Saturday, January 18, 2014

Thursday January 2, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I was happy to send you one last email before I came here.  After I emailed you, I went on the same dinky plane that took me to Santo.  I flew over Gaua because the place had to stop on the island of Vanna Lava first.  Gaua has a volcano too, but only smoke comes out.  I haven't heard any eruptions or felt any earthquakes yet.  There's a big lake next to the volcano with a waterfall.  We hope to go there next P-day.

I landed on Vanna Lava on a grassy runway and the air plane picked up passengers.  Then the plane took off and I landed in Gaua.  It had a grassy runway too.  I met my new companion Elday Velly and two other elders.  Elder Echols from Georgia and Elder Passey from St. George Utah!  We stayed at Elder Passey and Elder Echols house because it's close to the bank and the bank opened the next day.  The bank doesn't have computers, so you give them your name and your ATM card number, and they call the bank in Santo to find out your balance.  Then you fill out a withdrawal form and then they give you your money.  Next to the bank is a store.  I was worried to see what it had, because I didn't think it would have much, but it has the same foods as Tanna.

Afer shopping we called one of the two trucks on the island and it brought us home to our area.  The name of our area is called Kaska.  It's only about a thirty minute walk to the other Elders house.  We went to our house and it's pretty nice.  It has four rooms.  One kitchen, one place to study, a room to put our clothes and books, and a bedroom.  Once again, there's no running water, and we have a solar battery for power.  We have a bathroom outside and it also has a place to shower.  The water doesn't run inside, so we pour a bucket of water down the toilet and we use a bucket of water and a cup to bathe.  We hand wash our clothes here, or one of the mama's here does it for us and we pay them.  We have another water tank outside.  It fills up from the rain water.  Water runs off the roof after a rainstorm, it catches all the rain and the water flows into the tank.  We have a hand pump for drinking water.  Our tank is a little low, if our tank runs out of water, we're allowed to bathe in the ocean.  It's just a last resort if needed, and it's been raining on and off.  It rained a little bit the other day and it felt good outside, but after the storm passed, the humidity was killer!  The heat here is pretty bad, but it's better than I thought it would be.  Everyone talks trash about Gaua and they make it sound like it's horrible.  But it's a lot better than what everyone told me.  It's not complete man bush, it's actually pretty civilized for a small island.  The only problems here is there is NO email.  There's quite a few stores here and they have what you need.

Alright, about my new area.  My area (Kaska) is on Northeastern Guau.  It has about forty members.  Only about thirty come on Sunday.  There's one BIG problem here in Gaua and it is Kava. (Kava is a plant, used to make a drink with sedative and anesthetic properties).  The people drink it to get intoxicated.  Me and Elda Velly heard that many of the members drank during Christmas and New Year's.  We have a lot of straightening up to do!  Elda Velly is the District Leader here and he finishes his mission on February 11th.  He thinks that I will be the new District Leader when he leaves.  The teaching is slow because we have a small area, and the Mission President wants us to strengthen the members.

Once again, I am happy.  It was hard to leave Tanna, but I'm where the Lord wants me to be.  I love that we have a bigger house, now with LESS cockroaches!  But we do have a rat problem! The Zone Leaders sent us rat traps and rat poison.  Our traps are glue traps.  There's a big plate full of glue and you put bait in the middle.  When the rats come at night they step on the plate of glue because they want the bait, but they can't move because of the glue.  We've caught three rats already and killed them.

The Zone Leaders came here today and did Zone training.  We met at the branch and had a meeting about what the Mission Presidents goals are.  We met at the church there.  Their branch is just a foyer with lots of benches.  Our unit meets under a small bush foyer with a few benches.  It's really cool though.  The people here are very nice.  They give us fish, sweet potatoes, green beans and other foods.  Today I cut up some sweet potatoes and fried them, then we cooked some fish.  We ate fish and chips for dinner and I was so happy.  There's even ketchup here so I had that with my chips.

I like it here a lot and I'm still very happy to be serving the Lord.  Know that everything is going well.  I hope everything is all right with yufala (bishlama).

Mi lovem yufala tumas!

Wetem Lav,

Elda Bainon

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1, 2014 This is our last email before he heads out to Gaua:
Dear Family & Friends,
I am in the city of Luganville on the island of Santo.  I'm going to the airport in about an hour to fly to Gaua.  This will be the last email you receive for a while.
So this week I still hung out with Elda Jones and Elda Leva.  We didn't do anything fun for the New Year but it's all right.  We got tired and went to sleep. I think it's the first time I haven't stayed up for the New Year.  We've been running back and forth from the airport because of all the transfers.  Yesterday I flew from Tanna to Port Vila. It was hard to leave Tanna.  I was hard to leave my area, the people, and the other Elders. Elder Jones is my brother in this mission.  
So I flew to Vila and saw the Zone leaders there and then I took a plane to Santo.  It was a dinky plane but it was fun to fly in. The flight here was a little over an hour.  I stayed at the Santo Zone Leader's house. They are very cool and I like them already. Santo is very nice, it has just about everything you need. I think it's nicer than Vila.  Me and Elder Sutton hung out today. He's going to Ambae today so he was my companion for today. I knew him because he served on Tanna before last transfers.  
My new companion (Elda Velli) is in Gaua right now.  This morning I did some shopping here. I have to buy stuff you can't get in Gaua.  Elder Sutton showed me a good restaurant and we ate breakfast there. We had french toast and a slushy.  It was very good! It's different than the U.S. but it was one of the best meals I've had here in Vanuatu. 

So I found out that there are only 4 Elders that serve on Gaua, not 6. And I heard there's more than 1 truck so that's nice.

Just so you know my packages came. Kenzies package, Grammy's package, and Mom and Dad's package.  Thanks for all of the chocolate and gum. Oh and thanks for the ties Kenzie!  I was very happy for what I got and I loved the letters you wrote.

So Zone Conference will be on January 28-31.  I plan on emailing you guys sometime during it but continue to plan on writing me. The Zone leaders should be coming to Gaua sometime this month and I plan on giving them letters to send to you.  I know it sucks that I can't email but I've heard from other missionaries here that there is always a point in there mission where they can't stay in continuous contact.  I plan on writing every week so you can know what's going on in Gaua.  But just remember that the only way I can send them is if I give them to the zone leaders because there's no postal service in Gaua. So you will probably go a few weeks without receiving letters but you will probably get a few at a time.

I love you all and hope everything is well with you while I'm in Gaua.  I think I will like it in Gaua. Saet Siwi was pretty much man bush so I think it won't be a huge change for me.  And it will be kind of cool to be away from everything because this island is so far north and it's so small. I love you all and hope to stay in good contact.  But just know that I have been so happy on my mission and I know I will like Gaua.  Don't worry about me. I'm on the lord's side and he will keep me safe and bless me. I love you all so much!!!

Elder Beynon