Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Well, Hello and Merry Christmas

It was sweet to Skype with the family on Christmas.  I loved seeing and talking to you guys. The good thing is it didn't even make me sad or miss home. But it made me way happy seeing you guys. Sorry I don't have much time to write this week. Let’s just say Christmas has been good and all but I was just glad to get back to work.
I will write more next week and such.
Elder Dinsdale

From Jen:
I will share a few things from our Christmas visit with Elder Dinsdale.  We were glad that Megan helped us with some questions so we kept him talking and that Tom recorded it.   So if anyone wants to see Elder Dinsdale on the screen please come over, I love watching it!!

How do you like Kiritimati?  I love it here.  I loved Banana and now I love London.  The people are great and my companion Elder Hungai and now Elder Johnson is chill.  We get along great and work hard every day.  I get up every day at 6:30 exercise for 30 minutes, shower (with a bucket) get dressed and then eat breakfast which usually consists now of a pudding cup!!  I then have personal study, companion study and then language study for a total of 3 hours.  We then eat lunch and head out to start teaching at noon.  We are blessed to go eat with members usually each night at 7:00.  We come back to our house at 9:00pm tired but good.  As far as food goes one thing you can always plan on is rice at every meal.  And usually fish at every meal as well.  Although I have eaten pizza twice.  It’s not like American pizza but hey it’s pizza!!

Have you eaten raw fish?  The mission nurse said not to and I am taking her advice so I have not eaten raw fish.  When I say we eat fish I mean we get a whole fish.  We cut it, take the bones out and eat it.  My favorite so far is sea turtle my least favorite is hermit crab.

What is your favorite thing to study on your mission?  I have read the Book of Mormon twice since I have been here but I am also reading the New Testament and am really enjoying reading it.

Describe what the streets are like.  In Banana the streets were very different from London.  In Banana they were nicer but they are not as good here.  Kids play in the street since there are not many cars on the street.  There is only 1 road that goes through Kiritimati.

How do you get around?  We ride bikes everywhere. 

What was it like when you were on a boat for 24 hours when you went to Tabueron?  Well, let me tell you about that.  When we left we walked out on a little wooden dock and there was a crane with a big net.   They put people in the net and then placed us in the boat.  Once in the boat we put down our grass mat and laid on it to save our spot.  There were 2 bathrooms (if you want to call them that) on the boat and they gave us drinks.  Once we got to Tabueron small boats came out to the big boat and took us to the Island.  Everyone left and we just waited until finally someone went and got the Branch President.  It was all good.  On that Island we were able to eat fresh fruit (bananas and papayas) which we do not get in London or Banana so that was good.  Tabueron was great!!

You said that there is a lot more rain in London.  Are you still wearing socks every day?   Yes, I start our every day with socks on.  We ride bikes everywhere we go.  I am skilled when there is water.  I pedal fast and then lift up my feet when I go through the puddles so I don’t get my socks wet!!!!

Since you are on the equator when does the sun come up and go down?  The sun comes up at about 6 and goes down about 6:30 every day. 

What did you do on Christmas day?  Christmas was awesome. Christmas Eve we gathered together and did a nativity scene and acted out Christ's birth. Then we played games with all the kids in Tabwakea.  It was so much fun. We also did a Secret Santa in our District.  We also got to watch "Big Hero Six".   I loved it.  It was a great day!!

Have you ever seen carpet in a house?  A guy in Tabwakea has a carpet it is pretty dirty but it is carpet. 

How has your perspective changed about life?  I know that the Power of Prayer is real.

How is your health?  I am healthy, I have been sick before but I am good now.  I gained 20 lbs when I was in the MTC but have lost 15 lbs on my mission so I am still up 5!

Is your mission what you expected?  Yes it is great!!

Are you taking your vitamins?  Well, no they are still in my suitcase.  I should be taking those.

There are many more things but I will end with my favorite question and answer. 

Do you sing a lot on your mission?  And will you sing for us in Kiribati?  I just happen to bring my song book in case someone asked.  Elder Dinsdale then sang a few lines of “I Need Thee Every Hour” in Kiribati.  It was beautiful.

He then ended with his Testimony in Kiribati and can I just say that Elder Dinsdale has been blessed with the gift of tongues.

Doing the Nativity on Christmas Day 2015!

Christmas Breakfast with the Kiritimati District Missionaries!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

God Answers Prayers

   So yeah I still have not received any packages. We will see what ends up happening though.  Hopefully I get them sometime. 
 I am glad that Thomas could come home for a bit so Sarah can have somebody to chill with.  Sounds like the Peak Christmas party went well.  I won’t miss the one in 2017.  I definitely want to go. 
Congratulations Lindsay on your mission call!!  I guessed right that you were going to Germany, Elder Johnson is my witness.  You will be a legit missionary.  I am so happy for you!!

Here are a few experiences from London this week. 

We were supposed to have a baptism for this next Saturday but she slept in and didn't come to church. The 2nd of January though we should be having a 3 person baptism.

Well, another lady passed away. That's not the experience but we visited there for a bit. A random old person there wanted the Catholics to be in charge so we didn't do much we just visited for a minute. It is good when we visit and bring comfort though. 

The experience that I have for today is about testimonies. We gave this girl (her name is Kabwebwea)  the practice interview for baptism she failed.  She said she didn't yet have her testimony of our Prophet Thomas S. Monson. We explained that we really just put our faith in God and then we pray about it. So she did as we asked, and when we had our next lesson with her she said she believed in him. All we have to do is pretty much just pray about our question asking in faith and we will receive the answer.  God answers prayers.

 Sorry don't have much more time but that was just something cool I wanted to share.

Remember Christ in this Christmas Season. 
Keep doing good things

Elder Dinsdale

Monday, December 14, 2015

I dreaming of a hot Christmas!!

   Well I guess it sounds like Christmas is all around home.  In London they don’t have many Christmas traditions that I know of.  Everybody has like parties and stuff in their religions but the problems with most is that they just take a lot of time out of work and they end late and such. No lights on trees or anything like that. JMB (the only store in London) has some lights up and at a rich guys house in London they have a tiny little Christmas tree with some lights and such so that is pretty chill I would say. It doesn't feel like Christmas when it is hot and humid with coconut trees everywhere and the ocean all around you. But I suppose it is still Christmas.  Elder Johnson and I bought a little string of Christmas lights and set them up in our house so just thought I would let you know that.

Here is a little more information about my home here.  We currently have a rat in our house or something living here with us. We are trying to get it, but no luck yet. A lot more rats in Tabueron (London) then when I was in Banana one kept trying to eat our pancake mix. Let’s say it was very successful. We don't have a fridge right now. Well, we do. But our freezer is a fridge and our fridge doesn't have any temperature difference. So the freezer is our fridge and the fridge is a storage place at the moment. I do not sleep with a mosquito net but we light little mosquito things on fire that keep them away pretty good.

I am really enjoying London it is going good.  We have been getting new investigators and we had 3 new people come to church. So that is more than London has had in a very long time I am pretty sure. A lot of people (investigators and less actives) have problems with the Word of Wisdom, but we are working on it.
The Branch is pretty good here. It is the smallest branch out of the 4 on Kiritimas Island even though I think it has the biggest population. In Kiribati it is more like the Branch Presidencies go home teaching once a month to a couple less actives. I am hoping they will figure it out though and assign people to home teach and I think that will really help. It is just hard with the few numbers of people in church.  But they are working on it. 
Honestly the work is getting better here and the more we work and the harder we work things are paying off. I can see change happening in people life’s so things are going good. Just little by little.

I will tell you about one guy who just came from Tarawa.  He has some Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity issues. He was taught just a little bit by Elders in Tarawa and then he came here. We have been teaching him and we felt like he was ready.  So we challenged him to prepare himself for baptism and I think he is really going to change and prepare himself. He seems like a legit guy.  I will keep you updated on him.

People here are very good to us missionaries and this week we had some stew that was good with some rice.  I have not eaten really anything weird since I have been in London.  It is wealthier than the rest of Kiribati. (Not wealthy though at all, but for Kiribati they are).

You said that there have been articles on the climate changes on Kiribati. Haha we heard a little program on a radio in some person’s house about how it isn't fair for the children that live in Kiribati to experience climate change. I don't honestly think anybody in Kiribati could care less about climate change. A lot of families have laptops but they pretty much only use them to watch movies at night. Kiribati people generally watch movies, play volleyball or soccer, and drink. Those are pretty much peoples hobbies here. Also sleep.  People sleep a ton here. Not many people listen to the radio though I don't think. People do listen to a lot of music on these little music player things they have though. 

One more experience I forgot to share that was pretty cool was a funeral a few days ago. Elder Johnson and I went to this house to teach a lesson and the house next door called us over and thought we were going to visit them. It turned out somebody had died. We went back to the house later and we covered up the man with a cloth and placed him in the back of the truck.  We then went with them to the grave yard.  It was interesting.  I found out that the man that died I actually knew a little.  I sat next to him on the boat ride home from Tabueron. It was sad that he died but I suppose it is ok, he was very sick and couldn't move much at all.  I think he was ready to die.  After we got to the grave yard I helped carry him to the grave and we placed him in it. We then all just sang a bunch of church songs while they covered the grave. It might sound different but it was a great experience.

My mom said that many of you have given me money for Christmas.  I want to thank you my new 7th ward members and grandma and grandpa.  By the way grandma, thank you for the notes you put in my socks.  I do still wear socks when I can! And good job Sarah on your Christmas concert, and for making the play!!

I have not gotten any packages yet. Don't know if I ever will, but we will see. The Tarawa packages that Holly and Karla sent I should get when I move to another area or when someone comes here which will be good.  As far as letters, they should be brought to me probably early January. I have still only just gotten 1 letter since I got to the field. We will see though I hope more will come in January.

Well, things are going really good here. Been healthy and I have been having a good time with the language and the work.  I hope everything is going good at home!
Elder Dinsdale

Note from Jen:  Please pray that Scott will get his packages which include a small Christmas tree with lights and of course salsa, instant potatoes and gravy!!

Not sure if this would be considered a ice bucket challenge or not!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cold Drinks!

   That is great you got the Christmas lights up!  Did you put up that star on the cement?  That is probably my favorite to see when I would come home at nights and such.

So my new area London is cool, a lot more people and the houses are closer together and such. London is probably the richest area that I have seen in all of Kiribati I would have to say. Not at all rich compared to America, but for Kiribati it is pretty good. The roads are always flooded with the rain so that doesn't agree with my socks when I ride through 1 to 2 feet of deep water on my bike. We live in what is known as the Hot House but it isn’t too bad.  I did some serious cleaning to this new house in London when I got here and it is pretty good now. It is less biking here than in Banana so I am going to have to start working out more so I can stay in shape There are some good members here and some good investigators, but we have the smallest branch in Kiritimati.  My goal is to change that.   

My new companion Elder Johnson is good.  We are getting a lot of work done.  We have some good investigators that we are working with.  I don’t know all of them well yet but that will come.  I have noticed that a lot of them don’t want to come to church.  The biggest issue here I would probably have to say is the Word of Wisdom. A lot of bars for alcohol and a drink called nankona or whatever it is. That is one of the things against the WOW here and it isn't good.  Our place for church is in a little building that is pretty decent, but super small. We definitely need ourselves a bigger building. 

We have had some opposition in London. People from the Catholic Church haven't been too happy with us and from the Seventh Day Adventist church.  They keep trying to bible bash with us so we just always leave or listen and then leave. We are working hard and will get more going here though it just might take a while.  We taught a decent amount last week but this week should be even better.  We have 1 new investigator with 9 referrals so that is good.  

The language is coming along good. I can get through most things now speaking Kiribati, my only issue on occasion is that I have trouble understanding what people are saying. But I am getting better every day so things are good.  We don’t have any baptisms scheduled in the next week, but hopefully 2 or 3 investigators will be ready soon.  One of the greatest things about London is that some people have cold drinks so that is chill!!  Yes it is still HOT here.

You asked if people here travel to other places (Fiji).  So, almost everybody here stays where they are and they don’t leave the Island unless they are going to school or to the Temple but that is not very often.

You asked if we ate Thanksgiving dinner with an American member.  No, he is a great man but there are no Americans here.  Well, I guess there are a few of us.

So as far as my vitamins go I brought some of them to Christmas but now a bunch look funny so I don't take too many. But I eat pretty well here... I will start taking them again.

I still haven’t received any packages.  You said that one was supposed to be delivered on November 5th but I have not got it yet.  Please send me the tracking number and I will ask around.

I will end with my Testimony.   It will be in Kiribati though because that is how I always bear it.  Sorry you can’t understand it. 

I ataia bwa ngkana ti kataia ni katoa bong n rairinanora Te Atua na anganira kabwaran ara bure rinanon Ana mwakuri ni kamaiu Iesu Kristo. I ataia bwa ngkana ti karoia te bwai te burabeti e a tia n tuangira bwa ti na karekea te kakabwaia aika mwaiti.

I know Jesus is our Savior.
Elder Dinsdale