MA FAMILLE AND MES AMIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay seriously, I am NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE! BUT IT IS AMAZING!!! OH MY GOODNESS! I don’t even know where to start, so sorry if these e-mail is scattered, I have so much to tell and a lot on my mind! AHHHH!!!
First off, how are all of y’all?! I hope life is treating you well, and that you always find something to smile throughout your day 🙂 I don’t think I have stopped smiling once since I have been here, like seriously!
Okay, so let me go through these crazy last few weeks!
SO! My last week in Mesa was good and crazy as always 🙂 Saturday morning Elder Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church came, and OH MY GOODNESS! He is so awesome, and sweet, and personable, and kind, and wonderful! He just talked to us about teaching repentance, but mainly about testifying of the Savior. One of my favorite things he said was “When you talk to others about Jesus Christ, He talks of you to the Father.” Like WHAT??!! So deep, and wonderful and the spirit was so strong, and UGH I JUST LOVE THE GOSPEL! Well shortly after that, my stuff was packed, I said my goodbyes to my wonderful Mesaites and it was off to the mission office and off to New Cal! I said goodbye to my wonderful companion Sister Merrell 😦 But she will do amazing things, in our wonderful part of Mesa 🙂
OKAY SO THE PLANE RIDE! It was LONG, but good 🙂 The longest was the 15 hour flight to Sydney from San Fran, apparently it is one of the longest flights in the world 🙂 But hey, we accomplished it! I slept for most of it, but of course it was airplane sleeping so it wasn’t the best! We ended up arriving in Vanuatu Monday evening at like 4 o’clock! And OH MY GOODNESS! The airport there, it was crazy! We just walked right in, showed them our passports, told them we didn’t have anything in our bag, and walked around the corner and there was President Granger and his wife (our mission president), and the APs, with a flag, and lots of smiles 🙂 THEY ARE SO GREAT! They are both VERY AUSTRAILIAN! The only time they have been to the states is when they went to the MTC! They love Austrailia though, so there is not much talk of the states, which is so cool, to be completely immersed in new cultures 🙂 So monday night, we pretty much chilled with the Granger family and the APs, at the mission home, we had dinner and got to know eachother, and then had a little orientation. It was just the four of us visa waiters, so it was very intimate and nice! And everything is super relxed and casual here, so it was so so nice! The mission moto is “Work hard, play hard.” Quoted by President Granger himself! He wants us to work as hard as we can, but also explore the islands, and have fun :)! It is going to be an amazing fifteen months :)!!!! The next morning, the Grangers flew out to the Solomon Islands for the week, so that was that! For some reason, we didn’t fly to New Cal until Friday, so I stayed with sisters in Vanuatu for the rest of the week! AND OH MY GOODNESS! It was so much fun! 🙂 We went out and prosyleted a bit, but of course everything is in Bislama, so I couldn’t do too much! I did learn a few phrases though, and most of the natives know some English, so it was great :)!!!! The sisters I was staying with lived a forty five minute walk away from their area so we walked there, uphills both ways ;), and then walked around the area and then back everyday, in the 90 degree weather and HUMIDITY! Needless to say, I am sunburnt. And I never sweat so much in my entire life. But, it was so totally Worth it and amazing and just AHH!!! So great! The people of Vanuatu are so humble. I am not going to lie, it felt like I was in Africa. They live in little tin “houses” kind of like what Hoovervilles were like in the Great Depression era. And we always sat on the floor, with flies buzzing around, and all that jazz! It was crazy, but as always, SO GREAT! We did a little bit of shopping while in Vanuatu as well, and I got some native things, and of course, walked along the beach! I LOVE THE OCEAN! And it is so beautiful here, so so blue, and so so so so so BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE IT!
Okay, so Friday night we flew out to New Cal, probably to never see Vanuatu again until the end of our mission. It was bittersweet because it was so much fun there, but New Cal is AMAZING TOO! So all the missionaries describe it as Vanuatu is definitely third world, but New Cal is first world. I haven’t gone out yet to really teach, but the buildings are nice, and the stores are great, and yah, it is pretty developed! And they have a road system….something Vanuatu didn’t have!
So my companion is Sœur Westerlind! She is from California and this is her last transfer! We are whitewashing in Dumbea sur mer, and area right by the ocean!!!!!!! But, we haven’t actually been there yet lol. We are staying with her previous companion, Sœur Todd in their previous area Koutio, which is right next to Dumbea sur mer, until Sœur Todd’s companion arrives tonight! Then we will go to our area, and we will get to go and teach! YAY!
So yah, I really can’t understand too much here……but I have gotten complimented on my french so YAY! Saturday night we had a Soiree, which is like our dinner and lessons with members, and I shared the spiritual thought 🙂 And then on Sunday I went up and introduced myself at Church so yah! I have had to do some talking! But you know me, I have no fear about that! The hardest thing is not being able to talk! I just want to GO GO GO! But I have to learn the language, which I know the Lord will help me with 🙂 We taught in primary on sunday, and all the kids were asking about America….hmm don’t know why they could tell I was from there…probably because I am so white LOL!
Okay so just a little bit about the Church here…
So all of New Caledonia is one stake. There are two missionary zones, north and South, but we are still mostly around Nouméa,which is at the Southern most tip of New Cal! We stay pretty much on the west side because the east has a lot of native tribes and such! All the missionaries in your district (missionaries are organized into districts which make up zones) serve in the same ward, so there are 8 missionaries in our ward! And All of us are trainers and trainees, so that is fun! But yah, I am in the North Zone, and all my Sœurs from teh MTC are in the South 😦 But! We had a stake fireside last night, and I got to see Casugies and Mat!!! It was the best reunion ever 🙂 I seriously could cry!!
Hmmm, DAD! You will be happy to know that Sisters are always in by dark, just in case there is anything sketchy going on at night! So that means we are usually in by 6! So our days are short, but we still get a lot done! Like I said, I don’t know too much about the work here in New Cal since we haven’t really been out yet (we had an 8 year old baptism on Saturday so that was cool , but we didn’t go out and proselyte) but I am not worried, the FIELD IS WHITE AND READY TO HARVEST PEOPLE!
I am so excited to serve here! I am seriously in Paradise! How did I get so Lucky?? I have no idea. The Lord is so good, and I am just so happy to be here! AND I AM FINALLY WARM! It is pretty hot here in New Cal, but not as bad as Vanuatu….BUT I AM LOVING IT! yah, makeup isn’t really a thing here….it is so nice :)! AGHH!!
The Lord is so good my wonderful family and friends! I am so excited to get to work here, and learn french LOL! It will be tough, I am sure of it, but there is nothing we cannot do with the Lord’s help! I love being a missionary, and I know with a certainty, and with all my heart that this is His work, that this Church is true, and that Jesus is the Christ. You can always pray, and rely on our Father in Heaven, He loves you, and He is waiting for you to come to Him so that He can poor out His blessings upon you!
Ma famille and mes amis, I love you all! Thank you for being with me on this incredible journey!!! If you have any questions, just email me and I will try my best to answer them! Also, there will be alot of pictures this week, there is so muchto show!
I LOVE YOU ALL! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!
Much love always,
Sœur Vogel 🙂
PIC ONE: Flying into Vanuatu 🙂
PIC TWO: The “Aeroport” in Vanuatu! Like, what…..
PIC ONE: The market of Vanuatu!
PIC TWO: Just stopped for some classic Vanuatu food, cabbage and lap lap….it was gross, also how white can I get lol!
PIC ONE: Just eating our lap lap…….
PIC TWO: REX! the “mission mascot” 😉
PIC THREE: My feet after proselyting in Vanuatu…. 🙂
Pic One: My buds 🙂 Traveling to our MISSION!
PIC TWO: Sister missionaries sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked…..IN VANUATU!
TOLD YOU I HAD A LOT OF PICTURES! 🙂
Just a casual walk to our area in Vanuatu 🙂
The Sunset when we were flying to New Cal!!!!! Like seriously, heaven
The Vanuatu Sistas 🙂
MY SOEUR MAT 🙂
My new best friend, the Stake President’s son Kieran Guidi! Even though I cannot understand what he is saying… LOL
OKAY LAST PICS!
PIC ONE: SQUAD minus Elder Rhodes 😦
PIC TWO: Of course, finally reunited with my Casugies 🙂
Okay Sorry just one more!!!
This cool tree in Vanuatu, I climbed it, but it doesn’t look like it because the brush is so high! AH!
Also, the children of Vanuatu…SO CUTE! They are called pikininis 🙂
Okay that is all for this week 🙂 More adventures to come!