the words it will take me some time  to figure it out, but there is already improvement so that is good! The other problem with them being native kiribati is that even though they speak good english we can only understand each other 65% of the time... With the different culture and accent not only are words phrased differently they don't sound the same. So it is tough.

Our apartment is good. we are on Tarawa so it has electricity and a shower. It is a cinderblock  building with a door and plenty of windows (they are covered with a screen and a cloth so we never actually close them). Sleeping is fine, we have fans right above the bed so I'm not too hot. I just don't need a blanket any more so making my bed is super easy. I do have a real bed. All of my stuff got here and made it through customs so that was handy. One of my MTC companions (Elder Buhler) is going to go to an outer island on Wednesday (that was the earliest plane there, they only go about once a week). The other (Elder Carrington) is at a less developed part of Tarawa, but I haven't seem him for a week, so all I know is that he takes bucket showers with stinky well water and has already baptized someone.

My shower is pretty good. There is no hot water, but then again the air is so hot that it feels good. So I usually enjoy my showers. Except this morning. I slept at the Zone leaders house (I don't know why they only told me in Kiribati). They have an air conditioned sleeping room. So first thing this morning I got up and took a shower, but since I had been in a cooler room the shower was not refreshing, just cold. I stood as out of the stream as I could and splashed myself wet. Then turned off the water, soaped down, and then being a missionary said a sincere prayer for strength and turned on the water full stream on my head. The prayer helped, so it was good.
David on one of his first days there.  I think that
this is the zone leaders house.
Teaching lessons is interesting but is getting better. At first I couldn't understand what they were saying, so at the end they would turn to me and say ' bear your testimony on church' and I would. Now after doing it more I can pretty well understand what is going on so I can prepare what I will say. I try something new every time, so it is pretty fun. I just assume what I say is being understood, because the people don't always tell me. Mostly I just mix up possessive pronouns. Like I was telling a person about when I repented and told her that I felt really good when I confessed her sin to her bishop. I caught it and fixed it, but usually it just slides.
I'm still figuring out how mail works, but I think if you put 3 stamps on a letter and send it to
Elder Morley
Lds Mission
PO Box 400
Bikenibeu, Tarawa
Republic of Kiribati
Central Pacific
That it will probably get to me.
I don't have any more time, so Have a great week!
Elder Morley

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