September 25, 2016

Samabula - Week 11

Fefe hake

Malo lelei,

Another fun week here in Fiji.  We did a bit of travelling this week to the northern islands, and then we helped a less-active lady get a calling and a temple recommend.  It was pretty fun.

So I was really excited to finish off the last zone conference this week with the Taveuni Zone.  We flew up to Labasa which brought back some memories when I was a little greenie flying up to Labasa.  It was way cool to see all the elders there, especially Elder Giacalone and Elder Lautogia, my old companions.  After the zone conference, we went on a few exchanges.  One I was on was with Elder Mumford from Arizona.  I found out he also went to BYU at the same time I did, but he went the full year.  I asked him where he stayed and he said Building 9.  I was like no way me too!  We talked and have a lot of mutual friends, and apparently my room was pretty much right above him.  Small world.  Then we went to Savusavu for a bit and then flew from there to Nadi and then back to Suva.  It was a good trip.  

One of the coolest things that happened in our area this week was helping Sister Mele receive a calling and a temple recommend.  Her niece was in Fiji this week from Tonga and has been helping her out a lot, and so we invited her to meet with bishop to get a limited-use recommend for baptisms for the dead.  She is way excited to go in for the first time, and we are going to help her get her names done because she wants to do the work for her husband and his family.  She also got a small calling within the Relief Society that she is really excited about.  She loves our visits and even got us the Tongan tupenu, which is a longer version of the sulu that we wear, and you tie it on both sides.  

The rest of our area is going pretty well.  Sereseini is getting baptized on Friday.  We were sad to learn that Salutu and Alice are going back to Tuvalu, but luckily we have great elders there who will be able to continue their teaching.  I think Salutu really had a desire to be baptized when he left.  

One cool thing we got to do this morning was go and participate in the LDS Primary School "Missionary Week."  Us missionaries are teaching their religion classes this week, and we had our first one today.  Elder Faamoe and I got assigned to Class 6 (6th grade), and it was a lot of fun!  It'll be fun this week.

'Ofa atu,

Elder Harris

Elder Faamoe

September 18, 2016

Samabula - Week 10

The Burning West...

Bula vinaka everyone.

It's been a good week!  I mean it's always a good week here in Fiji, but nonetheless each week has a unique twist to it that keeps me interested.

We had two more zone conferences this week.  One here in Suva and one out in Lautoka.  We had Suva on Tuesday and Lautoka on Thursday.  We drove out to Lautoka on Wednesday, which was a huge act of faith because I was having stomach problems the night before, and there isn't a ton of services along the road.  So I got a blessing, took a bunch of pills, and we made the 4 hour drive with no problems!  We had a great time in Lautoka doing exchanges and eating Burger King (which thankfully didn't cause any more stomach problems haha).  It's always fun visiting the burning west.  

On our way back from Lautoka we stopped in Pacific Harbor, which is in my old area of Navua, looking for a place to eat, and we met this lady named Amelia.  She was pretty crazy and I'm pretty sure slightly intoxicated, but she said she loved Jesus so she was going to take us to her restaurant "Beach Bum Burgers" and feed us.  The burgers were really good, especially considering they were free.

We saw a lot of progress in our area this week!  Sereseini is doing great and all prepared to be baptized next week.  And we finally got Salutu to come to church!  He came and brought one of his daughters; we almost didn't see him and actually didn't realize he was there until after sacrament meeting.  Alice didn't come because they thought bringing both daughters would be too much chaos.  But we went and sat with them later in the day and committed them both to be baptized!  I've seen so much progress in them this week.  Allen came again this week to church with his friend Andy who came like 4 weeks ago.  They only stayed for a bit because they were busy, but we had a gospel principles class about Family History and they thought that was pretty cool.  So we're going to keep trying to teach them with their busy schedule.  Lots of good things happening!  I know that the Lord is in charge of this work and is preparing His children for us to find and teach them.  
Have a great week!


Elder Harris

September 11, 2016

Samabula - Week 9

Lai lotu mada

Bula vinaka!

This has been another great week!  Nothing too crazy happened, but we just had business as usual.  I was kind of sick earlier in the week which was annoying, but I'm feeling great right now so that's what matters.

We had two other zone conferences this week with the two Nausori zones.  They went well!  It's a pretty cool opportunity to learn so much from President and Sister Layton.  Zone conferences are halfway over now.

This week we also went on some exchanges.  I went with Elder Sarufa on Tuesday.  He is from Papua New Guinea and is way cool.  One thing I love about him is that he is always smiling!  It's contagious.  We visited people in Samabula and had a way cool experience together.  One of our lessons fell through and we were walking and then a heard a familiar song from the radio from a house we were walking past.  It was a Tuvaluan song so we knocked and met this lady and her nephew who were both from Tuvalu.  They let us in and we started talking, and I found out that she had 5 kids and was trying to get a visa to New Zealand because her husband had died in a tragic car accident.  She seemed very humbled by it, and we decided to teach her about the temple and how she can live with her husband again with her kids forever.  It was such a spiritual lesson!  Her name is Eline and we're going to go and see her again tomorrow.  

I also went on an exchange with Elder Kubera from Hawaii in his area, Tacirua.  They are doing some amazing work out there.  It was a Saturday, and I think we had about 8 lessons.  Super fun.

Our investigators are doing pretty good.  Sereseini came to church this week and is working to be baptized at the end of this month.  We have been visiting her a lot with Joshua and his family.  She made a good friend at church with the Sisters' recent convert, so she is looking comfortable.  The rest of our investigators didn't come to church despite having really good lessons with them within the week.  We're having a hard time with it because that is the only thing that is holding them back.  But the Chinese guys came again to church!  Actually Allen came again with his new friend Joe (I feel like those aren't their real names).  They walked in during the last hour of church, so we sat down with them afterwards and taught them.  We had to go very, very basic with them because they had so limited Christian knowledge and limited English.  But one of our members served in Hong Kong and spoke Cantonese (these two speak Mandarin) so he could help a little bit.  But they said they want to learn more so we're going to start teaching them.

That's my week!


Elder Harris

September 4, 2016

Samabula - Week 8

Na Oca Vinaka.

Bula gang.

I know I said this last week but I lied.....this has been the busiest week of my life.  There was so much going on, and at times I felt pretty out of control, but it was really good because it pushed me out of my comfort zone.

We started out with a zone conference on Tuesday with the Suva North Zone and the Independent Zone.  It was way fun and went well considering it was Elder Faamoe and I's first one.  But we had a good time and were excited to listen to President and Sister Layton and their presentations.

So the Independent Zone is all the outer islands who don't fit into another zone: Tuvalu, Rotuma, and Kadavu.  They are the ones who are just out there all alone for a few months, but this was the week where they all come in and get new companions.  We are technically the zone leaders over them, so we were responsible for taking care of them for the week.  That was pretty fun, especially because I used to be in Tuvalu.  So we had a meeting with them on Wednesday because we won't be able to have another one for a long, long time.  The only other type of meeting we have is a conference call district meeting every week for just a short time. 

And on Thursday we had a Mission Leadership Council meeting with all the leaders from around the mission.  It went really well and we talked about ways we could keep the Fiji Suva Mission going strong!  The mission has been doing so good this year and we talked about things that will help us continue keeping the fire!  It was a good meeting.

And finally after all that we got to do some work in our area.  The last two weeks we have felt really good about our area and our investigators until Sunday haha when they don't come to church.  So we are reevaluating how we can help our investigators understand that.  Mele and Kesa are doing pretty good.  We have been able to have some good lessons with Mele, the Tongan lady who is coming back to church, and Kesa as well.  But Kesa is having a few problems with her husband that we're not too sure about so we're just going to keep trying and praying everything will work out there.  We tried seeing Salutu and Alice quite a lot this week but they were busy everytime.  We'll see how that goes.  But we've found some new investigators who look really good.  Bruce's sister, named Tima, is one of them who is really interested in the Restoration.

But in all it was a good week.  It was tiring but I learned so much and I am excited to continue to lay it all out for the Lord.


Elder Harris