Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Parent's Payday

Here's the most recent email from Collin. It's what Rusty and I call a parent's payday. We are so proud of Elder Winget and the sacrifices he is making to serve the people of New Caledonia and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week was good. Elder Troutman taught me a new way of doing porte-à-porte--- WHICH WORKS. I haven't had ANY new investigators since I got to Tontouta. Pretty pathetic. Kalinka is the only new one. But in one day we found two people who talked to us--- Amazing! The method is.. drumroll.. a survey! He has a series of about 13 questions about family, beliefs, etc. and we just come to the door and say "We're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we're conducting a survey to know how to better help the people of New Caledonia. Do you have a few minutes? IT WORKS. It's amazing, and we were able to teach 6 lessons in a day which we normally would have 1 or 2. I'm going to keep doing it and I think it could work a lot.

We also taught the Chief of the Ouinané Tribe- where Marcelline lives. Apparently the old missionaries had taught him a few times, and we decided to go say hi. So we went in there and he was really nice. He asked us what we do when we go to peoples' houses and teach them-- And we're like well.. We'll show you! So we taught him a short lesson before we headed up to Marcelline's house. It was cool-- he likes us and wants us to go hunting with him sometime. Hmm.. Well we can't touch the guns but we can go with them. It was a cool experience.

Zone conference and district conference was amazing.. Elder Hamula is an amazing teacher and he got us all motivated. He talked to the Youth and Young Adults about mission work and serving a mission, and part of his talk was that he said if you ask any missionary, or any returned missionary what was the most rewarding, most worth it, most spiritual and best 2 years of his/her life, they will say that it was their mission. I thought about it and I felt the Spirit really strongly. I felt that what he said was so completely true-- I feel that the last 21 months have been the most rewarding of my life. This mission is definitely the most important thing I've ever done. I'm so happy to be here. I have come to the realization slowly that I wouldn't trade anything for these two years. I've done cool things before but nothing as rewarding as a mission. Sure it's hard, but there is nothing, nothing, nothing else I would want to be doing. I wish that everyone could have the experience of going on a mission. I have met the most amazing people, and seeing the Saints of God give everything they have to serve Him has strengthened my testimony more than anything I've ever done. I know that this is the Lord's church, it's His. I've realized how much wickedness is NOT happiness. I am happier now than at any other time in my whole life. All I want to do when I go home is be good and do all that I can to serve Him. I have worried for a while about what I'll do when I get home but I realize that whatever I do, I will be cared for if I keep the commandments. It's simple.. I'm so happy to come to that knowledge. I see the people who don't know the truth and my heart aches for them. I see the people who don't want to know anything about it and my heart aches even more. Whenever I drive to church and I see all the people who are just doing... whatever.. boating, working, going to the store.. And I really feel sad for them! I want to grab them and shake them and say DONT YOU KNOW its SUNDAY!?? I love the Sabbath day and I love the Lord and I'm so happy to be on my mission. I'm very sad and also very excited for it to end-- Not cuz I want to leave New Caledonia-- at all. But because I am excited to apply the things I have learned on my mission to the new life I'll have-- I really feel like I'm getting a second chance on life. I'm also exstatic to see my family more than just about anything.

Elder Hamula also told us how we're in a "land of milk and honey"-- in Numbers 13, the people of Israel arrived at the promised land and they sent scouts in to find out the conditions.. And they came back and said yeah it's great, milk and honey and blah blah happy joy but there are also GIANTS and we feel like Grasshoppers in their eyes. He said that WE are like them. We see the challenges as GIANTS- unsurpassable. He showed us how we are SO close to having a Stake in NC and that we need to increase our Vision and Believe that it can happen. I feel like I can overcome anything at the moment. I don't think anything can stop me. I'm so happy. I was really hoping I'd get transferred from Tontouta/Boulouparis.. I've had it to about HERE with it. BUT after that Zone Conference I feel like I can do it- that things WILL look up and that everything will be awesome. He said that in Ch 14 not one person who didn't believe they could get the promised land got there. We need to believe and we will get there.

I'm currently in Noumea but I'm going back up in about an hour or so. But i'm fine with it.. I think things will be alright.

Sorry I don't have much more time but I love you all and I hope you have a great week.

Elder winget


So I finally decided to update Collin's blog. We had been all excited because we thought his return date was April 21, but it turns out it's actually May 11. I'm happy because he will start his journey home on Mother's Day! Just knowing he's on his way home will make it a great Mother's Day :)
Here's a funny but gross story he emailed us a couple of weeks ago. If you have a weak stomach, just skip the first paragraph.
Last week this bump started to appear on my arm and I thought it was like a zit or something-- I tried to pop it and all it did was hurt. Long story short it turned into a Boil and that was fun. I had never had a boil before. It was super painful-- painful enough that I couldn't sleep. But then the other day I finally got it to pop and a big old column of off color brownish yellowish redish .. stuff .. came out. It wasn't watery either- it was a nice jello-y consistency.. And it kept on coming out. About enough to power a city. It was gross but awesome. So it kept bleeding for a long long time- the hole that all the stuff came out of was a pretty good size.. A nice portal to my blood system. So I put a big piece of toilet paper and a band-aid over it and the blood soaked through so I changed the badnndnangide and toilet paper so I had this bandaid thing on my arm. So I was talking to this less-active member at the store, (we had stopped by to pick up some dinner) and we were talking and then out of no where she reaches over and RIPS off my bandaid! AH weird! And she's like woah, what was that? were you painting? And I'm like, um.. And I lift up my arm to show a giant nasty WOUND and she was like AH! I'm sorry! And then runs away. Me and my companion laughed until we died. Then we never saw her again.

I also deep fried my hand.. Rather, we tried to make deep fried fries and oil splashed all over my hand and burned me. I had some pretty good huge long blisters on my hand.. They hurt at first but they don't hurt for the moment. One of them has popped. That's cool.
Now the gross stuff is over. You can read on from here :)
The only other thing that happened this week was that we went to an activity with the members, in which they cooked an entire pig-- head and all. They cooked it in what we call a Bougna... actually I have no idea how to spell that. Boon-ya. It's cooked by putting super hot rocks at the bottom, putting banana tree trunk on top of it, putting the pig meat along with a bunch of vegetables and fruits around it, covering it in lots of banana leaves and blankets to keep in the heat-- and it cooks the meat by the steam and smoke inside. I love pig--- not pork, pig. Pork is different. It's so good, I've only had it a few times but I love it.
Here is a video telling all about bougna. It's a little long, but if you REALLY want to know about New Caledonian culture, this is a good one to watch.
Hmmm... I don't know why the font size is so huge! I have tried everything I know to change it. Oh well...