Wednesday, July 26, 2017

the study of the gospel will improve behavior faster than a study of behavior will improve behavior

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


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!!!!