Saturday, December 10, 2016

bring you greater happiness

This week was really good! So we ate dinner at the house of our area's old branch president, His name is T. And the food wasn't ready yet, so we kind of just talked for probably 30 minutes about the Kiribati language, because he's pretty good at english and is still learning. He's super awesome, cause a lot of the people here don't have a ton of ambition. Here in Tarawa, it's a little better, because kids from all over including outer islands come to tarawa to attend Moroni High school, which is an lds school. And at Moroni they are immersed in the English language. All of the teachers have to speak it during every lesson, except for kiribati lessons. Yeah it's kind of funny. The national language here is english... and yet everyone speaks Kiribati and very few know very limited english. I think it's because the government wants the people here to be able to have more options. Like I said, sometimes ambition is scarce, especially on the outer islands, because for most people, the purpose of their life is to collect coconuts every day, sell them for rice, catch fish, and pick breadfruit... You can totally live off the land here. But yeah, me and T talked about Kiribati, it was soooo amazing because I had so many questions about Kiribati pronounciation, and he totally helped me!! And now I feel like I have a better grip on the pronounciation. He also had a lot of questions about english, it's pretty amazing how well he knows english, because for me having learned a different language, I realize how hard english is. Any way, I totally told him thanks and that I'd ask him if I had any more questions. And I also told him to ask me if he had any more questions. I'll try to get some pictures sent soon, but we had a baptism on saturday. It was really great. I'm really working hard to study, I feel like I've developed a greater interest for the pioneer stories. Hahaha, ughhh it's crazy how as I grow up, all the seeds that you, mom and dad, have sown into my childhood begin to sprout and to grow haha. No really though, the pioneers and the people who lived during the time of Joseph Smith are such an example to me! I know that we have to be like the pioneers, we have to stand in holy places and be not moved. I heard a talk recently, something like: "What you do, where you are, and what you see will shape who you become" I love the faith the pioneers had in gathering together as Saints. They truly treasured things of God and not of the world. They understood the importance of service! Siblings: I feel like I didn't understand this most of my childhood, but it's a commandment to serve others. And like all commandments it's going to bring you greater happiness. I feel like the key to living a life worth looking back on others, or worth sharing with others, is to live for others, through service. The principles of the gospel help us to stop worshiping ourselves and to turn to God(Bednar said that I think in an MTC address). Any way, I feel like the pioneers really knew that. They were so industrious and serviceful. They sacrificed so much. I love their example and want to become a modern day pioneer!! Thanks for all your support and examples!! Truly!! Also, it's kind of funny. There was a missionary that served here named Elder S that the missionaries talk about. They say "he knew more words than native Kiribati people", I asked how, they said "he was never content". Haha, they actually wondered if I was related to him when I first got here, because apparently we look alike. But I found out that he is the actor on the mormon message: "Thanks for drinking all the juice!" Hahaha, he's that guy!! Haha, so apparently that was his joke, cause the missionaries drink a lot of juice here ;) Any way, have a good week all! Ti a bo!! I love you all!
- Elder Seffker

Thursday, December 1, 2016

peace just to look at the ocean

Sooooo, Kiribati is great. Hahaha, there was once a time on our way to california where we were all packed in the van, and it was "so hot" that I my arm had beads of sweat building up, but yeah, that's basically how it always is here. I've tried some pretty good foods here. Hmmm, te kika(octopus) the skin is very strong and kind of gross but the inside is alright and kind of chewy. Eel tastes like fish, except for the skin which is slimy fat and full of bones, some people like it though.. If you've ever heard of bread fruit they eat it a ton here!! It's almost similar to a potato, in fact they cook it in chips often and it's delicious. There's also a super delicious drink here called kereve, once at Hilary's house we tried some some coconut water I think it was called and it was delicious, well that's basically what kereve is. They drain the sap from coconut trees all day and then mix it with water and sometime sugar. Very Refreshing! Also, they're in a drought right now so most of the rain water is used up. Instead they get water from wells which is very germ filled until you boil it. But it's still kind of gross apparently so they mix sugar and sometime concentrated fruit juice with it. It's pretty good! Pure water is pretty scarce here. The living conditions here are pretty wild. Every one just lives in a bouia mostly, which is pretty much a tent. In fact the living conditions here are pretty similar to camping. For us it's like trailor camping, because we have a shower and bed to come home to each night.  most music is becoming modernized, same as Kiribati. Lots of techno just to Kiribati lyrics, I think they even translate some song into the language! But, we actually got to participate in a culture dance thing, no instruments, just pretty much everyone screaming doing a dance in unison, with a very energetic leader. It's somewhat like a fight/war sort of dance I suppose. Very Powerful!! Literally, it's so crazy to be right in the middle with so much people just kinda screaming words in unison. Very cultural. As far as bugs, it's with much blessing that there are apparently no poisonous animals  or bugs on the island, that I've heard of... There are poisonous fish, but the people know not to eat them, or to feed them to us. I found a cockaroach in my closet the other day. Also we found a lizard in our house, but those are everywhere any way. Just tiny little lizards that eat flies. Hmm, I've seen a crab a few times. Dogs roam free. Pigs are just as prevalent as dogs, but they often tied up, one leg to a tree. It's kinda sad, but yeah they're tied up one legged pretty much 95% of all pigs, and then people kinda just put their garbage around the pig and it eats it. And then when it gets old, they eat it. So yeah, the circle of life for pigs in Kiribati, not to bright but oh well. There's also chickens all over, not tied up, but we have chicken for dinner at people's houses all the time so... Any way, yeah it's nice, we get feed by members almost every night, so it's nice to be able to experience the culture that way. Our house is right by the ocean, it actually brings me a lot of peace just to look at the ocean cause it seems so vast when there's so much water between here and home, but it's such an awesome creation of Heavenly Father's. I know that we need to work hard in this life. That we need to sit down and really determine what our choice is going to be. Whether we're willing to defend the truth even with our life, whether we're going to deny ourselves of ALL ungodliness, or at least be working toward doing so. I know that the reward is sooo much greater than we can even imagine!! His plan is truly a plan of mercy, and as good as even the telestial kingdom is, God truly has prepared a way that we can inherit celestial glory! I know that we truly have to remember what matters... There's going to be a lot of good enticing things in this world, but that we have to be converted to Christ, and nothing else. I'm so grateful for all of your support!! Thanks for the family update! I love you all! - ELder Seffker