Thursday, March 5, 2015

Getting ready to go back home

The time is getting short before we will have to say goodbye and head back home to the US.  We only have about three weeks and feel there is a lot left to get done.

This is Diana Sam, the Relief Society President of the Erakor Branch.  She has a little shop from which she sells gifts to the tourists.  She also weaves these bags to sell, so we asked her to make 18 bags for us, one for each of grand daughters.  Every bag was different.

The mission president and his wife have a farewell dinner for senior couples going home.  The Duke's and us are the only ones left in Port Vila.  They really need more senior couples.

Branch One had a farewell party for us.  They gave us gifts of wood carvings, scarfs, necklace's, and other momento's.

The branch sang to us, "God be with you til we meet again".

The branch president and his family from branch 2, had us over for a farewell dinner.

The Malmeteso family from Erakor Branch had us over for a celebration dinner and adopted us into their family.  One of the Ni-Van favorite dishes is laplap, which they are fixing here.

Mansen is the head of that family and presided over the celebration.

We went up the Paonangisu Branch to say farewell.  This is President Eric and his family.

Branch 2 also had a farewell party for us.  They gave Elder Larsen an Island shirt and Sister Larsen an Island dress, along with other gifts and necklace's.  President Tiasinmal and his wife Mary are with us.  We have grown to love them very much.

President Gila of the Blacksands Branch had us come over to the branch youth conference to speak to the youth about the importance of education in their lives.  This is President Gila and his family.

These are the youth of Blacksands Branch at youth conference.

The Erakor Branch had us bear our testimonies in their branch the last fast Sunday before we left.

The youth from Branch PV1 had us speak to them the Sunday before we left.

Other members came over to our office to give us gifts of appreciation for what we did for them.

Dima and her husband John gave us pillow cases which she had embroydered on them for us.

This is Duncan, Lyndsey Akers, our landlords at the Blue Lagoon Bungalows, our home for 22 months.

My shoes and sandals that needed a little duct tape and glue many times to make it through our mission.


  1. Hello. My husband, Gary Tague and I are serving as senior missionaries in the El Salvador San Salvador East/Belize Mission. We are assigned to Belize. We have a young woman from the San Ignacio Branch in the Cayo District of Belize who has been called to the Vauatu MIssion. It was really interesting to happen to run across your blog about the mission to see some of the things, people, customs, etc. that she will experience. My husband and I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of the people and places. Belize is similar in many ways. The people are Kriole and speak Belizean Kriole as well as English and Spanish. Our missionary sister should adjust to Vanuatu very well.

  2. Elder Larsen, thanks for maintaining this blog. My name is Brother Layne Gneiting and since I'm cycling through Vanuatu and other islands this fall I'm dying to hear firsthand experiences about the country, culture, people. Would you be willing to correspond with me offline? I have so many questions to ask, and would love to hear your stories.

    layne at way of the hero dot com