Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oh What a P-day will bring....

Dear family and friends, 

My how time is passing so quickly

Today all of us senior missionaries went to the East/North end of Tarawa as far as we could on dry ground.

   Then we took a canoe with an outrigger to the next island.

There are no cars on that island and it has a lot more vegetation and a very small population. I taught some children how to play "Ring-around-the-rosey". They loved it and laughed when we fell to the ground, I think they were surprised that I fell to the ground with them!

When walked to the other side of the island, I was at the back of the group and stopped to talk with a woman whose husband was in the top of a huge breadfruit tree cutting down some limbs, (or should I say he was pruning it.)
I took his picture and then I introduced myself and the church. Then the most amazing thing happened! I asked her if I could come back and give her a message and teach her a lesson about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints. She responded with a “yes” and then she said, "and bring me the book". I hadn’t said anything to her about a book and didn’t think she’d even heard of the Mormons before! I look forward to sharing the Gospel with her and know of the joy that it will bring to her and her family.
Further down the road we saw a garden where a man was growing cabbage. They do some amazing things here with so little. (I think it's called being self- reliant.) They are way ahead of Americans when it comes to preparedness; perhaps because this is a way of life for them. They are so humble and sweet. I just love them!
There was a man across the way that needed some medical attention. He had fallen and bruised his upper arm. There was a very large hematoma/blood clot (about the size of a baseball). I told him that I would be returning next week and that I would check it out then and that I would bring supplies to drain it and give him an antibiotic. He was so grateful and I was reminded once again how much I love helping the people here. It's awesome!

     Then we saw some children building sand castles
     and using seashells for decor.(All children have wonderful minds... )
They had a single wheel; split a stem from a palm tree branch; put a smaller piece of wood through the center and made a toy out of it. They were pushing it and laughing; so simple and yet it made them so happy.

I also ran into a “medicine lady” that I look forward to visiting with on my return.
What an amazing experience in such a tiny place that is hardly even a dot on this great big planet!

We arrived at the other side to a place called "Broken Bridge".
What a famous name. I'm not sure who came up with it, but the bridge is broken…go figure… Anyway it connects to the next island, which is Tuabatuaa. The ocean is absolutely beautiful and those of you who love warm water would be in heaven.
It's so warm that I couldn't cool off. I guess I'm used to the cold water at Newport Beach, CA.

I feel very blessed to serve not only the missionaries but also the Kiribati people.

I know that God lives; He is my Rock and my Salvation. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that I am becoming one with my Savior through reading it, praying about it, and sharing it with others. It is the greatest healing book there is.

I love my children and family so very much and this truly has been a great challenge for me to put my trust in the Lord. I am stronger, yet I do “need Him every hour” and “I stand all amazed at the grace He offers me”. I love Him with my whole soul. He is my Savior, Redeemer and Best Friend.

Sister Cassita

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Catching Up....

My Dear family and friends,

Oh how I miss you,  but oh how wonderful it is to be out here in the mission field.  As I drive down and back on our only road that we have here on our tiny Atoll (12x12 square miles) and look out over the beautiful ocean, palm trees, white sandy beaches and most importantly the wonderful  Kiribati people, I often say to myself, “I can't believe that I'm here.”

 The young missionaries are doing such an amazing work and are so devoted to saving souls.  I love serving with them and being there nurse, mother, and sister. 

I was driving down the road the other day and stopped to help two women that were standing on the side of the road waiting for a van (bus). It was just starting to rain and one had a new baby. I told them to hop in and that I would take them to Betio. That is the furthest town on the West end of the Atoll and where the Bloody war of Tarawa was in WWII.   
I let them out at one of the girls’ mother’s home where they were getting some Kias (sleeping mats) that her mother makes and then these ladies sell them. One of the ladies asked for my phone number and also if she and her friend could get a ride back to Eita with me. I told them yes, ( of course…)

After I took care of my errand and got back to her mother's home, and as we were trying to shove this very large roll of kias into the trunk, I could hear these two boys speaking in Kiribati. I heard the word “Hee-ma-tong” (not sure on the spelling but it means ghost. When the people here first saw a white person, they thought they were seeing a ghost. ) Anyway,  I said to the boys, "That's right, I'm a Hee-ma-tong!" They just started laughing and asked if I knew what it meant. I told them , “yes”.  We had a good chat and by the time we were saying goodbye there were a total of 6 boys gathered.  I asked them if I could come back and share a message about Jesus Christ with them from the Book of Mormon.  They all said, “yes”. Then I asked if they would like a Book  of Mormon,  and again they said, “yes”.   I offered to give them one in English or Kiribati. They were surprised when I told them that it is written in Kiribati.

Then,  when I dropped off the two ladies at their home not far from where I live, I offered the same and got the same response. So, this week should be wonderful;  filled with teaching the gospel and being with the young missionaries. I don't know how, but eight investigators in one day!!!

These people are so humble and ready to receive the gospel in their lives. I love being a missionary so much! (but I do miss my children and grandchildren) I am especially proud to announce the birth of baby Tristan, born April 21st to Taylor and Sophie. He was 8 lbs 4 oz and 20 inches..and he's adorable!!!

 I also had a fun P-day with all of the senior missionaries.  We went to the town of Buota and did some snorkeling and Elder Bush and I did some bridge jumping with allllll the little kids:) It was a blast!

I will leave you with this parting thought from Joseph Smith:

“The enemy will never get weary—I expect he will array everything against me—I expect tremendous warfare. He that will war the Christian warfare will have the angels of devils and all the infernal powers of darkness continually arrayed against him. When all speak evil of you, blessed are ye. Shall a man be considered bad, when men speak evil of him? No. If a man stands and opposes the world of sin, he may expect all things array’d against him.  But it will be a little season and all these afflictions will be turned away from us inasmuch as we are faithful and are not overcome by these evils.  By seeing the blessings of the endowment rolling on, and the kingdom increasing and spreading from sea to sea; we will rejoice that we were not overcome by these foolish things.”  

I will be glad when this battle is over for all of us and Satan is bound.  But more importantly I look forward to the day when our Savior will come. 

Love, Sister Cassita