Monday, October 5, 2015

Mi luvam olgeta!

The days here just keep getting better!!  I'm adjusting better and learning to love my home for the next 18 months.  

This week, Sista Tagini and I spent a lot of time doing service and helping our investigators.  We've found that these people always need help with something so it's a good idea to serve them and then teach them after we're done.  Then they seem more willing to listen and trust us.  

One family I have especially learned to love is the family of Mama Pauline, Papa Jaxon and their pikininis (children): Nolan, Trisha, Melody and a baby on the way.  

Mama Pauline & Papa Jaxon with their children

Mama Pauline was referred to us by our Bishop on my first day out proselyting in Port Vila.  We went to their house and they immediately let us in and continue to welcome us every time we come to teach.  Papa Jaxon is a member and a previous fighter.  He decided a few months ago that he didn't want his pikinini to grow up seeing their Dad fighting others and beating their mama when he got mad.  He is now trying to do all he can to turn his life around so that he can teach his pikinini what is right and help them find Papa God.  Although his pikinini aren't old enough to be baptized, his wife is, and she's ready to learn.  They will be married on October 23rd on the beach (and because Sista Tagini and I have taught them, we get to go out of our area to go to the wedding!!!) and then Mama Pauline will be baptized the 24th of October.  I love to see families come into the church TOGETHER.  Families are so so so important and I thank Papa God for mine every day!
This is a view that Sista Tagini and I saw as we
walked along the beach to get home one night.
Yes, I do in fact live in paradise! 

We have four more baptisms on the 17th for Netty, Luke, Naomi and Son and a wedding on the 16th for Netty (the culture here in Vanuatu is to buy your wife and because people are so poor they skip marriage and just live together.  In order to be baptized, people have to live the law of chastity = marriage so we get to plan a lot of weddings, wahoo).  We also found a Mama and Papa and pikinini who want to hear the discussions.  We start teaching them tomorrow. 

This Saturday, I got to watch the General Women's Meeting at our church!  They had a room broadcasting in Bislama and another in English so I was able to watch AND understand- Bonus!!  I loved all the talks but especially President Uchtdorf's about choosing to be happy no matter our situation.  We can't always determine what life throws at us but we can always determine our attitude.  God didn't intend for us to be miserable, he intended us to have joy.  I think every one has room to improve there!

Just a few more things I have learned this past week have been that people here have no shame.  During church yesterday, I turned around to shake an investigators hand and sitting next to her was a mother breast feeding her baby not trying to hide anything and the kids love to run around naked too haha.  
One lady agreed to let us teach her if I allowed her to braid my hair . . .
so I sacrificed my hair for a good cause.  I better not get lice!!

I also finally figured out why I'm always hearing kissing noises. Apparently that's cat calling here! The teenage boys just love to cat call to the "white woman" and my companion thinks it's hilarious.  Let's just say I'm just glad we have to be in our flat by 6 p.m. haha!

I love you all and I love this gospel!  I know that Papa God is watching out for each and every one of us olteim!  He wants us to be happy and we will be when we focus on what is most important now and in the eternities.  Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts, they help me so much. 

-Sista Draper

P.s. For those of you sending me letters, it takes almost exactly a month for letters to get from Vanuatu to America, so I will write back as soon as I get the letter but it might be 2 months before you get a response:)

Poverty amid Paradise

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