Hey, quick PS on that last little bit! I've been chilling on Tarawa last couple of days, waiting for transfers to get more sorted out so that outie ZLs can come out with us to Tarawa Ieta. And it's been great! We've been eating chicken and pork and HEAVEN BLESSED POTATOES!!! Oh me goodness food is delicious. Holy crud it's been glorious! I met my kid, an Elder Smith from Alberta, who is a similarly skinny tall white guy, and is going to be great out there. Pumped to work with him.
But, what makes me happier is that we're finally going Ieta TODAY! 4 o'clock we'll be hopping on a local canoe with an itty bitty outboard motor, and going out to see what there is to see up there. We'll be bringing outie ZLs with us, Elder Maisey (good buddy from the MTC) and Elder Grover (brother from Nonouti!) so it should be glorious. I've been talking to everybody I can about what Tarawa Ieta is like, and I got a chance to meet with Elder Klatt, really old missionary who goes home next month. He gave me some words of warning, said that it's really hard up there, and they only send missionaries who can't get down on themselves, said to watch out for my kid.
Apparently the Catholic Church is super strong up there, and actively pushes a bunch of anti-Mormon junk around, trying to kick us off the island. So I'm excited! We'll be living in an imatang house, next to the chapel (ya, two chapels up there!) and it should be glorious.
I feel just a wee bit bad, because when I first got this assignment, I was kind of thinkin, "oh, this is lame, they're opening up all these way cool outer islands with people from my intake, and I'm just going to a place where missionaries haven't been for a year." Actually, I was legitimately hating myself for having that kind of a stupid attitude, remembering the story of the stake president who was called as a nursery leader after being released. I guess I can kind of understand a bit more why that would be hard now. But then I heard how loads of people were saying it was one of the hardest areas in the mission, and I just then got excited. So... I have a pride problem to work on, still just a bratty trumpet player at heart, but I'm working on it!
And I am SUPER excited that it's going to be a challenge. But now, we have so many resources to deal with the challenge! We have a chapel! An operating branch! We're going to show up and contact a BRANCH PRESIDENT! Holy crud that's going to be an exciting moment. :) And of course, we've still got the same essential basics we had on Nonouti: two hard-working Elders, the Truth, and the Holy Ghost. So, basically, it's going to be hard, but we're going to rock worlds up there. We have an important work to do, the salvation of mankind is at hand!