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.
We just finished emailing Collin - probably for the last time until we see him at the airport on the 11th!! But this won't be the end of Elder Winget's blog yet - I'm sure Collin will have something to say when he gets here. Also, I will post pictures/video of us meeting him at the airport, I'm sure. Thanks everyone for reading this blog, and also thanks for supporting him with your letters and prayers. 2 years really do go by quickly! I never thought that would be true for me, but what a blessing to find that it's really true! And now, here's the latest, and possibly last, email from Elder Winget : ( drumroll please...)
Yeah, this most likely is the last time I'll email y'all on my mission-- I actually might get to say a quick hi in Fiji but I figure since I'll be seeing you in a couple days anyway it's not really completely necessary. But either way I'm happy to receive your emails today as every day. I was packing my stuff this morning and I'm freaking out about it.. It still seems unreal that I'll be home in just a few days. I haven't been counting down the days though-- it's too weird to me.
I don't know what I want for dinner... I've had enough spaghetti to last me a lifetime (the easiest thing to make on a mission budget..) but I wouldn't mind some lasagna or something. I don't know, surprise me. All of that sounds waaaay too good... I can't choose. But you know what I like and know that I'll appreciate any and all of it.
Thanks for the itinerary- It's cool to know when I'll be home... albeit weird. I'm going to see how many books I can read in 11 hours.. :P I'm going to dabble in The Articles of Faith and the Book of Mormon and see how far I can get.
I'm thinking that I'm going to give away most of my ties to members.. And I'm thinking about giving my camera to Elder Harry- an Elder from Vanuatu- he doesn't have a camera and I know he'll regret not having one. I feel a lot more charity for everyone these days-- I don't really feel a need to have own and aquire stuff as much as I used to. As long as I'm living and I can eat a good dinner all the rest doesn't matter as much. :)
Don't stress.. Just kick back under a coconut tree and eat a mango. Oh wait.. Too bad mango season is over. I love mangos.
There was a 8 year old kid who got baptized on Saturday and I gave the talk on the Don du Saint-Esprit. I think that was the best baptism talk I've ever given.. Most of the other ones I gave were last minute and not very good at all. The baptism went well though.
I did an exchange in Ducos and ate chez Atiu. It was good to see him again-- he's doing great.. He's planning on going to the temple at the end of this year. He's doing great in his calling and he's as strong as ever. He also told me he really wanted me to baptize him but he forgot to ask me until it was too late. Frere Turi sort of forced him into letting him baptize him. (that makes no sense) But I'm happy that he's baptized, whether or not I was the one that baptized him. It's nice to know someone wanted me to baptize them though. :P
The next baptism is happening on the 22nd- Amelie and Simone. I hope that works out.
We had a new Amie this week- her name is Marie (surprise surprise.. everyone's named Marie) she's really cool- we invited her to come to church after the first lesson and SHE CAME! Wow! I was really happy to see her. She liked the service and is planning on seeing us this Mardi and coming to church again Dimanche.
We taught Sevurine this sunday and taught her about the Plan of Salvation. She's really intelligent and pensive- she doesn't reject what we say immediately just because it's not what she believes (contrary to what most people do.. ) but she has thought a lot about it and I think she thinks it's true. She said she knows that it wasn't by chance that we came by her house on the only day that she was home.. She was really intreagued by prophets- she says it really makes sense that there would be a living prophet. We talked about the Plan of Salvation yesterday- and she was fascinated by it. It's really weird, but the vast majority of people I have talked to in New Caledonia have honestly never wondered where they come from why they're here and where they're going. I guess it's just the island lifestyle and way of thinking.. Casse pas la tête. (don't break your head.. don't worry about it) Most people are not intrested in thinking about anything later than this weekend. But anyway, she was really interested in the Plan of Salvation- and she said it completely makes sense and must be true. She's really cool- I'm sad that she's going to London in a couple weeks though.. Maybe the Lord can do a miracle for us and send a French missionary to wherever she is moving.
Anyway, I'm excited and sad to come home.. I see so so so much potential and so so so much room to grow in this branch-- I've been really frustrated and tired out over the past few weeks in Mont Dore. The first 2 weeks I didn't have any idea what was going on (the first time in like a year..) where anyone lived, what they needed, or how to make things progress.. The last missionaries didn't do jack in the area book so everything was a mystery to me. Know I know more or less what is going on-- and now I'm frustrated because I have my vision of how to get things moving-- and I know that I can't possibly make much of a difference in the time I have left. Of course I know that's not true- but it's hard to know that the only difference I might make I will never know about or see the fruits of. I'm doing my best, but it's frustrating and tiring. I know what I would do with the Amis and the branch if I was staying for a few months-- but I know that whoever comes after me can't possibly keep it up in the same way I would. But I guess it all turns out alright in the end. I will just trust that.
I also found out that Elder Wilcox is going to be my replacement- he's coming here to take over Robinson when I leave. Every single companionship is training- because the entire mission (no exaggeration) besides a very small few is leaving in 2010 and there are 5 new missionaries that just got here and more on the way. This mission is going to be hard for the next few months... too bad I won't be here to help. Oh well.
I guess that's all I have to say about my last week in Caledonie.. Monday is mother's day, right? I guess if you want or need to call me you can on saturday or sunday, but i figure it's not really worth it since I'll be home the next day... Sorry I'm late for mother's day but it'll be worth it with the present I got for you. :D
I don't have huge awesomeness to bring home to everyone, but I have a couple small things. Don't expect TOO much because I don't have a lot. But I hope you'll all appreciate what I bring.