Sunday, October 30, 2011

And here's what it's all about.....

Baptism last Saturday with new companion, Elda Bacon from Idaho
Marieta, Joji and Felix

And on to Gaua, pronounced "Gow-uh"

Jansen arrives at the "airport in Gaua"

His new home and friends...
From left to right, returned missionary Danson, sometimes companion Charles and soon to be married Tabi

The outhouse


Jansen "rockin the sulu," gifted to him by Charles...

Jansen learning to use the bow and arrow with church in background

Jansen in the kitchen, laundry preparing the staples ( corned meat, noodles and rice)

The inside of the outhouse with books- used as toilet paper

Farewell to the old.....

Farewell with Waet + Marta, Sean Claude in Turtle Bay

Fareewell dinner with Rachel and Marta

Food was scarce....

Memory of a few of Jansen's feliine friends in Fanafo

"Nani" or goat in Bislama.  Jansen and his companion used to wave and talk to him every day....


Bus, another island friend, who likes to eat ties...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

News from Gaua!


Ok so I just read the beastly amount of letters in my inbox, took forever but it was a blast. Smiled really big and cried a little. Dick is in a much better place and I will miss him a lot. Ok, so as far as my letter it will be very jumbled and sometimes not in chronological order because I've just been writing down random things when they happen in my planner. Ok we'll start with day 1. Out of santo in the smallest plane ever to banks. First landed in Torres and Mota Lava, then to Gaua. The landing in Gaua was pretty epic. The runway is a grass field and it had just rained. We came in on one side of the runway and ended up on the other side nearly into the bush haha. There to greet me was my companion, Elda Namariel from Tanna.His mind had already returned to his house, haha. After 2 weeks with him I was with Charles, a returned missionary who served in Fiji and Vanuatu and is now our Unit President (bishop) and a very close friend of mine. The church is pretty awesome here .It's a nakamal or a small meeting space for chiefs. The house is....... good. Very basic. It's basically cement walling with wallpaper thrown on the floor ,haha. After a unsuccesful battle with massive spiders, milipats (massive centipedes), mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, and worms we finally spent hours DEEP cleaning the place and sealing the open windows with mosquito net that we cut. All that's left is the stupid rat in the ceiling. We tried a trap but it didn't work. Next, natuarally I found a cat and threw it up in the ceiling crawlspace where it's living, VICTORY! But all that aside, I promise it's safe and I won't get any diseases ,haha. So as far as bathing its pretty sweet. Fill up a bucket of water, grab a cup and go! We've also just bathed purely in large rain storms.It's kinda like a shower right? Ok, here's where it gets out of order ,please pardon. So here the main social gathering is the airport. Planes come monday, wednesday, and friday and on all of these days it's packed with all the 'manbus' (bush men women and children) coming to watch the planes land and go. One time a plane was taking off and this dog chased it barking the whole way and the plane had to turn around and start again. The owner of the dog was so mad that he threw a huge piece of wood in his direction.We laughed so hard, haha. Also ,you're allowed to bring chickens on the plane. They bring them in rice bags and thier heads stick out the top all the time, haha. Ah yes, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MOM AND SIERRA (for next month)...... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. And sorry for all the withdrawals, I'm trying my best to budget but stuff keeps coming up. I will be withdrawing again, hope it's alright. Next month Tabi and Elizabet are finally getting married and we've been asked to contribute a 18 kilo pack rice. Also, I got to give my first baby blessing. Bartholomew (if thats how you spell it) Clement Asao.It was really awesome, besides when he farted really big during the blessing when I was holding him. Also one week was pretty slowed by another celebration, Torba day. There were over 20 soccer teams competing for the prize. At the time, my companion Charles was on a team so I ended up watching the whole tournament. Charles' team asked me to bless them to be able to perform ,haha. I just prayed that they could avoid injury and brought it back to the savior. Also another good friend of ours here, JANSEN! same spelling! He's so awesome, he always catches fish for us. Unfortunately, he's somewhat less active. Before we went to visit him I said a silent prayer in my head asking for what he needed. After Moroni 7:47-8 came to my head we  went and talked about charity and the pure love of christ. I shared you experience mom, of how you prayed to be able to see everyone as a child of god. The spirit was so strong. He teared up a little and after our message he said I know I have to come back to church. He came the next sunday :) After Elda Bacon and I went back and shared another message. (I'll get to him) We talked about repentance and the power of forgiveness. We shared the story of Alma the younger with him. As I was relating the story I really began to cry. Forgiveness is such an amazing feeling. Since then he's been giving us lots of deep doctrine questions that take time to find but are really enlightening and fun to find. Last time we went we just chatted and as we were leaving he asked, "Elda Sia , can I ask you something?" I said yes. He said "we've been wondering, are you related to George Bush? You look so much like him" haha Also I tried octopus for my first time in laplap way good! Also here they have turtle! Its actually really good!They chase it in a boat until it gets tired and when it comes up for air they jump on it haha. There isn't a thing I won't eat ,haha, especially if it's meat. Ok, Elda Bacon. "Pikinini blong mi." A tradition here is when you train someone he's your boy. Elda Bacon is so awesome! He's from Idaho Falls, Idaho. We get along gloriously. It's not just a putting up with each other, but it's a genuine friendship. Even more importantly he's a hard worker. The work is really going ahead with us two. Our studies and planning are so great. We've planned for certain lessons for 2 hours a few times, haha. One time we were joking around about how I was a seer and revalator because of my name badge, Elda Sia. He then proceeded to stop on the road (luckily just us 2) and say a prayer aloud thanking for my wisdom and the privelege to be with me. I was blown away , a little over board ,haha. One time in our companionship study we came to the section, "how to begin teaching" we were being sarcastic to each other and it was his turn to teach in role play so I gave him the topic of Kolob. hahaha It was so funny "our message we have for you today is very complex and I'm not sure I grasp it fully myself". So last saturday we had 3 baptisms. Marieta, Joji, and Felix. We held the baptism in the ocean next to the chapel. Great day. So our house is in a small area owned by and eccentric man named Paul Saaky. He's so funny. He always yells to us at all times of the day because of the big open windows. The Saaky family is so awesome. There's a boy here named "Fanson" but we just barely found out his name is VINCENT but pronounded in french. He's always comes and hangs out with us. I asked him what do you look forward to or what do you want to accomplish in life? "I want to be a missionary" he is sooo awesome and really knowlegable in the scriptures for a 12 year old. So when we get back we're going to be way busy. First we have an area 6 hours away walking that we'll go to and sleep at a members house. After we'll go to all those who have been waiting for us and teach for a week or so. Oh yeah, and by the way, we are in charge of 2 islands haha. Gaua and Mere Lava. We'll also be going there. For some reason the missionaries haven't been there in a long time so it'll be good to get over there and help out. There is a missionary house there but it isn't finished . I think it's just a floor. We get to take a very small boat, YES! The owners name is Kamwell. He's the owner of the small store we get all our food at. He likes us a lot so he gave us an amazing price to go. His wife always runs to the garden to grab tomatoes or kumala for us when we come. Golden family, we're going to begin teaching them soon. Ok, Kolombus. He's a man who's been taught for a decent amount of time. We had taught him before but didn't seem to get to him. Elda Bacon and I went back and planned to talk about the plan of salvation. I felt prompted other wise. I skipped to "Kolombus, what do you think your purpose in life is?" He said to live a life good enough for God and then he said, but I don't know how to be saved. After we talked about baptism as a necessary ordinance. At the end of the lesson he said he wanted to be baptised. So aweosome. Later that night Charles told us he drinks kava and smokes. We adjusted and prepared a lesson to help him grasp this big choice and really change. We sat down with him and I asked, "Kolombus, why do you want to be baptised?" he said "because I want to give up kava and smoking and let go of worldy things and all the hardships that come with it. I didn't even ask for those! This was after fervent prayer by the 2 of us the night before and that morning. Heavenly Father truly had prepared him. So for the time being it pretty interesting teaching by myself. Elda Bacon isn't quite there yet ,so it's definitely new, but it is helping me. So this time has been hard and very rewarding at the same time. I am learning so much and learning how to love others more. Anyways my fingers hurt .Love you all so much and I pray for you often!

Elda Sia