Bula vinaka! I'm on a bit late today because of the weather. Fiji had a big low pressure spot over it and it has been raining almost constantly for the past week. We had to go and send some food by boat to 4 elders because the road is flooded leading to their house. I've never seen this much rain! We've just been working hard in our area. One of the people we've been working with, Lia, was able to receive a calling this week, and her sister-in-law, Lesi, was able to give a prayer in sacrament meeting. It's great to see that after working with them for a few months! We're still working with quite a few investigators and less-active members, and things are going well. Last week we talked about Kesa and Efereimi's baby who was very sick with a boil on his head; we found out after we went back that right after our blessing he went to sleep, and the next morning it all drained! It was a miracle for sure, and I hope we can continue to help them develop their faith in Jesus Christ. Eta is doing good as well! She was having doubts about being baptized because she said she felt like a bad person, and it was very powerful for Elder Faamoe and I at that time to testify of the Atonement, and how even if our sins are as scarlet, they can be white like snow. She is really excited to be baptized. We were able to help two older Indian ladies, one of whom is not Christian, come to church this week. They felt the Spirit and were very excited to be there. Their names are Marine and Rajishwarim. I love being a missionary and a representative of Jesus Christ and I am so grateful for all these wonderful opportunities I have to serve God's children here in this amazing place. Being Christmas, I feel like a great gift to give our Savior is to help our fellow man. But as I've come to understand if we give that gift we will always receive more than we ever give. Love, Elder Harris
Man these weeks are going by too fast! The work is
moving here in Fiji and I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.....white jumpsuits
that is in front of a font of water:) We are working really hard in our
area to help people to come unto Christ this Christmas.
This week we had a zone conference here in Suva, so we
didn't have to do any travelling or go anywhere. It was nice to just
focus on our area and our investigators. We have been bringing our ward
mission leader, Brother Nand, out with us to teach, which has been great
because he can speak in Hindi. We've seen a lot of miracles this
week. Mostly we've been focusing on Eta, who is getting excited to be
baptized. She's the only Fijian I've met who religiously drinks coffee,
so that was our biggest worry with her because she REALLY liked her
coffee. But she gave it up! It was a great example to me of
repentance and coming unto Christ to be perfected in him. We are looking
to have her baptism right before the end of the year. Kesa and Efereimi
are doing great as well, but just struggling a bit with coming to church.
They were all set to come this week because Efereimi had a day off on Sunday,
but when we went to visit the day before, their little baby Meke was so
sick. He had a big boil right on his forehead, and his whole face was
swollen. We were able to give him a blessing, but they weren't able to
come the next day because they took him to the hospital. I feel peace
though knowing they're on the right track.
I mentioned the family last week where the mom had stomach
cancer and the father had a stroke. They are doing a bit better.
The dad is coming home today but he is not able to speak or do anything really.
We went to visit him in the hospital, and while we were there we had a neat
experience. Fijian hospitals are pretty crowded, so they don't have the
privacy that you would in America. So when two missionaries walk in
everybody who is there visiting a sick family member is looking at you.
We were just looking at this father because he was sleeping and we didn't want
to wake him up, when a random family asked us to bless their ill
grandfather. We went and blessed him, and then another family asked us to
bless their father. After that we met a couple who told us they were
members who had been very less-active but wanted to come back, so we were able
to contact the missionaries to go and visit them. It was an intense 30
min period, but it made me wonder what it must have been like for Jesus every
day as the multitudes swarmed and asked for him to bless them. I am
grateful to hold that priesthood and to be considered as one sent by Him.
Man this week has been so great. I talked a little bit
last week about Elder Cardon; well this week was spent just listening to a
General Authority teach. It was great. We started the Mission tour
in Taveuni, and listening to all of Elder Cardon's knowledge was awesome.
He taught about the Abrahamic Covenant and also recognizing the Spirit. I
learned so much! On Tuesday, we were just waiting for our flight, and all
the other missionaries had left, so we had nothing to do. The Cardons and
the Laytons were going to go to Bouma Falls to sightsee, so they invited us to
haul the water and lunch:) It was awesome. We then flew to Nadi and
had the Mission tour there the next day, and we ended off back in Suva for a
Mission Leadership Council on Thursday and our big Mission tour on
Friday. It was a great week and every meeting was full of the Spirit and
revelation for me.
While in Taveuni I was able to see both of my recent
converts, Senitiki and Naliva. From talking to other missionaries
throughout my mission, I had heard that Senitiki was having a rough time
getting to church every week with taxi fare, but recently he has been coming
back strong, so I was glad to hear that. But of all the missionaries I've
talked to, nobody knew who Naliva was. That always made me wonder what
happened to him. But on church in Taveuni, guess who shows up?
Naliva! He told me he had been in Suva and in the west for a long time,
and just felt that he needed to move back to Taveuni that very week. He
said he wanted to come back to church, so I told the elders there to go visit
him. That was a miracle to me.
Our area is doing pretty good. Lesi is doing great
after her baptism. We are working with her sister-in-law and her brother
right now to get them active as well. It's cool because all the Navua
gang came to their house for the holidays, so it's like a little reunion for
me. We are also working with a girl named Eta who is sincerely searching
to find out if these things are true. We've been visiting the Chand
family for a few weeks now. Roselyn, the mom, is dying of cancer, and is
completely bedridden. They had asked us to come and pray for her (that's
really big in the Indian culture), and we had also been teaching Praveen the
father and Prashant the 8 year old boy. Praveen and Prashant even came to
church last week, and we were planning to really work with them to exercise
their faith in Jesus Christ. But then we just found out that Praveen had
a stroke and is unconscious in the hospital! I feel horrible for this
little boy, so we are going to continue to visit them and also their father in
the hospital. I have really felt that they need us right now at this
point because of everything that is happening. More importantly they need
If you haven't yet, check out the #LighttheWorld video on mormon.org!
Well yes I know this is an
early email, but I promise we have permission from President! So I know
it was a question last week where I was going to be going, so I guess I'll just
let you know.
I'm in Taveuni!
That's right on Thursday I got to return to the beautiful
garden island which I call my birthplace. Except this time I didn't have
to take any buses or boats; we just flew in. We are here with President
and Sister Layton and the entire Taveuni zone. We had zone
conference/Christmas party yesterday where we had an amazingly spiritual
meeting in the morning about our Savior Jesus Christ. I learned so
much. In the afternoon, President and Sister Layton thought it would be
good to have a little fun, so we played some games and got to watch Finding
Dory! Pretty rad.
We will be here until Tuesday, because this is also the time
for our mission tour. Mission tour happens once a year where a General
Authority comes and tours the mission. We have Elder Cardon of the
Seventy who is here in Taveuni doing a district conference and then mission
tour on Monday. We will then fly to Nadi and then back to Suva later on
next week. We had dinner with the Cardons and the Laytons yesterday which
was so cool! He asked Elder Faamoe and I, "What questions do you
have for a General Authority?" So we asked a bunch. I think
the best quote I got from him was, "There are no secrets and there are no
Taveuni is great; it's like a
dream being back here. I got to see Senitiki today and also talk to
Tuicakau, the big-time chief whom he works for. We have 26 missionaries
on the island, so we just flooded the villages inviting everyone to district
conference. I am looking for Naliva, which is crazy because I found out
he moved to Suva for a while but just came back recently to help his father who
is sick. I am hoping to meet up with him because I heard it's been a
while since he's been at church. We were also able to meet this lady
named Aileen whom we met in Samabula. She came to church with one of our
recent converts, and we invited her to district conference, and she was like
"Of course I'll come!" It's gonna be a great week.
Borrowed these pictures from Elder and Sister Whitehead's Blog