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