Monday, January 8, 2018

Baptism

Here's some pictures from the baptism!!
Touai asked me to baptize him that's why I'm in white, haha he's nice.
It's so awesome to see his getting baptized. His testimony is so
strong from reading and praying so fervently, he's an example to all
of us. He's changed so much in the past 4 months. Well, ti a bo!

definitely seen Heavenly Father's hand

So, this week has been pretty cool. So, we've definitely seen Heavenly
Father's hand in our lives recently. We had a few things go on this
week. We were trying to baptize K this Saturday, cause that's
what we told him his date was. Well, Saturday rolls around, turns out
his marriage still wasn't done... because the minister of justice or
something wasn't at the court to sign their paper haha. Well, we get
the word saturday morning. Change of plans! We head to Bwairiki, maybe
1 hour west by bus, with the plan that we'll track down the ministers
house and ask him if he could sign it then and then we'd pay him over
time(which is actually totally a culturally acceptable thing to do in
kiribati). Randomly zone leaders are in our area and offer to take us
there. So we go to bwairiki, we meet this lady in a store who tells us
where most of the workers live. We go to the place, first house, we
talk with a guy a bit, he kind of knows maybe how we can find him,
another neighbor walks in, and they two direct us to the ministers
house. We show up to his house, no one answers for a while, finally we
get an answer: "he's partying, come back later. Actually he has a
party tonight as well, come back monday". A car rolls up, it's him! As
we go to talk to him, we see his wife: she politely motions: "he's
drunk right now", we figure he was still able to drive, so we talk to
him a little bit any way. We talk with him a little bit we explain our
situation with him a little bit, ask if he'd be willing to sign it
(the court was like a five minute walk from his house) he seemed
really nice at first, but then randomly becomes angry and tells us he
won't. Then he goes into his house and goes to sleep. So, yeah we
tried a few other things after, see if any one else could sign the
paper or whatever. Not much could be done. Any way, we went to get
lunch, and we see this guy who's maybe touring or something in
kiribati, "Hey!" we say, we say hi to a guy from kiribati who seemed
to be guiding him around, he's way nice, shakes our hands. we offer
our hand to the other guy. "no thank" he says, "I don't shake my hand
with snakes". We talk with him a little bit, tried to resolve any
misconceptions he'd had about the LDS church, he didn't really seem to
want to listen though. Any way, we left bwairiki went on with our day.
Even though we weren't able to get the marriage done, I still felt
we'd had a really good day, we tried hard. Thinking back about it, had
we got the paper done, there was still a lot of stuff that we'd have
had to do. I'm not sure if we'd have enough time to finish it all
before the baptism would've started. So yeah, and it's not too big a
problem if he'd have to wait a week, everyone was happy and okay with
it. So yeah, it was probably Heavenly Father's plan that they wait.
There are actually a lot of pros to it being next week!
Any way, one more story. We meet this guy on the street, I can't
remember if I told you guys the first part of the story, but he told
us to visit him, he was gonna teach us "the ancient/old language". Any
way, we search around for him all this morning, finally find his
house, someone knows where he lives. We walk to the oceans edge, about
40 feet out there's another tiny little area of land, only big enough
for about one little house, that's his house. We weren't able to visit
him because the ocean was surrounding it. Apparently it has to be low
tide to visit him. I felt like I was in a zelda game or something.
We're gonna go back in a few hours when it's low tide so this guy can
teach us these ancient words. haha.
Well, thanks again for the prayers, they're way apprecitated!!!!!!
Love you guys all!!!! - Elder Seffker

drowning in work

So, yeah, man that sounds like some fun Sunday activities! Nice goals.
Those are way good. Seriously you're an awesome example of member
missionary work. And it's so true that the referral is always better
than tracting, pretty much always. I'd say probably one of the best
ways to prepare to become a missionary is to be a member missionary.
yeah some of my goals are to try to hand out more pamphlets on the
buses here when I travel. because yeah it's kind of hard to have like
a really long developed conversation on the generally short and
uncomfortable bus rides. But I figure that the best way to really show
love and help them progress to learning about the church is maybe to
just have a goal that whoever I sit by I'll try to have a little, real
conversation and then what ever gospel principle the conversation
tends toward I can give them a pamphlet and then maybe a mini
explanation of how the pamphlet is relative to their life and mine and
I can bear a short genuine testimony of how the principle explained
could help them and how it's helped me. And yeah then I'll just see
how far it goes. If they're willing to read it, if they're willing
that we give their names and cities to the Elders that are there. Any
way, yeah that's kind of one of mine. I'm also trying to apply PMG
more to my life here. I'm trying to learn at least 1 thing everyday
maybe out of PMG or a general conference talk that I can apply
throughout the day, and that I'll actually do and use and that I'm not
already doing. Right now we've got a few recent converts in our branch
and we did the math that even the few times we plan on visiting them
all each week would equate still to like 15 lessons a week just with
recent converts. PMG says to try to use recent converts for member
presents in lessons. So that's kind of our goal. To just combine as
many of the recent convert lessons as we can with investigators
lessons.
Anyway, this week has been awesome, we've been way blessed this week
that the baptism went through. There were many disappointments, but at
least three things worked out. All the baptizees came to church the
week before, they all passed their interviews, and they all got
baptized (and got the Holy Ghost at church the day after). Any way,
yeah we definitely saw lots of miracles this week. It's so nice to be
busy, we're literally like drowning in work. They had 4 Elders here,
and then they went to just us two last transfer. So we took all the
investigators of the entire area. Any way, yeah Elder B my
companion loves to plan, kind of like me, he's probably actually
better haha, so things have been really good that way, that's made
things a bit smoother.
Any ways, thank you all for the prayers. We've seen so many blessings,
even amidst some trials. There was this one specific miracle that me
and Elder B saw: all the people getting baptized were
getting dressed. This one girl comes up to us and says "that one
ladies outfit is way tight". "how tight?" we say.. see respondes, yeah
it was really too tight to be of use. Well, there really wasn't any
other way that we could've got baptismal clothes for her at that time.
Maybe simply to call zone leaders and wait for them to be free and
bring us clothes from 30 minutes car west. Not much time elapsed as we
kind of just wandered around thinking. We open up a random closet,
there are books, etc. On one shelf there's a bundle of white. We check
it out, it's a womens XXL baptismal outfit. All of us Elders were kind
of just in awe. Heavenly Father is so good, as mom always says. It was
a really special experience. I'm so grateful for Heavenly Father's
tender mercies toward us. It's all by grace. Well, yeah, prayer is
definitely real, I've definitely said tons of prayers this week, and
I'm sure my comp and other Elders and also you guys have been praying
for the cause of missionary work. His cause continues to move forward
because He's behind it.
Well, those aren't the only blessings we've seen this week, but I
don't have too much time to write any more. Tons of blessings in the
work, blessings to our investigators, blessings I've received
personally, etc.
Well, yeah, hope you guys all have a good week! Happy new years!!  Any way, ti a bo!!!! Love ya
all!! - ELder Seffker

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Coming unto Christ

This week has been good, we've had tons of stuff going on.
Elder M has been my companion for the last two transfers, then he
backup trained Elder B for three weeks, it's was us 4 in
the house. Now we're back down to 2 elders here, me and elder
b. I'm finishing up his 12 week training. We're way
excited. Anway, Elder M has been a way awesome companion. He
actually just got called as AP. It's really been good. He's been a way
good example and I've learned so much from him. Even though he doesn't
always include language study, or lunch in our daily schedule, haha,
we've had some good times, really grown close. I've really learned to
work On the time. Really learned to try hard. And to love the people,
and do all I can to help them in every way, and most crucially
important, coming unto Christ. Not that I nor Elder M are perfect,
but I feel I've grown a bit in those areas ever these past few months.
I've been with Elder H now for the last two weeks. It's been way
awesome as well. He's been out for 3 months. His language is doing
fantastic. He's already learned german, and italian anyway. He was in
the Navy for 1 or 2 years before he got on his mission. He's training
to become an officer. We've had some good times as well. We've learned
a lot from each other as well. I feel like I've grown a lot at being
my best self as I've been with him. We've had some really good lessons
with people as well. We had a new investigator, Kiteon, this week. He
seems pretty prepared. He accepted a book of mormon. Has started
praying, and is already in like 1 Nephi 9. Any way, we really felt the
Spirit in our last lesson on the Restoration. it was really powerful.
ANy way, sorry my time is almost up. Tia  bo!!!! - Elder Seffker Love
you all!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

tons of blessings this week

Sooo: there's a lady from Kiribati, a member of the church, who's
visiting!. Sooo, she
said she'd love to meet you even for a little bit, or if you guys
wanted to like eat somewhere, or go to a park or I don't know it's up
to you guys if you want to meet her and/or do something. Here's her
email, hopefully it all works out if you guys try to contact her:
 and yeah if you guys are busy don't worry, just if
it's convenient and you guys want to met her then you guys can set
something up or whatever!! Let me know if it works out or if you guys
have questions or anything!! Her name is N, she's good at
english, she's like 60 years old, she's traveling with one of her
friends, who is also from the church I think!
Anyway sorry I don't have tons of time, but this week has been
good!!!!!! We saw tons of blessings this week! We had a few
investigators who moved or things like that which was sad, but we saw
lots of blessings as well, one of our investigators, his and wife and
him got mad, and so she left him for a bit. We all imagined she would
return soon but still it was concerning. We lessoned on that when
we're tried we can grow and Heavenly Father can bless us even more. It
really was a blessing, we all prayed tons, and she was able to come
back yesterday! He learned the power of prayer and faith from the
experience. It's was a great lesson we had with the whole family that
night, they were all way happy.
I definitely know that when we pray and fast from our hearts and have
faith, Heavenly Father will definitely help us and guide us and answer
our prayers.
We had a way fun opportunity to do service this week as well, we
helped this new family with "yard work", their house is really swampy
and when it rains, it kind of floods their house/tent of sticks. So we
dug a huge hole that the rain could flow into and used the dirt to
raise their house upon. They just started lessoning recently. Another
amazing story is that they got a Book of Mormon. It rained, they were
way hungry, they were all mad. the wife, who's less active told the
husband that the reason they were in the situation they were was
because he wouldn't read and pray. Apparently that really made him
think. He went to the house, member of the church next to him, and
asked for money to take a bus to betio, she asked him why, he said to
try to get help from his extended family. She was like "e kaman
tuangai te tamnei ae e raoiroi" which pretty much means that she'd
already been prompted by the Holy Ghost that she should help. She gave
them diapers, rice, and sugar that she had already bought for them.
And insisted that they eat dinner with them that night. Apparently
that family was blessed even further that week as a random guy who
works at  a bread place randomly brought them a bag a bread, even
though he was drunk at the time hahaha.
Any way, as mom says at times,"Heavenly Father is so good". It's way
true, there's always gonna be trials in life, but if we just try to
press forward well see the sunny horizon eventually.
tranfers came by the way: I'm getting another half samoan daughter.
Same area. And our house is getting two more Elders!! That will make a
total of 14 Elders and 0 sisters in our district haha. Well, Love you
all!!!! Thanks again for the package mom!!!!! And everything!!! Happy
birthday again!!! Tia bo!! - Elder SEffker

Monday, November 20, 2017

prayer is wayyyyy powerful

Hey!! THanks for the email!!! yeah you can buy a truck that will go
pick everyone up for parties or church. You literally just buy it, get
on, and lead the drive around, and tell him when to come back. And
it's wayyyy cheap. Did I tell you how this one guy worked for 60 hours
a week and got paid 45 dollars for the entire week? Hahahahaha, there
aren't workers rights yet here in Kiribati.
All the news is wayyyyy good!!!!!! Congratulations to Nate and
Rachel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!! That's amazing!!!!!! Wow, march, how
exciting!!!!!!
That's good to hear the gospel scholar thing was able to help you
out!!!! He actually talked in conference that past as well!!!!!
Well, this week has been good, sorry I'm way short on time. But some
highlights: it rained yesterday, we were literally walking through
swamps it seemed at certain parts of the day. Fortunately, we prayed
it wouldn't rain as the truck drove with everyone in it, and that;s
exactly what happened. I've learned time after time on this mission
that prayer is wayyyyy powerful. A recent converts husband came back
to her because of prayer this week as well, right at the time that she
needed him to. I know that it's all about moving forward with faith.
Heavenly Father won't forget us if we really pray from our heart!
Well, love you all!!!! TI a bo!!!!! - Eder SEffker

Monday, November 13, 2017

we are required to swim against the current at times

Well, here's this week: We've had a good week. Lots of good work. Our
additional two Elders are gonna be moving out today. THe mission tour
is over. We found lots of good new investigators and less actives.
This last Sunday went amazingly. We woke up, did studies and stuff and
went out to remind all of our investigators about church. When the
truck went around, lots of new people that hadn't come in a while
came. It has a lot also to do with school just getting out for the
kids here. Yeah summer break for kiribati kids just started. We had
tons of people come to YSA. Lots of boys and girls, which is contrary
to the usual just girls. I taught the lesson. Our YSA lessons are
somewhat of a Mission prep cause most people are preparing to serve
missions any way. We went over teaching skills, and then did a role
play. Literally there were like 10 people there as opposed to the
usual 5! Haha, we also had a 'confirmation' this week. Some
misunderstanding happened with one of our old investigators. We'd been
teaching him, he moved to a different area, missionaries there get him
ready for baptism, they baptize him, and for some reason he comes to
church in our ward the next day haha, so we called AP's and they said
go ahead and just confirm him. So yeah.
Mission conference was way fun turns out we all just studied in the
chapel till president Ardern came. He asked that we all be "studying
our scriptures" when he comes. He was pretty cool. Really
knowledgeable in the scriptures. Any time you said anything about any
principle, he would be able to add to your idea with his own
scripture. He really emphasized refining our own personal missionary
skills. Becoming a PMG misssionary. And really taking every advantage
you can to become a 'gospel scholar'. I've had some really good
personal studies since. It's really good to plan out your studies and
organize the things you learn so that you're able to recall it in the
future. I've personally learned that finding answers to your questions
during studies is a sure way to have a productive study. The main
things President Ardern went over was preparing spiritually, becoming
more Christ like, and improving our teaching skills. One of the best
things he touched upon that I remember the most was that we need to
act. There's no reason to throw a mission training conference if we
don't act upon the things we learn. It's hard at times, like someone
in a recent general conference said something like: in living the
gospel of Jesus Christ we can't just float along and expect the
current to take us where we want to go (President Utchdorf) we are
required to swim against the current at times. I really love that
quote. We really do need to act. If we learn something  in the
scriptures during our study, we need to ask ourselves how we can
change and improve from the lesson we learned. It's important to set
goals, especially prayerfully. And then when we have goals we need to
swim against the current at times to achieve them. I love how we get
credit even for trying. Even though really working toward goals seems
often daunting at first, especially staying strong with them till the
end. But we get credit even for trying, just so long as we really do
try. That's one of the main things I learned from the conference and
that I want to really try to do better at. One of the things I've
learned on my mission is that as long as this two years is, it's
composed of individual days. A good mission is composed of good days.
Same with life. There's no reason we shouldn't give each day our best.
Not that I'm perfect at this, but those were some things I'd felt I'd
learned. Well, Have a good week! Love ya!!!! We also taught a good
lessons yesterday btw to a guy who recently who's been a little
reluctant to take lessons with Elders in the past. THis was our second
lessons with him. He's awesome, he's the kind of investigator that
turns the lesson into a discussion for you, which is a problem
especially here as what with the culture everyone is way too polite to
want to express their questions and doubts at first. Well, we answered
his question about D&C 130:15-16 first, and then taught about the
restoration. It went really well I feel. His name is Nakiata. If we
can get him excited on the lessons I imagine he'll let his family
who's taking lessons with us as well to be baptized . WEll, ti a
bo!!!! Love you!!!!- ELder seffker