Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Walking South to church

 Week 17 Sunday January 25, 2015

 Dia ol famle blo mi we mi lavem bigwan,

First off mom and dad, that's so cool you're in Puerto Vallarta!  You get to see a little of what I see, nice sandy beaches, and many cool adventures.

Just a heads up, it sounds like the Port Vila District is about to become a Stake! It will be the first one in Vanuatu! There's only one other stake in the mission, but in New Caledonia.  This mission grows
so fast!!!

Well my companion's better and everything is great! Last monday we had a famle haos naet with Tiffany and Ken.  They invited some friends over and we watched the Restoration together.

Tuesday we went to the airport to check in 2 perspective missionaries going on missions.  One is named Philip Rawi, he's from Greenpoint and he's going to serve in the Mississippi Jackson mission!  And a Sister named Belinda John is going to serve in the Phillipines.  So many missionaries are leaving, the work never ends!

After we went to the airport we got dropped off at the house and we decided to walk to Greenpoint.  We walked an hour in the HOT Sun until a truck passed by and offered us a ride, there were members and friends in the truck as well.  He brought us most of the way there and then we walked another hour and a half with the members to Greenpoint. We got there at about 1pm.  We had some lessons planned but EVERYONE was in "Ikahkahak" by the school singing songs in their language as a
last celebration of the "Bunani".  I can't remember if I already told you about it, but Every year (in tanna) people from villages group together and walk around the island and go from village to village and sing songs in their languages.  They put baby powder and paint on you that's a big thing here for some reason, if there's a celebration, you put baby powder on each other.  These people sing and sing and sing from village to village and this was their last closing celebration of the "Bunanis".  It's basically caroling but on steroids I guess, it's pretty cool.

Well we got there, a few mamas came and said "Happy New Year" and put baby powder on our necks and foreheads and the peope gave us food while we sat and watched the people sing.  We sat with members and had a great time.  Then at 4pm we decided to start heading back because it wouldn't be good if we get home late.  We started walking back and stopped by our friend "Pastor Jefford's house".  Jefford is a pastor who is really respective of us and we are of him and we have been
gaining trust with their family.  We stopped by and talked awhile before going back.  We talked a little bit about us missionaries and how we don't get paid (because most people here think us missionaries get paid) and we talked about the sacrifices we made to come here. They were really surprised and amazed.  They're biting the hook and we are starting to reel them in, we hope to start teaching them sometime.

Well we started walking back and a group of people from China picked us up in their truck and brought us back to Lenakel which was nice. There are quite a few chinese here who are working on building an asphault road here, so in the future, Tanna will change dramatically! We were very grateful for that ride, the lords preparing all means for us to get to where we're going! 

Wednesday we went to the Whitegrass church for Zone Training and after the training we did an exchange,  Good ol Elder Ross came with me to stay in Lenakel.  We were able to have a truck bring us back and we went and walked to Papa Joe's house where we taught him about missionary work.  He was very interested in the topic.  When we got to his house he asked "how many missionaries are there serving today?" and then we decided to teach him about how all of us are missionaries
regardless if we are serving full time or not.

Then we walked back to Lenakel, but some ice cream cones which hit the spot and then checked up on other appointments which cancelled.  We then went to our Unit Leader Wilfred Nos's house and helped him learn how he can teach the book of mormon in Sunday School.  That was the last thing we did for the night.

Thursday we decided to go to "Inapkasu".  Me and Elder Child hadn't walked there yet so we thought we'd walk there and also get an idea of how far it is. We left at 10:30am, again it was freakin' hot!! and we walked almost two hours south down the road to get to the road that heads east to go up the mountain.  We stopped by some beautiful views on the way. Then we walked 2 more hours up the mountain to inapkasu.  We stopped by and talked with some people on the way and had kids climb coconut trees so we could drink coconuts because our water was almost out.  We talked with the people and kids and it was really cool.  We mostly just spoke in their langauges and I understood almost everything they said, it was way cool!  I love making new friends and meeting new people.

We finally got up at around 2:30pm!  I didn't think it would take over 4 hours, and man were we tired!  We were able to see Elina and teach her about the Book of Mormon.  We want to baptize Elina but she needs to get married first, she probably won't get married till march.  We then went to "Iatufum" and saw a perspective missionary there and we wanted to teach her family but they were all in Saet Siwi.  It was already 4pm so we had to go.  We walked 2 hours down the mountain down the road and luckily a truck passed by and brought us back home which was nice. I don't think I would have been able to walk back, my legs were dead!  Once again the lord prepared the way.  We
weren't able to teach much but we saw many people and now we have an Idea of how long it takes to walk there!

Friday morning the district president picked us up and drove us all the way to Greenhill so we could end our exchange and then me and Elder Child met with the District President in Whitegrass.  He drove us home and we got home in the afternoon and we did our weekly planning, and went out to teach our investigator Thomas, he also needs to get married before he can get baptized.  He was sick and we gave him a blessing and then taught him about the plan of salvation. Then we went home to wait for our investigator Jeff to come but he didn't for some reason.  Then a perspective missionary named Jimmy Siaka came to stay with us because he would fly on Saturday morning. He will be
serving in Papua New Guinea. He's from Inapkasu and walked all the way to our house with his things to go on a mission.  These people are amazing!  He was so excited to go and showed so much faith walking all that way.

We checked him in on Saturday morning and then we walked all the way to Greenpoint!  A truck helped us out with the last 2 miles, it took about 4 - 41/2 hours to get there! What a walk, at least it wasn't all uphill though, it was still dang HOT though.  I've been getting so tan, I've been using sunscreen but the SPF is low and one day I forgot to put it on, so I've gotten burned pretty good!  I'm starting to look like a real islander now!

We got there and had origionally planned to see the Branch President and a Mama named Ellan, but they were way down by the ocean, we wanted to go down but for the sake of time we couldn't.  Mama Ellan ended up coming back so we went to her house and taught her and her whole
family about the Restoration.  Ellan has heard just about all the lessons but her family, not yet, this was the first time we could teach them all which was great.  Ellan too is waiting to get married,
and then baptized.  We then started walking back and sure enough a truck helped us out and brought us back.

Sunday (yesterday), we decided to go to church in Inapkasu.  We left the house at 8:30am and we decided to follow a road and walk east. (It was a shortcut that someone told us) Then we just walked through the bush and followed a few roads and asked directions from a papa.  He told us where to go and instead said "Actually, just have my son follow you and show you the way, he will come to church with you.  So his 17 year old son Harry showed us the way.  The shortcut seemed to be faster.  We walked east uphill at the beginning and slowly uphill with harry and then we got close but had two big ravines to cross to get up to inapkasu.  We walked south and walked down 1 ravine and
crossed a river and up it and walked through the bush to the next ravine, crossed another river and we walked up and up until we made it straight to inapkasu where the church is.  It was a BEAUTIFUL
walk/hike to church.  We were drenched in sweat when we got there. It took 2 and a half hours with the shortcut, it was a challenging walk, but better than the way me and Elder Ross came.  We went to church and then taught the kids about the 10 commandments afterwards, and then we all ate some food before we left. We walked all the way back to Lenakel to teach but all of our appointments cancelled except for 1, so we were only able to go teach Tiffany.  We taught her and went home
for the night.  What a day!

Well the lord has been helping us a lot and preparing the way for us wherever we go, I can walk anywhere now and i'm grateful to be serving here.I love you all and hope things are going great.  Mom and Dad, have fun on your CostaCation and know I love you both so much!


Elder Beynon

Some friends we made on our way

Our road to church
Ravines and rivers along our way

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Week 16 on Tanna January 18, 2015

Romasen sio famle,

Sorry this letter will be a little short because my companion got
really sick but he's better now.

Last Monday we had Elder Godfrey and Elder Dakunimata stay with us
overnight because Elder Dakunimata would be leaving on Tuesday to
transfer to Port Vila.   Two perspective missionaries from Saet Siwi
stayed with us as well to fly to Port Vila with Elder Dakunimata.

Tuesday morning a truck picked us up and brought us to the airport and
they all flew to Port Vila.  Elder Godfrey's new companion was supposed to come
Tuesday afternoon and his new companion would be Elder Jensen, the
Zone Leader in Malekula.  Well, we soon learned that the flight cancelled because of the weather.
There was a tropical disturbance creating monsoonal weather and it
rained all day and it got really windy.  That didn't stop us!  We
went home and Elder Child rested because he was still feeling sick and then we
went out in the rain with Elder Godfrey and walked an hour and a
half up the road to Lounilapen where we taught Rodger and his family.
We stayed there for a couple of hours and Elder Child started to feel sick again. So we walked all the way back home and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.

Wednesday morning it was still raining, so Elder Child rested for a good part of the day.
On the sides of the road by our house rivers were running because of all
the rain!  It was pretty cool. We went out to teach in the afternoon
and we were able to teach Thomas and Tiffany. And the rest of the day
Elder Child stayed in bed.

Thursday Elder Child's stomach was really bothering him.  He also ran a
high fever and had no strength to teach so we stayed home that day.  We called a
Missionary Health Supervisor in Port Vila and she said that she would send
some De-Worming Pills.  That was our best prediction of what sickness
he had.

Friday morning a member stopped by the airport to pick up the worm
pills that  had been sent and Elder Child took one and rested again because
he was still sick.  He had to take the pills one day and then the rest
on the second day.  He took the first one and said there was a war
going on in his stomach and he still wasn't feeling better so we had
to stay home.

Saturday morning he took the rest of the pills and slowly started to
feel better.  He just didn't have enough strength to go walk around and
proselyte so we did our weekly planning and just stayed home again. I
know, three days sitting around at home is not fun.

Sunday morning Elder Child felt better.  We thought that he must have had worms then, I
don't know if he got it from eating the horse or not.  He could walk
again and we went to Church and we were only able to teach our recent
convert Royal and we taught a new family of Peter's.  We walked around
and checked all of our appointments and members, but everyone was gone for
some reason.

Well, sadly enough, that's all that happened last week, nothing very
exciting.  But Elder Child is better and we are glad to be
working again.  Well, like I always say, "All is well!"  The work is going forward, we
are surviving without the truck, and the lord is preparing the way.  Mi
lavem yufala tumas!!!


Elder Beynon

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Activity at the Beach
Week 15 on Tanna January 11, 2015

Dia Famle blo mi,

I don't have a good recollection of what happened last week but I will try to remember as best as I can. Monday we drove all the way to Saet Siwi and picked up the branch president's son Sampson Nipikou and a few other friends and went up to the volcano and this time it was really cool, a lot like the time I used to serve there, rumbling all the time.  It was so cool!

Last Tuesday we went to the airport to check in a perspective missionary and then we drove to Karimasanga and saw his family.  Then we went up to Miraweng to teach a certain family but they were gone.  Some neighbors were nearby and we played with the kids and did magic tricks
and then taught them.  Afterwards we ate dinner at a potential investigators house.  He's a a pastor of another church and his family is really respective of us and we are very respective of him.  So we
are trying to gain his trust and eventually teach his family.

Well Wednesday morning we went to our District Meeting in Whitesands and afterwards we drove to Whitegrass where we met the Greenhill Elders to Exchange. I exchanged with an Elder from Fiji named Elder Taukei and we walked to the area of "Coffee"  where we looked for a few investigators and members to teach.  Sadly enough each appointment cancelled, everywhere we went, the person we were looking for was gone, we did however have the chance to socialize with some members a
bit and then it started to rain hard and we walked an hour and a half all the way back to the house in Greenhill, the mud wasn't very bad like it was in the past. We got back to the house and it was raining
hard and we made dinner and we had nothing else to do so we studied awhile and then went to sleep a little earlier.

The next morning we woke up, it was still raining and after our studies the rain slowed down and we then we went out to walk to the village of "Itonga".  We walked down a steep ravine and crossed a
creek before walking up the other side to get to the village.  It was very slippery but thank goodness we never fell down or slid down the ravine.  We planned on teaching a mama there but she was gone working in her garden so we played with her kids for awhile.  Then Elder Child called and said that we had to end our exchange because a ship in Lenakel was getting ready to leave and we had to put our truck on it so it can get repaired and serviced in Port Vila.  The truck was origionally supposed to go on Friday but instead we had to load it on Thursday.  So we ended the exchange, loaded it on and then we walked up to the hospital to visit a papa from Greenpoint that we brought to the hospital last saturday.  His leg was very swollen and they decided that they would fly him to Port Vila to go to the Hospital there.

Then we went to check up on a recent convert but he wasn't home and then we went home because Elder Child didn't feel good at all. Remember the horse we ate? Well when I was in Saet Siwi a few weeks ago he cooked up a lot of the meat and ate a ton, and it totally ruined his stomach.  He can't eat much and he's been vomitting.  Don't worry, I've been giving him some oils to use.

Well on Friday we did our weekly planning while the District Presidency held a meeting and then we walked all the way to "Lokueria" to teach our investigator Joe and we walked all the way back to
Lenakel where we taught Tiffany and Ken at the end of the night.  Not much happened that day, just a lot of.....walking. It feels good to be walking around though, I'm sick of sitting in the truck all the time.

Well Saturday our Unit had an activity. (a late christmas activity) and we waited with some members for a transport to bring us to a certain beach where it would be held.  We waited 4 hours and the
transport never came so we arranged other transports to bring us there.  We got there and relaxed on the beach, played cards, ate kumala and roasted pig while we just spent time with each other as
members. Many non-members came too.  There were lots of small activities and we had to walk out on the reef to find a certain snail with a special shell and whoever found one would get a free book of
mormon.  Then we all walked in the bush to a couple big trees where there were 100's of flying foxes hanging and flying around.  I took tons of pictures and it was very cool!  We just stayed at the beach
all day and had a good time!

Yesterday we went to church in Lenakel and after church we walked an hour away to Peter's house and he was gone but his daughter Blondie was there so we taught her about the gospel of jesus christ. she's going to greenhill in a few weeks so she will most likely get baptized there.  Then we walked to our Unit Leader's house and had a meeting with him before we went to see our investigator Thomas.  We taught him about tithing  thoroughly and how the church is organized.  Then we went home a little early again because my companion didn't feel very good at all because of his upset stomach.  Oh and we found out that we are not transferring, so we will be together for another 6 weeks.

Well know that all is well and that I'm happy, sorry not too much happened last week.  But life's good. We will probably start walking to Inapkasu and Greenpoint now, that will be an adventure!  I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Beynon
Flying fox aka Bat!

A whole flock of flying foxes

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Me and the Branch President's family in Greenpoint
Week 14 on Tanna, January 4, 2015

Dear Family Blo Mi!

Last Monday after I emailed you we drove to Whitegrass and moved the Sisters there into a new house owned by the church.  We filled up the truck with all their things from their old house and moved them into their new one.  We did that for most of the afternoon and there was a truck on the side of the road selling horse meat.  The Whitegrass Branch clerk was there and told us the meat was very cheap we paid 1000 Vatu ($10) for a LOT of horse meat, probably about 8 or 10lbs. When we drove back home we gave away some of the meat because there was so much.  We fried it up and made some rare Horse steak.  It tasted alright but the meat was so hard to chew, not tender whatsoever. We couldn't finish eating the meat because our jaws and teeth were getting so sore! We soon found out that the horse had been killed 2 days before, it wasn't kept in a fridge,  no wonder why it was so hard to chew! But oh well, funny little story to tell.

Tuesday morning we checked in a perspective missionary named William in the airport so he could go on his mission.  He's going to the New Zealand MTC and then serving in Australia.  Then we drove up to Karimasanga to Papa Henry's house and taught them and then we drove to Greenpoint and picked up a family to bring to Lenakel so their daughter who is serving in Guam could call them.  We picked them up, drove all the way back to Lenakel so their daughter could call, and then we drove all the way back to Greenpoint to drop them off and then we ate dinner and met with our Branch president there.
Wednesday morning we drove to Whitesands Branch for our District meeting and after the meeting Elder Child dropped me and Elder Godfrey off in Saet Siwi for an exchange (Yay! I love Saet Siwi).  Me and Elder Godfrey walked to Imaeo village and set a few appointments and then stopped by a member's house and talked with them awhile.  Then we walked all the way up to Ikurup (the main village where our house is) and we played some soccer with the branch president's family and the
members there.  Then that afternoon we taught an investigator girl named Melsy about baptism and the Gospel of Jisas Kraes.  Then since it was the new year, we hung out with President Nipikou's family (my family here) and we played cards and just chilled and we ate dinner with them.  We lit off a few bottle rockets (they call them fireworks here) I bought in Lenakel and when I brought them out but no one knewwhat they were.  A few of the boys knew.  But all the parents and girls had no idea what they were.  President Nipikou asked me to light one off and I did and once the rocket took off and exploded everybody screamed because it scared them because they've never seen anything like that before. 

At 9:30pm we went to the house because we can't stay out late at night in the mission.  We did our daily planning and got done at around 10;30pm and that's when Elder Godfrey went to sleep.  I didn't even plan or care on staying up in the first place but I had to write in my journal and when I got done I checked the time and it was 11:38pm.  I had 2 choices, stay up 22 more minutes or sleep.  Well I made my decision and turned off the light but I just layed in my bed until 12am and I prayed and went to sleep at 12:03pm. It didn't feel like the new year but I was especially grateful to spend most of it with my family in Saet Siwi. The people here stay up to just like we do,  some areas have big parties where people go to celebrate and some just stay together and spend time with family like we did.

Thursday morning we studied and then walked down to Imaeo where we taught a recent convert Michellan about Missionary Work.  A 17 year old kid named Collin followed us around and taught with us and translated.  Then we walked up the mountain but to the west of Ikurup on the other side of a ravine to a village called Iabowr where we taught a less active kid named Therber.  Him and other kids came and listened to us and we were able to teach a little bit in their language which is cool.  I'm really starting to understand the South Tanna Language known as the "Nafe" language.  I can't speak it too much but I know the basics and I'm starting to understand what the people say in their language.  After we taught in Iabowr we walked through a village called "Inias" and up the mountain a ways and we walked around east and down to "Ikurup" where we taught an 8 year old girl about baptism and then Melsy again about the Word of Wisdom.

Then we ate with President Nipikou and hung out again before going back to the house for the night.
Friday 2 kids named Edwin and Bani followed us around.  They used to follow me around a lot while I served there and that's one thing I have always loved about Saet Siwi.  You are never alone,  there's
always someone who wants to follow the missionaries there.  Well we walked down the mountain and walked about an hour and a half to a village called "Isaka".  I had never been there before so I was able to see a new place there which was cool.  Me and Bani tried shooting birds with our slingshots and sadly enough I shot a stone but mis-shot and broke the right arm of my sling shot.  But then Edwin found a strong wood that we used to make a new one.  Once we got to Isaka we went to a village called "Iyai" where I interviewed 2 investigators to be baptized.  Then afterwards we taught 2 brothers named Thermon and Fredrick about the gospel of jesus christ and then we taught another

Afterwards we walked all the way up to Ikurup, had no luck in shooting pijins (birds).  We hung out until Elder Child and Elder Dakunimata came back and they brought a mission call for my Best Friend "Katum" here.  He will be serving here in Vanuatu in the next few months. Well after all that we exchanged again and went back to Lenakel.  It was a fun exchange and I was so happy to spend time with my family there again.

On Saturday morning we picked up our Perspective missionary named Phillip Rawi (the one who's going to Mississippi for his mission) from the airport and we taught Henry's family again and then we went all the way to greenpoint to Phillip's Village called "Imanier" which is honestly up a cliff!  We walked up there and saw his family and his dad Charlie was incapacitated because his leg was very swollen.  He somehow cut his leg and it got super infected and it was swollen SO big.  I gave him a blessing and the family asked us if we could take him to the hospital and us with about 6 guys carried Charlie down this cliff on a makeshift stretcher.  We all made it down safely through the hand of the lord and we drove all the way to Lenakel and dropped them off at the hospital.  We cooked boiled some Kumala and bought some bread to give to them to eat while they were there and then we went home and did our weekly planning for the night.

Yesterday we went to church in Lenakel and many investigators came to church.  Afterwards we taught our investigator named Peter about the Plan of Salvation which was an amazing lesson.  They knew that it was all true and they have never heard anything like that before. Then we checked up on many appointments that cancelled and then we checked on Charlie, Phillip and them at the hospital and they seemed to be doing alright, the swelling is slowly going down I think.  Then we taught a recently baptized family about the plan of salvation. They hadn't heard that lesson for awhile so it was more like a review to help them remember everything.  Then we went to our Unit Leader's house to meet with him before we went home for the night. Well know that all is well and that New Year's in Saet Siwi was GREAT!  It sounds like new years was good back home and know all is well back

Iako keke ik sio famle (I love you, my family)


Elder Beynon

New Year's with my family at Saet Siwi

A view of the volcano from Isaka