Heyo, things are better :)Your prayers have definitely been felt. The amount of strengthening that the Lord has been giving me has been overwhelming.
That's half of what the mission is about, methinks.
I was also talking to our new mission nurse, Sister Limberg. She is fabulous. She said that it is difficult for Americans to adjust to the culture in places like Fiji because we are used to a very efficient way of life. Here they just aren't efficient. This is why I was so upset about disobedience for the first week and a half or so. Obedience, in her culture, is just different. Not as exact. Tough to work with. But the way I have been getting around the cultural differences in our definitions of obedience is to bring the various issues up one at a time, at different occasions, and in a more compassionate way. Or as a question that I am supposedly ignorant of. If I act like I don't know the rules and she is teaching me, then it is easier for her to change her own behavior. Very manipulative, but you gotta do what you gotta do. When I get a companion with a Western cultural background, the efficiency will be back in place. But until then, I will be patient with teaching less than I would usually want.
The people are so great. Everyone lets us into their homes. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are interested, but at least they are friendly. Sister Bechu, being Fijian, is related to just about everyone. Or she went to school with just about everyone. So basically every time we start talking to anyone, we have an immediate connection there.
The Fijians are a much more modest people than what I am used to, meaning clothing (but actually in the other definition too). The women wear much more clothing. Sleeves and longer shorts and everything. Of course this isn't always the case, but on a whole they just are more modest in their clothing.
The buses are super fun. They are music buses, and the music they play is generally music I know from back home that has been remixed to a Fijian beat, an island beat. It's pretty funny. They played Whiskey Lullaby the other day, and it was bouncing to an island beat. Weird. I love the buses. When they are crammed, I love seeing the young men give up their seats for the older women. They just do it. Makes me happy.
So far I have eaten shark and octopus. Shark is not so bad, but octopus is still pretty weird for me. I want to eat bat and mongoose before the end of the mission. I'm getting more used to the food. I really hope I don't get fat.Something about being a missionary: the members judge us pretty harshly. There are some stories that I have heard where women have gotten so offended by a sister missionary that they stopped coming to church. So I need to watch what I say and do. Especially since I'm a palangi.
The air is moist. The weather is very temperate right now, with heavy rain every once in a while, with sprinkling in between. The Fijians hate it, they think it is freezing and they avoid the rain and "cold" because apparently it will make them sick. I laugh. They think I'm crazy. By the end of my mission I will be shivering right along with them.
We taught a deaf woman the other day. She is the friend of one of our recent converts, who can sign for us. The lesson was very simple. All of our words were carefully chosen. It was tedious, but at the same time one of the most spiritual experiences I have had since I got here. She was receptive and wants to learn more. I am excited to see where this goes.
Love, Sister Wright
I kept trying to send a picture but it's not working. It was of a mouse. He had eaten some of the poison and was paralyzed on one side, so he could only go in circles. He was easy to catch. He wasn't a pet, but a prisoner of war. We named him Mate (mah-tay), which means death, because he was about to die any minute. Funny how this little incident brought us closer together, haha!