My darling people! Hello hello hello! Oh my goodness how I miss all of you! How I wish I could have been around for Thanksgiving! Can someone please email me Grandpa's Thanksgiving speech? Man. That was a hard one. I just had to pretend that it wasn't Thanksgiving. And it wasn't too hard because we had curry for dinner. Probably the farthest thing from turkey (turkey is like a hundred bucks in these parts). Which actually helped. Mama, thank you for the Christmas tree in a box. I set it up when we got home on Thanksgiving. Keeping the tradition alive haha.So let me start by apologizing for my attitude last week. I was sad because I had left an area that I loved and a companion that had been like a sister to me. Suva had become my home, and had temporarily filled the empty place that had before been full of the ache of homesickness. So yeah, it was hard, and I wasn't doing a good job of seeing it with an eternal perspective. Since then, I have snapped myself out of it. Emailing with you people last week really helped. So did having Zone Conference. Yes, we had Zone Conference last Tuesday. I got to meet all the Zone. It was way great. They are all so cool. And Elder Haretuku is in my zone, which makes me really happy!! He was in my Suva district back in the beginning of my mission, and had been my only friend. We would sing country songs together. It was so funny in his New Zealand accent. I missed that kid when he got transferred, but now we have been reunited! If you have forgotten, he is the one with eyebrows that rival Jack Black's. Funniest kid you ever knew. So having him around was definitely a tender mercy haha. I was actually scared for Zone Conference because they asked me to do the language insight. That means you get up in front of the whole zone and tell them something about Fijian that they don't already know. Talk about intimidating, because the zone is full of elders that are of course fluent. So I just got up there and explained something that I sometimes do in language study, which is break down words. Fijian is a language full of compound words. So if you understand the roots of the words, you can figure out what the words mean. For example, tawamudu means eternal. It's a word that we as missionaries use frequently. Tawa means without, or -less. Mudu means end. So literally, tawamudu means without end, or endless. Then, you can take what you know from that and figure out what tawayaga means. Yaga means use. Tawayaga means useless. And vakatawayagataka means to render something useless. You know where I came up with that from? Remember when I was all obsessed with spelling bees? And how the spelling bee contestants would figure out the Latin roots of massively long words to figure out how to spell them? Yeah. It works in Fijian just as well as it works in English. Except there are no Latin roots....BUT anyway it went well and I bore my testimony of the gift of tongues which is STRONG by the way. My Fijian may be ridiculously broken, but it has improved tremendously since I got here. And I am not afraid to speak it anymore, which is also a huge improvement. But yeah, my language insight was fine, no one told me it stunk, so that's good. And then all the training that we received was fantastic. I always enjoy Zone Conference. Then, randomly, they decided to have our Zone Christmas party that night after dinner. Came out of nowhere. We were supposed to prepare a talent or something to share, and I had planned to play my nose flute, but had forgotten it back in the flat. So I read my missionary Christmas poem, The Greatest Gift. I wasn't sure how well it was received, because all the other acts were super funny and mine was the one serious one. But afterwards everyone wanted a copy. Now Sister Klingler wants me to send it to her so that she can put it in the Christmas newsletter for the whole mission. Everyone will read it. Haha way cool. That poem is going around. It may take a few years, but maybe someday we'll hear a General Authority quoting it or something. If that happens, I can happily retire. That night we stayed with the Nadi sisters (Zone Conference was in Nadi), Sister Lavaka and Sister Rich. I stayed up late talking to Sister Rich, who is the newest palangi sister in the mission. She just barely finished her training, I believe. We really hit it off. We have a lot in common. I always get along so well with the palangi sisters, but I will never be companions with them. It just has never happened in the history of the mission for two palangi sisters to be paired up. Oh well.
I know that this gospel is true with my entire being. The Lord is my best friend. My one desire is for my family to be eternal. Have a family home evening where you get everyone together and have them commit to never falling away. Tell them to doubt their doubts before they doubt their faith.