Monday, January 11, 2016

Cyclone Season is Here!

Baptism of Netty and Joyline with Mama Ruth and little Lin, me and Sista Sellesin
I guess I'll start off my email this week with the best news:  Mama Netty and Joyline were baptized on Saturday!!  Joyline is the last of the Peter and Ruth family to be baptized because she has been away at school in Tanna. That means in just a year they can all go to the temple and be sealed together for time AND all eternity!!  We just helped create an eternal family!  Wahoo! Netty has been taking the missionary discussions for a long, long time but hasn't been able to get baptized because she has been living with "her man" (who is also father of her two children).  He was extremely abusive- physically and verbally.  She finally was able to move away and get a place of her own and is now living worthy of baptism.  She couldn't stop telling us thank you on Saturday, but really we didn't do anything, it was all the spirit and her.  Saturday was a fantastic day!  
Out and about teaching and playing with pikinini
This week started out with an exchange with the sistas in Etaz (Sista Pavori, Monu and Jimmy).  There has been a little bit of tension between them and me, but we were able to clear things up when we opened the exchange and now I think we all have a lot more respect for each other.  It's amazing how fast you can clear up a problem when you rely on the spirit to help you.  I was able to spend the day with Sista Pavori.  She is from Papa New Guinea and is going home in just 2 weeks.  I learned A TON from my 24 hours with her.  She loves the people with all her heart and it shows in the way she teaches and talks with our investigators and members.  I need to work on that!  She also taught me a few different ways to teach different principles.  All in all, I really enjoyed my time with her.  
Our area after a rain storm . . . we made it across dry cause we know how it's done!
I should let you all know right off the bat how amazing my companion is!  Sista Sellesin, from Western Samoa, has been in a lot of pain lately because of her feet.  The second day she was here she started to get blisters all along the pads of her feet.  We think it's because of how hot it is right now and her feet just aren't used to it.  Now her feet are completely covered in blisters.  We talked with the mission nurse and because the blisters are on the bottom of Sista Sellesin's feet and we wear sandals and walk through mud, dirt, trash and the bush all day long, it wouldn't be a smart idea to pop the blisters.  So she just has to deal with them until they toughen up.  I can tell when we walk how much pain she is in, but she never complains!  I could go tell her we needed to walk to the other end of the island to visit an investigator and she would do it, even if it killed her!  She is amazing and such a hard worker who is devoted to the Lord's work.  Heavenly Father sent me a companion who can teach me a lot!

On Saturday, just before our baptism, we got a text from the APs saying that Cyclone Ula was heading towards Vanuatu and New Caledonia and there was a small chance it could hit us.  For those of you who don't know, cyclone season here in Vanuatu lasts from January to March.  Sista Tate told me that they got a lot of cyclone warnings and she was right!  Ever since that text our phone has been going off every few hours with an update or another warning.  I'm not worried (haha in fact I kinda want to experience one) because Sista Granger (the mission president’s wife) is the emergency preparedness queen.  She is ready for anything!  So we will be safe and sound as long as she's around!
Well that's my week!  I love you all so much! I'll leave you with a quote this week that is found in "Preach My Gospel" page 13.

"What does the Atonement have to do with missionary work?  Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others. . . A great indicator of one's personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others." 

So, how converted are you? I invite you all to make a goal this year to make an effort to understand the Atonement better and then share what you know with others.  Share that joy and peace that can only come through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  It WILL bless your life and the life of those you share it with!

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