Sunday, January 29, 2017

Marriage and Families

This week has been going really good!   We had a meeting with the mission president (President Larkin) as zone leaders of the mission.  So that was pretty exciting.  Then we had a big training with all the missionaries in Tarawa. It took a long time but it was good. Elder Parry and I talked about how to deal with issues in a companionship.  I think it went well.

Thanks for your prayers because we have been finding more people to teach!  President Larkin challenged everyone to track 3 hours a week so that was pretty interesting.  We did this and guess what?  We are getting more people so it works.  We started out the week with not as many lessons as I was hoping for but it ended up being a really good week. 

One family we have been teaching is doing really good!  The guy Nawere and his girl Beeua just got married yesterday so that was really awesome!  They should be interviewed for baptism next week and baptized the next so that is just really exciting.  We had dinner last night at Nawere and Beeua’s house and it was a really chill and fun night.  We sang and just talked and it was sweet.

We have gotten a few new families to teach so that is pretty good.  One family Elder Parry and I tracked last week seem pretty awesome. They live by our bishop’s house and they are just a super nice family that I feel like will accept the Gospel so that is pretty sweet.  I feel like they have been prepared by the Lord.  They are just very nice and awesome!!

We also found a family that Carrington had taught in Abaiang so they will hopefully be pretty sweet.  Another family we started teaching are maybe not super interested, but I feel like if we keep working with them and serving them that things will work out.  It is all up to them to work their faith and they will get a testimony. 

I hope Grandpa is doing well after his hip replacement.  I am glad that he and Grandma are healthy.  Here the Kiribati people seem to age quicker.  When they are in their 60's they look much older and have a hard time working or doing anything.  I have noticed that if they have kept the Word of Wisdom though (as most members here do) they look younger and are super healthy.

Well, things are just going good here. It was a really good week over all. 
Thanks for everything.

Loving Banraeaba. (Having fun serving the Lord)

Elder Dinsdale

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One quick experience is all I have time for.

I don’t have much time today.  This week has gone good.  We are still trying to find some more solid investigators to teach.  We have some pretty awesome ones but we are working on getting some more. 

One quick experience we had this week.  We were on our way back from doing some baptism interview in Betio and we got a call from the sister missionaries that somebody was sick and needed a blessing.  So we went over and it turns out to be a lady from Fiji that is originally from India and her husband.  He is an inactive member and she is not a member.  They do have a son that is serving a mission in Australia.  They used to live closer to us but then they switched houses because she was feeling like there were bad spirits in her home.  We were able to give her a blessing.  It was quite a sacred experience.  Her husband then asked for a blessing so we gave him one as well.  We then testified about  reading the Book of Mormon and praying daily.  By doing these things everything would be alright.  It was really cool.

So that is all I have time for.  I will try and write more next week.

Hope you have a great week.
Elder Dinsdale

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Don't eat the PIG!!!

Wow, it seems crazy that it is so cold there.  I get cold with the air conditioning on so I don’t know how well I could do in the snow. 

Work here has been going really good. I am just loving serving in Banraeaba.  Banraeaba is a village in Tarawa.  There is a primary school here, a bunch of stores, and some small clinics for health.  In Tarawa there is everything but in Banraeaba only a few things.  In my zone we serve Ambo, Banraeaba, Taeoraereke, Nanikai, Bairiki and Betio.  Betio has 3 wards so that is great!!

This week we did like 4 baptismal interview for people in our zone so that is really good overall.  They take a bit of time but I always enjoy doing them.  I really try to make sure I feel like they are ready because I don't want them to get baptized if they are not ready.

We had the baptism of Seete.  It worked out just as we hoped it would!!   His wife spoke and a guy Kantara baptized him.  Kantara just got back from his mission in Iowa.  We have a font in our chapel in Teaoraereke but sometimes there is no water so we do the baptism in the ocean. (Picture thanks to Elder Parry)  

We have 3 more people that are super solid so within the next month or so should be baptized. I am just really excited for everything. Finding new investigators is going decently. We had one of our investigators come to church for his first time this week with his wife who is also an investigator so it was pretty awesome.  We have a bunch of potential people so we are working hard to get out and teach all of them.

Our investigator from the Church of Christ isn’t making too much progress but we are trying not to give up on her and her daughter.  They both have so much potential.  She is really intelligent but some of their beliefs in their church just don't make sense to me. Just a bunch of stuff she believes has changed after the Bible was completed or something like that. We are working on it though. 

 I probably could send pictures home, but that would take a bunch of time, and I feel like it is more fun to have you guys wait till I send SD cards or stuff like that!!  Sorry mom

Well, things are just going really good here.  Make good use of all the snow.

I love you and I hope you have a great week!
Elder Dinsdale

Funny story from Elder Parry email (Scott’s companion)
We went to this birthday party for perhaps the classiest and most faithful couple in all of Kiribati. Tokobea and his wife Anne.  They were celebrating their 71st and 72nd birthdays.  So cool to see a couple that old that have been strong in the church since their conversion after they were married.  Anyways, one thing all Elders here know is that eating pig is always a risky thing to do.  But we decided to go for it anyways since it was their special day.  Fast forward to our first lesson the next day and me and Elder Dinsdale both got hit with intense stomach pains.  We were in such a hurry afterwards, and the thing about Kiribati is that there is no such thing as public restrooms.  To make things more inconvenient ALL of the members were gone to a ward picnic. Haha. We barely made it home in time. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

More Baptisms!

 Dang I am missing out on all the snow.  Everyone keeps writing about how bad all the snow is and I just wish I could go out and play in it for a minute.   To let you know what the weather is here it is hot as usual.  It should be rainy season right now but it hasn't even been raining lately so just hot.  I don't know if I have ever seen it that cold before though, that would not be fun.  Do cars have any issue turning on when it is that cold outside? At least Sarah had a party and made good use of the snow day, I never had one of those!!

This week has been a really good week. The first couple of days were busy.  We were taking everybody to the airport or the dock so they could all get back to their outer islands.  Later on we had 3 days of pretty good work teaching.  Our investigators are doing quite well.   Kianteiti got baptized this Saturday!!  I think I told you about Kianteiti.   He is like 56 years old and he is the one that took the longest time gaining a testimony.  But, little by little he gained it and wanted to be baptized.  He truly felt that when he went to church in this religion he felt like he learned things and he felt like things were true.  He said in his old religion he would listen during church and come home and couldn't remember anything.  But in this church he feels like he is actually learning and gaining stuff from church.  It was pretty sweet.  His daughter who just returned from her mission talked at his baptism and our ward mission leader baptized Kianteiti.  It was just super cool!!  Hopefully next Friday we will be having one more investigator get baptized.   We also have been teaching 2 other people that were way close to baptism but they left to Betio.  They should be back soonish so we will see if they are still progressing. 

So how long do you have to wait after someone dies to do their baptism in the temple?   We had a sad thing yesterday when one of our investigators died.  It is pretty sad.  He was a 23ish year old guy who was super solid.  Probably the nicest and most sincere investigator I have ever had.  He was about to be married to his wife in 2 weeks and baptized in 3 weeks.  Then yesterday his heart just stopped when he was sleeping.  I know as sad as it is that the Lord must have something else in store for him.   He is way solid though, so I am not worried for him after this life.  He was doing amazing things in this life and our Father in Heaven will welcome him home. 

Things are going good here in Banraeaba.  I am enjoying life.

Well, that is all I have.  Have a great week!!
Elder Dinsdale

Monday, January 2, 2017

Who knew there were tons of Missionaries in Kiribati?

Hello and Happy New Years!! 

Things are going good out here in Tarawa.  The President of Kiribati threw a party for the LDS church on New Year’s Eve and we all got fancy invitations, and went to the Presidents house. It was good because President Haleck (the President of the area presidency) and a member of the first quorum of the seventy were here.  I am pretty sure that is why we were able to have to party.  But we were blessed that President Larkin (Mission President) wanted us to come as well. They had a crazy good Kiribati dancing group that came. It was pretty awesome.  The missionaries all danced too!!

 Christmas went well.  It was busy but really good.  We went to church for Christmas and then we had a lunch with everyone and afterwards we watched the first presidency devotional and the Light the World movie with all the members and our investigators that came. 

Elder Kitchens, Elder Harris and Elder Dinsdale!!
 Having all the missionaries here was really fun. Tons of stuff going on but it was fun. I was surprised at the number of missionaries serving here.  I had no idea who they all were!   I did get to see Elder Pratt and it was awesome seeing him. In fact I got to see everyone in my intake as well as a bunch of missionaries I know so it was a really fun time. People started going back today. Today, tomorrow and Wednesday there are flights for pretty much everyone that is heading back so things should calm down soon. It was fun having everyone here though.

Elder Dinsdale on back row!!
So remember I told you that I was going to sing in a quartet?  Well, I felt like our song went very well!  I have no idea if anyone took a video but if they did I want a copy of it.   I was just very happy with it. I had a nice bass line if anyone is wondering ;) 

Elder Christensen, Parry, Dinsdale and Johnson


My package is awesome thanks! :) The Christmas tree is still in the living room and it is sweet. I really enjoyed all the letters from people so thanks for having everyone do that.

We have had a lot of missionaries at our house so our investigators are getting taught, but a lot of the time we have been busy with other things so it hasn't been us doing all the teaching.  We have been spending time with one of our investigators though (Kianteiti) and he is doing really well. He just got interviewed for baptism so that was sweet. He should be baptized Saturday.  He took a long time to get his testimony and have the desire to join the church but now he has it!

We got to have a meeting with the Seventy and the Zone leaders and AP's and that was pretty awesome. We spent a lot of time driving people around, but we have still been getting some teaching done so it has been good.  

We had a Christmas lunch, and the Mission Conference on Friday.  We had dinner with the President of Kiribati and a fireside with the seventy speaking to all the members and non members here.  Tons of people came!  It was really awesome. He taught a lot of good things.  The main thing I like that he talked about was not discounting people.  Even if you ask someone if they want to hear about the gospel and they don't want to the first time, don't discredit them.  Just continue to try and help them.  That was good for me to hear.

Well, I have been planning on setting some goals for the New Year but I have been so busy that I haven't had any time to sit down and write them down yet.  I am trying to be on time everywhere I go and be clean and write in my journal.  I actually seem to be early to almost every meeting I have so that is good.     But those have been my goals for my whole mission. Good goals though overall I would say.   I am staying very focused on the mission at the moment so that is good.  I am so glad to be serving a mission and be in Kiribati.

Things are going really good here. Really awesome stuff!  It was nice to Skype with everyone at Christmas.   It seems like you have been having a way fun time going skiing so that is good.  I am ready to go next winter.  I have been missing the cold, but I have been getting quite cold just being in air conditioning sometimes so I am not sure how snow will feel again. 

I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season!
Elder Dinsdale

Note from Sister Larkin (Mission President’s wife):
Our very full 3 day Mission Tour is now finished with the Haleck’s.  The Mission has baptized over 1200 new converts this last year.  The missionaries are truly a blessing to the peoples of these countries.  This mission will be such a wonderful building block to base their future lives upon.   (Pictures taken by Sister Larkin)
P-day with all the missionaries where volleyball, basketball and Frisbee were played.