Monday, March 28, 2016

I'm going to SANTO!

Wading through a "puddle" to get home after a rain storm.
This week was crazy busy!!!  We have been teaching quite a bit and helping prepare Olivier for his baptism this past Saturday.  He was so excited and was a bubble of excitement on Saturday.  He is so stinking cute!  On Saturday I also had verified that I am going to be transferring to the northern island of Santo to the Ban Ban area!!!  I will be serving with a Sista from Tonga, so that should be fun!  My mom was born in Tonga.  I was talking to one of our investigators about it on Sunday and she said that she will be moving to Ban Ban next week to be with her husband!  Now I can teach the couple together on another island!  God works in mysterious ways. J
Olivier, Mama Lucy, Mama Vero, Sariah, Sista Sellesin and I at Olivier's baptism
On Wednesday we had the “leavers” (missionaries completing their full-time missions) fly in from New Caledonia to stay for a few days and meet with the mission president before they went home.  We had the honor of hosting three sistas.  One was from Tahiti (Sista Mo) and two were from America (Sista Todd and Westerlind).  We took them around to see a little bit of Port Vila and just enjoyed the time with them.  I'm always amazed how much you can learn from "older" missionaries.  They just left early, early this morning and after only knowing them for a few days I can say they will be missed.

We have continued to work with New Jennie.  We talked a lot about baptism when we met on Tuesday but when we came back on Saturday she said she didn't want to marry the man she is living with, and who is father to two of her children.  As we were talking to her we noticed that her face was swollen and black and purple.  Apparently the night before her husband had gotten drunk and had come home and beaten New Jennie, as well as their six-month-old baby boy.  So sad!!  She will be moving out to live with her mom this week hopefully, and we are going over tomorrow to see how we can help her.  It breaks my heart to see such an incredible woman who is striving to do what is right suffer so much! Please keep her in your prayers during this difficult time in her life.
Papa Shem, Me, Jarom, Mama Emily, Jr, and Sarika at my "goodbye party."
On Friday night Mama Emily and Papa Shem invited us over for dinner.  I thought it would just be a normal "eat with a member" meal, but when we showed up they had streamers and balloons everywhere.  They had decided to throw me a good bye party!!  Jarom had put together a program and had me give a little talk.  Then afterwards we ate a traditional Vanuatu meal of simboro, rice, kumala, chicken and soup.  When we couldn't eat anymore they came out with island dresses and leis and calico and dressed me all up and then powdered me with baby powder.  Apparently that's what you do when you have a party in Vanuatu---put baby powder all over everyone. . . I was pretty emotional by the end of it all!  I am going to miss the people in Ohlen so much!  They have loved me since day one of my mission, and it has meant the world to me.  But I am excited to go to Santo and see how the Lord wants me to grow and serve there.

I know this gospel is true!  I love what I am doing as a full-time missionary!  Have a great week everyone.

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