Monday, March 30, 2015

The lizard I told you about

Port Vila Week 2 March 30, 2015

Dia famle blo mi,

I just checked the blog and saw that you found the video of Elder Pearce and us as we were getting ready to go to the airport to go to Vila. Crazy huh!? We were all on T.V.!, sorry I didn't look at the
camera. Haha!

Well not too much happened since you last heard me, Friday we stayed home most of the morning because 2 Elder Manu and Elder Dakunimata weren't feeling well.  But during the afternoon, me, Elder Leva, and Elder Mastin all went to a members house named Smith (I know right?) and helped him with his lawn.  I mowed about a 1/4 their lawn while elder leva used a trimmer to trim the grass.  It was a huge yard!  We started a little late and it got dark so we couldn't finish.

Afterwards these kids came by with a big ol Lizard. It looked like an Iguana, it was way cool!  So I put it on my head, it was very tame!

Saturday morning we went back to Smith's house and we mowed the rest of his lawn and dang was it HOT! We cleaned the lawn and then helped them cut down a few trees so they could use the wood to make a new kitchen and a place for shade.

Yesterday we went to church at our branch in Erakor, there's no church building yet but the church plans on building 1 in the future.  Over 100 members came, and we worshipped underneath a sheetmetal roof with a sheet metal wall.  I found out that it withstood the power of the cyclone!  The shelter should have been blown off the ground, and yet at my first glance at it, it looked brand new!

Well that's about all that happened since you last heard me, I think this Saturday we will find out where I will be transferred and next week the 22 missionaries will be departing.
We will still probably do service, teach if we get the chance, but man do I miss looking over an area.  Not much gets done with 5 missionaries in 1 house, if you know what I mean.

Man I want to go back to Tanna SO bad!  I grew so close to that island and the people, I have so many great families and memories there. But I know the lord has other things for me to do and more blessings in store for me. Know that I love you all and I love the emails you send Plan on hearing from me next week again.

P.S. I will send my journal entries in an envelope today.

Love, Elda Beynon

Some new friends we made at church

Mowing Papa Smith's Lawn

Our zone doing service

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I CANNOT believe I missed this!  Elder Pearce is Smith's companion. He is from New Zealand. There was a news crew filming on Tanna and they let Elder Pearce send a message to his parents on the news program.  I'm surprised they don't show all the missionaries. You can't see Smith, but he's in the back of the pickup truck.  You have to watch until the very end to see the missionaries.  
Dalton Pearce is one of 11 Latter-day Saint missionaries who rode out Cyclone Pam on Vanuatu's Tanna island last weekend.

In this video clip from TVNZ current affairs program Seven Sharp, reporter Emma Keeling meets up with Dalton on Tanna and gives him a chance to send a message home to his family.

Watch the video at TVNZ's website (the missionary is 2.58 minutes into the clip):
Our Zone safe and sound in Port Vila

Port Vila Week 1

Thursday March 26, 2015

Dia famle blong mi we mi lavem tumas,

I finally have the chance to email again!  I will try to explain everything as best as I can, I tell you what, I will send you a letter with the journal entries I wrote, I've been writing it for awhile but
haven't finished quite yet.

So Friday March 13th we had already been warned by the mission president about the cyclone and we had already prepared a place of refuge in case we needed it.  Mission president had us bring all the Zone out of their areas and take shelter in "Isangel Shool"  Isangel school is where our house is (just east of lenakel) and the school is right up the hill and we took shelter in some dormitories there.

The Cyclone hit us at Mar. 14th, 6am (Chances birthday)  Chance sorry I didn't get the chance to email you to tell you happy birthday. Happy late 15th birthday! I love you so much and I wanted to
email you but we couldn't because of the cyclone. 

Well it hit that morning and water flooded in the dorms and we nailed windows shut and the wind was very strong.  There was a time where we ran to the sisters dorm and the wind lifted me up and blew me a few feet forward.  I've never felt such powerful wind like that before!  I heard that the winds from it blew over 200 miles an hour!!!  None of us got hurt when we went to the sister's dorm and stayed together as a zone.  There was a point to where the winds stopped for a while and then it continued on.  The eye of it passed right over us!!! The Cyclone probably went on until 3pm and that's when we surveyed the damage.

Everything was destroyed!!! Gardens were destroyed, trees blown over, power lines were down, no power whatsoever, houses were flattened,  The strongest cement houses held up but the roofs blew off and there was debris everywhere!  All the phone networks were down, there was no communication between tanna and port vila after the cyclone hit.

After it hit the first night many people stayed at the school.  Nobody in tanna believed that the cyclone would hit, so the people were not very prepared for it.  A chief of police stayed at the school and told the Elders and sisters to prepare devotionals and every morning and afternoon, we'd share some scriptures and share small spiritual thoughts with the people.  And everyday we would clean up, do service, and help anyone in need.  We just tried to help our brothers and sisters here as much as we could and they were glad that we were there.

There wasn't much drama after the cyclone, because nobody died in Lenakel.  Very few people died.  The total confirmed deaths there was 8.  Everyone was okay, protected, but just everything else was demolished!  The Cyclone itself was a MIRACLE!  If a cyclone hit anywhere else or even the USA, 100's or thousands would die, but the lord protected his people, everything was destroyed, but so little
people died.  The lord has a plan and this country will really prosper!  I know the lord protected us and the people here, his hand was reached out protecting us in that Cyclone.

We stayed in Tanna until we called the mission pres on march 18th.  He said on the 19th, the church would charter a plane to fly us out of there.  On the 19th the plane came but late and they could only take the sisters, so we stayed in the Whitegrass house by the whitegrass church, and on Friday the 20th, we flew to vila on the first flight there.  I didn't want to leave though, I wanted to stay and help the people. 

We arrived and went to mission presidents home where he gave council, and they fed us, and he told me to call President Pearson, of the the quorum of the seventy, he told me how he talked to you as well dad!  I didn't know how many people were worried!  He said the apostles even prayed for us and soooooo many people prayed for us, and after just reading all your emails, man were you all praying!

Thanks for all your prayers!  I've been praying for you as well, even to send the spirit of comfort with you while we had no contact after that storm, and my prayer was answered and I am glad you weren't doubtful or too worried.

Me and elder pearce stayed with the AP's and we unloaded tons and tons of food and supplies for members and non-members at the district here. The Elders and the members of the church unloaded trucks and trucks full of rice, flour, tin meat, soap, salt, sugar, noodles, crackers, and tons of other foods! And we stayed with them a few days and now all the missionaries are just doing service for the next few weeks, and each week we will do a district and Zone Service each week.  We actually did one today, we cleared out someone's yard of debris, trees, and just cleaned up his place!

I didn't email you on Monday because Mission President sent me and Elder Pearce to Tanna with a special assignment.  We and the district president of Port Vila President Basil, and John Bennion(who
looks over all church housing) went and found all the branch presidents and district presidents and we met with them in Whitegrass Church to find out all their needs and plan for what the church can do
to help.  Mine and Elder Pearce's assignment was to survey the island and listen to the meetings and find out the needs so he could have a report of the island.  President Basil's report would be given to the Area Seventy.

But going back there, it still wasn't good, it was so dry (there hasn't been any rain since the cyclone) and people are starting to struggle with water. School will most likely be closed until next year there. The people are eating once every afternoon, they only have manyoke and bananas to eat and they are starting to go bad so in a few weeks they will be out of food.  The power was still out, no phone network (It actually just came back up yesterday) and we could see that if nothing is done, it could become a crisis, but I know the Government here and the church is sending help as soon as possible.

I think they will help by sending food, water, tarps and tents for shelter, clothing, and tools for gardening, so everyone can plant and prepare their gardens for food in the future.  Tanna because it's still in it's customs and it's still "manbush" will need a lot of help from others to help it be sustained.

We came back on tuesday and we had a big meeting with all the missionaries from tanna and efate that mission president set up. We found out that 22 missionaries will be transferred out of the
country in the second week of april.  A few are already finishing and anybody who should have been finishing in may are being released honorably. And everyone who should have finished in June will be transferred to their home countries to serve there before they finish.

The mission is basically being down-sized for now.  And the original plan of setting up a stake in april will be post-poned.  It will be set up in the lord's time. After the meeting we reported to president brewer of tanna and he came to the conclusion that Tanna won't have missionaries staying there for 6 months!  It's too dangerous because of diseases that could be received and it will take a while for it to rebuild and prosper.  It will however be a great chance for priesthood leaders to work together and grow.

I want to go back to tanna so bad and I don't want it to be that way and I want to help my brothers and sisters there, but I know the lord has a plan and all will be well.  I will continue to pray for them and show my love for them as much as I can.

Now I'm staying with the Zone Leaders Elder Leva and Elder Dakunimata in the South Efate Zone. Elder Mastin and Elder Matu are staying with us as well. (many missionary houses on Efate got damaged too). Elder Pearce is staying with the North Efate Zone Leaders. I assume we will be staying like this until the april transfer is decided. I am so grateful I will be staying in Vanuatu!

Well know that all is Well, all is well and I'm so blessed to be here! I love you all so much and thanks for all the love and prayers you've shown.  I hope to email you next monday and I will try to send a
letter of my journal entries about our experience with the cyclone.

Mi lavem yufala koko, ful spid no gat brek!!!

Love, Elda Beynon

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I got a phone call from Elder Beynon Friday night. It was only a five minute conversation, so I don't have a lot of information. He says he's fine. He's going back to Tanna for one day day to assess what the people need there and will report back to Pres. Brewer. He said the storm was crazy. He had food, water and shelter during the storm. He has all of his belongings....whew! I'm hoping to get more details and pictures of the storm, when he has email again. He doesn't know when he will have could be a few weeks. He said that Tanna is destroyed! They were hit by the eye of the storm.  They won't be sending missionaries back to Tanna for at least six months. Sad day! He will stay on Port Vila, and some of the missionaries may be reassigned to other missions. I told him to report back to me what the people of Tanna need: toys for kids, hygiene kits, anything small that we could send over there that doesn't weight a lot.  And to let me know what he needs. Thanks for all the love and concern. I will update the blog as soon as we get an email. All is well, all is well!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Latter-day Saint missionaries from the island of Tanna after flying into Port Vila on 19 March 2015. 11 missionaries endured the brunt of Cyclone Pam along with other residents on the island.

Smith is on the right, giving us the thumbs up that all is well.

All Latter-Day Saint missionaries serving in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission are all accounted for, safe and well.  The eleven missionaries who were on the Island of Tanna when Cyclone Pam hit last weekend are all back in Port Vila.  The six missionaries on the Island of Ambae are also safe and accounted for.  Where possible missionaries throughout the country are distributing food and other supplies for communities in need, and assisiing people in other ways. 

Thurs March 19 2015

The six Tanna elders as well as the assistants to the president will return today. The schedule is to load the food on the plane in Port Vila at 10am and be back to Port Vila about 2pm. The missionaries will turn this second plane load of food over to President Moukura.

While staying in the school, in Tanna, the police asked the missionaries to be responsible for morning and evening devotionals which were conducted by zone leader Elder Beynon. The devotionals consisted of invocation, hymn, gospel message and benediction. Ma

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wed March 18th, 2015

This is an email we received from Shauna's cousin that knows the Mission President in the Solomon Islands:


The Lord had to be watching out for your cousin, Elder Beynon, and all the Missionaries, as I had just heard about our Elders in Tanna late yesterday.  Then the first thing this morning I hear from you via Shannon and it is about Elder Beynon!! Remember there are no coincidences. Yesterday the Mission President's wife called and told me that Elder Beynon had called and told the Mission President that all the missionaries were safe.  The mission president told them to pack their bags because he was chartering a jet to go get them.  Later in the day, the President met up with the cell company people, who were also chartering a jet to go fix all their towers in Tanna, as there had been no cell service for several days because the cells towers were down.  The president related the phone call from Elder Beynon and they said to him that was totally impossible as there was no cell service and all their towers were down.  The mission president just pointed to his name badge and stated I wonder how that happened... The Lord watches out for his missionaries wherever they are throughout the world and miracles happen everyday--this is a prime example of Gods tender mercies to all of us as we all try to do what is right in our every day life...

These are all the church updates about the cyclone:


Wed March 18, 2015

All five sisters serving on Tanna arrive safely to Port Vila and were at the mission home with President and Sister Brewer. He said “all of them were in very good spirits and looked just like they did last time I saw them.”

The food purchased by the church and flown to Tanna was delivered to the care of Branch President Moukura of the White Grass branch. The District President was simply too far away.

The 6 Tanna elders as well as the assistants to the president will return tomorrow. The schedule is to load the food on the plane in Port Vila at 10am, depart at 11am, arrive 12pm and depart by 1pm, back to Port Vila about 2pm. The missionaries will turn this second plane load of food over to the President Moukura.

Power has been restored to the Mission Office and the power company is currently working on the street the Mission Home is on. President Brewer is hoping to have power to the Mission Home as early as tomorrow.


Tues March 17, 2015

Yesterday two Latter-day Saint missionaries based on the Vanuatu island of Santo took a commercial boat to the island of Ambae where there are six missionaries. As communication channels have been down, no contact has yet been made with these missionaries. We expect to hear a report later today or early tomorrow. The Santo missionaries are carrying emergency supplies to assist those suffering from the effects of cyclone Pam.

Another two missionaries from Port Vila are flying to Tanna on a small plane today which has been chartered by the LDS Church. They are taking aid to the people in need there and they will also transport missionaries back to Port Vila.


Mon March 16th 2015

Within the last hour the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission President, Larry Brewer, made contact with missionary leaders on the island of Tanna.  The missionary leaders confirmed that all 11 missionaries are accounted for and safe. The Church is chartering a small plane tomorrow from Port Vila to Tanna. Two missionaries will be on board with food and other supplies to give much needed relief to those suffering from the effects of Cyclone Pam. The plane will also be used to bring the 11 missionaries on Tanna back to Port Vila.


Mon March 16th 2015

Latter-day Saint leaders in Vanuatu confirmed this morning that missionaries serving on Efate, Santo, Malekula and Gaua islands are accounted for and safe. Efforts are continuing in establishing contact with missionaries on other outer islands.

Church leaders in Port Vila purchased food and other emergency supplies yesterday which are being distributed to Church members and others who are sheltering at Church buildings, as well as others who have moved back to their properties in order to start rebuilding their homes.

Several Church’s Pacific Area Office employees in Auckland are flying to Port Vila tomorrow to support local leaders in meeting the needs of people affected by the cyclone. This includes setting up partnerships with other churches and agencies so aid can flow as freely and quickly to those in need.


Sun March 15, 2015


Reports from Latter-day Saint leaders in Fiji and Tuvalu confirmed today that all missionaries in the Fiji Suva Mission are accounted for and safe following Cyclone Pam’s destructive impact on the weekend.

In the neighbouring Vanuatu Port Vila Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all missionaries on the main island of Efate are in Port Vila and are safe.

Due to communication lines still being down to the outer islands of the Vanuatu archipelago, contact with missionaries serving in these locations has not yet been made.  Efforts are ongoing to make contact with and support these missionaries, Church members and others in these outer islands.


Sun March 15th 2015

Dear Concerned Family and Priesthood Leaders,

This is coming from the Pacific Area Office. We know there are many concerned parents and leaders wanting an update about their missionary. Here is a brief report on what we know concerning our missionaries serving in the Vanuatu Port Villa Mission:

- All missionaries serving in New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and the Island of Efate where the capital city of Port Vila is located are safe and accounted for.

- Communications with the outer islands have not been established. All missionaries were instructed 2-3 days prior to the arrival of the cyclone to seek shelter in the safest building on their island a concrete building which is going to be either a church, hospital or school. We have every reason to believe all of our missionaries are safe, but we have not been able to confirm that yet.  There is no phone or internet/email contact with the outer islands. We are hoping to establish contact within the next few days.

- The islands to the north of Efate/Port Vila were spared a direct hit from the cyclone, these islands include Ambae,  Malekula and Santo. While we have yet to receive a report, we have every reason to believe the people of these islands and our missionaries did not experience the devastation reported on Efate.

- The island of Tanna did take a direct hit from the cyclone. Prior to the storm our 11 missionaries were all moved to the westside, the safer side, of the island in the care of a local priesthood leader who took them to a school official who welcomed the missionaries into his safe building. We have not yet had contact with anyone on Tanna.

- This morning local time we held a conference call with the Mission President, President Brewer, as well as a highly placed government official who is one of our local priesthood leaders in Port Vila, our Area Seventy for Vanuatu, our Area President, the Director of Temporal Affairs as well as Welfare staff for the Pacific Area.  The safety of our missionaries was the first topic of discussion, followed by the role the church will play in providing relief to those affect by Cyclone Pam.

Pacific Area Offices

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Week 23 on Tanna

Sunday March 8, 2015

Dia ol famle blong mi we mi lavem tumas!

First off I want to let you know that I loved the pics you sent of you taking a drive over the mountain, it looked beautiful!  I miss the snow so much! But I love it here!  Speaking of weather, I think
there's a cyclone on it's way and it might hit us.  I hope not, it will spoil many gardens and many fruits.  The oceans a little rough right now, so pray that everything will be all right.  We will just
see what happens.

Oh and my sandals came with the valentines candy, thanks so much! My old sandals are falling apart.
Well everything is alright and me and my companion have mostly stayed in Lenakel, we really want to find many people to teach and to build up the Unit here.  So it sounds like the truck will get here this week or next week we'll see. (i don''t think this week because of the cyclone)  We're walking, but not as much as before.  We want to use the time that we walk in finding people in Lenakel.  Then when we get the truck we can go to south.

Well last monday afternoon we had a family house night with tiffany and ken and shared a message on choosing the right and heeding to the tabu spirit (holy ghost).
Tuesday we studied and walked all the way to greenpoint and stopped by a less active member named ben and taught him about enduring to the end.  We got to Ikakahak at around 3 but came to find out that everyone we planned to teach was gone.  But we found out a lot of information of less actives, recent, converts, and former investigators we can see in the future. We walked half of the way back
and a truck helped us out to bring us back.

Wednesday we went to whitesands for District meeting and then we did an exchange with the elders in saet siwi.  Elder Jensen came with me while Elder Pearce went with Elder Godfrey.  We were able to contact 2 new investigators and teach them.  The first one was Simon and we taught him and then we taught another papa named Pascal about the Restoration.  Then we made some good pasta for dinner that night.

Thursday was a holiday here "Chief's Day", and we decided to stay in Lenakel.  Not too many people were in town but we were able to go eat with pastor Jefford's family, they invited us to eat with them and they were curious about how our church works with tithing and helping with education, so we taught them about how we do tithing and how members pay tithes, donate fast offerings, and help missionaries, they thought it was pretty cool.  That afternoon we went to Mama Rabi's house and taught a new investigator named Kapahi, she was a referral and we taught her about the restoration as well.  Then we taught Rose and Susan about the Restoration.  We made good burritos for dinner.

Friday morning we ended our exchange and did another long weekly plan and then had to Check in a sister to fly to Vila.  Then we came back and went to Nos's house with our recent convert royal and cut the grass in his yard with bush knives.  It's good, but hard work.  The people use bush knives to cut their grass, some use weed wackers if they have them, yard work is hard work here!

Satuday we mostly contacted and taught a former investigator named Willie. went home teaching with a member named Willy and saw the Natonga family that night.

Sunday we contacted again and then we saw mama Rabi's family that night.  Sorry I'm out of time. I love you all so much and sorry no pics, i forgot my sd card reader at the house.

Mi lavem yufala tumas!!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 22 on Tanna Monday March 2, 2015

Dia ol famle blong mi,

So when you last heard from me we went to the airport and picked up 3 missionaries.  One Elder from the Solomon islands named Elder Oli, and Sister Torea, from the solomon islands as well, and my new companion Elder Pearce.  He's half Mauri and lived in New Zealand as a kid and he's lived in Gold Coast, Australia before he came on his mission. He's a very humble, obedient missionary.  Very soft spoken and a very loving guy. I'm excited to be serving with him and to learn from him.

We still don't have the truck, still walking around, I think the truck will come back sometime next week or the week after.  Pray that it comes quick!  I'm excited that I will be driving again, I haven't
driven forever!

Well after we picked up the missionaries we had a combined famle haos naet with our unit and we ate a big meal together, watched the restoration, and had members share testimonies and say goodbye to
Elder Child.  (He would be staying until Thursday).  Elder Ross stayed, with us because he would fly on Tuesday and Elder Oli went back to Greenhill with Elder Taukei.

Tuesday morning we woke up early and checked in Elder Ross in the Airport so he could fly to Port Vila and then to Santo. He will be a Zone Leader there. Afterwards we decided to walk all the way to
Greenpoint and we stopped by mama Ellan's house but she wasn't there. Then we walked all the way to Miraweng but none of our investigators we planned for were there.  We talked with some members and then walked back to Ikakahak where we ate a meal with the branch president's family.  It would be Elder Child's last meal with them.

Then a truck helped us out to get back to lenakel. Wednesday morning we went to Whitesand's for District Meeting.  Then we went to mama Onella's house where we shared a scripture in Nephi
chapter 16 when Nephi breaks his bow.  Then we walked to the other side of town and saw Mama Elia and her family where we shared a scripture with them as well.  Then they gave some referrals to us.

Then we saw Tiffany and Ken and we taught them about fasting.  They are so close to be getting ready to be married.  Then we checked on Thomas and taught him about baptism, we probably won't focus on him as much now because he's not progressing.  Then in the afternoon we went to mama Rabi's house.  We had origionally planned on seeing her husband John but he left and so we just shared a scriptural thought with their family.

Thursday morning we checked Elder Child into the airport so he could go to Gaua (he's gonna have fun there!).  Then we went home and did our studies and we walked to Lokueria to see Joe and Joses.  We taught them about prayer and we had already had a date for Joses to get baptized but he hasn't come to church.  But it's hard for them to come because it's so far and so we told them that it would be better to wait and that the time will come when the church grows and spreads there.

Afterwards we checked on a few appointments that cancelled and then we walked up to Isangel.  We checked on an investigator named Susan and she had a friend named Rose with her and Rose was very interested and asked many questions and afterwards we set up another appointment with her and she agreed so we found a new investigator.

Friday morning we did a big long weekly plan and went through our area books to organize everything.  Elder Pearce knows how to get things done really well.  We had a very thorough plan and then we went to Lenakel and we taught Papa Tupusi about the book of mormon.  Then we
decided to do some contacting around the town and then saw mama Elia again.

That afternoon we did some contacting in Isangel and tried to get some numbers of people interested for the message we have to share.  Honestly I think this is the first time I've ever done legit knocking on doors contacting because I've always served in the bush where everything is open.

Saturday we had planned on going to Greenpoint but we felt that we should stay and find more people that we can teach in Lenakel, because we run around so much and we need to just teach in isolated areas.  We walked south a little to the area of Bedel and we did some contacting there.  We also taught a potential investigator named Rudolph, we mostly just answered questions he had about the church.

Then we contacted in Isangel again to look for families to teach.  Many people accepted pamphlets and It's amazing how the lord prepares his children for missionaries to share the restored gospel!

Sunday we went to church here and afterwards just contacted the whole day.  We hope to have many appointments for the upcoming weeks so we can get more done in Lenakel.  We focused on Lenakel because it's also the center of strength.  The people come here alot, especially on mondays and Fridays (friday is the busiest, market day) and we really want to build up the Unit here.  It was a great week of a lot of success.

I love you all and know that everything is great! I love serving in Tanna and don't want to leave! I hope all is well with you all, you're in my prayers.


Elder Beynon