Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's A Jungle Out Here

Ow'ow Famle blong mi!

Sorry, sorry, sorry! Things have been absolutely nuts!! Mom, please refrain from emailing the mission office, we got a call from the mission office and I thought someone had died!!! I am alive and well, it is a 2 hour drive from where I am serving to electricity and internet, so I will only be emailing about every 2 to 3 weeks! This email is going to be all over the place because I have so much to say, but I do not have like any time, the internet here is not that great!!

So first thing is first...I am alive...haha.  I am serving in White Sands on the Island of Tanna. I flew from Port Vila to Tanna last Saturday and it was a 30 minute flight on a small plane.  The night before I left I was made aware that I could only bring 20 lbs of stuff with me to Tanna.  Well that was an adventure.  I went through all  three of my bags and decided which things I needed and didn't need, and I boarded the plane with my single bag!  Don't worry mom, all of my other stuff is being stored at the mission office so I can change my stuff out when we fly in for Zone Conferences etc.  So when we were in Vila everyone was freaking out that the only white sister was going to be serving in Tanna.  Yes i stick out! There are 10 sisters serving in the Vanuatu Port Vila mission and I am the only North American Sister.  All the Sisters were scared of me.  I think they thought I was going to be some prissy white girl, but I have definitely proved them wrong.  The area I am serving in right now is one of the most "bush" areas in the mission...hence the no electricity.

So a little bit about my area, I am serving right on the base of a volcano. AHHH!! When I heard that I about wet my pants.  When I first got here I kept asking the people what the plan was if it were to erupt..they laughed and said, "Then we sleep for a long long time.."---------VERY REASSURING...not. The volcano makes loud noises and shakes our house too...The second night I was here I woke up in the middle of the night to the house shaking and making really really loud noises, so I woke my companion up and said, "Sister Natto, the volcano is erupting!" She didn't even budge...I paced the room for a few minutes and then got back in my bed to try to sleep. I have never prayed harder to Heavenly Father to keep the volcano from erupting and burning me to death with hot lava.  I have sorta gotten used to it since then, but Tanna is definietly making a WOMAN out of me!

Oh yeah, my companion is Sister Natto. She is from PNG and this is her first time training.  She said she was terrified and cried when she found out she was training me...yeah I am a monster here..
Things I have learned while here: How to camp!! I will be camping for a year and a half. I mean really camping. The bathroom is a nicely covered hole in the ground. I learned how to shower with a bucket!! No being a picky eater here, I eat what we find and I like it. Heavenly Father must have killed some of my taste buds or something, because I can eat different things! I LOVE IT HERE THOUGH!!! I honestly am having the time of my life.

The language is crazy, but I am working really  hard to master it.  I bore my testimony in Bislama the first Sunday I was here and the kids were laughing so hard---probably because they felt the spirit so strong--- I have already grown to love the people here, they are sooo nice! I honestly would not rather be anywhere in the world right now!!

We are teaching like crazy!!! We have 9 people on date to be baptized at the end of the month, and many more coming!! Everyone here is open and willing to hear the gospel, and they LOVE their families.  They are seriously the most wonderful people on earth.  I can teach simple lessons in Bislama and the kids love making fun of my speech.  The faith of these people blows me away.  They are willing to walk over 2 hours up and down mountains to get to church every Sunday (with a baby on their backs).  They love their religion and have such a deep respect for their Savior Jesus Christ.  I am so privileged to be able to be serving amongst such amazing saints. They are the most humble people I have ever come in contact with in my life.  They are willing to give up anything they have to the missionaries and to their fellow members.  I have been learning soo much from them and my testimony is growing in ways that I didn't even think possible!

Funny story:  So we hiked up to this village and my companion and I were standing there with a member talking to a few recent converts when all of the sudden I looked down because I felt a really sharp pain. I look down and a little boy is BITING MY LEG!! Literally trying to bite into my skin.  It hurt so bad and I jumped so high! haha.  I didn't even know what to do, I could not stop laughing.  His mom grabbed him and said, "Sorry, he thinks you look like tastey white meat!" The member we came with had to hold his arm during the entire lesson because he kept lunging at me. Needless to say, I prayed with one eye open! haha.  Other than that a lot of the kids were scared of me at first.  They think that devils are white so they just stare at me with huge eyes... haha oops.

That's all I can think of for now, but I love all of you soo much!!!! Thank you so much for your support and love, it has helped me soo much!! The work presses on! I love being a missionary, I am sooo blessed!!!!!! :)  HAVE AN AMAZING WEEK!!! :)
Sista Broan

P.S. All my candy I brought with me made me many many missionary friends! They  loved experiencing American candy.  I gave my companion a war head sour candy and she spit it soo far, but she ate all of my licorice! :) They have NO CANDY HERE!!! 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sister Brown,
    I came across your blog as I was searching anything I could find about the Vanuatu mission. My daughter (shaina) will be going into the Provo MTC in a week (Sept 25) and I would LOVE to keep in contact with you. There will be a good chance our daughters will be serving as companions at some time on their mission.
    We are trying to figure out what she needs to take with her as far as packing. They say a blanket, do you know how heavy that blanket needs to be? We don't know what to expect as far as how cold it gets at night. Did your daughter take all her supplies (personal hygiene items)that she will need for her entire mission?
    I would love it if you would email me at so we can keep in touch and maybe give us some insight as to what you have learned so far.
    Thanks, Launa Allphin
    We live in Highland, UT, where are you from?