Tuesday, November 14, 2017


* Elder Farner hasn't had access to a computer for the last 2 weeks, so here is a compilation of his experiences taken from what he sent via an old cell phone!

Another difficult week to email so I will keep it short.. So last week was crazy, a lot of traveling. We only stayed in Tarawa for 5 days and my comp changed to Elder Scholle not Elder Bataua. I stayed in a super dirty house with 11 other elders . I'm glad I'm back in Marakei. My new companion is way better at the language. The mission tour was one day long of training about using the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel. Elder Ardern of the seventy came (he spoke in the last General Conference). I was washing my hands in the water fountain when he came up and started talking to me. He used to be the mission president over this mission when it was a part of the Fiji mission. He told me it was a privilege to build up the kingdom of God. True.

This last week was weird. But I'm sure more will come.
Word for the week: matintin means thick

Elder Farner

From 11-5-2017

Well we haven't actually done the mission tour. And to be completely honest I don't know the full plan for it. We were told 1 week ago that we would be coming in to Tarawa to hear Elder Ardern speak;  he is a seventy. But as to what that entails I have little idea. Then we were told that we were going to be flying on the 5th (fast Sunday) which was not cool... so we went to the airport yesterday and weighed our stuff at noon, and then we were told at 2 that our plane was cancelled. So we were going to try to get on the 2nd one and after waiting an hour for it we were told we couldn't get on it, and then after another hour we finally got our overweight luggage fees back... then we walked back to our house in the rain for a mile. Then this morning we had to bike 3 miles in the pouring rain to get a phone to email, and my bike chain was super loose so it fell off like 6 times.... Patience. Haha just a crazy day. Not sure if I will ever get on another bike again after this mission.
Also we were told that my comp is going to stay in Tarawa and I am going to get a new comp after the tour is over. His name is Elder Bataua, and he is a native of Nauru but he grew up speaking Kiribati and English so he should be a very helpful comp for learning Kiribati. He has already worked for 1 year and a couple of months so he should be good. I haven't met him yet as I am currently sitting in Marakei. We leave today at 2.

Monday, October 30, 2017


Mauri ngkami!

This past week was an interesting one. I ate turtle (which may be illegal, but I was tracting so I will blame the culture) and also lobster. Then I ate dog as well (on my brother's birthday, Happy Birthday Nairne!).

Got some news that we will all be going to a mission tour in a week so I will be leaving Marakei, only for a short time hopefully! Not even sure if I will come back or be transferred so that's a little worrisome.

The message this week: God is our loving Heavenly Father. We are all children of God and he loves us all perfectly and equally. Equally. So it is important to remember that we serve God to show our love Him and not to try to top our neighbor to be the favorite child or whatnot. We are given various callings as well to help people know of Gods love for them through our ministry. Callings are important, although some require extensive effort (right Dad?) I  am grateful for all of those faithful members who fulfilled their callings to help me become a better person and to manifest that there
is a loving Father in Heaven.

Thanks for all of the support! 
Elder Farner

(Word of the week: tauannene, it is a word to describe someone who doesn't want their family or friends to leave their proverbial fold, but usually in a forceful way)

Monday, October 16, 2017



The word of the week should be one that you all can use because there really isn't a word for it in English. The word is "korobun"; It describes the feeling you get when you eat too much  and it gets stuck in your chest and you need water to wash it down. Pretty cool.

This past week and really past transfer has really been about church attendance and what we mean by enduring to the end. Why do we attend church? Why is it a "primary answer"? Well let's look at Jesus Christ's gospel. He preached faith on His name and power to save, repentance, baptism by immersion and the proper authority, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands and lastly enduring to the end.  So we show our faith by choosing to repent, and we know that the "firstfruits of repentace is baptism" and that baptism isnt complete unless it is by water and spirit, or fire and water, so that means we need the Holy Ghost too. Once the first 4 "steps" are done, what do we do? We endure to the end. Jesus Christ said "Look unto me and endure to the end and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will i give eternal life" (3 Nephi 15:9)

I will take a break from the previous lecture with the story of a recent investigator. Her name is Tekunrerei and she is 75 years old. She started lessons with missionaries 3 months ago and has been frequently attending church and Family Home Evenings. Last Thursday we were teaching her about the Book of Mormon and she told us she believed it was true. So we invited her to be baptized at which point she told us that she was already baptized 30 years ago.....the point is that church attendance and church activities helped this lady remember her testimony. She is very strong in the church right now. 

When we go to church, we show our faith, we receive cleanliness from the Sacrament and renew all of our covenants and thus repent and are "rebaptized" and also are promised the Holy Ghost in our lives. In other words, when we go to church we actually are living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore I encourage all of those who read this to evaluate how important church attendance is on your list of priorities and maybe readjust. Is it more important to watch a football game than stay for the full three hours established by prophets of God? Is it really that bad of a stomach/head ache to ignore the need for spiritual healing? Is it really that difficult to get up at 7:30am on the Lord's day? 

You all are awesome! Keep it up! 

Miss you all,
Elder Farner

Monday, October 9, 2017


This week was a quick one. We had another bootaki (party) for Teachers' day and that was a pretty cool experience. They do a dance every time where they basically have one person stand up and dance until they pass the dance on to the next person who stands up and passes it and so on. So of course, the third person to get asked to dance was myself so I got up and everyone thought it was hilarious. If a foreigner tries anything in the culture it usually makes people laugh.  

We have a few solid investigators but there always is a problem it seems that comes up when trying to keep a commitment. But then again, its not just the investigators that have a hard time keeping commitments but also myself and members of the church as a whole. Sometimes we focus on the mote in the other's eye and forget the beam or don't even notice it in our own eye. Or in Elder Holland's talk, we accept the release of our 10000 talent debt but don't forgive others their 10 pence debt. And so on.

We are told to lose ourselves in the service of others, which also includes losing our personal opinions on how people should act or personal desires on how we want things to go. We are supposed to serve, not command.

D&C 6:36:  "Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not"

We never know what might happen as we continue to work diligently in our respective callings, things can change very quickly in peoples lives, although the build-up to that change can seem very slow.

Word for the week: mwakerukeru (mah kiddu kiddu):  Means crunchy.
There is a sister in our ward who feeds us a lot and this one time she made a peanut brittle thing. It was really good and I was calling it cake and the sister, named Totite, said that it wasn't cake but " the crunchy mena" (mena just means "thing"). The crunchy thing. It was pretty funny because she was speaking half English half Kiribati. 

Anyway keep on moving forward.
Miss you all 

Elder Farner 

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Well there goes September. Started it off on Tarawa and finished it here in Marakei. It is weird how essentially you just live a completely different life in such a short amount of time.

Anyway, we set a goal about 2 or 3 weeks ago to get 80 people at church and then have a picnic to celebrate. The first Sunday we had 60 people at church, the next Sunday we had 62; the following we had 66 and then this last week, according to the count by the branch presidency, we had 78 people. So close!   We also had a service project last week and about 25 people showed up which was cool too.

There are also 7 families that will potentially be going to the temple in the next couple of weeks so that is cool too.

Some information about Marakei that I have yet to share- 
Population: about 2800-3000
Villages: 7: Rawannawi, Raweai, Tekarakan, Bwainuna, Noorauea, Tekuanga and Antai

I would guess that most people here are Catholic,- then Protestant and then LDS. There are also some seventh day adventists too.

Marakei is shaped like a circle and I think it is about 18 miles around. There are a couple things Marakei is known for and being good at dancing is one of them
There is also something about some people randomly having really fair complexions sometimes, something about a recessive gene but I haven't seen it.
And the food it is known for: bwabwai which to me tastes a little like chalk and elmers glue mixed together.... haha But I will get used to it, everyone loves it here.

That's a little bit about Marakei. It is a pretty cool place, I figure I might be out here for a several more months but you never know. The Elder I replaced was only here for 6 weeks and he thought he would be here for months.

Another thing that's pretty cool is that I baptized someone, a child of record who turned 8.  The water in the font was too low so I had to do it a second time and kneel and he also knelt so I could get him under the water.

Word of the week: ingainga - Means "excited" as in we were excited for our Fast Sunday yesterday because everyone could come to church together, as we rented a car.

So that's about it. 
Miss you all, keep on keeping on,
Elder Farner

Monday, September 25, 2017

ngaia anne

Today I will talk about the basics. Sometimes the basics are treated as what they sound like; boring, menial and a waste of time. For example: brushing teeth is basic to good health, and very easy to do, but also easy to overlook. Another one, practicing before playing any sport can be boring or difficult. But there is a reason for them. If you haven't practiced your dribbling skills in basketball, you will lose the ball every time (speaking from experience). If you brush your teeth halfheartedly, you will lose your teeth (don't worry, not speaking from experience). If you haven't read the scriptures daily, your testimony will weaken. If you pray halfheartedly, you will lose the power promised from it.

We invite people every day to read, pray, and keep the commandments. If they haven't read and haven't prayed, you can see a trend on how they are keeping the commandments as well.  I guess that we can see this in our own lives as well. I know that my prayers need improvement, that in the past I have skipped reading or done it unwillingly. But that is where the gift of repentance comes in to help us change. I invite all of you (as I will invite myself) to look at the basics and how strong they really are. Also read 2 Nephi 4 and think of all the good that Nephi did and how he still felt that he really was a fallen soul. Should help to know that prophets feel inadequate too (President Hinckley often spoke of how he felt unfit to be the prophet also)

Kiribati phrase: "ngaia anne" which basically means "that's it".  There is this old lady named Tekunrerei that is very catholic that says that phrase when we teach. Basically the Kiribati version of a mini "hallelujah" which is awesome to hear when you teach.

Miss you all, God knows all of us perfectly and what we need, and will often tell us through the Spirit what we can do to feel a greater measure of peace in this life.

-Elder Farner

P.S. We went to this giant party for the mwaneaba which is like a big covered patio. I have a video but I can;t really load it, but just know that it was pretty cool! 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Marakei II

The new island is a lot different from Tarawa. Most of our efforts seem to be reactivation instead of teaching. We work a lot with the branch president to try and get people to go to church. Plus we have 20 miles to cover on half broken bikes.... So much biking!  We have a couple of families and a lot of older people we teach which is a cool change, just the progress is a little slow. We have about 62 people going to church, but probably could have 300 if all the people went to church. Another thing is about 3000 people live on the island and missionaries were first on the island 40 years ago... So tracting usually leads to less actives or people who have already been taught but are very Catholic. Some pretty great people here, very funny. One guy is just always laughing, he was really cool to talk to. Also we had 4 church services on Sunday.... I led one of them, pretty interesting, also I talked in 3 of them...

In won't be able to write too much again, but next week I will. The person whose laptop we use is on the main island right now but she gets back next week.
Have a good week,
-Elder Farner