Sunday, January 15, 2017

Another Office Transfer

Well, another transfer has come past, and I'm still an office Elder with Elder Jeffries, making him my longest companion, which is kind of crazy, since this only my third transfer here.

This transfer was different, though.  Some missionaries from New Claledonia transferred to Vanuatu, and some missionaries here are transferring to the Solomon Islands, one of whom was an MTC companion of mine.  It'll be interesting meeting some 'new' missionaries for the first time, unless they went to Santo, I don't know where they went yet.

Missionary work was the same.  We didn't get anyone new, and everyone's about the same, technically progressing, but slow enough that nothing has really changed.

Well, that's about all I can think of, right now,  I'll answer any questions as they come next time

Elda Van Wagenen

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Good start to 2017

Well, that was a great opening to a new year.  We had a great Christmas and New Year's, and then a baptism last Saturday. I've got some pictures to send now!  Some from Christmas (that picture of the main course at Christmas is dog...), and a picture of the baptism.  Her name's Marie, and she's 18 years old.  We've been teaching her for almost a month.  Her grandma, a member, introduced us to her, and she had already decided to be baptized before we even met her.  Now we are trying to teach her mother, who has a busy work schedule and can't find time to meet with us or go to church, but between random visits with her daughter, and from when the grandmother was being taught, she's already got a decent understanding of the Gospel, and she's really only being blocked by her work.

Office work has gone really quiet since Christmas ended.  All we've had to do are the weekly key indicators, but once all of those are sent in, I can finish in about half an hour, so we've mostly been in our area instead of in the office.  But even that is quiet!  Everyone went home to their outer island for Christmas, and most still haven't come back yet, so our area isn't just quiet, it's empty!  There's still some people, but there's a noticeable difference in how many people are walking around, and it feels a little strange.  But they'll be trickling back in the next week or so.

Anyway, that's about it for now.  Talk next week!

Elda Van

P.S.  Most people here don't have patriarchal blessings, but from what I've heard, surprisingly most of the ones that do are mostly fromManasseh or Ephraim.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Some of our recent converts surprised us with a little Christmas party the 23rd.

Happy New Years to everyone!

It's 2017, and we've just finished a great Christmas season.  We had some great Christmas parties on the 24th and 25th, with some interesting food choices at the party, aka. dog.

Skyping home to my family was great, even with the background noise on my side.

We're emailing out of the internet cafe from now on, instead of out of the mission office, a new rule from president which affects the whole office district, not just us.

This last week was pretty boring, as far as missionary work went, because everyone was recovering from Christmas celebrations and hangovers, and preparing for New Years ones, which will probably make most of this week quiet for us too.  Not that our investigators would be affected, but none of them have been home this week, either, along with many members that we had invited to follow us to lessons.

Mission office work has been quiet, too, because Christmas is over.  I'm sure something will pop up soon enough, though.

That's about all I can think of, for now.

Happy New Year!

Elda Van Wagenen

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saet Siwi...!


Saet Siwi is a crazy place.  I've only been there for three days.  My flight to Tanna was on Thursday afternoon, and was in Saet Siwi that evening. We don't have any investigators right now, in what was one of the highest baptizing areas in the mission.  Everyone we can find are longtime members and recent converts.  We've taught five children between 8-10 years old who were all baptized two or three weeks ago.  Walking in the area is crazy.  There's some pictures of a mountain range behind the volcano that I'm sending.  That's Saet Siwi.  It's always raining there, and we sweep up huge piles of volcanic ash from our floor every morning and evening.  It's also cold there.  I wake up freezing every morning, and I'm loving the change.  I started my mission near the end of summer, and haven't left it since, so the chill is feeling great.

My companion's name is Elda Rillang from the Marshall Islands.  He's 22 and going home in December.  I'll either be in Saet Siwi a really short time, or a really LONG time.

I won't be in Saet Siwi at all this week, because we're all going up to Vila for zone conference.  We'll be coming back to Tanna next Sunday.  That's kind of silly, because I was just there for an entire week waiting for my flight, but I like the civilzation.  When I'm in Vila I can almost pretend I'm in a first world country.  Haha.

Elder Van Wagenen

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Hey, there's been a bit of a change over here, again.

There was another emergency transfer, and I'm not in Malekula.  I've been in Vila for the last few days, since Friday, with the housing maintenance Elders, waiting for a plane to go back to Tanna.  I've been transferred to Saet Siwi, Tanna.  I should already be there, but the flight was cancelled, and there won't be another flight until Tuesday, at least.  My new companion is Elder Rillang, from the Marshall Islands.  He's already there, and I haven't met him yet.  President told me it's just a temporary fix, and that I won't be there very long.  The next transfer is in four weeks, and I might leave then.  Anyway, these next couple weeks will be a little crazy.  Saet Siwi doesn't always have a chance to get to Lenekel every pday, so I don't really know what's going to happen.

Elder Van Wagenen.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Rano Custom History

This week has been a slow one, but we went to the small island Rano again this week, and one of our investigators gave us a tour of the island historical sites while we were waiting for a boat to come.  He showed us some of the places for custom dances, and even what used to be a table for cannibalism.

Anyway, we also got some new investigators, and I should have more baptismal photos next week, or the week after!

Elda Van Wagenen

Monday, August 1, 2016

Transfer Call?!

Sorry I couldn't email again yesterday, there was another public holiday...

I'm still here in Malekula.  The last week was pretty boring.  The week of Independence was not good for missionary work, and most of the time we weren't able to do anything.

Anyway, the transfer call came today.  There's been a slight twist.  Elder Sate is being transferred to Tanna, he leaves tomorrow, and the Malekula district is dropping down to a single companionship of three elders: me, Elder Crowell, and Elder Sevao.  We have permission to proselyte anywhere in Malekula.  I'm companions with the missionary I trained with the entire of the second biggest island in Vanuatu as my area.  All this will be in motion tomorrow, when Elder Sate leaves.

Elda Van Wagenen