Monday, March 31, 2014


Flag of New Caledonia

Hello my sweet sweet family and friends!!!!!!

I wish so much I could email you all individually but I seriously have
no time. Before i got an hour and a half, but now just an hour.

Ok I don't even know where to start. I left on Sunday at 4 in the
afternoon and arrived in Vanuatu at like 9 in the morning on Tuesday,
hot out of my mind and freaking out with excitement at finally being

We flew through Fiji and after I stepped out into the Fiji air after a
12 hour flight and turned to see the sun rising over the lush Fiji
mountains I really almost started crying. So so much joy and every
other positive emotion flooded into me. And I wasnt' even in "my"
place yet.

Vanuatu is probably God's favorite place in the world. Everthing is
just lush green vegetation. It's one giant beautiful jungle garden.
Like the garden of Eden. The Ni-Vanuatu people are all so dark and
beautiful and everyone smiles their radiant smiles and waves as you go
by. They do that to everyone, it's incredible. Everyone there is
willing to talk to you. Oh! I forgot, when I was in Vanuatu I spent a
lot of time in the Mission office, but I got

to go out a day with some

Sisters there, Sista Natto and Sista Teit. I LOVE them! It was one of
the happiest days of my life. Hands down. I was squealing and sighing
around every corner because it was just so surreal and perfect and
wonderful and happy. They call kids pikinninni and they are the cutest
things alive. We got to teach some people in Bislama (i testified in
English) and walk around the villages (they're a mixture actual
houses, homes made out of tin sheets and sticks, basket woven homes,
little huts, tarp homes, etc., all filled with the most joyful happy
people that show such warmth and love). And the Sisters bought me a
coconut to let me drink the coconut water and then we bought another
coconut and Sister Natto taught us how to open it and scrape the
inside and then use it to make creme de coco and then use that to make
coconut rice or candy. And then we also got some sugar cane and ate
that! And meanwhile we're just walking around town holding a giant
sugar cane in one hand and a coconut in the other, drinking coconut
water and talking to people in Bislama and hiking through these lush
green fields. Oh my, just pure joy. It felt so right. God blessed me
more than I deserve.

Oh also when we were sleeping (in the Sister's apt) I was almost
asleep, despite the chirping geckos and the lights left on to keep the
cockroaches away and the fact that we had pulled our mattresses into
the living area to be under a fan. Yes, so I was almost asleep despite
all that (and despite the fits of laughter we'd been having all
night... hahaha soooooo funny to put two Americans and a Papua New
Guinean together) when I felt something tickle my foot. THERE WAS A
COCKROACH ON MY FOOT. And a big one. Like the size of my thumb. Hahaha
they thought I was a woman possessed, I jumped up so fast ahahah.
Seriously, love that place so much.

Ok, but that's not even my island! hahah so I got to New Caledonia on
Friday and it was the complete opposite! Not really, but a lot
different. Picture Utah, with a little more green. Or Australia/New
Zealand/Peru/the rainforest/the wet part of Africa/tropical France?
Hahah really hard to describe. My mind was going crazy cause I kept
trying to compare it to somewhere I'd been but it was just a mixture
of everywhere and nowhere I'd been all at the same time. It is super
civilized in the city, honestly it's like Spain or a tropical France,
that's the best I can describe it. But I'm in an area called Paita,
and it's the COUNTRY! Hahaah again ;) God is trying to tell me
something I think. It is beautiful! We are surrounded by islanders, I
think we're the only white people I've seen so far, which I OVE. Our
area is big, so it's a driving area, but that's ok. I can't even sum
up a tenth of what i've felt or seen. But church: we are in a ward
full of Walisians, Tahitions, Caldoches, and every other island here.
It is in a beautiful chapel that's so airy you feel like you're
outside. And everyone is so warm and wonderful!

Ok, a few fun facts and then I'm done;
-apparently I speak French well? That's what people keep telling me,
but I don't know if it's compared to a newbie, or just the truth? But
my mind translates when I write already, so that's exciting!
-comp is Soeur Beagles, LOVE her, she's from Utah and she's great!
-Haven't eaten anything too too crazy, just some coconut, and a banana
(?) pudding/jelly thing?

Love you alll!!!!!
Too much to write!!!
Soeur Evans

Paita Region of New Caledonia


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soeur Evans has landed

Soeur Evans began her journey around the world on Sunday, March 23 bound for the  "Isles of the Seas".
Her journey began in Richmond, VA at 4 pm, travelling to Charlotte, NC, then Los Angeles, CA where at 11:30 pm she boarded Fiji Airlines for 11 1/2 hrs of flight non-stop to Fiji.  From there she transferred to a smaller plane headed for Port Vila, Vanuatu where she arrived at 8:40 am on Wednesday, March 25th, after 25 hours of travel.  She lost a full day as she crossed the international date line.  She will stay 2 nights in Vanuatu until boarding Vanuatu Air bound for her final destination of Noumea, Caledonia.  The mission home reports, " she appears to have survived the travel well, and looks happy and excited to be here." She has been assigned to Païta (French pronunciation: ​[pajta])  a commune in the suburbs of Nouméa in the South Province of New Caledonia, the capital city.    It will be at least a week before we hear an update from McKay.

Her new mailing address will be :
                           Soeur McKay Evans
                           L'Église de JÉSUS-CHRIST des Saints des Derniers Jours

                           Mission de Vanuatu Port Vila
                           Pour Elder et Soeur Pecqueux
                           73 rue Roger Gervolino, BP 15154,  Aérodrome, Magenta
                           98804 Noumea Cédex,
                           Nouvelle Calédonie

It takes about 4 weeks for mail to arrive, but only takes 1 international stamp.  I am sure she would love letters which she can read anytime and at her leisure.

New Caledonia

 Soeur McKay Evans with Newly Arrived Missionaries to  New Caledonia with President Brewer, her mission president  

Monday, March 17, 2014

When your Heart is Torn in Two

Dearest loved ones,

Given my emails from family, it looks like my special news has been spoiled. But I'll just pretend like you don't already know :)

I got my VISAAAA! my heart is ripped in two. President Wilson called me in after a Zone Conference and I assumed it was just a normal "how are you doing?" meeting. But it wasn't. I never imagined I could become so attached to a place in such a short amount of time, but when he told me my visa was here I really couldn't decide if I was excited or devastated. I found out on Friday and for about 2 days I was mostly in a state of shock and decided to pick an emotion right in the middle of the two...which means I was pretty much neutral and void of all emotional extremes of any sort. Hahaha not really the best way to be a good missionary, but you do what you can. 

Trust me, I was just as surprised by my reaction as all of you are right now. It is such a testimony to me that as we love the way the Savior does, time and location and circumstances don't matter. People DO. I will dearly miss so many people that I've met out here and feel incredibly blessed to have gotten to know them. 

The week previous is mostly a blur now given that news, but we had a cool miracle! Someone suggested that we go visit their friend, thinking he would like to hear our message. We went to his house and knocked on his door, but no one answered. So we decided to tract around the area for a little bit. Well we met a nice old lady and we have a return appointment set up! And guess what! That friend we were supposed to contact...yep he got baptized about a year ago and is an extremely active awesome member of our ward now (his name was just misspelled). The Lord led us to that area to find this woman, and he needed an out of date referral to get us there :)

I've been trying to saturate myself with as much America as physically possible this week. And all things cold. Heavenly Father must have heard my plans cause He certainly provided the cold with all this snow ahahah. If you're wondering what else Sister Evans is doing this week, you can imagine me walking through snow, eating Chik-fil-a and drinking a milkshake. Because that may have happened an hour ago anyway haha. 

Next time I write to you all I'll be on a tropical island!! BAAAAAAAAH THAT IS CRAZY. I tried so hard to push that out of my mind while in Virginia that now it seems like a super surreal, SUPER BEAUTIFUL dream of the past. And pretty soon it will be REAL. 

Love forever and ever!
Sister Evans (for 6 more days)

This week my favorite quote has been one my dearest mother sent me:
"You're not called to serve in a place, you're called to serve in place of the Savior." How true that is! But mission calls are still inspired. That's for certain :)

1: hi yes I held a baby chicken and it was also. also hahah Sister Redd :) this is normal

: snooowwwwwwy. want to hear how blessed I am? A member in my ward knit those red mittens for me <3 <3 

: this is my hard core work outfit. haha but really these are all clothes that i just found lying around or in give away piles. I love this farm and I LOVE that man behind me :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

I Believe in Miracles...

This is what tracting in Rivanna, Virginia,  in March,
 looks like.

!Hello hello hello!!!
Look at me, it's Monday and there's no snow to be seen and I'm emailing on time. Wahoo!!
This week has been awesome! A few weeks ago I found out that my grandparents own some land and a house and that it's IN MY AREA. WHAT?? Well, you know me, I don't believe in coincidences, so of course I had to go check it out. I mean, what are the chances that of all the places in the USA I would get reassigned not only to the mission that had that land in it, but also the area. It had to mean something, right?
Well me and Sister Redd were super excited to find out! We took our little hand drawn map courtesy of my mother and set off on an adventure! Hahah and was it ever an adventure. We spent a good hour and a half or so driving up and down this road. I knew the caretaker's name, so we would get out at a house, knock on the door, ask if anyone knew the caretaker and then casually bring up the gospel too! It was great, and such an easy way to start conversation. I also remembered that the house was up a loooong driveway so every time I saw a long driveway that looked remotely familiar or possible, we drove up it. Not the best idea when 4 inches of snow have just melted and you're on an unpaved road in the middle of the woods in an area with no cell reception and a little low-riding car. Luckily we never broke down...but we did drive through some really deep, iced over puddles that quite easily could have killed our car. We had no choice, we were on the Lord's errand. Also we literally had no choice because our car would have gotten stuck otherwise hahah.
The people that we talked to were incredible nice and open to the gospel. One woman is looking for a church and said her son asks her EVERY WEEK to go to church. We have a solution for her! Come to ours! If you're really going out and searching, He will put the people in your path that are ready for you. How true that is.
Our other miracles this week had to do with our fast. If you don't know, in our church we fast on the first Sunday of the month. We can pray for a specific blessing we need at the time as we fast. By putting our spirit before our bodies, we are more in tune with the Spirit. We also use at least the money we would have used on food for that day to help those in need. Last Sunday our Zone fasted for new investigators. Our area is especially difficult for finding new investigators, so me and Sister Redd prayed really hard to be able to find those lost sheep that really need the gospel of Jesus Christ and the peace it brings. IT WORKED. WE GOT TWO NEW INVESTIGATORS! They are both so incredible and open to the gospel. And guess what? They were both people that members led us to. Members make all the difference! I have been so humbled in both lessons with these new investigators. I know without a doubt that my message has nothing to do with me. Their eagerness to learn has nothing to do with me. The peace and understanding they feel as we teach them has nothing to do with me. It has EVERYTHING to do with Heavenly Father's love for them, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the sweet, gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost. I have learned this week that I really am simply a mouthpiece and what privilege it is to be just that. I love this work!
Another tidbit of the week. SERVICE IS THE BEST! We have a standing appointment with one man who owns a horse farm. It is the highlight of my week, I look forward to it so much! Ok, maybe not THE highlight, because there are so many incredibly good things each week, but it is definitely an extremely bright part of my week. The service we do is so simple and easy for goodness it's an absolute blast and a half for us. Hahah you put a city girl in the country and goodness I just have the time of my life! But the man we are helping is so appreciative and really needs the help. If you are reading this, go out and serve someone this week. Service is an absolute joy and it fills your heart in a way that nothing else can. There are countless people who need us, how can we say no?
Faaaaavorite scripture this week! Again, hard to narrow it down, but here's the winner:
Alma 13: 22-24
"Yeah, and the voice of the Lord, by the mouth of angels, doth declare it unto all nations; yea, and doth declare it, that they may have glad tidings of great joy; yea, and he doth sound these glad tidings among all his people, yea, and even to them that are scattered abroad upon the face of the earth; wherefore they have come unto us. and they are made known unto us in plain terms, that we may understand, that we cannot err; and this because of our being wanderers in a strange land;...For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
We shouldn't be afraid of sharing the gospel with others, because angels are working right alongside us. And it's all so that everyone can experience "great joy!" What a worthy cause. While we may feel like "wanderers in a strange land" at times, we will be helped along in that cause so that we cannot fail.
I love you all so much. This work honestly is such a rollercoaster of emotions. But it's all worth it to experience the sweet, full joy that comes with sharing the gospel with someone who needs the peace and joy that it brings. I have felt Heavenly Father's love for me, individually, each day. He knows exactly what I need and when I need it the most. There are so many little moments that remind me that He's watching out for me.
Thank you for your prayers and love. I'm praying for you too :)
Good ole country love,
Sister Evans

 Awko-taco self timer but what can you do? We are happy happy because we got to study outside in the sunshine. It was pure bliss: next to a lake, geese being all noisy, being warm enough to not wear tights hahah

 The house my grandparents own....soooooo weird to be in a place that's kind of mine while I'm on a mission.....sooooo weird. but cool too hahah

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Donkey in the window and my "lucky" finger

1- yes that happened. yes i tried to get him to put his whole head through the window. no he did not....

2- dont throw up. that part on my my skin. haha seriously dont barf. it looks better now

3- pre-burning-the-hole-through-my-nail-and-having-blood-
explode-out. don't worry im just making a face, i kept my real nerves on the inside for the most part

4-just the tip of the pinky is broken  hence no capitals in the blog this week

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Adventure Zone

Greetings earthlings! I am ALIVE!!!!!
Boy oh boy you won't believe the week I had. Except you will cause, a) it's me and b) its a mission and c) you already know I broke my finger....
So here's the story you've all been waiting for! We have an investigator who is probably the cutest and sweetest little old man alive (aside from my two darling grandpas who cannot be trumped :) ) and he sells firewood for a living. For a service activity we helped him split wood for a few hours. [ok sorry its so hard to type without a pinky so excuse the poor apearance of this email but if you want the content there must be something sacrificed]. Right. so it all seemed fine and dandy and was pretty much the funnest thing of all time in the moment. we loaded a log onto the giant woodsplitter machine (an axehead attached to a hydraulic pump that just pushes into the wood to split it) and then there was a big snap and it was perfectly split! over and over we just did that and I was quite overjoyed hauling logs and chucking firewood and moving pieces and such. well then i reached for a log and the next thing I knew my pinky was stuck between a giant piece of wood and a metal plate, with a hydraulic pump-axe pushing against it. lets just say the wood split me that time haha. I had on gloves so i didnt think it was a big deal and then it felt a little wobbly and weird and noodly but i just kept chucking the wood. and then we paused and i took my glove off and....haha well then i almost passed out. haha sorry i have low blood pressure, but it was also pretty gross looking. so i stuck my glove back on and kept splitting wood cause looking at it made me feel nauseous. long story short, we cleaned it up and wrapped it, but it started to swell really bad and get all black so we went into the doctor. and that wonderful doctor burned a hole in my nail. yup. that is correct. he burnt a hole to relieve the pressure of the blood and then he splinted me up. how legit is it that? I broke my first bone ever splitting wood?! hahahah if it had to happen, at least it was that way.
this week was full of a kajillion other firsts. seriously, it was so adventurous:
-we forded a river. yes indeed, our gps is super old and out of date and it takes us on these roads that are essentially logging roads. so this week I forded a river on the way to a dinner appointment haha
-after the fording we were laughed at by a car full of lumberjacks (literally) who saw us taking pictures by the "ford ahead" sign. wearing skirts. that was good. they seemed really nice and had nice smiles. we hope we get to drive by there again so we can teach them the restoration. if it feels safe and the Spirit says its ok of course
- I shoveled horse manure.
- I groomed a horse that marches in the Washington DC parade
- I hauled (not sure what verb to actually use) hay bales! Like I hauled them on and off the tractor. without gloves!
- I drove a tractor!!!!!! don't worry it was just around an empty field so there was nothing I could hit, but it was so cool!
*shout out to my father: every time I did one of these things I always told the people, "My Dad will be so proud!" and they just laughed and laughed. But really, I dedicate my adventures to you Papa :)
- I attended a baptism for an investigator! He was totally prepared and I didnt ever teach him, but I still got to go because I taught the Restoration while he was changing. By prepared I mean he showed up to church on his own, found the missionaries, and asked when he could be baptized. When he bore his testimony the Spirit was SO strong, it was such an inspiration to me
-I spoke to a person in FRENCH!!!!
Ok I"ll elaborate on that last one, cause it was a total miracle of the week. We were in Walmart shopping for groceries and started talking to the door greeter. He was super friendly, so we asked him about himself. It came up that he was from the Congo and my heart started racing a little bit, so after a few more minutes I casually asked what language they speak in the Congo and he said French and then we TALKED IN FRENCH TOGETHER! It was so cool!! Mostly he just talked and I listened, but I honestly understood a lot of what he was saying! Definitely not all of it, but enough to get the main idea. And I said a few things back to him and at the end he said I'm understandable. Oh my it was such a blessing. A tender mercy. A miracle. Whatever you call it, it was the hand of the Lord guiding me to this one random man in a Walmart in the middle of Virginia who spoke French. Also he's interested in talking to the missionaries which is the best ever!!!
This email is so delayed because once again I got snowed in. Hahaha day number six of something like that. I'm telling you, He is keeping me on my toes. And I also went on an exchange for the past 24 hours (where I'm a companion with one of our Sister Training Leaders for 24 hours to learn and see how things are going, etc.) I got to serve in the Rapidan area. About halfway through I realized just how much I needed that exchange and the lessons we got to teach because of it. We got to teach a woman the Restoration, which is the first lesson. Seeing the way the message we shared lit her up and filled her with a new understanding that just MAKES SENSE was incredible. THE GOSPEL MAKES SENSE. Plain and simple. When people hear what we are called to go forth and tell them, their lives are changed and their hearts are touched. This woman had never heard some of the things we shared with her, and although sometimes it made new questions arise, each time we answered those questions or shared another truth you could see the Spirit filling her with comfort and recognition of the truth of what we said. Wow. It was really amazing.
So much love to all of you! My favorite scripture this week (one of many many favorites) is Mosiah 24:15, especially, "the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." Sometimes we may feel like we are weighed down by burdens too heavy for us, but the Lord can give us the strength to conquer them. I had a personal epiphany in realizing that oftentimes, He makes US stronger instead of making the burden lighter. He can do both, of course, but understanding that our own strength from previous trials gives us the power to overcome future ones really struck me. There ya go, that's my thought for the day
Thank you for your prayers and love and support! Love you like crazy!
Sister Evans
Successful lumberjack Sister-- see ugly finger in other posting

The sign says.. Open Ford....yep that's where I have been