August 28, 2016

Samabula - Week 7

Siga ni sucu


It's been one of the busiest weeks of my life!  But it was great!  We had a lot to do with transfers and preparing for some big meetings this week.

So Elder Condie went home this week.  It was awesome being companions with him but I'm happy for this next stage of his life!  My new companion is Elder Faamoe.  He is Samoan (I know I keep getting Samoans) and from Zion itself, Independence, Missouri.  He's a fun guy and loves to laugh a lot so I'm super excited to be companions with him!

We had a really busy week with a new group coming in from the MTC into our mission and transfers and a group going home.  We were running around all week and moving people around but it was all good fun.  It's so fun to see all the new missionaries because they are just excited to be here and be missionaries!  We need more of that greenie fire!

It was kind of a rough week in our area this week but still had a few glimmers of hope.  We finally got Kesa to really ask her husband if she can be baptized, and she has been asking him everyday!  But she said he hasn't answered her yet so I'm not sure what will happen..  But we'll keep praying and hoping that a miracle will happen and he will soften his heart.  Salutu and Alice are doing really well!  We started the Plan of Salvation with them and they have so many good questions.  They said that they want to be baptized, but the only thing holding them back is coming to church.  They said they would come, but then they didn't show up, so we were pretty bummed about that.  But afterwards we visited them after church, and Salutu said he had come to church with his two kids, but then the kids started screaming and stuff, so he just took them to a park and let them play.  So they are progressing but very slowly!

I had my birthday yesterday which was pretty good.  The Somosomo branch had a temple trip this week and has been staying in the temple patron housing which is in the same building as the mission office.  They had a big lunch and we got to eat some real quality Waicipoki which is my favorite Fijian food.  So that was the highlight of my birthday!

Talk to you next week!


Elder Harris

Elder Condie and Elder Faamoe (and Sister Layton photobombing)

August 21, 2016

Samabula - Week 6

Kaila vata kece!

Well it's been another great week here in Fiji!  Today was made a public holiday by the Prime Minister, and the 7s team just flew in yesterday, so there's a huge celebration going on in downtown Suva right now.  Not that we're going but just fyi.

This week is transfer week so Elder Condie is going home and I will be getting a new companion.  I'm going to miss Elder Condie, he's been a great companion and has taught me a lot!

This week was a week of miracles!  First miracle was the fact that President Layton got off Rotuma.  He was supposed to come off on Wednesday, but didn't get here until Saturday.  The runway there isn't paved, so if it rains then the plane can't land, and it just happened to start raining really hard this week and cancelled the flights twice!  But with some heavenly help there were two emergency planes sent on Saturday to make up for the cancelled ones, and President was lucky enough to get a seat and get back.  We have transfers this week so it would have been chaos if he hadn't got on.

All of our investigators are doing pretty well, just not really well.  Kesa is reading the Book of Mormon and working with her husband to get permission to be baptized.  Salutu and Alice are enjoying the lessons and really considering everything we teach them.  And a few other investigators are coming along.  But a lot of the week was just alright because of a school break and a big festival in Suva all week; a lot of people were gone.

So when church rolled around this last week we were just praying that our investigators would come to church because we tried really hard but all we got were lukewarm commitments.  No one came, and that was pretty disappointing.  But then the miracle came! We saw these two Asian guys show up late to sacrament meeting, and we figured they were members visiting or something.  But afterwards we saw Bishop talking to them and him beckoning us over to meet them.  We talked with them, and their names were Andy and Aaron, and they are from China, like legit mainland China.  They've been in Fiji doing construction for a few years, and they told us that their friend had invited them to church last week in Nadi, and then told them to come here this week.  

So we took them into our Gospel Principles class and tried to see how much they knew.
They knew nothing.  I think they recognized the word Bible and Jesus and that's it!  So we began with Chapter 1 focusing on our Heavenly Father (we just had the rest of the class participate but really it was focused on these two).  They were so excited!  After the lesson they were looking through the book and saw a picture of Jesus Christ and kept saying "Heavenly Father!" and pointing.  We quickly explained to them but it just shows how much they don't know.  But we were amazed at how amazing the Spirit is in directing those two to church yesterday.  Such a miracle and we are excited to see what will happen this week with them.


Elder Harris

Nice muddy days in the Settlements

Nice sunset behind the temple

This little food court is owned by this evangelical church haha

August 14, 2016

Samabula - Week 5

Oiau qori!


It's been a nice week.  President Layton is currently in Rotuma for a week=no meetings+lots of time to go and work in our area!

So yeah we have had a lot of time to go and work in our area this week.  It has been really fun, and we had a great time helping out all of our investigators, less-actives and recent converts that we are teaching!

It's been fun to see our recent converts after they were baptized last week.  They are super excited to members of the Church!  They all were confirmed yesterday and then Bruce and Joshua were sustained to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  Bruce is excited to start passing the sacrament and wants to start sharing the gospel with his family.  We have an appointment with his sister on Tuesday!  I remember the 1st counselor in our Bishopric blessed him during his confirmation that he would "go on a mission and baptize lots of people."  Which I thought was amazing!  He's 17 so he could go in a year or two.  Joshua is excited as well; we saw him at a church activity yesterday evening with all of the old people doing their family history.  We went over to talk to him and he had already completed 4 generations of his family tree!  And Sister Rajendra is doing well and received an interview to prepare to go and do baptisms for the dead.  It's awesome to see the ward help so much by welcoming and helping these converts!

We've been teaching quite a few investigators.  First off is Kesa, who is 25ish and half Fijian half Tongan.  Her Tongan mom is a member who has just started to come back to church after 40 years, and Kesa is really keen to be baptized.  The only problem is her husband.  For some reason he has no problem with Kesa taking lessons and going to church but he won't let her be baptized.  So we're praying that he will soften his heart and say yes.  We are also teaching a Tuvaluan guy named Salutu and his half Fijian/half Palagi wife Alice.  It's been fun teaching them since he's from Tuvalu, and they're actually going back to Tuvalu in a month or two because he just graduated uni.  Their main concern is the Book of Mormon so we've been going over that a lot lately.

I've actually been able to see heaps of Tuvaluans here in Samabula!  We go visit a recent convert family that I used to visit every week, and I even saw Brother Niko in the mission office the other day!  It was so good to see him!  He was telling me that his son got a chance to meet the Queen of England! 

And Sala Lausaveve, one of my favorite members from Tuvalu, just showed up at our sacrament meeting yesterday!  It's pretty fun to see them and try to speak my broken Tuvaluan to them.

Fiji is ecstatic about the Olympics and winning their first gold medal in Sevens Rugby.  Friday was chaos after the game with everyone driving around beeping their horns and celebrating!  A member fed us lunch on Friday while the medal ceremony was on and we saw them receive their gold medals from the Princess.  It was so cool how they knelt and clapped when they each received their medal; that is the custom here in Fiji when you receive a gift from a chiefly person.

It's been a great week, looking forward to another one!


Elder Harris

August 7, 2016

Samabula - Week 4

Toso Viti Toso!

Well matavuvale, another week has come and gone.  Totolo saraga!  We had a lot of fun this week doing quite a few different things.  

Well in the beginning of the week we went to a Zone Training Meeting back in my old Suva North Zone!  It was way fun, and my old comp Elder Carlson and Elder Kubera did a great job training everyone.  We had it down in the Lami chapel which brought back a whole lot of memories from when I was in Navua and Lami was in my district!  

On Wednesday we had a training meeting for all the leaders in the Nausori area.  It was good to see all of them and see my old zone doing well!

The next day we had a good 4-hour drive to the Lautoka/Nadi area which is on the west side of the main island.  We spent two days there doing exchanges with the elders and doing another leadership training meeting!  The west is known for being really hot and dry, which I never believed because I mean we are in Fiji!  But the rumors are true!  There's also a significant amount of Indian people in the west; so add that to the dry nature of the terrain and I felt like I was in Afghanistan or something.  But as they say "The West is the best!"  Plus they have a Burger King in Nadi.  So the saying is true.  

Everybody in Fiji is excited for the Olympics!  For the first time ever, Rugby 7s is included in the Olympics, which so happens to be the ONLY sport in which Fiji has a solid chance at winning a gold medal.  They are #1 in the world at 7s, whereas NZ and Australia always dominate at the big-time rugby.  Fiji apparently has never won a medal, so this will be really fun.  Not that we get to watch anyway.....

My favorite part of the week was our baptism yesterday.  It was probably the best baptismal service I have ever been to on my mission.  Sister Rajendra, Bruce, and Joshua were baptized, and then the Sisters had two baptisms as well.  The whole ward showed up and was really supportive!  We even had Elder Johanssen, the Area Seventy who stays in our ward, preside and speak at the end.  It was a very spiritual time and a great experience for all those who were baptized and a few investigators in attendance.  Times like those make me realize how amazing it is to be a missionary!


Elder Harris

We found the Fiji Water Plant!
I had to..

Elder Condie turned 20.  We had cake with President and Sister Layton.

Suva North ZTM
Burger King!