Monday, July 9, 2012

Hello family,
Thanks for the letters. It's always good to hear from you guys. PS sierra never replied to that e mail I wrote her about her favorite scriptures, etc. and be sure to tell thank you to the scotts! They're the coolest. So this week was very good. The VANUATU PORT VILA MISSION is official! Our new mission president and his wife arrived last saturday. They are so awesome! President is one of the most  motivational people I've met haha. He served his mission among the native americans in montana. He knows poor housing and lack of comforts well enough to be with us. We had our first zone conference. I had my first interview with him as well. He was really happy about my companion and I elda samuel. He saw how well we got along. He commended me for humility. We talked about my district for a bit as well. My companion and I get along super well. He's happy all the time which is great to be around. We know each others strengths and use them. So my area is very large. We look after 3 areas in Port Vila.: Etas, Teouma, and Eratab. Our house is so nice. It's nice to feel clean and be comfortable again. I've gained weight! You can't see my ribs anymore haha. Everyone has said I look way healthier and coherant haha. In gaua I ate as much as I could but the heat and long distances walking got to my body. I really like my new branch. It's functional and I don't have to do everything haha. It's nice to not have to be the spiritual leader as well. Now I can just focus on missionary work. Etas is a branch that's been around for a good while. It's got some of the first members ever to join the church here in Vanuatu. There are a few families that have a few generations in the church now and they're the heart of the branch. Famle Hilliman is an awesome family. In the family they have 7 returned missionaries in 2 families of hillimans. I'm now starting to get to know the members. They're great .. We've asked our new branch president to help us out and find us a branch mission leader. We've been asking for  referals from everyone but haven't gotten one yet. Elda Samuel and I have been contacting a lot. Serving in town is a tad harder than on the island. Can't complain though because I know some my buds are serving in places much harder haha. We have some really good investigators though. Last week we had a baptism for E. She's from the island of Malekula. She is epic. When they first taught her she wasn't too interested and she was catholic. Through the proccess of the lessons she had a change of heart and grew to love the book of mormon and the church. She was baptised and gave an awesome testimony at the service and on sunday as well. She really wants to go on a mission. She has that new convert glow and wants to learn all she can. I got her a copy of preach my gospel at her request. Her sister and her man, S and M  are also our investigators. They are so awesome! S is from Tanna. He's a humble guy. He will be getting married and baptised this month. He taught us the custom dance of Tanna. Last week as a welcome to President Brewer they organised a welcome activity with all the members in vila. Each branch presented a custom dance from one island. I almost joined the custom dance for Banks group (Gaua and Mere Lava). So this week was a really good learning experience for me. It started to hit me that I have less than a year left! I thought about my progression and I'm nowhere close to where I'd like to be. I had a humbling week as well. Something didn't feel right. Our companionship is great so we should be teaching well but I felt off. I prayed really hard and often to know what was the matter. I had a really good study just on the basics of the gospel. My teaching has become more focused on the Savior than facts. Everything points back to him. I taught a class in our investigator class on sunday. (during sunday school for investigators, answer questions and take it at their pace) They asked some really good questions and I taught shortly about THE topic. The atonement. I feel thats all I want to teach about all the time. You can ponder it and be amazed by so many different things. I'm also enjoying being district leader. My district has the two assistants to the president (AP's) and 4 sisters in the areas of Pango and Freshwota. All the names of places are taken from things in their relative location. My sisters are awesome. I assigned them to give what they learned in companionship study in district meeting tomorrow. Tomorrow we'll talk about the importance of teaching our recent converts. So many missionaries teach people until they're baptised and then the "on to the next one" reflex kicks in. There isn't enough retention. I assigned Elda Samuel to teach and I'll follow up with a training on recent converts. Anyways I've realised my letters are probably pretty boring. I never tell any funny stories or cool cultural stuff anymore. I'll try to spice it up more next time. Thanks for everything!
Elda Sears

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