Thursday, December 26, 2013


E & S Robison, Sis. Youngberg, E & S Wall, E & S Rasmussen,
Sis. Talataina, Sis. Ucunibaravi

On Dec. 23 we met with the other seniors to enjoy Christmas treats, a short video, “Christmas Mission,” and exchange gifts. It was a delightful evening. The rain was coming down hard and when Elder and Sister Wall arrived a few minutes late, they blamed it on the winter snow storm and how slow the traffic was because no one knows how to drive in the snow. We all enjoyed a laugh.

Christmas Eve was spent baking six dozen rolls for the next day’s dinner and orange rolls to take to Titeebwa’s family party. Titeebwa came around 6:00 and she treated us to dinner at the Chinese Pacific restaurant.  We then went to her family’s maneabwa in Temaiku. It was supposed to start at 6:00 but Kiribati time it started around 8:30. Her family consisted of three of her sisters and her older brother and their families. Little ones were tired and were falling asleep on their parent’s lap. They had a Christmas tree, which was really a branch cut from a tree and put in a large ten can filled with rocks. It was decorated with a string of battery operated lights, a few ornaments, and purple balloons. There were a few small gifts under the tree wrapped in plain type paper, newspaper, or aluminum foil.

Titeebwa with two grandchildren (The girl in the pink is our
 All of Titeebwa’s family belong to the Kiribati Protestant Church.  After singing a couple of their songs, we were asked to introduce ourselves.  It was a great opportunity to tell non-members who we were and what our calling was as well as to share our testimony of the birth of the Savior, His life and teachings, and His atoning sacrifice.  I love experiences like that. One brother-in-law in the family who is a deacon in the KPC spoke but of course it was in Kiribati and we didn’t understand him. We were then asked to pass out the presents as one of the sisters took the presents from under the tree and called our their name. Some were hesitant to take a gift from an I-Matong, but most were excited and eagerly came forth.  About half way through, the sister, told the kids they needed to dance for their gift.  Some did a little dance but there were a couple that really put on some moves to the delight of everyone. It was Dad’s turn when the name of one little girl around four years old was called out.  She stood, put her hands on her hips, cocked her head and eyes to one side and slowly moved towards Dad with all the hip movement she could make. It was the show of the night as we laughed and laughed. As I watched the children eagerly open their presents, I realized they all had small bag of chips and were thoroughly pleased.  I then passed around the bag of Starburst which they enjoyed.  It was truly an enjoyable evening and I felt honored that Titeebwa invited us.

Getting ready for the big meal. 

Enjoying the feast. 
 Christmas Day was busier than ever. It started with an 8:00 am baptism of five sisters which they termed as White Christmas. Then we had the great opportunity of Skyping with the family as they had all gathered at Angie’s.  We were able to see them open their presents and we opened the ones they sent to us. We then hustled to finish preparing dinner for the missionaries.  I cooked a 25 lb. ham which barely fit into our oven, made 6 doz. rolls, and 12 boxes of Stove Top Dressing.  After a great dinner of ham, potatoes, rice, dressing, gravy, salad, banana pie, pumpkin pie, and lemon bars we spread a table cloth over the leftover food.  The Elders and Sisters enjoyed a couple of movies, and then came back and ate ALL of the leftovers. We had 47 in attendance including the Seniors.  It was another great fulfilling day.

Sis. Tauteoli, Sis. Temau, Reerei, Terouta, Anna, Elder Risk, Elder Tarati

Rabangaki, Sis. Tauteoli, Tiakana, Nikaua, Sis. Temau

Sister enjoying a Christmas feast

Elders turn to eat

Getting ready to burn the Yule Log sent to us from Janine. 

1 comment:

  1. Elder and Sister Rasmussen. We missed Christmas in Tarawa something awful. We loved our two Christmases with the missionaries. Although we were of course with family this year, we would gladly change places with you for just that day. It truly reminds one of just what Christmas is supposed to be about. Thanks for the post.