April 26, 2015

Somosomo, Taveuni Island - Week 11

Ni bula!

Man this week has been good!  I am loving life down here in Taveuni.  Hard to believe I have been on my mission almost 4 months....crazy how fast time flies!  But I am sure happy to be here.  

This week we had district conference for the Taveuni District.  Well only half of a district conference, because the island of Vanua Levu is having their half of the conference next week.  But it was really good.  

President Layton was able to come down and be the presiding authority, so it was really good to hear a lot of his talks this week.  Props to him; almost every meeting he was the last speaker, and everyone else had spoke too short, so he always filled the whole time.  Yesterday he spoke for a straight 45 minutes, and it was way good!  But I think it was really good for the people here on Taveuni.  Their goal is to become a stake next year, but they don't really understand what they have to do to become one, so all of the instruction given the past two days was able to help a lot I think.

But, because of district conference we had 12 elders in our flat for 2 days.  It is completely wrecked!  Haha the elders from Taveuni, Rabi, and part of Vanua Levu were able to come.  We were packed like sardines but it was super fun to catch up with everybody.  

So good news: only one week left of my training!  There are 12 weeks in all, and last week was the infamous week 11.  That means that I was in charge of taking the lead for the week.  It went pretty well, Elder Hosea told me that his new name was "Elder Brick".  Haha it was hard, but I think it helped me a lot with learning Fijian and with being a better teacher. 

I almost forgot!  We had a baptism on Saturday!  Senitiki was able to be baptized by Pela Ranama, the Branch President's son.  It was way awesome!  Right after he was baptized he bore his testimony and starting to cry a bit: I could tell that he was happy and that he had made the right decision to follow Jesus Christ.  He will be confirmed next week because of the district conference.  I was so happy to be a part of his conversion.

Thank you all for everything that you do!


Elda Harris

Senitiki's Baptism


All the missionaries at District Conference

We had a big lunch after District Conference :)

Elder Hosea teaching a lady from Rabi how to play the piano

April 19, 2015

Somosomo, Taveuni Island - Week 10

Ni sa bula vinaka!

Man the weeks are flying by!  Hard to believe it's the end of April already.  Oh well, time flies when you're having fun!  

Somosomo is fantastic; best place in the world!  I am starting to get used to the greenness and the palm trees, which is weird, but I am still blown away by the beauty of this island.  Noqu Vanua! (my land)  

So there is this song that is way popular in Fiji right now.  We hear it a lot from the shops or on the bus.  It is about Tavueni, the garden island.  It's called "Tagimoucia," and it's super catchy.  You all should look it up!  

A little bit about Taveuni: there is a lake up in the mountains of Taveuni, and it is the only place in the world where this flower called the Tagimoucia will grow.  So they take a lot of pride in that all around Fiji, and so that's what the song is about.  You'll love it; way catchy.

As for the missionary work in Somosomo, it is going great!  Tix, the older guy who can't really walk that well, is getting baptized on Saturday!  He had his baptismal interview last Saturday, so it is all set.  We had a really good lesson with him on Wednesday.  We taught him about Temples, and the branch president's son came along with his tablet and showed a little video about the temple.  The Spirit was way strong, and he was really excited about it! 

Also, Naliva received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, so that was really exciting.  And then they asked him to prepare and pass the sacrament right after; he did a way good job!  Also, since the zone leaders weren't available to do a baptismal interview up in Matei this week, they asked Elder Hosea to do it for them.  So that was fun to go up there for the evening.

One thing I have learned this week is that the Lord does his work through the weak things of the world.  We are just a bunch of 18-20 year old kids that are spreading the most important message in the world.  I am just a Palagi trying to speak in their language (and not doing very well), and somehow the Lord has been able to touch some of these people's hearts through me.  It has been very humbling to me to realize this.  I testify that I am not able to do this by myself; I know that I am simply an instrument in His hands when I do the things that I am supposed to.  

Hope all is well, everyone have fun back in that super dry place we call home!

Loloma levu,

Elda Harris

Sunsets are just awesome here.  High tide.

Haha we bought a huge bucket of Breakfast Crackers!!

April 12, 2015

Somosomo, Taveuni Island - Week 9

E dua tale na macawa sa oti

Ni bula!

It's me again... Hello family, how is everything back home?  I was able to see a couple shots of Utah by watching conference, haha it looked way dry compared to here;)  I bet its getting warmer, turning into summer?  It's still really warm here:)  
This week was pretty good.  We didn't have a ton of lessons/good proselyting time because of a few setbacks, but overall it was good.  
Last week was transfers, so we got two new elders and one new sister here on Taveuni.  They came on Saturday and brought....General Conference!!!   Haha I was way excited; I always took it for granted until I came here and there was no way to watch it.  But since it was Saturday it was too late to round everyone up to watch it, so we thought we were going to have to wait until next week....  But then yesterday, Sunday, we were halfway through church when everyone suddenly decided they wanted to watch conference.  So we canceled Sacrament Meeting and watched conference instead! Haha it was great.
We watched the Sunday Morning Session and then split and watched Priesthood/Women's conference later in the day (they were in English which made me happy:)).  And then they asked us Elders to hold on to the discs until next week, so we watched another session in our free time on our little dvd player in our flat.  So we still have two sessions to watch, but I am glad I was able to see as much as I did!  
Jeffrey R. Holland's was awesome as usual.  It really made me understand the importance of Adam and Eve; without the fall, there is no need for an Atonement.  And Henry B. Eyring's in Priesthood Session was a great reminder to work on developing the skill of relying on the Spirit while in the Lord's service.  That's something I really want to work on.  They were all good though. 
I love the feeling after conference: I was just ready to go out and be super righteous!  Haha it's always a good morale booster for us to keep living the gospel and make any necessary changes.  I know that through conference we can learn the Lord's will for us, through His servants the prophet and apostles.  If you haven't seen all the sessions yet, go watch them!  Don't deny yourself the opportunity of hearing the word of God: you'll never regret it:)  I hope all is well!  Thank you for the prayers and the support, have a great week!

Elda Harris

Gorgeous Sunsets!

This week we got to go teitei (farm) with the branch president for service.  It was way fun got to plant some dalo/taro (the small trees on the left are cassava/tavioka).

We walked forever to this house and no one was home:(

General Conference Surround Sound

April 6, 2015

Somosomo, Taveuni Island - Week 8

Bula vinaka matavuvale!

Yeah I know it's Tuesday.....sorry about that.  Yesterday was Easter Monday, and for some reason in Fiji that means everything shuts down, so the the only internet shop on the island closed as well.  They also take off Good Friday.  

I'm sorry to hear that Grandpa Davis passed away.  I guess I have been expecting it, but it is still a bit hard.  But I know he is in a good place.  And now I have another helper down here protecting me:)

This past week has been kind of interesting.  I went to Vuna last week to do exchanges, but this time like a full day and a half.  It was way fun: tons of walking because everyone lives so far apart, and I now have a decent shade of brown on one of my shirts since it is so dusty down there.  

Then I was able to come back and finish the week in our area.  Thursday we had branch council meeting, in which only the missionaries, the branch president, and one other person showed up.  It was was discouraging, so branch president asked us to go visit some of the council members.  Friday was horrible because no one wanted to sit with us since it was a holiday, but we were able to go and sit with the elders quorum president.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out because he has been missing church a lot, but this Sunday he came back to church and gave a way good lesson in elders quorum!  It was awesome to see how much impact one visit can have.

Yesterday for P-day we were going to go to a waterfall hike, but as we were driving up there one of the bridges was flooded because of the rain, so we had to come back.  Hopefully we can go another day.

In other news we have a new investigator.  She is an older lady who makes bread all the time for the schoolchildren, and the reason she likes talking to us is because she really likes the movie "The Other Side of Heaven":)  So we will have to see if we can get anywhere with her.  

Something I learned this week, if you forget about yourself in the service of others, you are happier.  I've realized that the times when I am working the hardest and not thinking about myself, I am so much more happier than when I am thinking about my own problems.  Just food for thought:)


Elder Harris
Flooded Bridge
Had to take a picture of this cute boy at church 
Some crazy kids!
Frog Stacking with Elder Mueller in Vuna