Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 27, 6:00am (NZ time)

Dear Parents, Families and Friends of our Missionaries on Vanuatu,

Unless something changes, this will be our last post on the blog. The intent of the blog was to provide some quick information on what was happening on the ground in Vanuatu. Hopefully, it was helpful. As I'm sure you realize, it will take many months and years to get things back to normal in this country. A lot of progress has already been made and it has been wonderful to see the resilience of those that live there. There will also be many changes with the missionaries concerning where they are assigned and what they will be doing. The missionaries have been a shining light to the people of Vanuatu.

To get more information, we suggest you follow this link:  Pacific Area Newsroom. Here's an article about their resilience and cooperation.

Pacific Area Office

Here's a news release that will go out soon.

Latter-day Saints Grateful for Church and Government Aid Following Cyclone

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gratefully acknowledged the action taken by government and Church leaders immediately after Cyclone Pam struck. The devastating effects of Cyclone Pam were felt by everyone. Lives lost, gardens ruined, homes damaged, rivers widened, bridges broken, power poles and lines wrecked, and water supply polluted.

Whilst many around the outer islands and even Port Vila are awaiting supplies, the six branches (congregations) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around Port Vila, have received enough help to support life for at least three months.

Many Latter-day Saint families are sharing a portion of their food and other supplies with neighbours and friends, whilst awaiting further assistance. The Church continues to help Latter-day Saints and others in need with supplies of food, water and clothing which have been sent to outer islands.

600 emergency food boxes were sent from New Zealand to Port Vila this week, with another 1,400 boxes on their way in the coming weeks. The 600 boxes are being sent from Port Vila to Tanna this week, along with 100 tents, water, rice and flour. The Church is also in the process of shipping 1,000 water containers with purification filters; 3,000 litres of water; and 200 cartons of milk powder to Port Vila.

Vanuatu Latter-day Saint leaders have purchased in Port Vila food, water, tents, tarpaulins, tools and building supplies – and are distributing these to Latter-day Saints and others in need who have been sheltering in Church buildings since the cyclone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24, 8:15pm (NZ time)

1) We had a conference call with President Brewer today and much improvement is being made. The missionaries are continuing to work hard to restore the living conditions on the islands. Food shipments from the members in Tonga and Samoa are being processed and will arrive soon.

2) The members in New Zealand sent 600 buckets of food to Port Villa and these will be shipped to Tanna tomorrow afternoon on a boat. The food will arrive in Tanna before Thursday 12:00pm. The additional 1,400 buckets will arrive to Vanuatu soon.

3) The situation in Port Villa is much improved and food is readily available. However, Tanna is lacking many items.

4) Below is a map that shows the islands and it shows where many of the chapels are located. There are still quite a few members living in these buildings.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 23, 10:45am (NZ time)

NZ navy ship heading for Vanuatu

Here's an article in the news that mentions the church's effort in getting the food boxes to Nanuatu.
  - sky NEWS article

Friday, March 20, 2015

March 21, 4:30pm (NZ time)

New Zealand 'Mormon Helping Hands' Volunteers Send 2,000 Food Boxes to Vanuatu

Volunteers packed 2,000 emergency family food boxes in Auckland today. The boxes will be flown to Vanuatu in the coming days to be distributed to people recovering after this month's Cyclone Pam. Watch a video featuring volunteers assembling the emergency food boxes.

March 21, 5:00am (NZ time)

We had a good conference call yesterday with President Brewer and the Vanuatu response team. Much is being done to get supplies to the country.  Concerning your missionaries:
  - President Brewer will be going to Luganville (on the island of Santo) this Sunday
  - Then, he'll be doing a zone conference on Malekula on Wednesday

The missionaries are all doing well. Of key importance is the health and safety of the missionaries and President Brewer is also making sure they have adequate food supplies. The report back is that the missionaries are working hard at getting the lives of the people in Vanuatu back in shape.

We have encouraged all the missionaries to communicate with their families, so you will know directly from them that they are safe. Given the lack of internet service in many places, this might take a while to happen. If you have any concerns feel free to contact us and we will follow-up with President Brewer.  Send an email to:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 20, 1:50pm (NZ time)

Leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Vanuatu are continuing to reach out to Mormon congregational ministers across the nation. There have been no reports of fatalities among the membership of the Church. Needs are being assessed in communities — and food, water and other supplies are being distributed where possible.

Earlier today Pacific Area President of the Church, Elder Kevin W. Pearson, said, “We are doing all we can to talk with our local leaders in our congregations across Vanuatu. We are extremely grateful that reports to this point indicate that none of our Church members have lost their lives.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with any in Vanuatu who have lost loved ones, sustained injuries, lost their home, crops or livelihood, or who are suffering in any other way. We will continue to reach out in love and support, as best we can, to our Church members and others in the coming weeks and months.”

“It is deeply reassuring to hear reports that people are calm, working to recover and rebuild, and are helping their neighbours. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are absolutely committed to walk alongside our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu as they grieve, recover and rebuild. We are here for the long haul.” 

March 20, 10:54am (NZ time)

Dalton Pearce is one of 11 Latter-day Saint missionaries who rode out Cyclone Pam on Vanuatu's Tanna island last weekend.

In this video clip from TVNZ current affairs program Seven Sharp, reporter Emma Keeling meets up with Dalton on Tanna and gives him a chance to send a message home to his family.

Watch the video at TVNZ's website (the missionary is 2.58 minutes into the clip):