Monday, November 9, 2015

Fire, Snakes and an Earthquake!

Hope you all had a fantastic week wherever you are in the world.  I sure had one here in Vanuatu!  
This week we went over to visit with the Relief Society president in our ward, when we finished storying with her, we asked if she had any friends or family we could teach.  She gave us the name of two sisters and then took us to visit them in their homes!  We talked with one mama (Latup) and she said she was very interested and would love to story with us. We taught her for the first time on Sunday and she said that everything we teach in our church is crystal clear.  She says it just makes sense.  We explained to her that the spirit helps us understand things and brings light and truth to our understanding.  It was so neat to see her drinking in everything we (and the spirit) had to say.  Afterwards, we went to the other sisters home (Mama Emily) and she said that she would take the discussions and her husband would as well.  When we finished teaching them the first lesson on Thursday, Emily's husband, Samie, asked when he could be baptized!!  It was awesome!!  The Lord is providing and preparing so many people for us to teach.  His work is moving forward and I have the huge blessing of being part of it!!

On Wednesday night our Zone Leaders, Elda Aka and Elda Willaby, came by to drop off some letters at our flat.  They told us that a store was on fire just down the street.  So all four of us went down to check it out.  A huge Chinese store was on fire!  It was super sad because these people live above their stores, so not only was this family's way of financial income destroyed, but their home was as well.   In Vanuatu they have dinky little fire trucks that do absolutely nothing. Fires are devastating.

On our way back to our flat, after looking at the fire, we walked by a members home where everyone was freaking out.  We asked what was happening and they said that a snake had come out of the bush because of the heat of the fire and had slithered into their yard.  Elda Aka went right on over with a stick and smashed the snake dead.  When he pulled the snake out of the bush, I realized why the family had been freaking out.  Snakes here aren't like snakes in Utah.  This snake was close to five feet long and as thick as my arm!!  Elda Aka was a hero!!
The next day we went with Mama Lidianna to go "fishing" for service.  By now you would think I know not to expect things to be the same here as in America, but really, how different can fishing get???  VERY DIFFERENT!  We went into the bush and walked for about a mile through grass taller than me (the whole time I was freaking out that a giant snake was going to eat me)  and into a swamp.  We proceeded to wade into waste high soft mud, and with a mosquito net, scoop fish out of the soft mud.  It was gross and I am never, ever doing it again.  But we did fill up a 25 kg. bag full of fish to sell at the market. 
Friday we had a nice little earthquake during one of our lessons.  No one was hurt, but hey! I survived my first natural disaster in Vanuatu!
Sister Draper, Mama Lidianna and Sister Tagini
Saturday we went to the doctor because Sista Tagini's leg has been going numb when we walk up hills and hurts all day.  The doctor can't find anything wrong and so he told her to limit her walking to a minimum. . . kinda impossible as a missionary in Vanuatu!  So we go in to talk to the mission president later today to find out what he is going to do with her.  I'll let you know what happens.  Maybe we'll get a truck!

I love you all!!  Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.  They help me get through every day.  Keep doing the basics:  reading the scriptures and praying- every day, every day, every day!  "Through small and simple means are great things brought to pass."

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