Monday, October 17, 2011


Dear Mum,

Sorry this will be super short but the first two places we tried to do emails the Internet was down, and on our way home we stoped to check in a little place and we finally where able to get on, but its kind of late now I just didn't want you to worry. I am still working with a stake missionary its actually the same guy Karebwa, its actually been really good he is really fun to work with.

One thing I want to tell you is ,if you remember Taate the lady from Bairiki who was supposed get baptized but then her husband was upset. Well I dont know if I told you but a few weeks after I left she got baptized. We went to Bairiki today and I was able to visit her for a few minutes. It was really nice to talk with her, she told me her husband has softened up a lot after she got baptized. Just thought I would let you know.
Tell everyone hi for me.Love you heaps.

Elder Norton


Dear Mum,

Things are going pretty good, it's been pretty interesting as well, if you remember Elder Pearson he just got called to be an AP and went to the Marshall's. The problem is no one came to replace him so we where missing a missionary, so Elder Flynn went to Buota with Elder Tiree and I didn't have a comp for a few days. Right now I am working with a stake missionary named Karebwa. He has received his mission call to south Africa but won't be leaving for a while so he will be working with me for a while as long as he is free, if he is busy I will find someone else. It's a little weird but Karebwa is cool.

Conference was awesome but I only ended up having one investigator come and some recent converts and a less active. But conference was so good, I always feel so good about life afterwards.

I will think of some things I might want in a box the only thing I know of right now is a jump rope. I think that's about it for now I'm about out of you heaps.

Love, Elder Norton


Dear Mom,
I'm glad you all enjoyed conference, I hope the rest of it went just as well. This will be quick. To answer your question no we don't have a microwave, there is only one house that I know of that has a microwave. I'm about out of time so sorry this is so short but my companion is waiting. I'm doing fine nothing much to report. Tell everyone that I love them.

Elder Norton


Dear mum,

I'm definitely not as sure as you seem to be, that I will do fine as district leader but I guess we will see. This week has had ups and downs but the ups where really good. We had a baptism this week that went pretty good (remind me to send a picture next week). We baptized Roruamwa (the daughter of the couple I told you about last week)and then Kaain a twelve year old boy. We where going to have another person Nei Meekati but as she put it she crashed with the month (or"that time" of the month). She did come and watch though and should be baptized next week. That was the best thing to happen this week that I can think of.One random question what mission is Burlington in. I ask because a guy in my branch just got his call to serve in the
Des Moines, Iowa mission, I told him if it was in his mission he needed to go baptize my Grandma. I thought that it was pretty cool that someone from little Kiribati got there call to Iowa. The two stakes here do pump out quite a few missionaries. In our branch we have two that just left , two who have there calls, and two who are waiting for their calls to come, and those are just the ones I know personally. There are a few others out who I don't know.Well I think that's about it from me I hope everything goes well with all of you.

Love, Elder Norton


Dear mom,

I'm doing fine here, my area is great. We haven't been doing as much teaching as I would like, this past week we seemed to have a lot of appointments fall thorough, but we did get some new people this week.We had one really cool lesson with a couple last week, it was our first lesson and we taught the plan of salvation it went really well. They understood everything really well, but then at the end of the lesson Elder Flynn had them read a couple verses from Moroni 8 the husband(Tekautu) started reading and then couldn't finish because he started crying his wife finished it. Afterward he explained that they had just had a two year old child pass away last year. It was really cool, they said they finally felt peace. They knew where their child was and that they wanted to work hard to end up in the same place. The bad part was that Tekautu was about to leave to work on a ship and has now left. We are going to keep teaching his wife. His daughter has been taking the lessons for a while and should get baptized this week.
I feel bad about Brother Rollins they sent me a Christmas card and I never sent anything back, tell Sister Rollins I said hello. How are the Arruda's, does dad still home teach them? Its good to hear that Oli came to the ward party.
Tell Mattie I'm not sure if Christina will email or send letters, they asked for your address so i'm not sure.
Well I don't really have much else to say from my end. I did just get called as the new district leader, and I'm really not looking forward to it. I would say I don't know why they called me but in this mission its pretty much if you are white you will probably be in leadership, its just pretty small out here there's not much to choose from. I hope everyone is doing good love ya all.

Love, Elder Norton


Mauri Tamau, and au utu nikabeni. (Dad and all the fam)

Its good to hear from you Dad, sound's like things are going alright back home. I'm doing fine this could be really short. I'm in a little Internet place packed with little kids playing games (and tons watching). Anyway the Internet is slow and the power here has been really bad lately ,it just went out a few minutes ago and probably will again. It has been raining constantly for two days maybe that has something to do with it.Let Mattie know that Christina got the stuff she sent.
I'm doing fine don't worry about me, it has been harder being the senior comp mostly just because of who I am with. His last couple companions where good with whatever, rules really didn't mater at all, and that's not how I feel. so that creates problems, I don't think I'm going to really change his mind about things I really don't know what to do about it. The problem is now I'm the one responsible. But I know I just need to change be more blunt and patient.(a lot easier said than done)
Sorry for that really I'm fine ,we have some great people, Elder Flynn is a good missionary. I love you all I hope things go well for everyone.

Love, Elder Norton


Dear Mum,

I am doing well, we had a pretty slow week which kinda stunk. We just didn't get many lessons at all. But we will do better this week.One thing that happened this past week was zone conference which was really good. It was good to see President Shaw again and we had some awesome trainings from the Shaw's and others they focused a lot on obedience, which our side of the mission seems to struggle with quite a lot. It was a really good zone conference and we had a really great lunch, the senior couples did it. They had hot dogs with potato salad, and ice cream for desert. It was so good, they usually do something good for zone conference lunch but that was my favorite so far.As for my area its a pretty cool area to work in there are some really awesome people here. We do need to find more people to teach though. It is a really big area, really spread out partiality because we have the airport right in the middle of it. It's definitely different then any other airport you will probably see not just because its super small but this is Kiribati and no one really cares about much so you can just chill out on the runway any time you want to. We walk up and down it to get to lessons, people drive down it, that picture is of a super nice plane. It lands and then just sits there completely unattended(that's Elder Flynn beside it). I love Kiribati, its so random. As for my companion things are different he doesn't really care about rules much. We will see how things go.I hope everything goes well with your get together, I guess the one is probably over. I did get that box you sent thanks a ton sorry I forgot to tell you it came. I cant think of anything else I need besides the stuff I told April, I'm doing good with clothes I don't think I will really need replacements of anything through the rest of my time (and if anyone sends ties tell them just send cheap ones).

Well I think that's about it for now, not much exiting to say. I hope everything is going good with everyone. Love you all!

Love, Elder Norton


Dear Mum,

It's been an interesting week, getting whitewashed into an area isn't to fun. It is the same branch as Buota but I really only knew the members in my area not so much in Bonriki, so we have tried to get to know the members in our area while trying to find the people we are supposed to be teaching. There have been a few rough days. Mostly because I'm supposed to be leading out since Elder Flynn has only been out five months. I have to do more speaking then I'm used to ( I'm hardly the best at the language) and I seem to be failing a bit lately. I'm just really not cut out to be a leader. But oh well complaining won't change anything. It hasn't been all bad working here this is a pretty good branch, and we have some of the coolest strongest members in our area (and our branch just won everything in the stake singing competition) so I'm sure everything will be just fine. I just need to get used to things.
One interesting thing happened yesterday is here in Kiribati they have big gatherings or party's called botaki's. They have them for things like 1st& 21st birthdays, deaths, and some other weird ones. So yesterday at the end of church everyone got invited to the death botaki at the branch presidents house. So we had to go there was no way out of it. It was fine, mostly we just sang with the ward for the family and watched them bury the body. She was catholic and so was most of her family but her brother is a member of the branch so it was good to support him. The problem was that it took all day, so we didn't teach any lessons. But a few of the people we were supposed to teach were at the botaki as well. It was just interesting. It was the longest one I have been in but its really important in the culture and I didn't know how to get out of it.
Well I think that's about it for now I hope everything is going good, let everyone know that I love them.

Love, Elder Norton


Dear Mum,

I'm sorry this may be short but I don't have as much time as I thought I would. So I finally got transferred on Thursday I am in Bonriki with Elder Flynn from Boise Idaho, he actually used to live in Mountain Home what are the chances eh. He has been out for 5 months so I am senior. It's the first time for me (I went a whole year as a junior comp) and I really don't like it. It's been kind of a rough couple of days because we got whitewashed into our area so neither of us know the area. It's the same branch as Buota but I don't even know many of the members in our area, so that's been hard. I have found that I am not really a leader I really don't enjoy having to make most all the decisions. Well hopefully I will get used to it. Its always hard leaving an area that you had gotten used to, I haven't heard what happened with Taate but there were supposed to be 4 people baptized in bairiki the week I left. It really stinks not being able to see that, but that's the way it goes.
Well I don't have much time left so I think that's about it for this week. I love you all.
Love, Elder Norton

P.S are you guys moving posibaly?


Mauri au utu,

This week started off OK and ended up pretty rough. First off I am still in Bairiki with Elder Lowery, we are just waiting for the new Elders coming from America. They Finally got there visas but their flight had already been changed to go to the Marshall Island first. So we don't really know for sure when they are coming, when they come one will stop in Christmas and my companion will come from there. Then as for Taate well that's really sad, she didn't get baptised this week. We talked to her on Thursday and she said that her husband still wanted her to go to church in the KPC first, sorry that's confusing. Her husband is really strong in the protestant church here but as we visited them he softened up a lot. At first he wouldn't let her come to church, then he said she could go to church in the Mormon Church if she went to the KPC first, so she always came to Sunday school and Sacrament meetings. He said that she could get baptized if she wanted, but they have an adopted daughter who is training to become a Minister in Fiji, because of that he felt he couldn't listen till they let her know. He wanted Taate to keep going to church with him. Well when she told us Thursday we didn't know if that would be a problem, so we talked to the Zone Leaders before the interview and they felt like she should wait. That didn't seem like a big deal. We talked with her and she said she would write her daughter and let her know she was going to be baptized. We felt like things were still OK, she would just wait a week or to until the Zone leaders could ask President Shaw. I was sad because she is one of the most ready people I have ever taught. The real kick in the gut came on Saturday when we went to visit her, she told us that when she told Botara her husband that she couldn't get baptised because she couldn't go to all of church he her told well that's Gods plan that you shouldn't go to the Mormon church and that she couldn't attend church anymore. She told us he has gone back to being really strict with her. She even said she picked up her Book Of Mormon to read on Friday and he got all mad at her and said you can't get baptised so whats the point of you reading in that book, so she can't even read know. We had a good talk with her and told her not to give up but she seemed pretty hopeless about it all so we gave her a blessing of comfort, that was good. She already has a strong testimony of the Priesthood because Pearson and I gave her a blessing once when she was sick and she told us it helped her, so I hope she felt comforted. Hopefully things will all work out we have been praying really hard to know what to do and I'm still not really sure, but I know it will work out.
So anyway it wasn't all bad this week, we should have a few people getting baptized this Saturday so that should be good. The lady in the picture is one that will get baptized this week her name is Mireta, her husband was less active before but they have been coming lately, so definitely some good stuff is happening. Well I don't know of much else that happened this week. That's cool that mMattie got a letter from Wana shes cool. I gave Her your address but I didn't know if she would write so I asked Christina as well.
Well I love you all thanks for the emails p-days have been a lot more enjoyable lately. So I will talk to ya all next week.

Love, Elder Norton


Dear Fam,

I'm doing good. I didn't get transferred yet, the new Elders haven't had problems with their visas so I didn't leave but Elder Pearson did get made zone leader.The Elder that he replaced is my companion here until the new guys come. His name is Elder Lowery and he is from Canada, eh (actually he doesn't say that). He is an interesting guy lets just say that. I will definitely be transferring. I will be going to Bonriki which is actually the same branch as buota. So I will have worked in all three areas in that district ,temaiku, buota, and bonriki. My new comps name will be Elder Flinn, I think he is from Idaho.He is on Christmas Island right now so when the new Elders come one of them will stop there and he will come here with the other three. It could be this week or the week after I don't know for sure.

Other than that nothing really exiting is happening here right now I hope everything is going good back there. I actually got an email from Tressa that was cool. I hope I don't miss any emails, we email a little bit earlier than we had before. I really can't think of much to write right now. Let everyone know that I love them ,till next week I guess, Tiabo.

Love Elder Norton

PS this is just the bathroom in the bairiki house its pretty small.

* Sorry I have not been able to get the pictures on yet.


Dear Fam,

First off, thanks for all the emails from everyone. It was really exiting to hear from everybody (sorry if I made people feel bad), But I really appreciate the emails. I feel bad I won't be able to answer everyone.
We had a pretty eventful week on Tuesday we met with two guys from America, which was unusual. You don't see many Americans here. We first met them last week and set a time to talk with them. They are here from some none denominational church. They said they just wanted to see what God is doing here and help with it. They are from N Carolina. We had an interesting talk (it was weird talking in English) but we actually gave them a Book of Mormon, we only had one in English and they seemed interested to read it. So that was interesting they didn't seem like they wanted to join the church but they definitely respect us. They told us to keep up the good work because they hear good things about the Mormon church here.
We had another really productive week here. We taught a lot of lessons had a lot of people at church. Best of all we had a baptism. It was an 11 year old girl her name is Maurene, she is actually from the Marshall Islands. She doesn't speak much Kiribati so we taught in English which was hard. Her Mom is half Kiribati so she speaks some Kiribati. She is a member but wasn't active, but she wanted her daughter to be baptized so we taught her and she and her mom started coming back to church. They actually live with a member family here. Things went really well for the baptism it was just really cool seeing her get baptized and her mom come back. We actually have a lot of people right now who are really close to being baptized, there should be nine in the next couple of weeks. Neither Elder Pearson or I will probably see any of our people get baptized because he is becoming ZL (which we have known for a while). We just found out that I will be transferring as well. I'm really sad about that this a good area and we have awesome people, but its not up to me I guess I will see what happens.

I love you all so much, thanks again to everyone who wrote and for all of your prayers.

Love Elder Norton

Email 7/24/11 aka The Bubuti

Dear Fam (or Mom I guess)

Before I really start I have a question / *bubuti (and if only you read this Mom, show it to everyone). My question why do I only get one email a week? I have 8 siblings last I checked, and I know you are all busy I don't ask for much, it doesn't have to be long or interesting just something. It would be good for the younger kids even to practice emailing. I have tried to say this other times in a less direct way, last week when I asked for pictures of the new baby I didn't necessarily mean for Mom to do it someone else could email them. So thats my *bubuti for all of you to please email me. It doesn't need to be every week and I probably won't always be able to answer all of them at the same time, but honestly P days here are pretty Kabotu (boring) emails are like the only thing to really look forward to, not that I don't appreciate moms (since that's all I get I REALLY appreciate it). But it would be nice to hear from everyone about whats going on in their lives. Sorry I don't want to make people feel bad I know I'm not good at writing either, but just getting it out there.

Anyways enough of that, sorry about the tirade. Its really good to hear that Mattie heard from Christina I hope they can become friends her and her family are really cool (and her Grandma is one of my recent converts so that's cool). frees him up for So how is the ward doing is it still the same, meaning small? I hope the boys had a good time doing trek I'm sure they did, and that's pretty cool about Sam's drawing that someone wanted to buy, did they buy it ?
As for things for a box just whatever random stuff you think of i really just cant remember anything specific that I miss.
Me and Elder Pearson had a great week here in Bairiki we worked hard and when we added up our stats for the week it was the highest I have had on my mission so far, we taught 30 lessons and 16 of them were member present lessons (our mission goals are 25 lessons 15 mps) the coolest thing was that we had a baptism. It was a lady in her 40's named Teraumone she has been ready and waiting to be baptized for a while but she wasn't legally married so they had to wait for that. Her husband wanted to be baptized as well but he hasn't been able to stop smoking. He was so close but he just got called up to go work on a ship, he left today. So when he gets back in 10 months hopefully he will start being taught again. One other cool thing we had an investigator come to the baptism and then come to church the next day and we had 8 other investigators at church as well, it was a cool Sunday.
I think that's it for this week sorry no pics this week but I forgot some stuff at the house. I love you all I hope I hear from more of you next week.

Love Elder Norton

*The Bubuti system is used on the Pacific Island of Kiribati. It relates to the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights. Under the Bubuti System if someone is approached and says "I bubuti you for your shirt", that person is obliged to give you their shirt. However the next day you can go to the person now wearing your shirt and say "I bubuti you for your lantern", and now you have yourself a lantern.[1]

** We have since repented and are making a more valient effort at emailing on a regular basis.


Dear Fam,

Good to hear that things are going good back there.I hope Paige and the baby are doing good, if John or someone could email me a picture of her that would be really cool. Really any other pictures or emails from anyone would be good too.

As for us here we had an interesting week, it was the Kiribati Independence this week and all of Tarawa pretty much comes to Bairiki for the entire week. We knew we wouldn't get to teach many lessons because every one was busy (we only got 12 lessons). So we set up a stall at the celebration and gave out pamphlets, we sat there from Tuesday though Friday. It went alright but it could have been better. A big problem was since most people came here most all the missionaries came here too, but most of them just wanted to chill and not much got done some days.We did talk to some really cool people who seemed sincerely interested so hopefully something will happen with that.
So yep, I'm doing good. My comp is great to work with ,I have learned from him already and I hope I can learn a lot more.
Sorry this will be short but I had some computer problems and I don't think I have much time left so, I love ya all till next week ,tiabo.

Love Elder Norton


Dear Fam,

Mauri everyone, It's good hearing how people are doing. As for me I had a great week, my new companion has been great. its really nice having a companion who is motivated and wants to work hard, (the only thing that might not be good is we both came from having Kiribati comps so we probably talk in English to much) but we definitely worked hard this week and saw some miracles because of it. This week we really needed to find some new people to teach so we actually fasted last Sunday to find people and we where led to people.Here's one cool story, we had a long hot morning on Wednesday we walked over the causeway to the other part of our area called Nanikai and our first few lessons and our backup plans all fell through so we where standing under a tree trying to decide what to do and all the sudden a bird pooped all over my arm, at first I thought it was just another bad thing but after wiping it of with some leaves I wanted to wash it off so we went to a members house washed my arm off and then we asked if they knew anyone we could go see and they told us about a less active couple to go see and we ended up having a really cool lesson we the guy his name was Titaake. Hopefully that will go somewhere and we can help them come back. But the coolest thing that happened was on Friday things started off much the same as the other time, we where in that same area it was a really hot day,both of us felt really tired ,and we started with a couple appointments falling through, then we had a lesson with a less active guy which went for two hours because he just wouldn't stop talking. Neither of us could get much of a word in (I seriously almost fell asleep). So that didn't go to well and then we went to our appointment with a new couple we had just gotten a referral for and turned out they had gone to an outer island for a week. We where able to teach one of our other investigators that lives in the same house (its a members house) and that went well but really not the day we where hoping for. So then we decided to visit this other less active guy we have been teaching and he wasn't there but some other people in his house told us to come eat, I really didn't particularly want to when I saw what they where eating,but we joined them. There was one guy there who we hadn't really seen before, after we ate Elder Pearson asked if he had met with Elders before. He hadn't but said he would like to so we started to set an appointment, but he asked if we could teach him right then. We obviously said yes so we started teaching a little bit and it seemed to go well, he seemed interested and then at the end of the lesson he started talking and that's when I got blown away. He said he had read the pamphlets we had left with the less active guy and he had also started reading the book of Mormon and said he felt something inside when he read, he asked us how can I change my life and follow Christ. We where both blown away. We him taught again on Saturday and he came to church on Sunday.

Well my time is about up so I will close but, I love you all and hope to hear from more of you next week.

P.S. People outside the fam can email me if they want.

-Elder Norton