Monday, December 29, 2014

Our Zone wearing our new Christmas shirts

Week 13 on Tanna December 29,2014

Dia famle blo mi we mi lavem tumas,

It was so great to hear your voices for christmas.  Sorry we didn't have much time to talk, I wanted to talk a lot more but we just had such short time.  But the half an hour call was a big blessing. So this email won't be too long since we talked but I want to let everybody else know what went on for christmas here.

So on Christmas Eve, me and my companion woke up and started making some food for a christmas program we would be holding in the afternoon with all the missionaries. I made a big batch of tortilla dough and refried beans while my companion made salsa and fried up some steak so we could make some chimmychangas to bring to the program.  At 1pm we started our program and ate together and it was a potluck dinner.

Each companionship brought  a dish of food and we all ate together. We ate chimmy changas, potato salad, kumala, beef, and chicken. Then we started a devotional where a couple missionaries gave
christmas talks and then we had a testimony meeting.  The testimony meeting was very spiritual and we could really feel the spirit of christmas and the savior.  After the testimony meeting we sang some
christmas carols and hymns to 6 members who came to listen.  Even though only a few came they loved it and we all had a great time.

Then we opened up stockings that were given to each missionary and we all got a new christmas shirt like last year.  It was so cool, I'll send you a picture. After the Program we dropped of the two Elders up north in greenhill, and then we dropped off the two elders in saet siwi and the two sisters in whitesands and that was the end of our christmas eve.

Christmas morning we drove to whitegrass to give a phone to the sisters so their families could call for christmas.  When we got there we saw the branch president and some members and they were about to start a little christmas program and eat together.  They invited us to stay and we ate with them and talked for awhile.

You are all probably wondering what christmas i like here and how the people celebrate it. The people seem to go home and get together with their families where they make a "bigfala kakae" (big feast) and eat together.  They invite anybody who walks by to eat with them and christmas here seems to be a time to eat together and rest from work.

Well we ate in whitegrass with the members and since we both had nothing else to do we decided to go to evergreen restaraunt to eat. We were already a little full but decided to eat more at evergreen and I had a beef burrito there that wasn't that bad.  Then we drove home to rest awhile but then we got bored again and in the afternoon we decided to drive to middlebush to drop off a christmas package for an Elder There.  We dropped it off and them too like whitegrass were about to eat together and the Unit Leader there invited us to stay and we ate dinner with them. 

Afterwards we went home and played magic for the night. We were glad to spend christmas with the members and just being with them and talking with them was very enjoyable.

On the 26th,  my family called in the morning and my companion's family called.  After our phone calls we drove to greenpoint to the christmas activity there.  Dec. 26th in Vanuatu is a holiday called
Family day.  So the branch started a program where we talked about the importance of families and christmas.  Then us and the members all ate together and did some activities.  One of the activities we did is we put a cookie on the people's forehead and they cant use their hands and they had to use their face muscles to move the cookie into their mouth.  They loved it and they had a lot of fun.  They played lots of music where many kids danced.

One side note about tanna, the kids here, regardless of what age, can Dance!   It's so cute and funny when they dance.  Me and Elder Child danced with the pikinini for fun as well.  Then the last part of the activity was a gift exchange.  It's kind of like our cousin gift exchanges that we do every christmas eve at grammy's house.  You have someone to give to and they give to you. Everybody was gathered around and the 1st counselor was in the center and he called out 2 names and they came to the middle and one gave their gift, and the other gave theirs.  Their gifts they gave were mats, baskets, chickens, pineapples, plates, flowers, and clothes. They give all kinds of things and it doesn't matter what it is and everything they give comes with a lot of love.

After the activity we went to an appointment that cancelled and then we went home do do our weekly planning.

Saturday we went to whitesands and we had a guy replace a bad door at their house and then we stayed in Lenakel where we met some families and just talked with them to build their trust.   Then that night we taught Tiffany about how the church is organized and we watched 17 miracles with them for the night.

Yesterday we went to Inapkasu for church and we taught our investigator Elina about tithing before we went back to Lenakel and we taught a group of mamas about the restoration.  We then taught our
investigator Thomas about how the book of mormon and bible work together and then we taught our investigator Mary about the restoration again.  Then that night we went and visited Rodger's family and taught them.  It was a very busy day.

Well know that all was well during christmas this year.  I hope your christmas went well and I wish you all a happy new year!

Mi lavem yufala bigwan!


Elder Beynon
Down in Greenpoint near Imanier

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week 12 on Tanna December 22, 2014

Dia ol famle blo mi,

First off I want to let you know that my package already came! It came last week!  Sorry but I couldn't resist and had to open it up early. Tank yu tumas blo evri samting!  We ate mashed potatoes and gravy last night.  I can't wait to talk to you in a few days and let's stick with the time I gave you, call on Dec. 25, at 1pm.

Well last week was CRAZY because we were getting ready for Zone Conference. Last Tuesday we spent the day picking up perspective missionaries to drop them off at members houses in Whitegrass so they could interview with the mission president on Wednesday.  We drove to Inapkasu in the morning and picked up a perspective missionary named Jimmy who's going to Papua New Guinea. 

Then we drove all the way down to greenpoint and we drove all the way to Imanier to pick up our perspective missionary Phillip who will be serving in Mississippi.  There's no reception in greenpoint so there was no way that we were able to let him know that we were coming ahead of time to pick him.  We saw him and told him what's going on and he ran up to his village and packed up for the next few days.  We played with kids down by the beach while we waited and I practiced using my sling and i'm starting to become pretty good at it. 

Phillip came and we started driving back and we saw one of our new investigators on the side of the road and we taught him about the importance of prophets.  He's a 10 year old boy and we had Phillip and Jimmy teach and translate for us during the lesson.  When we finished we drove all the way to Karimasanga and we taught his family about the Temple and they really want to go.  After the lesson it was already getting dark and we picked up another perspective missionary of ours named Ryson.  And we drove all the way to the other side of the island to Saet Siwi to pick up a perspective Sister named Rosali.  We drove all the way there and all the way to Whitegrass so the perspectives could stay overnight with some members so they could interview the next day.  By the time we got home it was late.  We were in the truck almost the whole entire day!  Well that's part of our work here. 

Wednesday morning we drove to the airport and picked up President Brewer and his wife and we dropped them off in whitegrass so they could start all the interviews.  We stayed awhile and then found out that Rosali's leg had a bad sore on her leg and it was swollen so mission president told us to go back to lenakel and take her to the hospital.  We did so and drove back and then mission president needed to meet with the district president so we drove to his house and picked him up and brought him to  meet with Pres. Brewer.  Then we drove back to his house to drop him off.  It was a rainy day and it was really muddy and the truck got soooo dirty!  It was pretty cool though.  There were puddles and mud everywhere.

Then we drove quick to the airport to pick up the AP's and we brought them to Whitegrass and then we had our MLC meeting (Mission Leadership Council)  After the meeting it was already dark and we went home with the AP's and made burritos for dinner.

Thursday we picked up President Brewer and we drove to Whitegrass for Zone Conference.  It started at 9am and everything went smoothly.  We had many cool trainings and it was a really spiritual Zone Conference. We ate good food too for lunch.  After Conference was over all the Elders interviewed and when everthing was over we dropped President off at the resort and we went and taught our investigator Tiffany with the AP's.  We taught them and went home for the night and ate a lot of
soup and Kumala that Elder Tupou cooked up.

Friday we studied and did all our weekly planning and we went to a few appointments but they cancelled.  And we decided to eat some lunch at the restaurant that catered for us at Zone Conference.  Then we went to the airport with the AP's and checked them in so they could fly
back to Port Vila.  Then afterwards a new investigator of ours named Jeff came over so we could teach him.  Then we went to Rodger's house and taught him and his family about family haos naet.

Saturday morning we went to Karimasanga and taught Henry's family again and then we drove all the way to Greenhill because they needed us to interview someone to be baptized.  We did so and then went to Whitegrass where the sisters had an investigator ready to be interviewed as well.  Then we met with the Sister Training Leaders to plan our christmas devotional for the missionaries.  I'll tell you about it when you call.  Then we waited for the district president to come so we could meet with him but he never came so we decided to just postpone it.  It was already dark and we decided to go to Evergreen Resort and we each bought a Burger with fries for dinner.  It was very good! Expensive though but worth it.  That was the best burger I've had since I've been here.

Yesterday we went to Greenpoint to church and we went there for sacrament meeting and then we drove back to lenakel to a couple appointments that cancelled but we were able to go teach Royal,  David Jonah, and a new investigator named Maria.  It was about 6pm when we finished teaching Maria and we then recieved a call from the mission office saying that Phillip would be flying on Monday to go to Port Vila and then to Fiji to work on his Visa paperwork.  But there's no
reception and no way to contact him there.  Luckily his parents were in town so we picked them up, drove all the way back to Greenpoint and they went up to their village Imanier and told him what was going on and then he packed up and we drove all the way back to Lenakel and dropped his parents off and he slept in our house last night.  When we got back it was late and we didn't get to sleep until about midnight because we needed some dinner because we hadn't eaten at all that day.

Well know that even though things are busy here everything is fine and I enjoy serving the lord!  It was mostly crazy because of Zone Conference but everything is winding down now.  Well I hope things aren't to crazy for you getting ready for Christmas.  Know that I love you and thanks for all the goodies you sent in the package.  I can't wait for you to call!

Iako keke ik sio Famle!

Elder Beynon

Monday, December 15, 2014

Me and the kids in Inapkasu

Tanna Week 11 December 15, 2014

Dia Famle mo ol frien blo mi,

So last week if you remember, I said that we planned on making Tacos for dinner,  well we changed our mind and decided to make Chimichangas!!!  Elder Child cooked up some beef and made some salsa. I made refried beans and tortilla dough and we deep fried some chimichangas!  They were so dang good!  I haven't had mexican food at all on my mission.  We were so satisfied.

Well on Tuesday we went to Karimasanga to see henry and his family and when we got there, there were about 20 other people gathered together to hear our message.  So we shared the message of the restoration with everyone who was there. It was an awesome lesson and many of the people agreed with what we taught and at the end we asked if anyone had any questions.  And one papa asked many questions and we answered every one with the bible.  It was really cool though because we did it in a loving way and there was no argument whatsoever.  Then we found out that he was a pastor for another church.  He was a really good guy though.  We ended up being there a long time and then we drove to Greenpoint where a member gave us some slings we asked him to make.

The slings are kind of like the ones that David used against Goliath and the kids here are very good at using them.  I've been practicing and I'm pretty good at using it as well.  It's so fun, there's so many
cool weapons here.  We then went to Miraweng where we taught a perspective missionary named Johnny and his family.  He needed some money for a passport so I told him that if he made me bow and arrow, I would pay him to help him earn some money for his mission.  The people here make bow and arrows all the time and it's really cool.

Wednesday we had Zone Training in the Morning and then we started getting some stuff prepared for Zone Conference.  Then we dropped a couple perspective missionaries off at the airport so they could go to Port Vila to get some stuff done.  Then that afternoon we taught our investigator Tiffany about Missionary Work.

Thursday we planned on going to Inapkasu and when we got there there were about 60 people gathered together.  People were playing Volleyball and eating and apparently the Unit Leader there had planned a christmas activity for the day there.  So we hung out with the members and played Volleyball and spent the day up there with the members and people who came to the activity. Then we taught our investigator Elina about Eternal Marriage.

Friday morning we went to the hospital and helped a perspective missionary get a medical check up for his mission papers.  Then we went and taught our investigator Joe and Mary about the Sabbath.  Then we visited a less active member and taught her.  Then that night we visited a member family and ate dinner with them and shared a spiritual message with their family.  Then when we went home we decided to try and make burritos for dinner.  I made the tortillas and beans and my companion cooked up some steak and we ate some good mexican food for dinner again!

Saturday we went to Karimasanga again and taught Henry's family, then we drove to Greenpoint and saw one of our investigators with some members sitting on the beach so we sat with them and just talked with them awhile.  Then we saw Johnny and we walked up to Miraweng and he gave me a bow and arrow he made for me.  It's pretty cool, I will have to try and bring it home.  It's totally made out of natural materials. We stayed with his family awhile and we taught them and then we went back to Lenakel to an appointment but it got cancelled.

Yesterday morning we drove to Whitesands to church because there was a perspective missionary named Daniel who needed to go to the airport to fly out and go on his mission.  We went to church and left during class to take him all the way to the airport.  He's serving here in Vanuatu so he will go to the New Zealand MTC for a few weeks and then fly back to Vanuatu.  We dropped him off and then we went and taught a new investigator papa named Peter about the Restoration.  It was an amazing lesson. He agreed with everything we said and he accepted the Book of Mormon so proudly!

Then we went and taught our Recent Convert Royal about family prayer.  Then we taught David Jonah and his family about the Word of Wisdom and they totally knew that it was true and that we need to look after our bodies. Afterwards we went to the hospital and gave a couple blessings to 2 members that were sick. Then we went to a recent converted family's house and taught them about prophets and how the book of mormon came about.  Then we made burritos again for dinner.  I made the tortillas and beans again and everything came out well.

But Elder Child cooked the meat and accidently spilled too much salt when mixed it with sauce.  The
burrito was so salty that we couldn't finish it.  But it's alright, sometimes things don't turn out. Well know all is well and I love you.  I know you're all busy for christmas and so am I.  Take care and I can't wait for you to call on christmas!


Elder Beynon

Me and the kids with my bow and arrow

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tanna Week 10 December 8, 2014

Dia famle blo mi we mi lavem tumas,

Last week after you heard me we headed over to our Recent Convert Royal's house.  He said that his grandpa was sick and needed a blessing so we drove up to Royal's grandpa's house to give a blessing.
We hadn't met this man before but he was so nice and inviting.  We gave him a blessing and he said we can come back any time.  Then we went to Rodger's house and taught his family prayer and how the lord blesses us when we come together as family. 

Thursday we had originally planned on going to Inapkasu, and then Karimasanga, and Greenpoint.  But when we woke up in the morning it was raining really hard and we knew that the road in Inapkasu and Greenpoint would be too dangerous to drive so we decided that we would study a while and see if the rain cleared up and then go to Karimasanga if possible.  So we did an hour personal study and then we did our companion study for 4 hours! We learned a lot and it was fun to study like that with my companion.

Then we decided to do our weekly planning and afterwards the rain had mostly passed and we drove down to Karimasanga.  We crossed 3 rivers on the way there, it rained a lot the last few days.  We taught Henry and his family about enduring to the end.  We asked them about how they've been since the baptism and they said they've seen big changes and big blessings in their lives. That's how the gospel is, it blesses families and brings happiness in our lives!

Friday we  taught our investigator Joe about tithing and many of our other appointments were cancelled because no one was home.  We were however able to go teach Tiffany again and we taught her about the Atonement and why it was needful.  Then we drove up to Rodger's house again and we taught them about the temple and now they are really excited to prepare and go!

Saturday we started driving to Inapkasu but the roads were really bad there so we decided not to go up there, we didn't have much time to get everything we wanted done either.  So we drove to Karimasanga but the road that goes up there was too muddy so we had to walk up.  We walked up and saw Henry's family again and their were many other people around who were interested in hearing the gospel so we taught them all about the Restoration and Henry taught with us.  There are
many recent converts i've seen here and they are all so faithful. Especially in Lenakel, almost everyone in our unit there are converts!

Well we taught many people in Karimasanga and we walked down to the truck so we could drive to Greenpoint.  But we reallized that one of the tires was a little flat,  we had a spare so we changed our tire before going to Greenpoint.  Surprisingly we were able to drive all the way there and we wanted to go teach our investigator David there but everyone was gone but his son named Jacob so we taught him.  Jacob is already a member and we taught him about our baptismal covenant and after the lesson we drove down to Miraweng to talk to a perspective missionary.

We are preparing many perspective missionaries for Zone Conference, it's coming up in a few weeks and everyone who has their papers done will be going and they will be able to interview with the mission president. In fact we have a perspective missionary named Phillip at Greenpoint and he's leaving at the end of next month to go serve in Mississippi, cool huh?!!!

This island is amazing, we have a total of 20 perspective missionaries who are starting to prepare to serve. Well after we went to Miraweng we drove back to Lenakel and went to District Clerk Daniel and Julie's house where we ate dinner and shared a thought with them.

Yesterday we went to Church in Lenakel and 5 kids that we didn't recognize came. Only 1 was a member.  They walked a long ways to come to church. It was testimony meeting and Mama Kia (Papa Rodger's Wife) bore her testimony.  She said "I have many kids and they're all girls, but i'm sad because I don't have any boys. But now Papa God has sent me some boys, the missionaries, 2 of my boys are in this room,  and I have many others."  She was referring to me and my companion and we
were so touched by her testimony and it meant a lot that she referred to us as her kids.

One thing I like here in Vanuatu  is that you can call the mamas here "Mama blo mi" which means "My mom",  so whenever we say "yu mama blo mi" they laugh and we feel instantly like family to them. After Church we went to Whitegrass to hold a meeting with the Sister Training Leaders.  We met with them to plan out Zone Training and Assignments for Zone Conference.

After the meeting we went to try to find where those kids that came to church lived. They showed us what roads to follow and  they told us that their family sent them because they wanted missionaries to come.  We found their village all the way in Middlebush and their mom and Uncle were home and they said that some missionaries came before to their house but not for along time. They were so inviting and asked us to share a message so we taught them briefly about the Restoration.  Then we told them that the other Elders in Middlebush would come because it wasn't our area.

But we were so grateful for their invitation for us to come and they want the missionaries to come so bad. Afterwards it was late in the afternoon and we went to our Unit Leader Wilfred Nos's house and ate dinner and talked with them awhile before going back home for the night. Well know that all is well and I'm glad to be here again this christmas season and thanks Grammy for the package you sent! It came this morning and we plan on trying to make tacos for dinner! (I have a tortilla recipe to try out).

Iako Keke Ik Miam Pam! (Mi lavem yufala evriwan famle blo mi!)


Elder Beynon

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Walking to whitesands along Mt Yasur

 Tanna Week 9 December 2, 2014

Dear Famle Sio,

Sorry, we've been busy the last few days now finally we've had the chance to email. Well since you last heard me, I had the chance to go on an exchange last monday night to Saet Siwi, my first area!  We drove there and I stayed with Elder Godfrey.  He's from Gaua, I met him when I was there
and he flew out to go on his mission and now I have the chance to see him again!

We got there late at night and on Tuesday we walked down to the village of "Imaeo", I hope you remember it.  While I was there I interviewed a mama so she could be baptized and we played with the kids there. Then we walked down to Ikuarumanu (I used to call it Korumanu) where we taught a less active kid who I used to know. November 25th and 26th is when school ends here and at the school in Ikuarumanu there were many cool dances that the Students and people did,  It's kind of like our spring fling we used to do but it's cooler here!

Then the Branch President said that he was going to walk up to the village of "Navateng", which is up the mountain directly east of Saet Siwi.  I've been there once before and I told you that there was an
area where it's forbidden to look back or talk, or step on the leg of the person in front of you.  Well we followed the branch president up there to the school there and they were doing dances there as well. We sat and watched with members and non-members, and we played volleyball with the people and had a great time!  Then we walked back to Saet Siwi when it was dark and many kids followed us.  That's one thing I've always liked about Saet Siwi, there's always a friend that want's to follow us around there.

Wednesday morning we woke up early and walked two hours down the mountain across the ash fields along the volcano to Whitesands where we held District Meeting.  After the meeting we exchanged again and went back to our areas.  I was so happy to see Saet Siwi again!  We weren't able to teach at all that afternoon because everyone was at the schools where they had all the dances and activities.

Thursday, we went to Inapkasu and taught a recent convert family about the restoration and another investigator about the word of wisdom. Afterwards we drove all the way to the airport to pick up Elder and Sister Duke, a senior couple who looks over the missionary houses and health of the missionaries.  We brought them to the hospital so Sister Duke could get an idea of what's available here and while we were there we checked on a kid we gave a blessing to last Sunday.  She was
doing better but her dad asked us to give another one and then three other people asked us to give blessings to their kids.  It's such a blessing to have the priesthood in my life to help others and my
family.  Then we took Elder and Sister Duke to the Whitegrass Resort. Friday (Thanksgiving your time,) we drove to Whitegrass Resort and we met Elder and Sister Duke and they said "Do you want to eat before we go?" and they bought us lunch.  I ordered a pizza which was soooo good and Elder Child was able to eat a pork wrap with french fries, so I guess you could count on that as our thanksgiving meal and I was very happy for some good food!

We took them to some houses to see and the Whitegrass chapel and a few missionary houses.  We were basically their taxi for the day and helped them with anything they needed to get done.  And that's all that happened that day, it was a good thanksgiving!

Saturday we were able to teach a few lessons in Lenakel and at night we went to Evergreen Resort for dinner and I bought a burger and fries which was so dang good! It was expensive though.  Then the AP's called to let us know about transfers and me and Elder Child are still staying together.

Sunday we went to Inapkasu for church and we taught the kids and youth about the word of wisdom and we made a little games for them to play to help them remember it.  It was fun.  After church we went back to Lenakel and taught a few investigators.

Monday was busy, there was a big rainstorm in the south and we had to go pick up the elders from saet siwi and bring them to town for p-day and then we did some shopping but also had to buy stuff for a new missionary house in whitegrass.  We bought everything and Elder Ross and Elder Killpack came with us because we had to go to greenhill because we needed to grab elder killpack's luggage because he would be transferring on Tuesday.  On our way there we stopped by a bridge that
was blocked because it was under construction so there was a side road that we had to take.  But down this side road was a truck down there that was stuck in the mud trying to get up,  There was mud everywhere and the truck couldn't get traction. Some of the people tied a rope to the front and they were trying to pull it out.  Then we helped them out and pulled with them and eventually they got out.  Then everybody started fixing the bridge,  they filled up each side with dirt so the truck could get across and that's how we got across.  Then we grabbed Elder Killpack's things and brought him with us to stay with us for the night.

Tuesday morning we brought Elder Killpack to the Airport.  He flew out and Brother Toro from fiji came so he could do some training for the branch presidents here. And also Elder Rausika came, the Elder that hung out with me and Elder Leva while we were in Gaua.  Elder Rausika is from Saet Siwi and he came so we could bring him home because he finished his mission.  Then 2 other elders came who were transferring here.  We dropped them off at lenakel and then Brother Toro held  a meeting with some branch president's at our house.  Afterwards we drove all the way to Saet Siwi to Imaeo where Elder Rausika's from.  I know his family because I was able to meet them last year which is
cool.  We got there and his family was so glad to see him and they removed his missionary badge and we all ate with his friends and family who came.  We played soccer with many of the kids and had some fun with them and had a great time.  Then we drove all the way back to drop off Brother Toro at whitegrass resort and he offered us some dinner.  He bought us Sirloin Steak and Ice Cream and it was amazing food!  I haven't had a medium rare steak since before my mission!

This morning we picked up Brother Toro and we went to the Whitegrass Branch so he could do some training there and we joined district meeting with the north tanna district.  Afterwards we ate lunch with brother Toro and brought him back to the airport and we came straight here so I could email you!

Well know all is well and I'm so happy to be serving as a Zone Leader here.  Thanksgiving was great and I'm glad all went well.  Mi lavem yufala tumas!


Elder Beynon

Dances at the school at Ikauramanu

Driving south to Inapkasu