Monday, December 7, 2015

Four New Members of The Church in Vanuatu

When people die in Vanuatu they mourn by making a ton of food and spending time together as a family.  Here are some photos of one family mourning the loss of a grandfather and making lap lap and eating sip sip (lamb).

Another amazing week down!  This week started off with Sista Eron sick . . . again.  We spent Monday night taking care of her, but she just got worse as the night progressed.  She had a burning fever that wouldn't break, was throwing up almost every 20 minutes, couldn't eat or drink anything, couldn't stand without falling and eventually even started throwing up blood.  I have never felt so helpless in my life!!  The hospitals in Vanuatu are AWFUL and so we couldn't take her to an emergency room or even to a clinic.  All we could do was put a cold rag on her forehead and try to help her any little way we knew how. We called the eldas to give her a priesthood blessing.  Luckily on Tuesday the mission nurse was able to give her an IV drip and get 2L of water in her, and on Wednesday the two of them flew to Papa New Guinea to get the medical care she needs.  We found out that she has abdominal tuberculosis and because there is a small, small chance it was contagious, Sista Rivera, Tagini and I were tested.  We all came back negative, so that's good.  Please continue to keep Sista Eron in your prayers.  She has a long recovery ahead of her and will most likely not be returning to her mission.

Mama Sarah's baptism with Sisters Rivera, Draper & Tagini

We had the chance to teach Grim again this week.   I don't know if you remember, but he is the man that has a ton of questions, kind of like Joseph Smith. . . .well, that's what I thought at first.  As we have continued to teach him we have gotten the feeling that he isn't interested in learning, but more interested in proving us wrong.  This week as we taught him, it got to the point where it just felt like we were "Bible bashing" and the spirit had left.  I prayed to know what to do and immediately I felt like we needed to bear our testimonies.  The three of us: Sista Rivera, Tagini and I, bore our testimonies that we know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's church once again on the earth and that The Book of Mormon is true.  When we were finished, Grim didn't have anything to say.  It was amazing to see what the spirit can do and the power it has to convey something that can't be put into words.

Friday we FINALLY moved (I say finally because we have been waiting over two weeks to get into this house)!!  The Coral Motel was just too small and we need a bigger house for hosting new and finishing missionaries.  I love our new house and I love it even more now that we have our Christmas tree up with lights.  Sometimes at night Sista Rivera makes milo (hot cocoa) and we just sit in our living room listening to Christmas carols and staring at the tree:)
Elda Christensen, me, Emily, Noel, Shem, Sista Tagini, Sista Rivera
 Saturday was the best day ever!!  We had a baptism for 4 of our investigators:  Emily and Shem, Papa Pakoa and Mama Emily.  Papa Pakoa is missing a leg due to diabetes and has a solid, solid testimony.  He teaches us, we don't teach him.  Baptizing him was a little hard, but with the help of our amazing Eldas, it was done and Pakoa couldn't have been happier.  Mama Sarah bore an incredible testimony after her baptism about how reading the scriptures and being taught by the missionaries has brought into her home a feeling she never wants to leave. 
Bong and Papa Pakoa

 Emily and Shem were our first "family" baptism.  They have 5 pikinini and 3 are already members.  The youngest is only 6 years old and we are going to invite their oldest son and wife to hear the discussions.  Emily was in tears by the end of the program and just kept saying how much she loved us and how happy she was.  Ahhhhhh have I told you how much I love being a missionary???  It's the best!! 
 I know this Church is true!!  I know it.  I know it.  I know it!  I am so thankful for the two hours of study time I have every day to learn from the scriptures and other church materials.  If you aren't taking the time each and every day to talk with our Heavenly Father and learn from him- DO IT!!  God is aware of us and loves us sooo much!

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