Monday, July 25, 2016

too many things. too much stuff

Sent: Monday, July 25, 2016 4:24 PM (MDT)
     Tuesday, July 26, 2016 9:24 AM (Vanuatu)
this week was really really crazy.
first week as a trainer. new area.

so our area is completely different than my last area. like opposite. my new area is basically a 20-25 km stretch of a road with 6-7 villages strewn along the road, some right next to the road, some a 30 minute walk into the bush. lotsa walking. the little branch we're helping right now is called the tanavoli branch(tanavoli being the name of one of the villages) and so this whole week we basically traveled around the 20 km stretch to the different villages getting a hang for the people here, building a relationship again, cuz missionaries haven't been here for 3ish weeks. the people here are super super nice. like. if we stay at a active member's house for more than 5 minutes, we're getting food. we don't really have a choice hah. the mama of the family decides that we are going to eat and so. we eat. really good stuff.

talking of food. tried some new stuff this week. there's this coconut snack here. called navara(roll the r in the pronunciation) which is basically if you leave a coconut alone for a number of days/weeks after it falls, it starts to grow leaves and roots. and navara grows inside the coconut shell. so after the islanders see the root or leaf, they crack it open and eat the navara. to describe it, it's kinda like juicy coconut flavored cotton. tastes pretty good. different than anything i've ever had before. 

i've gotten really good at hitchhiking. cuz we don't have the money to pay to go to town and charter a truck to the other end of our area everytime we go over there, we kinda just walk on the road and try and wave down any trucks that pass and beg them to let us sit in the bed of their truck. fun stuff. new experiences.

the people here really only have one big problem when it comes to why they're less active. and that is church is rediculously far away for most of them and they don't have the means to come to church. and so, as representatives of the lord to these people, we as missionaries need to help these people see the absolute necessity of coming to church and helping them do it.

my pikinini elder atuake is a really really awesome dude. i forgot what it was like to only be in the field for a week but now i remember and remembering what my trainer did, what i wish he did, ect and trying to be the best trainer i can beeee we managed to get a portable dvd player from the office before we left vila so we've been able to watch the district and related training content which is a really big blessing. *grumble grumble* you US missionaries don't know the struggle. #thestruggleisreal anywho. our house is really awesome. the selection of groceries here isn't as various? theres not as much variety. but we eat well every day, whether at members homes or in our apartment. life is good. we're hopefully going to be getting bikes someday soon which will really really really help us and our area.

oh yeah, one thing about our area is that along the road, there's just. papaya trees, and coconut trees. with like. ripening fruit that is 100% ok to just take. so free papaya and coconut if we want/if we find it. 
dont really know what else to say so. oh yeah. i met a pig named kiki. he's really smol and loves to smell my hand/ be pet. he's yellow with black spots and adorable. also like. everywhere here, theres just. cows, chickens, pigs, dogs, cats, walking around, chilling in the shade. #villagelife #toolegittoquit

i love my area and my companion and my branch is the best branch ever!
that's all for now!

Elder Hyatt VI

some pictures of my area.

the road,
a side road to one of the villages,
our bush chapel
me and a little lagoon thing
a place where we do our baptisms if we have any. p legit. the water here is rediculously clear.
a bridge of the road. rivers and bush all around.

the ridiculous amount of coconut tress literally everywhere in our area. EVERYWHERE

Sunday, July 17, 2016

a sacred trust- AHHHH IM A TRAINERRRR

Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2016 6:47 PM (MDT)
         Monday, July 18, 2016 11:47 AM (Vanuatu)
sooooo a whole ton of stuff happened this week. one of them being i am now a proud father.(trainer)

on wednesday we had a new elder from the mtc come and stay at our house. his name, elder 'Atuake. from tonga. cool guy. and so we asked the travel elders(dudes in charge of flights, and putting missionaries where they're supposed to go) where he was going. they said he was going to santo. i asked who his companion was going to be. 'uhhhh.... talk to the zone leaders.' and thus i found out i was assigned via emergency transfer(just meaning not at the usual 6 week interval)(a transfer is 6 weeks long) to go to santo. OMG santo is amazing. 

so found out we were leaving on thursday. left on sunday. and today is our first full day in santo. great stuff. the air here smells like the air at nana and papa's house(salty sea breeze). there are sooooooo many coconut trees. oh my goodness. vanuatu's 3 biggest industries are tourism, kava exporting(kava is a plant the root of which when prepared can make you drunk), and coconut oil/coconut product exporting. so there's coconut plantations here. like one of the villages in my area is literally a part of a plantation. like. when we went to our house for the first time(its a really nice house) there was a coconut just lying on the ground. like. freshly fallen from the tree in our front yard. 

anywho. santo. the biggest island in vanuatu. only got missionaries on the south side. my area is called tanavoli. my area is basically a section of the main road and all the villages that branch off from that section. my zone leaders, one of whom was the last missionary in my new area, showed us around to the members so they'd know who we were and generally how to find the villages. good stuff. our house is really nice. there's a big pamplamouse tree in the front yard with like 20 pamplamouse on it. and we have a washing machine and a shower and hot water and a stove. truly awesome apartment. 

the first day we didn't have any food and it was sunday so the zone leaders gave us some crackers and some rice. truly manna from heaven. we're going shopping today so we'll be all stocked up by the end of the day. 

so my new companion. my first and maybe only pikinini. elder 'Atuake. he's really cool. from tonga. don't know too much about him yet as we have only been in the companionship for a day or so by now. oh yeah. i guess i should talk a little about my last week in freshwota. 

so it was really bitter sweet. like. missionary work is really hard in that aspect cuz like. you get to know these people so so so well. their problems and trials. you feel for them. pray for them. love them. and then ya gotta leave...

had a lot of last lessons and good byes. didn't have very much success baptism wise but the people we taught and who the elders there now are going to continue to teach, benefited from me being there. for this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. 

been thinking about a conference talk given by elder uchtdorf? that talks about a statue of christ that was destroyed. and the people were able to restore the whole statue from the rubble except for the hands. which were destroyed beyond repair. and the people argued wheter they should hire a sculptor to make new hands. but ultimately they left the statue with out hands, but put a inscription on the platform of the statue. which reads 'you are my hands'. 

what im striving to be as a missionary. his hands to accomplish his work. his hands to mold elder atuake into the best elder in the world. gahhhh so much work to do. and so little timeeeee
that's all for now. 

Elder Hyatt VI

(pictures are kinda self explanatory? /i forgot which ones i attached and am too lazy to look at them with this slow computer. whoops. sorries.)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2016 6:00 PM (MDT)
         Monday, July 11, 2016 11:00 AM (Vanuatu)
Subject: trust

so. this week we've been building our relationships with our investigators.
like. in order for investigators to trust us enough to believe what we say and want us to return to their home, we have to have a relationship with them and trust between us and them. so that they recognize us as servants of the lord and come unto christ. 

so one thing that we did this week to help that was to go to eratap and help one family/a small community gather firewood to bring back to their house. the people here, very few of them have a stove. so instead they have a rebar and concrete rig to put the pots on top and the fire wood underneath. so they need to gather/pay for firewood every week or 2 in order to be able to cook. so we went with them to eratap (much more bush than my area) and walked around with bush knives and gathered firewood. like, branches that had cracked or fallen dead trees. stuff that's easy to harvest. and got enough to fill the bed of the truck and went back. the grass was about up to my knees  and there were a bunch of huge spiders and subsequent spider webs, but it was a great experience. 
so now with that community and family and such, we're now like family-ish and so when we teach them they actually speak what they're thinking which is leading to much more dynamic and tailored to their needs lessons. which is really really good. 

oh yeah. i got a new companion this week on monday. his name is elder albao. he got here on may 12? i think? so i'm a bit older than him mission time wise. so now we're in a trio and it's definately an experience. im very grateful i picked up bislama as fast as i did. trying to help my new companion do the same. elder olilig made a chicken dish in which he cooked the chicken in a sauce where the main ingredient was ketchup. it wasn't actually that bad. i have a feeling when i come home from my mission im gonna be cooking like dad does. just. whatever is in the freezer, goes in the pot. 
all the pictures from this week i took the day we went to gather firewood. 

also someone stole my sandals from off my back porch last night. kinda tragic but. it's all good. i have other shoes and they probably needed those shoes. 

also i let one mama try some craisins and she said that my mom should send a lot more for her and her family. haha i guess that means she liked it. the work moves forward. 

i've been reading in alma 30ish to 40 ish this past week. also i finished jesus the christ. really really good book. also alma's advice to his sons is like a freaking gold mine of amazing scriptures. 

that's all for now. i hope everyone who read to this point has a great week!!!

Elder Hyatt VI

Sunday, July 3, 2016

miracles and how to achieve them

Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2016 5:31 PM (MDT)
         Monday, July 04, 2016 10:31 AM (Vanuatu)
happy fourth of july!

so this month, my mission president has really been pushing and trying to breathe urgency and excitement into the missionaries here and he has thus dubbed july a month of miracles. he's given a few training sessions in which i attended which he talked about how to achieve miracles and what holds us back from them. good stuff. really great mission president over here. all yous in america should be jealous! just kidding. coveting is a sin.

anywho. this week was pretty nice. we have quite a few people we're working with and doing our best to have miracles. in the context of missionary work, a miracle being someone changing their life around and choosing to follow christ into the waters of baptism. 

i and my companion of three transfers now, elder omilig, have really started to hit a stride in our teaching. like. we're getting better and better about focusing on the spirit of the lesson and teaching true doctrine than the words in the pamphlet. also something kinda clicked in my head this week. the one thing that i have that no one else on the entire planet has is my testimony. and therefore, that should be one of the key points of my teaching. bearing my testimony and feeling the truthfulness of what im saying through the spirit as i tell it. we've been teaching one dude who is really active in another church and we're asking him, by asking him to be baptized, to change his whole life. abandon his sins and his less than perfectly true church to become a disciple of christ. and yeah. 

missionary work in general is both really easy and really hard. you don't have to worry about paying rent or having enough money for food or passing exams at school or anything like that. the only thing you get to worry about really is your investigators. that's what makes it easy. but what makes it hard is leaving all that other stuff, leaving those big chunks of your personality and knowledge by the wayside and focusing on spiritual things. 

one really awesome experience i had this week is... remember last week about how i talked about how we gave a pamphlet to the neighbor of a market stall? well. if you don't remember go re read that cuz im not gonna type all that out again. so we went to the return appointment to the neighbor of the market stall and............ surprise surprise she wasn't home.. but! the original market stall referral who we hadn't talked to in months! was home and gladly received us and we taught her again. when we first taught her, my bislama was very very bad. and now my relative fluency, it was a really awesome moment/teaching opportunity and i had the most dorky smile on my face the whole lesson. 

also. the pictures. so we went to ward correlation meeting one night and the 4 sisters who are also in our ward didn't show up.. so on arrival i found a kid using a bush knife to make some kindling/cutting fire wood. cut some fire wood. remembering the good ol' boy scout days. and then the 2nd counselor from our ward came out and gave us a frying pan and some small fish to fry. and that is the result. kinda scary looking, right? so apparently you can eat the fish whole when they're that small. like bones, head and all. very crunchy. but it was good. life is good. 

so the pictures are

o   ward correlation meeting(one of the sister missionaries in my ward took the picture) 
o   the fried fish
o   P-day bball team
o   [missing] and a type of chip here that i really really like. peanut ruffs. really really really addictive. but a really big bag is only like 100 vatu so...

that's all for now!

elder Hyatt VI