Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Good bye to Gaua. I'm sending pics . I'll send a letter next week, but FYI, I got transferred. I'm now serving in Etas with Elder Samuel. I am District Leader.

This is Elisabeth & Jirisene.  She got married during my time with Elder Bacon.  My second time there I got to see her baby girl and baptise Elisabeth.
My last meal at Morrey's house.

My last Sunday after church.

Us with Fred and his family minus a few.

Last meal with Jeremy and his family.

Me with Louise after having a last meal with her family.  (Jeremy's sister)

The awesomest friend and branch president.  (Jansen)

Norbert & I (Family Saaky)  One of my best friends from Gaua.  I helped him fill out his mission forms last week.

Random Australian members took us to a baller place to eat.

Me at the Santo Airport inside a pigs tusk, the sign of respect and position here.

Coconut crab.  Very large and tasty.

From left to right, Fred, Elder Thomas, Bulendam, Marus, Me, Jonas, Louise

Building the church.

Sedrak was hanging upside down like a monkey while we were buidling the church house so I gave him a banana.

The church house kinda finished & Elder Hanks to visit to start seminary.

The marriage of James and Sylvie ( both in white) and Robinson and Lydian.  Performed by District President Ian Mahit from Paama.

At the airport waiting on my last day in Gaua.

Going to the island of Muna for sacrament meeting with the zone leaders.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's almost time to say farewell to Gaua

Dear Family,

So I've hit a year now! I've hit the top of the mountain and I'm headed down now. Crazy. I really enjoyed all of your e mails. It was so great to hear how you're all doing. I have such a great family. Is it cool if I can be one of those guys who lives at the house until I'm 40? haha I feel like going on my mission has made me realize how good of a family I have. When you're in high school all you think about is friends but it's been so cemented how important families are on my mission. So I'm here in Santo for Zone Conference. It's been good. We spent all day yesterday at the church house in trainings. President Klingler is so great. He loves his missionaries. He looks out for 3 countries but he knows every one of us, our companions and areas. He prays for us and cares a lot. So I'll tell you about a few updates since the phone call. May 19th was epic. We had been working for that day for a long time. Jonas, Fred, Marus, Richard, and Louise got baptized. They are all sooo great and we've spent so much time preparing them. All of them have made huge changes in their lives. 2 of them are here at the conference with us, and Jonas, (jeremy's dad, the albino) will likely become the 1st councelor of the branch. I can't take credit for the success but Gaua has changed SO much. When I got here it was a unit with attendances of about 19ish every week. We had a unit leader who taught sunday school and gave the talks prayed and lead the songs. We've gotten a new branch president, JANSEN since then. Elder Bacon and I really focused on him when we were new there. He was less active but had always been so enthusiastic about the church, but some of the members had went against him. Now he's become a great branch president. Inexperienced but SO willing and consecrates his time. Before we'd come and it would be hard to find him because he'd always be at the ocean in his kayak. Now he hardly goes. He always says he was called just like christ called fisherman to be his disciples. I love Jansen. I will never forget him. If communication were better he would be a life long friend. Between us it's really just genuine love. The other day after our phone call I got sick. President heard and went to the ocean to get me some fish in really rough water fried them and brought them over. We work so well together. He said he will say goodbye to me the night before I leave but won't come to the airport to see me off because he'd cry. I love the members so much here. I feel so loved here and comfortable with them. I've been here for longer than anyone else who has served in gaua. I've basically been here my whole mission. It'll be hard to top it. I came here out of being trained and my first area slightly clueless. From then on in this area and for a bit in blacksands I feel like i've really grown. Last week we had a double marriage! Elder and Sister Hanks, a couple from Las Vegas and President Mahit, the district president came to visit Gaua. We set up the marriages before they came. When we tried to go down we all walked to get to the boat that could take us down to queteon. We went out and the water was really stormy and rough. We went back in and the Hanks had to go back and we walked. They were super happy to be married and have been wanting and waiting for 2 years now to get baptized. The new church house here is just about finished! They're just waiting for cement to make the floor. Too bad I'll miss the first week in there. They're also going to send extra cement to make a huge water tank. Our area that we're really having success in is called Naveto village. The chief said he's afraid that in a while the anglican church will be empty. Tons of people have told us or Jansen they want to join but they won't be able to use the big community tank because the chief blocked members and converts to the church from using it. Our new tank should help. I didn't inhale it but I was almost worshiped the other day haha. After church we had an auxillary meeting. I started it, shared my thoughts and at the end they all started planning my farewell feast. Then they started to talk about why I was great and actually did something in Gaua unlike the ones before, I didn't inhale it but it felt nice to be appreciated. I think we'll be having Jansens Pig at the farewell? So as of late I'm getting lots of questions thrown my way. Studying helps so much. I've felt so guided and prepared for them. I'll be going back on monday and promptly transferring. I don't know which of the areas but I have it narrowed down to a few. Should be exciting...

Hey sierra! Mi lavem yu!

To answer a few questions-  wierdest food this week?

I had pizza on Gaua! This french lady named Morey had always been promising me she'd make me one. the other day I texted her and asked her to throw some fanta's in the icebox. She was about to jump on her 4 wheeler and bring it up to us when we ran into her. She's the only one with an icebox on Gaua and she brought cheese from vila that was frozen. very tasty. anyways I gotta go! Love you all! Time for my last interview with President Klingler.

. Anyways I love you all. The church is true.

Elder Sears