Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fiji week 1


"Man's extremities is God's opportunities." -Elder Holland

man i have so much to say....where to start!!? should i start from the cold showers or creatures or food or people?? hmmmm well ill start from when we got on that plane to fiji...
on sept. 7, after seeing everyone at the airport i was ready to head to fiji. i thought it would be hard to leave them but it wasn't, i didn't want to stay. which is weird because i always rather to go home to kauai but it truly shows how much i love this work and how much i love this gospel. im praying that my time here in fiji doesn't fly by but that i get a chance to take in every moment. to really experience everything in this work. anyway, the plane ride was 9 hours and 50 minutes. they have comfy planes!! i had enough leg room and my seat went back pretty far, i was practically lying down!! lol except one of the taller elders from my district was next to me and was getting mad that i could lie down because im so short haha. yay short people!! so the plane ride was really good and i slept pretty much the whole time, which probably doesn't surprise you.
we landed in fiji at 530am in Nadi, Fiji on Sept. 9 and then we needed to drive to Suva, which was about a 4-5 hour bus ride. when we first got in Nadi it looked just like home and it even felt like home. the air felt like that crisp kauai air and i felt like i was waiting for you guys to come and pick me up from the airport lol. but instead we got on a big bus that took us all to Suva. it then dropped us off and there were some elders waiting for us there who took us in vans to the mission office.

the mission office and mission home is right in that same block with the temple. its beautiful!! we went and ate some lunch, chop suey, and then we started a welcome orientation and interviews with the mission president. we couldn't do everyone on that same day so the rest of us who weren't being interviewed went and stayed with some of the missionaries in that suva area. me and one of the other sisters, sister alofoe, went with these 2 sisters. sister su'a from america samoa and sister tuahiva...(she has a really long name) from tahiti. they were so kind and taught me so much while i was there. the first lesson we went with them was with a family and they committed them to baptism!! the spirit was so strong and the family was so faithful, it showed me how much the gospel can truly change someones life.
on wednesday i finally got my interview with my mission president and he is awesome!! he truly cares about us as missionaries and he truly wants to help us in everything. and his wife is like our mom here and she cooked for us and made us feel at home. then finally on thursday we got our areas. after a overview of the mission rules and everything we each received an envelope with our areas. it was like opening another mission call and my heart was beating fast!! LABASA AREA!! my area i was called to, labasa area, was the only area for the sisters that came with me that was off island. so im not on the main island!! im on the second largest island and there's only two pairs of sister missionaries here. in labasa its soooooo hot!! its hotter then home and we walk everywhere so i feel so gross at the end of the day because ive been sweating all day. i really think im going to lose weight because we walk a lot. and every night im exhausted!! this work is hard and it takes hard work to spread the gospel but i love every minute of it. as soon as my head hits the pillow, im done for, out cold. lol but my body is getting used to waking up early. okay here's the one catch about labasa or just going to a different can only take 1 suitcase!!!! i bought a carry on suitcase at the MTC because my bags were too heavy and so that's the bag i brought to Labasa. my little carry on suitcase!! that's all!! i literally left more then half my stuff back in suva. i only could bring my essentials. 2 skirts, 5 shirts, a brush, toothbrush, contact stuff, and the rest books. i dont know how im doing it but its definitely living simple lol.
my trainer or we call it my mom is sister ongesel from micronesia. shes awesome and i love her so much! shes really tiny and quiet so she's getting use to my loudness but shes so funny and we get along well. we're learning so much from each other. we're even teaching each other our languages. so im teaching her some hawaiian and shes teaching me some of her language, i forget what it's called because she's from a smaller island that has their own language but its fun, and together we're learning fijian and some hindi. our investigators and some members are going to help us learn fijian and they're so happy that we're trying to learn their language. im in an english ward so not many sisters try to learn the language because they dont need to, but i WANT to. im determined!!
we have a lot of new investigators that we are still meeting and are going to continue to meet this week. they all seem very interested in the gospel and im excited to teach them and get to know them. the first day we went to teach lessons i was so nervous because i was like "oh my gosh this is a real investigator!! what if i say the wrong thing and they never accept the gospel!?" well i soon got over that once i opened my mouth in our first lesson. her name is silika and she's 21 and she is really interested in the gospel and already wants to get baptized and we haven't even started teaching her yet. well after our lesson with her, my fears went away and i noticed that throughout the lesson if you just listen to the holy ghost, it's not possible to say the wrong thing. remember that!! but im excited to get to know all our investigators and help them come unto Christ and be baptized. we have, hopefully, 1 or 2 baptisms at the end of this month already. can't wait!! it's truly a blessing to see how these people's lives change and how they are willing to change so that they can come to know God and Jesus Christ better. when we go and teach them, their houses usually only have 2 rooms. the living room and then the bed room so everyone sleeps in one room or outside. we sit on the mats on the ground and have our lessons there. my legs die during every lesson so by the time i come home ill probably be able to sit on the ground wherever and forever!! haha
we have a little branch here. yesterday there were about 75 members there which is way small compared to kapaa. before church my companion was telling me how the branch is kind of weak and there's no participation from the members in missionary work and not even from the presidency. and they dont even have branch activities. isa!! also they dont even feed missionaries!! i was like, this is why im here, because im not afraid to open my mouth and let the members know and the branch presidency know that we all need to work together. but yesterday in church it was like they heard us talking about the concerns of the branch because everything that needed to be said was discussed in the meetings by the 1st counselor in  the branch presidency. i could truly see how the Lord's hand is really in everything we do. it makes things work so that His work can move forward.
okay so we eat with our hands like all the time!!! my companion is teaching me how to eat with my hands the right way, there's a technique lol. even when we eat like curry or soup, we use our hands. so be ready when i come home. im going to make some indian food and we're eating our hands only!! fun!! i love it :) the first time i had curry i was like oh looks good! so i put a lot on my plate. i took the first bite and almost started crying it was so hot!! the lady was a member and was just laughing at me hahaha. so the next day she invited us to lunch and she didnt make is as hot for me and she said eventually ill be able to eat really hot :)
so every night when we come home to our flat there are all these frogs on the grass. they're maybe like the size of golf balls or so but they're gross and there's choke!! i like scream and run through the grass. they like jump and touch my legs and my companion just laughs at me and tells me, "just kick um!" yeah no im not kicking no frogs!! im just gonna run and hope they dont touch me. sometimes i step on them and it makes the grossest sound. so my companion said we're going to try and come home before its dark so i dont have to deal with frogs, eeewwwwww!!!! i swear im going to die!!! but i guess ill get use to it and start kicking frogs like nothing. we'll see. gross!!!
well i think that's about all that's going on with me here in fiji. despite the really hot food that makes me cry and kicking frogs i love fiji!! seeing the way they live is so humbling and i really hope one day ill be able to bring you all back here. they're amazing people and are so loving and happy people. i love you all!! it sounds like everyone is doing awesome at home. congratulations on your win mama!! go warriors!!
here's my scripture of the week... Matthew 28: 19-20. it just talks about how all nations and all people need to hear the gospel and be baptized. i love this scripture because it helps me remember that everyone i see here on the street is a child of God and deserves to know that they are loved and cared about. and also when we do these things, the Lord will be our constant companion and He will protect us and help us. well au lomani kemudou!!

loloma levu,
sista chong

 au lako ena waqavuke oqo ki Labasa
 na tinaqu
 na noqu flat
 na noqu flat
 filters (lepo da watah!!)
da stove, gas stove
 lako ki suva
valetabu mai suva
e dua vale
na kaulotu lake mai ki viti kei au

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