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!!!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Line upon line

Hey!
Nice, nice, sounds like everything is going good. That's cool about
the family reunion! How long was it? Did they have a camp out sort of
thing with it as well? Or just the get together? That's way cool about
the faith stories! Man, that's good she acted on the first prompting.
I'm sure she was glad she'd gone to look after the child when she saw
the it huddled at the bush waiting for her. That's really cool!
So about the talk... what kind of things did you have in mind? Do you
want things specific to mission life in general? Or things specific to
my mission area?
Here's a few ideas you could share (you might have to do some research
on the references and wording if that's alright):
there's a talk in this past conference that I think Elder Eyring or
maybe Elder Bednar gave. He was talking about fulfilling priesthood
duties, he said something like "if you told me that you felt you were
totally capable of accomplishing your duty, I might be concerned you
didn't fully understand it." He goes on to say though that through the
Lord's power and help we can accomplish miracles and accomplish what
He expects of us.
It's definitely the same in mission work. It's a really huge
responsibility. But if you just trying and if you seek His guidance
and help through prayer and scripture study and by being obedient,
you'll definitely see miracles and help in fulfilling your purpose.
Just like the brother of Jared, as we show and excercise our faith,
we'll be able to see the Lord's hand in our lives.
I've also learned a lot about how just by doing the small things
everyday like studying and praying we can grow little by little. Just
like the scripture "line upon line. That's definitely the same in
mission work as well. We'll see ourselves and others progress little
by little. It's important that we just continue to try hard and seek
His help and that we have faith and patience with our self and with
others, and eventually we'll look back and see how much we've grown.
I heard a quote once from some talk that said something like "He is
closer to this work than you think He is." That's definitely true. I
mean, it makes sense cause it's His work, but it's important to know
that He really is right there helping us and is ready to further help
and bless us and give us guidance as we desire it and seek it.

Any way... yeah, those are some ideas. If you have other questions
I'll totally answer them.
So, this week..... has been good. Yesterday we had a good Sabbath.
Church was awesome. We saw lots of blessings. The family I talked
about came to church again which was way cool and a huge blessing.
Their baptism date is this Saturday, which is really exciting. They've
been such a great family to teach hahaha. They live right by our house
and they were literally just waiting to be baptized it seems! Haha, I
have definitely seen His help and miracles as we've taught them and
worked with them.
We rode to Kuma on our bicycles again. There's a really strong member
down there who shared with us his "kateniuan koaua" (third
witness/third personal testimony building experience basically) on the
Book of Mormon. It's so awesome to hear members' testimonies here.
Some people here have got some really strong testimonies, it's way
awesome.
Hmmmm, I've been doing some Book of Mormon studies this week on the
overall organization of the book. Basically something like this:
...Alma 1-4
5 Alma to people
6
7 Alma to people in Gideon
8
9-14 Alma and Amuleck to people in Ammonihah, Zeezrom
15-16
17-26 Sons of Mosiah
27-35 (30 Korihor the Anti-Christ)
36-42 Alma to sons (36-37 Helaman, 38 Shiblon, 39-42 Corianton)
...
Anyway, I would recommend it. For me it helps references stick better.
It also helps you to guess and find verses.
Well, have a good week!! Love ya!!! - Elder SEffker

Monday, June 19, 2017

know God's watching over us always,

That's cool you had a chance to go to the fireside! Where did they
hold it????? The J are sooo awesome. Being in their air
conditioned house each p-day in tarawa. Way clean, their both so nice,
they've always got food out for the missionaries. Ah, good memories at
their house, they were like my grandparents in Tarawa.
Sounds like Fathers day was a success!!!! haha
The kids are all doing good eh? Yeah I've heard knitting is hard, but
I'm sure she can learn it if she keeps at it! There are some people
who are wayyyy good at it.
So, this week: not sure if I told you guys yet, but Butaritari finally
got general conference!!!! It's way good, I've almost got it finished.
When we get the Cd's sent out, we'll set up a unit activity here or
something and all listen to it.
We have had a bit of service this week. It kind of felt like being at
a family reunion, except bigger maybe. Because there was a huge
bootaki(party) here in Butaritari for the past 2 days. So the families
of those heavily involved each had to prepare 250 total basins of food
over the span of the bootaki. Each basin is about a foot and a half in
diameter, maybe a bit bigger, filled about half way, maybe 5 inches
high or so, higher if it's like bread or other light easy stuff. The
family killed numerous pigs they've been saving for this bootaki. We
almost didn't have enough basins. We were there Saturday evening, they
were supposed to prepare 100, but they only made it to 75. Any way,
rice, bread, shark, turtle, bwabwai(it's a food that I'm pretty sure
only grows in kiribati), pig(tons). They had one pig that was probably
like 400 pounds, maybe bigger, it's was one of the biggest pigs I've
seen here in Kiribati. I think she said it was about 5 years old.
Anyway, I was in unbelief when I heard they wanted us to fill 100
basins that night. We only made it to 75, still though, I was
impressed, that was a ton of food. They had a lot of family there from
Tarawa helping out.
Any way, we've been working a lot with T and E family
this week. E came to church again with his daughter. He's doing
way awesome. We're still working with T, his bike was broken
though. They're both really fun to teach and talk with. We had a
family we've been teaching, they're headed back to Tarawa, so we
taught them for the last time this week. We set it up with them so
that they'd have elders when they got back to Tarawa. The father's
name is T, he's way funny and also really respectful. He's been
way good to teach. I've seen lots of progress with him. He's actually
has been doing good with a lot of his commitments, I really hope he's
able to gain a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and
of this church. We ate dinner with him on Friday night.
Well, things have been good. Love you all, hope everything is going
good there!! The church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, it was
guided to come into our hands in these last days. I know it brings
strength and guidance. I know it will help us to come closer to Him. I
know God's watching over us always, He's aware of our every step. I
know He loves us and so He sent His Son. Well, have a good week. -
Elder Seffker

Monday, June 12, 2017

we can make it back to our Father

Hey!! Hope everyone is doing good back at home! Things are going good
here as well!! This week has been good! I did some finishing up on a
kids hair with scissors recently. It went good, I think I’ve got the
trick down for how to do the sides with scissors.
E and his daughter came to church again. They’re really great
investigators. He’s just got a really nice family.  Like: we taught a
lesson a few days ago. They were prepared. Took us out just by their
house where they got a beautiful buia that hangs over the ocean.
Everyone looked way sharp. The tide was up, the sun was setting. It
was just a really good environment. They’re very willing to live the
commandments as they learn them. It’s just cool how ready they seem to
receive the gospel. The father is way funny, really nice though.
We rode to kuma again yesterday on bike. It was pretty fun. We’ve been
really blessed in that it’s hardly rained as we’ve rode there. The
people we meet in Kuma are way awesome and nice. It’s always so nice
to see them. They’re just way friendly and humble.
I’m also getting pretty good at singing, what with having to sing 3
songs  like 4 times each Sunday, usually during which there aren’t a
ton of people present. Once my companion chose a song that the people
weren’t way familiar with when we were in our “big” sacrament meeting.
Me and my companion sung a duet in that time.
Any way: answers to your questions: we haven’t yet gone to Makin,
we’re looking at maybe the beginning of July. We’ll go by plane.
Nice info about the fam and whatnot. Wow! Well, that’s way cool!
Well, I know the church is true. I read a thing in the D&C intro this
morning something like: the revelations contained therein are more
valuable than all the treasures of the earth or something like that.
It just reminded me how valuable scriptures are and scripture study
especially. This week finished the New Testament. It’s been a great
experience. It was nice to be able to just focus and just get through
the last 100 pages or so really quick. I know it’s really important to
feast on the word. I know the church is true. I know that through
Christ we can make it back to our Father in Heaven.
Well, love ya all!! Ti a bo!!