Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Amazing work in Fiji

bula mama!!

okay im going to try and be more specific in my letters but i didn't tell you i was sick because im fine now!! :) no worries!! just a minor set back. but this week i was going strong every day, all recovered. there's so much to say for this week!! i feel there was plenty of stuff that happened.
first of all...we had a baptism this last saturday. our investigator that's from samoa. that morning at around 10am we went to go and fill up the font and he was there already!! his baptism wasn't til 12pm but he said that he couldn't just sit at the dorm and wait but just wanted to come to church already. D&C 20:37....he had the desire to be baptized. his baptism was probably one of the most spiritual experiences ive had on my mission. at the baptism we had elder johansson (area seventy), our district leader, our zone leaders, and the assistants to the president. it was nice to see their support. also our mission president's wife, sis. layton, was there which was very special. and there were a lot of YSA there because he's YSA age and so much support from the members. after he was baptized the YSA sang "Love at Home", which is his favorite hymn. so he came upon and sang with us, and he was belting it! he was just so happy!!! 
after the song he bore his testimony. the spirit just filled the room as he shared his testimony of the restored Gospel. he told everyone that the old him was buried and he was a new man now. he had been looking forward to his baptism day since the day we started teaching him. he has made so many changes in his life that showed his deep love and desire to follow the Savior. when you look at him you can see that his whole countenance has changed. he was glowing and just looked so pure and clean as he stood there testifying of the impact the Gospel made in his life. 
the next day, sunday, he was confirmed by elder johansson. the blessing was amazing!!!! the best part that i loved so much was at the end. elder johansson told him that he would use the gift of the Holy Ghost to preach the Gospel to the rest of the world!! missionary!! he is already looking at serving a mission, even more now. he's sooooo excited!! as he was leaving his baptism he told, "dont worry sisters ill go find someone in my class that needs the Gospel." that is true conversion. and that is why im here. this month as we studied the way the Savior taught i learned that He taught them the Gospel so well that they would be able to go and teach it to someone else, with just as much power. i pray that i taught our investigator as the Savior would've and now he'll be able to go and share with someone else.
we also had mission leadership council this week. we were privileged to have bro. and sis. vakalala come and share their testimonies with us. bro. vakalala actually grew up in california. throughout his life he didn't make the best choices and was eventually deported from america. when he came back to fiji he didn't know what to do with his life. he was still drinking, smoking, and all that stuff, and just had no idea what to do. he met his wife who was not yet a member and had the missionaries come over and teach her. she was later baptized and they had their first son. the baby died right in his arms and he said it was at that moment that he realized that he needed God back in his life. he went in the bush and prayed and cried asking Heavenly Father what he should do. his answer was to go and take the Gospel to his koro (home village). he said that at that moment, he knew the atonement of Jesus Christ was real. he told us to feel the power of the atonement in our lives. and as i've been trying to focus on that this week, i can definitely feel the love and mercy my Savior had for me. 

at that time they were living in labasa and didn't want to leave. so he continued to pray and they finally went to his koro, nakawakawa. when they first got there, there was a meeting with the whole koro and the told bro. vakalala that they didn't want this new church in the koro and that they were going to chase him out. bro. vakalala just told them that they can chase him out but all he wanted to do was bring them the light and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. from there he started to build his house, teach the Gospel, and with permission, held sacrament in his home. more and more people started to come that soon they had to start building a chapel and get missionaries down there. he talked to pres. klingler and got missionaries down there and gave some of his own land to build the chapel, with his own hands. 
pres. layton went up about a month ago and had branch conference with them and there were about 80 people in attendance. amazing!!! the church just got there when i first came to the mission, so about a year ago and there are already 80 people going to church out there!!! definitely shows that the Gospel is true!! bro. vakalala has dedicated his life to the Lord. he doesn't do anything but share the Gospel to those in his koro. what a life!!! he is a hero here in fiji and among us missionaries. definitely an example of someone truly converted to the Gospel. 
it goes with the scripture pres. and sis. layton shared with us in the meeting found in alma 23:6. it talks about the sons of mosiah, when they taught the lamanites. they converted thousands of lamanites in those 14 years they served and this scripture tells us that not one of them fell away. imagine that....baptizing thousands of people and none of them become less active. that's what it means when we need to teach people the Gospel so they become truly converted. 

they talked a lot about converting ourselves. they said that the person who should be the most converted in our missions is us. so everyday im striving to be more and more converted to the Gospel everyday! and that's what i challenge you to do as well. ask yourself...do i love my Savior more then i loved Him yesterday? is my testimony stronger then it was yesterday? you can't convert someone else further then your own conversion. 
au lomani kemudou sara valevu!! kalougata tiko ena nomudou bula!!
loloma levu,
sista chong

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