Monday, January 18, 2016

Washing Clothes and Baby Girls!

District Meeting: Elda Muala, Vinluan, Allen, Welegtabit Sista Povori, Jimmy , Monu, Sellesin and me
This week started off with an exchange with the sistas in Malapoa.  I got to spend 24 hours with Sista Oreamatang.  She is from Kiribati and is quite the character haha!  I really enjoyed my time with her.  She told me lots and lots of stories while we were out walking to and from appointments.  She even told me about the first time she used a fast food drive-through. She was picked up from the airport by a lady who took her to the New Zealand MTC.  The lady asked if she was hungry and Sista Oreamatang said yes, so they went to get fast food on the way there.  When Sista Oreamatang was told to talk to the computer she was super confused and she said it scared her to death when the computer started talking to her haha!  I could not believe that she is 21 years old and had never used a fast food drive-through before.  It blew my mind!  She also told me about how excited her family was when they found out that their island of Kiribati was going to have a paved road put in around the perimeter of the island . . . life is so different depending on where you are in the world!
Washing clothes by hand
On Thursday, the sistas of Erakor Lagoon and Etas came over and we provided service for one of the less active members in my ward.  Her name is Mary and she is 23 and has a little boy and no husband.  She literally lives in a small tin house with four walls and a mat inside to sleep on.  We helped her wash clothes by hand, make simboro (It’s made with a grated starch, like cassava, sweet potato, or yam, wrapped in “island cabbage,” then simmered in coconut milk), sort through a garbage pile and last, but not least, clean out the toilet pit:)  It took 2 hours but with the help of 7 sistas we finished the job and Mary couldn't have been happier.  I gained a greater appreciation for washing machines and sewage systems though.  Never take those for granted people!  

We had the chance to help Mama Ruth fill out her "My Family" booklet this week as she prepares her family to go to the temple in June.  It's hard work because the people in Vanuatu generally don't know their own birthdays, let alone their parents’ or grandparents’ birthdays.  With a lot of asking around, we were able to find out Mama Ruth’s parents’ and grandparents’ birthdays.  She is so excited to go and receive her own endowment as well as do work for her family.  I realized how blessed I am to have journals and a family tree already online to use.  Family history really is important and we can learn a lot from it.  

We have been working quite a bit with small Enet's family this past week. Her parents want her to be baptized, but they don't have the desire to take her to church.  So instead she comes with her neighbor, Mama Solomon.  It's wonderful that she is coming to church but Sista Sellesin feels that it is crucial that her parents come to church with her and support her after she is baptized.  Enet is only 8 years old and NEEDS family support, not just neighbor support.  Her papa is a returned missionary and her mother is a member but they are both currently less-active.  Please keep them in your prayers as we try again this week to work with them and help them see how important the entire family is in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sonya is progressing as well and was actually interviewed for baptism this past Saturday; however, she didn't come to church yesterday.  Her father is very much against her being baptized which makes it extremely hard for her, even with the support of her grandparents and other family members.  Her mama would also be taking the discussions as well, but her papa won't allow it.  Satan is working so hard to stop the work of God.  Please keep them in your prayers!  What keeps me going is the knowledge that we are on God's team, aka the WINNING team, and He will not forsake us as long as we are doing our part.  

Pauline's new baby daughter.
On Saturday, Sista Sellesin and I got the news that Pauline had had her baby!!!  We went right up to visit her and her new baby girl.  She doesn't have a name yet but is absolutely darling!!!  Oh my goodness!!  I didn't want to leave!!  Pauline is doing well and so is the baby.  The custom here in Vanuatu is for the baby and mama to stay in the house for one whole month after the baby is born.  They can't go anywhere!!  Pauline says she is already about to go crazy and it hasn't even been a week haha!  So after this month is up, we can move forward with the wedding and baptism.

This week has been deathly hot almost every day.  Sometimes I go outside to walk to our area and I just want to sit down and cry because it is so hot and humid and I just can't cool down my body no matter what I do.  Skin cancer is inevitable!  I'm dying.  Slowly.  Haha actually I just feel like the wicked witch in "The Wizard of Oz"  when she says, "I'm melting,  I'm melting, I'm meltingggggg!"  Just enjoy the cold for me!  Well that's it for this week!  I love you all!  Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts.

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