Monday, March 23, 2015


Howdy Folks!
Subject says 'Hello from the people from Abaiang' roughly
This has been a great couple of weeks. Sorry I didn't write last week,
the internet worked but the power cable didn't so no power for the
computer (and it's Kiribati so it takes a bit to get a new one). Then
same problem today, but we found out we could email somewhere else in
the evening. Quick update before crazy adventure time. Transfers
happened on the 12th, Elder Miller went to another outer island,
Aranuka. And Elder Davis came as his replacement. He is from Cache
Valley UT, but unfortunately he went to Mountain Crest...well it's
better than Logan High! He has been out for just over a year. It is
cool to be with someone that is so experienced and knows what to do in
new situations (Elder Miller was just 6 week older than me). Also he
is big on exact obedience, so we work hard every day and do our best
to follolw all rules, big and small.

The week before and a little bit after he got here we had really bad
weather. I just figured it was a bad storm, but mom tells me that it
was a Cyclone. Apparently those do happen. I was rather sick at the
time so we spent a lot of time in the house and were only mildy
affected. It was super windy and rainy and the ocean was really rough,
but it didn't bother us much at all. Fun side note, the word for
bad/rough ocean is the same as the word for war. Which pretty well
describes how it looked. Tarawa had a lot of dammage and so did a
little islet called Ribono but it didn't bother me!

Speaking of Ribono I went there last week. If you look at a map of
Abaiang there are a bunch of tiny little islands in a string just off
of it. Ribono is the first inhabited island to the North of Abaiang
(it is the 6th off the coast). About a month ago we got a refferal for
an investigator that lives in Ribono. We thought it was really cool,
and found out if we had permission to go from President. When we got
approval we made planse with someone in our branch that is from that
islet to go there. We were going to go on Tuesday the 10th, but then
we found out a bout transfers and felt it best to wait a week. That
sunday the refferal came to Church! Somehow he found out about the
location and time and found a boat to get there, but he is really
interested. His name is Tawaia (Te-why-uh). So we set up a day with
him to come for the 17. Then Elder Davis came and we got it all set
up. We planned to bike to the northernmost town on Abaiang, meet our
guide there on a motorcycle, then walk on the ocean at low tide to
Ribono. Unfortunately the low tide was at 7:30 and the town is a 2
hour bikeride away. So we woke up at 4:30 and biked there. We ended up
taking a boat out to the island and walking back. They were expecting
us there and SOOOO excited to see us.

Tawaia and his wife Tokarei (Toe-kah-ray) were really strong catholics
(He studied in Fiji for 4 years to be a catholic Brother), but then
their oldest daughter went to Moroni, the LDS HighSchool on Tarawa,
and converted. She sent them a letter saying how she has gotten a
testimony in this church and how happy it has made here and that they
should take lessons with the missionaries. Off of that one letter they
declared themselves Mormon to their Catholic friends (the island is
95% catholic) and got missionaries to come. There muct have been more
because they were so receptive and open to our lessons. They have
definitely been prepared and make it into the Golden Investigator
Status. They accepted and retained everything they told us. They were
excited to hear the docterine that we could pray to gain a testimony
and that it is just between us and God. They are very well educated so
we were able to teach all of the Restoration (my first time ever doing
that) and then after a break the Book of Mormon. Unfortunatey Kiribati
has run out of Kiribati Book of Mormons, so we gave them mine, but it
was so worth it. They are so excited for this gospel.

The island is super small with only 200 or so people on it. We walked
around the entire outer edge twice and if we didn't stop it would've
taken us 20-30 minutes. We walked the whole edge once to follow
culture (super cool) then to tract (even cooler). My goal was to tract
to every house on the island, which was totally doable, but we only
went to those were people weren't busy so would accept our message
better. In the process we make a good impression with lots of people
and got two new investigators. We were also able to find that there
are at least 2 families that have been LDS for a lo0ng time, but then
moved to this island and haven't been able to have contact with the
church in years. However both of them had stayed firm and not drifted
to other churches. One asked us if we could start having sacrement
meeting there and that they would be willing to switch between houses
to make it work. The other family was even stronger. The dad's name is
Autin (say Austin). He has been a member of the church for years and
was even a high councilman for a while. But then he got sick with a
problem in his foot so he couldn't work, so they moved to Ribono. His
wife is from there. He said that they were super said to leve the
church, but felt it was right for their family. 

We went to his house,
talked for a while, then he asked us to give a spiritual thought,
because they hadn't heard any kind of thing from the church in a year.
After wards he and his wife couldn't stop expressing their gratitude
that we came. They were in tears that someone from the church came to
visit them on their catholic island. Their gratitude and faith to stay
strong was the most beautiful thing. The spirit was so strong. I wish
I had words to express it, but it was definitely one of my favorite
experiences on my mission. He holds the Melchezidek priesthood, so we
think that he could become a Unit Leader there so that they could hold
church there every week. At first it would be only 3 families, but
there is so much potential there for growth. We will go back as soon
as we can. The only problem is that now we have 4 areas to work in. It
used to be 2 days a week on each of our three areas, but now we have a
fourth, so we don't know how it will work. Also it takes so long to
get there. If we take a boat from our town it will be ridiculously
expensive, but if we bike and take a boat it will take hours with the
biking plus the waiting for a boat time. Walking takes over 2 hours
and the tide has to be just right. It is a problem, but one worth
solving because the faith of the people there. I love this church that
we are willing to go just for 1 family, and now there is 3 so we need
to go even more.
I love this work so much. Elder Davis and I are working as hard as we
can and are seeing great results.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Morley

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