Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"When I think about the people in Gaua..."

Dear Family,

Another good week. I learned a lot this week. I went to Tanna. We went to Tanna to do a Zone Training. Elder Bacon + Elder Vaiho (tahiti) and their 2 districts came. We met in a small bungalows meeting room. A small room with white coral on the floor with the ocean off in the distance. We gave a training about "Area Loyalty". We talked about the small areas that the Lord has trusted us to look after. We talked about how many people were in their areas and how many were called of God with authority to preach the full gospel, only 2 out of all the thousands of people in each missionary area. We talked about what Christ did when he went into an area. He would minister to people one by one and look for those in need, suffering, sin etc. We talked about what Christ would do if he came to the area we are serving in currently. It was thought provoking. We tried to shift the focus of the missionaries away from themselves and towards: THE PEOPLE. We shared the story of President Gordon B. Hinckley on his mission when his father wrote to him "Forget yourself and go to work", it's become our slogan. Some missionaries on Tanna have been there for a long time. I told them of my experience in Gaua. I told them of a time when I had been there for a long time and had thoughts of wanting to be out or go to a new area. I told them some day they will ache to go back to these beloved areas and people. I started a sentence saying, "When I think about the people in Gaua........" and I couldn't say a word. I was overcome with strong emotion. I explained how I might never have a chance to see my friends/converts again. That gave a strong message to the missionaries there. It made them grateful for the great people they are with. That was a really good experience for me. It really surprised me as well. Also about Gaua ,President Brewer has been there all this weekend! Gaua is incredible right now. The re-organised the branch and put some of my converts in the branch presidency and other callings. They'll be putting 2 more missionaries on Gaua because of the much work to be done. Ok ,so as far as Thanksgiving. We did celebrate! Elder Watch and I went with Elder Potrie (born canada/ lives in Cali) and Elder Harmon (UT) to a restaraunt called The War Horse. We payed a lot of money to eat a few racks barbeque of ribs/chicken/onion rings/and fries. It was so good! The place is decorated american style. State license plates and cowboy stuff all over. So some bad news. My beloved area Paunganisu/Nguna will be given to 2 different elders at the next transfer in a few weeks :(. They so deserve it though. They'll have lots of work and it's much needed. Here we go Erakor! We did find some epic investigators this week though. Actually we didn't do a thing They came/ were given to us. John and Meri in Paunganisu. We were teaching their neighbors and they just came and joined. The next time we came we stopped the truck we had just gotten out and they put out their leaf woven mats and were calling us over to their kitchen. We sat and had a great lesson together. We taught about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ/Families. I love teaching those things. Some people think of God as some distant man or spirit that is so unreachable. I made an example with his own son and the feelings he had about him. I love helping people realize that God is loving and close to us. Also, our Elders quorum president, Charles is the man. He got back from the temple last year. He had  been trying to help his family receive the Gospel. All 8 of his siblings are a long ways away. Especially his oldest brother, Maksai. We met him yesterday night. We were supposed to have taught him during the day but he wasn't there. Later that night we had a dinner appointment. It was with Norton and Ainez. Also Henry Anderson (my companion from blacksands home already was there). Maksai and his wife jumped on a bus and came all the way to tell us sorry they missed the appointement. Norton invited them in to eat and we chatted. Every one in the room was an RM or us 2 currently on the mission haha. We had lots of support as they encouraged and explained things to them. Maksai seems awesome. He's a funny guy. He's a fisherman and totally looked the part with his beanie. He and his wife were there. He said he wants to change his life now and for good. He said he's sick of arguing all the time and losing his money on alcohol, kava, and tobacco. He is so convicted on changing. He asked if we'd be coming in every day. I pray that he's sincere. I know the Gospel will help him and his wife and 2 girls. We'll teach him on Wednesday. Anyways, that it! Love you all

Elder Sears

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Love My New Areas and Companion

Hello Family,

Thanks for the e mails! (more next time preferably) I'm glad everyone's doing well and it sounds great in Draper. You guys are the best family ever. Thanks for all the support. As for me here, I'm great! I love my new areas and companion. Elder Watch, is from the small island of nowea (spelling?), born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. We're doing great together. It's fun/challenging because we are both new to ZL and our areas. ("white wash") We've been depending a lot on members to show us around and to people. I LOVE my two branches. The first is Erakor. Last sunday was our first there. It wasn't a nice church house like the others here in vila, just a tin roof and coral spread on the floor. The yard it was in was nice. Lots of trees for shade, beautiful day. Also our mission president, President Brewer came with his wife to attend. Throughout the 3 hours I felt the spirit in abundance, more than I had in some more established branches. We're small but there are great teachers. I love President Brewer. He is super deep. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much he knows about the Savior/His life/teachings/attributes. It really feels like he grew up with Him in one home and came here to tell us about Him. I love hearing about his mission. He served amoung  the American Indians. He had 2 areas. First area: 13 months, Second + Last, 11. Harsh conditions, cold and hot. Elder Watch and I went and chatted with him today. He said his goal was to become an Indian. He totally immersed himself. He has such deep love for those people. If you even mention them he'll start to tear up. (larry echo hawk's talk in last general conference got him good) I love the people here. I've learned a lot of things from them that I don't know if I would learn elsewhere. They are so humble and loving. Vanuatu is a great place. It's well hidden for a reason. My other area, Paunganisu is pretty epic. It's the newest branch organized here. It's clear on the other side of the island. When we teach there in our commute going and coming we end up rounding the island. Such good scenery on that drive. Some day you guys have to see this place. The members are so enthusiastic and awesome. The Branch president, Eric and others are more than willing to follow us all day to teach any day. The elders quorum president here, Iaoko is the best. He has such a great story of change. The other day his wife tina, the YW president told me about it. Before his actions were reminiscent of Jacob 2 in the BoM. If you could see him today. He works hard in his calling and has a great family and wife. His wife told me about all the years of praying for her husband with her small son willie. Also a missionary here has an incredible turn around story through missionaries finding him. It all goes back to President Monson's last talk about "People can change". We also look after a small Island called Nguna off the shores of Paunganisu. They are a small unit. We jump on a boat after Sacrament in Paung.... to go over there. We're still learning the places and the people but I love it. My companion is a great blessing to me. We have a blast together. I feel we both have big hearts and help the other one to be better. I hope we can do some great work here. Anyways thats all for today. Love you all. Pray for me to be able to be efficient/organized/dilligent. Thanks for all you do.

Elder Sears


PS sorry for the $$ withdrawls. vila is expensive and i keep buying stuff for others.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Transferred to Erakor

Famle Sears,

Whats up? Hello from Port Vila, Vanuatu. The freshest news I have is that I'll be transferring. I'll be leaving Etas this week and I'll be transferring to........ Still Vila! But now I'll be looking after Erakor - Branch, Panganisu - New Branch, and Nmuna (Small island across from panganisu, it's a Unit). I've been called as Zone Leader of the Port Vila Zone. I'll be serving with Elder Watch. He's a large fellow from New Zealand. He's a big teddy bear. I'm really excited to serve with him. That means my companions, Elder Samuel and Iati will be in Etas. Elder Samuel will be the District Leader and take over training Elder Iati (what I've been hoping for). I'm excited, it'll be interesting. Both of us are new at Zone Leader (usually one is there to train the other one). Uh.... what do I do? It'll be fun though.  Now we 2 can just focus on the work. Zone Conference for us just passed. All the missionaries from Efate island and Tanna came together (34 missionaries). Including Elder Bacon :). We had some good chats as always. He's the best. Sister Brewer, President's wife noticed our strong friendship. Elder Bacon told her all about it and how both families had gotten involved. She described it as a "tender mercy" of the Lord. I gave a training about "how to begin teaching" out of Preach my Gospel. I used the story of Ammon/King Lamoni. It demonstrates perfectly how to win trust through example before even teaching someone. I love how Ammon taught King Lamoni in Alma 18. It's was totally according to his needs. It's helped my teaching a lot. President Brewer is the best. He gives some awesome talks. He makes everything super intense. He refers to mountains a lot and love. So how is the family doing? Are you guys having Family Home Evening? Family Prayer? Scripture Study? (now I know). I hope so. I'm excited to be with my own family again. I wonder if I'll be weird at all when I get back? haha I hope not. I hope my english won't be goofy. If it weren't for Elder Bacon it for sure would be. I saw you replied about my comment about feeling like not having a personality. Sad but true. I don't know what it is. I can recall before the mish I was one of the jokers in the group with my friends. I feel like I'm a tad serious and not funny anymore :/ I hope Elder Watch will resurrect Jansen. Any advice on being more lighthearted? Sorry I keep forgetting to write down stuff for good stories in the E mails. Sierra's picture's were..... interesting, haha. The other day we were eating and I caught a glimpse of Terminator. I was legitimately scared. I felt uncomfortable haha. I'm weird now. Anyways sorry about the lame e mail. I'll try to lighten up and give some cool/funny stories next week. Thanks so much for all you guys do. Continue with your prayers and scripture study daily. PS plan some bomb stuff we can do when I get back. It'll be fast. I want to go out with a bang. I feel I have so much I want to accomplish but haven't gotten there yet.  Petal to the Metal! Anyways love you all. Pray for me and I'll pray for you. Have a close relationship with Heavenly Father. I'm striving for it. Tell me what your learning in you studies and I'll tell ya'lls. PS sierra never answered that e mail forever ago about her favorite scriptures etc. I want that ASAP sierra!


Elder Sears