Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cultural Night 2014

Every year the wards in the Stake come together to enjoy an evening of singing, dance, and food. The islanders spend many weeks practicing and preparing for the event. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014


We had a great opportunity to travel to the island of Abiang, which is located just northwest of North Tarawa where we went in the fall.  This time we were able to use the mission boat which is much larger and much more comfortable with cushioned benches. The seven senior missionaries went with a hired boat captain and his assistant.  The mission president is placing two sister missionaries on an outer island for the first time.  They are both from Kiribati, so it won’t be such an adjustment for them.  The flat they will have is the typical 1 bedroom, very small modular that is placed on the church property.  Two elders were moved from there a week ago and Sister Cassita had gone out to clean with a couple of young girls.   Elder Rasmussen repaired the bicycles for them, Elder Wall put up some curtain wire and Sister Bogh, Sister Wall and I made curtains for the 5 windows in the flat.  Sister Cassita brought along an old sewing machine and we were able to buy some fabric at a small store across the road from the flat. The electricity in these flats is from 4 – 6 volt batteries that are charged by four solar panels on the roof.  They didn’t produce enough juice to run the iron and the sewing machine at the same time, so Sister Bogh was able to iron the hem and casings in place by going to the chapel and using the electricity there.  That helped us go faster. 

 The boat captain then took us down the island a way to Bebe and Ukenio’s home.  Bebe has applied for a grant to start a preschool so we took 6 of the ABC books that Kelani's family made to her.  I plan on taking 6 each to a couple of preschools that I’ve seen on the island.  I think they will get used much more there than at the hospital. We left the house at 6:30 in the morning and it was 4:30 before we got back.  The boat ride is two hours each way so needless to say we were very tired when we got home and just chilled and read till we could go to bed.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blankets for the hospital

Kelani and her girls, Jordan and Hailey,  made blankets for the children at the hospital.  Rich and I took them down and passed them out to the mothers.  Within five minutes we had given all of the blankets away. I'm sure they will be well used.  We've had a very cool and rainy spring for Tarawa.

Jordan sewing blankets

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Elder Wacolo - Good Bye

On Wed. March 26, we had a going away dinner for Elder Wacolo. He has been the area authority seventy over Kiribati for almost seven years and was being released to serve as a mission president in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Wow, what a change.  Being from Fiji, he has never been to Arkansas before.  We told him he might need an interpreter there as well. He shared some of his story with us.  Over the years he and his wife have raised 20 children, including their two biological children.  It is Polynesian culture to raise children of family members and friends if you financially can do so.  Their own two children include a ten year old daughter and a 17 year old son. When he was called to be a member of the seventy he was a stake president and had only been a member of the church for twelve years. His calling took him away from home a lot, sometimes as long as three weeks at a time.  
???, Pres. Uoritaki, Elder Wacolo, Tiorika, Elder and Sister Rasmussen
He promised his wife that after serving his five years as a seventy he would take her on a week-long cruise.  The first presidency asked him to extend a year so the cruise didn’t happen. He promised the cruise again after the year of extension but they asked him to extend a second year.  He told her for sure after the second extension they would go on a cruise, but before his second extension ended when he was called to be a mission president.  At least he can take his family with him.  I love it when I see such fine examples of members who have truly put the Lord first in their lives.

Turian, Sister Rasmussen, Marinoa, Lita, Mai
Elder Rasmussen eating again!

Hello-Good Bye Again

On March 2, Elder and Sister Bogh arrived.  They are part of ITEP,
(International Teacher Education Program) also, but will be working
specifically with the TVET (Technical Vocational Education Training)

On March 20, Elder and Sister Youngberg completed their eighteen month mission
successfully and began their journey home.

We are the next couple to  leave to return home.  The mixed emotions are already surfacing daily as we contemplate leaving this beautiful island and people to return to 'real life.'

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Learning Garden (Bishop's Garden Update)

 On March 3, the dedication for The Learning Garden took place.  Elder and Sister Youngberg have worked long and hard to have this project completed before they left to go home.  Several dignitaries were there including the vice president of Kiribati. It was renamed The Learning Garden as it is a place to teach the saints how to garden and become more self reliant.

Elder and Sister Youngberg, left-compost shed, back - manieaba

President Weir and Elder Youngberg taste testing the rock melon (cantelope)
Corn is now a success! It is very good.
We now have large tomatoes.  You have to 'spank' them or shake the stems
so the male and female can pollunate. 

Cutting our first large tomatoes for the feast.

Elder Youngberg visiting with Richard Turley, church historian from SLC,
Stake Pres, and Vice Pres of Kiribati

Richard Turley, Church Historian, Bishop Banimone

Elder Youngberg visiting with Taiwan dignitary and his wife

Our YSA return missionaries are our servers for the feast

Mai Tune cooking the chicken legs for the feast

Dignitaries gather for the welcome and feast

Young girls prepare for the garlanding

Peter and, ??? , enjoying the corn

Elder Youngberg welcoming everyone

Vice president cutting the garland (ribbon)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cleaning Day

Tipo, one of the Vice-principals, is really promoting that we keep the campus at a 2.5 cleaning level, which is some dirt visible. The temple is at a level 1, which is NO dirt visible. They are trying to have a cleaning day once a month after school.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bruce Yerman Visit

On April 1, Bruce Yerman, the director of the Church schools, made his annual visit to Moroni High School. The students love singing and dancing for anyone who comes.

Welcome Feast

On 4 April 2014, was the welcome feast for all of the new students.  They cooked two pigs. We sat out on the basketball court in the rain with our umbrellas watching the program and were thankful to move into a classroom when it was time to eat. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wedding Witnesses

We had the opportunity to attend a small wedding in the Bishop’s office in the Teaoreke Ward on Friday evening, 28 Feb. The girl, Teeba, is Marinoa’s (the librarian) niece.  Teeba is a member but her friend, Taike, is not. He has been taking the lessons and will be baptized next week, but since they have been living together, they needed to get married first. Marinoa had asked Sister Youngberg if she could make a wedding cake but she couldn’t and asked if I could.  I haven’t decorated a cake in years but I did the best I could.  I used what tips Sister Youngberg had which weren’t much but it turned out OK.  The ceremony was small only the couple, Marinoa, the missionaries, and us.  We ended up being the witnesses and had to sign several forms.  Weddings are always special no matter the circumstance.  There was such a sweet spirit in the Bishop’s office, although we didn’t understand a word that was said.  Of course afterwards there was lots of food, a few more guests a lot of fun and laughter sharing advice with the newlyweds. They made sure to speak in English which always helps to enjoy whatever the event is.

Monday, February 24, 2014


We love our morning sunrise walks, but this morning was especially beautiful.  Alma 30:44 "all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth; and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets, which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A New School Year

 I love the beginning of a new school year.  This will probably be my last "First Day of School."
Before school training: Fatele and Mary

Gathering for beginning assembly

First Day: Instructional Assembly

Teachers at first assembly

Lita, principal, addressing students
Tipo Solomone, Vice Principal

Banririe, Vice Principal
Moving into the dorm

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Temwaiku Chapel Dedication

Temwaiku Chapel
Sat. Jan. 18 was a full day as we attended the dedication of the Temwaiku chapel. It is a beautiful building right next to the ocean. There were a few government invited guests and some from Taiwan who work here as well.  It was a wonderful service and I loved the choir.  After the program, the guests were taken on a tour of the building with four short presentations: Missionary work, Saving the Rising Generation, Strengthening the Family, and Helping the Poor and Needy.  That was followed by a cultural program by the       youth and of course a HUGE feast.  They roasted four pigs. 

Lita's presentation on 'Strengthening the Family'

Banririe's presentation on 'Self Reliance'

Babai, Elder Rasmussen, Titeebwa


Preparing the feast

Sister return missionaries were our Ushers for the day

, Sister Cassita, 

Children waiting for the program to begin

Enjoying the feast