Monday, September 26, 2016

Finding a Gold Mine!

Our district activity last Monday in Fanafol
So I'll start all the way back at last Monday!  Right after emailing I went with my district of 14 to Fanafol (a small village about an hour away) to go on a hike for a district activity.  Sista Manly, Rivera and I had previously been on the hike and were able to get us to the destination, a cave, within an hour. We then had the chance to play volleyball and play with the pikinini for a few hours before we had to head back so that we could be back at home before dark.  A few of the missionaries thought we should take another route back because we were running out of time and so we decided to follow them. . . even though they had never been to Fanafol before. . . we ended up getting lost and walking through the bush until we came to a water pipe.  We were able to follow the water pipe to a small village and the people there were able to direct us back to where our bus was waiting.  It was a miracle that we found the pipe and were able to get home before dark!  God was watching over us for sure!

We had exchanges this week and I was able to work with Sista Rivera in my old area, Second Canal.  It was really fun to see my old investigators and friends there.  Sista Rivera is a great sista and never fails to teach me something.  
Zone training with all the trainers and trainees
The rest of the week Sista Ouamambare and I spent working hard in the area.  We were able to find and teach 14 new investigators!  This week we are hoping to find 20.  Our area is full of people, but they haven't been reached out to.  Another major problem we are finding with our area is that it is an hour’s walk from the church.  This means people have to sacrifice either financially to pay for a taxi to go and come with money that they don't have, or walk an hour to church and another hour back.  We've talked with the branch about this problem and they have stressed the importance of helping our investigators realize that they need to sacrifice some things in order to gain other things of more importance.  All the members in Showground are solid and I really believe it is because they sacrifice so much to be part of this church.  On that note, yesterday in church the topic was sacrifice.  We had three wonderful talks about sacrifice.  One was given by Sista Terahati (the district president's wife), another by Mama Jocelin and another by one papa.  They all had amazing stories they shared and I learned so much.  We have so, so much and are so blessed, yet sometimes we fail to recognize our blessings.  I am going to work on recognizing them and thanking my Heavenly Father more often!

This morning I was reading in Alma chapter 8.  This is when Alma tries to teach, but the people reject him.  He prays and even "wrestles" with the Lord to soften the hearts of the people so that he can "baptize them unto repentance," but their hearts are strong and he seems to get nowhere.  He leaves the city but an angel appears to him, comforting him and then telling him to go back and teach again.  Alma immediately turns around and goes in by another way to teach once more.  He finds Amulek and is successful in teaching the people.  This morning the part about "entering in by another way" jumped out to me.  Sometimes we try the same tactics over and over again and pray that they will work.  We need to ask God for His point of view and then try it His way.  That's when miracles happen.  This applies to missionary work, personal issues and many other things.  We need to TRUST the Lord and His timing.  His thoughts truly are higher than our thoughts!  I hope you all have a wonderful week! 
Giant spiders of Vanuatu

Monday, September 19, 2016


Me, Ruth (She served a mission in Boise, Idaho) and her little girl
Right after I emailed last week, Sista Jeppson and Ouamambare and I headed out to Banban for a branch family house night to celebrate the work of Sista Jeppson, Sista Rivera and Elda Tuavao in the branch as missionaries.  President Tarihati gave a small lesson about all that our Heavenly Father has given to help us as we go on in our lives to do new, challenging things.  Afterwards all three missionaries had the chance to bear their testimonies.  It was very sweet.  Those three missionaries are each incredible and have done so much during their few months in the Banban branch, and will continue to do great things in their new areas.  We finished off the night with Vanuatu Kakae (food), baby powder, and lots of mamas crying. 
Sista Jeppson and Elda Tuavao
On Tuesday Sista Ouamambare woke up and was feeling super sick.  She said her heart kept beating like: boom, boom, BANG and after the bang she felt super sick and tired.  We called the mission nurse, but there are no doctors here in Santo for the next two weeks so she told Sista Ouamambare to just rest.  Sista Ouamambare slept for almost two days straight!!  I was super concerned and so was the mission nurse, but we didn't really have a choice but to just let her sleep.  She is slowly getting better and her heart isn't banging quite as much.  Hopefully by the time the doctor gets here we won't have any problems.  Please keep her in your prayers.
Mama Roda, Sista Jeppson and Julio

During the small time that we had to work this week we contacted the small family of Papa Kalo and Mama Shila.  We contacted mama during the day and she said she'd love to have us come over on Saturday because that's when the Jehovah's Witnesses come over as well.  We agreed!  The lesson went wonderfully and the spirit was so strong!  Papa Kalo is just like Papa Shem and is even a captain of his own ship!  We go back on Thursday so I will let you know how things progress.

We tried to visit Anna and Rudh this week but Anna was very sick.  So we'll swing by tomorrow to see if she is doing any better. 

Exciting news!!  Our branch was finally given a time to go to the Suva. Fiji temple in November of this year!!  All the members are getting ready to go and a lot have noticed many challenges coming into their lives, but they don't let that hold them back. These people teach me so much about faith.  They don't let anything get in the way of what they believe.  Their sights are set.  I love what I am doing and I love you all and hope you have another wonderful week!
Suva. Fiji Temple

Monday, September 12, 2016


I hope you all had a great week!  This week was a pretty normal week, so this email will be short and sweet:)  

We had the chance to teach A.J. again, but unfortunately not Rudh.  A.J. expressed that she had a lot of concerns and the opposition she has been facing from her family and friends since she started taking the lessons and going to church.  She asked us why all this was happening when she is doing what she feels is right.  Sista Jeppson bore a powerful testimony of the power of God and that when the devil sees we are trying to become better, he hits hard.  He doesn't want us to be happy, he wants us to be miserable just like him.  We then read Joseph Smith History:

"I soon found … that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.

It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.

However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it."

It was a powerful lesson and we continue to work and pray for her.  She has the potential to do so much good!

Well, that's it!  We did a lot of contacting and found a few new people and will continue to do so!  My time is up! Love you all.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Showground Week 1

Zone Conference
 This week was full of contacting and getting to know my area.  We contacted a bunch of people and at the moment have six new investigators and a bunch of potential.  Two of our golden finds were Anna and Rudh.  Anna is 19 years old and Rudh is 21.  They live in Vila right behind the chapel at “Numba tu.”  They've watched all the people going to and from church for years but have never gone over themselves because they were scared.  They both came to church on Sunday and loved it!  The young women welcomed them with open arms as did the leaders.  We asked how class was after church and they said it was "lovely."  We then asked what the topic was and they said sexual purity.  So I'm glad they thought it was lovely and learned a lot! J  They're fantastic and are so interested in learning more and more.  I'll keep you updated on them for sure! 
A giant spider in our house!

Other than that, the area of Showground is very, very big and we walk soooooo much.  My skin is nice and red because of it, but it is wonderful and the people here are the best.  I wouldn't mind staying in this area until the end of my mission.  My companions are fantastic and we laugh so much together.  Sista Jeppson teaches me a lot every single day.  She is a master teacher and when she bears her testimony you have no doubt at all that she is 100% certain that what she is teaching is true.  Sista O. is slowly improving in Bislama, but is very timid and so we've continued to work with her.  She is so helpful and sweet and studies, studies, studies!  She wants to improve soooo much and I really admire that.

Well, that's all that I have for this week. . . I love you all and hope you make it a great week!
Sister O. and me