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

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