Sunday, January 25, 2015

Edified and Uplifted


Well we spent all week in Noumea and only got back to our secteur on Friday afternoon. It is good to be back.

I had THE most WONDEFUL day on Thursday. We started the morning with Zone Conference. Enfin! I learned so much and felt the spirit so strongly. It was such a blessing to get to hear from President Brewer and feel the spirit that absolutely radiates from him and his wife.
After our conference, since me and Sr Gunn were sectuerless we got to sit and talk with Sister Brewer for a couple hours as we waited for our ride. What a treat! We got to really get to know her and it is such a privilege because normally we get very limited interaction both our Mission President and his wife due to them living in an
other country and only coming every 6 to 8 weeks. And then, my favorite part of the day. I was able to receive a priesthood blessing from President  Brewer, with our stake president, President Guidi, standing in as well. They are the two men in the surrounding 3 countries who hold the highest  priesthood  power and keys. It was an incredible privilege. As they laid their hands upon my head and gave me a blessing by the power and authority to God, I was filled with the Spirit. I know these men are the Lords representatives. I feel a renewed energy and peace and duty.

We are happy to be back in our secteur!

Tidbit, it's been a while since I gave a tidbit. Yesterday our best friend member fed us. Total local meal, she didn't buy anything. It was some steamed bananas and water taro from her garden along with a parrotfish- all cooked in one pot with some fresh scraped coconut. The fish was literally just a fish. Head, eyes, scales, gills, even its parrot beak still attached. And I ate it all. Our member loves the heads especially, and ate the lips, gills and brains and eyes right there. hahaha so wild. Not to that point yet.

We are getting taken to the beach today! Gonna see how to fish with a spear and other casual awesome things. Can't wait!

looove you all
soeur evans

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Know Enough

This letter starts with the answer to my question about telling us a little more about her everyday life in Bourail.

We live in Bourail village in an apartment that is super nice, full of sunshine and a constant breeze. We keep the windows open constantly because we're on the second floor and we can always hear birdsong and the sound of the babies of our neighbors playing downstairs. This week being in Noumea for meetings has been an adjustment. I was sitting trying to do studies yesterday in the other sisters' apartment and couldn't focus. Then I realized it was because I couldn't feel the breeze or hear the birds. I went and sat on the balcony and immediately felt more peaceful and able to focus. Crazy the little things about me that are changing too. I need to feel like I'm outside pretty much constantly now or I feel uncomfortable.

We walk everywhere, obviously, which means were out by about 10 or 1030 each morning and back by nightfall at 7 at night with just a one hour lunch break. Most of our walks are a minimum of 30 minutes but sometimes it gets up to an hour and half one way. Hitchhiking is a thing here so pretty often people pull over and offer us rides. If they are nice looking women alone in the car we accept and always have a great moment to contact them and to also speed up our routine a little :)

We shop at a little discount store in town about a 10 minute walk away. The town center, aka, the main street, is only a 5 minute walk from our house. Other than that if we need something else we go to the little store across the street from us and they have all the basics food wise. We're good friends with the girls who work there.It's fun to just go buy a baguette every now and then

This week with the  mission president I will talk about looooads. It's been 3 or probably more months since I got to talk to him, so I am beyooooond excited and ready to talk with him: I love and respect him so much. I'll ask about school and mostly give a report on the work in Bourail. They just opened up another secteur up north because we have been having so much success up here. It is really exciting and rewarding to know that our work is making a HUGE difference on the work and the progress in the whole north. So so happy. We will talk about things that need to get corrected or tweaked up north, as things are still getting started up north in all aspects. 

We have the one active member here who I LOVE.. She is so giving and humble and sweet and hilarious and real. She's the straight up islander from the tribe near Bourail and she is hilarious. She just eats the shrimp heads and hands and everything during dinners together and is just completely herself and I love it. Not enough room to describe her but one day. Sometimes on pday we get to go to the beach with her which is the bessssst. Her kids went camping on the beach the other day and speared some fish with homemade spears and then smoked river eels on the beach as we ate the river shrimp they had caught that day for dinner. I'm not kidding when I say SO STINKING LEGIT aaaaaah obessed :)))

Hope that gives you a little picture of my life..

Here is the rest of her email…….

sorry vite fait! quick email

We are in Noumea this week, yes allllll week. We have ZONE CONFERENCE this week!! I am so very very excited to see President and Sister Brewer! It has been much too long. We have to stay down in Noumea all week as a result of all of the meetings and interviews and such that will take place. While I am very excited for the spiritual edification of this week, I already yearn for the people of  Bourail and doing the everyday missionary work up in our very own secteur. It's just not the same when you're tagging along in other soeurs secteurs.

We had an interesting experience this week, one of my most passionate moments on my mission thus far. We were in the middle of a lesson with our recent convert and he was getting a little fired up about some questions. Some questions we were able to answer, but others we just didn't know. For the latter, we simply said we don't know. He questioned how we could come all the way around the world if we don't know all the answers. And my heart was pumping like crazy and the Spirit almost bursting me as I testified that I DONT knows everything. There is a lot I don't know; But I KNOW that this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I may not know everything, but what I DO know is enough. More than enough.

Well unfortunately that's all I've got time for. I love you all!!! Read the scriptures. Pray with sincerity. Thank your Heavenly Father for all He gives you.

Love you endlessly
Soeur Evans

photos-- working on my tan, untouched sunset

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Lord's Bountiful Hand

Bonjouuuuuuur mes cheries!

Well the Lord is so good to us. We had.......22 LESSONS THIS WEEK!!!!!! I am sure that to some that looks like nothing. But it is absolutely incredible to us. We started in Bourail with about 7 lessons a week and almost all of those were with our recent convert couple preparing them for baptism. When they were baptized we were still able to maintain 7 to 11 lessons a week. The longer we've been here the more we teach and this week just blew us away. We feel so very blessed. How rewarding it is to start a secteur. To arrive and have nothing. To know the President of the branch lives an hour away and there is a couple preparing for baptism, but apart from that it's been years since missionaries set foot here. And then to look back over the weeks of hard work and truly see the fruits of your labors. Lists of names of people we teach and of inactive members in the area that have been lost for years. How sweet it is to be an instrument in the Lords hand.

Unfortunately there is opposition in all things and despite inviting every one and their dog to church we ended up with only 6 people at church. Hahira and 2 of those were us, one was our branch president and one was his 9 year old son. We gave the talks and taught Sunday school. We will be giving the talks and teaching Sunday school next week as well. And the week after that. Hahahah on the brightside I only need a little post it note of scriptures and s few minutes to pray and ponder in order to prepare for talks now :)

Sr Gunn and I are staying in BOURAIL!!! No transferring for us :)

We love you! Hahaha oops I'm so used to saying we. I love you all!
Talk to someone about Christ. Guaranteed it will lighten their day. 
Soeur Evans
Mangos & Umbrellas-- Part of Summer

A peaceful moment in paradise

Sunday, January 4, 2015

11 months on the Mission, 20 Years on this Earth

Skyping home on Christmas Day with Sr. Gunn
Dessert Table on Christmas Day- French
Christmas Feast with Area Missionaries
Happiness is Skyping with Family
Cooling off on a Summer Day- Dec 25, 2014
Missionary Christmas Day in Noumea

Happpy Happppy Days to you all!!
I missed so many big days with email not working last week. The place we do email was closed and we were so so very sad. But! Its open today sweeeet praises!

Quick recap so you know briefly my life over this holiday season. 

Last week we spent most of the week in Noumea. We had a big missionary Christmas devotional with our whole island (about 40 missionaries total). Twas grand to see everyone but it felt super weirdly normal. Hahahaha almost like a normalish social situation.

For Christmas Eve we had a grand meal with some members down in Noumea. Christmas Eve here is rung in with sea food so the table was arrayed in mussels and shrimp and loads of raw fish.

Christmas day we got to spend with the Guidis because proselyting is impossible on Christmas day here. It was sooooo wonderful to get to talk to my sweet family!! The rest of the day was full of fun activities with the Guidis and other missionaries. Hahahah when we showed up they told me and Sr Gunn to go sit on the couch and relax. Hahahahaha we just stared at each other in confusion and awkwardness because we literally don't remember how to relax. We are so used to constantly doing something. We lasted about 10 minutes on the couch and then had to stand up and find something else to do that the other 10 missionaries hadn't already done. It was a lovely day full of the Spirit.

We went back up to Bourail on Friday. As soon as we were back we felt a huge ease wash over us. It felt good to be back with these people we know and love doing the work we know and love. 3 days away from our secteur felt like a long time, regardless of the wonderful things that happened those 3 days.

Other details... live have been out 11 months! Eeepers that's crazy! 

Also I am 20.  Baaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! Sr Gunn is the cutest and she spoiled me on my birthday :) But God really outdid Himself on my birthday. ALL OF OUR PLANS WORKED. That is unheard of. All of our amis were there for their lessons. The Spirit was unbelievable. We had a day FULL of missionary work and the Spirit filling our hearts. I couldn't ask for anything better.

This Sunday our recent convert passed the sacrament for the first time. Cane in one hand, sacrament tray in the other, he hobbled between all 10 of us and used the Lord Holy Priesthood for the first time. It was such a tender moment to watch him and to feel the Spirit of this moment.

We taught a lesson for the New Year for our little branch. Hshahaha church is basically us giving talks, us teaching Sunday school and then us doing a third hour of sorts. Hahaha it's unconventional. These poor sweet souls need some other people to hear from. But! I HIGHLY recommend reading the talk "The Best is yet to Come" by Jeffrey R Holland. It is life changing.

Fun fact. It was 115°F on New Year's Eve. We were out doing porte a porte and joking about how we felt like we were literally cooking ourselves and then found out we were. Yowza it is hot.

Looove you all. Sorry for the scatterdeness. Too much to tell!
Soeur Evans