April 24, 2016

Nausori - Week 7

Ka dina.


Another busy and fun week here in the Notorious Nausori North zone.  Transfers were this week, and my companion Elder Palelei finished his mission and is now back in Sydney, Australia.  He was a great companion and I learned a ton from him so I'll miss him a lot.  My new companion is Elder Lautogia who is from American Samoa but then moved to Washington State.  He is just a bit older than me in the mission and 2 years older than me in real life, but we have had a ton of fun together already and I'm looking forward to this next transfer!

Since it was transfers we had to do a lot of driving to get people moved into their new areas.  But everything went well and I am excited about this next transfer with all the new missionaries here in Nausori.  To add to the excitement we moved into a new flat.  Elder and Sister Smith, the senior couple who was here, have gone home, and the mission decided to let us move into their house because it is a bit bigger than our previous one.  It is so nice!  Definitely the best flat I will have lived in on the mission so we are pretty pumped about that.

We were able to get Delagi, Sis Dalawa, and Sis Biu all confirmed this past week which was great for them.  They were all really excited to finally be members of the church.  It has been a really good experience working with so many prepared families, but now we are having a hard time finding investigators who are prepared to make the next step in their lives.  So we will be working on that quite a bit this week.

But all in all everything is well and I am excited for the new changes here!  Hope everyone has a great week!


Elda Harris

Oh the story behind this picture:  A senior couple did a service project up in this school up in a little village in the mountains.  They gave a bunch of supplies to the kindy there.  Well the school threw a thank you assembly for them and the senior couple invited us so the children could associate missionaries with the church.  It was really fun to see all the kids!  I was asked to give the closing prayer and it was super funny to hear the kids all gasp when I said it in Fijian!

April 17, 2016

Nausori - Week 6

E so tale na papitaiso

Bula !

Man this was a crazy week, and we have a combined zone activity today at the beach (no worries no swimming), so I'll just go through this pretty quickly.

So the week started off pretty well, had a few good lessons, especially with our investigator Bulou.  She is the wife of the ward mission leader, and has been AoG (Assemblies of God) for her whole life, but we convinced her to take the lessons.  We taught her the first lesson and she loved it!  All she could say was "This makes so much sense!".  However she was really scared of the Book of Mormon, and I mean scared to even touch it.  But we were able to explain that it is another witness of Christ and finally got her to read Moroni 10:3-5.  So the challenge is on!  She's willing to read and pray and we are pretty excited about it because of the spirituality of the lesson.

On Wednesday we took a trip up to Saioko.  Just last transfer it was closed to missionaries because of a number of different things, but we took a load of food up there because someone had given it to the mission office for the branch.  It is about a 2 hour drive from Nausori and a pretty rough road (which was pretty fun in the truck!), and then a 20 minute walk up a sweet hill (not as fun) to get to their chapel.  It was one of the places hit pretty hard by Winston that is still recovering and without power.  It was good to get them some more food and supplies to help them out!

Thursday I went on an exchange with Elder Brooks who is just finishing his training.  He is a really ecstatic missionary from Australia whom I had a ton of fun with.  As part of his training it was the week where he leads everything, so I just got to kick back and follow him around.  It was a ton of fun.

Friday we had a bunch of interviews to take care of, then we had an exchange with the Assistants in Samabula where we stayed the night.

Saturday we woke up at 5 to go to our ward temple trip, but we didn't end up getting to go and do baptisms because none of our recent converts showed up!  But afterwards around 9 the bus which the ward rented went to the chapel and we were able to have our baptism for Sister Dalawa and Delagi!  It was such a nice baptism and good to see Sister Dalawa finally enter the waters of baptism and be united with her family.  And I was so proud of Delagi!  Even though she was super scared last time she was way brave this time and had no trouble at all when she was baptized!  It was an awesome moment.  

On Sunday we had church in Nausori and then we were able to go and see the baptism in Korovou for the Turavu family!  Emma is probably going to get baptized in a week or two but all the kids were baptized: Laisa, Jennifer, and Joji.  The Korovou elders got stuck in Levuka on an exchange and the boats were all cancelled, so we went and watched the baptism for them.  It was such a cool moment and a tender mercy for me to baptize all of them after finding and teaching them back in Navua!

It has been so busy this week but also really exciting!  Despite all the hardships we face, I like a quote that President Eyring told us during the temple rededication: "The Lord is at the helm, and I am not the least bit concerned."

Loloma levu

Elder Harris

Baptism of Laisa, Jennifer, and Joji

Hike up to Saioko

April 10, 2016

Nausori - Week 5

Se vaiaso gali kii


Man another great week went by way too fast.  It was such an awesome time!  

So the week started off with a ton of rain.  And I mean a ton!  The Rewa river which is right next to us was getting pretty high and a few places we wanted to visit were flooded.  Apparently another cyclone came through Fiji named Cyclone Zina, but she was definitely not as strong as Winston, just a Category 2, so it was just really rainy.  But it made the week pretty cold.  

On Tuesday we had a zone meeting which was really fun to get the zone together and have some good trainings and such.  We have such a cool zone!  We know how to have fun.  Unfortunately because of the rain some of the Elders couldn't get back to their areas, and the 2 elders from Levuka couldn't go back the whole week because the boat was cancelled.  So we have had a lot of Elders with us in our area this week.  But that meant we got to go on a lot of splits and get a ton of work done in our area....speaking of which we found a Tuvaluan family!!!  Only the mom is fluent in Tuvaluan but they were former investigators and we finally found them.  I was so happy to hear someone speak Tuvaluan to me it was such a tender mercy!  Afterwards I got a bit trunky for Tuvalu but I think I'm okay now.  We're planning to see them again this week:)

It was also great to see the Rokodali and Biu families get baptized this week.  They were all really happy and super excited for it.  And we got special permission from the Area Authority to confirm them this week even though it was General Conf week.  So it was great!  The only problem we had was with one of the Rokodali girls, Delagi.  Apparently a year ago she almost drowned so she is really scared of the water.  So she got really scared right before it was her turn and refused to be baptized.  It was a really hard situation because she was so scared so we are going to try some other time to baptize her.  Hopefully we can work something out so she has a good experience!

And last but not least we were way excited to watch Conference this week especially because I didn't get to see the last one.  We watched all 3 sessions of Saturday with no breaks in between and both sessions of Sunday with no breaks as well but it was soo good!  I especially liked Elder Cook's about the temple and of course Elder Holland just finished it off with a great talk.  And all the Fiji Suva Temple references were pretty cool as well!
It's been a great week, everyone have a good one!


Elder Harris



Lady from Levuka

April 3, 2016

Nausori - Week 4

Osooso valevu

Ni bula vinaka,

Man I am so tired!  It has been another crazy busy week here in Nausori but definitely a good one.  It has been awesome to see the power of the Lord in the work this week as we try to give it all we have!

I think the thing I am most excited about is our two families, the Rokodalis and the Bius.  They are awesome!  We planned the baptism for this Saturday and they are all super excited about it.  It has been fun teaching them the lessons and seeing how much people can change just by hearing and applying the gospel.  Doubts turn to faith, shyness turns to enthusiasm, and intimidated faces turn into big grins!  It's so awesome to see them change and hopefully everything will go well so they can all be baptized this week.  Another investigator, Sister Dalawa is doing really well and is getting excited to be baptized.  Her husband is a member but has been away from the church for a long time, but now she is really enjoying coming to church and decided she wants to be baptized and join!  It's great to teach so many people who are just ready to receive the gospel (it makes our job a little easier).  

This week we had a leadership council meeting with President Layton and all the other leaders around the mission.  It was a way cool experience and I always learn so much from President and Sister Layton.  Our mission is on fire!  This month we broke the record for baptisms in our mission!  It seems like the temple rededication and Cyclone Winston have just created an amazing opportunity for people to accept the gospel.  We're working hard to keep that trend for the entire year!

On Friday I got the opportunity to go on an exchange up in Korovou with a new missionary, Elder Hamon.  I was way excited because my trainer Elder Hosea always talked about how much he loved Korovou.  It is a very mountainous area with a lot of spread out villages, but the church is really growing up there.  It's pretty funny to see all these tiny houses in the bush and then up on a hill you see this nice, modern LDS chapel like one you would see back in America.  It kind of stands out.  But it was a blast!  We had fun in the villages teaching some lessons (every one of them we had to get permission from the chief before we could enter), and I found out that Jerry and Emma and the kids from back in Navua had moved to Korovou!  So we went and saw them which was such a blessing for me!  They are still waiting to get married (ahhhhh) but they are still attending church and even went yesterday in the Korovou ward.  So that was awesome to see them and hand them over to the Korovou elders.  Such a fun time!

One thing that I've learned is how much the Lord is involved in this work!  Things just seem to work out perfectly some times and I know that there is more divine help than we actually see.  Sure we face hardships as well but in the end the Lord takes care of everything!  

Loloma yani,

Elder Harris