June 26, 2016

Nausori - Week 16

Keitou le va...


This week was a week of miracles.  We saw so much progress in our area this week and were able to top it off with an amazing baptism.  

It all started out with a great exchange with Elder Hamon from Australia.  We went to see a few people in our area and all of a sudden this old guy sitting on an upside down boat called us over.  We talked to him a bit and found out his name was Ilaitia and he wanted our help.  He was facing a lot of problems in his village and his family.  He claimed that everyone was against him and because of that he couldn't go to church (since everyone in the village is Methodist).  So we were able to talk to him and help him through a few things.  He really wants to come to our church but said he wanted to get a white shirt and tie before he came so he promised that he would come next week.  We tried to explain that it was okay he didn't need to have a white shirt and tie but he wouldn't take no for an answer!  It was pretty funny but he said he really wants to join our church so we'll see how that goes.  Right as we walked away from him we met a less-active we were trying to see named Buke and within the first 5 minutes he told us he wanted us to baptize his son who is 10 years old.  The son is way stoked about it, and they came to church on Sunday!  All of that happened within a 30 minute span let's just say it was pretty productive!

We also have been working with Misiviliame a lot and he is pretty excited for his baptism this week.  We had an activity this week up near where he lives actually at the Biu's house.  It was way fun!  It was a public holiday on Friday, so the ward did a big lovo (earth-oven feast) up at their house.  We took Misi and had a few other investigators.  We slaughtered chickens, plucked them, butchered them and then cooked them (in curry).  It was great!  The Bius loved it and it was great for their older children who aren't yet members of the church.  

We have another really strong member in Nausori, Sister Tunikula, who is really old and had a stroke awhile ago so she has a really bad stutter when she talks.  But despite that she is still doing missionary work!  She brought her great-nephew and great-niece to church the past two weeks, and now they really love church.  We started teaching them and they want to be baptized as well!  It's super fun teaching them!

The week topped off with a great baptismal service for Evia.  It was a bit of a hassle getting her out of her house, off her porch and up into the car.  It has been a long time since she has been out of the house, so she was understandably a little nervous.  But we got her there and then we had to get her down into the baptismal font which was another hassle.  What we did was put her on a chair and then carry her down on the chair.  There were four of us in the baptismal font with her and we managed to baptize her.  It was a very spiritual time especially afterwards when she was bearing her testimony!  It was a great day and a good reminder that no matter how old someone is they can still follow Jesus Christ.


Elder Harris

Evia's Baptism

June 19, 2016

Nausori - Week 15

Kemuni galala?

Bula everyone!

Gotta love Fiji!  It's been another fantastic week down here.  The weather is actually getting colder, which is pretty nice by my standards.  Last year when it was getting cold like this I was sweating to death in Tuvalu, so I'm enjoying it.  This week we worked really hard and were able to get a lot of good things done.  We also had zone conference.  

Zone conference was great!  It was themed on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  President Layton gave a great training on the doctrine of the Atonement that just brought the spirit so strong into the meeting.  It was a great day for everyone in our zone, and we were all spiritually fed.  Later on in the meeting Elder Lautogia and I were asked to give a training on studying the Atonement which was fun!  We tried to get across that studying the Atonement is not so much about getting all the details.  Much like we (at least I) don't know how a computer works but I know how to use it, we just need to learn how to use the Atonement in order to see its importance and influence in our lives.

The work in our area has been going really well.  We were sad to find out that Liti moved to her village up in the interior of Fiji, so we're not sure how she feels about baptism anymore, but her village is technically still in our area so we're planning to go up and try to find her sometime this week.  Evia is really excited for her baptism on Saturday and we were able to get it all planned out this week!  Even though she doesn't need to until after her baptism, she demanded that she is starting right now to pay her tithing from her little baking business that she has.  She is almost finished reading 3 Nephi and just soaking up everything we teach her!  Misivilliame is doing great too!  He is still coming to church and going through the lessons.  We have to teach him in a lot of detail because he has a ton of questions.  But you can tell he is feeling the Spirit big time.  He keeps telling us when he gets baptized he's going to start bringing his family to church!  Other than those two we have a lot of new investigators who are just beginning the lessons so we'll see who's interested and who's not this week.

Funny story of the week.  We were teaching this family and in the family is this girl who is like 30 yrs old and probably 8 months pregnant (not married) sitting in.  Like we usually do we introduced ourselves and then I asked if they had any questions.  She asked "Kemuni galala?" which means "are you available?".  My companion was dying laughing while I had to explain that no missionaries are not allowed to get married or anything!  It was pretty awkward....

Loloma levu yani!

Elda Harris


June 12, 2016

Nausori - Week 14


Well another great week in Nausori!  I am really loving my area and all the good work that is happening.  A lot of great stuff happened this week.

First of all, our investigators are progressing really well in the gospel.  Evia is loving the lessons and is preparing for her baptism.  Since she has been confined to her home for the past few years, this is going to be a pretty big experience for her to go to the chapel and get baptized!  But she is excited and inviting all of her family to come and attend.  Also our friend Misiviliame has made the decision to be baptized!  We were way excited when he told us.  He has been thinking about it alot and decided to go for it.  We also found out that he used to be an Assemblies of God pastor when he was younger which was pretty crazy to hear.  We brought him to stake conference and he really enjoyed it all, especially learning about the church government and all.  It was a really good experience for him.  And last but not least Liti is still doing well and working hard towards baptism.  She had one little setback this week when she got really mad about something and then ended up smoking one cigarette.  She was pretty sad when she told us but we talked about it and were able to help her get back up and keep moving forward.  I'm really excited for all of these people who are willing to follow their Savior by being baptized.  

Another interesting family we are teaching is the Mata family.  They live by some of our members and invited us in when we were leaving their house.  The owners of the house our an older couple, probably in their 70s and a few kids and grandkids.  The grandpa is Catholic and the grandmother is Methodist.  It is pretty crazy teaching them because they both could sit there and talk for hours and not get short of breath, plus they always interrupt each other and argue with each other about doctrine.  For example yesterday the old man asked us about our doctrine on the Trinity, and before we could explain those two were arguing with each other whether Jesus and Heavenly Father were separate or the same; I didn't really know how to handle it!  But one thing they're both hooked on is our church's family history program.  They really want to learn the names of their grandparents and great-grandparents, so we organized a time this week when someone from our ward is going to take them to the Family History Center.  We'll see how that goes:)

We had stake conference this week for the Nausori Stake.  Elder Pearson and Elder Hamilton came from Australia to reorganize the stake presidency.  It was a really great meeting and I learned a ton from both of their talks!  I was a bit sad because our bishop got put as 2nd counselor in the new stake presidency because he has been such an awesome bishop.  But he will do great in his new assignment.  After the meeting everyone was standing around talking and then Elder Hamilton called me over out of the crowd and told me he had a referral for me.  Apparently there was a newspaper reporter there covering the gathering and he invited her to meet with the missionaries.  We talked to her and have an appointment for this week!  After that Elder Pearson gave me a fist bump for getting the referral.  Bottom line: 1. Always do missionary work, even at large Mormon gatherings.  2. General authorities are cool.
That was our week!


Elder Harris

We got to drop off the Tuvalu elders at the airport.  Way jealous.

Seventies and the new Stake Presidency

June 5, 2016

Nausori - Week 13

Onz tu mada ga


It's been a great week here in........Nausori!  Haha yeah I'm still here.  Looks like I'll have another transfer with Elder Lautogia, which I am way stoked about because we are seeing so much good in our area right now.  

Transfers were this week and we had a few changes in our zone.  Interestingly we now have two Fijian ward missionaries in our zone who will be serving this transfer because the mission is short on missionaries.  One of them is preparing to go on a mission and the other was serving in New Zealand until he had to come home for health problems.  We're way excited for both of them to help us out.

Man I am really excited for our area.  The past few weeks have been shaky but this week people started to turn around.  Liti has been doing awesome and has pretty much turned her life around these past two weeks.  She quit smoking and drinking tea and is really excited about being baptized in a few weeks time.  It is so cool to see how the gospel changes people!  Evia, the lady in the wheelchair, has also had quite a change of heart.  She was really skeptical of baptism before, but when we went over this week, she told us that while she was reading the Book of Mormon she had a feeling that she needed to be baptized!  We gave her a date, and now we are just trying to get all the logistics figured out (she hasn't left her house in over two years).  We are grateful that she could feel the sweet influence of the Spirit to prompt her to take that step in her life.  

Another investigator that we met a few weeks ago was Misiviliame.  He is an older man, very well educated, who has been around many different Christian denominations in his lifetime.  When we first met him, he told us he was impressed by the organization of the LDS church.  He said he could tell just by the way we looked that we meant business.  Well we taught him the message of the Restoration and he really liked it, but we could tell he had a lot of reservations about being baptized and joining, so we simply invited him to church.  Well were excited when he showed up with his friend Brother Biu!  He changed a lot during church and was very interested in everything afterward.  He even told one of the members in our ward that he wanted a calling!  Haha we are excited to say the least. 

That's all for this week, till next time.


Elder Harris

This is a birthday party we had for two elders at their flat