Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hello from Banana

Hello hello.

Things are going good here in Banana. A couple things I must say...
Mother, what are you doing in the secret society of mothers...?  Ha-ha  They are quite notorious here in Kiribati, everyone knows about you guys, but yet we don't know how you get the knowledge you get. (From Jen:  Scott is talking about the Kiribati Moms group on Face book and it is true those moms rock and know a lot.)
Second thing that must be said, that grass that got put in at home looks legit! It looks so different from anything I am used to and it looks awesome! I hope in the next 2 years a bunch more will be planted and then I can enjoy the fruits of all your people’s labor ha-ha.

I did not receive the package yet but I will let you know when/if the package gets here, I am pretty sure it will be a while.

So it is me and Elder Hungai in Banana. We are getting along real well.  I can’t understand a lot that he says in English (so that is an adventure) but he speaks real good Kiribati so that is helping me with my language.  He comes from a family about the same size as ours.  In Vanauatu (where he is from) they speak Vanuatu, French, English and Kiribati.  Vanuata is an island kind of close to Kiribati by Fiji and Australia. 

The senior couples left to Hawaii because Elder Seamons is sick and so the sisters can't stay here.  The sisters will leave Wednesday and 4 new Elders will come here to work in Tabwakea. I know Elder Afatasi that will be coming and so that should be chill.

As far as investigators we were able to baptize 2 of them.  They were both baptized and confirmed so that  was legit. I have a strong feeling that they will be awesome priesthood holders. We teach usually 30 lessons a week.  Not as many as some but we stay busy.  We didn’t find any new investigators this week but we are working hard on our investigators and trying to help them.

Our Mwaneaba has been going well.  Members have been building it all, and it has awesome progress.  We have had a few problems recently though. I guess the area presidency may have wanted contractors to build it. So I don't know what will go on now.

People here koro bin. So they find fallen coconuts and they cut them, leave them out in the sun to dry, and then sell them. There are a few little shops people work at, and some guide fishermen and some are fishermen. But mainly it seems the whole cutting coconuts thing is the main job that people here have. 

I am feeling a little better I would say from my random sicknesses. You asked me about toilets.  Well, if people do have toilets here they really won't let you use them. The only person I know of is our branch president and I have used his a couple times.  It’s pretty much just the forest life for me.

They play seems to be doing well from what I hear. Good luck to everyone. Jace, don’t be too sad that I am not there.  I am glad you have Sarah is there to remind you of me!!

Well, that is about all I have to say from Banana this week.

I would really like letters and such from people. I have not received any letters yet but they are kept in Tarawa until someone comes over to Christmas.  So please write me if you have time. 

Things are good here, and hopefully you guys keep having a great week in America!
Elder Dinsdale

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lots of questions answered!!

 I am in Tabwakea right now because Elder Whitehead wants to say goodbye to people and such before he goes home so the internet here is actually good. Ha, but next week I will be in Banana for P-Day as usual. I will try to write quite a bit though so you can have your questions answered and such.

 Do you know anything about your new companion?  My new companion Elder Hungai has been here for 2 months, but on his mission for around 7 months.   He speaks English, but with his accent I can barely understand him.  So I think that will give me the opportunity to speak in Kiribati to him.  He is in the picture that you told me about.  He is the Elder standing right behind me. 

Are you still sick?   So, I am doing well.  I got over my last sickness, and then just got sick again yesterday but I am already feeling a little better. I guess honestly I just need to have my body get used to this area. Which considering I have only been in Kiribati for a month so that is expected. (note from Jen... please include Scott in your prayers)

Where do you live?  What is the area like and the people?  People are very friendly to missionaries.  I think there are about six thousand people on the island and a little less than one thousand in my village.  There are a few different little villages before Banana that we go to.  There is one that is completely an outer island (meaning all stick huts with no conveniences).   Most islands in Kiribati are thin and long, but this one (Kirimati) is pretty huge even though most of it is deserted.   It is pretty much all flat though.  There are just random villages along the road.  There are some people that come here to go fishing.   We stay at the hotel in a bungalow.  I can see the ocean from my house, but that is the only place I can see it from.    We go try and teach the workers at the hotel and sometimes the white people or Koreans that are here to go fishing as well.  There are some cars here, but not many people have them.  There are these trucks that drive from Banana to the rest of the island and so people just hop on the back as they drive by.   We ride bikes but I already told you that.  In my area there are a ton of geckos.  They are pretty much everywhere and in everyone’s houses.  The other thing they have here are a TON of are cock roaches.  They are also everywhere.  The lizards and geckos don’t bother me, but all the cock roaches in my house aren’t my favorite.    I have not seen any WW2 things yet but I am sure they are somewhere.    Many people husk coconuts but I have not tried it yet.  I drink coconut milk quite often, but it makes me feel really funny so it isn’t my favorite yet.  I am learning from Kain Te Aba ( a guy that I know) about how to cut coreve so that is pretty cool.  The sun rises at 6:00am and goes down at about 7:00pm.  So about 7:00pm we head to dinner. 

What is the weather like?  It isn’t supposed to rain here much, but for some reason it has been raining a ton.  I have some pictures of the roads when they are quite flooded.   The winds blow here almost every day during the day and that is super nice.  It is so hot here that if it wasn’t for the wind it would probably be unbearable.

Where do you meet for church?  We meet in someone’s building that consists of metal sheeting on 4 walls.  They have little benches that we sit on (as well as palm leaves on the ground) and some little chairs for the sacrament.  For Sunday School and Priesthood and all the other meetings everyone just goes and finds different spots of shade under trees to have the meetings.  There is a Mwanebwea that is being built right now and it should be done in a month or two that we will meet in for church.  It will be sweet and I should still be here so that will be good.  There is a good amount of young single adults and a bunch of little kids.  I don’t get to teach the little kids, but I have spoken twice already in Sacrament meeting.  I am pretty sure no one can understand what I am saying but it works. 

Have you tried eating anything new?   Well, last week was Hermit Crab which I hope not to eat again anytime soon and this week I ate Sting Ray.  It is actually really good!!  It is a blue meat that doesn’t have many bones so that is pretty nice.  Pretty much for me if fish doesn’t have bones then it is a good fish.  I don’t have a lot of time to fish even though I love to fish.  I have only caught tuna.  It would be nice to fish more and such but we are honestly to busy working to go.   The JMB store here sells American food.  There is even some vanilla and triple flavor ice cream.  I would say that is the best thing.  It does cost about $25 for a gallon though.  Some people have freezers in our area but not many.  Some people sell these things called “ICE”.  Ice is a little package with something like frozen sugar water in it.  They are quite nice!!!

How is it coming to find new investigators and how is the language? We have found a few new investigators and things are going good here.  No baptisms yesterday but we are having one tomorrow, we are teaching some Priesthood aged men so that should be really good.  The language is slowly coming so that is good.

Well that answers a lot so I will end.  There are definitely many things that are hard on my mission but stuff is hard on any mission.  The thing that I try to do every day is to just keep working and doing good stuff.  I am being obedient and working hard.   I hope life back home is good.

Love, Elder Dinsdale
Missionaries serving on Kirimati.  Thanks to MaryClaire for taking and posting this!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hermit Crabs..yum

 So things are going good here. We have P-Days on Mondays.  We depend on people to let us use their laptops to email.  Sometimes it takes convincing but it is all good!

The food is starting to taste all the same, but that is because it pretty much is. Fish and rice. I did try hermit crab yesterday. It is food.

 We are working really hard to get new investigators right now since we have just been baptizing all the ones that we had. We still have a couple more, all are quite legit.  The word of wisdom is a problem with some of our investigators but hopefully that will work out. 

Well, my dad (Elder Whitehead) is already leaving me in a week and a half.  Elder Whitehead will go to be a Zone Leader in Tarawa. I will be staying on Banana and be companions with Elder Hungai, He is from Vanuatu so that should be cool.

I was a little sick for most the week, but I am recovering and it isn't bad or anything. It has been raining quite a bit here.

The language is coming, but I need to work harder on learning it so I have started to study more. I was hoping it would kind of just come or something but I need to work harder.

You asked me about my baptisms in the ocean.  It is pretty sweet.  We walk about 20 or 30 minutes from our Branch Presidents house to get to the ocean, but it is good.  The ocean is pretty nice especially in Christmas.  The only time we really enjoy the ocean it is when we are there for baptisms.  We stay busy teaching most other times. 

I have been obedient and doing what I am supposed to and things are good here.

It seems like dad is getting some grass planted so by the time I get home I can have even bigger parties so get ready. HAHA

Keep me updated on how everyone is doing and stuff.  Live a good life.

Elder Dinsdale

Note from Jen:  Saturday morning I woke up to pictures from one of the members in Kirimati.  What a wonderful surprise to see Elder Dinsdale’s smiling face!!  Another tender mercy…