God created Fiji on one of His happiest days.
-Elder Glen L. Rudd
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Worldwide Missionary Leadership Broadcast: Highlight of the week!
Bulabula everyone! You know what bulabula means? Good health! Oh my heavens I love hearing about your lives. Keep it coming!
This week has been so crazy. We're getting down to the wire. Our departure is looming on the horizon AND I AM SO EXCITED. We got our departure plans, and we'll be leaving on the 6th of July. We fly from Salt Lake to LA, and then on to Fiji. When we get to Fiji, we stay in the mission home for that first day and night with President and Sister Klingler, and then we get our assignments. I am so stoked, you have no idea. The MTC is seriously one of the best places in the world, but when you have been cooped up here for five weeks, all the food starts to taste the same, and the walls start to close in on you. I will admit that being one of the more seasoned missionaries here has it's perks, but man...I want to go to Fiji!
So on Sunday was the Worldwide Leadership Broadcast! What an amazing experience. I was in the choir, and for all of you who had trouble finding me, look harder! I was up on the screen on three separate occasions, front and center. Just look for the little white one in purple next to the tall brown one in bright pink during Hark All Ye Nations, and you will find who you are looking for :) But anyway, I loved being in that choir. You know, there were about 2500 people in it? 1300 of them were missionaries! It was such a powerful experience, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
The main message of the broadcast really struck me. Missionaries can only do so much. That is something that we have talked about in my class. It is true that missionaries are helping investigators work towards baptism, but the end goal is for them to go to the temple with their families. After baptism, the missionaries step aside and these new converts are put into the hands of the members. The way I see it, these converts are at their most vulnerable right after their baptism. That is when the members need to show them that the baptism was worth it. Before my mission, I saw multiple instances where people were baptized and then abandoned by the members that had been so supportive of them while they were taking the missionary lessons. It didn't take long before these converts became inactive. Members should continue to love and fellowship their new ward members. Show them that the missionaries were telling the truth when they said that church attendance and ward membership would uplift, enrich, and edify them. Otherwise, what was the point?
I'm grateful that we had this broadcast. It addressed things that I have been thinking about for a long time. Member missionary work is just as important as full-time missionary work. Its all about fulfilling the prophecy that in the last days, the gospel will flood the earth - I am so excited to work with member missionaries to accomplish this!
As I spoke about in the last email, Sister Tuahivaatetonohiti and I had a third companion until Monday, when she left for New Zealand. Although we only had her for a week, it was quite a week. When she came to us, she was pretty beat down. Her previous companions had been very unkind towards her. As the Sister Training leader, I spoke with my fellow Fijians and we decided that we would make sure that she was healed and happy before she left for the field. I feel as if we were able to accomplish that. In that week, I learned a lot from this sister. One amazing thing about her was that instead of letting her previous companionship get her down, she used it to help her grow closer to her Savior. While being a missionary, there will be difficult companions, difficult leaders, difficulties with the language, etc. I hope that when the time comes that I face my missionary challenges, I will be able to face them like my Samoan speaking Sister T.
On the language front, I am doing much better. I have a strong testimony of the gift of tongues. Usually, when we give our lessons, I memorize my lines and then recite them as best as I can remember. But during one lesson at the beginning of the week, something just clicked. I started to say things that I hadn't memorized. Don't get me wrong, I still had to think long and hard about what I was going to say, and I didn't suddenly receive an influx of Fijian into my hard drive. It was a simple progression, but a progression nonetheless, and an answer to my prayers as well as those who have been praying for me. I am so grateful for those prayers. Keep them coming! :)
Because my Fijians and I are basically seasoned MTC warriors (haha!), we had the opportunity to Host new missionaries yesterday. That means that we were the ones who opened the door for the new missionaries, grabbed their luggage, and stole them away from their families as quickly as possible. We received a brief training before they put us to work, and they told us that the goodbye should last three to four minutes tops, and that it should be all about the mom. Who cares about the missionary, take care of the mom. I thought that was funny :) I ended up hosting three sisters. One was going to Japan, one Australia Mandarin speaking, and one was going to Colorado. They all had massive luggage. A word for any future missionaries: please leave the majority of your belongings at home. I myself am going to be sending a few boxes of things back home, so be expecting that.
We got a new district in our zone, a group of Mongolians. For about three hours they were the phantom Mongolians because we couldn't find them anywhere. When we finally did, it was weird because their packets said they were in a completely different branch than us, but no other ZLs/Sister Training leaders showed up to welcome them so we assumed they were ours. We gave them the 411 about the MTC, and then I took the sisters to their residence and talked to them about what it means to be a sister. Modesty and whatnot. Also I told them that I was there for them if they needed any comfort. They looked like scared rabbits!
I like my calling. I enjoy having opportunities to be compassionate. It makes me happy. Probably one of the highlights of my mission right now.
Anywho, this is a long one. Sorry for sounding preachy at times!
Keep the faith, keep in touch, keep on keepin on :)
AU LOMANI KEDA!!! <3
There she is, flashing those gang signs again, haha!
This was taken on the walk to the Marriott Center for the Broadcast.
Look at all those missionaries!
Panorama of the Marriott Center.
View from Sista Wright's seat.
Screen shot of Sista Wright singing in the choir.
She is the short one that you almost can't see, right behind the sister in bright pink.