Monday, January 14, 2013

Long God Yumi Stanap

Sears Family,

Thanks for the letters. Things here have chilled out a little bit. Last week was crazy. We had Zone Conference on friday and all of Tanna was here. Our bus was well worked with all of them going all over Vila. It was the first ZC we had planned for. It was really good with some things to improve for next time. One part I really liked. President Basil, the district president here addressed us. He has served in the Church for so long. He's definitely a pioneer. He talked about missionary work here and gave us some right on advice. He's from Mere Lava in the Banks group (I've been to his village on my one trip there). He talked about the people here. He used Alma 32 about people in poverty who are compelled to be humble. He's lived here his whole life but he's been to other countries. He realizes his people don't have many of the worldly things or modern comforts that other places have. The people here in Vanuatu are so humble. They are so kind. He reminded us that because of custom and respect almost all will accept you into their homes to share. BUT it's about finding those who are ready to hear/change. Here has it's own challenges. He read a scripture about the Lamanites and how they were wild and ferocious people. He said they are not like that here. I can honestly say that EVERYONE here believes in God. Like the nations motto: "LONG GOD YUMI STANAP". "Vanuatu" means "Land Eternal". During his talk and others I felt so grateful to be here to teach but especially to learn from their great examples of love and kindness. I've tried hard to learn and adopt their attributes. On a funny note the other day we had a "Famle haos naet" at family Pierre's house. Their son, Jeremiah said I look like Captain America, or like the actor that plays him when he gets into the Captain American suit? (Don't know haven't seen it). I love having FHE here, they're always fun. We had one yesterday with Family Joseph in Erakor Village. It's a very large village with lots of people. They have a massive yellow church house called the presbyterian temple thats quite the sight. Joseph is the first Branch President of Erakor branch and his whole large family of grown children are all members. Sadly, his wife, Anna is the only one who had remained faithful since he was released. We went and had a really good activity and message. We chatted for a good while and heard about him joining the church. Oh, and by the way we met Joseph Smith. Joseph named one of his grandchildren Smith because his family name is Joseph making it on paper: Smith, Joseph but it's reversable. I've also started exercising a lot. I'm using a make-shift bench set. It's a long piece of iron with two cement round blocks on both sides. The bench is made of small timber. I've been lifting every morning and night. It's not super heavy so I just lift it a bunch until i get tired. It makes me more energised throughout the day and I've seen some results asthetically haha. As always I'm enjoying my Book of Mormon reading. I miss not being so busy. Ever since I've been here I haven't been able to study as much as before. I remember on Gaua there was lots of time for it. Everyone here goes to bed early so we end up at the house and I'd lay down and read Jesus the Christ and the BoM a lot. I'm trying my best to learn all that I can in my remaining time. I've been praying to have experiences to learn from. Also, our best bud/ member present got his mission call! His name is Tonny Lauoto. He has been called to serve in the Canada Montreal Mission, spanish speaking departing for the provo MTC on april 30. Elder Yunacks same mission? not sure. He's super excited and we'll be working with him a lot. As far as Sister Waiane, she is back here in Vanuatu. She got her visa but missed her MTC group. Her new mtc date is january 29 out of here. Anyways thats all i can think of right now. Thanks for everything including the prayers. Love you all.

Elder Sears.

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