Thursday, September 26, 2013

Snail mail

We got some cute snail mail letters yesterday, I thought I would share some excerpts:  
To Sophie:
So guess what I eat around here?  Today it was oysters.  Not my favorite thing ever, but not disgusting. They boil them with onions and these little chili peppers (they eat everything with chili peppers).  Pretty much spicy and rubbery.  Also, I will admit, I love the fish here.  So much better than the fish back home.  And they have plenty of ways to prepare them, and I've enjoyed all those ways!  Fried, boiled in coconut water, all good.  We also eat plenty of curry in both Indian and Fijian homes.  Curry and rice are staples.  Curry is very spicy.  Besides that, I have eaten octopus, shark and plenty of corned beef.  Corned beef is in the same family as Spam.  I don't really like it.  Canned meat has never been my favorite, but I eat it a lot, because its a Polynesian staple.  If you go to Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand - any of those countries - you will eat plenty of corned beef.  Dad would probably love it but me, not so much.  And all of these are often eaten with your hands.  Indians never use utensils.  Fijians only sometimes do.  And they drink soda with everything, but they don't call it soda, they call it juice.  Before the mission, I didn't drink soda, even in the MTC.  But here, I drink plenty of juice, haha!
We all sit cross-legged on the floor around a cloth covered with all the food.  The cloth is pretty much the table.  Its definitely different, but I love it!  Some foods that I still want to eat are eel, bat, and mongoose.  Mongoose is rarer, no one in the city catches these things, so I may be out of luck. :/
When it comes to being a white girl, people are always watching and judging.  I get a lot of stares.  And the Fijian boys always want to talk with me and flirt with me and tease me - super annoying!  The little kids are either terrified of me or they love me and want to touch my skin.  I'm the exotic around here, haha!

To Mum and Dad:
One thing that I really miss is music.  Not listening to it, but playing it and writing it.  I bought a ukulele a couple of weeks ago but it turns out that having a musical instrument is against mission rules.  The ZL's "confiscated" it!  It's funny how much more you appreciate something when it's gone!
Suva 1st ward is a hard ward because there is a lot of gossiping and backbiting.  And a lot of less-actives.  My plan is to get a ward directory and visit each member, one by one.  Get to know them and help them trust the missionaries more.  Plan a few firesides (who would ever have thought that I would be speaking at firesides.) (MAN I AM SICK OF THE COCKROACHES, THAT'S THE FIFTH ONE I'VE KILLED TODAY!!!)  
The branch that Sister Bechu went to before her mission is on the island of Ovalau.  Her dad was the first counselor in the branch presidency.  The branch president was pretty slack so he was released and guess who replaced him?  An elder.  Elder Pence.  A 20 year old boy.  Elder Pence had been here in Fiji for like eight months when he busted his shoulder and had to go home.  He just came back, was assigned to serve in this branch, and was immediately called as branch president.  It just blows my mind!  He has all the responsibilities of a Bishop.  I guess this kind of thing isn't that uncommon in developing missions, but still.  I met him before he was assigned to Ovalau, he's just a goofy kid with glasses that are too big for his face.  Crazy!  He'll be great, though.  Missions turn boys into men, and girls into women.  

Love, your Sister Wright

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

If you want to write to Sista Wright...

Please snail mail.  The address is
Sister Megan Wright
GPO Box 215
Fiji Suva Mission
Suva Fiji
She only gets 1 hour a week for email and part of that is spent emailing the mission president.
Thank you,
Sister Wright's Mom

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gaining a Testimony

Oh boy I miss fall in the Wright home. Putting up the decorations.
Smelling those seasonal candles mama always keeps lit. Gah. It doesn't
even feel like fall here. And it probably never will. Last night it
rained so hard and the wind was so strong that I thought the roof
would blow away. Luckily it didn't. And today it is hot and muggy
because it's even more humid than usual. I can't wait for Christmas
time, which is their summer as well as hurricane season. That'll be so
much fun to proselyte in.

Some things you might like to know:
We don't watch General Conference until the 12th and 13th. The delay
makes me kind of sad, but at the same time it doesn't matter because I
am so dang excited. I love General Conference.  
I've been discouraged lately for various reasons.  Praying daily for help.  Then we had this experience:
We went to follow up on a Plan of Salvation pamphlet that we had placed with this Seventh Day Adventist family in Edenville, a group of apartments (they call them
barracks). So we go in, and the lady pulls out her bible and begins to
show us all of these verses that she claims disproved everything in
the pamphlet. I smile and tell her that we aren't there to argue.
Sister Bechu is great, she changed the subject and got to talking
about how they are related somehow. We hightailed it out of there, but
before we went she gave us a bunch of her own pamphlets. And later
that day I read some of them. Something that struck me right away was
how they tried so hard to prove their doctrines. They used bible
verses as well as historical data. Made me think of what Satan tried
to teach Adam and Eve after they got kicked out of the Garden- "the
philosophies of man, mingled with scripture."
It got me thinking about our own church, and what we do as
missionaries. We don't try to prove anything. We share what we
believe. We present the information to the investigators. But we do
not try to prove anything. What we do is ask them to pray about it.
The one that does the proving is the Holy Ghost. They investigate, and
the Holy Ghost gives them certainty. This really hit me. It
strengthened my testimony, in a roundabout way.
But after I read those pamphlets I felt sick. I felt dirty. I felt a
little shaken. And I realized something: never before in my life had I
ever prayed to know if the church was true. Never. This may come as a
shock, but I've just never felt the need. I have been a member of the
church my entire life, and have never doubted if it was true. It's
like I was born with a testimony. And I have felt the Spirit testify
to me of the truthfulness of the gospel. The strongest I have ever
felt the Spirit was after my own baptism. It was a feeling of pure
happiness and warmth and peace, truly beyond description. That feeling
was enough for me. So I never prayed to know if the church was true.
How could I be a missionary, going out and telling others to pray to
know if the church is true, if I had never before done so myself?
Strangely, I was afraid to pray for this. I waited until the next day.
And when I did, I simply said, "Lord I believe. Help thou mine
unbelief."
I said that the strongest I have ever felt the Spirit was on my own
baptism day. And I haven't felt the Spirit that strong since then.
Until now. Until a couple days ago when I prayed to know if the church
is true. I received an overwhelming confirmation that was just as
strong as that day when I was eight years old. And I can tell you with
certainty that this church is the one true church on this earth.  Now I am so happy!  

This next week we have a baptism. Tadulala Savusavu. How do you like
that name. He always reminds me of my Clam. This next week is also my
last week of training. My last week of being a greenie. Also, it
contains my four month mark. Can you believe that?

I can do this!

A favorite scripture that I found this week: "If God had commanded me
to do all things, I could do them." 1 Nephi 17:50.  Nephi is such a good
example of obedience. We should all try to be like Nephi. The Lord
will always provide a way for us to obey!!

I LOVE ALL OF YOU SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO much <33333333

Lomana vakalevu,
Sister Wright

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back to learning Fijian


:OIER*()$YUP@)W#JR:POI KJM:ijfa;eoritjh[qwn0349ut!!!
 FRUSTRATION I just wrote up this long email and then the computer ugh I hate it.
Ok. Anyway. This week we had the privilege of hosting two sisters from the new intake. That means that they got to crash our pad until they received their assignments. Their names were (and are) Sister Mauga and Sister Manusavaii Ulusele (it only took me one day to learn that one, I think I'm improving). It was a blast having them around. I learned a lot from them. They came with such energy and focus. I was embarrassed by how keen they were on learning the language compared to how little I had learned since I got here. They were doing their best to speak it, and when I tried to speak it I fudged it up and it was sad. But instead of going into my turtle shell like I would normally do under such circumstances, I chose to learn from them. I caught a little bit of their drive. I tried to speak it more. And as I did so, I realized that I actually had learned a lot since I got here. I understand plenty Fijian. It's just the speaking that is difficult for me, and that's because speaking a new language is like a muscle. You need to actually speak it, or else it will atrophy and you'll sound like an idiot the next time you try. So since then I have been doing better. I've been speaking it even if I sound like an idiot. Oh well. 

One thing that we did with the sisters that was some kind of genius was go and buy some Class 1, 2, & 3 Fijian readers (workbooks). Now during language study I feel like I'm in kindergarten again because I'm filling in these silly little workbooks. But it's ok because kindergartners are smarter than me in this language. BUT I will press on in the work of the Lord so when life is o'er I may gain a reward etc.

Something else that we did with the sisters was go on splits with them. It was weird, because it meant that I was the senior companion, but it helped me notice something. I am a better missionary when I am a senior companion. I am more bold, because I feel the weight of my responsibility. I found myself telling Sister Mauga that we were going to go knock on doors. What?!? That's the one thing I was dreading having to do on the mission. But here I was, doing it and doing it pretty well. And Sister Mauga was the bomb. We found like four new investigators this way. It felt so good. 

One more thing! Tadu, the fantastic 13 year old that we have been teaching that ALWAYS reminds me of Sam, is getting interviewed for his baptism on Friday and is getting baptized on the 28th of September. Yessssss. And then Ali and then Ofa. Lot's of baptisms lined up. Look at us, we are slightly productive. Haha :)
Our district and zone got all rearranged because of the new intake. Elder Higa is in my zone (knew him from school). He's in Kadavu, lucky duck. Total bush area. With Elder Heath as his trainer. In case anyone cares.
Family, I love you. I am sorry about the lack of emails for the small ones. You don't even understand how little time one hour is. I have to email president too, you know. But I try to write you every week or so. Because I LOVE YOUUUUUOOOUOUOUOU!!! So much. 

LOVE MEG THE WRIGHT SISTER 4 U

Sunday, September 8, 2013

AWOL

Everyone, bula vinaka!

This week was quite a week. To start off, no I was not transferred,
nor was my companion. From our district, Elder Haretuku and Sister Sua
(Sister Tuahivaatetonohiti's companion) will be leaving. I will miss
them both. Sister Bechu and I are in for the long-haul.

On Monday Akosita went AWOL. My first baptism, poof gone. In the PMG (Preach My Gospel)
it talks about how we should be devastated when our investigators
reject this glad message, and although we are not sure if that is what
happened or not, I felt a bit of devastation. She left her scriptures
behind.

But, one good thing that happened is that Ofa and Ali are back
together. Ofa and Akosita were cousins, and had run away from Ali
because things were just not going well. So we had been teaching Ali,
and man, the progress that he has made. His Word of Wisdom issues are
almost all resolved. He treats Ofa so much better than before. He
attributes that to my counsel. I taught him how to talk to women. It's
hilarious just how many hats a missionary gets to wear: counselor,
life coach, and about a billion others.
But from this experience I have seen how the gospel truly blesses
families. It has been one month, and this home has gone from a broken
one to one where almost everyone has a smile on their face. Ali had
gotten really into fasting and prayer, and we prayed for him nonstop,
and in that span of one month the Lord provided for him a job and the
return of his family. I love this little family. I love the Lord for
helping them. Every time I think about it I am just so happy.

So back to this week: on Tuesday we got to go to the temple. Oh my
gosh I have missed the temple so much. It was like a load was taken
from my back. Just being in the House of the Lord brought me so much
peace and respite from the cares of the work. And it so reminded me of
home, which was not a bad thing. My homesickness is not as bad
anymore. But my love for home grows stronger every minute.

On Thursday I had my first Zone Conference. It was so great. The
training that President and Sister Klingler gave was exactly what I
needed to hear, and the food that Sister Klingler provided was exactly
what I needed (wanted) to eat. Pretty sure every time I visit the
mission home I gain ten pounds (don't worry not really).
Today we will probably host some of the sisters from the new intake. I
am excited to meet them. Riley Higa is in this intake (Kelsey will get that). I
vaguely knew him from school. So that will be interesting.

I love you all so so much. Post on the blog that I am sorry for not
replying to so many people, but I just don't have time. But that's good, right? 

LOVE YOU <333333
Sister Wright


 Some yummy food. 
 What we wore for Zone Conference.

 Before the transfers. Elder Haretuku reminds me of Jack Black because he is so funny and has fantastic eyebrows. Try and find him. 
The zone at the temple.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fiji time

Hello my lovelies,

So this week was pretty much ridiculous. Monday was P-day, Tuesday was
District Meeting, both normal scheduled things. Wednesday was
Akosita's baptism. We spent the whole day getting ready. The font took
three hours to fill up. Finally 5:30 came, and the baptism was
scheduled to start. But of course, it didn't actually start until 6:20
or so because here in Fiji, time is different. They call it Fiji time.
Basically it means everyone is always late. It's a bit of an
adjustment for me, coming from a home where someone (cough cough dad)
emphasizes being on time and early if possible to anything and
everything. Which is really important life advice, but here in Fiji it
just stresses me out for no good reason every time we are running late
haha.
Unfortunately, not even all of the people who were on the program
showed up for the baptism. I ended up having to give the talk on the
Holy Ghost with about two minutes to plan. It was more of a spiritual
thought, which was ok because it was a more informal gathering, since
there were so few people there. The lack of attendance made me sad.
Hey you people back home. Promise me that you will make an effort to
go to every baptism that occurs in your ward. Promise me that you will
take a part in the missionary work. Go out with the missionaries and
be a member present for their lessons. Give them referrals. Catch the
wave. Because missionary work is hard enough, but it gets even harder
when there isn't much support from the members. I myself am ashamed
for not being a better member missionary before I left on my mission.
I wish I could go back and prepare with a better mindset. How could I
call myself a prospective missionary if I wasn't even a good member
missionary?
Despite the fact that more investigators showed up to the baptism than
members, it still ended up being a good one. Seeing Akosita get
baptized, by a young adult in our ward named Luna who is preparing to
serve a mission, was an amazing experience. I am so proud of her for
making this incredible life decision. I know that it is one that she
will never regret. I hope and pray that the ward will do their part
now, and fellowship her, and retain her. We will continue to teach her
recent convert lessons, but the responsibility of her activity is upon
the members.
After the baptism we had a small birthday party in the church kitchen
for one of the YSA's who has been a great help to us in fellowshipping
Akosita. It was also Sister Bechu's 6 month mark. We ate (drumroll
please) brownies. We put frosting on them and I used the candles that
mama sent. It was a happy day.
After Wednesday we went into full preparation mode for our LDS
MISSIONARY GAME NIGHT. In case I forgot to mention that previously,
here's what that was all about: We had been planning this game night
for about a month. The idea was that the members would be given a
bunch of flyers to give to their non-member family and friends to
invite them to a game night, where we (the missionaries) would start
off with a quick introduction to the church and it's emphasis on
families, talking about Family Home Evening, and share a spiritual
thought. Then we would split up into groups. Each group would play a
different game. Sit down games, like Signs and Big Booty. Games that
they play at Girls Camp and EFY. I have a bunch in my repertoir (SPELL
THAT RIGHT FOR ME PLEASE). And after seven minutes or so, the groups
would rotate. At the end, we would put all the chairs in a circle and
play that game where you have one empty chair and everyone keeps
scooting over into it, trying to stop one person in the middle from
sitting in that chair. IF I totally failed at explaining that one, to
all those that are from the Thousand Oaks Stake, it's the one that we
always played at Youth Conference. It's way fun, and it would be the
Grand Finale game. And afterwards, refreshments. All of the
non-members names would be recorded, and given pamphlets and passalong
cards and The Family Proclamation. It was supposed to be fantastic. It
was supposed to be successful. It was supposed to add to our teaching
pool.
Friday was the day. We ran all over the world, preparing preparing
preparing. Buying refreshments, passing out thousands of flyers.
(Thanks mom and dad for paying for it. I'm sorry about that, I felt
really guilty about it. The ward helped us zero.) And then it started.
And the only people that showed up were our investigators that we had
already been teaching, the YSA that had been helping us, one recent
convert family, and the bishop. I wanted to cry. But we went ahead
with it anyway, and it was a blast. We didn't split up into groups, we
just played in a circle of about twenty. The grand finale chair game
was a hit.
After this was all over, we went back to the flat and reflected on our
week. It had been stressful and crazy and not very fruitful, besides
of course the baptism.
Missionary work is hard. Missionary work is disheartening. Especially
when we don't get as much help from the ward as we could. But we keep
doing what we are doing, and we see small miracles here and there
along the way. People still manage to get baptized. Activities still
manage to be a blast. Something that was really great, was that almost
all of the investigators that had come to the activity came to church
on Sunday. It was a record for us, five investigators at church.
Pray for us. Pray for the work here in Fiji. And help the work along
back at home.