Saturday, November 21, 2015

Very eventful week.  Moroni High School Graduation was on the 20th.  Elder and Sister Sumner were the guest speakers.  They did a really great.  The festivities were awesome.  The graduates all dressed in matching dresses, shirts, and ties that were hand sewn and matched.  They had a wonderful feast prepared and set up in the tennis court for the special guests of which Bob and I were a part of along with the other Senior Couples, the past President of Kiribati, the minister of education, some guests from BYU-H and others.  They danced and partied until about 11:00.  The graduatuion went from 4-11:00. Long day.  These people really know how to celebrate.  Also yesterday I had my first driving lesson.  Kind of upset my stomach.  Standard shift, people, cars, dogs.  But I think I did ok.  The rest of the week was spent doing the visa, auditing planning, working on housing contracts.  We met with Elder Johannsen in a CCM Meeting.  That was very special.  He gave us some good insight into the people's way of life and thinking.  It was very helpful.  We also had dinner with them.  Which was delicious.  The longer I am here the more beautiful the island is becoming.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

We have had a very busy week.  Met with several Bishops and their clerks to help train them, so they can be more effective in keeping their membership records.  Lots of travel back and forth down the one road on the island.  The longer we are here the more beautiful it becomes.  Bob and I were asked to talk at their Seminary graduation today.  I felt like it went well. The subject we talked about was hold to the rod.   The young people were beautiful.  All dressed in white.  They sang 3 hymns.  Their voices are beautiful.  I was touched by the sweetness of their spirits.  When they walked up to receive their certificate they turned to the congregation and bowed.  It really was a pleasant evening.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

We have been Kiribati for 12 days.  First impressions are:  the people have very little but they smile a lot, there is one road on Tarawa and it seems to be the gathering place for everyone and even the dogs. We drive a Ford Ranger pickup and drive on the left. Because the speed limit in most places is 40 kph, we have had an easier time adjusting to driving on the left. We live on the Moroni school campus and wake up every morning to the sounds of young voices. It doesn't appear that the young people here have hard time getting out of bed since we hear them talking before 6 am.  We were reminded this week by Keith Chapman from the Pacific Area office in Auckland that our EXPANDED role as AAA (Assistant Area Auditors) is likely going take most of our time.  When we arrived we received assignments from the Mission leaders ( Pres Weir, the APs, and the Sister Training Leaders) to acquire Visas for all incoming missionaries, buy and send supplies to the outer island missionaries (it is hard to find many things like chain and door knobs), apply for marriage licenses for couples wanting to be baptized. We have been asked to attend the Betio 3rd Ward and Elder Jenks has been asked to be the Assistant Stake Exec Sec in the West Stake.  Sister Jenks will be playing the piano.  We want to do all that is asked.  We were reminded today that the AAA work should be a priority as it includes working with the leaders of both Stakes to see that all Aaronic Priesthood are ordained at the appropriate age and that it is Recorded, help train Ward and stake clerks on using MLS, and train audit committees. We hope to be able to mentor many of the leaders as we go about our work.