Monday, December 21, 2015

Kresmas en Vanuatu

With my companion, Sister Tagini
Merry Christmas on Friday!!!  I cannot believe that Christmas is only 4 days away but could not be more excited to talk with my family on Christmas Day!  Wahoo!!  

The weather here is transitioning from dry season to wet season so it's either blazing hot or raining.  Either way it's 100% humidity and I feel like I'm taking a shower all the time because of the constant sweat running down my face. . . got to love it!

Our ward Christmas party was on Wednesday night.  VERY different from what I am used to!  We decorated the outside of the church and then once it was dark and everyone was there . . . it was supposed to start at 5:30 but because we're in Vanuatu and everyone runs by "black man time" as they call it, we finally started around 8 p.m. . . . we had a short program and then ate pig and taro and all the island kakae (food) you can think of.  We had a bunch of new sistas staying with us and Wednesday was their first night here, so they got to experience a real Vanuatu feast!  We had a lot of fun and so did Emily and Shem with their family, Pauline's family, Letap, and Solomon.  We were even able to meet a lady who had come with a  member friend named Doris.  She was interested in hearing the discussions.  We met with her on Friday and I already love her to death!  She is so sweet and has 5 pikinini and we teach them all together.  Sista Tagini and I love going into their home, and we can't wait to go back and teach them.
Sista Casuga and I at the Christmas party eating dinner

Thursday night we had the chance to help Sista Granger (the mission president's wife) and her daughters again with the arrivals dinner.  We had 21 new missionaries join the Vanuatu mission this transfer!  It is always fun to meet the newbies and give them advise because, now that I've been out for a while, I know pretty much everything.  Haha!  In that group of 21 missionaries was around 9 American Elders and 1 Sister called to serve in Vanuatu!!  Yeah!!

While we were teaching Claudine earlier this week, some pikinini ran by throwing around something.  I realized that it was a huge spider, and I jumped up on top of the log I was sitting on.  One pikinini got a big grin on his face and ran over to me with this huge spider (that was literally the size of my palm).  I screamed like crazy and Sista Tagini told the boy to knock it off and give her the spider.  He gave her the spider and then Sista Tagini brought it right up to my face!!  What a sweet, loving companion I have!  I don't think I've ever screamed so loud in my life.  It was disgusting!! By the time she finally took it away, all the pikinini were laughing and I was almost crying.  Oh man.  I didn't think I was scared of spiders, but I guess I am when they're HUGE!!
Pikinini with that huge, disgusting spider
Saturday, Rexon, Enet, Claudine and Letap were baptized.  We combined the meeting with the Zone Leaders and had a lot of investigators show up to see a baptism as well as a ton of members to support the new converts.  Letap was probably the sweetest one to watch as she came out of the water with a huge smile on her face.  She's been waiting for this day for a long time and it finally happened.  
Baptism of Enet, Rexon, Claudine, and Letap
Sunday night we had the chance to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional broadcast.  What an amazing program.  I loved David A. Bednar's talk that helped me picture what it would be like to live during the time of the Savior's life.  The music was amazing as well.

Because it is the Christmas season, I have been reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to learn more about the Savior and his life.  If you haven't ever read these books in the Bible, or if it's been a while since you've read, do it!  It's been amazing to not only reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ, but also on his life, work, atonement and death, and then His resurrection.  It has made me appreciate even more how much my Savior has done for me and continues to do for me each and every day.  I love my Savior and am so thankful for the chance the whole world takes to think about Him this time of year.  I hope we continue to do it all year long.  I love you all!  Have a very Merry Christmas!

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