Friday, December 7, 2012

Celebrating The Holidays

As we race through our day to day schedules, how often do we slow down and ask ourselfs, Why?  Why are we here, right now?  What is the most important thing we can be doing with our talents?  Where are we going? 

From Dec. 5th  to the 7th, I got the opportunity to live on the outer Island of Tanna.   My assignment in our mission field is to upgrade the apartments of our missionaries.  So while we were working on a home in Whitegrass, a truck with about 10 men pulled up into our yard.  They were introduced as members of our church, who preform as warriors to show their father's customs to the tourists.  They all walked a short distance away and changed into their warrior outfits with dark painted faces.  After a few minutes, a loud noise from a sea shell sounded and all heck broke lose.  The warriors made very scary, loud noises, ran with spears, drums, and hammers around the tourists. 

They explained to the tourists several old customs, like how they circumsized the boys at age three, with a bamboo stick, by holding the youth and all the villagers shouting so the mothers could not hear the cries of her boy. 

They danced and talked about how they select a spouse as the young women become of age, the young girl goes to a lake to swim, then the woman of the village protect her as she goes back to the village, and the men try to kidnap her. If one of the young men puts a feather in the young girls hair, it means they will marry some day.

As I was watching everything from back stage, It occured to me, that the warriors all knew exactly where they came from, why they are here, and know where they are going after this life.  They all have a strong testimony of God, and His Son Jesus Christ.  So...after the party was over, I walked up to the tourists, who were thinking how advanced they were with respect to the natives. The tourists had alot of money and technology, lived in big homes, drove cars and were convinced they were superior to the warriors. I told them that all but one of the performers were LDS, and knew more than all of them combined.  The tourist's eyes opened wide and their mouth dropped a bit .  I explained that as members, they had strong testimonies of their Father in Heaven and knew exactly how to get back to heaven.  Elder Maukura, standing next to me, just said it is true.  One man from France, with eyes still wide open, said over and over, it is true, it is true.

We all have much to learn from simple people, who live off the land, just like it was in Eden, and have their priorities in order.  It is a challenge to be in the world, but not be so worldly.  I hope we can all have a great Christmas, knowing why Christ came, and what we should be doing about it.   I love you all.

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