Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I am happy

Bonjouuuur bonjour bonjour. 

Well all the weeks are blurring together because they are all full of miracles and the Spirit and the most wonderful experiences week after sweet week. 

May I just say again that missions are the greatest gift? Just as in everything He does, Heavenly Father asks for a little sacrifice just so He can drench us in blessings. I'm convinced that missions are 18 months, or 24 months, of the most abundant, profound blessings we young, anxious 19 year old children have ever experienced. And by the end of them we learn to be adults. Adults who LOVE the Lord, who hunger for the Spirit, who seek after words of wisdom and who yearn to serve. 

If I seem to repeat myself between emails, I just can't help myself. I don't want anyone to doubt the goodness of God or the blessing of serving a mission. 

As I said, we had another delightful week. We keep losing our study hours or planning hours because we schedule people back to back and still have some people who don't fit in. It is the most wonderful thing. 

Of course, that being said, there are still cancellations and no-shows and all of those real life oppositions, but the Lord is blessing us in a different way here than I've experienced up to this point. He is blessing us with lots of WORK. 

Happy little miracle. Because we can't do Reunion de District with only 2 soeurs and 2 elders, I haven't had a district meeting in months (given that's the situation in Bourail and Paita both). We were missing that chance to have trainings and correlation and some spiritual nourishment. Today we gave ourselves our own little miniature formation (training) during our etude en equipe and at the end I was literally bounding with joy walking out the door because I was feeling so edified and motivated to do better. Haha the Spirit works wonders. Well about an hour later we got a call from our district leader that we'd get to do a district meeting this week. Oh sweet heavenly response to prayers! 

Meanwhile every time we look at our board in our house with the names of our amis written on it I am overcome with gratitude. We have been so blessed to be led to incredible people. Prepared people. 

Lately we've been having to cancel meal appointments with members to be able to teach our amis at night after they come home from work. At first they were a little disappointed, but it has done wonders for our work. Not only do we fit in more lessons, but our members trust us. They know we're working. They know we love the work. They know the work is more important to us than meal appointments or member soirees. And now they are giving us coordonees. Oh la la member coordonees (referrals) are golden! They are so prepared and us missionaries couldn't ask for anything more wonderful!

Today we taught an ami about la dime (tithing). She lives in a tiny cabane made of tin. She grows half of what she eats. She is 72 and cares for her 33 year old son with down syndrome who can't speak. At the beginning of the lesson her immediate reaction to tithing was that she coudn't pay it because it was already hard enough to nourish her own family. But by the end she was the one testifying to the blessings of GIVING. I love this little woman down in the deepest part of my heart. Last week I was bawling as I testified to her of temples and the celestial kingdom. Heavenly Father has quadrupled my heart out here. 

We went to a lesson last week and as soon as we showed up I felt uneasy. I was trying to eye Soeur Giles and our member to see how they were feeling, but I couldn't tell. Well, we sat down for the lesson, and I'm thinking to myself, "ok, I think we need to go. But this is gonna be killer awkward to tell him, 'Hello, how are you? Thanks so much for having us, we actually have to go now cause I feel a little uneasy and I think its the Spirit...' " There I am trying to think of a good way to go about this when he begins to tell us that he was thinking about cancelling with us tonight. I quickly said we'd be happy to come back another time instead. As we walked out and drove our member home I found out that all three of us had been feeling the same uneasiness. When the Lord gives us promptings, He also gives us the means to follow them.

One of our members asked us to visit her sister who lives in a tribu. Yep, Paita has tribus too! One of the few cities down south with tribes. Of course, to go into the tribus, we have to do the coutume. That means we have to be presented to the grand chef, the big chief, and offer him a "gift" of money and fabric while explaining who we are. It is a very deep part of the Melanesian culture here. Well we showed up with our member to go meet the chef and he wasnt' home. Hahah awesome. Now our member is in Tahiti for a few months, so we're going to go with another Melanesian couple in the stake. Praying that we don't offend the chief of all the tribus in Paita haha I laugh but it's real. So grateful I've already done coutume up in Bourail so it's less intimidating, but wow traditions are deep here. 

Fun tidbit: Tribes are the most beautiful places on this island. The people who live in tribes are the Melanesians whose ancestors were the only ones living in New Caledonia a hundred years ago or so. They know and respect this country in such an intimate, sacred way. And this country loves them back. As soon as you walk into a tribe it is full of lush green and overflowing gobs of tropical flowers. Fields of banana trees are heavy with fruit and other fields are bursting with fruits and vegetables. They don't just have a "green thumb", 

Other than that we had lesson upon lesson of the Spirit accompanying us. 

I am happy.

Love you all!
Soeur Evans

1 comment:

  1. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Vanuatu? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Vanuatu in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez