Wednesday, April 16, 2014

September through October 31 was a bit of a blur, as we prepared to conclude our mission time in Kiribati.  One of the biggest issues we had was trying to complete the support work to help the saints on Abemama get to the temple.  Four families (15 people) wanted to go and filled out the application for funding from the Church temple fund to help them get there.  We had to find baptismal records, get some records transferred into the branch from years ago.  The record keeping is a problem, with some ordinances not being recorded or submitted.  We found success, with a lot of diligence and some inspiration. Unfortunately, some were not able to go because they couldn't find a birth certificate -- a necessity for a passport and visa.
Tongoi, the mission's 1st counselor, relaxing in from of our hotel in Abemama.
 We were the first visitors to stay at the new hotel, which had its own shower and toilet down the hall.

Our hotel room with a bed and table.  At night they will put a mosquito net over the bed.  Lights go out at 10 pm, though because the solar power can't be counted on after that.

The lounge was also the dining room.

Tongoi ready for breakfast.

It was the branch president's birthday and his wife made a cake for us all to share.

The sisters came with the cake after their husbands finished with their training meeting.

Judy, branch president Mwemweata and wife, 2nd counselor and wife, 1st counselor, Tongoi.  These couples and their kids and the clerk and his family were those getting ready to go to the temple.  To do so, they had to fly to Tarawa, wait for the plane that flew twice a week to Nadi, Fiji (3 hour flight), and then travel by bus across the island 4 hours to get to the temple at Suva.  They would stay a week in temple housing before reversing the trip.  It's a great sacrifice to go, but the blessings are worth it all.  These are a happy people!!!

This missionary flat was built by two elders.  The members helped by building beds off of the ground.

Small maneaba by the chapel and missionary flat, used by elders to study, but also was a Sunday School classroom.

Sunday School class in the Abemama branch.  Most of these children would be on the temple trip.  What beautiful children!

Missionary bikes that we used on Sunday to go to the hotel and back to the church.

It was hard to get bicycle seats into Tarawa.
 So sometimes the elders fixed the bikes the best they could.

Bucket shower and cement toilet for the elders and also the branch members on Sunday.

One motorcycle for three of us.  First trip will be Tongoi and Val.

Tongoi getting some sleep using his scriptures as a pillow.

This water tank had a hole in it and Val brought super glue and a piece of tire tube to fix it from the inside.  They had tried patching from the outside, but the pressure always blew off the patch.

Elder Trussell is trying to find the holes that need to be patched.

Receiving instruction from Val.

Job done!!  Then we set the tank back on its platform and hooked up the rain gutter to fill it at next rain.

These two young people were baptized by Elder Trussell in the ocean.  

They had to wade out quite far at low tide.

Enjoying time learning about music and the hymns before lunch. 

Branch President of the Abemama branch.  Within 3 months of becoming the president, he had doubled attendance at church by just taking his counselors and going to visit the less active people and invite them to come.

Most of the manuals are not translated into Kiribati, but they participate with the lessons and those who can speak English read the lesson material and translate.
2nd counselor and clerk.

Elders Faust and Trussel with thier investigator at church.

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