Since Spencer is now serving on one of the outer islands and not able to communicate regularly with us his mission president sent mom and dad a letter to assure them that he is doing well. Here is the letter:
Dear Brother and Sister Norton,
I'm writing to inform you about your son. Right now Elder Norton is doing very well and is currently working in Marakei, an outer island apart from Tarawa. As you have probably realized, communication is limited when Elders are sent to serve in an outer island. However, we want to inform you that all is well, and your son is working very hard. I know and am very aware that Elders do not have the privilege of keeping in contact with thier families when they are serving in outer islands, and express my concern for you knowing how hard that might be. I want to assure you that their well being is our utmost priority. Your son is healthy, happy and is in very good condition. The Lord takes care of his Elders and I promise Elder Norton is bsing well taken care of.
Regarding communication with the Elders who get sent out to outer islands; we do keep in contact with them regularly. Once a week, the Elders communicate with the mission office by radio to report on how their week has been and if their are any need/concerns. There is also an airline company that flies out regularly, at least once a week, to each island. If there is any time we need to get ahold of them, there are definite means by which we can do so.
Serving on an outer island is a great opportunity and an amazing learning experience. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility for those who are sent out, and many blessings that await them as well. Only the trustworthy, hardworking, and obedient Elders have the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I am very confident in Elder Norton and know that the Lord has placed him in Marakei for a reason. I am proud of the work he has done so far, and look forward to the work he is yet to accomplish.