Thanks for the letters. Mom, I was sad to hear about Grandpa's passing. I really wish I could have been there for the funeral. I guess it's goodbye for now. Some day we'll all meet up with him again but the only thing different will be that he will look and act much younger as I'm sure you remember him. Be grateful for all that he did for you, look for the positives.
As for me, I'm doing well here in Tuluwe, Malekula. I love being on the island. It's weird coming into town here. It's so loud and so many people, so much going on. If you guys saw this place, 'lakatoro', you would think it looks like one of those small places to stop off the highway at the gas station. I love being in the 'bush'. It's so peaceful. It's like your in another world. All there is is the people around you and greenery. I'll miss the peaceful feeling of being in places like this. The beauty makes me think of God a lot and the Creation. This morning after we crossed the second river in the transport truck I was thinking these things. To get to our area you have to cross 2 rivers. When it rains (this whole month) the rivers get really big and the road for trucks passes right through them. Sometimes you have to turn back or sometimes the drivers will 'chance it'. This morning crossing one of the rivers in white shirt and all I with others jumped out in the middle of the river to push the truck through where it was stuck. Water was up to the glass on the sides and covering the hood. The truck died 3 times before man power forced it through. The rivers and horrible roads have taken lots of trucks.
So my new companion is Elder Haora from the Solomon Islands. He's awesome. He was baptised in 2008 on the same day when President Monson was set apart. He comes from a small 'unit' with about 40 attending on sunday. It's funny to hear him talk. In Solomon they also use a 'pijin' form of english like bislama. It's very similar but some things are different. This last sunday we fasted for help in our area. Just from yesterday, monday, I can tell this week will be better. We bought a volleyball net in town. We cut some big logs and put them on the grass in front of the church with the net. Now every afternoon slowly more and more are coming. We had a good time yesterday playing with 3 teams. Here, a big thing is winning trust. You can't come up to a random person and talk about dispensations of the gospel and latter day prophets right off the bat. You have to joke around, smile, and chat a few times before you can get to an invitation. Here, you get REALLY good at having good casual chats. Also, I finished both Kolipoki books. They are epic. We held firesides in the branch and the unit and showed the other side of heaven and the restoration dvd. It went well. I feel confident that we can help this area. We have AWESOME members even if they are few including all of elder samuels immediate family. We just have to open our mouths and make friendships.
PS - a big yes to Carpinteria. That sounds great. Full family I assume? Yesterday was P day. We saw one of our buds/neighbors working outside. We helped him tear down his old small house for food storage to build a new kitchen. We started chatting and he asked some good questions about Right and Authority and our Spirits now and after we die. He's a former investigator. I ended up giving him a quad standard works that I brought intending to give to someone who needed it. We're also building the new church in Leviamp, the unit. On friday we walked down (1hr40min) and worked all day shoveling and leveling the ground. It was hard work but rewarding. The new location for the church is awesome, right on the road. Now we're meeting in someones small house. Also, every afternoon we're using the make-shift cement weight with the bench. Hopefully I'll have a decent 'beach bod' for when I get back haha. Also yesterday we bought a HUGE fish! 8 kilo's i think. It fed everyone in our small village with half of it. The other half we'll eat this afternoon. (lucky one dude has a ice box). Anyways, that's how I am. I'm still loving my mission and trying my best. It will be SO hard to leave this place. I've learned SO much from these people. Anyways, Love you all!