Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sporting a straw hat and conducting with a mop!!!

Hey mum!
Well, there is a bunch of stuff to tell you about.  On Tuesday we had a rescue where we went and told everyone about the singing practice for the Stake Song Festival which took place this last Saturday.  Elder Bonney and I taught the youth and the YSA their song and taught them the notes and stuff so that was fun.   On Saturday we had the Stake Song Festival and our ward got 2nd out of the 6 wards in our stake!!!  I led the youth and the YSA's song and let’s just say that in Kiribati the more silly the conductor is the better things go.  So… I might have worn a big straw hat and led the music with a mop, and bribed the judges with candy and bracelets. It was pretty sweet!!

On Tuesday night the APs (The assistants to the President) (2 missionaries that do lots of paperwork and other work and work with the mission president and stuff) call us and tell me that I have an interview with President Larkin the next morning at 9am.  I knew that I didn't do anything bad so I wasn't worried really, but it wasn't time for interviews with everyone so I knew something was going on.  So I go down Wednesday morning and President Larkin sits me down and tells me that he has been prompted to call me as one of his APs.  That was a big surprise but pretty exciting!  He just started telling me a bunch of stuff about transfers and random stuff and tells me I have to get used to knowing a bunch of stuff and not telling everyone.  So as of yesterday I am now working with Elder Ellis!  We are still in the same area working with Elder Bonney and his new companion Elder Miller and then Elder Shumway and Veresoni in Ambo.  We now have 6 of us living in the house!  I am not 100% sure of everything I do as an AP but we will figure it out.  I know we do a bunch of paperwork and we help train the mission and stuff and help the mission president with transfers and other random stuff.  One way sweet thing is that the APs get to go out to different outer islands to help missionaries find new people and to help set up branches and other things!  I thought I was busy before but now I will be really busy, but it should be fun.  President Larkin told me I will probably be here till the end of my time so looks like I am staying in Teaoraereke 2nd!!  Which I am super stoked for.

My health is doing way good. I haven't been sick in a long time so I am pretty glad about that.  My clothes are doing good.  They should last me till the end of my time.  I eat plenty of food.  We make ourselves breakfast and lunch or we buy random food sold along the street and then dinner we eat with members each night.  There is tons of food here so don't worry about me.

You asked me how my feet and hands were. They are good too. My ears and nose are doing good as well mom if you are wondering ha-ha!

It has not rained here as much as it did last year.  It still rains some but not too much.  

So for the baptism Friday morning we got told by one of our investigators that he had smoked again.  So he will be baptized later.   Also his wife wants to be baptized next to him so she will be baptized later as well.
Nei Natia got baptized though!  Her uncle who is in the Stake Presidency baptized her so that was really exciting!  She is super solid.

So a little bit about my new comp, his name is Elder Ellis.  He is the intake right after me so he came to Kiribati 6 weeks after me.  He is from New Zealand and he is Mauri or something like that.  He is super chill.  I met him first when I was called to Tab South.   He welcomed me at the airport and showed me around a couple days with Elder Carrington before he went back to Tab North.  So I am pretty stoked to work with him.

Have a great life this week.  It may be pretty hard to have a life better than mine! ;)  Ha just kidding.  But it is pretty great being a missionary.  The Gospel is a really great thing.  It is crazy how teaching people about Jesus Christ can change people’s life for so much good.  I know that the Lord works through small things to make great things come to pass.  If we just pray, read scriptures and keep the commandments our lives will change completely.   I love being a missionary!

Elder Dinsdale

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Baptisms this week!!


Things are going really good here this week!  We have had some investigators that have been getting ready for baptism these last couple weeks/months and a few are going to be getting baptized this Saturday.  The family that their dad got all ticked at them just decided to keep coming to church and they should be getting baptized this Saturday as well.  Their dad said he would disown them and kick them out of his land if they joined the church but they are just going to join it anyways which takes great faith.  Also I talked to a member and he said legally his dad can't kick them out without giving them some land unless he has a really good reason (other than religion differences) so I hope everything will work out good.  I am just super stoked.  Nei Natia and her husband got married on Saturday so that was pretty sweet as well.  

I have been working on home teaching lists with the high priests and elders and visiting teaching as well, and now they are all done!  I have to make some adjustments but people are getting excited about it so I am stoked!

Easter here in Kiribati is different than at home.  People just have big parties for Easter. For our church nothing different happens, there was just a little Easter sign in the front of the chapel.  Other religions have hugs parties for days.  There is not candy and Easter eggs like in America though.

You asked what my feelings were about Peace.   Honestly, the only time out here I really just feel peace is just when I read in the scriptures or study personally.  That is pretty much the only thing I do to feel peace.  The rest of my mission and life I feel like I am so busy doing random things all the time and we are always in a rush, but if I set apart the set amount of time to do personal study and I read I feel like I have peace.  Not that other times are bad I love everything else as well I am just busy doing good stuff.

We have been having a bunch of investigators doing good so I am way stoked.  We are just trying to work as hard as we can every day. 

Have a good week!
Elder Dinsdale

Picture complements of Stephanie Green who went to Kiribati for a dental humanitarian project and emailed mom this picture.  They not only served the people of Kiribati but also cleaned the missionary’s teeth!!  Thanks

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Watch out for the centipede!!

We were able to watch General Conference this week.  It started at 6 am for the priesthood session on Saturday, 8 am first session and 10 am second session. Sunday morning session was at 8 am on Sunday and second was at 10am. So, needless to say it was a lot of sitting.  I watched all of them in Kiribati so that was pretty fun.  I didn't understand it all but I tried to get most of it.  Not that I don't understand Kiribati it was just the quality of the recording and listening to it for hours at a time I couldn't stay focused to understand all of what was going on.  At least I didn't fall asleep at all.   It was great to hear from  President Thomas S. Monson.  He seems to be getting pretty old.   He will live I suppose as long as the Lord wants him to live though.  We will all just keep listening to his counsel and everything will work out like it should.

This week I have a lot to tell you.  I will start with Tiareti.     Tiareti, was the old bishop maybe  10 years ago here in our ward.  He is a super great guy but has gone very inactive.  He has been visited by tons of people to try and help him come back to church but he never came.  Anyway Kianteiti and I went and visited him for a Rescue and we set up a time to have dinner with him.  It was a great dinner and then Tiareti and his wife came to church!!!  It was so awesome. 

Also I told you about Tourakai?  He is the guy that lives with his dad making it so he and his family couldn’t come to church.  They were going to try and get jobs so they could be independent and get their own place.  They have been praying a bunch and a couple of days ago the education of Kiribati showed up to look at Taourakai’s wife’s preschool!!  Everything went well and in a couple of months she will hopefully be getting paid to have her preschool.  I gave them a bunch of stuff that you have sent me to use for the preschool (glow sticks, stickers, etc) so hopefully everything will work out.  Tourakai came to General Conference on Saturday and Sunday.  He was dressed and ready to leave when his dad showed up to the house.  Well, let’s just hope his dad will change.  It didn’t sound like it was a good situation.  I think his dad will change little by little when he sees the changes in Tourakai as he lives the Gospel.

Teaching is going really good.  We have a bunch of super solid investigators, but they all have their issues.  We are trying to help them though.  We did get  one lady who is the wife of an active  Melchizedek Priesthood holder  to come to church.  She is a golden investigator.  We had one of our investigators start to live the Word of Wisdom and he is doing really great.  We keep telling him he will get better but I guess we will see.  He has been drinking coffee every day and a lot of it as well as smokes and does nankona so we will see how he will do.   Another less active member quit smoking this week so that is great.   We are really working hard but it is up to people’s agency if they will keep commitments or not.
You asked what to send in a package.  I don’t need anything but if you could send some random little books in English for kids that would be great. , I know a Tourakai’s wife could really use them at the preschool.  Or other little stuff for kids always works I can always find a bunch of kids that will take free stuff.

I will end with a interesting thing that happened.  I had a poisonous centipede climb up my leg this morning, but it didn't bite me. That was pretty exciting though I guess.

I love it here, no problems or anything.  Things are just super sweet out here in Kiribati. A lot of our investigators are doing good, some are not, but we are trying to help them.

Well, have a great week!
Elder Dinsdale

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hey your brother's companion is my friend Scott!!


I am glad General Conference was good.  We didn't get to see conference this last week but this next Saturday and Sunday we will be able to watch it with all the people in the Stake.  It takes about that long for them to translate it all into Kiribati.  We will watch the Priesthood session at 6 in the morning though so that will be interesting. 

Thanks for sharing President Monson’s talk.   I am pretty stoked to hear it.  I completely agree that the small and simple things are the most important things to be doing.  Reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church are the things that we are always trying to get our people to do.  And if they are doing those 3 things they are blessed a bunch.

My week has gone by really good. We have definitely had a lot of investigators struggling, but little by little things will work out.

So, first cool story. Tematang (our recent convert) just had her baby.  My companion’s full name is Benjamin Bonney and I am Dinsdale.

Tematang name her baby boy  Tentau Benjisdale.  I am not even kidding.   I have a picture of the birth certificate to show you.  So part of the name Dinsdale will always be in Kiribati, even if it is just the scale part of it.  Pretty much that is the only super happy story.

The other stories are really sad.  Our investigators and people we are helping have been falling into random stuff.   We helped a couple that has been struggling in life, but we will see if they will change.   One of our investigators father told him that if he is not Catholic then he should find himself somewhere else to live. (Our guy is like 40 with a wife and kids).   So that is an issue, but we are working on it.  He is thinking if he gets a job then he should haven't to worry since he lives off his dad’s money at the moment.  

We got some new investigators though so that is fun.   Also I took one of our recent converts Raotibeta out on a split one day and he said that he wants to do it more often.  So next Sunday hopefully we will be taking him out to work with us for the whole day.  I am pretty stoked.

We started working on 2 different divorces that are keeping 2 of our couples from getting married and getting baptized, so hopefully those will work out and we can see them get married and baptized within the next few months.

We got some new investigators so that is good.  A lot of people are truly being prepared by the Lord to listen, sometimes we just need to push them until they are willing to listen and then they realize that they truly desire the gospel.

One of differences in Kiribati people and American people is that if you are in your 50’s in Kiribati you are pretty old.  I think when you turn 50 in Kiribati you can retire from most government jobs.  When you are in your 60's a lot of people have a hard time doing too much, and by the time you are 70 you normally are not here anymore.  I have only met a couple people older than 80 and most die before they are 70-75.  So we are definitely blessed to be in America. I feel like a lot of the issues here are from drinking, smoking, kava and diet. 

Well, time is going by super fast out here. It is already April and soon it will be May and so on.  I feel like being out here as a missionary time just flies by super fast every day.  I do love being a missionary.

Have a great week!!

Love you!
Elder Dinsdale

Photo of Elder Dinsdale and Elder Bonney.  
Thanks to Makayla Thornley and her BFF at BYU which happens to be Elder Dinsdale's companions brother from back east.  It's a small world