Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's Winter in New Caledonia

Hello! This is Elder Winget again.. It might be getting boring but here we are again. So this week was you know, same old same old. We're doing this choir missionary fireside thing on the 26th for like pioneer day.. And guess what- We're singing! Too much. We're actually singing this whole program thing for Joseph Smith (almost like pioneers..) And somehow the cat got let out of the bag that I can sing-- I was actually singing in the back of the Mautz' car (the senior couple) and he was like Wow! You should be singing! And I'm like noo...... So I'm singing like.. A duet kind of thing. Which is actually a solo part that we're singing in two- so I'll be singing with Elder Troutman. It will be interesting. And what would a pioneer celebration be without.. Dun dun dun.. Faith in every footstep!! Of course. It's cool in French though. I kinda like singing in French. I've started subconsciously unintentionally memorizing the hymns in French-- and forgetting them in English. It's weird.. I was trying to be dumb during church and sing in English and started singing Hail to the man who communed with Jehovah... Then when it got to the chorus I couldn't remember and started singing Ô grande prophète la belle victoire...... Silly me. It also takes me like an hour to figure out the words to Love One Another in English.. I sing Aimez vos frères so much. Anyway, so that's that. So the other day we were looking for Gerome- he's NEVER at home- and we came across his dad. Who is very nice, and pentocostal and hasn't been super interested in the Gospel. But always offers to give us rides places and stuff cuz we come over to see Gerome so often. Normally we go over there and he's not there so we talk to his family- and even though they're not interested in the Gospel, they like us a lot and always talk to us and we teach them silly little phrases in English - like See Y'all Later. Ha ha. So this time we talked to Gerome's dad - Marcel- and we're like hey when can we come over and teach you? And he's like oh, you know, huh? And we're like yeah, can we come over and tell you about all this missionary stuff we do? And he's like um, sure. Come over Saturday at 2. And we're like oh, that won't work for us, there's absolutely a baptis---- (then we SMACKED ourself in the forehead) Do you want to COME to a baptism?? You know, see how that works chez nous? And he's like sure! Come over and we'll go together. So we went, and he came! There was alcohol on his breath, but he still drove safely. We went in and this Wallisian guy got baptized- it was cool, and he liked it. So tonight we're actually going to do a lesson with him. Goes to show how important it is to just TALK to people! Even people who you'd think wouldn't be interested in the Gospel- Missionaries' objective is to Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel by faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentence, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. (that was hard to figure out in english.. :)) so really, we just need to invite everyone-- even if we think they won't accept. So that's cool, eh?

So we had a lesson with Soane and his... girlfriend.. and it went really well. Vaea (his gf) had a question in church about the fall- why is it a good thing? There wasn't enough time to explain it enough in church, so we came by and taught about the plan of salvation later. So Soane, who never understands the scriptures very well at all - (he's "not a guy who reads much" says he) we gave them a brochure and told them to read 2 Nephi 2. We came back to teach it to him, and SOANE explained the whole thing!!!! I was so amazed- he never understands when we read scriptures with him, but he understood completely. So we talked to him, and he was saying to us- He doesn't quite know why he let us in- he always violently opposed the Teigmoins from coming over- when we saw him at first, he actually INVITED us to come over- I was just talking and I gave him a brochure- and felt prompted not to rush into saying well, can we come over, etc. But he's like well, do you guys just wanna come over and teach me? And we're like, YES! So he said later, he doesn't know why he reads the BOM or the brochures or anything- he's not a guy who reads much. He has never read the bible, or any other books, and doesn't even read the contracts he has to sign for work- he always skims or has someone else read it and summarize. But he's read lots in the BOM since we gave it to him and two entire brochures. He doesn't know why he comes to church - he assumed it would be a just teaching at home thing, and never anything more. He planned on saying "no" if we invited him to go to church - but he came! Then we were talking about blessings he's felt- and he said well a big one is that I've stopped drinking. Just says it all non-chalantly. And we're like .... Huh? The very first lesson with him he asked us if drinking was a sin (He drank a LOOOOT!) and we hesitated... (not really knowing how to explain it on such short notice) but said yes it is. And he's like... Oh. So this last time, he's like yeah, I haven't touched alcohol since the first lesson with you guys! (which is like, 4 weeks ago) And we're like.... Wow!! So really, him and his wife have made huge progress. He says I'm not quite ready to be baptized (which means he's thought about it and is considering it) -- we told them to read 2 Nephi 31, which talks about baptism.. But he'll get there, I'm sure of it. I think we're witnessing miracles with this dude-- He's changed so much already.

So, yeah. Also we talked to a drunk guy who, first of all, said he's literally drunk all the time. He wakes up in the morning, and drinks. Drinks all day. And at night, he drinks. That's what a lot of people do, but he's the first to admit it. Anyway, he told us how he doesn't believe us or our "John Smith" story- and we're like well, do you see Joseph Smith anywhere on my badge? It says the Church of Jesus Christ- and he's like well, He's a myth too! And I'm like.. What? Didn't you say you're protestant? And he's like yes. And I'm like how can you be protestant and not belive in Jesus Christ? And he's like Protestant means I protest YOU guys! And everyone! And i'm like, uh, come again? So being protestant to him means that he just protests all religions. So we made fun of him for a while, asking him if he protests big cars or white people or america, which he gave us rambling answers. He also said that God gives him almighty powers when he drinks, and he can predict the future. He was a silly guy!

So that's about all that's happened this week. It was actually really cold this week- the first really cold day I happened to get a freaking rad HAT in the mail.. :D I love it!(I knitted him a hat, BTW) So its interesting how when it's 100 degrees in Utah, it's cold here. So we went home and it started POURING rain- so I put on my hoody and hat, and made hot chocolate (which I do a lot actually, even in the summer. It's a french thing to dip baguettes in hot chocolate, isn't it? We call it Milo here though.) and sat outside with my mug and watched the rain. It's sad to see how much of a wuss I've gotten- I get chilly if it's under 75 degrees, and downright cold if it gets down to 60.
Anyway, I guess we call this winter- people just call this the cold season. They think it's weird that it's summer in America- and so do I.. I always picture it snowing over there and then when I get your emails I'm always confused for a split second.
So, that's about all. I love you alot.

ELder Winget
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Lost in the Jungle!

* Hey, I edited this post to include a picture Collin sent us recently - this is Elder Wilcox and Elder Winget right after their jungle adventure.
(and this is the original picture I posted of ElderWinget and Wilcox when they were companions)

Hello world! I'm writing you now from NEW CALEDONIA! If that's not a surprise, that's probably because I've already been here for more than a year! This week, the 11th I believe, marked 1 year in NC. Much adventure has come to pass. So this week I will tell you about some of it.

So this Monday, we went on a hike to Mount Kogi. A very mild mountain hike in Dumbea. There was a cool waterfall up top and we took lots of cool pictures. It was great to see all the other missionaries (almost every missionary on the island was there) and hike through the wilderness. So me and Elder Wilcox were hanging out together- and he's loosened way up. He's actually really rad and I miss him. So we were talking and walking and we stopped to take some pictures of the lovely landscape.. By then we had already finished the hike and were making our descent. We were holding up the back and just chillin. It's only like a 20 minute hike so we weren't in a huge hurry.

So after we had stopped to take pictures, we noticed a fork in the path. I wasn't quite sure which one to take, because on the way up I didn't pay one lick of attention where we were going - I was talking to others the whole time and just following.. So we took the one appearing to go down the mountain... And followed it.

It seemed that this fork had taken us even deeper into the forest than from whence we came, but we were like well.. It's the path. We might as well follow it. So.. We did. And what a mistake that was. It turned out that this wasn't the path, but a sinister disception. This path didn't lead... Anywhere but to destruction. We quickly found out, as we were fighting through shoulder high grass, that we weren't really in a path. But we had passed a point that it would have been impossible for us to go back.. So we trekked onwards. We were laughing the whole way and making fun of our plight, but it was becoming slightly concerning how lost we were really getting. At one point while we were literally scaling a cliff 20 feet down, going it tarzan style hanging onto VINes we decided.... We're lost!

So we kept our cool.. Said a prayer-- and started to follow the river. We climbed up and down and all around following the river, climbing down huge waterfalls and sliding down huge hills and pretty much almost dying a few times. But it was fun. It got kind of old after a while though, and we were pretty tired and dirty. We had to ford a huge pool up to my shoulders, and so we were also getting pretty cold. But we kept going.

After about 2 hours of being lost in the woods, we found a Rod of Iron! .. which was actually a huge metal pipe. It did however, form a straight and narrow path, which we followed. We just walked upon it and kept going. It eventually was like 10ish feet off the ground and we were hanging onto the dense trees on either side for support. So we followed it for a while. And kept following it.. And kept following it.. Until suddenly Elder Wilcox just ditched the rod and started climbing. So I'm like.. Okay? Cool.. And followed. Then we popped out in the backyard of a house!! We're like... w00t! Civilization!! And so we walked up to the house, and there was some dude sitting inside. We signal to him and he came out quickly. He immediately said What are you guys doing here! You're bothering me. I'll open the gate for you! Get out! And I'm like.. We've been lost in the forest for like 5 hours.. Can we-- And he cut me off and said go! And I'm like.. Wow, french people sure do... suck. So we left his house and started walking down the street. Eventually we came upon a dude in a Landrover who was like hey... What's up? My son called me and said he wasn't very hospitable to you- can we help? So we used his phone to signal the others and then he drove us back down to camp. They were all very happy to see us. We were wet and covered in dirt from head to toe and everyone's all like.. WHOA! And i'm like like, cool. We're back. I like to be non-chalant. So, yeah. It was fun. We were pretty dirty but it was quite the adventure and we ended up fine. Thankfully we found each other when we did- it was like 45 minutes before dark.. And I wasn't so thrilled about staying out the night. So it was fun and we got some cool pictures and videos. I learned the importance of staying on the path, following the iron rod, and sticking with an awesome buddy when you're lost in the forest.

Other than that, nothing super exciting happened. Well, I lied. Soane and his copine came to church! We were super excited. The kids all came too and it was quite the party. They liked it a lot, and had good questions and comments. We were excited to have them there. His girlfriend actually ends up understanding lots more than he is - and we found out that she has a crappy example of a brother too. Her brother was married in the temple, and she didn't understand why, so she asked his wife and she said it's sacred and stuff. Which she said made her think her brother would stop all his smoking pot and stuff- and she was surprised to find out he was exactly the same. I was sad about that. Apparently her brother doesn't talk to her anymore because of something his wife said and is not willing to forgive her for. Remember always how much our example can have on non-members. But thankfully, she really likes and believes our teachings, likes the BOM and is reading regularly and came to church.

Also yesterday I was talking to this lady en ville who said she saw the missionaries before, blah blah blah and we started talking. She asked me if the Melanesians (kanaks- the native people. They drink from morning to night all week.) cause us any problems. And I'm like nah, they're harmless. And she's like well, do they ever agress you? And I'm like nah, they're all talk. I've never been hit. They threaten and say lots of stuff, but never do anything. And she's like all, well you know, turn the other cheek and stuff. And i'm like yep yep. So then AS we're talking about this, some SUPER SUPER drunk kanak guy comes up, who just smells like death and looks like he had been drinking since the moment he woke up in the morning (which was probably true) and without saying anything, gives me a not-so-toothy smile, winds up, and punches me! LOL! It didn't hurt or anything; it was a very light punch to the shoulder.. then he turns to punch my companion, who, with a look of disgust, just slaps his fist away. So everyone in the area just scatters. I shook his hand, said have a nice day, and walked off. Silly punk.

Well that's about all that happened this week.. :D I love you beaucoup.

Elder Winget

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