Monday, December 30, 2013

Dec 30th, 2013 This an email that I received:

Dear Families,

We are the Larsen’s.  We are a senior couple doing education and self-reliance in Port Vila.  For the holiday, Pres. Brewer asked us to go to Tanna to be with the missionaries.  We had a wonderful visit with them.  We had a service project in the morning.  Then we had a buffet lunch catered by a local restaurant.   The missionaries had more than enough to eat.  After lunch we played volleyball and some basketball.  At the end of the afternoon, we gathered to share some council and our testimonies with the missionaries.  And – we gave them any mail or packages that they had from home.  We are sending you some of the pictures that were taken during the day.

Your young men and women are doing well!!!!

Elder and Sister Larsen

Smith is on the back row in the burgundy shirt

T-shirts and Stockings from Santa Christmas 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week 13 Island of Tanna December 29, 2013

Both Districts together for Christmas

Dear Mom,
It was so good to hear your voices. Thanks for paying for that 1 hour call. It meant so much. After the call, our district cooked up a big meal. We ate rice, noodles, and beef. It was really good.  I stayed with Elda Jones and his companion Elda Leva because I didn't have a companion.  On Friday we went to their area Greenpoint and the district leader made a baptism interview for one of their investigators. We came back to Lenakel and went shopping. We found bottle rockets! We lit some off and had some fun.

On Saturday, we went back to greenpoint and Elda Jones baptized their investigator.  I shared a spiritual message about baptism.  We then climbed up a big hill because a family planned on having us come over and eat dog. But they weren't there so we came back down. The view up there was incredible!  We got back to the house and made pancakes for dinner(yum!). We waited for the district leader to call about transfers. Elda Jones and Leva were freaking out that they would transfer. I wasn't worried at all, I was positive that I would stay in Saet Siwi.  The call came and Elda Jones and Leva are staying here. But the district leader said that I need to transfer to the island of Gaua.  It's the northernmost island with missionaries. I didn't think I would transfer and I didn't want to transfer yet because I love Tanna. I will tell you more about Gaua in this email.

On Sunday we went to sacrament meeting in greenpoint then we went all the way to Port Resolution because I needed to fill out some baptism records.  The President of the Saet Siwi branch was there and was about to hold sacrament meeting. I spoke and bore my testimony and said goodbye. It was very hard because I will probably never see these people again.  We then went to Saet Siwi and packed up my stuff and I said goodbye to my friends. (P.S. I don't think the water will be fixed for a long time.) But the new missionaries will have to find a way to fix it now. Last night we came back and now I'm emailing you in Lenakel. 

Alright, now I will tell you all that I know about Gaua and my transfer. My new companion called me this morning, he's in Port Vila now.  His name is Elda Velli. He is a Nivat (Native to Vanuatu). He is 27 years old and this is his last transfer before he's finished with his mission.  I believe I will be flying to Gaua on Thursday but I don't know for sure. I think I will fly to Port Vila (where I will meet Elda Velli), then we will go to the island Santo, after we will go on a dinky plane to Gaua.

Gaua island is as bush as you can get. It has 1 truck on the entire island (I've heard).  There is no place to email and it doesn't have a postal service.  Now just plan on writing me for now on. Whenever the zone leaders come, they will bring me your letters and I will give them yours.  Gaua is part of the Santo Zone and the Santo Zone Conference is on January 28th I think.  I hope to try to send an email to you during zone conference. 

I've heard that I will be living on the beach in Gaua.  I think it's a bush house and I think it might have solar power but I'm not sure.  there has to be some source of power to charge our phones and Portable DVD players.  I don't know the name of our area but our area is a unit.  The island is very hot I've heard (not excited for that) but I've heard many good things from missionaries who have served there.  I believe there will be 6 missionaries on the island. I think that after I serve with Elda Velli, I will be training, we will just have to see.

I hope that I like it there. The only thing that I am not happy with is that we have no email, and the heat will kill. I didn't want to transfer but the lord needs me in Gaua.  It will be a new adventure and many blessings are in store for me.  I hope to email you sometime but for now plan on writing me and I will write you. (just know that it will probably be a long time until until you will hear from me again unless I'm able to email at zone conference.) I will continue to take lots of pictures. 

I hope while I'm in Gaua everything will be alright with all of you. I know everything will be alright because I am where I'm supposed to be and My father's blessing blesses me with safety. I will continue to serve with all my heart, might mind, and strength. Mi lavem yufala tumas. ale

Elda Beynon
P.S. My packages haven't come yet and I think that they haven't because they planned on transferring me. I think I will get them in Vila before I go to Gaua.

I forgot to clear up a few things about Gaua.

It has a few stores so I will be able to buy some food and things I need. I think I will be eating a lot of island kakae though. Lots of fish and rice I've heard.  I do like fish a lot now.  I think that I will be bathing in the ocean but I'm not totally sure yet. I think we will have an outhouse for a bathroom but we will just have to see. That's all I know and I hope to answer questions if I email you at zone conference. Mi Lavem yufala tumas!
Elda Beynon
Me and Elda Jones in Greenpoint

Messing around at a store with Elda Jones & Leva

Me and the beautiful view of Greenpoint Dec 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week 12 Island of Tanna December 22, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,
I'm in Lenakel and want to send a small email before christmas! Tomorrow is christmas eve here and we will be doing a small service project in the morning. We will be tending someone's lawn in Lenakel.  The senior couple came today and tomorrow afternoon a restaurant will be catering for both of the districts here and we will be having cake, ice cream, and many other great foods!  Christmas morning, we will be bringing everybody back to their mission flats.  But me and Elda Samuel will stay in Lenakel with Elda Jones and Elda Leva because Elda Samuel is finished with his mission.  The day after christmas we will take Elda Samuel to the airport and I will stay with Elda Jones and Leva.  Then I will wait for my family to call me!!!! I'm so excited!
This last week was slow but great!  I was able to fix the water on Thursday so we had running water.  How the water works here is their are pipes running down the mountain and water runs through them.  We have a water tank on a wooden tower. The pipe fills it up after it goes to the house. The tower helps because the gravity gives the water in the house pressure. I climbed on the tower and put a pipe on the top of it and it started to fill up! I've done it before but it never fills up.  That night I was able to have a nice shower! It was cold because we don't have a water heater but it was good!  The next day I was watching a church movie on our portable DVD player with one of the people here. Then all of a sudden we heard a big creaking sound and a huge thump which shook the whole house! We ran outside and the tower holding the tank broke and the tank was on the ground and all the water spilled out.  The tower was somewhat rotten and I think from that it wasn't able to bear all of that weight.  Nobody was hurt thank goodness but we made a good memory! I will send
 a picture. 

Saturday was an awesome day! We woke up at 5:00am and got dressed and walked all the way to Port Resolution.  We had 4 baptisms planned there but only 2 showed up. We baptized them in the ocean! I baptized one and Elda Samuel baptized one!  We then walked all the way back up to Saet Siwi.  Our branch had a small activity. Everyone had a friend and they were supposed to get a gift for each other. My friend was a 12 year old boy named Patrick and I gave him marbles and Lastic to make a sling shot.  He then gave me a chicken with manyoke. Another lady gave me a pineapple.  I was so happy and the chicken was so good. The pineapples here are awesome! I never liked pineapple until I came here.

After the activity, we went down to the river and baptized 7 people!  I baptized 2, Elda Samuel baptized 3, and the Branch President baptized 2. It was an awesome day!  Then Yesterday(Sunday), I confirmed 2 and Elda Samuel and the Branch President did the rest.  It was so cool. I could feel the spirit so strong!

The week turned out better than we thought. We baptized 9 people! Mi Glad Tu Mas!
Mi lovem yufala mo mi wantem lo wishim yufala Merry Christmas!

Elda Beynon

A relay race that we did as an activity

Teaching in Port Resolution

My second Baptism!

A cultural gathering we went to

The water doesn't work anymore :(

Baptism in Port Resolution

Baptism in Saet Siwi

Our Church House

Our house on Tanna Island

Our Bedroom Dec 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 11 Island of Tanna December 15, 2013

Dear Mom,

Sounds like everything is crazy but good with you guys. Christmas is always crazy! I desperately need a flashlight by the way. They have some here but they are all big and expensive.  My hard drive and flash drive came this week. (Thanks for all the sweets too!) I wouldn't send any more syrup, it broke in the package so when I opened it up, things were sticky but my flash drive and hard drive were okay.  So this is how things will work for christmas. I will be calling you on the 23 or 24th to set a time for you guys to call me. I will give you the number to call. We will set a time and date for when you guys call. So if you get a call from an unknown number, answer it. 
A senior couple will be coming to Tanna and our district will come to Lenakel next Monday for P-day and tuesday(christmas eve here), will eat a big meal with our district. Then we will hang out on christmas day and the day after.  After christmas, transfers will be happening next week. So I will stay here all next week.  Elda Samuel goes back home on the 26th. He's done with hes mission then.  I don't think that I will transfer, but I should get a new companion during transfer week.

It doesn't feel much like christmas because of the snow and I'm really jealous by the way!!! 
These last 2 weeks have been great!  We made activities for the branch and held a fireside.  We did three legged races, relay races, and other fun activities.  So now President Brewer has decided to let us go to Port Resolution more often. He has decided that when we baptize enough people, it can become a branch, and a house for new missionaries will be built. I think it will happen in the next couple months.

Last Monday me and Elda Samuel and some friends decided to go to the Volcano because Elda Samuel has never seen it.  It was about an hour and a half walk.  Now I've been to the volcano 3 times!!! It's not as cool as it used to be. It doesn't fire up as often but it's still cool.  Oh and that night I made fried chicken!!! I made it myself and it was so good!

The people here have never eaten fried chicken before and they loved it!  I have also been making pancakes. Kenzie gave me her recipe and once again the people love it!  There's no syrup here but I put on peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk and it is very good. 

Me and Elda Samuel have found many investigators these past few weeks and my teaching has improved a lot! Elda Samuel is a great trainer. We went to Port Resolution last week and we taught many lessons. Last Saturday I had my 2nd Baptism!  It was for a guy in Saet Siwi.  We baptized him in the same river but different place.  Kids were swimming at the other area and the water was too dirty to baptize so we walked upstream and found another place to baptize. Elda Samuel baptized him.

So we got good news!!! We hope to baptize about 6-8 people this Saturday. We have 4 investigators in Port Resolution and 4 in Saet Siwi.  We just need everyone to be interviewed.  If things work out, we will go to Port and baptize them in the ocean!

Just know that things are going well and I can't wait to talk to you guys! I love you and hope all is well. I love you so much!!!
Elda Bainon

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1, 2013

Smith and his new companion

Week 9 Island of Tanna Dec 1st, 2013

Dear Mom,

I will be sending my package to you guys after I get done e-mailing.  My package hasn't come yet. How it works is that you send it to the mission and when Zone leaders come to the islands or when transfers are happening, they bring packages with them.  Zone leaders will be coming today so maybe I will recieve it.  Just so you know I bought a little flash light off of amazon because my other one isn't working very well.  If you could send that sometime that would be great, and I am running out of digestzen Oil and Peppermint Oil so maybe you could send those with it. Sorry I didn't think of it till now. Use money from my account to send them if you need to.
Preaching in Saet Siwi was slow but we have found a few more investigators. The water isn't fixed and I don't think it will ever be fixed but I'm still fine using buckets.  The house is small but good.  You wouldn't like it because you see cockroaches here and there.  I will send you pictures of it sometime.  The house has lights but they don't work because a fuse went out before I came. We have solar panels on top of the house with a cord that hooks up to a battery.  We charge it and we have lights with cords that plug into the battery so we are able to have light.  The house looks really dirty because the floor and walls are ply-wood a so when you spill water or anything, it makes spots. 
We have a stove for cooking and the usual meals we make are rice, noodles mixed with canned beef, and breakfast crackers(which are like saltines). That's just the regular meal.  We have a mug of Milo in the morning which is kind of like hot chocolate.  We have peanut butter to dip the breakfast crackers in.  And I buy lots of cookies too. You know me, I need my sugar.  The people give us island food as well so sometimes we will make noodles and boil up some Taro and Manyoke which taste similar to potatoes.  Last Week I was homesick because of the food, but zone conference is in January so I will be able to have a burger in Port Vila.  I haven't been sick yet, the essential oils have been great to use as well.

We have beds to sleep on so don't worry about me sleeping, there are lots of bugs though. There aren't many in Saet Siwi but they're bad in Lenakel and Port Resolution. My new companion is great and has taught me to work harder as a missionary.  The island has many chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, cows, and a few other animals. So far I've only eaten pig, chicken, and goat. It's nice to have some meat. We didn't celebrate thanksgiving but before transfers the Tongans in our district made a big meal before everybody left so I guess you can call it Thanksgiving.

Last Sunday we went to Port Resolution to teach.  We taught 4 lessons but I didn't teach them very well. I didn't focus on the spirit very well. I seem to teach a little to fast.  My teaching is improving now though.  We stayed in Port Resolution until Wednesday. We planned on staying the whole week but the mission president contacted us and told us he doesn't want us to preach in port resolution during the week because it's too far of a walk and he wants us to strengthen the branch in Saet Siwi first. 

We hold a sacrament meeting in Port Resolution every Sunday and President Brewer said we can teach the people who come so that's good.  We commited 5 people to be baptized there which is good and we plan on baptizing them towards the end of the month.  We also have 4 people waiting to be baptized in Saet Siwi.  Things have been good and I hope things continue to be that way.
Sounds like you guys have been doing some fun things these last couple weeks. I hope everything is all right with you. I'm not home to help you around the house and I hope Ridge and Chance have been helping you.  I love you and can't wait until Christmas!


Elder Beynon

Putting on "Tanna" paint on P-Day

Scenery near Port Resolution Dec 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This is an email Smith wrote to his grandmother, more details on how they live on the island.  He never answered if he has power or not. 

Dear Grammy,
Vanuatu is great. You are right that this country is poor. Even though it's poor, I love it! It teaches you to be thankful for what you've got here.  The people are so great and I love it here. Things were once again slow but I had my first baptism and I performed it!  We found out that we will be able to go back to Port Resolution so we will be able to teach a lot more. But we found out that my companion is going to be transferred.  It's sad but my new companion is a native I've heard. I will meet him in a couple days.
Just so you know, we don't have running water. Our home used to.  Someone should be coming to fix it though.  We have a big water tank outside where we fill buckets up with water. We have a hand pump connected to a filter for drinking water. It rains here enough that we will never run out.  We use a bucket of water and a cup to shower.  Once we get the water fixed we can use the shower head. It's a nice little home though. It's not very clean and you see cockroaches every once and a while, but I don't care. It's perfect for me and my companion and I'm happy to be living in it. Thanks for your emails and know that you're loved!
Elda Beynon  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hi, this is Shauna!  Information for anyone that wants to send Smith a Christmas Package.  Sounds like he wants candy: Mini Reeses, Carmello Bar, Crunch Bar, Reeses, Snickers, Chips Ahoy Chewy Cookies, Oreo Cookies, Gummy Bears (Haribo), Polar Ice gum (Extra).

He would also love emails, or even hand written letters, or pictures from your kids.  

The address for sending packages is on the blog.  Just make sure you use the right address for packages.  The address for sending letters is different, it's the one with the p.o. box.

Also packages can be quite expensive.  I recently sent him a package through the postal service, they have a flat international rate box.  It was probably 3 inches high by 5 inches wide.  It was about $20.  So just send him something small if you want to. If it's too big, the missionaries have to pay extra fees to claim their packages.  Please email me if you have questions:

Thanks for all your love and support.  Love to all!
Week 7 Island of Tanna

Newest Letter, November 17, 2013

Dear Beautiful Mother Dear,

Sounds like that heart Concert was Awesome! I'm jealous! I could listen to Ann Wilson for a long time as well. She has such a cool voice! (Shauna went to the Heart concert last weekend). I wish I was able to go to Kendra's Birthday Party though, that would have been awesome.  Things are still slow in Saet Siwi but I had my first baptism last Saturday! It was so cool! And on Sunday I was able to Ordain a boy a Deacon.
The language is really coming on well and the teaching is good.  The sad part is that this week is transfer week and we found out that Elda Langi will be transferred.  My new companion will be Elda Samuel. He's a native which is really cool.  I will meet him in a day or two. I don't want Elda Langi to leave but it's all part of the mission.
The good news is that we are able to go to Port Resolution again! Yesterday(Sunday) we had church in Saet Siwi and after church we walked all the way to Port Resolution and held a sacrament meeting there. I was able to bless the Water in Bislama! It was fun to help with the sacrament again.  Know that I am happy and everything is great! I hope you are doing well and not stressing too much while I'm gone. I love you sooooooooooo much!
O.k. here is a little christmas list.
If possible, I want a speaker for me to play church music and stuff.  I put the one that I want on my amazon wish list. If you end up buying a different one, it needs to have a SD card or USB reader.  Besides the speakers, I just want candy and cookies. Especially CHOCOLATE!, such as Mini Reeses, Carmello chocolate bars, Crunch bar, snickers, whatever you want to get me. I would like cookies such as Chips Ahoy (chewy), oreos, you know me, I love sweet stuff. Gum would be nice, my favorite gum is "Extra Polar Ice".  Gummy Bears and Gummy worms sound good too.I just need some sweets to last me for a while, they have candy here but it's different and expensive. Oh and if you didn't already send my flash drive and hard drive, that would be great.
Just so you know I will send you guys a christmas package at the beginning of next month when my payment comes.  Remember to not open it till christmas! (I put two pairs of shoes in there that I don't need until I get back so if you can put those in my room after you open it that would be great!
Thanks so much mom! I love you and thank you for everything you have done for me. Know that you are loved and I am loving my mission!
Elda Beynon
Baptism Day
Climbing my first coconut tree (doesn't make my mom nervous AT ALL)

Baptism Day

My first baptism

Hiking to the Volcano with some kids Nov 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Smith at the top of Mt. Yasur

Week 6 Island of Tanna Nov 4, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

You get to hear from me again because we are having another district meeting!  We ended up going back to Mt. Yasur last week and it was better than the first time.  There were big expolsions of lava and it was loud and really cool.  Speaking of the volcano, I forgot to tell you that we had a little earthquake a few weeks ago.  Me and Elda Langi were doing our companion study when all of a sudden the table and door started shaking.  It was pretty cool.  Teaching wise, it was another slow week.  We only got about 1 lesson a day.  We did however get one of our investigators interviewed for baptism.  I think we will baptize her this Saturday.  We had a kid named Kadem hang out with us all week.  He was our member present when we taught.  He is a great kid and we are already friends.  Even though it was a slow week, things are still going great! 

I started speaking the language a lot more this week.  On Wednesday, it just clicked.  Me and my companion did a role play and I knew exactly what to say!  I was able to teach a few lessons in the language this week as well.  I said the opening prayer at church in Bislama yesterday and I also bore my testimony in Bislama. It was really cool.   The gift of tongues is a very real thing. 

The kids in Saet Siwi are awesome.  They are so much fun to play with.  The people are so friendly.  Me and Elda Langi walked down to Koromanu and some people were playing Volleyball and they invited us to play with them.  They kept score but weren’t very competitive.  If you had a bad serve or a bad hit nobody got mad or said stuff like “you could have totally got that!” you know what I mean? Life’s good and I can’t believe how fast time is flying. This last week was the fastest one so far.  I love you all and hope everything is going great!  Talk to you in 2 weeks.
Love, Elda Smith Baenon

Volcano Eruption!

Smith playing marbles with the kids

Smith climbing trees Nov 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week 4 Island of Tanna Oct 24, 2013

Dear Beautiful Mother Dear,

I found out that I will only get computer access every 2 weeks.  That's why I didn't email last week. The island is great and it is very cool, the volcano is AMAZING!!! And we might go there again tonight. The people are great and everybody cares for each other. One thing I've realized is that the kids never fight.  They get along and play together so well. Sounds like New York was awesome. I wouldn't mind seeing "Wicked", I've heard it's pretty cool.  We had Zone Conference the week I last emailed you and it was fun. We went to Port Vila and went to a nice restaurant.  It was good food! (During Zone Conference).
The language is coming on pretty well. I'm starting to speak it more and more.  I taught a girl in Bislama and the lesson went pretty well. It's nice to have the spirit help me with the gift of tongues. I walk a lot.  Me and Elder Langi walked down the mountain from Saet Siwi and back up 3 times this week. (When I get back from my mission I will have the biggest legs you've ever seen.)  So me and my companion found out that we can't go to Port Resolution anymore until we work some church stuff out with the Chief of the town.  Hopefully the Lord will prepare a way for us to go back there eventually.  So we won't be able to baptize the 2 people we invited until we are able to go back there. We now have 5 baptisms that are waiting to be done. I don't know when they will be.

We just have to help some investigators first before we are able to make a baptismal date.
Things have been slow this week because most of the people in Saet Siwi have been taught.  Without Port Resolution we can't teach much.  Wednesday we weren't able to teach a single lesson. Thursday it rained like heck and we only got one lesson done and by the time we got back to our house we were soaked and we hung up our clothes inside to dry.  It was a slow week but on Saturday, it was just like Wednesday, no one that we planned on teaching was home and we weren't able to teach until Elda Langi and I decided to go to a river to buy some time before we walk back up to Saet Siwi.  While we were at the river I took some pictures(of course!) and then a family came to go swimming. The father of the family recognized that we were missionaries and asked that we teach him while the mother and kids swim. We taught him about the restoration and asked him if he would be baptized. He accepted and we were so happy. It was a good end to the week.
The place I go each other week on "P" day is called Lenakel. It's where I do my E-mails. It's on the west side of the island.  Elder Jones (my old companion from the MTC) is the designated driver and picks me and Elder Langi up and part of our district. They take us to their home every other week and we sleep there and do laundry there. We go shopping for food as well. I might do some laundry by hand when I'm in Saet Siwi  because I have 2 weeks worth of clothes to wash in the machine if I don't.  So I don't drive (it's weird not driving for over a month). Maybe when I get transferred I will drive. Sounds like halloween is going to be fun. what are you going to be? Make sure to send pics of dad to me.
Just so you know I found some salt and pepper in Port Vila. Yay! Know that I love you and thanks for your e-mails.  I'm glad you are all happy. Remember that life is good and that I'm happy.  I love you

Elda Smith Baenon

Sunset at Port Vila after Zone Conference
Teaching a bunch of kids after church
One of the villages that we teach at

The view near Port Resolution Oct 2013
Week 5 Island of Tanna October 31, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

I found out that I will only be able to get internet access every 2 weeks, thats why I wasn't able to email you all back.  Things are going great here in Vanuatu!  I've had 3 coconuts since I've been here and it's really good.  I haven't eaten anything weird yet but I've had some interesting island meals. One I had the other day is called Laplap (loplop) It's a mixture of crushed up Talo and Manyoke (which are island crops that taste kind of like potatoes.)  The crushed Talo and Manyoke is mixed with whatever you want. I had it mixed with pork so I think it's called Pork Lapap. It's then cooked and it tastes pretty good.
Just so everybody knows, we are not allowed to wear Lava Lava's as our proselyting clothes. They used to allow it when this mission was part of the Fiji mission, but it's mostly a Fiji type thing. I haven't seen many people wear Lava lava's at all here. I might buy one that I can wear for pajamas though.  I had Zone conference last week and it was fun. We were able to eat at good restaurants and we ate at a fast food joint called "SeaView:" "Takeaway."  It had chicken and fries and milkshakes and that type of stuff. It was good to have a milkshake again.  And the fries are good but not as good as in America and they are called Chips here, not fries.
This week was a slow week because everybody we planned on teaching were never home. Saturday night we found a new investigator and taught him and he accepted to be baptized. It was a great end to the week. We have 5 baptisms that should be coming up. It will just take time to sort everything out with our investigators.  I will keep you all updated on that.  Me and my companion found out that the 2 people we asked to be baptized in Port Resolution will have to wait.  The church has to sort out some stuff before we can go back and proselyte. Things are great though, we might go back to Mt. Yasur (the volcano) again tonight. I am loving my mission. Whoever is reading this, consider serving a mission, it is so much fun. I love you all and can't wait to see what's in store for me. Take Care!

Elda Baenon

Sunrise off the beach near Port Resolution

Pigs that the sister missionaries bought and roasted

Lava at the Volcano

Smith at the Volcano...Yikes!

Tolu (an Island crop), Coconut Milk and Island Leaves that taste like Asparagus

Building a fire an act of service for a wedding Oct 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Our little missionary house on the island of Tanna Oct 2013

Week 3 Island of Tanna Oct 14, 2013

I will try to type as much as I can.  I only have 1 hour to get internet access.  It costs 500 Vatus ($5) to get internet for one hour. Tana is Great!  I am living in an area called Saet Siwi (pronounced sight siwi like kiwi).  It's on the south eastern end of the island (not on the beach).  I found out that Elda Longi (my companion) is from Tonga.  He's a cool guy.  He's big and strong and works out every morning (reminds me of Michael.)  He's very nice and humble and we get along well.  He likes Pokemon as well.  He never played the games but likes the cartoon show.  (Kenzie, Pokemon X and Y came out 2 days ago!)

The people here are great! They are all so nice and the kids never fight.  I can understand Bislama (one of the languages on the island) pretty well now but it's the talking that's hard.  There's a kid in Saet Siwi named Katem who knows some English and helps me learn his language.

This island is different from others.  The people all speak different native languages.  But most still speak bislama.  Romassen nebnebun is good morning in Saet Siwi's native language.  Mt. Yasur the volcano isn't very far from Saet Siwi and me and our district is going there tonight. The volcano rumbles a lot and I've heard from other elders that little earthquakes occur sometimes.  Friday afternoon me and Elda Longi walked to another area called Port Resolution which is about a 3 or 4 hour walk to get there. On our way we hitched a ride with some people in a truck which saved time.  The people are so nice and stop if you need to hitch hike.  We taught the family of David and Susan who just got baptized  the week before I came.  They gave me Bananas to eat and Manyoke.  The food is pretty good here but very plain. I haven't found any salt and pepper yet.

While in port resolution we stayed the night because there was no way we could make it back to Saet Siwi before sundown. (The sun rises at 5a.m. and goes down at 6pm). I have adjusted pretty well to the time change and Tana is cooler than the other islands and the humidity isn't nearly as bad as Efate.

We invited 2 people to be baptized in Port Resolution and both accepted.  We invited a little boy named Tarri and a older woman named Mawie.  It was such a great feeling to hear them say yes!  I think we will baptize them at the beginning of November.  There are 2 people in Saet Siwi who are waiting to get baptized as well.(They were invited to be baptized before I came.)  Things I've eaten so far: Sugar Cane(one of my favorites,  crab (was good but hard to eat because of the shell), Tarra (which is mashed up manyoke cooked and tastes kind of like thick crepes), and fish (which was really good.)  There are mango trees and banana trees everywhere but I just need to wait until they're ripe to eat them.  I've been eating lots of noodles, corned meat, eggs, and breakfast crackers. (I'm thinking Arby's, I would pay good money for some of that.)

Me and my companion got picked up by Elda Jones and his companion.  Me and Elda Jones are in the same district and Elda Mastin is in our Zone.  When I got picked up, we had to sit in the very back because the car was full and it smelled like poo.  The sisters bought pigs and put them in a bag and threw them in the back of the car.  Elda Longi and Elda Jones companion killed them this morning (monday) and are cooking them right now. I've been waiting to make a Sweet Pork Burrito! 

Well just so you all know it's a lot different here than America but I like it here so far. I have no complaints and can't wait to see what's in store for me. I am able to sleep at night and the food isn't too bad so life's good. Really Good!!!  I love you all and thanks for all your mail.  I can't respond to all of them for the sake of time.  I will send some pics with my other e-mail.  Love you!

Sincerely, Elda Bainon,
A missionary of the Jos Blong Jisas Kraes Blong Ol Lata-Dei-Sent

P.S. The Weather Forecast for Enoch Utah on Monday is a high of 53 degrees mostly sunny, Calm wind becoming north 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon with a low of 28 degrees tomorrow night, partly cloudy, North wind 7 to 14 mph becoming east after midnight.

Scenery on the Island Oct 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Picture of New Zealand from the plane Oct 2013
Week 3 Port Vila Oct 9, 2013

Dear Family,

Olsem Wanem?
I made it to Vanuatu safely (i'm sick of being on planes!). The humidity is killer but it is such a beautiful place.  When I arrived, we went to the mission office and walked over to the police dept. to get a driver's license.  I got my license but I can't drive until I get approval.  I then went to the bank and got an ATM card.

Just so you know mom I met Elder Esplin.  He's an elder that's from Orderville, Utah.  We went to the mission home yesterday and had Soup and rice for dinner. Surprisingly I slept really good last night.

This morning, we had breakfast and I packed my bags because I'm getting transferred to the island of Tanna.  I heard there's a volcano there.  It's about a 40 minute flight south. My plane leaves in 2 1/2 hours.    My "P" days will be on Mondays (Sundays) in Utah.  I should be able to get internet access every week so make sure to check your e-mail every Sunday.  I'm 1 of 15 missionaries to get transferred today.  President Brewer says that we are the biggest group to arrive and get transferred yet.

I will meet my new companion tonight when I get to Tanna.  His name is Elder Longhi.  He will be training me for 12 weeks. I think he is from Vanuatu so I will be able to learn a lot. I will be learning Bislama as well and I found out it's pronounced (bishlama).  I heard that my companion doesn't know much English so I will have to teach him too. I love it here so far and I'm so excited to serve here. I will try my best to keep in touch.  Love you All!!!
Elder Smith Beynon 
Smith at the Mission Home
Right after I got off the plane in Port Vila

The Beach Oct 2013

Landing in Vanuatu Oct 2013
Week 3 Port Vila Oct 9, 2013

He made it to Vanuatu!  This is an email we received from the mission home.  

Dear Brother and Sister Beynon –

Your son, Elder Beynon, has arrived safely in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission, and has been assigned to the Saet Siwi Area on the island of Tanna. He looks happy and excited to be here, and appears to have survived the travel well. We look forward to serving with him in this important work.

Attached are photos of the missionaries who arrived on October 8th as they arrived at the Port Vila Airport and later at the mission home. We look forward to a wonderful association with your fine missionary son.
Group of Missionaries that arrived at the Mission Home with Smith Oct 2013