Wednesday, December 30, 2015


It's been so long since we posted anything here I may have forgotten where we left off.  We have been getting some rain now.  It's not enough but it has relieved some of the pressure and hopefully the rain will keep coming.

One of the main attractions in Vanuatu is the Mele Cascade which is right next to Port Vila.  It's one of the things that has been on our to do list since we arrived here in February.  We finally took the time a couple of weeks ago to go there and even with the low water levels, it is still very beautiful and worth the hike.

It was supposed to be about a 20 minute hike to the top

It was a beautiful day and we made many stops along the way

So it took a while longer

When we did get to the top, we didn't want to leave

We have never experienced Christmas in the middle of the Summer before so it was a little strange.  

We did have a beautiful tree

Our Ward Christmas party here was a little different that the one they held in our home Ward in Wyoming.  It was certainly not a white Christmas

We played in the water

Of course VaLynne couldn't be left out

Some of the children didn't want to wait for the dinner so they gathered up a bunch of snails.  I had them give me one to try and it's a good thing.  There is only part of the snail that is good to eat and if I hadn't had their guidance I would have probably eaten the bad part too.  It wasn't too bad but not something I would go out of my way for.

We were asked by President Granger if we along with Elder and Sister Stevens would go to New Caledonia and spend Christmas with the missionaries there.  It was a great opportunity for us to meet them and get to know them.  We were able to spend five days there and had a great Christmas.

This is our New Caledonia Christmas tree

The view from our hotel balcony

We started Christmas with a devotional and spent some time getting to know each other.  Then it was play time.

They actually kept score for a minute but they were having so much fun they forgot.  They split into four teams and rotated between volleyball, soccer and dodge ball.

They don't have the opportunity to all get together very often so they made the most of it.

The Ward members provided a huge dinner and we had a gift exchange.  They are a great group of young men and women who have dedicated their life to the Lord and it was a privilege to get to know them.  They kept telling us how wonderful it was to have us come to be with them but I felt that it was us who received the greater blessing.

Small world stories from this group. Two of them are related to VaLynne through her mom's side. And one a convert from Illinois, went to school at University of Wyoming and knows Greg Livingston, originally from our home Ward in Mountain View! 


  1. We have been called to this mission. Please contact us to give us a few do's and don'ts of what to bring.

  2. Sister Sanders we are excited to hear you have been called here. I know there is a couple who have been called to serve in the New Caledonia are of the mission, I believe an Office couple would that be you. We would really like to see you be serving in Vanuatu as eduction and PEF/Self-Reliant Missionaries. Please feel free to contact me (Sister VaLynne Stoddard) at I look forward to hearing from you! You have been called to the best Mission Ever (but all missionaries where ever they serve or served say that!)