November 29, 2015

Navua - Week 4


It has been a great week!  It has been pretty busy and lots of fun times, hard times, spiritual times, and mostly just walking times--all part of the missionary life which I have grown to love!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  It was my first one outside of America, but thankfully I got to celebrate!  We were invited to dinner by the Farpapau family on Thursday, and we got to go and eat a Thanksgiving dinner with them.  They are from an island called Rotuma (little island way north of Fiji that speaks a different language), and they also invited all their Rotuman family from all over Suva.  Dinner was great!  No turkey, but I still ate a ton.  Most people in Fiji don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but I'm grateful that I was able to celebrate it with this great family! 

The work in Navua is moving along well!  We are still working with Raijeli's parents and Makaia and everyone else, but I'm starting to realize how much of an impact the holidays are going to have on us.  This is Fiji's summer break for school, plus Christmas is coming up, so most people are going to go back to their home village for the holidays.  We've already encountered a lot of this even though December hasn't started yet, but we'll keep on keeping on I guess and just try to work our hardest with what we have.

We went and did some service for a less-active member in our ward this week.  His name is Brother Dunn, and he is half Fijian and half Indian, but he tells everyone that he is Irish because his great-great-grandfather was Irish (that's how he got the name Dunn).  He and his two boys are some of the funniest people I have met, and all the missionaries love them!  For service we were supposed to help him fix his fishing net so he could catch some fish, but then Fiji Time took over and he just told us stories for 2 hours.  We were able to chop some firewood for him at the end though so it was good to go and serve him.  He has been coming back to church and now has a calling so we are really excited about that!

Anyways, all is well down here!  I have thought a lot about gratitude this past week and have come to realize how blessed I am.  I can't even begin to count all the blessings that I have received in my life.  I have also realized that I need to be content with what I have and not complain or anticipate happiness coming to me in a future time.  I just need to be happy with what I have right now!  God is good and will always bless us more than we can imagine!

Happy Thanksgiving and everyone have a great week.


Elder Harris

November 22, 2015

Navua - Week 3

Kana! na ka o sa lakova mai!

Bula vinaka!

Man this has been a great week down here in Fiji!  I can't believe how fast the time flies.....and how fast the internet is here compared to Tuvalu!  For P-day we come and email in Lami, where the rest of our district is, and we spend the night here so we can go to district meeting tomorrow.  We take a 40 minute bus ride every week to get here which is a nice drive through the Fijian hills!  I love how green it is here!

We did a lot of walking this week.  Navua is just a bunch of dirt roads and fields, so we get pretty dusty from all the passing cars, but it is all part of the fun!  We have been seeing the work in the area pick up slowly but steadily, and I am super excited about the people we are working with.  There are a lot of less-actives here, so we spend a lot of time trying to see them, but at the same time we are slowly building our investigator pool!  First of all we have a guy named Makaia, who is 15 years old and both of his parents are members.  He wants to be baptized too!  The only problem is that he lives very far away in a town called Pacific Harbor.  Pacific Harbor is pretty much a resort town with a bunch of white people and a lot of big houses!  But it is a good 40 min drive from Navua, so we are trying to figure out a way to get all of our members and investigators to church.

Also we finally got to meet with the family of Raijeli, who got baptized last week.  They live right next to the church and really like the church and all its programs!  They have even been attending a self-reliance class every week at the church, so we are excited to get working with them!  They seem very humble and ready to accept the gospel!

We had an interesting experience meeting with an Indian family the other day.  They are another family who really love the programs of the church--one of their relatives went on a mission and went to BYU Hawaii so they want that for their 4 daughters!  So we went over and taught them a bit and talked about baptism.  They really want their daughter to be baptized (only one is over age 8), but the parents said they can't be baptized.  I'm not sure exactly what the reason is, but it sounded like because of their Hindi religion, they are forbidden from being baptized.  It's kind of hard to understand, but we will continue to visit them and try to help them and their daughters.

We had zone conference as well this week!  It was great to hear from President and Sister Layton.  We talked a lot about becoming a living epistle of Jesus Christ!  It made me realize how much my appearance, attitude, and behaviour can influence those around me.  I want to be a more enthusiastic missionary!  I am working on that and being an epistle of Christ at all times.  Sometimes it is hard to do the same thing day after day for two years, but we should be energetic because we have the most important message the world could hear: the gospel of Jesus Christ!  One quote sums it up pretty well: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."
Have a great week everyone!

Loloma yani,

Elder Harris

Baptism of Raijeli and Cannan
Suva North Zone November 2015

Cool looking place in Pacific Harbor

November 15, 2015

Navua - Week 2


Isa matavuvale.......Bula vinaka!

Well it has been another great week down here in Fiji.  I can't believe how fast the time flies while serving as a missionary!  This week has been interesting and busy with adjusting to my new area, but it has been really fun!

First of all we had two baptisms this week!  Elder Levasa and his former companion have been working with these two girls for awhile.  First off there is Cannan whose parents are a bit less-active so she didn't get baptized when she was 8, and then another little girl named Raijeli who lives with a member family but her parents are not members.  It was really good and Elder Levasa was able to perform the baptism for both of them!  He was nervous because it was his first one, but he did a great job.  We had a great turnout at the baptism, and a ton of less-active members and nonmembers came.  Also Raijeli's father came and really liked the baptism so we're going to try and follow up on that! 

A lot of this week was spent on exchanges in our area.  The zone leaders came down on Tuesday and then our district leader came down on Friday.  It was good to go with my leaders and get their advice on how to help my area.

So Navua is an interesting place to serve!  It is the second largest area in the mission covering a lot of the southern part of Viti Levu, but we have no car and our bikes don't   work:(  Also the actual Navua town is just a bunch of spread out houses and farmland.  It kind of reminds me of the area on the other side of the freeway back in Beaver (minus the coconut trees!).  Most of our time is spent walking from one house to another, and if we need to go out to another town we have to bus.  So it is going to be a fun challenge planning the days so we can see as many people as possible!

It has been interesting getting used to the Indian culture.  For those of you who don't know, 1/3 of the population in Fiji is originally from India.  They are definitely an interesting people and culture.  I haven't served very much around them until now, but Navua has a very large Indian population.  This week they had their holiday called Diwhali (I think that's how you spell it) which is some Hindu holiday.  It was pretty fun!  We got a bunch of Indian homemade sweets from everyone and there were tons of fireworks from the time the sun set until midnight! 

I am thankful for this opportunity to serve in Navua!  I love the members already after seeing them at the baptism and in church.  It's going to be a blast serving in this area!
Hope you all have a great week.


Elder Harris

November 8, 2015

Navua - Week 1

Isa lei I'm back in Fiji.

Leaving Tuvalu was not very fun.  I don't like saying goodbye!  But we left on Thursday after saying goodbye to everyone at the airport (I got a lot of necklaces!).  I was super happy because we took off and then circled around the island, so I got to see all of Tuvalu from the air before I left!  I was pretty somber the whole time, and I think I still am a little bit.  Luckily I'm going back to Fiji which I love, but I'll always miss Tuvalu!!

Now to my new area.  So I'm serving in a place called Navua, which is on the south coast of the big island Viti Levu.  I am in the same zone as the temple, mission office, assistants, etc., but my area is the farthest away in the zone, about a 40 minute bus ride from the nearest missionaries.  It's on main road from Nadi to Suva and there are a lot of resorts around (and nice beaches!).  But where we live it is mostly just a really huge flat area that is all farmland, so everyone is very spread out and far apart!  Our ward is an English ward mainly because there are a ton of Indians in the area, but hopefully I can still speak Fijian with the Fijians in the area.

My companion is Elder Levasa who was living in Australia but is originally from New Zealand.  He is Samoan and speaks the language so hopefully I can learn a little Samoan with him because Tuvaluan is pretty close!  He's a super cool guy and really humble so I'm happy to be working with him.  He got to the mission just 6 weeks ago so I am finishing his training for the next 6 weeks.  It'll be a good time!  We're supposed to be having a baptism this week so the area seems to be good:)

I've only spent one day in my area so far because we had stake conference yesterday at the LDS high school here in Fiji.  It was awesome and the theme it seemed was the temple!  The temple open house will begin in January, so they all spoke on the importance of the temple and inviting everyone to the open house!  The new temple president President Yee and also President Layton spoke and it was a very spiritual meeting! 

So yeah.  My district is super cool.  My new district leader Elder Danielson is this massive Samoan who could snap me in half if he wanted to.  He was on the under 20s team for Australia before he came out which probably means he'll go play proffesionally rugby after the mission.  Samoans are really funny so we are always laughing and joking around!  I'm glad I've been around the island people so I can fit in and fit in with my district!

Anyway, I'm excited to work in Navua and see how it goes this week.  I hope everyone has a great week!

Loloma yani,

Elder Harris

Just before we left on the plane to Fiji

This is in my new area.  This member family was making brooms by the beach.

There's a lot of cows in my area.  Smells like home.

November 1, 2015

Tuvalu - Week 24

The Last Talofa...

Talofa everyone!  I can't believe it but my time on Tuvalu is coming to an end.  Elder Paki and I go back to Fiji on the plane on Thursday.

I really don't want to leave this place that I have come to love so much.  It's going to be really hard.  I'm not sure where I'm going yet in Fiji, but I'm excited to find out (maybe tomorrow).

Definitely the highlight of the week was Logotau's baptism on Saturday.  I've grown so close to him and his family so it was really special for me to baptize him!  He has changed so much from the time I first met him, and it has been a real learning experience for me to see how one person can change and go through conversion!  He gave his testimony afterwards, which to me is always the best part of baptisms, and as usual it was very powerful!  I can tell that he is now a disciple of Jesus Christ and ready to serve him to the end!  I am so thankful to have been a part of it.

Sunday was special.  It was fast and testimony meeting so Brother Niko started off with his testimony and then thanked me for my service, and it almost made me cry!  Our branch president did as well and I had to go bear my testimony afterwards and tell everyone how much I was grateful for them.  Another girl in our branch is moving to New Zealand on Tuesday, so everyone was talking about us two haha it was way embarrassing.  And then after sacrament meeting they made me and the girl stand up in front of the congregation and everyone else stood up and sang "God Be With You Til We Meet Again."   It was really nice of them and I was really grateful for that!  I'm gonna miss everyone here a ton!

It's been a long time here in Tuvalu, and most of the time here was pretty hard to be honest.  But I'm grateful for the chance I had to serve here.  I know that it was part of Heavenly Father's plan for me to be here.  I have grown so much and come to love the gospel more than I can explain.  I am sad to leave but I know that He has another place for me to go, so I feel comforted knowing I'm in His hands!

Alofa atu!

Elder Harris

Logotau's Baptism

Logotau and Elder Harris

At the top of the Island
This is Lasalo (Tuvaluan for Lazarus).  
He loves missionaries and 
always comes to talk to us!

This fruit is called pandanus.  In Tuvaluan it is fala.  Kind of tastes like a weird corn thing...