Well, so far the internet doesn’t work yet, but we’ll hope that it
connects. This week has been great. I love seeing changes in people’s
lives. There are a lot of people that we work closely with that have
made just the tiniest hint of progression, but we are proud of them
for it, and work with them and praise them even more for it. One of
the houses that we have permission to sleep at is at the home of
Tamwaiti (tah Mice, or maybe Thomas). He and his family have been
members for years. The wife/mom , Taburuke (Tah brook) served a
mission in Utah back in the 25+ years ago. They have 5 kids living at
home from 3-14 years old, and the parents and all of the kids have
become like a family to me. We go to their house 2 times a week to
spend the night and every time they have a meal and a separate private
place set up for us to rest. Then we joke and play Sorry (but they all
count cards so we struggle to win). We also used to hold church for
them and others around them in their house (that’ll change this week).
The only problem is that the dad, one of the 5 native Melchezidek
Priesthood holders, is not worthy because of Word of Wisdom Problems.
He has had some smoking and drinking in the past, but dropped them as
soon as he was baptized. Then he was a Unit President in Christmas and
fell into drinking Kava which is against the Word of Wisdom in
Kiribati. When we first started working with him he had no desire to
change, he had been doing it for so long. Then every week in church we
gave a subtle (or sometimes pretty direct) talk about obedience or
commandments or Don’t Do Kava!! Then, since we have gotten so close
with him and his family we were able to have a completely open
conversation about how we can help him to quit. We decided that he
needs a new hobby, but only a handful of people in Kiribati even know
what a hobby is. So there is progress, it is just tiny. But I always
love returning to his home after a long day (we’ll go there today and
Life is great and fun and I love you all!
Note from mom: We had a beautiful thing happen while we were receiving this letter last night. At the same time as David was online, we had in our home a RM from Kiribati, Elder Lane Tait and a future Kiribati missionary Sister Brooklyn Baldwin. Sister Baldwin and David had been in the same seminary class at Sky View their Senior year. David was able to send encouraging words about the mission to her and to give her some suggestions for preparation. Also, David is currently serving on the island that Elder Tait and Elder Grover opened Nonouti. Lane was able to send a couple of emails to David and to find out that many of his new converts from 18 months ago are the core of the branch now. He was so very very happy to see that his converts were still strong in the gospel. The spirit flooded our home with the goodness of the Lord to let these missionaries connect and strengthen each other last night. It was so tender. What a beautiful blessing to see the goodness of the Lord last night in touching all our hearts and making Kiribati seem a lot closer for a short period of time.