I am on Abaiang with Elder Miller, also from Utah. We are great friends and have lots of fun sharing stories and preaching the gospel. The island is long and it has 2 branches and a unit. Everyday we take turns going to different parts of the island to teach. Tuesdays and Saturdays at Tabuntebike (means end of the beach) then Borotiam (pronounced Bro-sum) is on Thursdays and sundays, We live on a compound with the chapel in Tuarabu and work there on Wednesdays and Fridays. Each is about an hours bike ride away. Our goal for everyday is to teach 5 lessons. Borotiam, the unit, is really doing well so some days we get 9 lessons (we would most days but people usually like to talk too much which takes up time). Then the other two areas are slowly improving. Even with this email time we should hopefully be able to get our 5 today.
My language has come a long way since Christmas, my companion is a good teacher and pushes me hard. I have eaten eel (looks as creepy as the ones in the Little Mermaid) and Mantaray, plus the usual shark and cool shellfish and lots of fish. It all tastes pretty good.
We are blessed right now with a Golden Investigator. His name is Tiiwini which is a Kiribati approximation of the name Steven, and sometimes when they say it it sounds like Stevie. He was a refferal and we contacted him in my first week. He was a very strong Protestant and so on our first meeting shared with us Galations 1:6-10. Basically saying that anybody that gives religion different from what he's heard is 'accursed'. The kiribati bible is super had to understand so we didn't actually know what he told us until we went home. We were super scared and spent hours preparing him a lesson. He then accepted it with no problem. I am not sure where the change came from but he is so ready for the truth. One time we met with him he told us how he suddenly decided that smoking and alcohol were bad after doing them for 40 years. We were like 'Oh really, we'll teach you the Word of Wisdom on Thursday on the day that we were going to give him the Book of Mormon we saw the one that we gave his daughter weeks before lying next to him with a bookmark in it. He was on chapter 10 before we asked him to start.
That lesson he also told us that he wanted to come to church with us. We were like, 'oops, we're sorry that we haven't had the chance to invite you yet, it's down the road and starts at 10. Every lesson he asks us some sort of question that leads us into teaching the answer for our next lesson. One day, shortly after we started right after we closed in prayer he said, 'Ok, you've had your time, now it's my turn' We were so scared, but it turned out that his wife made a huge and rather fancy meal for us. Last lesson he straight up asked us, 'Ok, I'm taking the lessons, what else do I need to do to get baptized?" We were just like 'who are you and how are we worthy enough to teach you?' Most people here are uneducated and just accept everything with out comment (which is kind of a pain). We just feel so blessed to be teaching someone who not only understands how important this is, but is totally excited to accept it. He is now softening the hearts of his family as well. His wife who refused to shake our hands on our first meeting now sits in with us and listens.
Life here is great and I love you all
P.S. Sorry for what my english has degraded to. It will probably only get worse