Sunday, October 25, 2015

October 25th, 2015

This week was very fun. Spent a lot of time running around our area. Slept in the different chapels 3 of the nights and slept in the Korovo elder's flat too. There is a secret back road in our area that goes up high into the mountains that we took and I got to see some way cool views. When we were up there we got to see all the different reefs we usually can't see from the village we go to. This week we got FED!!! So many meals that I almost threw up. The members are so nice here. Usually we don't get fed because we're never around late at night and in the morn, but since we slept at the chapel, the members in village kept feeding us dinners and breakfast! So good. I love Fijian food a lot now. Well, most of it. Lots of tea still. Lemon leaf tea is all I have tried and that is about all they drink here. It is just boiled water with a leaf from one of the fruit trees that they get near by and stick in in your cup. Then they hand you sugar and I usually get 5 scoops of that and it tastes really good. It's just weird though that it is like blistering hot outside and they still serve you tea. Way weird. 
Since there are a ton of mosquitos we burn mosquito coils to keep them away. This week when sleeping in the chapel we lit some on a cardboard box. When we woke up, we found the chapel floor burnt pretty bad.. Hahah yeah we're idiots. Just same old stuff here. Hiking through the jungle, teaching and stuff. Our investigators still aren't coming to church because it is a long walk for them. We did service for one of our investigators named Turaga, and he put us to work on his farm. He gave us a knife and a shovel and he just watched us pretty much till his whole garden. Fijians are crazy... I got a pretty bad blister but, it's whatever. I am happy though, lots of adventures and cool stuff I get to see. Everyone here is so poor though and they always ask us for money, but we can't give it to them. 
Elda Jones

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October 18th, 2015 - Driving Troubles

Last week I got pulled over. I was going 11 kilometers per hour over. I got a $25 ticket which is like $12 USD. This week I got pulled over again for going 21 over. The cops had me get out of the car and they were going to give me a $40 ticket but I talked them out of it after I started using some of my smooth Fijian. Cops here don't pull you over in cars. They just stand on the side of the road with a radar gun and if you're speeding then they just wave you to the side of the road.

October 18th, 2015

Another week in Burewai. It was a fun week but really hard. It rained so much this week and all of the rivers were flooded. We had train the trainerson Wed. for the Nausori Zone. All of the trainers and trainees go to Suva for a training with the APs and President and Sister Layton. It was very fun. Things in Burewaii are still very crazy. I have found myself getting used to weird things like naked kids running around the village, stray dogs fighting chickens, seeing people shower outside their flat without any covering, and numerous other things. It is weird that I think these things are normal now. Everyone here is so nice though. If you walk by a house everyone invites you in for lunch or tea or anything. The tea that we always drink here is just hot water with a lemon leaf in it. It actually tastes pretty good after you add a couple scoops of sugar. The culture is way different but I am getting used to it. They are splitting our area soon which is pretty sad. I like all of it. I don't know which side I want. The Nasautoka side is like 70% bush and it is really fun. I love all the people on that side. The other side is where Burewai is and that is like 95% bush. That side is on the ocean and they speak a different dialect which is hard to understand. There is also a lot of black magic on that side. Everyone tells stories about that stuff and it is really daunting. Apparently there was a missionary in my area a little while back that got cursed and had some weird dots around his stomach and he was close to dying. He got really sick but then he got a priesthood blessing and was fine. It scares me to think about this stuff but I know I have the Lord on my side so there is no need to fear. My trainer is awesome. He is one of the youngest trainers in the mission. He just barely finished up follow up training and so we're both still trying to figure things out. We have 5 investigators with a baptismal date!!! 2 of them go to church and are looking really good but the family that we are teaching don't go to church which is frustrating. It's like 1 1/2 hour walk which is hard for them. Lots of the people we teach have anywhere from and hour walk to 3 hour walks just to get to church. It is really hard. The branches in our area turn up about 13 people every week and the 1st and 2nd counselors usually never even go. We also have a few units in our area and those are pretty much just a family having church in their flat. The work is good here though and I love being a missionary.

 Attempting to cross the bridge that was flooded, but it was too deep.
 We weren't even to the bridge yet.
 Hiking to the chapel to sleep.
 My area, Burewai.
 In the jungle.
 In the truck.
 My name tag on the beach.
Taking after my mom as a pro photographer.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 11th, 2015

Crazy week in the bush. Burewai is such an awesome area and I'm glad that I was assigned to be here for my fist area. At the start of the week we had beach p-day and everyone went to the beach to play. The beach we were on was way long and we had it all to ourselves. We played touch rugby and I got a try. Pretty tight. This week was my trainer's 6 month mark so we had a bonfire and he burnt a tie. He is a great trainer. We've been teaching a lot of lessons and we have a family with a baptismal date but they didn't go to church. That is way frustrating. The language is actually coming pretty well. I can't speak it very well or fast but I can understand a lot of what I hear which is really good.
Also this week, I found a random coconut and decided to go try to cut it open with the sele back at our flat. It was way hard but I managed to get it open and had a good refreshing drink and then at some coconut. We also got the opportunity to watch conference. It was way good. We drove into the city to watch it at the stake center. Not very much has happened since last week. I still have to hike into the jungle once a week to get to the chapel where we sleep. We burnt a mosquito coil this time so we didn't get eaten alive. 

Au sa gandreva lesu tale oqo. Au lomani kemuni kece. Au kila ni dina na lotu. Au masu na Kalou sa vukei kemuni ka taqomaki kemuni. MOCE

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 4th, 2015

Bula Vinaka!!!! This week was very good. We finally got our truck back which is very exciting. I am the designated driver too which can be fun and scary. In Fiji they drive on the left side of the road and so it can be hard to get used to. There have been a few times on turns where I turned into the right lane and almost caused an accident but it's not that bad. Since we got our truck back, we are able to go to some of the other parts of our area now. Our area is huge and there are just a lot of driving on dirt roads to get to little villages. 

Tuesday, we drove the truck up to Nalidi and Soa. It is way awesome to be able to go and see new people. Our area is huge though. It takes forever to get to these villages that are spread out everywhere.

On Wednesday, we drove all the way up to Burewai and Saioko. These villages are very bush and they are in the middle of nowhere. We talked to a bunch of people up there and taught some lessons. My Fijian is getting a little better I think but I usually just let my trainer do most of the talking during lessons. After that in order to save k's (kilometers) we stayed the night in the Saioko chapel. It's a half hour hike up from the road through the jungle. We took a sele (machete) up with us because supposedly sometimes dog's or wild pigs attack us. We slept at the chapel and their was a rat in the room we stayed at. I used my sulu as a blanket because I got a little chilly.

On Thursday, we went to a little village on the beach called Natalera. It was way beautiful there. Apparently everyone there doesn't like us though for some reason. I'm pretty sure it was something that happened in the past but we went out and tried our best anyways. We taught a family there that are the only members. They just have a little unit. The rest of the day was just did OYM (open your mouth) and talked to nearly everyone in the village. It was exhausting. By the end of the day, we were so worn out that we went and bought 5 liters of Blitz ice cream. We each started off eating so much, then we couldn't finish and got sick. After that we both felt sick for the next few days.

On Friday, we drove up to Nalidi to meet with some people but everyone was drinking kava in the school. Then some guy kept trying get us into his house to drink some kava so Elder Otene decided that we better leave. We then went to Nasautoka to try to get some lessons in but no one was there. We only taught one lesson that day which was a big bummer. 

Saturday was a good day. We went back to Nalidi and we taught a lesson to some recent convert and their kids. It was way awesome and they are really cool people. We then left and taught and old investigator but she is way Catholic so I guess we will see what happens. We then went to Nayavo where we taught a few lessons. We taught Turaga and his family and gave them a baptismal invite and they accepted. I am so excited for them and for the work. We then got some awesome food from the Tiko Edinas. They are some members that are really nice. That night we wanted to save some more k's so we were going to sleep in the Nasautoka chapel, but all of the young men were sleeping in there, so we just had to sleep in our truck. It was terrible. 

Finally on Sunday, we woke up and went to church. The church there has about 15 members and that is combined from the people in Nayavo and Nasautoka. Elder Otene and I got to bless the sacrament and it was hard in Fijian but way awesome. I then shared my testimony in bad Fijian but hopefully it wasn't too bad. We then went to Nasautoka and did some more work. We had dinner with the stake president. Fish is going to take some getting used to. I constantly am puling  bones from my mouth but I hope I will get used to it. Finally, we stayed the night at the Korovo Elders flat which is tiny. There were 4 of us squished in their little box of a flat. There shower is just a bucket behind their flat and so I took a shower out there. It had a nice view.

That is all for this week. The work is going good and I am excited for the future. Everyone here can't really pronounce my last name so they just call me ELDA (CHO~NAY) It makes more sense in Fijian. The language is coming and I hope it will get better faster. Our flat does have running water and power which is good. There are only my companion and I in our area, in our district there is 6. Two of the Elders in our district are out on an island too so we don't really get to see them as often. I think there are about 140 total  missionaries here in Fiji. We email from a little internet Cafe that is about a 45 minute drive from our flat. There are good days and there are bad days but time is flying. Everyone says that their mission went by way too fast and I am already starting to see that. It felt like yesterday that I showed up at the MTC. Well, moce  from Fiji.