Sunday, March 15, 2015

Here and All is well


Ok, first things first, I am totally and completely safe. Don't worry in the least  about me. The cyclone hit Vanuatu real hard and was devastating over there, but over here we are totally fine. Our darling member from Vanuatu heard news from her children (who still live over in Vanuatu for the moment) and their house was completely destroyed. Both members and nonmembers are living in the chapels over there. From the three days I was in Vanuatu it doesn't surprise me that they had so much destruction. Houses are so very simple and fragile over there. It breaks my heart thinking of all of them, but I am sure they are humbly and happily going about rebuilding. People over there are so very joyful and bright and self-reliant. But they will definitely be in our prayers. President Brewer is now not only caring for 3 countries, 6 districts, hundreds of missionaries and everything else of a mission president, but now also the destruction of a cyclone. Incredible.

As for us over in New Cal. We got restricted to our homes on Saturday by our leaders, so no missionaries could go out. We about went crazy being locked away from the people of Boruail for that long. There was some crazy strong wind and some wild horizontal rain, but aside from that we're fine. A couple times I looked outside and went, "I feel like were living Hurricane Katrina footage" with all the palm trees bending and rain blowing in every which direction. But honestly it was not bad at all. No damage or anything, so we'll be continuing work as usual.

Ok, as for the rest of this charming week! Highlight reel.

We were walking along my favorite back country road on Wednesday. It's surrounded by fields and cows and is less busy. Well were walking back from trying to see an ami when a little car pulls over in front of us. Hahaha and over here in Bourail the little cars are usually crammed full of local men that are sometimes a little questionable. So we were a little weary, but kept walking cause, well, there is work to be done, and we walk past the window and what do you know it's an inactive brother who is now totally active. Quelle joie! Well talks to us for a little and tells us about how he's going to get a calling soon (he's in another ward) and all and my heart was so full for this brother and his incredible spiritual progress. After a few minutes he continues on his way, apologizing that he couldn't drive us because he was a man alone. Me and Soeur Gunn keep walking and try to go see an inactive sister. Well she didn't respond so we turn and continue to walk. At this point we are really quite hot, we both forgot our water bottles, and no one will respond and all of our exposed skin is bright red and burnt. So we keep walking. And then we see that brother's car coming back down the road. And he pulls over next to us. And he pulls out two ice cold bottles of water and gives them to us. And then continues on his way with a friendly wave and " oh c'est rien!" Sometimes all it takes is a little bottle of water to be reminded that we are watched over. That our little prayers of, "Father we're a little tired and a little thirsty and trying our best out here, please help us." We were heard and answered. This brother was an angel in our lives. It sounds so simple I'm sure. But that act of kindness filled me with so much love and joy and lifted my entire day. Sometimes it takes so little to be an instrument in God's hands. Never underestimate the kindness that you offer to others.

We went to meet our new neighbors the other night. Just bring some banana bread, introduce ourselves and leave. And then they invited us to dinner. Hahaha so we had an impromptu dinner party with our Tunisian neighbors. They are legitimately from Tunisia and she showed us her wedding album and then we discussed religion (they're Muslim) over homemade couscous. It was dandy. We are, tragically, killer awkward in social situations.

Yesterday was the most uplifting, instructive Sunday. Our member from Vanuatu doesn't speak French, so every Sunday we translate for her. And whenever we see her we do our best to fill her with love for the week. We are the only ones at church who can communicate with her aside from other missionaries who speak English. But oh how grateful I am for this sister. She is a ball full of light and joy and FAITH. When you translate, she whispers little scriptural insights and testimony into your ear. Well shed had a hard week and just has a hard life at the moment. Long story short, we were blessed to have a Sunday witnessing the branch surrounding her with love, across all the language barriers, and the power of humble priesthood holders acting as servants of the Lord. 
Well the whole day got me really pondering and meditating. And I've learned a lot of things, but something I really internalized was my gratitude for a Church and leaders and teachings that have encouraged and supported my role as a woman long before I understood its value. How grateful I am to know the worth of nurturing and loving and caring. These words that are so looked over and almost mocked in the world. Nurturing. But I can tell you, I finally get it. I'm finally starting to understand. Read "the Moral Force of Women" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. He says so beautifully what I am beginning to understand so much more profoundly.

I have officially been with Soeur Gunn for SIX MONTHS. And how blessed I am for that. My heart hurts when I think about transfers. We are not looking forward to it. 

Love you all. Be an angel in someone's life. Everyone has a role they can play. Everyone can bless someone's life. It doesn't take anything enormous or grand to help Heavenly Father share His love.

Love you! Please oh please send your prayers to Vanuatu. 
Soeur Evans
Trees blowing in Cyclone PAM 3-2015
Compare this to the photo with missionaries standing in stream

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