Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our one year Anniversary in Vanuatu!

      It is hard to believe, but we have been in Vanuatu for one year now.  We arrived on the 16th of February, 2013.  This has been a very eventful year.  We have learned so many things in the service of our Lord.  We love so many new people in our lives. We are certain that we have been able to assist so many. They just needed the chance to grow and progress.  The entire self-reliant initiative of the church will benefit so many world wide.  In some ways we now feel a renewed urgency to get as much done as possible in the time that we have left.
      On February 16, 2014, we were in Paonangisu.   We are teaching the Panning for Success workshop in Paonangisu again.  We need to teach on Sundays because the members boat in from other islands just for church.  This has become one of our favorite places.  The small branch is so warm and inviting.  The week before I had mentioned that our anniversary was approaching.  After our class finished, the cute little Relief Society president asked us to eat with them.  They usually bring food to the church and make a day of it.  Well, they prepared especially for us that day.
This is Sister Mothy Archie and  her son, Matthews.  Yes, they spell names funny according to us.  She is the Relief Society President.  She has a huge area to cover.  It is most of northern Efate and the islands on the north.  She is always smiling!!!!
They have added a couple of these little shelters to the branch complex.  It gives them some cover on rainy days.  After church they brought out rice, lapplapp (a root vegetable wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in a kettle over the fire, and  island cabbage ( not really a cabbage to us - it is more like kale or spinach greens).

They bring everything to the church in the morning already cooked.  They wrap the pots in towels during the meetings.  So - things are cooked but not served hot.  Unfortunately, there is very little flavor to anything.  Everything tastes very bland.  Oh, I almost forgot.  The island cabbage had little pieces of some kind of meat - maybe pork, maybe fish.  I tried it.  When we were driving off, I asked Clyde what he thought it was.  He said that he had avoided taking any.  I just thought that he was always brave!
       While we were eating, Helene and Alene decorated our car with fresh flowers.  It was the children here - especially Paonangisu.  Oh - I meant to tell you that we ate first.  Mothy served us, and they watched while we ate.  They did not eat until we left.  What a great anniversary!!!
    Here is Mothy's family  -  Michael, Mothy, Helene, and Matthews

      The next week we were back in Paonangisu again.  I had Mothy take our picture.  After the kids were giggling.  Notice the little 'monkies' behind us.
 This is Mothy and me.  I really do love her.  And - Clyde gave  me a haircut the day before.

      This is Elder Card from New Zealand.  He and his companion are opening a new group about 25 km from Paonangisu.  After church the kids all latch on to him.  I called him the Pied Piper!

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