Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ialulu (Yah-lulu)

Well, I have a bit of a story to tell.  The transfer came and went, and I originally stayed in Tanna. Life continued on as usual, until I got a phone call last Tuesday night.  We had another emergency transfer, and I was going to Port Vila to work in the mission office as a housing maintenance elder.  That's where I am now.  Tanna didn't want to say goodbye, and as a thank you gift, one of the strangest things was given to me, a gift I'll never get anything similar to again: the chief of the tribe in the area I worked in, Whitegrass, (tribes are an extended family, and cover 3-4 villages), adopted me into the tribe.  You read that right. I also got a custom name, and a boar's tusk, which is a token of respect and honor, and is usually only given to other chiefs as gifts.  I am now Ialulu Tess (Yah-lulu Tess) of the Rakatne Tribe.  I'll be trying to wrap my mind around that for the rest of my life, even though it doesn't really have a direct effect on me...

The next thing I knew, I was on the plane to Port Vila.  I now live in an area called Blacksands, which many Tanna immigrants to Efate live. And I'm an office elder for housing maintenance, which means it's possible I'll be traveling around Vanuatu, fixing missionary houses on every island, but there's a chance that may not happen, because the mission nurse seems to be taking over a large part of our job. But you never know.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of this crazy, and the rest of the last two weeks have been a blur in my memory. Oh, my companion's name is Elder Hillman, from a small town 30 miles away from BYUI.

Elder Van Wagenen.

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