Monday, September 18, 2017

God has power to do anything

Mauri mauri!!!
This week has been awesome. Elder Murri is a way hard worker, that's
my new comp btw. I'm learning tons about the language, about the
Spirit, about missionary work. It's a huge blessing working with him.
I gave a talk yesterdayin sacrament meeting, it was pretty good, it
was on having faith and believing that we'll receive answers to our
prayers. I used Mark 11: 13-14 &20-24. It's actually a wayyyyyyy good
verse. We saw some miracles this week as well. It's crazy how
oftentimes we can feel the Spirit most strongly when we're really
working hard and struggling to grow. We were walking past this one
house this week. A thought came to me that we should look at the house
next to us. Apparently the thought came to Elder Murri as well because
I didn't even have to ask him, he did the same thing and we walked up
to the house. Not too much came of it. That Sunday we saw the lady who
we meet there at church. She had been praying at the time we passed
her house which church was true and because we turned around and went
to her that was her answer. It's crazy to think sometimes how big of a
work this is and how weak we are. But literally God has power to do
anything, it's all in God's hands. If we just try to do good and we
really try to stretch ourselves to grow and be better, we'll see God's
help and we'll know He's right there with us. I'm way grateful for the
opportunity to work with Elder Murri, he's a way good example and
works hard. Also I'm grateful to work here. There's tons of good work
and opportunities.
 It's funny: they're starting to
make chapels just pavilion style, why? because it fits the
environment. It's hard to maintain it if it's a chapel. It just
doesn't fit the environment. That's why a lot of people enjoy the "i
buki" life better than here in Tarawa. Because it's was simple. You
live off the land. A lot of people say they feel "richer" i buki.
Because everything is free pretty much. There's very few needs. That's
why when I got back here to Tarawa, I missed the bathroom back in
Butaritari. Cause the one in Tarawa was a mess. When your shower is a
bucket with a cup on cement, there's not a lot of necessary
maintenance. Oh well, haha, obviously there's a few perks to being in
a first world country as well, high standard of living conditions,
longer life span, bettter medical stuff, etc.
Well, prayer is way true!!! Love you all!!!! I'm way excited to become
an Uncle!!!!! Sounds like everyone is doing awesome!!! I challenge
everyone to identify something they could do better with and then set
a goal to really try to please God and follow the Spirit in
accomplishing it for 2 days. Well, have a good week!!! Thanks for all
you do mom!! Good job with the recently half marathons! Thanks for all
you and Dad do to raise our family! You guys do a great job!! Love ya!
- Elder SEffker

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

encourage them to do the right

Hey!!!!
Yeah I just got in Tarawa, my new area. The exact same area that I
worked in when I first got to Kiribati. Hahaha, man it's way good to
be here again and see all the people that I used to know here. "Euta
Seffka.....!? Nao ko uara?(how are you!?) Ko marika riki!(you're
bigger!) Ko bwati riki n te taetae ke?(you're better at the language
eh?)" Haha, good times. Man it's way awesome to be here. I feel
spoiled here, my last area way comparable to camping conditions. Now
it's like coming back to America. Almost. Mission life is going good.
Trying to work hard every day. The ward was a lot stronger when I
first came. Now it's gone down hill a bit sadly. Satan is continuing
to try to over throw the plan of salvation. Fortunately, when the
trials come, that's when the growth comes. I really hope I can be of
some use to my Father in Heaven here and His children by trying to
help others feel the Spirit who will teach and whisper to them and
encourage them to do the right. Well, It's been a pretty tiring past
few days. Lots of people to meet, lots of lessons to be taught. That's
way awesome to hear all the news that's happening in the ward. Man, 7
missionaries! Haha, that'll be cool when we all get back. Well, I know
the church is true. I know that prayer is true. That's definitely one
thing that I've really had my testimony strengthened in on my mission,
if we just ask and we work at it and we be patient, we'll feel
Heavenly Father's love and guidance, correction and even power at
times to achieve the thing we ask for. Well, have a good week! Love
you all!!! Ti a bo!!!! - Elder SEffker

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

follows what he learns

Ahhhhm thanks for all the support and packages. Haha, yeah I guess I
could use some vitamins what with all the rice they've got here. Haha,
thanks a ton! Well, the email is way awesome. Nice job everyone with
yours' notes on stake conference. I can relate to the organist player
a bit. I suppose every missionary does, especially those learning a
new language haha. It can be humbling, but Heavenly Father has the
power to help us grow if we desire and work for it and have faith.
I've been thinking a bit about faith and obedience lately. Obedience
isn't a tool you yeild when you think you need it to get specific
blessings, but it's something we work at with faith, not always
knowing what the blessing will exactly be and sometimes following it
even when it's inconvenient. Mission rules are definitely a huge
blessing, it's nice we've got them there to protect and bless us.
Sometimes they can seem limiting but if we didn't have them missions
that would be way dangerous in many ways. This week my companion
suggested we use our priesthood more often. We actually had tons of
opportunities to offer priesthood blessing and use our priesthood so
we took them. It's been a good week. THe work here is good, we've got
a great investigator(Maronibaia) who is honestly a great example to me
and my companion. He's got a great interest in learning God's word in
the bible and the book of mormon. it's his "bwai ni kakabotu" (think
he does to pass the time) which is way good. He also follows what he
learns. Yesterday in sacrament meeting the unit leader gave a way good
talk. It was about this kid who was lazy and his parents put him
through school and stuff but he didn't dare go find a job lest he'd
have to work. He compared it to how sometimes we as members of the
church are always happy to be taught lessons but that we aren't always
happy to go put them to work and use them.
Well, love yall! Thanks for all the good thoughts and support!! Thanks
mom for all you do!!!! Love ya!  Elder SEffker

Friday, August 18, 2017

miracles in missionary work

Hey!!! Yeah, internet was out. Me and my comp have been waking up at 4
hahaha on p-days, without internet, we have a lot of free time.....
it's interesting hahaha. We did some fun fishing, bought a snack and
ate it "i tanrake" (ocean side, where the wind blows) we meet some
kids and they taught us how to catch crabs. It was pretty fun.
 Mission work has
been good! Takes faith to work hard, to "serve more effectively".
 Yeah we actually just got to Butaritari
this morning. We hired a truck to pick us up in the morning, it
brought us and our luggage to the airport, which is just a field with
a "auti n imatang" (white person house) next to it. We've done some
good tracting lately. There's lots of catholic people here up north.
So I've grown quite a bit in my tracting approach etc. I got your
package for my birthday btw, not sure if I already told you that, but
thanks!!!!!! IT was way awesome!!!!! Me and my comp built a fire pit
and we plan to roast the smores maybe next P-day!!! Also, I brought
the muffin mix to a lady in Makin and she made them, they were
delicious!!!! Thanks!!!!!! hahaha, I've been doing some fishing on my
p-days, me and my comp. It's funny how good an analogy fishing is to
missionary work. Gotta put the bait on right, gotta be skilled with
where you put it and how you reel it in and stuff. It takes a high
level of skill to see success it seems. Some places the fish just keep
biting, others they don't. When we were fishing this p-day somehow I
hooked a fish by it's tail haha, I suppose that could be comparable to
miracles in missionary work ;) Supposedly Micronesian people are the
"fishers", polynesians are the "sailors", the people here are
definitely pretty good at fishing. any way, we finished Borina's
lessons before we left makin. She's really awesome. She's just waiting
on her marriage papers to get done now and then she'll be able to be
baptized. We had a way good sacrament meeting here last Sunday, it was
crazy how powerful the speakers were. Two Kiribati sisters who have
been to the temple spoke. Their testimonies were way powerful. It
strengthened my testimony definitley. The church is true! Well, have a
good week!!! It's good to hear everyone is doing good!! Thanks for
your example and testimony!!! Hahaha, our bikes broke a few times
recently, I'm getting pretty good. Hahaha, it's pretty fun, jk, well
love ya! Ti a bo!! - Elder SEffker

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

the study of the gospel will improve behavior faster than a study of behavior will improve behavior

Hey!!!!
So we had a good week this week! Got back from Makin, we'll be here
for another 2 weeks here in Butaritari. Then back to Makin. We've done
lots of tracting recently. Tracting is such a joy. I'm sure we're
planting a lot of seeds. Cause most people are way happy to talk,
converse. They're just reluctant to accept any sort of commitments a
lot of them cause they've already got their religions. Yeah, everyone
here has a Christian background really. You've got the catholic which
is BIG. Kiribati protestant church which are pretty much the two main
religions. Lots of good people. We've meet a few that are ready to
hear and be taught. One, Maronibaia. He's a bit deaf but so far with
our lessons we just talk a bit louder and there's no problem. He
actually found us: we were biking along one day, me and my past comp,
and maronibaia stopped us and asked if we could teach him. We meet
with him later at his house and he told us about how his past religion
the leaders they preached and stuff but then they'd go off and not
follow it. So yeah, he was pretty much like: I want you guys to teach
me instead. So yeah, we've already discussed the Joseph Smith
scripture about how people drew near to God with their lips but their
hearts were far from him. yeah I know the gospel has the power to
change lives. I love the quote about how the study of the gospel will
improve behavior faster than a study of behavior will improve
behavior. I think it might be because in living the gospel we're
taught to life what we learn. it can be easy to learn about something
and say in ourselves "yeah that might be a good thing to do, I think I
could imagine what kind of good things might happen if I did that,
well, that's enough" but yeah, it's important to actually do what we
learn, that's when the blessings come. Well, it's definitely true, not
every one's ready yet, some people are farther along than others, but
yeah there definitely are people ready. Well, yeah we made the bike
trek to the other end of the island yesterday. It was raining when we
left off, but we were blessed that it stopped on the way and our
bycicles which we've had problems with all week didn't act up at all!!
Yeah people here get to bed way early. Cause it gets dark here around
7. Thing is they had lights imported to them so they don't always get
to bed right away. Yeah, I think the reason they get up so early is
cause that's when the roosters start crowing.
Well, have a good week!! Love you!! - Elder SEffker

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

God really listens to our prayers

Hey! Haha, thanks for the email!! Haha, ahh, this companion is a
junior! It's crazy being senior companion. It's a nice "intelligent
stretch" as we'd call it in yoga. It's a good stretch, not too
overwhelming though. Such a blessing. Heavenly Father really prepares
us and gives us things that will have us learn.
THe new companion is awesome. The island is awesome. The rain falls a
ton! Plane was good, just a short 10 minute flight haha.
Yeah missions are such a blessing, hand crafted. Each day it seems
like haha, each experience.
Nice testimony. Yeah, it's definitely
true about the sacrifice thing. It's amazing how we can develop faith
in this life through God's help. I was thinking the other day that
it's really a miracle for people to be truly converted.
So this week has been good. I'm the senior companion!! Haha, my
companion's name is Elder Iosefa. I'll have to send some pictures.
Anyway, he's really awesome. He's a great companion. Part samoan. From
New Zealand. Really hardworking, talented, friendly, we're definitely
gonna have a lot of good experiences. This is his third transfer here.
Makin is also really awesome. The people here are so kind. They're
also really strong in the church. We've meet a lot of really awesome
people so far.
Any way, so yeah, things are going good. We found the person who we
were sent here for. She's way awesome. Her husband is a member and so
he asked us to lesson with here. She's really accepting. We just
taught the restoration yesterday. Her lessons have been way awesome.
I'm really developing a love for preach my gospel. It's so good.
Chapter 10 teaching skills is wayyyyy helpful and useful. My studies
have been really good recently, which has been awesome. It's way fun
to work with a newer missionary. He really reminds me of myself a lot
when I first got here. It's awesome haha.
Well, yeah. Hope you guys have a god week! I really appreciate the
prayers. I've grown so much, it's such a blessing, but I know I still
have so much growth to do! I know that Christ's gospel is true. It
really is! I know that God really listens to our prayers. I know He'll
give us answers if we really seek for them. I know the Spirit can
comfort us and strengthen us beyond our own abilities! Well, Good luck
this week!! - Elder Seffker



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mauri


Hey!!! Thanks for the email!!!!!
The baptism went great!!! I had the opportunity to confirm them in
sacrament meeting and it was a really good experience.
Soooo: here's some good facts and stuff about the land, the mission,
some unique aspects... here goes!: So, right now I'm on Bi,
which is an outer island. On the plane ride here, we were only allowed
to bring 15 kilograms of luggage, and a carry on, and I was STILL
underweight ;) There are many days when I spend around 5 hours
cross-legged. When I first got here, it was really hard. But you get
used to it. Yeah we basically sleep in a really tall grass hut with a
wall. Under it is a room. Climb a ladder and that's how you get up top
to sleep.
Bootaki's: It's the kiribati way of celebrating things, it's basically
a party. Everyone meets up. First you've got the maroro
(conversation). One person from each family or group will get up and
say something like (they really love to spice it up): " Good health,
to you all, to the baby who birthday it is, to the grandparents who
first were. Good health (every one answers "good health (Mauri)) we're
very grateful to be here on this, the 1st birthday of this baby, we
expect her to grow up healthy, ..." and so forth. Then you've got the
food, guests and men eat first, then women and their families. Usually
they've got spoons, Kiribati people don't usually use them for rice
and fish. After the food they pass around a bowl with soap and water.
Close it up. And then sometimes they do activities.
Yeah for a lot of people "boben" (collecting coconuts) is their main
source of income. One coconut is about 20 cents.
They've got records in the goverment buildings, but yeah, some people
don't remember their own birthdays. Usually you have go find it in the
council.
Haha, they don't have the family name here like they do in America.
Instead, you take your dad's name as your surname.
Well, thanks for all the prayers!!!!!! Just got a message that my
companion is leaving!!!! Also, we're flying out to M this
Wednesday!!! Have fun, love you!!!!! - Elder SEffker Good luck with
the talk!!!!