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