Sunday, December 4, 2011

Missionary work and building up the church in general

Ok first, I got the first package you sent forever ago. Elda Albrek, the senior missionary in Santo found it in quarantine haha. Enjoying the protein bars. Anyways here I go. It'll be random and out of order again. So the other day we were making our forever long walk back from Kuition. We were walking on the road when we saw a mama with his small boy. I saw the boys face when he saw us. His eyes got huge, without wasting a second he screamed and ran away crying. I saw him running away up and down 3 hills. That was his reaction to white people haha. We weren't doing anything scary just walking haha. I think we were the first white people he had seen. And now we'll go to when I got scared. On this same walk back from Kuition it was very dark towards the last leg of the walk. We were walking and talking when in the middle of the road I saw something peculiar. I froze. I asked "do you see that?" I stared for a while and stopped in my tracks. I was legitimitely scared. Then I realized it was a truck parked in the road and the lights were from the reflectors. I was scared of a truck. There's 2 trucks on this island. I'm becoming "manbush". Also, one day Elda Bacon and I went down to Lemanman to find the guy who could come and witness Tabi and Elisabeths' marriage and come with the license. He was there for the big lavet. The prime minister of Vanuatu was here giving a speech. After he was finished he came over to us to meet and and we talked for a bit. I got a photo with him but I forgot to bring my camera again. After he and all the chiefs went up to a stage for their feast. We got invited to eat with them. So good! We also saw some water music. It's one of their custom dances where they basically use the ocean as the drum and make really cool sound effects like dolphins. So then the marriage. Tabi is our neighbor and good friend. His wife Elisabeth is great and is an investigator of ours. President Mahit, the district president in Luganville was supposed to come and perform the marriage for them. . After they ended up going to find an anglican preist to do it. I felt pretty apostate sitting up on the stage with them during it. The preist wore a kkk looking thing and preached and yelled a lot. But at least they're married now. That day was pretty frustrating. I would describe it as someone poking you in the face repeatedly every ten seconds. Just one day though. So we found a man that the missionaries had taught before named Moken. He is so awesome he wants to get baptised so bad. He just needs to get married first. His wife Lydia said she wants to have us come and teach her first and she'll decide on getting married and baptised at the same time. She is so awesome. Last time we went to their house Lydia wasn't there. Moken was talking about how they're so happy now and he says he keeps finding her reading the Book of Mormon. Great couple. Refreshingly educated. Their boy is the best. His name is Limon. Whenever we're about to leave he'll say I love you in english haha. Also we found a guy named Joe. He's really humble and ready to learn. We've taught him a few times and last time we went he told us everything he had read in the Book of Mormon and told the story of it knowing the names and teachings and everything. So refreshing. It's hard to find people that can read. Moken was really glad when he found out we were teaching him because he said that he and Joe had made a pact a few years back that they were going to meet with the missionaries. We were definitely led to him. Also, Jeremy, our albino friend is progressing like crazy. If we don't miss our flight again he'll be getting baptised the day after we get back. He and dustin, a 14 year old boy. They're both so great and will be going to youth conference now. We met this awesome couple. Meri and Jon. They are so kind to us. Whenever we go down we'll drop by their house in route to the end of Kuition. When we head back at the end of the day they'll have a super good meal prepared. They gave me their WWII relic to use. It was a US Navy fork from when the US was stationed here. They love the US army here. All the older guys talk about being scared of the big planes because they hadn't seen one before. The other day we realised it was thanksgiving. We were planning on asking the Zone Leaders in Santo to send us some meat on the flight coming to Gaua that day. They were lazy. But at Meri and Jon's house they ended up making us a super good meal WITH MEAT! So work down in Kuition is great! It's super far away but there are a ton of people ready and who want to join the church. The only problem is they're too far away to come to church. We've been working with this a lot. There's a member here, Filip. He should be the leader here in the future. He's working so hard with us, finding people and using his power as chief to find land for the church. We got approval to go down and teach a sunday school every other sunday. If and when the attendance gets large we can start sacrament meeting and sometime get the land and chapel. It's a long way to walk but they're amazing here. So many said they were wating for us to come or to come back. We've been working a lot with the district and Elda Albrek to get this moving. Lots of time, thought, and prayer. Also good news, our unit here in Gaua got approved to become a Branch! We'll see what happens because to be a branch president you have to be married. Charles isn't. Stevan would be the one to take his place. Charles is a great guy. We're assisting him in his work  ,Inviting all the youth back to church, seeing all the less actives and working with the ground the church has already bought down by the airport for the building of a real chapel. President Mahit is planning to come but Elda Albrek had him wait till we got back so we can show him everything thats going on. Ok so a miracle has happened. I love vegetables. They're like candy to me. We're just going to peoples houses all the time and they fill us up with "island kakae". Pineapples, watermelon, bell peppers, onions, green onions, taro, manyoak, yam, kumala, passionfruit, snake bean, so good. We have a watermelon garden. It's right next to where we sit in front of the house and eat watermelon and throw the seeds. Thats how rich the ground is, if you just throw seeds they'll grow. As far as our people we're teaching we are so set. When I first came I was pretty concerned, very little. We have so much now. Somewhere around 65. It's raining a lot so the roads are just giant puddles of water and deep quicksand-like mud. I had my first fall. I slipped and got pretty dirty. Also I stepped in a giant cow turd because they always tie up their cows close to the road. It was fresh and I almost slipped because of it haha. We're also working with Jansen still. He's so awesome, we need him for the work to progress. He sold his land to the church for the chapel but no one had done anything. We taught an old guy named steven, he's from one of the islands in the south, futuna. He is interesting. He knows the Book of Mormon super well but won't come to church. He was paralyzed for 2 years. We taught him and his 2 granddaughters who are SDA. At the end of the lesson, steven said "you're going to leave your church and go get baptised with them" pretty bold haha. Also we made passionfruit juice. So good! Also we made spaghetti! We found some real pasta noodles and tomato paste. Added water to the past with onions and garlic, very good. We've also been making fried rice when we can find eggs. Also fries! We get kumala (a sweet potato) and deep fry them in oil and put salt, They're like fries but a little sweet too... They're  way good. Also kava is the worst thing ever. It's the biggest stumbling block in this work and in their society. We're teaching a man named Josef who lives with and married one of Jansens' daughters. It's going really well, he has the coolest dreds, he looks like a rasta. I could talk about it all day but work is going really good. Plenty to do. VERY involved with missionary work and just building up the church in general. In gaua it's very cut off from anything, even missionary news. Apparently some bickering and stuff is going on with the other missionaries and other small problems. Elda Bacon and I are away from it and got extended some more time again. They were talking about transfers and the senior zone leader told me the   mission president said, they need to stay. Anyways very random, hope you get anything out of it haha. Not enough time to word it well or work on english. And by the way about the Christmas call. It won't be skype. We'll be calling on our own phone because we'll be in Gaua. No skype but that does mean we get to talk longer. Anyways gotta go, off to play basketball for the first time in a long time.

Elda Sias