Monday, December 29, 2014

2nd Christmas in Fiji

bula mama!

well christmas as i predicted was filled with food! we started our day at a zone activity where we played a bunch of games and had white elephant. it was fun! right after that we made our way to our first counselor in the bishopric's house. they had lovo there with chicken, pig, palusami, dalo, tavioka, and all kinds of things! right after that we walked for about 30-45 mins and then caught a bus to the next house, where they had same thing! lovo #2!! and this house had even more then the first one! i struggled so much just to finish my plate. i almost passed out. but after enduring that we walked about half an hour to our bishop's house. when we got there straight away we just lied down on the ground because we were so full. after letting us rest a little while, we then read the Christmas story together. it was nice. we shared with each other and sang a hymn and had family prayer. then it was time to eat again. but thank goodness our bishop's wife had sympathy on us and just said we had to eat ice cream. thank goodness!! we would've blew up!! lol but Christmas was awesome!

we didnt have very many lessons this week because of Christmas but we the ones we did have were very powerful. we got a text from one of our investigators asking if she could meet with us that day. we haven't been able to see her for a while because she had a wedding to help with and stuff and so we were stoked that she texted. we met her at the chapel and opened our lesson with a prayer. right after that she said, "i know that you didnt have a lesson prepared because it's last minute but can you tell me about temples and baptism?" we were shocked but started to talk about the blessings of the temple. in the middle of our lesson she told us that she had a powerful experience and had stayed up til 6am that morning thinking about everything. when she texted us is when she made up her mind that she was going to take that leap of faith, despite what anyone says, and was going to be baptized. WOW!!! what a lesson!! we all cried because we felt the Spirit so powerfully, it was an amazing experience.

we had a baptism on saturday!! it was sis. crichton's first baptism so it was very special for her. she was so excited! a good amount of members came to the baptism, which is always a blessing, and the speakers did an awesome job! she bore her testimony at the end and it was the first time we ever heard her share her testimony because she always told us, "next time sisters." so finally we got to hear it and it was beautiful! she shared how she felt so clean and happy and that she knew this was the Church of Jesus Christ. that's probably my favorite part about baptisms is hearing their testimonies at the end. 

i hope you all have a happy new year!! sis. crichton and i plan on wearing a poncho everyday because here in fiji, on new years they throw water on each other throughout the whole month!! cant wait!! :/ pray for au lomani kemudou sara valevu!! sota tale!

loloma levu,
sista chong

Christmas at Bishopʻs House

Christmas Kanikapila

Christmas Dinner

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mele Kalikimaka!

bula mama!


i can't believe that it's christmas already! how fast the time has gone by. it doesn't even feel like Christmas but ofcourse it's not gonna feel like a normal Christmas when you're a missionary lol. but im grateful that i have two Christmases on my mission because it gives me time to really focus on the Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. in church the relief society presidency spoke in sacrament. one of the counselors asked us the question, "why were the shepherds and the wise men chosen to go and see the Savior?" she explained that the shepherds were chosen because they were humble people. it made me think....would the Savior ask me to come and see Him at His birth? would i be humble enough to accept and understand His invitation? 

this being my second Christmas on my mission i really am starting to understand the true meaning of it. as we've been reading through preach my gospel and looking up all the scriptures in it, ive really seen how much our Heavenly Father loves us. it really showed me that the Book of Mormon talks about our Savior, Jesus Christ. every scripture that i looked up in the Book of Mormon talked about Christ's life and how we should follow Him and about His Atonement. ive realized that sometimes i forget that i dont have to do things on my own. a lot of the time we think that we have to do everything on our own, forgetting that we have the help of the Savior and His Atonement. that's what it's there for. those times when we feel like we just cannot go any further or that we cannot do it alone, those are the time that we give it to the Savior. He asks us to give it to Him. He invites us to let Him help us in our lives. so that's something im trying to apply in my life, let the Savior help me and let his Atonement carry me.

this coming Saturday we have a baptism. it's for the girl that the elder met like a month ago and invited to church and she hasn't missed one since. she is awesome! she is so excited and looking forward to be baptized. she is just so scared that they won't pull her back out of the water haha. she's so funny but she's ready. her mom was saying that this is the first time that she's even interested in religion. so her mom is very excited!

we've been trying to get her mom to agree to be baptized as well. she is the one that said she had such an amazing feeling our last lesson and couldn't wait for us to come over....well she changed her mind. she told us that she doesn't know what came over her and when she thought about it after she felt like she just wanted to stay catholic for now. she said that maybe the more she learns then the more she'll want to be baptized. so we'll see what happens.

yesterday we had a lesson and we were extending to her a baptismal date for january 17th. it was so weird giving someone a baptism date for when i won't even be here. what in the world!? that's when it really hit me that i dont have much longer. we have baptisms set up for every weekend until the week i come home which is awesome but will make the time go by too fast. it's scary!!

but i hope you all have a merry merry christmas!! im pretty sure we got the mouse out of our flat so it'll be a wonderful christmas for us :) and there's like a million people that want to feed us...wish us luck!! au lomani kemudou!!

loloma levu,
sista chong

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Counting Down

bula mama!

well this week was exciting!! we had no water for three days. we had our missionary christmas party. i gave my departing testimony. we had our ward primary program. we had flat cleaning inspections. and there's a mouse in our house!! aaaahhh!! 

so we'll start with the water. our water got cut off on sunday all the way until wednesday. they said that there was like 211,000 people without water this week. from what i heard, it's because of the heavy rains that have been happening that it's messing with the clean water and all that stuff. im not really sure. all i know is that i have never appreciated water so much in my life!! 

on tuesday we had our zone conference/christmas party. it was way fun!! well the second half. i had to give my departing testimony in the zone conference section and it was really hard. plus i had to go first!! i just shared things ive learned in my mission and some experiences that ive had. let's just say im glad it's over. lol. the whole conference was about Jesus Christ. Pres. Layton gave a training about the atonement and spoke to us about the last supper. he walked us through it and you could really feel the Spirit that was in the room. i pictured myself and what it would be like if Christ was serving me the sacrament. our mission president then told us that we would be partaking of the sacrament. a couple of the zone leaders and the assistants got up and administered the sacrament. i was just crying and crying because the Spirit was so overpowering!! it was an amazing experience.

after the spiritual part we had our christmas party. we had a good lunch and then we played games. the zone leaders came up with the games. we did a relay race. way fun!! we sang christmas carols and had to act them out. and then we built fijian gingerbread houses. ill show you pictures. but the games were way fun! and then we watched FROZEN!!! it was soooooo good!!! i like that movie a lot :) and im sure the kids like it, so we're gonna watch it when i come home. lol. but over all it was a fun day. our mission president and his wife gave us fiji suva mission sulus. it was so much fun!

we got to see our most progressing investigators this week. one of them is preparing to be baptized on december 27. her mom is the one that said she really wants to know that the plan of salvation is true. well we went and taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week and she shared with us that she wants to be baptized. she said that she knows that the things we share are true and that she feels something inside that she's never felt before. she was excited for us to come and visit and couldn't wait for us to arrive. the only hard thing is that she can't come to church because of some medical problems so we asked our leaders and they said that if brethren from our ward can take her the sacrament, so she feels the Spirit of the sacrament, then she can be baptized. so we're excited to tell her the news this week and we'll see what she says.

last thing. there's a mouse in our flat. oh my gosh it's the worse!! it's the second one since ive been in this flat and our flat is clean, so i dont know why they're still coming. but ofcourse i screamed and freaked out but we're gonna catch it tonight, dont worry. eeww mice!! 

well i love you all!! time is running short, so gotta word hard! serving with no regrets.

loloma levu
sista chong

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bula Maleka Mama!!

bula maleka mama!!

im gonna be honest, this week was a loooooooong week!! haha but we did so many things. on monday we had 2 of the new sisters stay with us. it was nice to hear of the MTC experiences and their excitement to go to their own areas and start their missions. they were able to spend a day proselyting with us and got a big wake up call with the amount of walking we did lol. by the time we got back to the flat they showered and just knocked out, those poor girls. 

we also had zone training meeting this week. they talked about the attributes that a leader should have. they mentioned that there were 23 new missionaries coming in in january and so there'll be about 38 missionaries training at once, so the mission is trying to get all the missionaries prepared and ready if they called to train or to a new position. they talked about being obedient, charitable, bold, and diligent. they also had a training on being grateful, after the talk by pres. uchtdorf. about being grateful in whatever circumstance we're in. 

i also got to meet sis. kelemeti, who is the lady in charge of like all the genealogy of Rotuma. her son is in our ward and one day when we were at their house i told him that i was part Rotuman and that i had my family history but didnt know anything about it. he said that he would tell his mom because she's the boss of all Rotuman family history. so this week i met her and she was able to go through it with me and told me some things about my family. she said that i have a lot of cousins in Suva and that i was lucky to be Rotuman haha. one of my ancestor's names is "Hualta" and she said that she is the only lady with that name ever. the name is like comparing that woman's beauty to the beauty of the moon. she said that my ancestor must have been a very beautiful woman. she also gave me some extra family history papers and charts and things which ill bring home.

starting on friday it was raining like crazy!! there was flooding on saturday and there's one place in our area that floods really bad. the river rises above the bridge and no one is able to go in or out. when we walked up there yesterday we saw the damages from the flooding and saw that there were police men in the river looking for something. we later found out that there was a 19 year old boy missing and they were looking for his body. i felt sick in my stomach. it was so sad! after church we went and visited the families thats homes got flooded and lost everything and we took them some food from the bishop's storehouse. they were so grateful and it was sad to see how much they lost. when we went back to the chapel to give our visiting report, some of the young men that went up to the area that flooded told us that they found the boy's body. they took a video and you could hear the mother crying at the loss of her son. my heart broke and i just prayed that the rain would stop and that there would be no more flooding. the rain has now stopped and we just hope that it'll stay like this. i know that the Lord will comfort those that have lost so much.

we went and taught one of our investigators about the plan of salvation. her mom was there in the lesson with us and listened as we taught. as we went through the plan of salvation she agreed with everything that we said. she is a catholic.  she enjoyed our lesson until we started talking about the 3 kingdoms. she didnt reject them but she paid a lot more attention. we explained it slowly and tried to help her understand why there were 3 kingdoms. at the end of the lesson she shared that she wants to believe the plan of salvation because it gives her more hope and comfort rather then just heaven and hell. she said she would pray about it and told us that usually people from other churches would come and share but she would just shut them down. she admitted that she was a very hard hearted person. but at the end of our lesson she told us that we had just softened her heart and weakened. she thanked us and told us that she really wants to believe the plan of salvation is true. 

au lomani kemudou!! sota tale!! vinaka ena nomudou masu.

loloma levu,
sista chong

Monday, December 1, 2014

Working Hard in Lami

Looks Like Kapahi!!!!

bula mama!

this week was invitation sunday! it's where all throughout the pacific the area seventy has asked all the wards to set aside 30 november as a special sunday to invite all of our non-member friends and families and our less actives. we had an amazing turn out!! a lot of the members brought friends to church and we also saw a lot of less actives come back. we had 5 of our investigators come to church!!! we almost had a party!! lol two of them it was their first time to church and they enjoyed it. we also may have gotten a new investigator from sunday that we'll go visit this week. so we were so happy and invitation sunday was a success!! 

the theme for the sacrament meeting was matthew 11:28. one of the speakers was one of our returning members. he did an awesome job!! it was amazing to see how far he came, from not even living church standards anymore and falling away to standing in front of a congregation bearing such a powerful testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. it was blessing to see. i learned that it is never too late for someone to come back into the Gospel. we should never give up on visiting them or inviting them back. eventually they will back. 

on thursday as we were walking through one of our areas a guy called us over, wanting to know more about the church. we sat down where he was and asked us, "so what do you guys believe?" i was like whoa man, it'll take more than just one meeting to tell you what we believe. so we asked him if he had time and we had a lesson with him. we started teaching the first lesson, the Restoration, and were talking about prophets when all of a sudden he tells our member present in fijian (thinking we dont understand)...."can i have guys come because they can actually teach me something." i stopped and just said "you have anything you want to share or a question?" he then opened up to the scripture "i am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ...." he repeated the same things over and over and said he wants men to come and teach him because only men can tell him what that verse means. we sat there for a little while and he went on and on and then my companion just jumped in and told him what the scripture meant. she told him that no matter if you have men or women come and teach you, we teach the same things. he got quiet after that and finally listened to what we had to share. he tried to prove the Book of Mormon wrong and told us that he just wants to understand Christ's life and why He came and suffered for our sins. i asked him if we could share a scripture from the Book of Mormon and he agreed. we opened to alma 7:11-12. after we read it and i explained it a little and all he said was, "who wrote this book!?" with such excitement. we knew that now he was ready to listen to us. we explained more about the Book of Mormon and invited him to read and pray about it. he said he would and asked us to come and check up on him every time we walked by to see how his reading was going. so we will go back and see him this week and see if the Holy Ghost has pierced his heart yet :)

our new investigator that we met last week when she came to church is doing amazing! we went to her house after church on sunday and was able to talk to her mom and her sister as well. they are such kind people. the mom told us of all the hardships she's gone through and is currently going through. she asked us about our missionary work and if we go through hard times as well. we told her that this is hardest thing we've ever done in our lives but it's also the most rewarding. we taught them the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they believe everything. in that same lesson we committed the two sisters to be baptized on 20 december and they accepted. so we're really excited for that!! they love coming to church and activities and love learning more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. we're excited for them!!

the work here in lami is going very fast and we're barely keeping up. definitely keeping us busy :) a new intake came in today and we'll have 2 of the sisters staying with us while they're doing orientation and stuff, so that's exciting!! i think that's all for this week. au lomani kemudou!! sota tale!!

loloma levu,
sista chong

Missionary Homecoming Dinner