Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas and New Year's Celebrations

Sister Norton and I with native dancers just home from a performing trip on a cruise ship.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!  Since it's been two weeks since I have been able to email I'll give you a quick summary of what has been going on over here in Santo.

Christmas:  Christmas week we had the chance to share the message of Christmas with many, many new people in our area.  We taught using the church's picture/art book and it really seemed to bring the story to life for our investigators.  Our branch Christmas party took place on Christmas Eve. We loaded up a bunch of our investigators into a transport and drove to the church around 5 p.m. The program didn't end up starting until about 7:30 p.m. The definition of “prompt” is lost on many people here!  The Primary children acted out the Nativity for all the parents and then the missionaries performed.  The missionaries from the Philippines sang Christmas carols in Tagalog and then the Americans sang in English and the sistas from the Pacific danced.  The program was followed by a yummy giant plate of rice and soup. J  It was really enjoyable and our investigators loved every minute.

 Christmas day we went to church with a few investigators and enjoyed a wonderful program about enduring to the end.  Later that night we had a small devotional with all the missionaries in Santo, ate dinner and watched a movie.  The highlight was definitely skyping the family!!  

On the 27th we found out that Sista Norton from Vancouver, Washington would be joining our companionship.  She was serving with a sista who was waiting to go to Tahiti and when her visa came Sista Norton was left without a companion.  We are happy to have her and to learn from her.

Freshly cut pineapples
We've continued to work in our area like crazy.  Amina was doing wonderful and following the word of wisdom so well, but this past weekend she fell to temptation.  We'll have to continue to work with her.  She is working so hard but is having a really hard time.  She wants to do better, and I know that she will eventually become clean.  

John is set for baptism this Saturday.  He has been coming to church for months and months all by himself some weeks, and at other times with Annerose and her little boys.  While we were doing our planning we both had John pop into our minds and knew he needed to get baptized.  We talked to his dad and he agreed to let him get baptized.  We also hope for the chance to teach John's dad in the near future.  

Well, that's about it for this week.  The sun is shining and life is good over here in Vanuatu.  Thank you again for all your emails and letters and packages this Christmas.  It means so very much!  

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