Monday, October 19, 2015

Lap-lap and Rain

Beautiful children!
What a week!!  I can't believe it's already Monday again!  I'm still in a trio with Sista Monu and Sista Tagini.  We don't know how long we'll be in a trio, but I'm just betting on the end of the transfer in two weeks.  It's a lot of fun having three very. . . unique girls in a one room flat, and it can be challenging sometimes.  One thing that I am struggling with right now is the language.  Because Sista Monu doesn't speak Bislama I am acting as a translator pretty much all the time.  My language progression has really suffered.  I just need to remember I have a year and a half to get it down, so two weeks of slow progression isn't going to kill me in the long run.  

On Wednesday, I went to my first zone training.  We have about 25 missionaries in our zone.  I got to bear my testimony in Bislama with all the other new missionaries and listen to the testimonies of all the missionaries going home at the end of the transfer- super neat.  We did some training out of "Preach My Gospel" and the scriptures.  Lots to improve on!
Grating manyo to make lap lap.
Thursday I helped Mama Lidiana make lap-lap!!!  Luckily it had to cook for a good 4-5 hours so I didn't have to eat any, but making it was quite the experience.  First we sat down and grated a TON of manyo. Then we cracked open 10 coconuts with machetes and poured the water out and took out the hearts and then grated out of the coconut, milked the grated coconut, spread out the manyo on banana leaves, poured the coconut milk on top, sprinkled some salt, tied up the banana leaves and put in in the fire.  It made me realize how long it takes the mamas here to make every meal!  
Spreading out the filling on banana leaves to make lap lap.
Friday, we were under house arrest again- boooooo!  We were teaching our first lesson of the day when the Zone Leaders called to tell us to go back to our area.  I HATE staying inside all day long when we could be doing so much with the people.  Hopefully things clear up soon and it doesn't happen again.

Our first baptisms were on Saturday!  Luke and Naomi.  We showed up early to help set things up and Luke and Naomi didn't show up. .  . . and they didn't show up. . . finally 2 MINUTES before the baptism started, they showed up.  We rushed to get them dressed and ran into the chapel.  When I sat down, I realized the Bishop had put me down to play the piano, so I had to play two songs I barely knew and then I got to give a talk, completely in Bislama, on the Holy Ghost.  Oh man it was a stressful 30 minutes! This was a really unique baptism because the parents of Luke and Naomi aren't members, but have been taking the discussions with their pikini (children).  They need to get married before they can be baptized, but need to save up the money to make that happen.  This is taking a while so they asked us to baptize their pikini so that they can have the blessings of being members of the church until they have the money to get married and join the church themselves. The baptism service itself was performed by Elda Christiansen and he said it in English.  It was really neat and the spirit was so strong.  I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to be completely clean and renew our baptismal covenants every Sunday when we take the sacrament.  What a blessing!
Sister Manu, baby and mother, Luke, Sister Tagini, Naomi and Sister Draper
It rained a lot this week, which is good because there's a big drought right now, but bad because that means our area is a big mud pit.  We come home covered in mud.  I'm so thankful for the hot showers I can take every night!  We need them:)
I had a super neat experience the other day.  I was really struggling and went out on our balcony to pray and read the scriptures.  I came upon the scripture where it says that the Lord will never forget us because we are graven upon the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).  I looked down at my hands and it hit me that we literally are!  In Christ's resurrected body are nail prints from his crucifixion.  Think of all the times we use our hands every day!  The nail prints in His hands are a constant reminder of what He did for us and His love for us.  I think that is what grace means, that God knows exactly what we're going through and thinks about us constantly.  Just a thought, but it has helped me a ton.  

I love you all!  Thanks for all your prayers of support, they mean the world to me.
Cow skin and intestines.  They use it all here!

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