Monday, June 27, 2016

Teaching and Birthdays

Sister Tonga and I enjoying birthday cake
Annnnnnnddddd I'm back!!  It's been another wonderful week out here in Vanuatu!! Last Monday we had the chance to have family house night at Flafi and Takame's home with their two little boys Simone and William and Flafi's sister, Cicilia and husband, Abraham.  We taught a lesson about prayer and afterwards while we were eating we brought up the topic of marriage again.  Flafi and Takame aren't married and Takame is a member but Flafi can't become one until they are married.  They told us that Falafi's papa is coming on the 9th of July to marry them!!!  That means that Flafi can get married on the 9th!  We were so happy to hear that news!!  The next two weeks we will be reviewing all the lessons with Flafi again to make sure she is 100% ready!
Family house night at Flafi and Takame's
We've continued working with Sabrina who is scheduled for baptism on the 9th of July as well.  She turns 20 this Tuesday and decided now is the time to turn her life around.  Her family isn't very supportive, but she has two amazing neighbors, Mama Ruth and Fina who are helping her a lot.  They are a huge blessing.  

Sista Tonga and I have been praying and fasting to be able to be prepared to have the Lord send us prepared people to hear the gospel.  This week we were able to find five new investigators!!  One is a mama who is around 30 years old and has been taught by multiple missionaries, but hasn't been able to get married due to her husband.  Now she and her husband are divorced and she can be baptized!  Her name is Mary and she was taught the gospel in Tanna, Malekula and now here in Santo.  She knows so much and is so sweet.  I really look forward to teaching her!

Sister Tonga's birthday
Sunday was Sista Tonga’s 21st birthday.  We celebrated by TEACHING and going to church! J Then we went over to Tony and Pricila’s house for cake because Pricila’s birthday was also on Sunday.  We also gave some training to a few of the auxiliaries in our branch on Sunday.  Hopefully this will help with how smoothly things go on Sundays.  We hope that more of what is supposed to happen will actually happen in our branch. J

I want you all to know that I know that God answers prayers!  I have prayed my heart out this week, even more than normal, and I know that God is hearing me and answering me.  The promise in 3 Nephi 18:15-20 is so very true.  If your desire is good and according to His will, then the Lord will grant to you the desires of your heart.  When His will becomes yours, He will help, no matter what you ask!  He is in the details of our lives.  I know it.  Heavenly Father will lead us and carry us when no one else can.  Someone once said that God gives us a million reasons to believe and then one or two not to.  I hope that we cling to all that we know and don't let the two or three reasons not to believe prevent us from receiving all that the Lord has in store for us.  

I love you all!  Have a fantastic week!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mama Sarah from Ohlen

Muddy feet after tracting!
I hope you all had a wonderful week! Things here in Santo are going pretty well.  Sista Tonga and I will be staying together for another six weeks and so we sat down on Sunday and set some big goals.  Santo is struggling and so is our area, but we are going to be part of a miracle mission and are going to change things.  

This week we made an exchange with the sistas in Pump Station.  I spent the day in Pump Station with Sista Ardos, from Pompey, a small island in Micronesia.  She is quite the character!  She was trained by Sista Tonga and you can tell!  They are very similar but it was still fun to teach with her and learn from her.  She is a ball of energy and got me fired up!

Sista Sellesin called me last night and told me that Mama Sarah passed away this past Tuesday.  For those of you who don't remember, she is a lady that Sista Tagini and I taught in Ohlen and she just loved me because we had the same first name.  Sista Sellesin and I visited her every week until I came to Santo.  It was really sad news to hear, but she is much happier where she is now and I cannot wait to see her again.  I had the chance to talk on the phone with her a few weeks ago, but she couldn't really speak or answer any questions.  I am so thankful for the knowledge that we have that this life isn't the end.  The next time I see Mama Sarah she will be healthy and happy resurrected person- I can't wait!

The crabs that come out at night.
We invited Robson to be baptized last night.  He says he wants to with all his heart, but he can't because he lives on land owned by his chief.  This chief is an avid member of the Anglican Church and won't allow anyone in his tribe to join another church and continue to live on his land.  Robson is a father of 3 pikinini and can't risk losing his home.  Sista Tonga and I testified that the Lord would provide a way and that he needed to trust God.  We asked him to go and talk to his chief and see what he says.  The spirit was so strong and Robson felt it.  He is a great father and really wants to do what is right.  Please keep him in your prayers.  
Well, that's a wrap for this week.  I love hearing from you all!  Thanks for all you do. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Banban for dayzzz

A district hike in the bush
This week was a little slow and we only had three days to work in our area due to zone conference, but we tried our best to work hard and were able to find three new investigators.  One is a 20 year old girl named Sabrina and she amazes me!  She came to church last Sunday with her neighbor, Mama Fina.  She has grown up as a Jehovah's Witness, but hasn't been to church in quite some time.  She is super smart and knows English, French and Bislama.  She wears make-up and dresses up for church, which is unheard of here!!  You never see anyone here wearing make-up or taking time to do their hair so she stands out.  I love teaching her because she is so interested and asks so many questions.  She really liked church and wants to learn more.  I’ll keep you updated as we continue to teach her.  

There is a little girl in our branch that I just want to tell you a little about.  She is ten years old and just adorable, but unfortunately has no support from home.  She joined the church about 7 months ago and continues to come every single Sunday all by herself.  Sometimes I come to church and see her sitting all by herself in the corner.  She is amazing and I hope I can have the kind of courage and determination she has.  She is a covenant keeper at just ten years old!

My ear started hurting again about a week ago.  So I went back to the doctor yesterday.  He said it is a chronic ear infection and won't go away unless I get tubes put in.  They can start me on medication again, but it will only work until I finish the medication and then it will come back again.  So at this point we have two options:  There is an ENT coming into Vila on Saturday, if he can put tubes in they will fly me to Vila and he will do it.  If he can't or doesn't have the equipment then I will have to  most likely come home to have the procedure done . . . so right now I'm waiting on a call from Sista Hill to see what is going to happen.  This ear thing is getting old.  I told the doctor yesterday where I am from (the mountains and desert) and he said that's why I'm having so many problems.  Change in climate and acclimation does a lot for those little bacteria!  Ugh!

After emailing on Wednesday, my district hiked to a cave in the middle of the bush. . . it was interesting and fun!  As you can see from the pictures, hiking in Vanuatu isn't much like hiking in Utah haha!  We enjoyed the time and tried some new things!
Climbing across a bamboo bridge on a district hike

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Zone Conference and FINDING

A beautiful rainbow in my area.
I hope you all had a wonderful week and enjoyed your first week of summer!  Here in Santo things are going well.  This past week I went on an exchange with another new sista in our mission. Her name is Sista Jeppson, and she is from Florida!  She is 22 years old, a marine, and just fun to be with!  She got here a month ago and is going through the same things I went through because her trainer is even Sista Tagini (my own trainer)!  She is my sista in the mission. J  We killed it together and taught eight lessons in one day, taught 3 new investigators and contacted like crazy.  We ended it all with a family house night.  It was fun to learn from her and with her during the exchange.  Every exchange I go on I learn something new.  I am so blessed to serve with the missionaries in this mission.

Sista Tonga and I didn't quite reach our goal of finding 10 new investigators this week, BUT that doesn't mean we won't be hitting that goal this week!!!!  We are using tons of things that Elder Pearson taught us, and the methods are working. He truly is an inspired man of God and applying his counsel will lift this mission and change every single missionary.

Zone Conference
 These past two days we have had zone conference!!  We started on Monday with a great MLC (mission leadership conference) with the APs (assistants to the president), zone leaders and President and Sista Granger.  We talked about becoming Masters:  master planners, finders and teachers, and that if we do so we can become a mission of miracles.  The conference was pretty much just a review of everything that Elder Pearson taught us, with a focus on a few things we are going to work together as a mission to improve.  President Granger has come up with a plan to help us become miracle missionaries and here are the five steps:  be obedient, be faithful, work hard, achieve the goals we set and never give up.  We will be praying as a mission every day at 8 a.m. and fasting every fast Sunday to do so, as well as reading the Book of Mormon together.  I know that by following this counsel the mission will change, and the missionaries will more effectively connect others with heaven, and help them remember what they already know from the preexistence.
Elder Lund's last zone conference
All the sistas in the zone with a few photo bombers!

We found an amazing family this week by street contacting.  Their names are Thomas and Rosline and they have a beautiful little girl who is almost a year old.  We taught them the first lesson and invited them to church and they came!!  They stayed all three hours and loved it.  We go back tomorrow to teach them again.  We also started teaching an 18 year old boy, his name is Rico.  His mama just died, and he needs the gospel more than ever right now.  He eats up everything we teach him.  We are continuing to work with Jordan and Eunice.  They are progressing so fast, the only problem is they have an Apostolic church in their backyard. . . so we're working on that.  Joshua is set to be baptized on the 18th of this month and we are continuing to teach his older brother, Robson.  The Lord is blessing us so much and I am so grateful!