I got 'a fun' spam email the other day considering our call to serve a mission in Vanuatu. The subject line said, "How to Retire in A Tropical Paradise!" I have decided to give it a 23 month try out!
In our call we were not told what language we would be speaking. I read yesterday that if it doesn't say a language we do not have to learn one. But then have also been told the people of Vanuatu, where we are going, speak Bislama and appreciate it if we learn it. We also learned that Church meetings are in Bislama. Bislama is the national language but Bislama, French and English are the official languages of the 65 inhabited islands (out of 83 total islands) in Vanuatu, although there are other languages and cultures through out the islands.
Bislama is a Pidgin English and they do not teach it in the Missionary Training Center (MTC). The young Elders and Sisters are told they are to learn it through ‘on the job training’ and will take 2-4 months to become proficient in speaking it. I got Lee a Book of Mormon in Bislama for his birthday in November. Here is the first sentence (which as you know is the whole first verse) in the "Buk Blong Momon".
Mi, Nifae, from we mi bin bon long wan gudfala mama mo papa, taswe, tufala i bin tijim me planete samting long saed blong save long mi; mo long laef blong mi, mi bin luk plante hadtaem, be, Lod i belesem mi bigwan oltaem long ol dei blong mi; yes, from mi bin kasem plante save long saed blong ol gud samting mo ol sikret blong God, taswe mi raetem wan histri long saed blong ol samting we mi mekem long ol dei blong mi.
And for a "side by side "comparison here it is in English:
I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
We got our flight itinerary Tuesday Dec 30th! We will fly out of Salt Lake City at 3:36 pm on February 2nd first to San Francisco. From there we fly to Auckland, New Zealand and from there to Port Vila, Vanuatu. We have a 7-hour layover in Auckland so total time with flights and layovers is 28 hours and 44 minutes. We also cross the International Date Line so it looks like the trip is 2 days. We arrive in Port Vila at 2:20 pm on February 4th.