Dear Mom and Dad,
So here's where I'm at time wise. Today is Dec. 21 the day I was supposed to go back to Nikunau. We got up early and went to the airport. We asked when Nikunau would check in and even though we arrived right at check in time, nobody knew. Finally somebody told us that the flight hadn't left yet and to wait for the announcement. We waited for 45ish min and an announcement came that said "We are sorry to announce to all passengers to Nikunau that the flight has been delayed."
Know body knew at that time when the replacement flight would be. We'll call first thing in the morning, but at this point the replacement flight could go tomorrow, or the next day, or maybe we'll have to wait until the next scheduled flight on Thursday, but that is Christmas Eve, so there might not be a flight then. We'll see in time. So, I'm sorry I didn't email today, but I was so emotionally crushed after that announcement. I wrote you a farewell letter last night and I was too depressed to write again. I just wrote president.
I want you to understand a little why I want to go to that island so bad Why it is worth it to me to leave behind internet, family, the world, you guys, etc. to go to a tiny dot on the map. I think the best way t express it would be through my journal entry that I wrote just after we got home from the airport. It was supposed to be just an unloading rant, but I hope you can feel the love in it.
Dec. 21, 2015
I'm depressed. I don't think I'll ever get off this island.E Kanibwara nanou* (A really strong way of saying I almost want to give up. My heart/desires are untied.) I remember that last Sunday morning on Nikunau when I could feel that I would have to leave the island and the uncertainty of if I could come back. The almost overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety and loss that I almost couldn't breathe when I was biking to the airport. Then when I told Teiaba, "If I don't come back, my stuff belongs to you guys! Then that Wednesday after a fast when I tried to get myself a place on the plane. I was unignorably told, "NO" to my prayers to let me leave Tarawa Jeff's charter plane needs to be inspected and the time got pushed back a week randomly This flight was delayed b/c last night or the night before the pilot got some strange back pain and can't get on the plane. I feel like I am again being told that I am not supposed to leave Tarawa. Not supposed to go to Nikunau. I KNEW that leaving was the right thing to do, even though I HATED it. Now I just want to go back. What will they do without me, or more importantly what will I do without them?
I love that island so much. I have never loved a place more than there, Oh the pain of separation! But its not just some strange homesickness. It's like a shepherd being put in jail with the continual promise that he can go to his flock, but it never ever happens What if a wolf comes? What if they get scattered? What if they wander and get led astray? What if one gets lost? Who will rescue him? I have so many new members, brand new converts and investigators just starting to feel the seeds of conversion. And there is So much opposition My finger and heart are over every facet of the church on that island and I have no way of knowing how they are doing. No way to communicate. No nothing I feel such responsibility in addition to the love, but there is nothing I can do about it I'm just left to hope and pray and trust in the Lord. I know that this is part of the Lord's plan I can FEEL it. But I just wish I knew why. That hardest part however is that while I am here it is wrong of me, down right selfish for me to be moping in a rot of despair. This is the work of the Master! It is my Call to invite All to come unto Christ. To devote all my heart, might, mind, and strength to this work, no matter where I am. It means I need to let go. Let go and trust in the Master's Hand It just hurts a little. I know that this is His mighty work. I know that He leads this work. I know at All will go well if we but trust in Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
So that was my journal entry. After I finished I wrote a letter to President Weir with similar contents, but also expressing concerns like "I'm starting to feel like I'm not supposed to go back. I will go back to Nikunau right?" Later in the day I got to see him and asked my question in person. He joked around at first and said, "Elder Morley, you may finish your time on Nikunau here on Tarawa and get transferred somewhere else! But then he saw my face and said, "We Will get you out to Nikunau!"
So enough about Nikunau. While waiting we have been doing splits with the other missionaries. I fell in love with the investigators in Ambo and I was able to help one family finish their preparation for baptism. I love them, so if I don't get to go back to my island I'll ask if I can go to their baptism on Thursday (Christmas Eve, it will be a white Christmas!)
All is well. Life is good. I love you so much,
PS I'm sorry about not eating the yummy cookies you sent. I just knew that there weren't many and it was something they will never get to try in their lives. It was a gift I wanted to give. Thank you for the opportunity.