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
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
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
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.

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