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