Smitty's South Pacific Adventures

Monday, October 19, 2015

Alick and Christelle's Marriage

Port Vila Week 31

Hello Famle blong mi,

     I think this will be my last email to you because I return in 3 days!  All has been great, I got to stay in my area all week last week and I was able to visit many families.  We were able to see Jimmy and Dora again last Tuesday and we taught them about the book of mormon before getting some work done in the office.  We also visited Maria and their family and we taught Moses and Norman about "stap strong kasem en" (enduring to the end).

     Wednesday we had our District Meeting and afterwards had a long Office Meeting before seeing Marie and Edmond.  We taught them about Eternal Marriage, we hope that they will get married and eventually get baptized.  We also taught Alick and Christelle and we taught them about baptism and confirmation, and they were very excited to get baptized!

     Thursday we did some work in the office and had a long transfer meeting with president granger deciding who will serve where when Elder Killpack and I go.  The meeting got done late in the afternoon and we checked up on some appointments but they cancelled.

     Friday we did an exchange with the Zone Leaders and Elder Tupou came with me and we were able to see Edmas and we taught her about prophets, since general conference just passed, and then we saw Avock and taught him about missionary work and then we went to the church house that night for the marriage of Alick and Christelle.  They had lots of their family come to witness it and it was a great experience. Alick asked me to be his witness so I was his witness which was cool. Afterwards they went back and spent time with their family and we went to Tina and Willie's house to have a small family home evening with them.  We ended our exchange and did another exchange with the elders in Pango and an Elder Named Elder Jeffries came with me.  He's from Tucson Arizona. 
    Saturday we went to a few appointments that cancelled and then went to the church house where Ward 3 had a baptism program for Ivana, the Elders in Beverly Hills went ahead and worked with her so now she's baptized!  And then our ward, Ward 2 did a program for Alick and Christelle.  They were so happy to be baptized, we could see a good change in them! That afternoon we went to Moses and Normans and taught them about Prayer and we had one last dinner together and they said
goodbye and the mama cried and said thank you and we were all a little touched.  They gave me a couple tee-shirts and a few little presents, they're such a loving family, I'm gonna miss them.
We ended our exchange that night.

     Sunday we went to church and Bishop Tiasinmal asked us to speak about missionary work and he asked me to bear my last testimony.  I gave a decent talk I think and got to the end of my testimony and then it hit me.  I cried my eyes out and thanked the people for everything they've given and done for me, I don't think I've cried so hard during my testimony, I cried almost as hard as when I left, boy it's going to be hard leaving these wonderful people.  After the talk the congregation sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" (of course) and we all sang it with power and I held in the tears until the last verse where it says "Till we meet at Jesus" Feet" and the spirit touched me and reminded me that many of these people, whether I see them again or not in this life, we will see each other when we see our lord and bow down at his feet.  When I saw that verse, I cried again and hugged the Bishopric afterwards.  It was a very spiritual moment for me. 
    Then we had all of our classes afterwards and we taught Alick and Christelle about enduring to the end afterwards, and then taught Madlene's brother Jonothan who's been coming to church about the restoration. We also saw Marie and Edmond that day and taught them about Prayer and then we went to Beverly Hills where the Vanva Family invited me over. It was Claude's birthday and I brought him a cake I made and sang happy birthday to him and we ate dinner together and they gave me a present and put on a grass skirt to wear and they thanked me for all that I'd done for them.  I love that family, always loved visiting with them.

     Well today was P-Day, I did my last batch of laundry out in the mission field and I organized my things because I'm starting to prepare and pack up my stuff.  We had one last lunch with the Bishop
today and also shared a scripture with Edmas who gave me a present to take home, and also a present for you mom!  We did some work in the office as well and then we had one last family haos naet with the Sovuai family and came here to email.

     Well tomorrow I will quarantine some of the things I will be bringing home, and at 1pm we have our office meeting and at 4pm we have our last interviews with President Granger and at 6pm we will
have dinner with the Grangers at the Golden Port.  And Wednesday (here) I will fly back home.  It's gonna be hard to leave, but I can't wait to see you all!!!  I'm ready to come home now.  I've said my
goodbyes and my work here is done, now it's time to continue on with the work where I live and prepare for the future.  Take care and I love you all so much, I'll see you all back in the states!.


Elder Beynon
Alick and Christelle's Baptism

Me and the Vanva family and my custom grass skirt

Family Hous Naet with the Sovuai Family

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Family in Lowni

Week 30 on Port Vila

Dear Famle Blong Mi,

     Well we went to Santo last Friday like I said and we flew on a small Twin Otter Plane with little leg space, there was barely any room for my legs, but we made it and had our Zone Conference.  It
turned out to be a good conference and we had a really good lunch at the Santo Hotel, as we do everytime!  Afterwards we did our sports activities, relay races etc... and during it a non-member came and me and Elder Crowell talked to him and he had some questions about the church and he asked about life after death and we explained our belief to him. 

   He was very very curious and we ended up teaching him most of the plan of salvation and he was very interested.  We taught him about
many things, a little bit of deep doctrine just because of all his questions, and towards the end we were able to tie it all together and we asked him to pray about it.  And he was glad to do so.

    It was just a cool little gospel moment, some people are like that though,  they are just so so so thirsty for the truth and are trying to find it, and trying to find the water the savior talked about. "whosoever shall drink of the water I give, shall never thirst again." Well after all the sports everyone had their interviews but some members were playing futbol so we joined in with them for a couple hours before leaving with the Zone Leaders.

     On Saturday morning we had our 2nd session of Zone Conference and then our MLC meeting with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders.  Then while the Zone Leaders took the Grangers on a tour of the areas on the island, me and Elder Crowell walked around town and looked at stores and I bought a mat and a few baskets I'll bring home. We walked around for a few hours and waited at the church for the Zone Leaders to come back, but they went to every area so they were gone
for a long time.  So we played futbol and basketball with members who were playing at the church again. They had just finished Seminary and they asked us to join so we played until later that afternoon the Zone Leaders finished with the tour and brought us back home with them.

     Sunday morning we went to Church at Luganville Branch again.  In Port Vila they were showing General Conference on Saturday and Sunday, but Luganville hasn't received the DVD's yet so we just had a regular Sacrament meeting.  After the meeting we had some meetings with the mission president and District President and then after church checked in at 12:30pm.  We did so but the plane didn't arrive until 3:30pm so we had another big delay and didn't get back to Port Vila until 5pm.
We got back and went straight to Marie and Edmond's house and taught them about the Sabbath.  We hope that event though Marie's leg isn't good, they will try their best to find a way to come to church.  Then we saw Alec and Kristel and taught them about Baptism and Confirmation.  I think I already told you but this Friday, they will both be getting married, and on Saturday they will be baptized.  I'm
so excited!  That's what the gospel is all about, blessing families and happiness! They're both really excited too.

     Today President wanted us to make sure to take a P-day and relax so we did.  We started by doing our laundry and our shopping, and me and Elder Crowell just wanted to walk around town and go to all the stores and shops and see what we could find.  I had to look for  a few souvenirs to bring home.  So for about 4 hours we just went to tons of stores downtown and then at 5pm we went to the church to play futbol, we just practiced shooting the goals and practicing against each other and then a couple boys walked by and watched us and we said "do you want to play?"
 And of course they wanted so we told them to come and play with us.  We started on by playing 2 on 2 and then 6 others came so we ended up playing 5 against 5 and we had lots of fun.  Right as we were ready to finish, I rolled my ankle pretty hard and sprained it.  At first I thought I had broken it, I heard a big crunch when I rolled but I didn't feel any pain so I sat right town and when I started feeling the pain I stood up to make sure it was okay. It was alright but the swelling had already set in.  So I have a big right ankle right now.  Lucky it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  I can still walk and drive.  I just need to take it easy for now.

   Well afterwards we went to President Basil's house for family haos naet and we shared a few scriptures with their family and we had dinner with them.  We had Rice, Kumala, cabbage, and flying fox (bat).  I haven't had it since I was in Malekula last year.  Mama Basil cooked it really well. Now I've had flying fox 5 times on my mission.  Sorry if I grossed any of you out.  We got done and came straight here to email. Well all is fine, my legs a little swollen but should be fine, I can't wait to see you all in just a little over a week, wow has time flown by, 2 years isn't long enough it feels like.  Well know that I love you all and can't wait to see you!!!  Mi lavem yufala evriwan!


Elder Beynon

Our team during zone activities

More Futbol

Eating Flying Fox "yes it's BAT" with the Basil Family

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Shootin' Arrows
Port Vila Week 29

 Hello Friends and Family!

    Man the work just never ends, we had lot's of stuff happen last week.  Last Tuesday (Sept. 29th) we decided to take a P-day and relax. So we decided to drive around the whole island of efate.  It's we took a couple hours and drove around the whole island and stopped at a few places to take pictures as we drove.  It only took about 2 hours.  It was only 120km around the whole island.  We got back and went to a little field outside where you could pay 200vt ($2) and shoot bows and arrows for fun on targets.  So we did it for fun and then we spent the rest of the afternoon getting work done in the office, updating baptism records and stuff and played futbol with some members at the nambatu chapel.
     Wednesday we flew to New Caledonia at 6:30am and at 10am we had our Zone Conference, gave some more training about finding, and we had good chinese food for lunch and had our sports activities afterwards and made sure to have our Mcdonalds for dinner that night.
     Thursday morning we went with the Zone Leaders and looked at some stores so Elda Crowell could by some pants.  We had some good pasteries for lunch and at 2pm had our MLC meeting.  We hung out with the other missionaries while they interviewed and that night we got sugared pork for dinner and Elder Kelly and Elder Similai took us around and drove us up a big hill where you could see all of the city and we ate our food up there.
     Friday morning we had our 2nd session of Zone Conference and we had burgers and Wraps for lunch at a place called L'Oriental Kebab and went straight to the airport afterward.  Two Elders came with us Elder Mayfield, and Elder Tempany.  Elder Tempany will serve in the office and Elder Dylan Mayfield finished.  He's from St. George, went to Destert Hills high school, so if you ever met him, we served in the same mission.  We flew to Port Vila and arrived that night and had Seaview for dinner.
     Saturday we stayed in our area and taught Estell about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and visited some less actives, we went to the mission home to have a new sister missionary meet with the grangers and we went to the Golden Port for dinner.  GOOD Chinese Food!  We had dinner and then packed up to go to Malekula.
     Sunday morning we flew to Santo and went to church in Luganville and after Sunday School we flew to Malekula. (Man was I happy to go back).  We landed but it was really dry.  Drier than the other islands.  They haven't had rain for 2 months.  Actually all of Vanuatu is starting to experience El Nino, there's a big drought predicted for the south pacific until March next year.  Everything was really dry. We went on exchanges with Elder Taukei and Elder Hilliman.  I went with Elder Hilliman, he's from Port Vila and we went to the area of "Mae" and went to a few appointments.  Many of the appointments cancelled but we were able to see some recent converts and share Ether 12:27 and teach them how to endure to the end.
   Then we went to Wala and visited papa Eloa and his wife, he's the district clerk, a few weeks ago their teenage daughter died so we went and shared our love with them and they fed us Laplap Sorsor for dinner before we went back to Lakatoro.
     Monday morning we had our Zone Conference at the "Tautu" Chapel and afterwards had lunch at a restaurant in Lakatoro.  After Lunch we played Volleyball and sports and a Prospective Missionary named Makinson Ishmael came to interview with President.  He was one of my friends back while I was serving in Uripiv.  So he stayed and played with us as well.  We did all our activities and then in the afternoon we dropped off Elder Godfrey and Elder Rillang back in Lowni.  I said hi to the families that lived close by and they were happy to see me and they invited us to stay for dinner.  So we had another good Laplap Yam Sorsor.  I was so happy to see my families, they all grow so fast,
the kids are so much taller.  I'm curious to see how much my brothers and sister have changed when I get home in a few weeks!
     Tuesday morning we had our 2nd session of Zone Conference and then we had a good lunch with President Granger.  Then the Zone Leaders took them on a tour of the chapels around the island and me and Elder Crowell went back into town and tried to find members and people I know who worked at the stores. Many of them I saw and surprisingly they remembered me really well and recognized me.  I forgot how many friends I have there.  The people from Uripiv are really funny, big jokers, I think I joked more with the people there than anywhere else.  I found my good old friend Morris Ishmael and we walked to the warf because I needed to go back to Uripiv and see the people.  We got on a boat and got there in about 35 minutes.  the water was pretty rough because of the wind and how dry it was so we got pretty wet on the way there and we arrived there at 3:30pm and we just started walking around and saying hi to the people I knew and I let them know I am finishing in a few weeks. 
   Many thought I came back and we were going to serve there, which is what I would do in a
heartbeat if I could.  I saw so many of my friends and the families we used to visit and teach.  I forgot how much fun I had in Uripiv, it was such a great area, and it was over a year ago, time just FLIES!
We visited with people and stayed until about 6:30pm and Morris brought us back to the mainland at night and I said a final goodbye to them and went back to Lakatoro.  Man do I miss Uripiv, Lowni, and the other areas I've served in of course.  I have loved each area I've served in, each area has been fun and I've learned different things in each one.
     Wednesday morning at 10:30am we checked into the airport to fly to Port Vila and we waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and talked until finally at 4pm the plane came and we flew to Port Vila.  There was a big delay and change in flights for some reason.  Many missionaries from Ambae and Gaua also missed their flights to go to Santo for the Zone Conference this weekend.  Well it was a blessing that we got back to Port Vila and Alec and Kristel got interviewed for baptism and we hope that they will get married next Friday and get baptized next Saturday.  I'm Excited!  Then at 8:30pm we met with president until 11pm about emergency transfers that might need to take place.
     This morning we studied and did our laundry and taught Kristel's son Andrew about the Restoration.  After teaching him about Joseph Smith and his vision we asked him if he had any questions, and he said "I know it's True", I love it when the spirit confirms the truth as you teach, the spirit really converts!  We went to the office afterwards to do our usual baptism updates and stuff and at 4pm we went to the mission home with 3 new missionaries and gave them an orientation and had dinner with the Grangers and went back to the office to meet with president to meet with him to finalize our emergency transfers.  So basically what we're doing is we are pulling all of our missionaries out of Ambae and Gaua because they are having water problems and it won't be good to keep them there so we are re-opening areas in Santo for them to serve in and the Missionaries will be focusing on the centers of Strength for now. 
   We are preparing for the drought as well. Each companionship is receiving 120 Liters of drinking water for a month's supply, 2 Liters per missionary per day. Each house has 120 Liters of water and it will be there in case of emergency.  So hopefully the drought won't affect Vanuatu too bad. So
now we have 24 missionaries in Efate, 18 missionaries in Santo, and 8 missionaries in Malekula here in Vanuatu.  Well besides the drought everything is fine here and the work just never ends as always.  We will be flying to Santo tomorrow morning to have Zone Conference there and we will come back Sunday and I will be able to spend my last week and a half of my mission in my area:)  I'm getting really excited to see you all.  Mi lavem yufala evriwan tumas!!!

Elder Beynon

Eating Laplap Sorsor with Eloa's Family

My family in Lowni

My family in Uripiv

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Maria's baptim (she's the one in the front and the left of me)  

Port Vila Week 28

Dear Family,

Time is just flying by!!! Lots of work to be done before I finish.  We had a great busy week last week. Last Wednesday  we had our District Meeting and we also went to the mission office to get some tickets for us to go on an exchange with the Elders in Ambae next month!  We got to the office and to our surprise, there was a Ping Pong table and the Elders were having a match playing against each
other.  Well just like President says, and dad "Work Hard, Play Hard."

That's how we do things here.  We also said goodbye to the rest of my intake: Elder Jones, Elder Mastin, and Elder Hubbert:(  It was sad to see them go.  We've all grown so much serving here.  We said goodbye to them and w had a meeting with President about some things until late afternoon, and then we visited Marie and Edmond and taught them about obedience. They're awesome, they would already be baptized but Marie's leg is still healing (it's been swollen for months after the cyclone) and we hope to help them get married in the future.

Thursday morning we visited a papa and mama named Jimmy and Dora. They were referrals and we went to contact them and we shared a scripture with them and they were happy and we made a return
appointment with them.  3 new missionaries also arrived so we went to the mission office to do their orientation and we also showed them around Port Vila before going to the mission home so they could have dinner with the mission president.

Friday we did our weekly planning and taught a new investigator named Estell about the book of mormon.  She had no questions, she said "evri samting i klia nomo".  And we invited her to come to church.  We also saw Avock and taught him about the priesthood.  We visited Marie and Edmond again and taught them about the law of tithing, and it turns out that Marie's already been paying her tithing, even though she's not baptized yet. She has great faith.  She gives her tithing to her sister who's a member and she brings it to church.  We also saw Josette and Isha and visited with them and a few others who live close to them.  We taught them about the restoration and about prophets.

Saturday morning we went to the church because there were many baptisms that would be held.  Remember Mariah, who we taught in Beverly Hills?  Well she asked me to baptize her so I did so.  It was a spiritual time for her and the Vanva family.  After church we taught a new investigator named Morris Cyrus about the Restoration.  We gave him a pass along card a few days ago and set the appointment to come and he loved the message we shared.  We also taught another new investigator mama named Lemata about the restoration and Book of Mormon. And she was all for that, knew it was all true.  we saw Donovan too and taught him about the Sabbath Day.  We've been wanting
to baptize him but he hasn't come to church for awhile so we're waiting for him to progress first.  We also visited Moses and Norman and we retaught them about the word of wisdom and how we need to be careful in our lives.

Sunday we went to church, I ended up teaching sunday school, we read in Mark 15 and the other gospels focusing on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the final parts to the atonement.  Jesus' love really is infinite, he loved us so much that he went through so much suffering so we don't have to.  After church we saw Elorine and taught her about callings in the church and we also saw Marie and Edmond and taught them about the restoration again, and then saw Estell and taught her about the Plan of Salvation.  She was so surprised at how much we know through the fulness of the gospel about the Plan of Salvation.  We really do know where we came from, our purpose here, and where we're going, the church is true!  That afternoon we taught Jimmy and Dora about all of the Restoration and they too, had no questions to ask, that's when you know the spirit's testifying of the
truth and they know it's true.

Today we got a heap of laundry done, and went to the office to meet with president about slight changes in the transfers and then we had our weekly office meeting.  We are preparing to go to New
Caledonia on Wednesday through Friday for the New Caledonia South Zone Conference, then next monday we will go to Malekula for Zone Conference, get back Wednesday night. Then on friday go to Santo for their Zone Conference, stay until Monday and me and Elda Crowell will go on exchanges with the Elders in Ambae and then come back Wednesday and stay the rest of the week in the area until I fly back home the following Wednesday with Elder Killpack.

Well all is well and busy as always.  We found 7 new investigators this week and hopefully before I leave, a few investigators will be ready to be baptized.  We'll just see.  It's a blessing to be part of
the work.  I love you all so much!!!


Elder Beynon

Teaching Jimmy and Dora

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Birthday party for me and Marie

Week 27 on Port Vila

Hello Family Blong Mi,

So last Wednesday, (mine and Kenzie's Birthday), we went to the office and had our office meeting and transfer meeting because some changes needed to be made.  We met for a few hours before finishing and we finished late in the afternoon and I went straight to Bishop Tiasinmal's house and it was his wife Marie's birthday too so we celebrated our birthday together.  They had family over and they sang happy birthday to us and we had a good dinner together and some good chocolate cake.  They gave some time for me to share some thoughts and I thanked them for inviting me to come.  Just being with family here made my birthday and I was so happy to be with them!  I can't wait to
get home to celebrate mom's birthday!

Honestly I can't remember what happened Thursday- Saturday last week, we were just busy preparing for transfers I guess.  Oh Thursday was Zone Conference and we did lots of fun activities during that.
and Friday we had MLC, interviews, and we taught a few investigators.

Sunday we were able to see Marie & Edmond, Alec and Kristel, and Donovan, they're all getting ready for baptism but we need to wait a little longer so they can prepare for the covenants they will make.

Monday we did our shopping and taught a new investigator named Daniel about the Restoration. It was a short brief message and he invited us to come back.  Then we had an office meeting,.... a long
office meeting.  There's just always things to do and we also discussed things to do to make the office more organized and after the meeting we had to have an emergency transfer meeting with president
granger.  Then we had a fun family haos naet with the Basil Family.
Today (Tuesday) we taught a new investigator mama named Estell about the Restoration and she was a very faithful mama.  She believed everything we said!  Then we went to the office for a couple hours and taught Edmas afterwards about the atonement, and then played futbol in Seaside with some kids.  Many kids played with us but they all were arguing and fighting the whole time we played, so it wasn't as fun. So once we finished when it was dark, we gathered the boys together and talked with them and taught them how we need to work as a team and we all stood around in a circle while one of the boys offered to pray before we left.

Then we came here to the office to update a pile of baptism records waiting to be reported. Sorry the email is short, all is great, going well and only 1 more month to go.  Time is really flying fast!  I love you all so much and can't wait to see you!!!


Elder Beynon

Birthday party at Bishop T's house

Missionaries leaving in September and October

Dinner for all the missionaries that are leaving

We got our suits back after two years

Playing futbol

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

View from Nambatri

Port Vila Week 26

Dear Family Blong Mi,

Weeks just go on by too fast!!!  Last Wednesday after we got back from Tanna we had district meeting and then taught mama Marie about the word of wisdom.  And then we went to the office for our weekly office meeting.  We went to Donovan and Alec and Kristel's house afterwards and they were gone so we couldn't teach them and then we met with Fredrick Vano, our Branch Mission Leader.  Then we had dinner at the Sovuai Family's house.

Thursday we took a P-Day and did all of our shopping, printed photos and did some work with the baptism records in the office.  We got all of our office work done and went to Seaside and we played
futbol with the kids there.

Friday morning we did our weekly planning and at 1:30pm we had our transfer meeting with President.  It was a 4 hour long meeting! So many things to think about and consider for the future of this mission!  We got done and taught Ivana about Obedience. We hoped to baptize her last Saturday but she wants to wait first, so we hope to the beginning of next month.  We also visited Moses and Norman and taught them about Prophets and the importance of our Prophet and Apostles today.  I love that family, so much fun to be with and teach every time.

Saturday we cleaned the crap out of our house!  Not that it was too dirty but we just had so much stuff!  Closets full of old clothes from past missionaries and lots of broken garbage.  We've never had
the time to clean so thoroughly.  We have a pile of 2nd hand clothes to wash and give out to members who need them. We taught Marie and her husband about the law of Chastity and checked on other investigators who weren't home, but we were able to walk around with our friend Willie Busai and visit the Tui Family and share a scripture with them and see how they're doing. Our afternoon appointments cancelled sadly enough and we went to the office to prepare a list of tickets for the

Sunday morning we went to the airport to fly to the Solomon Islands for Zone Conference. "Solo hem bara solid na!" (that's pidjin for: "Solomon Islands is awesome") We didn't get the chance to
go to church before flying but we heard that Branch 1 and Branch 2 met together so they could sustain the new bishops!  I don't know much but so far what I've heard that President Tiasinmal, Branch President of Branch 2 will be the new bishop, I don't know about the other branch
though.  It's awesome, I love President Tiasinmal!  Well we arrived in Honiara and we got dropped off with Elda Liu and Elda Jhonny again in Burns Creek and exchanged.  We walked around and taught a few investigators and less actives, and boy was it HOT!!! The hot and Humid just bites!

Monday morning we had our Zone Conference.  Now there's 12 missionaries in the Zone, all from either Tonga or Samoa, they're a pretty cool group of missionaries.  There were lots of activities
afterwards and we had a great time! We also exchanged with the Zone Leaders Elda Koroinamua and Elder Vea, and had MLC that night.  We held the meeting outside because it was so hot inside and then we slept at the Zone Leader's house in Kola Ridge.

This morning we had a 2 hour session of Zone Conference and we went on Splits with the Elders  in Skyline and in Whiteriver.  I went to Whiteriver with Elder Fa'auma and Elder Mua and we taught a few investigators before meeting up again and me and Elder Crowell went to the Central Market and looked around and I showed him some places. Then we met up with Elder and Sister Sampson and they took us to the airport where we checked in.  We had a 30 min delay, which was alright and we came straight to the office to email for the week.

All is well and there's always things to be done. "Mi lavem thisfala woka" and I save that this church hem tru, and mi lavem yufala evriwan! (Pidjin for -I love this work, I know the church is true, and I love you all!)


Elder Beynon

Teaching with Elder Liu

Solomon Islands Zone