Friday, June 15, 2012

GIZO

For weeks now we have been receiving texts, emails and phone calls from a group of people in Gizo, Western Province, Solomon Islands, requesting materials, missionaries and even baptism.  A member, David Teeta, moved to Gizo in February this year and has been holding meetings with about 30 people there and teaching them the gospel.  We sent Book of Mormons and supplies to them by air freight.

President Fata authorized us about 2 weeks ago to take our Zone Leaders, Elders Mauigoa and Sikuea, and go to Gizo to meet this group and a few members that live there.

Our airplane, a 14 seat Twin Otter ready to take us to Gizo.

The inside of the plane.  Can you say "no frills?"

One of the 992 Solomon Islands

More Islands

Still more islands.  Our windows were lexan and very cracked.

We got up at 3:30 am and Elder Mauigoa was tired. I guess you can only appreciate so many islands in one trip!!!  LOL

We stopped on the island of Munda to load off some luggage and refuel.  We LOVED the way they rolled the 55 gallon drum across the "runway" and  hand-pumped the fuel into the plane. The "terminal" building is in the back left of the picture.

Flying over more beautiful islands as we near Gizo.
There is the runway!!!!  The whole island was the runway! Note the water at the top and bottom of the picture.  This was taken out the front window as we sat in our seats.
Note the condition of the runway.  Elder Mitchell loved the patches and the grass growing through the asphalt.
The airport is on it's own island, about 3 miles from Gizo Island.  We took this small hotel ferry to the Gizo Hotel.
The water is crystal clear.  This picture is taken off the dock as we left the island airport.  It was so clear you can see two tires at the bottom.

 
 We arrive at the dock in Gizo.













Elder Sikuea and Elder Mauigoa,our Zone Leaders, pose at the Gizo Hotel as we arrive to check in.











 Flowers of Gizo


We were met at the wharf by two investigators, Tosiman and Otema, and Joseph Gusabatu, a member that moved to Gizo about 7 years ago with his family.  After checking into out rooms, our "guides" offered to find transportation out to Teisi Toma's house.  Teisi is an investigator that has been talking to us for about 6 weeks and inviting us to come.  They said it was only a 30 minute walk so we decided to walk.  About an hour later they told us it was 30 minutes if you walked fast.  We thought we were.


Teisi Toma's house where the investigators have been meeting since February.  Elder Mauigoa is talking to Tosiman and Joseph Gusabatu.



Elder and Sister Mitchell on the beautiful white beach just 75 yards form Teisi Toma's house.  We love this picture but it was even more beautiful than this.






Elder Sikuea and some friends he found on the beach. 
Who would ever guess what a great hat a flat volleyball could make. LOL






Tuesday night at 7pm we held our first meeting on Gizo at Teisi Toma's with a total of 40 in attendance.  Thirty Three were investigators and we sang and taught them the gospel.  The spirit was strong as Sister Mitchell bore testimony, the Elders taught and Elder Mitchell concluded the meeting with his testimony. 
There was no transportation back to the Hotel over two miles away so we started to walk back with Joseph Gusabatu as our guide.




The full moon through the palm trees gave us a little light to show us the way home.


Elder Mauigoa, the Mitchells and Joseph Gusabatu walking back to town.
About halfway back Joseph found a house with a taxi and talked the driver into taking us on to the Hotel.










Elder Mauigoa and Elder Sikuea Loved eating at the restaurant in the Gizo Hotel !!


The Elders worked very hard teaching each day all day long.  They taught a marathon of lessons to those who were so anxious to learn of the Gospel truths.
We held a baptism on Friday morning at 6:30am just before the tide went out.





Elder Sikuea baptising Teisi Toma, the first convert baptism on the island of Gizo.

Elder Mauigoa baptising Tosiman Bwerei, the second convert baptism on Gizo.


Elder Mitchell congratulating BrotherTosiman as he comes out of the water












 
Confirming and conferring the Aaronic Priesthood on the beach.












Elder Mauigoa, Brother Tosiman, Brother Teisi Toma, Elder Sikuea, and Elder Mitchell











Elder Mauigoa, Elder Mitchell, Joseph Gusabatu, Elder Sikuea. 











Joseph and Alex and their families have lived in Gizo for several years and were very excited for the promise of a group being organized there.




Elder Mitchell and Alex Ifuna'au










As we were waiting for the plane at the airport, Elder Mauigoa found a Kui Kui in the sea.   It has a round ball like body with spines that move like a porcupine except they are not sharp or barbed.  In Samoa he says he eats them, raw. 

What a great blessing to go to Gizo.  We really did not know what we would find, but our hopes were high.  The reality is, we found 15 members there, and about 30 very interested investigators.  While there, two men, Teisi Toma, and and Tosiman Bwerei, were baptised, confirmed and ordained Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood.  We are humbled to have had a part in opening Gizo to the preaching of the gospel, witnessing the first baptisms and meeting the members there on that beautiful island.
This is definitely a highlight of our missionary service.

1 comment:

editor said...

Lovely blog... good news for the people of GIZO!!