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


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
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

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
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
7 Alma to people in Gideon
9-14 Alma and Amuleck to people in Ammonihah, Zeezrom
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!!

Hey these are some pictures my companion took of various events. A
kiribati unimwane turning 70 years old. That's actually one of the
forms of government kind of here. They have kind of a big government
and then also the city government, which is kind of just run by the
people of the city. When someone gets fined and fails to pay the fine,
they're brought in fron of the village unimwane's(old men) "E
kakamaku"(it's very scary) supposedly. The unimwane's hear them out.
They give them a little more time or however they decide. If they
still don't pay the fine, back in the day everyone would throw rocks
at them and their house and basically kick them off the island. Know I
think the police just come and take them haha. Any way, fortunately
were just eating with them here.
Picture of a bootaki where there's tons of people
Some other random pictures of service etc. Ti a bo!! Love ya! - Elder Seffker

Monday, June 5, 2017

bring about miracles

 Here with the
culture and what not, people are afraid to say no. A big problem can
be people eternally investigating, or just wasting time on people who
don't want to change. It's cause people here love to talk any way and
they aren't way busy.
Well Love ya! The church is true, the atonement is real, it can
empower us, it can bring about miracles in our lives and the lives of
others! Christ lives! Ti a bo!! - Elder Seffker

 I've been starting to run a little bit in the sand for exercise
haha, when the tide is down. Ah man, it can be tough at times,
especially when we sit cross-legged for the rest of the day, and then
I get up from it and it's tough to walk hahaha. It feels good to run
again though. Seems to cleanse the body, brings a natural
disinclination to garbage food. Haha, a lot of the village kids run
with me now haha. They ask me things like "ti na manga train ningai?"
(when are we gonna train again?). They're probably about addi's age.
We stretch a little bit at first and then we run circles in the sand
haha, maybe like 20 minutes, not sure if it even reaches two miles.
Haha, it's fun. Any way, surprisingly I actually haven't slept in a
hammock here yet. They do have them all over though. They can make
them out of fishing line, they're way awesome. My companion just got a
hammock though, he plans to sleep in it. It's got a mosquito net.
Right now I just sleep on my kie and we drape a banga(mosquito net)
over it and tuck it into the sides. It's pretty comfortable.
Well,it's good to hear that everyone has had lots of successes recently!!
Such awesome blessings!!! And also congratulations to the kids with
the end of school coming up! Probably will be over by the time ya'll
get this!!! Kam na tekeraoi, bwa kam na bane ni kawakinaki rinanon te
tai n are akea te reirei iai, bwa kam na kukurei, bwa e na
kabonganaaki ibukin are e kakawaki, bwa kam na rikirake iai, ao naba
bwa e na nako n are e na kona ni kauringaki n tai aika a na rooroko!
Haha, I've been to a few kiribati bootaki party things for the opening
of schools, birthdays, and during these things people offer marooro
sort of things basically just kind of a tekeraoi(good luck) so it just
kind of fits. Basically something like: let you all have a good one.
may you all be kept well. may you all grow and progress and have joy.
That it will be used for things which are important and will become
something you can look back on in times continually coming!
Well any way, this week has been good. We've had some successes as
well!! So we've got this investigator family, they were a referral.
And they came to church this week!!!! They're progressing wayyyyy
fast!!!! The thing that's awesome is that they're just way prepared!!
Like it's unusual to find a family who would be willing to keep the
commitments they've kept so quickly. It's like they've been waiting
for someone to just come and teach them. They're way willing. Any way:
thanks for the prayers!!
Also, just got a message from the AP's that me and elder haycock will
be flying to Makin(this island just right by ours) to teach this
family that is apparently ready to be taught and baptized and a few
other kids. They want us to switch between the two islands every two
weeks or so. So that's a huge blessing! It will be a great opportunity
to work and we'll probably learn a lot! It's kind of a big
responsibility, but it's way awesome to be able to take part in this
work!! We'll definitely be guided to get the things we need to done,
and to use good judgement I'm sure.
Well, that's awesome to hear everything is going good at home! I got
the recent package with the camera!!! Thank you!!!!!!!! The shirts
we're awesome!! Very nice taste!
Here are some answers to questions I got in the letter there:
Mom: Yeah some of the people wondered if I was a cross between an
american and an i-kiribati because I have kind of dark features haha.
And yeah the diet is way simple because you could probably write down
all the ingredients they use here in food on a piece of paper.
Well love you all!! The church is true! Through the atonement we can
become better and can see miracles in our lives and behavior! God
loves each of us, and will guide us through this life if we put our
trust in Him! Love ya! - Elder Seffker
P.S. finally got conference! It's really great!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

humble and friendly people

Hey!! Thanks for the info, news, testimony! Haha, no i don't really
sharpen my knife that often, or even use it. People here use knives a
ton for the different types of work in Kiribati, my main use is
opening packages, letters ;) sometimes shaving sticks, etc. Any way,
nice testimony! yeah I've been reading a lot out of the new testament
recently, which talks a lot about that. Like how we're all fallen and
stuff. But that through Him and faith on Him we can serve the good and
we can overcome the natural man. Yeah it's really good, you should
check it out, it's all throughout Acts and Romans.
Thanks for the packages! Yeah sorry I haven't exactly been helping out
with following the one package a quarter rule, but if you need to send
out my birthday package later, that's fine!!
So this week has been good. I've been pretty tired recently, pretty
sore as well. Because we've been helping Bontekai build his buia on
some mornings, and basically what we've been doing is filling rice
bags with gravel (like 40 to 70 pounds I'd say, not exactly sure),
nine bags on the wagon, sometimes 10. And then grab the handles of the
wagon (fortunately I've got work gloves) and haul it on this dirt path
through the woods for 10 or maybe 15 minutes until we finally get to
his house, and then load them off and do it twice more. And then we've
got the 30 mile bike ride on Sundays, so I've been kind of sore in the
mornings when I wake up. It's a good sore though, not of the injury
causing nature. It's actually been a great experience, and workout ;)
being able to do that work. Finally the rocks are all done though, we
had kind of a picnic of sorts on it to celebrate once we'd spread all
the rocks out. The basic kiribati food: rice, fish, pumpkin(I ate a
ton of it, it was way good), and then I was also able to try te
mwakauro (the hermit crab), which was pretty tasty. We've had some
good lessons this week. Me and Elder H have been doing a lot of
finding. Which is way awesome and exciting. It's way awesome to see
the spirit work on the people. We've meet some really humble and
friendly people recently, which has been way fun. Seriously, it's way
awesome to be able to interact with people who are just way open to
the message and who aren't hard-hearted. Any way, love you all. I know
the church is true. I know prayer is real. I know it can bring peace
and guidance. I know humility is real, and that we should continue to
strive to be like Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God
and that reading it with faith will bring lots of growth. In the name
of Jesus Christ, amen.
Happy birthday J!! Love you all!! - Elder Seffker
P.S. The next time you send a package if it's possible that would be
awesome if you could include a light jacket style rain poncho with a
hood. Not heavy and thick, but not the kind that rips and then you
throw it away(we used to have one that N would use that was gray
with neon yellow paracord around the hood). If you don't find one,
don't worry about it(or send a throw away style one). Just don't send
a big thick one cause I won't have room to bring it any where. Apart
from that I'm pretty much good, not sure I have any other needs apart
from that. I really appreciate all the support!!!!!!! Feel free to
send that package later on if we need to wait a little bit! Thanks for
the prayers!! Love ya!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

building the buia

Re: Letter from mom
Yesterday, 7:10 PM