Friday, July 21, 2017

N te wiiki ae nako, iai akea te bwai ae riki nakoiu

Mauri! N te wiiki ae nako, iai akea te bwai ae riki nakoiu. Translation: not much happened this past week. Just a lot of excitement about leaving the MTC to go to the field. 
There were two cool things that happened: first we got to help out with some trial MTC tours and we got to get out of the MTC on the bus to go pick up the visitors at Lavell Edwards stadium. I ran into Becca (Folsom) Hadfield who was helping out with the loading of the buses. 
The tour was pretty nice, we took them throughout most of the buildings- the new buildings are very nice and have some awesome art hanging on each floor. My favorite so far is this one of Saul on the road to Damascus- it is really awesome.

Second cool thing; we were trying to skype-teach a volunteer from Kiribati but the call wouldn't work. We had planned on teaching her the Book Of Mormon to remind her about the importance of reading it for enduring to the end. I had also lost the page where I had written down scripture references and we showed up late in the first place- so all in all we were not in a great place. But then our teacher managed to find someone from Kiribati who lives in Utah and we got to teach her instead (she kept speaking English because she said "I have been here too long") but we asked her if she had been reading the Book of Mormon every day and she said she had kind of been slacking. So we got to share a message with her and then she said at the end that we helped to encourage her to read the Book of Mormon every day. So all in all, one of our best lessons we have taught in a while.

Next week we are scheduled to leave the MTC at 1:50 PM on Tuesday. The total travel time will be about 23 total hours not including the 15 hour time zone change....

Read Alma 36 and 38 with the topic of "finding peace" in mind.  Verse 5 in chapter 38 reads:
"that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day. "

Friday, July 14, 2017

I kokoaua bwa e tangiria te Atua

Hey everyone,

This week went by pretty quick, but not fast enough. Almost out of the MTC- should be getting the flight plans today. We taught a member from Kiribati in a Skype call! The connection was awful, but still pretty cool to see an actual person from Kiribati!

I loved the devotional on Tuesday by Bruce C. Hafen about how we should approach questions we have about the Church. very similar to what President Uchtdorf advises: Doubt you doubts before you doubt your faith! Facing questions is something we all will have to do- our attitude when searching for answers, or even choosing to search in the first place, is entirely on us. We need to strengthen out testimonies in these latter days. Faith is a principle of action, and sometimes requires us to take a couple of steps onto the water first before we receive assurance that we will be able to stand.
Ether 12:6 - I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

I would really quickly like to thank all of the Sunday School and Priesthood teachers - I have been blessed to have great teachers, and have been able to share the knowledge I have gained with my district. It has been a blessing.

If you can find Day by Day (a Swedish hymn translated to English) then I would recommend listening to it - great message.

I kokoaua bwa e tangiria te Atua. Rinanon Ana mwakuri ni Kamaiu Iesu Kristo ti kona ni maeka me te Atua manga. Ngkana ti ongeaba ti kona ni karekea kaeka nakon ara tataro ao ta rau inanon maium.
N aran Iesu Kristo, Amen

Friday, July 7, 2017

Te Mwakuri Korakora

(That means "diligence".)
This past week was again not as eventful as my first week, but I don't think I will ever be able to top two visits outside the MTC walls in the first 5 days. 

Something cool. Yesterday we taught two members who speaks Kiribati at TRC (which stands for Teaching Resource Center- just where missionaries teach actual members rather than investigators). So Sister Paletua and I finished teaching the first lesson, and the member we taught was a translator who worked at the MTC so he spoke English. And then I found out that the other member was Porter Openshaw! It was cool to try to speak some Kiribati with someone I knew before getting into the MTC (Porter is the son of my Dad's good friends).

Also cool- we got to watch the fireworks at the stadium of fire from the new buildings at the MTC.

We also hosted new missionaries on Wednesday- there were 700 new ones so that meant most hosts had to help 6 missionaries over a two-hour period. It was also about 103 degrees. Good prep for Kiribati.

Message for the week: the First Presidency Message by President Eyring about Enduring Well. Read it! It talks about how God doesn't want us to endure trials, he wants us to endure them well so that we can improve. 

Apologies for the short letter, I will have more next week as I will probably have my flight plans for Kiribati!

Tia bo!
Elder Farner 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hello everyone!

This week wasn't quite as crazy as last week but it was still pretty interesting. On Saturday, my comp got his flight plans to leave Sunday afternoon to go back to Tonga. So on Sunday he went to all of the church meetings to say goodbye to everyone- so we were wheeling him around in the wheelchair (it was like an XL size). So we had to ride the elevator, and 2 other elders from my district and 2 more from my zone went on the elevator. Two missionaries thought it would be funny to jump a little bit- it wasn't really too funny when we got stuck - 6 missionaries, one of which was sick and sitting in a giant wheelchair. And apparently not too happy to be stuck for about 15 minutes- he actually started tearing up the carpet and punching the walls- he also hit the call button like 3 times even though we had already called them. It was pretty intense- I would not recommend it for a Sabbath day activity.

On Tuesday we had a devotional where Elder Bednar spoke and 9 other apostles sat on the stand! It was pretty cool. He talked about how we need to plant in our hearts the word of God, and the Word of God actually is Jesus Christ, which he proved using like 10 different scripture references. Just a cool experience.
MTC class

Probably the most spiritual thing that happened for me this week was when we went to teach the member at TRC and the TRC coordinator informed us that he had accidentally requested Marshallese speaking members rather than Kiribati speaking members. So we got to teach in English! And it was kind of weird to be honest- but I talked so much because I could actually answer the questions- when we started talking about the Book of Mormon, I could really feel the Spirit and it was pretty cool.

Read the Book of Mormon every day! It is the word of God, and He wants to answer your prayers!

Other than that, no ER trips and no surgeries.

-Elder Farner

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mauri!

This week has been one of the longest and strangest of my life. After my last email not much happened until Sunday when we had our devotional, when Donny Osmond spoke...To quote Elder Mann (who I have been able to talk to quite a bit which has been cool) "he talked about missionary work, the Gospel and Donny Osmond" and the order is not indicative of the amount of time he spent on each.
So I have my companion who doesn't speak much English, and I was feeling pretty selfish and asking why no one seemed to understand that I don't speak Tongan so companion study is pretty much impossible, especially because he doesn't seem to like doing it. And then we watched Elder Bednar's "character of Christ"devotional where he said pretty bluntly to stop whining and asking for pity,and then said "who cares what you want for your mission", its not about what I want,but what the Lord wants for it. So that was pretty straightforward... I'm still not fully following that counsel, I am still selfish, but we can chalk that up to being human and this being the first week in the MTC. 
and now to the strange part:
A sister in our zone who has been here for about 4 weeks has been sick the entire time with some stomach issues that the doctors can't figure out.And she is from Tonga. So you guessed it, about Monday morning, my companion's stomach started to hurt,and on Tuesday night, we were in the ER because his stomach hurt so bad- for 5 hours. We brought the other sister who has the same sickness to translate and her companion, who is actually from Kiribati, so I talked to her about Kiribati, and she knows Elder Openshaw (her name is Sister Beria). So they did a CT scan and an ultrasound and found nothing wrong, just like the sister with the same stomach problems. So we went back to the MTC, and my comp said he was too sick to go to class, so we stayed in the room until exercise time, at which point he said he wanted to go watch volleyball. So his idea of watching is playing, I learned. I then told him that if he would play volleyball he could go to class, but we haven't been to class since or volleyball because he threw up blood that night,and then again the following night. So he had a procedure to check his stomach, involving him drinking a large cleansing solution the night before (like 2 gallons)- that was fun tottry to get him to drink it- he got pretty mad at one point- luckily some elders had received some packages and they came back to put them away so they helped me.
Anyway, he is still sick, and they found nothing during the procedure which was yesterday (which is why I am emailing today).
We still made it to the temple while Elder Ma was recovering in sick bay. But all in all I think I have missed like 5 classes (15 hours) and at least one investigator lesson. 
Now Elder Ma will be going home and getting better, at which point he will be recommended to return on his mission once he is better by his stake president.  He is pretty bummed and still in pain.
I don't know what the record is for the fastest a missionary has managed to lose his companion, but I think I am in the running. He says there is a Tongan traditional medicine that will cure him, so hopefully he gets better.

That's been my week.
Tia bo!
Elder Farner  

Friday, June 16, 2017

First days in the MTC

The MTC drop off
Things are going pretty well but it has been a little difficult because my companion is from Tonga and doesn't really speak too much English, at least I think or he might just be quiet. It is a struggle to communicate, so we just keep repeating the same phrases we have been learning in Kiribati:

ko uara? (how are you)
I marurung (I am well (healthy) Ao ngkoe? (and you?)
I marurung. Karabwa (thanks)

We are a district of only 5! We are the smallest one in our branch. Our district leader is Elder Ferguson (from Alabama), his companion is Elder Rogovakalali (from Fiji, his name literally means "sounds like a drum"), and my companion is Elder Ma.  We have a solo sister, Sister Paletua, who is also from Tonga which has been a blessing because she can translate for Elder Ma. I don't have a picture with me but will have one next week.
We have our first lesson on Saturday with Biiri who doesn't speak English... Elder Ma has missed both of our language classes so far because he was late the first day and then getting immunizations. He also has been getting bloody noses because of the dry air and I think he thought he had TB or something because he was filling out a form for the triage unit. But instead, I told the nurse that he actually had bloody noses and that's why he was coughing up blood, so they gave us a humidifier instead. He is a very humble person, and so it will all be good once we both can speak Kiribati together and actually communicate. I am pretty sure I have one of five companions in the entire MTC who doesn't speak English enough to communicate very well. So I am a little worried about the lesson, especially since Elder Ma has missed the lessons about the investigator. 

Talk about a small world, I have run into so many people from my BYU YSA ward, Washington, etc. Crazy. It's kind of stressful to have p-day already because I would rather have everyone just tell me what to do, because I think I am doing it wrong. It's tough to do companion study especially.
I have some improvements to make, but I have definitely felt the Spirit here, so things are looking up.

Ti abo!
Elder Farner