Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 29th, 2015

This week was a wonderful week. I was able to go on exchanges twice, which was really fun. Both people I went on exchanges with were just as young or younger than me in the mission but it was still a good time. I love the Fijian people as well. They do a lot of weird things that I still don't yet understand but it is always just fun to watch them.
This last Monday we decided not to go to Nausori and just to go to Korovou instead. After emails we went to the local school field and played rugby. It started to rain so hard but we went out and played anyway. The whole field was just a mud pit and everyone was slipping everywhere. It was so funny and so much fun. We all went bare foot and one of the Elders in my district split his foot open pretty bad. It put a damper on the day a little. I went on exchanges with Elder Bulisovasova. He is younger than me in the mission but he is a Fijian so he is already 30000000 X better at the language than me. It was a way fun time. I then went on exchanges with Elder Howard from by intake. It was pretty good.   
On exchanges with Elder Bulisovasova.
Jungle hiking, the one in the long sleeve is a member not an elder.  That is reason for the long sleeves.
Haha, thug life.
Another one bites the dust. In the middle is corn beef and noodles. This one is small though.

At the internet cafe where technology is meh, ok.

We were planning for a baptism this week with our investigator who just got married but she didn't pass her interview... I was so sad that she didn't pass but hopefully she will be ready soon. We have some good hope for the future in the area and I hope soon we will start to see the rewards from our hard work here. Weird story, we were walking home back to our flat the next village over and this man stopped us. He spoke English, which was sort of weird because where we are everyone just speaks Fijian. He seemed like he was on some sort of drug. He kept telling me that he worked for Obama in the white house and that he was like a secret agent or something. Hahaha he continued to tell us that he was the one flying the airplane to put the satellites in space and that there are people watching us. He also told us how there are ropes that fall down to earth that allow us to climb up to the satellites. About the Fijians that we serve. Some of the villages have electricity and some of them don't. The one we are staying at has electricity. People don't really have furniture like tables or chairs. Just sometimes beds. Everything else is done on the floor. Most of them will by a small TV before they will buy a fridge haha. I don't get that. We just go to town to email in internet cafes. The computers are pretty good. They are about as far behind as Fiji's taste in music. 2006. But all is well here. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 22, 2015

This was a really fun week. Stayed in our area the whole week and just tried to work hard and push through the really hot days. We found out that our next door neighbors in the village are actually less active members. They are so funny and cool. I love them a lot. We have found another person that wants to get baptized which is awesome. The biggest problems out here are just getting people to church. It is a long walk for some people and a lot of them have small kids which is hard. We are trying to find ways to get them there though.
This week was pretty fun though. A couple cool things...
The Rat Takedown
As you previously heard, we have been having some troubles with some rats. To take care of this issue, we went to town and found some stuff called rat glue. You put it on a board in a circle and put food in the middle and rats are supposed to get stuck to it. We walk up late that night to some rats screaming. We woke up around 3 AM to fin two rates stuck to the board. To our surprise, one of the rats was eating the other. Hahah sorry there is no photo evidence. It was really late and I was too tired to care. We took them outside and took care of them.
The Wedding
One of our investigators this week got married. Her name is Susana and she got married to a man named Jonasa. He is a member and she really wants to get baptized but she needed to get married first. They just did their wedding in the chapel. It was a really good wedding and I even had a part in it. I know what you're thinking, but no I was not best man. I had the closing prayer but I'll take it. The smile on her face after the wedding was so happy. I can't wait till she gets baptized.
At church we usually just have around 15 people there and it's just in a one room small chapel. When we split off after sacrament, the primary goes outside, the Young men go to the back of the small chapel room, the older Priesthood go to the front, the young women go to a small room at the front of the chapel, and the relief society go to one of the other corners in the chapel. It is very different from a church service in Utah.
I hope all is well at home and that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful to God everyday for my family and my mission. What a wonderful opportunity it is to be out here. I encourage you all to count your many blessings and remember how much God has done for you.
The new flat where all the rat takedowns have happened.

The wedding where I had a big part. The prayer.
It rains a lot but it is so hot, I could be sweating or it could be rain.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15th, 2015

What a different week. This was our first full week in our new flat living inside the village. It is a different experience but one that is also very cool. People in the village keep asking to come inside our flat so we can all chat and eat and stuff but we keep telling them that it is forbidden. Fijians really are a peculiar people. I love them all though. They are very laid back and are hard workers. After losing the truck and being forced to walk in the hot sun all day, I think I am beginning to look more like a Fijian as well. Shredded calves and dark skin.
I am getting more adjusted to our cold showers. Still have to pump myself up to go take a shower though. Everyone in the village is welcoming to our coming. I am grateful to be in the area that I am in. I feel that it is teaching me to be strong even when things are rough.
Last week we were in a lesson with some of our investigators. One of our investigators is named Serema. She is sooo awesome. We went through a lesson with her and her family about the Word of Wisdom. She accepted it right away and at the end of the lesson, we asked if they had anymore questions. She said she did and when we asked what it was, she said, "I have been reading this book and I have a question about some of the scriptures listed in here." She pulled out a Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson book. Elder Otene and I looked at each other like what???? We don't even know how she got that book and we were so happy how interested she is in the church and how happy it makes her. Sheesh I haven't even read that book.
We walked for over an hour to get to church. I got a lot of blisters on my feet that hurt pretty bad, so when we walked back, I just went barefoot for most of the way. That was also very painful. Life is a lot better when you laugh at the things that happen to you instead of getting mad. Like last night, we didn't get any sleep because our flat is like rat nation or something. Every 5 minutes we would here a rat in the sink or in the garbage or running under our beds. They are big too. I'm talking 6 lbs. and probably a foot head to tail. I think we are getting some traps today or maybe this week I'll just chase them down with the sele (knife). 
Things are awesome here. Everything is beautiful and I am grateful for all the God has given me. 
 The old district.

Walking at night.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8th, 2015

Crazy week. Our area got split and we had to move flats. Before we lived in Korovo, which is actually a town sort of. It had a market an a few shops. Now we moved into Nayavu Village, which is way far away from everything. I'm not sure how I feel about this new change. I finally was getting used to our old flat and where we lived and now we had to move. We are walking now, which is hard, but I think it will be good. We are the first Elders to live in this village. Don't know how they feel about having a white guy live in their village. Our investigators walked to church with their whole family and it was so rewarding seeing how happy they were.
The new flat we live in is pretty much roughing it. It is just a concrete box with concrete floors. There are geckos that are 6 inches or longer that just run around on the walls inside. Our shower is outside of the flat in another smaller concrete box. Cold water only. Painful, but refreshing. I love it out here, but it gets rough sometimes. I miss home, but I know that it is right for me to be out here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1st, 2015

Another week in beautiful Fiji. I am so happy to be here. This truly is the best mission in the entire world. Halloween didn't feel like Halloween. No one celebrates it here. Well, not in the villages at least. We had a tiny plastic pumpkin that let up. We put it in the truck and it looked really cool at night. I did see one man with a wig on. Not sure if he was celebrating Halloween or if he was just a qauri.  
This week I was able to go on exchanges with another Elder from my intake. We both don't know that much Fijian and I basically had to run our area for 2 full days. It was very frustrating not knowing who to see or where to go. Everyone in the villages were either farming, or the kids were in school. I was getting very frustrated. I felt unqualified for this great task, which was before me. But, like always, I made it through. Later that night, Elder Howard and I took a long hike into the mountains to go see one family. I was feeling homesick and frankly didn't want anything to do with the Elder I was with. The hike into the mountains made me feel a little better because it reminded me of hiking back home. Once we got to the house, I decided it would be better just to have a happy attitude instead of being so selfish and sad. As we started teaching, my Fijian was better than I think it ever has been. I felt the spirit so strong and my entire day was changed. The Lord wanted me to be happy. All I had to do was change my attitude. Attitude is everything. And when we decide to be happy, we will be. There is no greater joy than serving in the Lords vineyard. I love my life right now. Always remember. Your situation may not change, but when we decide to be happy and rely on the Lord, we can feel peace.
 Beach Boys
 East Coast
 On top of the ocean.
All the kids playing at Stake Conference.