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 fromnight until morning, with Sisters Training taking up the majority of .
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.
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. 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 . 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.
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, 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