Brooms, Cakes and the Book of Mormon

News Release
 

With slices of homemade cakes, handmade brooms and copies of the Book of Mormon, members of the Honiara Branch (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently introduced themselves to merchants near Church buildings on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

Lupe Fuimaono, senior missionary serving for two years in Honiara, organised the event to thank merchants for keeping the noise down and to encourage them to keep their areas around their stalls clean.

“We are a part of this community and you are a part of this community,” she said. “We can work together to have this nice for all of us.”

The service event culminated after months of planning and preparation that began first by teaching the women how to cook and bake cakes using ovens made from refurbished oil drums.

After learning how to bake and decorate cakes with confidence, Gloria Sewia reflects, “Maybe one day I’ll start my own bakery.”

Tana and Dominic Tapuke worked as a couple on the project. Tana helped with the baking and Dominic constructed one of the drum ovens.

“I knew how to make these ovens from my home island,” he proudly states.

In addition to the cakes, the women were taught by Lupe Fuimaono how to make brooms from resources readily available on the island of Guadalcanal.

Nesta Weri harvested long straight branches from bush trees and then cut tyre inner tube strips to wrap the straw around one end to form this new broom.

Using these brooms, marketers can stand to sweep and clean the streets near their stalls instead of bending over. Nesta later plans to make and sell brooms as a business.

Following the gifts of cake and brooms, missionaries and Branch President Vincent Ngolihenue introduced themselves and distributed over 50 copies of the Book of Mormon to the merchants.

The books contained the missionaries’ personal testimonies of faith in Jesus Christ inscribed on the inside cover.

Of the experience missionary Elder Suifanua responded, “I felt good about handing out the brooms and then following up with the Book of Mormon. It gave us a chance to introduce them to the gospel - not to force anything upon them but to help them know where to find out more if they want to learn.”

Sarah Hoeisi remarked, “The cakes give them the sweetness of mankind, but the gospel gives them the sweetness of Heavenly Father.”

Community recipients expressed their thanks for the gifts with smiles and words and began using their brooms immediately. With her new broom in hand, one elderly woman danced a few steps as she swept the area clean in front of her stall and a large portion of the street.

Standing in the back of a pick-up truck, Elder Viiga Fuimaono, counsellor in the Vanuatu Port Villa Mission presidency, began the service by introducing himself and participants as members of the Church that meet in the building right behind the merchants’ stalls.

“We thank you for your respect of the Church buildings and for keeping the noise down. We live in the same community. We invite you to learn more. Come and see.”

President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counsellor in the First Presidency of the Church recently counselled, “He has placed you in the way of other children of God to serve them for Him.

Certainly, both the givers and the receivers are “in the way” with each other in Honiara and felt uplifted because of this unique and worthwhile service.

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