The life and times of Elder Collin Winget as he serves a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is serving in the Fiji,Suva mission in New Caledonia, where he speaks French.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Christmas Program and a surprise Baby Blessing
Here is a picture from last Christmas. I don't have a current one yet - Elder Winget is very busy these days, which is good :) He hasn't had time to send pictures for a while, but that's okay. this week was interesting- the "missionary committee" at church, which ended up being "Elder Winget" organized a Christmas fireside which took place at our church this Saturday evening. We wanted it to be sort of like music and the spoken word, so we kind of got a general idea put on paper and then Elder Winget put it all together. The point I tried to get across was that there are too many things that distract us from the real reason why we celebrate Christmas and so we wanted to do a night of songs about our Savior instead of about santa and stuff. Anyway, we had choirs from each auxiliary (elders quorum, relief society, ym, yw, primary, and returned missionaries) sing a Christmas song, and at the end we had a choir from each foreign language represented in our branch. We had a choir from Vanuatu sing in their island language and then Bislama, Tahitian, Drehu (the language of Lifou) and English (me, Elder Wilcox and Sister Cummins). It was supposed to start at 6:00 pm. We invited people and had it announced at church… So we showed up at 5:30 and there were 3 people there- of course Marcelline was there- she’s awesome. Then Sister Temake and her daughter were there. Then the sister missionaries showed up- Sr. Seiko and Sr. Cummins. And then… We waited around until 6:35 when the branch president showed up and opened up the chapel. (we were sitting out on the grass at this point) Then we hung out until 6:45 waiting for a few people to show up… and we decided to start. There were only 11 people there at the start including 4 missionaries. Eventually more people showed up and it went pretty well. We sang some cantiques and I read scriptures from Isaiah 7 and 9, Luke 2, Matthew 2, and Helaman 15. The Young Women ended up being a solo- and everyone else’s parts were slim- but by the end it worked out. It actually went really well, in spite of all the problems. The Vanuatu group really pulled through for me- they dressed up, they brought candles and a baby Jesus and did a whole little.. Show. I’m really sad it was in the chapel- not allowed to take pictures!! But they did really well and I was really surprised and really happy that they put so much thought into it.
Bislama is a really funny language- maybe you can look it up to find more or something, but it basically started because Vanuatu is a group of islands that had more than 1200 languages or something.. English and French traders came through and sort of established a language.. And it eventually evolved into Bislama. I gud and I stret are from Bislama- meaning are things good? Are things straight? Ha ha. It’s funny. Anyway, they sang Silent Night in their island’s language and they sang a song in Bislama called “Jesus was born in a Manger” and something about how it makes us happy. It was really awesome and I was so happy to them that they actually worked on their part for the program. It went really well and everyone thanked me and said that I sing really well-- which is dangerous- that’s when people start asking me to sing crap. Dang it. What the gladsome tidings?! We actually sang Angels we have heard on High for our English part. Cool beans.
Afterwards I found out that the reason nobody came was because there wasn’t food. -_- island people……….
Other than that, the news is that President Callister came and did a zone conference on Tuesday and it was awesome.
Also, I blessed a baby on Sunday. Not really sure why or how or who still… The 1st councilor in the Branch Presidency is Tahitian and seems to hate Americans for some reason. He comes up to me and says GET your companion. And he starts just talking really fast and as if we were in huge trouble. He was like I’m going to smack you two- I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m going to do it. Then he just starts writing on our program for Sacrament meeting- “Baby blessing” and then the name of a child. Then he circles the place on the program where we’d do it and then said Okay baby blessing and then he left. And I’m like um… No “S’il te plait”? no “Hey there is a family who needs their baby blessed- do you think you could do it?” Nothing of the sort, just I’m going to hit you and then baby. Bam.. Anyway, I blessed the baby and I still don’t know why or whose baby it was. That’s life in the Tontouta branch. I almost lost my cool actually because of all the ridiculousness that happened that day- but I decided it wasn’t worth it and I just vented to my companion later. Weird.
I have to do 2 exchanges this week too, so I’ll be on the run all week. I have been living out of my suitcase all this week anyway- since we have 1 bigger apartment and 1 apartment about the size of a small hot prison cell, we leave the majority of our stuff up in Boulouparis and pack a few days’ worth of stuff and go down to Tontouta- but then I have to go up to Borail on exchange- and then down to Kutio the very next day. Oh dear.. I might run out of clothes.
There are 3 French Christmas songs that I know of that don’t exist in English- “Il est né le divin enfant” and “Noël nouvelet” which is actually rad I think. And “Un flambeau jeanette Isabella” Which I guess exists in English- bring a torch Jeanette Isabella. The first two are in the French hymnbook.
Thanks for all the birthday stuff—I’m still working on the scripture challenge. I haven’t found myself with oodles of time to do it but I’m about 1/3 of the way through and I think they’re all right. :D
Well that’s all- merry Christmas and happy new year.