Sunday, November 24, 2013

Transfer

I got transferred. At the worst possible time. Because the temple trip was on Tuesday and Zone Conference was on Thursday and Ilivasi's baptism was on Saturday. I cared a lot more than I thought I would. I kept saying that I was ready to leave Suva, six months was way too long to be there, but now I realize that it had become my home. It really had. And the people there had become my family. I had worked hard there, and the fruits of my efforts were barely starting to show. And man, me and Sister Aoina had become like real sisters. We got along so well. We cared for each other and taught so well together and had learned so much from our time as companions. 
But I get the way the Lord works. When things are finally starting to go your way, that's when He turns everything upside down. That's when He pulls the rug out from under you.
So now I am in Lautoka. It is a beautiful place that greatly reminds me of California. There are seriously streets that would fit right into a neighborhood in Simi Valley. And it is HOT. They don't call it the burning West for nothing. It is summer now. And it's only going to get hotter haha. I got here just in time for cyclone season (aka hurricane season). It is indeed a seasonal thing, so we are well prepared around here. Don't worry, it won't end up like the Philippines. But yeah, Lautoka is definitely prettier than Suva, though I love Suva dearly.
The people here! They are so nice. I love them. I have so enjoyed getting to know them. Sister Aoina served here a while back and I can talk to them about her. They loved her and they love to hear about where she is now. I speak a lot more Fijian here, but not because I have been forced to. The ward is an English ward and all, but suddenly I just feel so much more confident. My companion is Indian and knows just about zero Fijian, so maybe that's why I feel more confident. I have been talking to people in Fijian and teaching a bit in Fijian and I realize that I have been learning the language all along. The only issue is, now I feel that I need to learn Hindi. Because my companion even talks to the Fijians in Hindi.  But I know that with the Lord's help, I can do it.

I have done a lot of praying and a lot of thinking and studying the scriptures. The other day I received some great comfort from the Lord in the form of Alma 38. In it, Alma is talking to his son Shiblon. I have always been struck by how short this chapter is compared to the chapters that were written for his other sons. Shiblon was a good boy. He had been a good missionary. Why is it that his father did not have much to say to him? Well, I was reading it the other day, and even though it was short, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Through it the Lord told me that He accepted my service. Through it He told me that he was aware of my trials, and "insomuch as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials and your troubles and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day. As ye have begun to teach the word even so I would that ye should continue to teach; and I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things." So I will keep moving forward. One thing we really do is work hard. I can do that. President Hinckley said, "Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause." So I am getting lost in this great cause!

I miss you people. Since things are different now, I don't know how mail will work. I don't know how Skyping will work at Christmas time. Prepare yourselves for disappointment, haha!
I am afraid that I won't be able to mail your Christmas package/Sophie's birthday gift home. I am just going to hold on to it until things have changed around here and I feel more comfortable. 
Also I don't know about chatting anymore. But try anyway. 
I love you all beyond reason. 
Take care of each other!
Love Sista Wright

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Transferred to Lautoka


We haven't heard from Sister Wright yet today, but we did receive this wonderful letter from Sister Aoina.  I love that sister.  How thoughtful of her to write to us!


She says, 
Dear Mom and Dad,
Bula Vinaka from FIJI. I told Sister Wright I would email you guys because she might not be able to email today. We had transfers on Saturday and she has been reassigned to Lautoka so this morning she caught the bus to her new area which is around 5 hours away from Suva. Hopefully she will get to email you guys today if she hasnt already emailed you.
I am so sad that she is gone. Even though we spent only a few weeks together we became so close. She has such a big heart and cares for everyone that she comes in contact with. She has a beautiful strong testimony of this gospel and it has been my privilege to be able to be with her these past few weeks. Even though I am one of the older ones on the mission getting ready to return home, she taught me a lot through her example. Her strengths are the things that I need refining in and the Lord knew this so blessed me with her!  Thank you for raising such a loving daughter. She is a great missionary!
I hope that one day I can meet you all. =)
With Love,
Sister Aoina

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bird Poop



So. This week. Not too crazy. The highlight is always Ilivasi. He has such a beautiful soul. He texts us these long texts about how grateful he is for us and how much he loves the Gospel. He is starting to become involved with the YSA. Makes me happy to see him going to institute and sports nights and hanging out with the other young adults in the ward even when there isn't an activity. He's pretty shy, so it's a big deal for him to make friends like this. Props to our YSA, they are being so nice to him :) We were able to fast with Ilivasi this Wednesday. From 6 AM to 6 PM. I felt no hunger, it was incredible. Ilivasi called us from time to time to check on us, make sure we were still alive. He's a sweetheart. But after we finished, he still did not tell his dad. So we decided to fast one more time this Wednesday, and then he promised to tell his whole family when they have their version of Family Home Evening (Fijians have family devotionals practically every night, it's way cool). So keep him in your prayers as well. This means that it will be easier for him to stay active after he is baptized which is SOON. 

Most annoying thing: trying to get people to go to church without us going to their house and pulling them out of bed. Some of our investigators are on the fast track to becoming former investigators, because there's not much we can do if they don't come to church. In other words, our teaching pool is way small. Keep praying for us to find some good solid investigators. This week we started to find some. Both of them were referrals, which is new. One is a taxi driver who was surprised to hear from us. "Why me?" he asked. "Because you are special, and the Lord has a plan for you," we replied. "Well, I do believe in miracles." Little did he know that he was OUR miracle. The other one was a crazy find. We were going to a members house for dinner. She was talking to some lady on her front porch. We walked up and shook the lady's hand and introduced ourselves. The member introduced her and said that she wanted to take the lessons. Both a referral and a contacted referral pretty much at the same instant. Way awesome. We are teaching this lady tonight. 
But man, we need more. Keep praying for us.

Silly missionary miracle of the week:
On Thursday a bird flew into our flat and the wind knocked the door shut. It freaked out and was flapping around the place like a madman...bird... It was so scared that it started pooping everywhere. Nowhere too damaging, except right on top of our buns. (Around here we call rolls buns.) Somehow we got it out the front door, and then I had to clean up all the poop. (Sister Aoina was sleeping during all of this haha.) It was crazy funny, except for those buns. That was not funny. I was really looking forward to eating them.
I felt really down about it. On Sunday I was pretty sad about it, because usually we eat dinner at the flat, and I was looking forward to eating our fried rice with those buns. We went to visit this sweet lady who has a handicapped daughter, and as we turned to leave she said "WAIT! I have these homemade buns, why don't you two take them for your breakfast tomorrow?"
The moral of the story is:
If a bird ever poops on your buns and you are way sad about it, don't worry. THE LORD PROVIDES.
In regards to the transfers this week: There was supposed to be a new intake coming in. But it turns out that they were unable to get their visas, so they were reassigned to somewhere in the states (most likely the one Fijian ward in the entire country, which is in Central California) until their visas process. There was still a small transfer, but the only difference that effected us was a new Zone Leader, an Elder Alps (or something like that, his real name is hard to remember). None of the sisters were transferred. Let me tell you, when they didn't say my name I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. I didn't pray not to get transferred, but I kept praying the whole thy will be done prayer, you know? I know that I have been in the same area for almost six months, so it is about time to get transferred. But I am not ready to part from my dear Sister Aoina. She is the most amazing companion I could have, and I don't want to lose her. It would feel unfair, since I haven't had her for very long :( BUT the new intake will get their visas eventually, and then I will probably end up training. It's a scary thought, but I know I can do it. Thanks to Sister Aoina. She has helped me with my self confidence oh so much.
Other than that, not much to tell for this week. Why the heck are both my brothers in casts right now. I feel as if I am next...

PS:  (Sister Wright's mama here)  She can answer more emails now that she has more time to spend on the computer.  So you can email again.  :) 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy...and PICTURES!!!


Selfie

Sister Trammell, Sister Aoina, Sister Bechu, Sister Wright

With Sister Aoina (pronounced Aweena)


Chaco tan (and bug bites, if you look closely)

Hey you people! :) 
This week was way good! We started off strong (lesson-wise), but then Sisters Training happened (like Zone Conference, but with all the sisters in the entire mission), and things got crazy. We hosted Sister Bechu and Sister Trammell. Let me tell you something, I did not even realize how much I missed Sister Trammell until she basically attacked me with a massive bear hug. That girl, she is something. I really love her. We had them from Tuesday night until Thursday morning, with Sisters Training taking up the majority of Wednesday
It was funny, spending time with Sister Bechu again. She has changed, you can definitely see it. I knew that Sister Trammell would have a good influence on her, but things haven't been easy for them. So I pep-talked them both separately. And it's funny, my pep-talk to Sister Trammell got switched around to her pep-talking me. That's just how awesome she is. I love that lady. 
Sisters Training was way good. I sang a musical number, Where Can I Turn for Peace, and Sister Klingler cried. It was awesome, and Sister Aoina is awesome for accompanying me. She doesn't usually like to play for stuff, because she feels as if people just expect her to and they take her for granted, but she was happy to play for me. I guess she loves me or something :) 
Quick sidenote: I hate how pianists do not get as much recognition as the ones they accompany. That has always really bothered me. I appreciate people who play the piano so much. 
Ok so anyway, it was so good to see my whole intake of sisters! Sister Tuahivaatetonohiti has been in my district this whole time, which has been a blessing, but having Sister Trammell and Sister Crowell around was so great! We all realized that we have each gone through so much, and that we are not the same people that we were back in the MTC. It's crazy what six months will do to you. 
Wednesday evening we went to the Collins for dinner. The Collins are a missionary couple in our ward. They just arrived about a month ago. Let me tell you something, I really love them. They are the funniest, off the wall people, and they sure know how to take care of missionaries. They are from Arizona, but they lived in Cedar City for awhile. Not sure if any of our family knows an elderly couple that are on a mission to Fiji now. But they knew Sister Trammell's grandparents back when they were going to BYU. So of course we had to go have dinner with them. I called them up at the last minute and told them she wanted to meet them, and they were so happy to provide dinner for us as well. That's how awesome they are. We can call them anytime, and they will drop everything to help us or cook for us. They are like our grandparents on the mission. They are who Sister Aoina and I are planning on having Thanksgiving with. We seriously love them so much. 
Wednesday night we all stayed up way too late talking. Sister Trammell brought out her Jerusalem pics and told us plenty of awesome stories about how she was able to walk where Christ walked. Oh my gosh, I am so dead-set on going to Jerusalem for study abroad. There is not a doubt in my mind that it will end up happening. Just giving you all the heads up. 
When they left it was hard. Sister Aoina and Sister Trammell were very close, and it was sad to see them say their goodbyes. They did some amazing work in Taveuni. I hope someday I can be like them. They are both such amazing role-models. 
So! Let me tell you about one of our investigators. I may have already talked about him, but I need to say more. His name is Ilivasi. He is 21. And I love him so much. He is the one that Sister Bechu and I randomly found one day when we were looking for a shortcut between Howell Road and Milverton (we did find one, but it is pretty much through jungle...). He asked us what ward we were in, and we were like hey are you a member?? He said no, but his sister was. And we were like do you want to follow your sister's example and become a member of the church too?? And he said sure. (?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!) Haha it was way cool. So we started to teach him and he knew so much already because his sister, who is a recent convert, had already taught him so much. He basically recited the First Vision to us. (I feel like I already talked about that, but the story merits a retelling.) 
So we have been teaching him, preparing him for baptism on the 23rd of November. And he is so golden. He loves everything we have to say, and he takes notes. When we share a scripture, he asks us what the reference is so that he can write it down. He fasts every Wednesday. He brings us apples every lesson. And he bought a phone because he felt guilty for standing us up one time (he hadn't had one before, so he couldn't let us know if he was going to be late or unable to make it to a lesson). He is the most sweet and humble person I have ever met. I really love him. His soul is so precious to me. 
The only hitch in the plan is that his dad is a talatala (preacher) in the Methodist church. And although the dad knows that Ilivasi has been going to the LDS church on Sundays, he does not know about the impending baptism. Ilivasi's older sister had only been allowed to be baptized because she no longer lived at home. So Ilivasi is scared to tell his dad. 
This Wednesday is the day he is planning to tell his father. We are all going to fast for him. It's against the rules for me to ask you people to fast with us, but I can ask you to mention Ilivasi specifically in your prayers. I have full faith that things will go just fine. But there is definitely strength in numbers. 
Besides him we are still teaching Ali, despite the rough patch he has gone through. We refuse to give up on him, because he still has such a desire to make this Gospel a part of his life. It will take time, but it is possible for him to eventually get baptized. I hope it will be when I'm still around, but we will see. He still has so many issues to get worked out. We are also teaching a nineteen year-old girl named Buna and her cousin, and eighteen year-old girl named Alumeci (c's are pronounced like th, remember). Alumeci was taught the lessons about a year ago, but then she moved and lost contact with the missionaries. Now she is back, and both she and Buna want to be baptized. So that's awesome. But we have to take it slow with them so that they understand just how serious baptism is. We will not let them get baptized if they are not truly converted. I have seen too many recent converts fall away because they are not truly into it. It is heartbreaking and discouraging. Beyond that, we have a few people that we slightly teach from time to time, but we don't see them enough for them to be progressing. Our teaching pool is pretty shallow. So can you guys pray for us to be able to find some new investigators? Thanks!
One more thing: this weekend was Diwali. It is a Hindu celebration. Basically all month people have been shooting off fireworks all over the place, and it has been so obnoxious and annoying. But last night I took time to stand out on our front porch and watch these fireworks (which are illegal to the public back home, but are really cheap here), and I realized that I love them. I love fireworks. They are so pretty. Also, Diwali is a time for all the Hindu people to put up Christmas lights. Except they are Diwali lights. And everyone makes these Indian sweets and passes them out to each other. So, by my reckoning, Diwali is a combination of the 4th of July, Christmas, and Halloween. It has been an interesting experience.

Anyway, I love you all so much. I miss you. But I am the happiest I have ever been on the mission. I feel so blessed to be a missionary. I love it. I love the people. I love teaching them. I love the Gospel. I love my companion (Sister Aoina is one of the best missionaries in Fiji, and she is hilarious and amazing as well, I am so lucky.) I am just so dang happy. I hope all of you can experience this kind of happiness. Immerse yourselves in the Gospel. Make Christ the focus of your lives. And then share it with the people around you. The best way that you can show your love for others is by sharing with them that which is most precious to you, and that should be the Gospel. Just saying.
Loloma levu <3
Sister Wright