Tuesday, February 21, 2017

gospel brings peace and happiness

, I actually cut my own hair recently.
With real clippers fortunately haha. Even still it was a challenge. I
learned a lot about how to cut it in the future. In the end I buzzed
my whole head down to a quarter inch. I took notes on what I learned
so that I don't have to do that again haha. That's awesome about
S. Is that the same person that you met in the airport? Service
is so good! Sometimes we focus on what we shouldn't do too much and we
forget about what we should do. I know that they're both soo
important. The part in D&C 4 clicked as I read it recently where it
says something like "see that ye serve him with all your heart, might,
mind, and strength, that ye perisheth not, but bring salvation to your
soul." Further more, charity leads us to "always abound in good
works", or something like that. And even on top of that, in the
teachings of George A. Smith, goes a quote "...when life's labor is
complete, they will stand in the presence of their maker, accepted of
Him because of what they have done.". Any way, there's much work to be
done. It's such a blessing that we can be a part of it. I know the
gospel brings peace and happiness. I'm so grateful for the scriptures,
I know that it's so important that we not neglect the scriptures. I
was reading in D&C and it went something like "search these
commandments". And I realized how important D&C was, and I know that
all the scriptures are important, they're the books we're going to be
judged out of! (see W of M 1:11 ;) haha, any way, so many references,
but I know that the scriptures have power. To teach us, to strengthen
us. Anyway, As far as the rest of this week goes, nothing too
interesting. A man named M (which, being interpreted, is "south")
just showed us this morning two sea turtles lying on their backs. One
of them was about 4 feet, maybe 4 and a half feet long! We eat dinner
with M every sunday night, it's always a pleasure, and we always
eat sea turtle ;) most of the time any way... yesterday we actually
had kabuki (pb and j's, kiribati style), that was yummy. Any way, have
a good one!! Love you all! As a missionary, extending commitments is
key, and so on that token, I would challenge you all to have
consistent and purposeful scripture studies every day this week! Any
way, thanks for you support and examples!
That's true about the faith and works. Sometimes we can even deceive
ourselves, if we really believe we understand commandments, and we
feel assured that we would follow them always. But what we actually do
shows our real intents and desires, even those that we can't perceive
within us. It's all about obedience. Temptation is the test, not the
exception, to our obedience. Any way, have a good week! Love ya! -
Elder Seffker 
Hey! This week is going good!! Indeed, the Sabbath is a blessing!
Something I always tell investigators is that sometimes we don't
understand God's laws. We don't always understand why we shouldn't
work or do our labor one day of the week. But God rested from His
labors on the seventh day, and He is perfectly smart and wise, and
He's commanded us to rest on the seventh day. I've also seen a lot of
the blessings of keeping the Sabbath day Holy, as I've striven to rest
from my labors and hobbies and interests, and to serve others!
Haha, that's awesome! Has he been dating people from the singles ward??
Nice gun eh? Interesting...
So as far as this week, we got another investigator that seems to be
really golden so to speak. He seems to be prepared. He loves to learn
about the scriptures. He's Catholic. Pretty much everyone here is
already part of some religion. It's not like America where a lot of
people are atheist. Any way, he has a deep interest and joy for
spiritual things, which is awesome! His name is K. Every time we
go over, he gives us moi motos. and usually some to bring home haha,
and then we eat them the next morning. Any way, the spirit seems to be
really working with him. As we've been teaching him, his heart has
been opened more, and he's been really receptive to the truth. We're
continuing to invite him to keep the commandments, and he's growing a
lot in his faith! The gospel is a great blessing! I hope he's able to
learn the truth! I know that if he does pray with a sincere heart, and
really works and experiments upon the word, that the Holy Ghost will
bear witness to him of the truthfulness of those things.
The language has also been coming along really well. The gift of
tongues is definitely real!!I remember having some really great feelings from the Holy Ghost in
the MTC, since then I've felt a lot of peace, reassurance, happiness,
and edification from His influence. I've also been learning recently
that truly it's not the choiceness of your words, otherwise they
wouldn't send missionaries foreign. I see that a lot of investigators,
even though I know we don't speak perfectly, they still are happy to
have us over, happy to listen, happy to follow commitments. It's
definitely true that we just need to try to do our best to follow the
spirit and to study the scriptures and other materials. We need to try
to present it clearly, and, one of the things I saw recently under
something like: things you can do to facilitate the spirit working
through you: be humble. I know the church is true. The Lord loves and
provides for all of His children. Haha, missionary work is a blessing
to the missionary. If there were no missionaries, the Lord could just
send angels to tell the people the truth ;) who would probably do a
better job ;) but instead he gives us this experience as missionaries,
to help and serve others, and to see the effects of the gospel more
fully. Have a good week! Love you !! - ELder SEffker

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I know that the commandments will bless us.

 I know that missionary work is sooo
important. It's one of the ways we show that we have faith in Him and
in His second coming. I know that it's our duty to prepare the world
and to "gather Israel".
Yep, the island situation is an interesting one. It's crazy how big an
influence america has on the world and on opportunity.
That's funny about the potty training ;) that pretty much sums up our
childhoods. ;) Haha, you'd love Kiribati. They aren't yet accustomed
to the enjoyment of luxury ;) Their life revolves around fishing and
coconut collecting. Nonetheless, they have found some use to some of
these newfangled American things we call luxuries ;) frugality is
second nature to i-Kiribati.
That's awesome to hear about how Scott is growing in service. Service
brings such a joy. We should look for ways we can help others,
especially with the gifts we've been given.
Richard is doing good, teaching him has been a little different,
because most the information he already knows. And so we're trying to
build his faith by committing him to commandments. He's not yet ready
to pray the way we do, and so hopefully he'll react to the spirit that
comes into his life as he follows commandments.
As far as church here, we're a branch right now. With about 60 active
attendants. Our youth is very small right now, because everyone is
attending school at Tarawa. Here's pretty much how it goes: people
finally start arriving and church starts about 40 minutes late (which
sounds pathetic but for some reason that's just how Kiribati works,
something to do with how they used to tell time by the location of the
sun, and so literally every gathering starts exactly 30 minutes to 1
hour after the stated time), we have sacrament, me and my companion
bless it, the bishop and I pass it, and then we move on to the talks.
There are rarely any announcements. 2 speakers speak, I've heard of
branches in Kiribati where the elders speak literally every week, but
here it's only occasionally. After that, we move on to sunday school
(held in the chapel for the adults) or the youth and primary classes
(which are held in the maneaba(big grass hut with grass mats layering
the ground) right outside the chapel). The bishop teaches Sunday
school because he's fluent in english and he's able to read the
manuals, and those with callings teach the others. Then we split into
elders quorum and relief society. There are actually many faithful
members here. Sometimes it's tough because communication is so
limited, but the bishop and his counselors, many of the Elders quorum,
and many of the relief society women are very willing to sacrifice,
and have a strong faith in Christ.
I know that this church is true, and I know that the Lord is watching
over all of His children. I know that when we pray in faith and
sincerity, He will hear and answer us. I know that the spirit
testifies of truth, and that we need study the scriptures and the
words of the living prophet continually. I know that the commandments
will bless us. I hope you all have a great week, thanks for all the
good stories and experiences you've shared about your lives back home.
It's good to hear that everything is going good!

"when there's the faith and the good works, good things happen"

Hey! So kies are more prevalent in Kiribati than couches are in
America. As missionaries, whenever we talk to someone, they lay out a
kie for us to sit on if there's not already one set out. They also
sleep on them, and we sit on them while we eat. Right now we have some
what of a run-down girls' camp cabin, which is very nice. We've got a
water pump, which fills up the water tank, and the shower and toilet
work then, otherwise we shower and flush the toilet with a bucket of
water. The roads are dirt.
Actually, I suprisingly didn't even suffer from dry skin during my MTC
experience, but certainly not here, my hands are never dry because of
the humidity. The food is good, some of it upsets my stomach but I can
see that I'm getting used to it. Haha, actually, a lot of it does, but
I'm pretty strong against stomach pain, I kind of just lug myself up
on my bicycle and start pedalling. Bicycle riding is second nature by
now ;) I could probably ride all day haha. It's certainly a blessing
though. Kinds of food: chicken, fish, sometimes octopus, eel, and sea
turtle. Alway rice, sometimes bread, usually mai(breadfruit) plain,
boiled, or fried. And then sugar water. We can fish, if it's with an
investigator, or on a p-day, or if we absolutely need food, but I
haven't yet. Elder Curren loved to fish, when he was living with us
for Christmas he had like 300 dollars worth of fishing gear strewn all
over his dresser, along with whale bones and other random stuff haha.
But Elder Gilbert doesn't find it too interesting I guess.
That's cool all of the things you've noticed about jackson and jacob.
it's good to hear about all the good that's going on. I love a passage
in PMG: "Heaven is a continuation of the ideal home." I know that the
family and the home are both very important to God. Thanks for your
prayers and experiences. Thanks for your example and also your and
Dad's as parents. I've seen a lot of miracles throughout my mission
and I know that the Lord watches out for us and gives us what we need
as we pray to Him. Thanks again for your alls prayers. Something that
my MTC instructor said was something like: "when there's the faith and
the good works, good things happen" I know that we need to have faith,
and that faith is manifest also by our obedience. Something in gospel
principles goes like:"a farmer wouldn't plant a field if he didn't
believe he'd reap the harvest." I know it's the same with us. As we
read every day, and pray, and as we do service and follow the council
of the prophets, we're showing our faith in the words of Christ, and
we're showing that we believe that as we do those things we're going
to reap a harvest of eternal blessings. I know that God blesses us
throughout this life as we obey willingly. A verse I love is in 1
Nephi 3:6 "Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the
Lord, because thou hast not murmured." I know it's important to
continually improve. Thanks for all you all do. Thanks for the
prayers. Have a good week, I love you all! - Elder Seffker

our churches are on good terms

Sooooooo..... this week has been pretty good. Not too much has
happened. I'm in Tabiteuea now though! I've been working here for
about 4 days now. Elders always talk about i-buuki (outer island)
life. And I'd always wondered how it could be that different. Being
here now, I can definitely see the differences. Outer island
missionary work is characterized by a ton more bicycle riding! A lot
more living space and schedule space, cause you don't live with any
other companionships nor do you have any plans with other
companionships... the laundry no longer does itself though, we have to
scrub it by hand ;) and the living conditions are a little bit more
third world. One of the main things that changed is our P-Days. We no
longer have any elder's to compete with for laundry, nor for bikes,
nor for computers, nor do we meet up with them to play sports, in
fact, we don't, because neither of us like sports ;) I already told
you, Elder Gilbert likes Rubik's cube, he's pretty fast. Maybe faster
than me, I'm not sure though... He also likes cards! This P-Day we're
working on his "kie" (grass mat).
A main other difference between tarawa and outer islands is that
people don't try to speak english here as often, and that's why it
help with learning the language, being on outer islands. Because you
have a lot more exposure to the language! I really like it! Any way,
we did have one pretty good experience recently: Me and Elder Gilbert
were teaching this investigator yesterday on Sunday. And during the
lesson her minister came and started doing a sort of ceremony with her
for church. Any way, after the minister was finished, he kind of just
turned to look at us, and my companion started talking to him, getting
to know him a little. He talked about how our churches are on good
terms because we both support the family, and about how we both
believe in Jesus. I was really impressed because by the time when left
there was no tension and we'd had a good talk. Any way, I know the
church is true, I know that when we're obedient we're blessed. I know
that it's important that we continually try to learn more and more
cause that's how the Lord teaches: line upon line, precept upon
precept. I know that it's important to read the scriptures every day,
and to pray often. I know that as we do, the Lord will teach us and
bless us with the things we need in order to be able to live as we
Love y'all! Ti a bo! - Elder Seffker