October 30, 2016

Samabula - Week 16

E dua tale na macawa vinaka

Wow this week went by fast!

President and Sister Layton were in Australia this week for a mission president's seminar, so we just had a free week to proselyte!  It was great.  We worked hard and had a few exchanges, which were way fun.

We are seeing a lot of miracles in our area.  Probably the biggest miracle was with Kesa and her husband Efereimi.  A complete change of heart!  We still haven't had another lesson with Efereimi because of his crazy work schedule, but we have been seeing Kesa and she is really excited about it right now.  She said she's not going to miss church anymore and is going to continue her Book of Mormon reading.  She also said Efereimi wanted to come to church with her, but he had his work schedule changed last minute.  We are planning to meet with him again tomorrow!  I've been working with Kesa this whole time in Samabula so this has been way awesome for me to see.  We are also still working with Vilikesa, Lia, and Lesi who are all doing really well and preparing for baptism.  The main thing right now is working with Vilikesa with the Word of Wisdom because he has a few problems there.  But we're hopeful that they will get baptized in the next few weeks!  And the Simpsons are doing really well too; they didn't come to church because of a wedding in their family, but we're continuing to meet with them.  Our main focus is Sister Simpson because she is a bit reluctant to come back to activity in the church.  It's been a good week!

Yesterday was a holiday in Fiji called Diwali.  It is a Hindu holiday which almost all of the Indians celebrate and quite a few Fijians as well.  It's like the 4th of July and Halloween combined; lots of fireworks and you go to people's houses to get homemade Indian sweets.  Pretty exciting.  Our landlord invited us over to join their party so we went and ate a lot.  My favorite sweet is called a Goolabjaban (I have no idea if that spelling is right).  It's like a tiny little Krispy Kreme donut tasting thing that is really good.  

'Ofa atu

Elder Harris

October 23, 2016

Samabula - Week 15

Sa laurai

It's been a fun week!

This week we had a little Tour de Fiji.  On Tuesday, we flew up to Labasa to do a leadership training on Wednesday.  We did some exchanges with the elders there and then on Thursday we flew to Nadi to have another leadership training over there.  And we flew back to Suva on Friday.  It was a fun couple of days in which we had a lot of time to learn from President and Sister Layton and all their knowledge and life experiences.  It's so fun to be around them!

Things are going pretty well in our area.  We finally got Vilikesa to come to church and he said that he liked it!  He and his wife Lia are making great progress.  We are working with Matilda, a 9 year old girl whose family is mostly members.  She and her siblings all came to church yesterday as well but we're still working with her mom.  But once her mom is willing she is ready to be baptized.  Some other great progress we saw this week was with Kesa!  She's been on and off lately because of the situation with her husband, but we went to visit on Saturday and her husband happened to be there.  It was way awesome because we never see her husband because he is always working, but we got to get to know him and sit down with him, and we decided to talk about eternal marriage.  He thought it was really cool and wants to learn more!  It was a miracle!  And to make things better he dropped off Kesa to church in a taxi before going to work, which before he didn't even like her going to church.  We're super excited!

I got to baptize a girl named Joti this week who we have been teaching a bit.  She goes to a different ward but we taught her a lot of the lessons because her fellowshippers are in our area.  She had been going to church for more than two years and finally decided to get baptized.  One of the most prepared people I have met!  Her baptism was awesome.


Elder Harris

Joti's Baptism

This is Elder Johansson's son.  He's hilarious.

Viki a recent convert

Fish and rice with a Kiribati family

October 16, 2016

Samabula - Week 14

Cakacaka ga vagumatua

Well it was a good week.  We were lucky this week to just be in our area the entire week and just work as hard as we could.  As Mark Nelson always says "It doesn't get much better than this!"
So yeah, we had a few meetings this week with missionaries.  We had 2 leadership training meetings: one for the two Suva zones and the other for the two Nausori zones.  They were both really good and we learned a lot from President Layton on how to be a good leader.  There was a quote shared from Albus Dumbledore "Perhaps those who are best suited for power are those who never sought it."  I thought of Nephi, who probably shouldn't have been the leader, being the youngest, but because of his faithfulness was chosen over his two murmuring brothers.  It wasn't easy for him, and maybe it was uncomfortable, but he did it anyways because he loved the Lord.  

It was really refreshing this week to focus on our investigators!  I have been trying to work on obtaining charity this week, so as we met with our investigators I tried to see them from Heavenly Father's point of view.  It was amazing how much more meaningful it is to teach people when you have that perspective.  We found a family who is really progressing.  Vilikesa is investigating the church because his wife Lia is a member (she is from Navua!), and his sister Lesi is also investigating.  It is a bit difficult because he has that Methodist background and family, but he really has a desire to be married in the temple with his wife so he committed to be baptized!  We're working with quite a few other families and trying to help them see the big picture of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

I also got to go on an exchange with Elder Mumford from Phoenix, Arizona.  We lived in the same building back at BYU but never met each other!  He is a way cool guy and we had a great exchange and worked hard all day.  He has on of the best attitudes I've ever seen, and that's one thing I'd like to emulate in him.  It's always good to learn from other missionaries here in the great Fiji Suva Mission!

Thanks for all the prayers and have a great week!


Elder Harris

October 9, 2016

Samabula - Week 13

Oso and O soooo!


It's been another fun week down here in the islands.  We had a majorly busy week here with a new group of missionaries coming in, an old group leaving, and a bunch of missionaries getting shifted around.  There was plenty to do!  We were expecting the new missionaries to come in on Wednesday and everything was all prepared for them until we heard from the office that they hadn't gotten on their flight because of visa problems.  So that ruined all of the plans and we had to readjust, but apparently church headquarters didn't tell us that 2 of the missionaries HAD got on their flight, and so they were wandering around the airport by themselves in Nadi for awhile and actually got on the bus to Suva by themselves.  But we found them so it worked out okay.  So that was a lot of fun.  Then the rest came in on thursday and we had a few orientation things to do which was all good and fun.  Interesting side note as we were watching the Saturday Afternoon General Conference we saw at least 3 of those missionaries in the MTC choir that sang!  We're excited for them to be in the mission.  We also had to get all the missionaries leaving which was a big group of 10.  Elder Lautogia, one of my old companions was one that left so it was sad saying goodbye to him.  It was sure a busy week and stressful at times but all part of the learning experience.  

It was great to watch General Conference!  I needed it a lot because I felt so drained, and nothing fills you up spiritually like listening to apostles and prophets.  I don't know if I could pick a favorite talk because I liked them all, but one that really stood out to me was Elder Bednar's about coming to know the Lord.  I love the fact that we can come to know Jesus Christ by exercising faith in Him, following Him, serving Him, and believing Him.  Not only do we believe in Him, but believe that his power is actually potent in our specific situations.  All of the talks were so simple and enlightening.  As the world is increasing in darkness, evil, and complexity, we need to follow President Monson's counsel of following the plan of salvation.  We don't have to make it complicated!   It was a great conference.

We've been struggling a bit with our investigators, but we're still trying our best to help them out.  Christine and Stephanie are doing pretty good and we were able to share the Book of Mormon with them.  Christine owns a handicraft shop so we took some of the departing missionaries there before they left.  They've got a lot of good potential it's just working through a few issues with them.  We also have this Korean lady in our ward who brought her friend and her kids to church and they want to be baptized.  The problem is that they don't live in our boundaries, but they possibly may be moving to our boundaries, so we're trying to figure that out.  They don't speak very good English, but we are in luck that our Fijian stake president so happened to adopt a Korean boy who is helping us translate.  How cool is that?

Loloma yani,

Elder Harris

October 2, 2016

Samabula - Week 12

Vatotolo ga nikua

Sorry I won't have a lot of time to email today!  We had a really good week with a big meeting with all the leaders around the mission.  It was great to see everyone and be able to learn together from President and Sister Layton.  Elder Faamoe and I were also asked to present a training on Quality vs. Quantity Converts.  We had a lot of fun with it.  Our mission did really good this month with baptisms and returning members and we are trying to keep that going!

We also were able to baptize Sereseini this week!  It was a great baptism.  We did our baptism combined with another set of missionaries who had TWELVE baptisms so the photo looks like we're doing really well but really we only had 1/13 of the baptisms that day.  But it was way cool.  Yeah, that's me for this week!

Moce mada ka loloma yani,

Elder Harris