Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 28th, 2016

Another week goes by without hearing From my son

Here is what I know through his senior couples blog. Riley is serving the wonderful saints of Taveuni. It was hit hard and damaged a lot, but not their spirits. Riley is in a spot to do some amazing things to help the people of Fiji. The dock has been destroyed and so the initial food stash they brought is now almost gone. The senior couple stated that they hoped it gets fixed quickly. They are now starting to help with the relief efforts. I am not sure what that includes but I am so glad that he is surrounded by such loving people. Am I worried, heavens yes, am I a little scared for what is to come, yes. Do I have enough faith to see this out? We shall see, I have often times thought of myself as not very strong, but I have gotten this far right? Any way, keep the prayers coming for all involved. Love you all.

Water detail

Working very hard to replace water which is in high demand right now

This is Rileys partner in crime right now, Elder Dunn
The food is starting to run out, I just can't imagine

This is the churches water tank, it was one of the tanks that could be repaired.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21st, 2016

Cyclone Winston category 5 with Catastrophic damage/Cultural Celebration

This post  is written by Kristi, I have not had any contact with Riley since last Sunday. I know that he is safe but I am still worried.

At 2am saturday morning I received a letter from Rileys mission president stating that Riley was accounted for and that he had been trained in disaster procedures.  He then proceeded to tell me that the storm was bearing down on them as he was writing this email.  He stated that there was no power and that he didn't know when it would return. He said that the country has been declared a disaster area. People have lost everything and the clean up will be extensive. He said that they would not let any Missionaries return until it was absolutely safe to do so. 
As a mother I am completely overwhelmed by all of this. I have tracked the storm, I watched the footage when it hit and I have seen the pictures of the damage.  Riley has only been in his new area for about two weeks. The island of Taveuni is where he is and they have not heard good or bad whether the people on that island are safe.  I can't help but feel so relieved that Riley was in the process of making his way to the cultural event like 5 days prior to the storm. All of the missionaries but two were in the same place at the same time when it hit. This is the true definition of a tender mercy. Here are some pictures of everything. I hope I can hear from him soon. 

This is a famous tree in Fiji they call the tree of life. Split right in half. 
I actually screen shoted this video. The angel Moroni did not move in this powerful storm. What a powerful picture.

Friday, February 19, 2016

February 19th, 2016

The long trip to Suva to join others for the dedication of the Fiji Temple (written by Kristi through my eyes and the pictures from the sweet senior couple that oversees Ri)

Riley is very far away from the main island of Fiji. It took him a very long time to get to the celebration.

They are off to Bucca bay, Then an hour an a half bus ride to Savasava, Then a 17 hr boat ride, another hour or so on the bus, then they will arrive in Suva!  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14th, 2016

Back to Suva for the cultural celebration it will take me 10 hours by boat but it will be worth it

Time to entertain
Elder Dunn getting checked out, the doctor told me I might need reading glasses some day. Hahahaha.
This is the famous bike. We rode them and they were broke so we gave them away.
Me and Elder Dunn filling out papers for the doctor to look. 

This week has been awesome!!! Elder Dunn has been sick all week but it hasn't been too bad. His coughing has only kept me up a little. Things get rough sometimes, but I just try to keep my head up.
We are heading to Suva this week and I just checked who is hosting us and the people hosting us in the Lami area. That is Elder Otene, my trainer, and Elder Grey, one of my favorite Elders from my intake. I am so excited. We are catching a small ferry from Tav. to Vanua Levu and then from Vanua Levu to Viti Levu. I am so excited. Hope I don't get sea sick on the 10 hour boat ride to the main island. It gets to the dock at 3 a.m. I am sure I will be tired. Hahaha

This week was full of crazy stuff. We tried riding the bikes again but they were broke and we didn't want to ride them back so we just gave them away. Bathing in the ocean is good but sometimes we are sick of it so we bathe under a little pipe that is from rain water that is in some lodge near our flat. We have power only for a few hours a day I already told you that, but the main part about that is it just gets so blazing hot and we don't have a fridge which sucks too. I miss cold water to drink.
We actually caught a few rides from some trucks passing on the dirt road. One guy stopped for us and we started booking it to his truck and when we got there Elder Dunn jumped in the bed of his truck. When I put my foot on the tire to get in, he started driving. I landed on the edge and almost fell off but instead I just face planted into the back of the truck.
We helped out with the eye doctor thing at the school and got some referrals. He checked my eyes and apparently I am a little far sighted. He said I'll probably need reading glasses when I am 35 or so haha I guess we'll see.
Yesterday we caught a rat. We cornered him then he charged me and I trapped him with a bucket. I felt like a champ.
Every night when we walk back from our flat, it feel like I am walking through a cotton candy machine. There are so many spider webs. I guess that is what you get when you walk through the jungle. Also, I think this might be the only place where I have been more annoyed with the flies than the mosquitos. As we walk, Hundreds just land on your back and on your head. God knew I needed to learn patience and this is a really good way.
This area is really challenging mentally. I know that it is hard but I know that God is shaping me into the person he needs me to become. The hard times shape us into better people. No matter what you are going through, just hold on and God will bless you.
Elder Jones over and out......
Kua ni rere. Vakabauta ga.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 7th, 2016

The new Island with no water and no power

Bula Taveuni!
This last week we got transfer calls and President Layton told me that I would be serving on Taveuni. It is nicknamed the garden island. It is very beautiful! Some people don't even get the chance to get off the main island so I am grateful for the opportunity. I have been called to follow up train Elder Dunn. He is from Las Vegas and he is a good missionary.
I am going to miss you all the people in my old area. I really got close with all of the members and my companion Elder Whitworth. I will miss all of it. But we don't change if we stay in one spot. It is good to get new areas and meet new people and have new experiences.
Just getting to my area was crazy. I had to take a plane, a bus, a truck, a boat, and then another bus to get to my area. But I am very happy to be serving here. It will take some time to get adjusting to but I know I can do anything with the Lords help.
I am grateful for my testimony of the gospel. It helps me everyday. Jesus Christ is my savior and redeemer. I know that through his grace, we can be filled. I wish everyone a good week and will rely on the Lord in our times of need. He will carry us when we are too sad, weak, or tired to carry ourselves.
Loloma levu vei kemuni. Moce mada mai Taveuni