Sunday, December 18, 2016

Just Another Sunny Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!!  Everything is going great in Tarawa.   It will be great to Skype with you this week!!  It will be on December 24th for me and December 23rd for you!!  This week we will be watching the First Presidency Devotional that you all watched a few weeks ago so that should be fun!  In Tarawa there does not seem to be a ton of traditions that people do.  But they still have a lot of parties.  To answer your question about my favorite holiday I would say that Christmas is my favorite holiday but I actually like all the holidays. 
So, things are going really good here.  We had a really busy week since President Larken came to Tarawa for a couple days and we had multiple meetings with him so that was really cool.  For Christmas we are planning on everyone coming in from all the outer islands and a member of the seventy coming, but at the moment we don't know because I guess all of the airplane gas is out on Kiribati.  So unless they get some I don't even know if the Member of the Seventy that was supposed to come will be coming.  I am singing in a quartet with Elders Johnson, Parry and Christensen when he does come though so that should be cool.  We have some pretty good stuff going down.  Some people are doing awesome things; some people are struggling a bit. But overall I feel like the work is definitely improving!

One of our investigators whose name is Seete got married to his member wife Taakoua yesterday and he came to church for his first time. It was awesome! I am hoping he will keep coming because he is a beast!

We taught a lesson to Teeti's Daughter Ruta (who turns out is like 36 or so and not 20) and it was really good.  It was a short lesson and all we talked about was the Book of Mormon a bit and we explained that for all our lessons we want her to ponder them and pray about them.  We taught her and her mom a couple days ago about Word of Wisdom, and that was the first lesson I felt like went really well.  They could both tell it was a good commandment.  We will keep working with them and I really hope they will change their lives.  They would both be awesome members!

Well, the temperatures here are still hot, but in our house I get cold sometimes using air conditioning. I will try not to get used to this life though because in a few more months I am sure I will be back living on an outer island.

Things are going good here. A way cool scripture I heard in Church yesterday; It is in Samuel.  It talks about how obedience is more important than sacrifice.  I feel like this story has many applications to us in these days.  Obedience is the key.  The scriptures are just awesome and the Lord has many mysterious ways of accomplishing his work. 

Thanks for all the love and support out here on the mission. I am very glad for how you and mom raised me and I am very grateful for your example to me of always working hard and being very humble about it.

Things are going really good here!
Love you all

Elder Dinsdale


Sunday, December 11, 2016

My pants are getting tighter with all this food!


Things are going good here in Tarawa.  You asked if there were any safety issues in Tarawa.  No worries, everything here is safe.  Just getting sick from food here can be an issue, but I haven't gotten sick really so it is all good.  In fact I feel like I am getting fatter.  My first few weeks I ate a ton every dinner but now I am watching myself a bit.  I could feel my pants getting tighter.  I have never worried about that before on my mission but there is food in Tarawa. 

The whole zone leader thing is good. We just have a meeting every week with the other zone leaders and AP's and Sister training leaders and Senior couples.  We are supposed to go on splits with the Elders in our zone once a transfer but I am not really sure how that all works.   I have not seen President Larkin since I have gotten to Tarawa but he just got here yesterday so hopefully I will see him soon.

I have had a ton of experiences this week so I will share a few with you.  First, Teeti who I talked about last week is doing alright.  She is just way against doing work for the dead or for families being sealed after this life.  She doesn’t believe in it.  We will keep working with her though.  One good thing is her daughter who is around 20 has been sitting in on the lessons and I think she might progress more.  So, that is good.

This week we baptized a great guy who is a singer.  He is actually known around Kiribati for his singing so that is pretty sweet.  He was ready for baptism so that was sweet. 

We have also been teaching a 50 or 60 year old guy named Kianteiti.  He is way solid but he is just having a hard time gaining his testimony.  Kianteiti’s daughter is a return missionary and he will come to church if she takes him but it is difficult for him to go on his own.  He seems to have a pretty good experience at church learning so I feel like he should gain a testimony soon. 

Cool story. We got a call from our bishop one night and there was a guy that needed a blessing. He was just standing there and all of a sudden he fell over and his leg didn't work and he couldn't feel it at all. He couldn't sit up or anything. Elder Lutz and Elder Emor gave him a blessing.  During the blessing I remembered about the time something like that happened to Tom and it ended up being a potassium deffiency.   So I told them to get a couple bananas for him.  Just like 3 minutes later he could lift up his leg.  It was way too early for the bananas to work, it was definitely the blessing.  It was just a way cool experience that Tom’s experience came to me so clearly. 

My mission is awesome and I am so glad that I am serving.  

Have a great week, thanks for all the support.
Elder Dinsdale

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Gospel is amazing and life is sweet.

So things are going way good here in Tarawa!  Right now I am working in the village of Banraeaba in the Teaoraereke 2nd ward.  We have an actual chapel here which is way nice.  This last week at church we had the most that the ward has had in a long time!  We had 220 people with 9 investigators.  Things are going way good here.  I am serving with Elder Parry who is from Pocatello Idaho.  He is a really chill, obedient missionary so that is really good. He likes singing, playing basketball and soccer.

As zone leaders we teach every day but we are also way busy doing random meetings or other errands or crap like that.  In my zone we have like 15 or 16 Elders/Sisters. The Elders in our zone are doing way legit. It is hard trying to know how to help the Sister missionaries but we are trying our best to help them, they are great too!

This week I got to go pick up some Elders from Abaiang on the speed boat so that was way fun.  We have a nice house, I sleep on a bed and we have a shower. We also have a washing machine. So pretty much I am in Ghetto America. Way fun though.

The Kiribati people still live in very humble houses here but the missionaries house is very nice.  We just had a great investigator get married yesterday to his wife.  We got a cake for them.  A lady in the ward made it.  Let’s just say... it was not that good looking at all. The people show up who are getting married and have a way sad looking cake..  We felt like fools but whatever works.

We have been teaching a lady named Teeti.  She is way smart and cool, but a hardcore Church of Christ member.  She refuses anything but the Bible.  We finally got her to start reading the Book of Mormon.  I just feel so much more peace now.   She asked about baptisms for the dead and we shared a scripture in the Bible about it and she was like, well that scripture contradicts another scripture in the Bible.  Hmmm and she is telling me that the Bible is perfect and is all we need?  We need the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and we need Prophets and apostles or else how are we supposed to know what is going on.  

I just want to let you know how important Prophets and Apostles are.  Most of you already know that, but I just see so many people in so many religions that just don't make sense because all they believe in is the Bible and they don't have any revelation in these days. But it is just awesome that God continues to talk today.

I want you all to know that this gospel is just amazing and just make a ton of sense.  I love the work here.  We have sweet people, a sweet area, and I have a sweet companion.
Well, I wish I could write more, but I will try to write more next week.

Have a good week, love you!
Elder Dinsdale

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Stranded At Sea... TWICE!!

Hello,                                                                                                Nov. 27-2016
   So life has taken a turn for me as a missionary.  I have been reassigned to Tarawa the capital of Tarawa.  I am now a Zone Leader serving with Elder Parry from my intake so that is sweet. 

 Last week I got word that I would be flying back to Tarawa and that Elder Pratt would have a new companion in Tabiteuea North and that there would be 2 more missionaries assigned to Tabiteuea South.  I am so happy about that because that will help so much.  Going back and forth every 2 weeks was tough but we did it and it worked.  Let me tell you about some of the people that I was teaching.  Tinabora  got baptized as well as the grandson of an old branch president. It was way sweet. Tinabora's way good old lady friend we have been teaching came to the baptism and came to church as well the next day. It was just awesome!! Tinabora is probably going to be the most active member ever I would imagine.

Leaving Tab was way sad, but it is good that there are now 4 Elders there so the work should be able to grow a ton. I was very grateful for the opportunity to serve in Tabiteuea and I have learned a lot.    I got off the airplane and 3 people from Tab were there in the airport and they all said hello to me and were way happy to see me. I am just very glad that I was able to serve and help as many people as I could there with awesome companions and the will of the Lord working for the people the whole time.

I will tell you a little about the adventure I had getting here.  I was supposed to get on a plane from Tab South and Elder Pratt and I were on Tab North.   Let’s just say we tried to get to Tab South and had boat issues and it didn’t work out.  The first time the boat quit and we ended up using our lids from our buckets to paddle back to shore.  The next day we found a new boat and headed out right after church with just our scriptures.  That boat broke too.   So, we were out at sea and our driver finally jumped in and swam next to the boat while Elder Pratt and I made a make shift sail.  It took a while but we eventually found our way to shallow waters where we walked the boat back.  So, we were stranded at sea twice in 2 days.  The third boat worked and we got down to Tab South with no problems.  We grabbed Elder Pratt's new companion and we ended up sleeping down there Sunday night, we got up early Monday and came to Tab North and I flew to Tarawa.  I know I missed a bunch of details about the whole travel.  Let’s just say we were in the ocean for quite a while on different boats that were broken engines.  But it all worked out!!

So here I am in Tarawa serving as a Zone Leader in the West Zone.  Pretty much my mission got switched just like that.  I now live in a nice house and I drive a car on the other side of the road which is weird but really fun at the same time.  No more island crazy stuff.  Tarawa is way sweet but it is way dirty but super sweet. 

I got packages from Becky and Holly.  Thank you very much! Please let them know that I was very grateful for them! They were awesome!

Here is a thought I will end with.  One thing that we can all work on is strengthening our testimony of the Book of Mormon.   Honestly, it is the keystone of our religion.   The Book of Mormon will help us strengthen our testimony in Christ, in the prophet and in this church.  I believe that the Book of Mormon is the best and most guaranteed way we can  all grow in the gospel.

Well, thanks for all you guys have done for me!    

Love you,
Elder Dinsdale

Loving the Ocean Life!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I am still a beast!!

  What’s up?  We have had another great week in Tab North.  No new investigators but our investigators we have are going strong.  Iobwaara came to church this last week as well as our other investigators.  There are a bunch of people way close to baptism.  It’s great!!

  Well, I heard my package came and the Jenks will be sending it next week to Tab South.  So all my candy and stuff got eaten by rats?  I do hope some of it survived.  That stinks.  I do hope there will be some food left after the rats got it but really all I need is my camera so thanks for sending that!!  I guess I will take some food to Tab South just to be safe.  We will be flying down tomorrow but it seems like the plane might be full so if that is the case we will be taking a boat again and that will be fun.

  A fun thing happened this week when Elder Pratt challenged me to an eating contest.  After 4 plates I took the win!!  They aren’t your little plates either.  I still have it!!!

 For Halloween Elder Pratt and I are dressing up in costumes for dinner!  We had a lady order stuff to do a cake like a month ago when we were here and now we will enjoy it on Halloween!!  I am pretty stoked.

To answer a few questions that you asked.  Elder Pratt cuts my hair and yes I am still a beast.  He gives a great haircut.  A Christmas package would be great.  The thing I liked most last year was the letters that everyone sent that were in a stocking.  I would love that again and then just anything.  Maybe food would be good. 

In my studies this week I have liked in the New Testament how Paul teaches that God is not a God of darkness or of secrets.  He is a God that does not work in darkness.   We should always work in the light and strive to be true saints of God.

I hope you all have a nice couple of weeks.

Love you all,
Elder Dinsdale
Here is the picture we got from Elder and Sister Jenks (the senior companions)  At least the rats enjoyed the food!!!