Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter in Malekula

Dear Family,

Thanks for the letters! I am SO glad you met Sister Waiane! She’s the best huh? She’s shy but full of goodness isn’t she? PS You’ve got another one headed your way. Her name is Axcelline Samuel. She is from the branch I’m currently serving in. She left a few days ago and will be in Fiji a week. She’ll learn English at the Provo MTC and then head out to the Marshall Islands. PLEASE contact her and let me know. She is the cousin of my favorite companion, Elder Samuel and all of her family is here with me.

Ok, another business note. At the Mission Office here in Vila, they are preparing my return ticket. My release date they are aiming for is June 4th. I found out you guys CAN pick me up here. What they’d do is give you guys a check for the amount of the ticket and I’d be with you guys. Although, I would still be a missionary and have to have a companion. They want me to get back to them. What should I tell them? Personally, I’d rather come home first and get going with work and school and find a chance to come back in a year or so.

As for me here in Malekula, it’s going pretty good. This past week was Easter Sunday and District Conference. I really enjoyed it. We jumped on the transport truck filled with all the members, which did a few trips. We all stayed together in a school classroom here in Lakatoro. Right next to it is the town’s football field and stands with a small meeting house for chiefs and politicians. We met in there. Instead of sleeping at the Elders house we opted to be with the members. I enjoyed lots of good chats, listening to Hymns on my ipod and cooking together. The classroom was filled with people all over the ground. I brought my “mat” (coconut leaf woven mat) which was enough for 4 of us.

I have to say it was probably my best Easter Sunday. We had great speakers. Some RM’s from here who served in New Zealand spoke. We also had nice musical numbers. President Brewer attended and was deeply touched by it all. All the talks were so good. As the talks were going I read 1 Corinthians 15:54-57. The main word and message that came out to me was “VICTORY”. I thought about all competitions. I thought about all sporting events and championships. Some have such fierce competition. But what are the stakes? Bragging rights? A ring? Honor? How about every person ever is depending on this moment. This was a competition against the adversary. He really thought he had won. Little did he know it would only be 3 days and during that time important work would be fulfilled among those who are dead. On the first day of the week, he made an unexpected “come from behind win”. His Victory affects every soul who will ever live. Christ is the best hero, athlete, or competitor of all. It’s almost unfathomable if you really think about someone who is plainly dead to get up again, not only living but perfected. I knew it already but the Spirit clearly testified that this event DID happen.

Afterwards, I got up and translated for President. I did it at Priesthood session the previous day. After I thought I’d let some RM’s who knew English do it. It didn’t go too well. People focused more on the translator and helping him than the message. President gave a 45 minute talk with me. I testify that the Gift of Tongues is real. He talked about every kind of doctrine and read the Doctrine and Covenants (which isn’t translated to bislama yet). With ease and clarity I spoke it all. As I translated I could tell the clear bislama translation I was giving not only could they understand but also made them be able to understand Presidents’ English as well. Afterwards some were almost in awe. President looked at me and said: “You have a gift”. I love this language. It has a very small vocabulary and makes you speak very simply. With it I’ve learned to teach the Gospel in a way that all can understand. It’s made me speak English really simply too haha. This week I also finished the Book of Mormon again. I think that’s 4 times now on the mission. I read the Pearl of Great Price for the first time. Wow. It truly is to be prized. Read about Heavenly Fathers conversation with Enoch. You learn how tender and loving he really is and how we are truly known to him. Moses 7:28- and on. I started reading the New Testament again. I love it and really enjoying it. As for the area, still trying our best. Hope to find some more this week and be brave to invite some new ones. Anyways that’s all I have to say. Love you guys.

 Elder Sears

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