Monday, April 28, 2014

Lost in the Work!




bula mama!


well this week was a busy one! i had my first exchanges with another companionship. i went over to their area while sister pyne brought the other companion to our area. they are in a fijian speaking area. they are the ONLY sisters in the mission that serve in a fijian speaking ward, so im way jealous, but the good thing is that on our exchanges i spoke fijian like all day! it was awesome! i loved it. so i pray i get to serve there one day haha. 

we went and saw one of our golden investigators this week and gave him a baptism date for 29th of may! we actually gave him the 24th originally but he said his birthday was on the 29th so he asked to be baptized on his birthday. how awesome is that! he also told us that he gave his wife his english book of mormon and she's reading it and really likes it! and today he said she wants to start taking lessons, woohoo!! the sad thing about that we teach him in work and so technically he doesn't live in our boundaries. so since his wife will be taking lessons at home we think it's better for him to take lessons with her sooooooo we'll have to give him to the sisters in that area. we're so sad because he was our best investigator but happy because he will be taking lessons with his wife. he still asks amazing questions. like last night we taught about prophets and all the way up to the restoration. he asked us what the difference between a prophet and an apostle. i've never had an investigator care enough to ask a question like that. but he's amazing and it'll be sad to let him go but exciting to see him and his wife get baptized together.

this week we also had stake conference. it was way fun and cool to see how much the church is growing here in fiji. the topic was "hastening the work." on saturday night at the adult session they let all the youth come because they were talking about missionary work. when the stake president got up to speak at one point in his talk he said, "brothers and sisters we need to hurry up and get on Noah's ark, or else your going to be on the Titanic." i was cracking up! like dying! he's an awesome stake president and we're so lucky to have him in our ward. he helps us a lot with the work and really does well in leading the suva north stake. on sunday we had a broadcast from salt lake that was only to fiji, tonga, and one other place i can't remember. but we had david a. bednar and robert d. hales speak to us and it was way good. i think all of the members enjoyed it.

well i can't believe im coming up on my half way mark! i feel like im still new in the mission and i haven't even started anything yet. its crazy how fast time flies. im definitely getting lost in the work here. i find my mind more focused on what im doing here in the work than other things that i use to worry about before. im definitely seeing a big change in myself. it's awesome! but au lomani iko sara valevu!! loloma yani!!

loloma levu,
sista chong

Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy Easter!



bula mama!!

well first of all sorry im a day late but here in fiji their easter lasts from thursday all the way til monday so we were told that the internet shops were closed yesterday and that's why we're emailing today :) anyway...we had an amazing week!! like no joke. first of all on tuesday we went to one of our lessons with a guard. when we got there we found out that it was the wrong guard on duty and it wasn't the one we were looking for, so instead of wasting time we talked to that guard and started sharing a little lesson with him. the Spirit was so strong in the lesson! we just talked about a little bit of everything and about Jesus Christ's life. we asked him if he had any questions and he asked us if miracles still happen today. what an amazing first question!! so we should him the scripture from moroni 7:29-30 and told him that miracles still happen and it was at that moment that we caught his interest. we've met with him 3 more times after that and they have been such powerful lessons. we even committed him to baptism and plan on giving him a date this week. the Lord has truly prepared him to receive the Gospel because he is so open and asks awesome questions. in our second lesson with him he told us that he was going to quit his job. we were so sad and told him that we would send missionaries to his home to continue the lessons. well.....on sunday we called him on the phone to see how he was doing with his Book of Mormon reading. he was really quiet and didn't sound like he usually does. we asked him questions to figure out what was wrong and he told us that he was going to keep working as a security guard until we finish the lessons. sis. pyne and i almost screamed when he told us that. it showed us how the Lord truly does lead us to those who are ready and they are the ones who will do anything to learn this Gospel.

on sunday night we met with our other security guard who was kind of stuck and we weren't sure which step we would take next. so we went to the lesson planning on reading from a Liahona that talks all about the Book of Mormon. as we read from it you could feel that the Spirit was missing. he seemed very distracted and just not focused on the lesson. as we were about the close Elder Wakolo (member of the seventy) came and sat in our lesson. he bore his testimony of how he was converted into the church and how he came to know that it was the only true church, the church of Jesus Christ. our investigator started to cry because he could feel the power of Elder Wakolo's testimony and the love he has for the Gospel. as soon as that lesson ended the investigator told us that he's ready to be baptized. plus Elder Wakolo offered to baptism him on that special day. what a blessing and special opportunity it will be for him to get baptized by Elder Wakolo. 

besides our lessons, i gave my first training last week. we had a meeting as a zone with the zone leaders, the district leaders, the trainers, and the assistants to the President. they asked sis. pyne and i to give a training in the meeting, and i was freaking out!! i dont like to speak in front of people and i just realized that this calling involves speaking in front of people many times. as soon as we found out we would be giving a training i prayed so hard for the Lord to comfort me and give me the confidence i need to share what i need to and to be able to follow the Spirit. as soon as we stood up to give the training my fears disappeared and i wasn't nervous anymore. i knew that the Lord was with me and is mindful of me. he is even mindful of my little baby fears, like speaking in front of people. even though it's a small thing compared to the rest of this world, to me it was a big thing and the Lord was there for me through it all. he took the time to wipe away my fears and give me the strength i needed to give the training. i truly know that no matter how small or no matter how insignificant our needs are compared to the rest of this world, the Lord will help us through it because we mean the world to Him.

yesterday we were having our morning walk when our mission nurse drove past us and told us that her and another senior sister were going to Colo i Suva, which is a little hike thing, where you walk through the forest and look at natural pools. it was so beautiful and it was so fun going with the 2 senior sisters. they're awesome! it's the first time i did something like that while on my mission and i hope we'll be able to do more things like that. im definitely going to have to go back there after my mission so i can swim :) ill send pics!!

but i love being here in Samabula. the ward is good, very supportive in the work. the people are nice. the food is good. the car is making me fat lol. and the work is definitely moving fast. it's hard to keep up sometimes. au lomani kemudou sara valevu! kalougata tiko!!

loloma levu,

sista chong






Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bula Suva!!

bula mama!!

well let me just say that suva is way different than Labasa. it's way crazy fast, the people rarely speak Fijian, and well i have a car! hahaha everything is so different!! but i love it. not as much as Labasa because you always love your first area the most, but i still love it here because it's still Fiji, so i can't complain lol. the people in the ward are way nice. i got to meet a few because we watched general conference this week, but the ones i did meet were nice. but i love it here. we live like right down the road from the temple so we can see it all day everyday and it looks so beautiful at night. i've never lived so close to a temple so it's way weird but such a blessing. it reminds me every minute of the day how blessed i am to be on my mission and to remember to always keep my covenants that i made in there. i'm excited for the day we get to go and do a session this quarter. 

what's awesome about this area is the people we teach. well more specifically, the security guards. in our area we have the temple, LDS primary school, and Elder Wakolo (member of the seventies). anyway...so they all have security guards 24 hours watching the properties and they're not all members. so ofcourse being missionaries, we go and talk to the guards all the time and in fact we're teaching 3 of them. two of them the sisters started teaching before i got here but there's one that we just met yesterday and he's awesome! and even better...we teach him in Fijian!! it was weird because usually when i know i have to teach in Fijian i get really nervous and scare myself, but yesterday i was very relaxed and i was able to say everything i wanted to with ease. it was awesome!!!! 

general conference this week was amazing as usual. i loved the talks from the sunday morning session. my favorite was the sister that is a member of the primary general presidency. (sorry i dont have my notes so i forgot her name) but i loved her talk about the love of our Heavenly Father and how important the family is. i've been helping a lot in primary lately and i've seen how much emphasis the first presidency is putting on families. the theme is "families are forever." Heavenly Father knows how Satan is trying to destroy families and He is doing all He can to help us fight against the things and those who are trying to break up our families. the primary is learning a song, "the family is of God." it's a cute song. it talks about the role of the mother, father, and the children in a family and how important the family is to our Father in Heaven. so i think that's why that sisters talk stood out to me is because i've been really working with the primary and i know what they're learning and what Heavenly Father wants them to learn about our families.

my companion is sis. pyne!! and it's such a blessing because we both know exactly why we're here and what we need to do in order to help the sisters in this mission. our first step....OBEDIENCE!! we both know the importance of exact obedience and we know that we can't do it alone and so we are working on it together so that we can be good examples to the sisters we serve. lead by example. 

well that's all that's been happening so far. not much because i've only been here for 4 days so there's a lot more to see and do. the transition night sounded awesome and aunty stella sent me some pictures. looks fun! also i was cracking up about dad's story!! that was a good one. 

au lomani kemudou sara valevu!!

loloma levu,
sista chong

sorry this is the story about the new security guard we started teaching...

on saturday during General Conference one of our members told us that he had a referral for us. it was the guard on duty at the Primary School. after conference was finished we went with the member to meet him and scheduled an appointment  to meet with him the next day. so yesterday we went and met with this brother. we began the lesson and sis. pyne was introducing herself and asked if he had any questions. thinking he was going to ask a question about her he surprised us when he asked, "can you explain about your church?" that caught us way off guard and so we started giving an overview of the Restoration and Gospel of Jesus Christ. he then asked us "what do i have to do to become a member?" i thought to myself "whoa! this guy is ready!" so we just told him about the lessons and the importance of baptism. he understood and we continued explaining a little more. at the end of the lesson we read Moroni 10:3-5 with him and we asked him what he learned from the scripture. he told us that if anyone reads the word of God you have to do it with all your heart and want to do it and then to pray about it. he nailed it! he then shared with us that usually when he reads in Fijian he's really slow and choppy, but when he read the scripture in that lesson it was easy. we asked him what that meant to him and he told us, "this book must be true and the word of God." inside i was going crazy! i couldn't believe what was happening. it just showed me that the Lord truly does prepare people for us to teach. also how important the spirit is when you teach, especially when you teach in a different language because we don't know the language as well as they do but it's the spirit that helps them to understand what we're saying and the spirit is the one to help us remember what to say. it's amazing how the spirit works!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bula Labasa!!!

bula mama!

where to start? where to start? how about.......I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!! hahaha yeah that's a good place to start aye? lol but i'm being entirely honest this time. im being transferred. i got the call on saturday night that i will be going to samabula 1st ward which is in suva, right across the temple. and not only that but i will be a SISTER TRAINING LEADER!! oh my gosh im freaking out!! if you dont know what a sister training leader is, it's a new position they opened last year because there were so many more sisters coming into the mission field. so what sister training leaders do is help all the sisters in the mission, go on splits with them, and pretty much be there "go to" sister. im so nervous and i can't believe that the Lord has trusted me with this calling. i will be the youngest sister to ever serve as a sister training leader here in the suva fiji mission. i don't know if i'll be able to give advice to these other sisters that are way older than me haha but the Lord is trusting me in this leadership position and im putting everything to Him, to help me in this sacred calling and position. oh and did i tell you we have a car!! ugh noooooo!! that means i gotta work out extra every morning because im not walking all day. but this means im going to have to learn to drive in Fiji, on the left side of the road, not the right, so just pray for me please lol.

anyway besides transfers we had the most challenging but rewarding week ever! that's probably why i got transferred. that's what always happens. but anyway...this week one of our young woman really needed our help because she had ran away from home because she was being treated very poorly which was sad, and the first place she came to was our flat. she called us and told us she was there waiting til we came back and would be waiting at our neighbors. well we got there and checked and didn't know where she was and so we went to our last lesson. we came home and late at night there was a knock on our door. it was our neighbor. they said that the young woman was sleeping at their home and was planning on running away in the morning and that she said that she drank some of the weed killing chemical earlier that day. my heart broke and i wished she could've come over to our flat and i could've talked to her and just took care of her, have a second companion. but we agreed that we would go over the next morning to talk to her and see whats up. i couldn't sleep that whole night, constantly checking the window to make sure she doesn't run away. finally the morning came and we went over. she was surprised to see us and just gave us a huge hug. we talked with her and decided to take her up to her aunty's house. so we did and she is staying there now. one of the members who stays downstairs from the aunty has offered to pay for her mission. what a blessing that was for her!! so she'll be doing her papers soon hopefully :) it's sad to see her leave her family but at the same time what a blessing because if she hadn't stayed with her aunty, she would never had gotten the opportunity and enough money to go on her mission.

along with this crazy dramazz stuff we had a good week with teaching a member's grandchildren. we have been teaching them every single day and they never lose their excitement about learning about the gospel. it's amazing!! they're only 8,9, and 15. so young, yet they love sitting down in the lessons every night and get so excited every time we come over. honestly, i love teaching children the gospel! now i know what the scriptures mean when they say that we must become as a child in order to enter into the kingdom of God. these children love learning about Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and everything in their Gospel. they love the fact that we have a prophet today. they think it's the coolest thing! they love the story of Joseph Smith. when we taught that lesson, i told the story of Joseph Smith as if it were in a bedtime story or something and it got them so excited and interested. but the greatest thing about teaching children is when you teach them the commandments you know that they are still pure and clean. the mistakes they make are not their fault because they're still young and still learning. so when you teach them these commandments at this early age then they will try their best the rest of the their lives to never break that commandment. rather then adults who majority of the time break commandments knowingly. but teaching children is one of the greatest blessings of serving a mission.

well i think that's about it for this week. sis. alaga and i will be going to suva on wednesday because we have a sister training conference on thursday and then she'll return with her new companion on friday. it's so hard to say good bye to labasa. yesterday while baring my testimony in sacrament i cried ofcourse, but as i talked i saw almost every member was crying and i felt like i was leaving home all over again. this is my home! labasa is my home! i've met such amazing people here and so many memories and miracles have happened but i know that the Lord has called me to a new area that He needs me and i've done all i can here in Labasa. i'll be back here one day though. well....au lomani kemudou sara valevu!!

loloma levu,
sista chong

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

123!!!!!!!

bula mama!!

123!!!!!!! well the month of march has come and gone and as a mission received the challenge from Elder Pearson of the seventies to get 100 baptisms and guess what!! we got 123!!! truly i have seen the many miracles great and small this past month. sis. alaga and i contributing 3 baptisms here in Labasa :) it was so amazing to see how strong our mission has become and how much i have learned to trust in the Lord with all my heart. after hours of fasting, reading the Book of Mormon, and praying we were able to accomplish our goal in the end and become closer to our Father in Heaven. when we got the text last night that we had reached our goal i screamed and jumped out of bed and cheered as if i had just won something. my companion was already sleeping and poor girl was so tired she didn't even hear me scream lol. but truly this experience has showed me the power of the Lord in our work each and every day. what a month!!

as for this week...we had a pretty amazing last week of miracles. one of our long time investigators got married on tuesday and that's the last thing we were waiting for! so we visited her and she has accepted the baptismal date of 12 April. along with our investigator making the final step before baptism, we got a referral from that same family to teach 2 maybe 3 of the grandchildren. in fact, they will be moving to Lautoka very soon on 17 April and so they want us to be baptized before they leave so we're pushing for them to baptized the same day as their aunty on 12 April. what a special day that would be for the whole family to see 4 of their family members receive the key to the kingdom of our Heavenly Father. it truly showed me that the Lord blesses us after the trials. also when we just do our part as missionaries and we show that we work hard and are obedient to everything, the members will trust us and give us referrals to teach their loved ones.

another miracle we had this week was another one of our old time investigators took the time to talk to one of our members in church that's a judge to ask her some questions about how to do a divorce and then get married to the man she's living with now. so to me that was a huge step and we were there for her the whole time so she knew that we were there for her and willing to support her every step of the way. we will visit her again this week to get her started so she can be baptized because she has been waiting for almost 4 years now.

isa so many questions haha but here wee go. i am good, set!! the lessons are coming along. still trying to improve teaching in fijian but it's coming slowly. little by little each day. lucy and meli are amazing! their baby is due on 15 april and im so excited!! they said that if it's a girl her name will be...........KIARA!! lol so i hope it's a girl :) joana is doing good. she is sitting right here and says hi :) today we took her around town to look for a job so she can save money for her mission. and we might've found one so we'll go back to that place after emailing to see what happens. my new district leader is Elder Checketts. he is really good and is definitely making a difference in our district. he has a lot of advice and experience to help us in the work.

and yes i heard anna got her blessing she emailed me!! im so happy for her and she said that she's going to go on her mission!!! wow :) hahahaha!!! i hope she goes. she needs to.

au lomani kemudou!!

loloma levu,
sista chong