Sunday, May 29, 2016

Return to Malekula‏

The moon and palm trees in Malekula

 I was out taking pictures from a good dozen different places for over half an hour getting that moon shot.  We have nothing to do after dark, because everyone goes to sleep with the sun.  We ourselves are usually in bed by 8:00 because of that. The sun goes down around 5:30, and is dark around 6:00!




Santo from the airplane

Everything went well in Santo, I'm glad to announce.  It was just a mission tour, and we'll be going back to Santo next week for zone conference, but we're not sure what day.  The visit from Elder Pearson was really good.  He taught a lot about obedience and goal setting, but I'm not sure how well most of the non-English speakers in the zone understood him.  My talk was on 'faith without works is dead, and I tried to keep it as simple as I could, because I wanted to have as many people as possible understand what I was saying.  I did have the talk scripted, but I only vaguely followed it, mostly referring to the overview and scriptures I used.

I don't have many pictures of Santo (only two) because we were in meetings most of the time I was in Santo, but next week I should get more.  There's a lot of undisturbed WWII sites there, and sometime I might get to explore one.

I don't really have a lot of time today, I'm using the more expensive internet cafe so I can coordinate a phone call home, and my companion is waiting for me.  His family doesn't have an email account, so he doesn't email.

Elda Van

Monday, May 23, 2016


Sorry I didn't get a chance to email yesterday, things have been a little hectic.  The internet was down in Malekula.

Well, I'm in Santo for a mission tour.  Elder Pearson of the Area Presidency is coming, and the Malekula district is here for his visit.  This is the first time I've been in Santo, and I like the island.  It's clean, and doesn't have too many people.  It's all pretty nice.  I'm also giving a talk at the mission tour...!  I thought we were coming here for zone conference, but apparently that's in two weeks.  We go back to Malekula on Saturday (Friday your time), then we're just coming back to Santo a week later.  My talk only has to be five minutes, but I didn't know it would be in front of a General Authority, I'll have to go double check my talk and I probably should write it out, instead of just having a couple scriptures written down and winging it (just kidding, but I do need to go over it again)!

This week we were teaching an investigator about faith, and we taught him that in order for faith to work, you needed an action to go with it.  I used an example of prayer.  Faith that prayers are heard by God needs to be backed by actually praying to God.  If you don't pray, but believe God hears prayers, that isn't faith, just belief.  You need to act upon your belief to make it faith.  That was just an example to help him learn what faith is.  I plan on sharing that in my talk, which is on 'faith without works is dead', which is true, because without works, or actions, faith is not faith, only belief.

Elder Van Wagenen

Monday, May 16, 2016

Phone Call

I'm not sure when we'll be able to call.  I had a feeling Skype wouldn't work.  Anyway, zone conference got postponed until sometime in June, because there's a mission tour coming at the end of this month.  The best time for me would be the best time for you, I think.  12:30 PM your time is 6:30 AM my time, so if you call in the afternoon, then I would get it in the morning, and if you called in the evening, it would be the afternoon for me.  I think we could try tomorrow, Monday evening your time, which would be Tuesday afternoon my time.  If you called me at 6:00 PM, that would be noon my time.  I don't know how to call internationally, you may want to google it.  the 678 is Vanuatu's area code.  If somehow it doesn't work, we can try next week.  I'll wait for the call tomorrow, but I'm not overly expectant that it'll work, with this short of a notice, so don't worry to much if you can't, but it would be great if you could.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!

This has been a pretty quiet week, but fairly tiring from all the walking, from Lakatoro to Mae, and I'm pretty tired.  Many of our investigators are good, I can't think of any with specific problems, but they all are progressing slowly.  I've got some pictures now, as well as my current district (but it won't be for long, there's been transfers, and Elders Stone and Meniano are leaving). In that picture, from left to right, are Elders Sate, Edwards, Meniano, me (Van Wagenen), Ngatehau, and Stone.  That's about all I have for this week, though.  The new Elders will be Elder Crowell with Elder Edwards (a former AP), and Elder Sevao with Elder Ngatehau (the one I trained).

Elder Van Wagenen

 The Chapel in Norsup, the closest to where we stay, but it's still a good 45 min walk.  There are two other chapels we attend, Mae and Pinalum. The one in Mae looks the same, but the one in Pinalum is a real chapel.
 These bugs were just a metallic green that I'd never seen on a natural animal before.
 Green oranges at the market
 I bought one of the large ones. They taste good with a slightly sour after taste.

 This boar is in a pen within view of my house.