Elder Apelu wrote about his first week adventures in Papua New Guinea, Lae mission. Below is the group email he sent.
For all of you assuming at PNG is just like Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, etc... Elder Apelu wanted you to know that PNG is NOTHING like the Polynesian Islands (and yes, Elder Apelu has been to Samoa & American Samoa 3 times).
"SO Elder Apelu, what is PNG like?" Weeeellllllllll where does one start?
I think I'll start with things one should be grateful for if they are not living in Papua New Guinea.
1.) Roads, there is like, one Road in Lae that is not all bumpy and weird and you almost die like 95% of the time. You're suppose to drive on the left lane(America is apparently the only country that drives on the right side) but nobody cares and they just drive on whatever side they feel like driving. Plus nobody obeys the speed limits so everytime I get in a car I pray.
2.) Wal-Mart this one might sound really weird, but the food markets are kinda weird here. I don't know how to describe it, it's like a wanna be Harmons, but then you get checked by security everytime they see you. None of them wanted to hear about my message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. :(
3.) Facebook. Okay, don't ask me how I know this, but they have to pay for Facebook here in Lae. I laughed so hard! Be grateful you guys!
So Mission experiences in Lae? Well, President Fehoko assigned me and my trainer, Elder Fiamati to be the Lae Zone Leaders; and before you ask if thats allowed, I already asked that and got scolded for not believing in myself. So I have been pretty busy, I actually don't spend a lot of time proselyting, but go on different assignments the President asks us to do. Like Friday, we went to Gorokoa, which is like driving from SLC to St. George, to scout out a new area called Kiniatu. Also were having a GA come for a special Mission Conference, so we have been busy assigning Elders to areas as they all come to Lae. Sunday I got to bear my testimony(in Tok Pisin) and people came up to me crying, saying they were blessed to have the, "Angel from Utah build the kingdom!" I was so moved by it! We also finally went teaching in my area, and it's seriously ALL BUSH!
So we walked in a village, and everyone was looking at us, and I was like, "Frick Bro, who am I gonna teach?" Then I felt impressed to pull out some pictures from home, some pictures of SNOW, and some Pictures of Jesus Christ. I yelled out, "Pikkinni Kam!" meaning Children Come, and they rushed me as I showed them pictures. I showed them SLC and told them "Place bilong mi, mi lo Utah!" I showed them Snow and asked them, "Wan em?" They all said rain and I laughed! I said "No gut rain! EM Snow!" They all started laughing as I showed them pictures of me playing football, me and lewa(bae) then finally Jesus Christ.
I said "Who se?" they all replied, "God!" I said, "No gut, em Jesus Kraist, Pikkini Bilong Papa God." I then went on to teach them(by this time we had a pretty big crowd of teenagers and adults, and elders) about Jesus Christ. They were all so moved, and extacted that they all wanted to hear more! IT was so awesome! We get to go back and teach tomorrow! I can't wait!
I also, would like to share my testimony to you all, in Tok Pisin. Gospel Bilong Jesus Kraist em tasol way long salvation. Mi save em plan of hamamas long kisim eternal families. Mi Save Joesph Smith em tru prophet, na em translate Book Mormon. Mi save Thomas S Monson em tru prophet, na em kal mi long PNG long servem olgeta pikkinni bilong Papa God. Mi lovem Papa God, na mi lovem yu mi olgeta. Mi piniish em letter, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.