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

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