Monday, May 25, 2009

For the Strength of the Youth!

  Here's the letter Collin sent me this week -last week he was at a different place for internet and he had to use a french keyboard that was really difficult to type on, so we didn't get much news. But it was SO FUNNY to read his emails and see him struggle with spelling and typing, so if I have time I might post an excerpt from last week just for laughs... 

Hi Mom! Sorry the email from last week was so lame.. We took the bus down to magenta to do internet.. This place lets me use the USB ports, so I can change the keyboard and upload pictures. I will put a couple in here, and I'm working on getting my memory card to send home. Be excited. But not too excited-- I have no idea when I will have time to get it there.
So anyway, I'll tell you about this last 2 weeks.. Yes, we DID go to a catholique church, just for kicks and giggles. It was fun. And really weird. But cool. Our rendezvous fell through and we heard the church bells ringing-- and we said to each other, well it's time to go to mass!! So we did. We got lots of dirty looks from the devout catholics but it was fun anyway.
So on Saturday we were talking to this kid and he had this planter pot and we're like hey, what are you growing? and he's like oh, you know, pretty flowers! He had these little tiny plants. And we kept talking.. And it turns out it was just POT. ha ha! So he told us all about his pot growing activities and stuff.. He was only 17! But then we talked to him for like 25 minutes about how drugs and drinking ruins your life and we convinced him.. And we're like so, do you want to stop? And he's like yeah, well.. yeah.. and we're like alright, so the first step is to come to church tomorrow. Will you come? And he's like oh yeah sure.. (we get that all the time..) and we're like really? Like, actually? And he was like yes of course! And we're like.. Promise?? And he said YES.
Later we were teaching these kids from Vanuatu- turns out they're all here for school staying in this lady's house-- she takes them all in, not asking for pay, and gives them all a nice place to stay and eat and hang out while they're going to school here. Vanuatu is an absolutely dirt poor country that's also in my mission. So lots of people come either here or australia or whatev for school. So she's way great. So we start teaching all these kids (they're all about 18-21 years old) and there's like.. 10 of them! So we start teaching them all lessons, and some are more interested than others, but yeah. At the end we invited them all to come to church and they said YES we will be there!

So. I wasn't sure whether to believe these people.

Also, we have this guy named Dominique, an ami that was found by elder Amundsen and Aiho while they were here in VDC. He is way good and is at church every week. We also have this ami named Ausia. He's amazing and a half. He's read the entire BOM, D&C, PMG, and most of the JS manual.. And he quit his girlfriend so he could get baptized. He's at church every week. He'll be baptized soon.

We didn't get Dominique a ride to church, so he didn't show up. But Ausia showed up. So we were waiting out at the gate waiting for all these kids to show up.. And we waited... and waited.. and waited... nothing. We were very disappointed. So we went inside for Sacrament meeting and listened to all the annoucements and such then during the sacrament song someone taps me on the shoulder and said hey, did you guys invite a bunch of Vanuatais to church? And we're like... YES! So they were all hanging out outside.. And we're like WOAH you guys actually showed up! And they're like.. Sorry we're late. So as we're talking to them, the POT kid showed up too!!!!! I was utterly amazed. SO many people promise me they'll come to church....... and don't. But SEVEN investigators of ours showed up at church this sunday! It was amazing! Also- I talked to Ducos elders and they said 2 of the people I worked really hard to teach want to get baptized! I'm happy. My work in Ducos is going to pay off in like 5 baptisms... Maybe. 1 for sure, and then quite a few others, maybe. Here in VDC some great stuff is happening.. I'm hoping that will end up with a few baptisms.. or something. At very least, that's the most people I've had during Sacrament at once in my whole mission.

So here's some pictures.. A tiny car, me talking to you guys on the phone, and Elder Green, hanging out with some kids we found on the street.

So.. that's about all that's happened this week.

Oh and I DID get the package you guys sent me... THanks!!! It was great... I loved it! I am working on devouring it.

So now for the reply.

That's way rad you guys got to go to the Temple thing.. I would be happy to go to the temple these days. I could use some Motab Cds..

Families are so important--- I teach that all the time. Even here people realize how much satan is attacking their familes. It's really important to hang out with the family and like.. Do stuff. Spiritual stuff.

Wow, sorry I don't have very much time, but I love you a lot and I enjoyed the pictures.. Thanks a billion! Have a very super sunday.

Elder winget

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Wonderful Mother's Day

 We just talked to Collin - well, it's been a few hours I guess, but I'm still excited about it! This was the only Mother's Day I  will ever get to talk to Collin on his mission, because last Mother's Day he had just arrived in the MTC and they didn't let the missionaries call their moms then. And next Mother's Day he will hopefully be home! So this was a great day :)
  So Collin just got transferred a few days ago - actually I have kind of a funny story connected with that:  Last Sunday when he emailed us he informed us he was getting transferred, but he didn't know what his phone number would be. He gave us a number that he thought might be his new number but he wasn't sure, so he said to call on Tuesday at 3:00 and see if that was correct and we could set up a time to talk on Sunday. (We get to call him, instead of him calling us) Well, it wasn't the right number, so I called his old number from when we talked at Christmas because I knew missionaries  there would at least know how to get ahold of him. The conversation went something like this:
"Allo, bonjour - (long thing in french.. ending with: Je suis Elder Styles"

"Hi Elder Styles, I'm sorry to bother you - this is Sister Winget. I need to get ahold of Elder Winget"

(long pause)  "Oh... OH! ( I could just imagine him thinking "something tragic must have happened" or "hey, you're not supposed to call here!")   I explained about needing his number for the Mother's Day phone call, etc.  Then I heard papers rustling, apparently he was looking for his number... "Um I'm sorry, but we don't have his number. Do you want to call the Zone leaders - they will have it for sure"

So I called the zone leaders and the conversation went something like this:
"allo, bonjour... blah blah...Je suis Elder Ammundsen"

"Oh Elder Amundsen!  (he was Collin's companion in the MTC) this is Sister Winget! I'n sorry to bother you, but I need to contact Elder Winget."

"oh... OH!  Ummmm"  ( I'm sure he was thinking the same thing as Elder Styles, so I explained the whole thing about the Mother's Day phone call) "Oh! okay... hey Sister Winget! I've heard all about you!"

"I've heard all about you too, and we have lots of pictures of you and a few videos"

"I bet you do!"  then he gave me his phone number. 

 It was so fun to talk to Collin for a quick minute. He sounds like a different person when he speaks french (he answered the phone in french of course). Then we were looking forward to talking to him all week, and we had a nice long conversation with him. He was making fresh lemonade while he was talking to us with lemons that just fell off a tree outside of his apartment. He also has a banana tree in his yard that is loaded with bananas. His new area is right in the city, called Valee de Colone. It's a part of Noumea, the capital city. He likes it because there are lots of people to talk to. He said that crowds of children follow them around. There's lots of unsupervised children just roaming the streets, and that bothers him but there's not much they can do about it. He wants me to send him some french CTR rings and articles of faith cards so he could give them out to the kids, so that will be a fun project for me :)
  His new companion is Elder Green from Oregon. Collin seems to get along well with him already. In fact, Elder Green asked us to call his family and tell them what the phone number was since he didn't get to take care of that due to transfers. So we called the Greens and they were grateful :)
  The above picture is of Collin and a member lady that Collin really likes a lot. That's her husband with the big hair. He's not a member, but they teach him occasionally.  I love looking at those beautiful tropical flowers and the bay with the boats behind him. What a beautiful place to live!  Collin mentioned that he has seen some wild parrots and parakeets, and yellow finches that fly around in huge flocks. Sounds so nice! Also he gets tons of free fruit like papayas, mangoes, passionfruit, oranges, grapefruit, lemons,etc. Yummm! 
    I think I will smile for a week after that wonderful phone call  :D