Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Last one

Well today we went on our hike. And what was supposed to last like one hour ended up being four hours because we got lost. We never saw any waterfall. Everybody was exhausted. It was crazy hahaha we went through bush and jungle and tall grass and it was like over the river and through the woods to where??...BUT I loved it and I was grateful for it. Man it was fun. I love to hike! I love Fiji. It is seriously gorgeous. My pictures don't do it justice. 
I am catching the bus to go to Suva tomorrow for my departing dinner and testimony meeting, etc. Man. MASI'I.. It doesn't seem real. It hasn't hit me yet. 
This last week was good. I did not let us stop working. Maybe we didn't go crazy and get a billion lessons, but we worked. I completely forgot about Thanksgiving. Nobody celebrates that here. But, we organized and made happen a ward baptism that would not have been possible without us. It seriously wouldn't have happened, it was pretty stressful for me to make sure it all went smoothly haha. I'll tell you the full story when I get home. The kid is named Damien Sami, (ADORABLE little Indian guy), and his mom is one of our returning members (been less active, but coming back). As we have been teaching him the lessons, we have been teaching her as well. She has come a long way. She gave a talk in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. And wow, church was awesome this Sunday. I wore my new sulu-jaba :D (traditional Fijian skirt/top combination). And we have been trying to teach a family for the past month that I have been here, and they have been iffy. But this week they became solid. They came to church, and they loved it! They discovered that they knew some people there already. Also, I'm sure it helped that I spoke haha. Man it was crazy. And then after the meeting was over, they had me come up to the front, and then everyone stood and sang the traditional farewell song, Isa Isa. Wow that was an experience. Very powerful. And afterwards everyone came and hugged me and cried and were giving me advice for the future and telling me that I had better come back. One memorable goodbye was with Brother Tuwai. I haven't exactly had enough time to get to know him properly, but he came to me and told me that no matter where I go in the world, I will have family here in Fiji. And he told me that in his life, he has had only one goal that is the most important to him. And that is for his children to all serve missions. I like that. I think I'll make that one of my goals. All of my children will serve missions. If at all possible. 
I am going to miss this place. It hasn't hit me that I am leaving yet. This beautiful island has become my home. This beautiful people has become my family. They are my people. 
Mark my words, I will return.
This is where I learned who I am. This is where I learned who God is to me. This is where I learned where I need to go, and what I need to do to get there. What a blessing it has been in my life to be a missionary. 
I apologize to all of the people that wrote me on my mission that I never managed to respond to. I just am a lousy writer of letters. I didn't write my family for five months, that's how much of a loser I was in regards to that. Sorry. 
KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU ALL. More than before. 
Au vakavinavinakataka na noqu kaulotu sara. Noqu kaulotu vakaveisautaka na noqu bula. Au na misstaka na vanua totoka i Viti. Au na lesu tale mai. Loloma levu. 
SISTA DONU

Monday, November 24, 2014

A picture and a testimony



When President set up the camera, he specifically singled me out and said, "Now Sister Wright, no flashing gang signs in this one." Hahahahahahaha I felt special.
Well this week was a good one. I got to go on exchanges with one of my buddies, who happens to be the Sister Training Leader over here in the West. Remember Sister Mauga? We served here in Lautoka in the same district about a year ago. Wow she is awesome. I love her so much. We were able to really talk about all of the things that we had learned since coming on the mission. We talked about the kind of people that we were before, and we talked about the kind of people that we want to become. Oh man, the past is something I want to leave behind, and the future is something that is simply a little scary. But I know it will be ok. She helped me with that! I am grateful for the friends that I have been able to make out here. I never would have met them if I had never gone on a mission. Sister Mauga is a Samoan from New Zealand. There's no way I ever would have met her if I had never served here in Fiji. The Lord takes people that need to meet each other, and He places them in each others' path. 
I feel so brain dead right now. Nothing creative or inspiring to write. Except my testimony. I know that this work is perfect. It is so efficient, in the way it blesses the lives of those who are serving and those who are being served. Each person's life is touched. My mind is continually blown by how the mission is set up to teach the missionaries every necessary life-skill that a person could ever need, and at the same time invite others to come unto Christ. The Lord is so amazing. His work is truly divine. It was not organized by man. It couldn't have been. The Church is the same as well. Completely incredible. And true, even though sometimes the people within it are not exactly perfect. But as they participate within it and allow it to change them, they get a lot closer! I know that this gospel is true. I know that God is our Father, and that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to come and die for all of us. And Christ did it willingly because of his love for God and all mankind. How grateful I am for him and his Atonement! How grateful I am for the privilege of repentance. Repentance is a gift. It is a priceless gift. I know that it is real and that it is possible. And you know what, I love the Book of Mormon. It is my favorite book. Everybody read it!
Basically, I don't know much. But I do know that I did not waste my time out here. I do know that I love these people with all of my soul. I do know that this gospel is the theme for my lifetime. It is now.
AH parting is such sweet sorrow.
If I don't email next week, it is because we went hiking up to some waterfalls. I haven't done that my ENTIRE mission. Why not on my very last p-day? Haha
Love yous,
Sister Wright

Monday, November 17, 2014

2 1/2 weeks!

Oh my goodness. Time goes by so fast. I'm excited to go home, and yet I am terrified because I am so used to the Fijian culture and I know it will be an adjustment, coming home to the good ol' US. I hardly wear makeup, people, even though I need it. I throw my hair up into a curly mass on top of my head pretty much every day. The way I dress is not cute like the way we see the Sister Missionaries dressing in the Ensign. I spend five minutes getting ready. Plus, I have a hard time around palangi people. Islanders are just a lot easier to get along with! So yes, I am scared. Forgive me if I spend the month I have before school starts just hanging out in the house with my family...
It's bittersweet. It is truly bittersweet. Fiji has taught me about myself. Fiji has taught me to become a BETTER version of myself. Fiji has cracked me open like a coconut, scraped out my insides, and made me into a delicious meal. (That's what we do with coconuts around here.) It sounds weird, but you get the idea. The year and a half that I have spent here in Fiji has helped me to grow closer to my Father in Heaven than any other time in my life. I understand Him better. I understand His Son, Jesus Christ. I understand His gospel. And I am so grateful for it. So so grateful. 
This week we had mission tour. The second counselor in our Area Presidency came, Elder Haleck. I have met him a few times throughout my mission, and he is a very amazing man. He's a human being! But he is a man of God. He spent the whole time talking about what we were supposed to be at the conclusion of the mission. It was really weird, because I am the only one in the entire zone that is going home with this next transfer. It was as if the entire mission tour was specifically for me. These questions came to mind: Am I the missionary that I hoped that I would be when I first began the mission? Have I accomplished the things that I wanted to accomplish? To both of these questions, my answer is no. I am not the missionary that I thought I would be. I am different. I am better in many ways, worse in others. I wasn't as obedient as I expected myself to be when I first got here. Not as diligent, I suppose. I made mistakes. But I learned from them. And I still worked hard. I have been the most exhausted of my life out here in Fiji. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. To me, that is significant. And what did I accomplish? Well, I invited many people to come unto Christ, and only a handful accepted the invitation. But these people are so precious to me, and their continued conversion is my hope and prayer. One is waiting for his mission call to come, and is the Young Men's President in his ward. Another is a Sunday School teacher. Another is preparing herself to go on her mission as soon as her year-mark comes. And the most recent one, Errol, should be receiving the priesthood and passing the sacrament soon. This makes me so happy. This is joy. But others of them are less-active now. This breaks my heart. It used to make me feel guilty, like it was somehow my fault that they fell away so soon after baptism. But I have come to understand that everyone has their agency, and can make their own decisions. How grateful and amazed I am when I come across a person that truly understands how to use their agency properly. It is a gift and a power that we take for granted far too often. The mission has taught me to see it this way.
All in all, I am not who I expected myself to be. I am different. I am better. I have learned so much. I have used the Atonement in my life to become something more refined, something more useful in the Lord's hands. I have experienced what it feels like to be cleansed, and to be healed. Regardless of what I did or did not accomplish on my mission, that is the most important to me. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.
As mission tour came to an end, they invited me up to give my departing testimony. I was the only one. It was so weird. Had this day really come? I got up there and for the first time in a long time I was terrified to bear my testimony. It was scary. But I did what I normally do, which is open my mouth and proceed to talk (D&C 100:6). And then it was over. I hope that it edified some people. 
Afterwards Elder Haleck came up to me. We talked for a bit. We discovered that he had a less-active family member living in my own hometown. I told him that I would go and find him and help the missionaries bring him back. Booyah. An assignment for when I get home. LET THE WORK CONTINUE. 
As for the work here...our one investigator who was supposed to be baptized this month went on vacation to Melbourne. BUT we invited another one to be baptized and she accepted and yet another one straight up told us that she wants to be baptized, but we just need to give her time. So this is all going to go down after I leave, but oh well. I am happy to have been a part of it. We also have a couple of less-actives that will very soon be considered active again. They just need callings. Woot woot. I am not trunky, I am still working. See. 
Anyway, this isn't even my last week yet, so I'll leave a little more tears and isa-isas for next time...this email is far too long...
I LOVE YOUS keep it real.
Sista Wright.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Yello

Sorry no long one last week, I had to rush and take my companion to the hospital. She was having a severe headache that brought tears to her eyes, the poor dear. And after that, it never went away. All. Week. Long. So we spent a LONG time getting to know each other in the flat, but hey now I can say that I know this girl better than her own mother hahaha. And I love her. Her name is Sister Siale and she is from Tonga. She is 21 years old and probably a foot taller than me. She is awesome. She has had a really hard nine months. She has a little bit of a bad rep around the mission. But I am so grateful that I was given this chance to be her companion, so that I could get to know who she truly is, and come to love her like I have. She is so strong. She has a beautiful testimony. I know she will do great things, but she just needs to be given the chance. When I prayed for a challenge, I specifically prayed that I would be sent to a companion that needs me. Someone who I could help in some way. Because six weeks is hardly enough time to make a huge impact on an area, but it is enough time to make a big impact on a person. Plus that's where my skills are best utilized, with people (companions). So this was my desire. And I know that the Lord answered my prayer. But it hasn't been a trial or a burden. It has been a privilege.
On Sunday I bore my testimony in Fast and Testimony Meeting. I have been doing so for the past eight or so months, because I realized that I needed to take advantage of every opportunity to bear my testimony while I am still here in Fiji. When I was doing so, I realized that this would be my last Fast and Testimony Meeting in Fiji. And I was overcome with feelings of gratitude and love, for these people. For this gospel. For my Savior Jesus Christ. I bore testimony on many things, but one of the things that I focused on was repentance, and the Atonement. These are some things that I have really become familiar with on this mission. And how grateful I am for that. The person that I am now is so completely different from the person that I was before. The scripture that I put on my plaque back home was Alma 26:16. It ends with the statement: "Behold...I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." Referring to my testimony. I always felt that I did not have the words to be able to describe the way that I felt about the gospel. Being on a mission has helped me to learn how to put my feelings to words, but at the same time, my testimony has grown so much stronger and more deep. Before it was shallow, but now it has great depths. And despite the fact that I am much better at bearing it and describing the love I have for my Savior, I still cannot say the smallest part which I feel, because of how much my testimony has grown. I have changed. I am so grateful for my Savior, who has brought about this change in me. I love him so much. 
This gospel is truly good news, and it can bring us so much joy. I can tell you that I have never been happier in my whole life, than I have been on this mission. It has been so hard, but it has taught me so much. As I am reaching the end, I am finding myself wishing that I could extend. Haha but it's far too late for that. Maaaaaan. 
The mission is not about numbers. It is not about how well you know the language. It is not about how well you know the area. It is not about the leadership positions that you have had. It's not about how many new missionaries you have trained. It is about the inward changes that you have been able to make, and your personal relationship with your Savior Jesus Christ. These changes and this closeness with Him will obviously come faster as you work with obedience and diligence and serve with all your heart might mind and strength. But in the end, if you feel like you haven't accomplished much because of the outward results, but your insides are much shinier and more clean, then guess what you're wrong. You have accomplished exactly what you were meant to. Congratulations :) Feel happy. Be happy. The message of the Restoration is a message of joy. 
I'm on a weird spiritual high, so please forgive me if I sound cheesy. 
I love you all,
take care,
loloma levu,
Sister Wright
the Fijian Palangi. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

and back again

YADRA.
Well I'll begin with the story of Errol. Once upon a time, Errol was a little boy living in Suva. His cousins were all LDS, so he was very familiar with the religion. They even convinced him to go to the LDS Primary School (elementary school) and later the LDS College (combined middle and high school). Pretty soon he was asking his parents if he could be baptized, but alas, the parents said no. Flash forward to 2013, Errol was in his 50's, living on the other island in Savusavu. He had just had a stroke, and could no longer walk or use his right hand. He was helpless. Who was it that came to him and basically took care of him until he had recovered enough to take care of himself? Elders Motuliki and Rainsdon. It took a lot of patience, but they also managed to teach him a couple of the lessons, though it didn't seem as if he could understand them very well. Eventually, they both got transferred and Errol moved to Nasinu. Incredibly, Elder Motuliki was also transferred to Nasinu, and somehow found him and began teaching him again. But because he needed to be taught in English, he was referred to the missionaries who were in the English ward, aka Me and Sister Uoka. Wow it took time to teach him, because we had to go very slowly and review a lot. But then Sister Mataoa came, and suddenly he started to really get it. And not only that, he came to church everySunday. He read his Book of Mormon and the Liahona regularly. He talked about Thomas S. Monson like they were close friends. Ah, Errol was a delight. We had to postpone his baptism a couple of times, but it was ok. He needed to be baptized according to the Lord's calendar, not ours. And so, on October 18th, 2014, Errol David Bert Whippy was baptized, and the following day he was confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was baptized by Elder Motuliki (our District Leader), and Elder Rainsdon (our Zone Leader) gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. It was an awesome experience for all of us. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PLANTING SEEDS. Eventually, they will get baptized. 
Now mom, this story is one that you may not appreciate...
We are teaching the brother of a girl from our ward that just left on her mission. His name is George Brown (I know, a total palagi name, but he's Fijian). He works on a boat, and before he used to spend a lot of time in New Zealand. While he was there, he went to church every week at an LDS church. Since then his life has gone a bit more zigzag. But now we are teaching him, and he is progressing nicely. Anyway, we taught him the first lesson. We taught him about the Book of Mormon. I looked in my bag and realized that I did not have a copy to give him. But as I testified of the Book of Mormon, and told him about how it changed my life, I had the strongest impression to give him my extra triple combination that I carry around with me. But there was something that was holding me back from doing so. You see, this triple combination was special. It was one that my mom had used back when she was in seminary, all those years ago. Reading it had brought me so much comfort, because it made me feel like I was with her. Seeing her markings, reading her notes. How could I give it away, and to someone that I wasn't even sure would use it properly. But I can't deny a prompting. I gave it to him. And I let him know just how special it was. He was touched. He promised to read it. And guess what, he has. He has been eating it up. Yay George! And he has a baptismal date for November 15. MOM DON'T BE ANGRY, PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS :D haha  (This is the Mom.  I am not angry, obviously.  I can't think of a better place for my old triple combo to go.  And who knows?  Maybe I'll see it again someday…)
I know that this gospel is true with every fiber of my being. I just finished the Doctrine and Covenants again. What a fascinating and powerful book. Now I have a new triple combination, and I am going to use it like crazy. I'm going to mark it and make it beautiful from obvious signs of use and love. Just like my mom's, the one I gave to George. Then one of my siblings or my children can take it on their mission and give it to one of their investigators. It will be great. Pay it forward! :)
Now for the next story. This will come as a shock to everyone, including me.
I'm getting transferred.
And I'm going to...............Lautoka again. Hahahahahaha. 
I remember when I first left Lautoka, the day before my birthday. I vowed that I would return. And what do you know, not only am I going back, but I am going to die there. 
Though not in the same ward. I was serving in Lautoka 1st before, now I'll be in Lautoka 2nd. 
Could this be the mountain I was praying for? Perhaps...but with only 6 weeks left, it won't be a long-term mountain. I'm excited to learn some new things and to grow closer to my Savior, because that's what mountains do. 
My companion will be Sister Siale, another Tongan. She was in Suva 3rd for awhile, so we got to know each other and we got along fine. Should be great!
I'M SO STOKED TO BE GOING BACK TO THE WEST!
I am definitely going to miss Nasinu. I have grown a lot in this area. It has been hard but it has been great. I am happy to say that I am leaving it in better shape than I found it. I am not taking credit for this, I give all of the credit to the Lord. But it feels good, because I know that the area is set. We have like six baptisms lined up for the next few months, and a ton of work to do. And not only that, but I am leaving the place in good hands. Sister Mataoa is a boss. I love her so much. I'll miss her, but I'll see her again when I go to Tahiti in a couple of years...
I will miss the ward. I will miss these people. I really love them. This has been the area that I have spent the most time in. Seven months. Wow. That's a long time. It's definitely had an impact on my life and I am grateful for it. So so grateful. 
Suva Lautoka Suva Lautoka. It's a pattern.
On to the next adventure!
I love you all. I'll see you soon. 
Let's endure to the end together. 

LOLOMAS,
SISTER WRIGHT

Monday, October 13, 2014

Holy goals!

Hello friends neighbors and countrymen. How are we doing? I think we're doing mighty fine, but that's just my opinion.
Let me just start by saying that I love my companion. What a blessing she has been for me. Like I said last time, she's only a little bit younger than me in the mission. I leave in December, she leaves in January. So I don't have to try to teach her anything about being a missionary, which is SUCH a relief. She is an answer to my prayers. Back when I was still training my youngest, I felt myself slowly getting trunkier and lazier and losing my umph and feeling generally bleh. I prayed for help. I prayed for a senior companion. Which was an impossible request, since I am pretty much in the oldest intake of sisters in the entire mission. But the Lord sent me Sister Mataoa, and she has been able to help me get back into the game. She has helped me become more obedient, more diligent, and more receptive to the Spirit than I have been in a long time. And not in a compelling kind of way. She has simply been my friend and made me want to be better. In addition to that, she has helped me with a few of my issues. I can be more honest with her and open with my feelings than I have been in a long time. Maybe because she is from Tahiti. I get along well with Tahitians. But anyway, I love her, and she has been a real blessing to me, even though I was the one who was meant to help her. It's funny how these things tend to work out haha.
But as wonderful as everything has been lately, I have also been feeling the countdown. I am on my last planner. This is ridiculous. Am I excited to go home, of course, but at the same time, I want to serve in these last 6 weeks to the best of my ability. So you know what I've been praying for? A mountain to climb. Ever heard that talk by President Eyring, called Mountains to Climb? He prayed for a challenge. And then one of the hardest difficulties he had ever experienced occurred. But amn did he learn a lot from it. I also, have learned so much from every challenge I have gone through, and looking back, I am grateful for them. Well, seeing as how I only have a little bit of time left, and seeing as how everything right now is just far too easy, I have been praying for a challenge. I mean, I'm CONTENT for the first time in how many months! I'm not as worried as usual. I'm happier. I have been strengthened, and am therefore ready for a challenge. The challenge I have in mind is a companion that needs some help. Someone who is struggling and needs some rehabilitation. This is what I have in mind, but of course, the Lord may have something else. It's up to Him. 
I know it's weird, but hear my reasoning. Right now I am coasting. Coasting on a spiritual high, yes, but still coasting. I want to sprint the finish. I want to have no energy when I get home. You know? Does it make sense? So. There you have it. Interpret it in any way you want.
I loved General Conference. To me, it focused a lot on avoiding personal apostasy. Like Lynn G. Robbins said, "Lowering the Lord's standards to the level of society's standards is apostasy." From what I hear, this is happening a lot in the church right now. To me it means that the Second Coming is well on it's way. Prepare yourselves, my friends. In order to help us avoid this personal apostasy, a lot of things were repeated again and again, like taking the sacrament seriously and sustaining the prophet and avoiding anti-Mormon literature (rip-tides). I loved it. 
As usual, I watched with a question in mind. What should I do with my future? Way too open ended of a question. As conference was progressing, I felt as if I wasn't getting my answer, but when they started talking about personal revelation, I changed my attitude. Then, after conference, I made a list. At the top, I wrote my question. I titled the list General Conference For Me: What I got out of general conference. Here's that list (kind of a list of goals for when I get home):
  • Take the sacrament seriously. Use it as a weekly personal assessment.
  • Continue to use the Atonement in my life (repentance). Learn to use it daily. 
  • Lift my personal standards to meet the Lord's.
  • Help others, both temporally and spiritually. 
  • OBEDIENCE
  • Do not be easily offended; forgive easily every time, and give others the benefit of the doubt--LOVE ALL. 
  • Record my own testimony at the end of my mission and listen to it frequently, as a reminder of how strong it was at this point of my life----> to me this is an awesome idea.
  • Pray always. CONVERSE with the Lord.
  • Use time wisely. Try not to be bored.
  • Take care of my physical body: diet, exercise, personal grooming.
  • See every challenge as a blessing.
  • Serve others. Lift the downtrodden. Pay a generous fast offering.
  • Prepare myself to be an excellent mother.
  • Seek personal revelation. Learn the many ways the Lord speaks to me.
  • Sustain my leaders--no evil-speaking of them or criticism. 
  • Have daily scriptural feasts.
  • Go to the temple weekly AT LEAST.
  • Actively participate in Family Home Evening. 
  • Work towards the promised blessings in my patriarchal blessing.
  • Talk with my family about my goals/vision.
  • Be willing to change/repent QUICKLY.
  • Do genealogy. Take family names to the temple.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Share the gospel.
Family, hold me to these things, k? I'll need your help. It's ALOT. But it's doable.
Anyway, Errol is getting baptized this Saturday! This is great. He came to both days of General Conference. He loved it. What an awesome little old man he is. I am grateful for him. Should be a great week :)
Love you people. Rock on.
Sister Wright

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hello :)

Wow this week was amazing. Here's the main reason.
Backstory: The temple here in Fiji is about 14 years old. Last time I went, the ceiling was leaking in the changing room. It needs to be renovated very badly. And so, they decided that they would close it for a year. But after they went through and inspected it, they decided that it would need to be closed for two years. This is a good thing, because it means that the temple will be better taken care of, and there will be another open house and dedication. That'll help with the missionary work so much! People are so curious about the church with a golden man on top up in Samabula. However, it will also be devastating. The people here in Fiji love their temple. They receive so much strength from it. And so do a lot of other people from neighboring island nations, like Kiribati and Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. If it is closed for two years, the people will have to scrimp and save to go to Tonga in order to attend the temple there. It'll be hard. 
So for the last six months, we've witnessed as there has been a bit of a scramble to get to the temple. A scramble to clean up their acts, to get worthy, to get endowed and sealed. A scramble to gather family names. It's been beautiful, but it has also been heartbreaking, because not everyone gets to go. There is simply not enough time, not enough room. 
I may or may not have told a story about three months back about the Nacebe family. They were meant to be sealed, but somehow there was a mixup, and Brother Nacebe was denied entrance to the temple because, although he had received his temple recommend, he had never received the Melchizedek Priesthood. How he had gone through both the bishop's and stake president's interviews without them realizing this is still a mystery. But they told him that he would have to wait until Stake Conference to be ordained an Elder. That's how they do it around here. Long story short, Sister Nacebe was able to go to the temple for her endowment, but not him, and they were going to have to wait two years to get sealed to their three adorable little girls. It caused a huge commotion in the ward. And Brother Nacebe, who had just recently reactivated, started to go inactive again.
Mainstory: We had Ward Conference a couple Sundays ago. Stake President got up and told everyone that he had felt prompted to ordain Brother Nacebe an Elder after sacrament meeting that day, so that they could be sealed as a family the following week, two weeks before the temple closes. It was done. And we got permission to attend their sealing, since they were recently reactivated and two of the little girls were recent converts. 
I had never attended a sealing before. 
What an incredible experience. I was filled with love for this family, and with gratitude. My entire life I had taken my parents' sealing for granted. As a child of the covenant, I never had to be sealed to my family. I was born that way. But as I watched those little girls kneel beside their parents around the altar, I was just overcome with happiness as I was reminded of the covenants that my parents had made 21 years ago. Oh how I want that for my own future family. How could anyone ever even consider being married outside of the temple? 
It was perfect, because the man who performed the sealing was Elder Watling, who had taught them the temple class. He was very emotional about it, because he had been right there with them as they had been preparing for this day. We were all crying together. This family had come so far. 
Let me just say that attending a wedding in the temple is 100% more beautiful than attending Wills and Kate's wedding (which I did via television). 100%. Nothing else can compare. Nothing else matters. 
Now the temple is going to close. This Saturday is the last day that it will be open. It is sad, but I am so grateful that the Lord provided a way for me to be able to attend at least one more time before the end of my mission. Usually the outgoing missionaries would be able to go to a session, but by the time I leave, it will already be closed up for renovation. This really made me sad. I thought I would never get to go the Fiji temple again. But the Lord provided a way. At exactly the time that I needed it. 
I have such a love and respect for the temple. It is the very best place to be.
We worked hard this week. We laughed and we cried. It was a good one. How grateful I am for my companion, who is only one month younger than me in the mission. She is such a strength to me. (It's a relief to not be training for once! Haha.) How grateful I am for the gospel. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to not have it at all. But I often relate to our investigators just how jealous I am of them, that they get to hear about it for the first time. I give them their first Book of Mormon, and I say to them, "I wish I could be in your shoes. I wish I could read the Book of Mormon again for the first time." But how grateful I am to be able to read it every day, and to understand it differently every time. What a marvelous book. I am currently trying to finish reading it in Fijian. I don't think I will finish it before I get back, but that's ok. I will continue, regardless. 

AH. It's hard to be a missionary, but so incredibly worth it. I do not deserve all the blessings that I have received thusfar. I am such an unprofitable servant. But I am so grateful to be serving, nonetheless. 
I'm a little scared to go home. I am excited, but I am scared. What if I go back to my old ways? What if I forget some of the things that I have learned? I am terrified of this. I don't want to lose the person that I am now. I pray about this every day. I ask for Him to guide me, to keep me moving forward. Not backward. I know it will take work, but everything worthwhile takes work. That's one thing that I have learned.
Errol should be getting baptized on the 18th. General Conference is next week. I have so much to look forward to. And so much to be grateful for.
I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I love this gospel so so much. I can't even describe it. I love my family. I love Fiji. I will always be indebted to this little island nation, and the people that live here.
Haha I'm getting emotional over here. This is silly. I love you people.
Loloma,
Sister Wright

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alive

Me and my new compie, Sister Mataoa, from Tahiti
Hi friends :) Well, this week was very slow. We spent most of it indoors, not proselyting. My sickness took me 24 hours to get over, but then of course my companion caught it too haha. Took her a bit longer to recover. She still is having trouble sleeping because too much coughing, which wakes me up too but nbd. 
We managed to meet Masau. He's awesome! Hopefully he'll be able to get baptized on the 25th of October, but we'll see. Our baptisms all seem to get postponed postponed postponed postponed. PATIENCE, SISTA DONU. Patience.
We had Ward Conference. Only a couple of the people we invited actually showed up. The chapel was slightly less empty than usual. So that was good. Our Stake President told us that there is a difference between shopping on Sunday, and buying on Sunday. Me and Sister Mataoa turned to each other and both said no, simultaneously. 
The temple closes in nine days. And will not open for two years while it is being renovated. SADNESS :(
Nevertheless...
How grateful I am for this gospel. Without it I would be nothing. 
I don't have much more to say. My mind is running on empty right now. Does that even make sense? 
But know that I love each of you very much.
SSTR WRGHT

Sunday, September 21, 2014

out of creative titles, vosota

Howdy howdy howdy. You know, oftentimes people ask my companions how to say hello in their native languages. Sister Mataoa, who is from Tahiti, says Iaorana (Tahitian) or Salut (French). Sister Uoka would say Talofa (Tuvaluan). Sister Uate would say Malo leilei (Tongan). Sister Eneri would say Maori (Kiribati). Sister Kumar would say Namaste (Hindi). Sister Aoina would also say Talofa, because it's the same in Tuvaluan and Samoan. And Sister Bechu, of course, would say Bula. Because that's Fiji. But me? I tell them that back home we say howdy.
This week was a week full of fall throughs and baptism-postponements and oh yeah the Fiji National Election results are in and Bainimarama is still in power (this was sort of big because there haven't been any elections since 2000 when there was that coup and so many people died and whatnot and Bainimarama had been a military dictator of sorts since then, but at least now he was made Prime Minister in a more honest way, by the voice of the people). Also, I got a 24 hour bug that about killed me. Seriously, my fever was about 104. I had trouble walking in a straight line. But because I am a better missionary now than I was two weeks ago, we went out proselyting anyway. That was dumb, because no one was home anyway. So many fall throughs, and I definitely got more sick than I would have if I had just stayed in. Last night I took so many drugs that I was sure that I was going to overdose and not wake up in the morning. I was also delirious because of the fever, so I really believed it. I was praying so hard haha please don't let me die. I have so many things left to do in my life! Luckily Heavenly Father answered that prayer in a positive way. I am alive and I am not any more brain-damaged than I was before I took all those meds haha. Also, I am feeling better. When it comes to the baptism postponements, I am ok with them. The people we were working with to be baptized this Saturday are simply not ready. They are wonderful, and they will be ready at some point. Just not yet.
Let me just tell you about one of them. His name is Errol Whippy. He is in his 50's. The elders had been teaching him before. In fact many sets of missionaries had taught him. He just had a hard time retaining what they had taught. He's a sweet, simple little man. He had a stroke at one point, so his right arm does not work. He's also a bit slow. But he comes to church EVERY Sunday. And as long as we give him little scriptures to read as his commitments, he will always read them. We teach him like he is a small kid, but he loves it. He loves this gospel. And he is so excited to get baptized. However, we were pushing him too hard for the 27th. And he just didn't understand the principles like he needed to in order to be prepared for baptism. So we were humbled a bit when we found out that he had been drinking tea this whole time, even though we had taught him the Word of Wisdom two weeks ago. He wasn't blatantly disobeying. He just didn't understand it properly. So we rescheduled his baptism for the 18th of October. This was a lesson for both of us. We cannot put our investigators on our own schedule. It has to be in the Lord's timing, not ours. The 18th of October will be a great day, because we have another investigator, a 9-year-old son of a less-active, who will also be getting baptized that day. And then we have more baptisms scheduled for the 25th of October as well. Man. We have been busy. But it feels good. Haha I have no time to be trunky, or sick. Too many people to see! It's a blessing.
Today we are going to start teaching another family, the Brown family, as well as a referral that came all the way from Salt Lake! Sister Taito, who I previously mentioned, has a daughter named Grace who is currently serving in Temple square. They do a lot of their teaching through the phone, it's way cool. Well Sister Taito (Grace) had been teaching this one gentleman from Fiji, and as luck would have it, he lives in Caubati (that's in Nasinu)! So she set a baptismal date with him for the 25th of October, and then she called us directly from Salt Lake to give us the referral.  What an awesome surprise! It will be interesting to meet him, someone who was taught entirely on the phone.
I'm feeling good, no worries. I will work hard until the end. Thank you for your support and encouragement. LOVE YOUS :)
Shoutout to my cousin Nick who will be serving in New Zealand starting in Jan! Looks like those who sprang forth from the Wright clan are meant to serve in the Pacific :) This makes me really happy and proud. Love you cuz! Email me!
Sister Wright

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Here we go: down with the trunky bug!

Alrighty, I am alive but barely. Let me just tell you all a story.
Once upon a time there was a stupid sister missionary named Sister Wright. But we'll rename her Sista Donu (note from the mama: "Donu" means "right" in Fijian, so this name is her Fijian name) to protect her identity. Now Sista Donu was a good missionary at heart, but because the end of her mission was looming fast, she had started to get complacent. And because of that, she also started to catch the trunky bug. In case you didn't already know, trunkiness and the Spirit do not mix. So spiritually, she was lacking strength. It was not a good thing. Not a good thing at all. And slowly, a negative attitude started to creep it's way into her soul. She was not the missionary she had always wanted to be. She rolled her eyes at people when they told her she needed to change. She saw the end as an escape. This was not good. This mindsetting was an big issue. And she knew it, but it was hard to get out of it. 
SO. She prayed. If she had learned nothing else in her entire mission, she had at least learned to cry to the Lord in prayer. And she did. She prayed for the motivation to change. She prayed to overcome the evil spirit that had become rooted in her breast. She knew that she couldn't do it alone. 
Sista Donu knew that the Lord would hear that prayer, because she knew it was more in alignment with His will than any other of her prayers had been lately. And He did. 
First, He whispered in her District Leader's ear to let Sista Donu give the training in District Meeting on Tuesday. How perfect that this training had to be about the Atonement and how it applies to missionary work. She started to prepare for it two weeks before the actual meeting. And wow. A study on the Atonement was just what she needed. Her testimony and love for the Savior had been amazing at many points of her mission, but lately it had been slightly pushed to the side. As she studied and prayed about what to do for this training, she found herself changing. She came to realize that Christ is the reason. He is the reason that we came to this Earth. If we had not chosen Him in the preexistence, we never would have been born. He is also the reason that the Plan of Salvation works. Without the Atonement, we would never be able to return back to our Heavenly Father. We are so incredible indebted to Him. But how does this apply to missionary work? Well, He needs to be the reason why we serve, too. He needs to be the reason why we wake up every morning. He needs to be the reason that we cry repentance unto this people. He needs to be the reason. Otherwise, our focus is off. And we will not truly be successful missionaries. Because success is measured not by the outward results (numbers) but the inward changes that are made within each of us. And inviting our own selves to come unto Christ is the best way to make those changes. Wow, how grateful Sista Donu was for this refresher. How grateful she was for the opportunity to realign her perspective, to refocus. 
So that was the first thing. Then, her companion Sister Uoka was transferred, and her new companion was Sister Mataoa. Sister Mataoa is well known in the mission to be a very good missionary. But her health had been difficult lately, and she needed to come to Suva to be close to the hospital. She also needed a companion to take good care of her. But in reality, the reason why she was transferred to Suva (to Nasinu) was to be companions with Sista Donu and to help her finish her mission on a high note. 
Since Sister Mataoa arrived, Sista Donu has seen a change in herself. She is closer to meeting her true potential as a missionary than ever before. She is more obedient, more diligent, and much better. She is also exhausted. But it isn't so bad, being totally bone tired in the service of God.
I want to encourage all of you out there to do your own study of the Atonement. Make our Savior Jesus Christ the center of your lives. Make Him your reason. You won't regret it.
I love you all. Thank you for helping me persevere. Hopefully I still have enough time to make you proud.
LOVE,
SISTA DONU

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Transfers

Sister Wright didn't have a lot of time today because of transfers.  So here's what I know:
Sister Uoka is leaving, and Sister Wright is getting another companion, Sister Mataoa, who has had some very rough experiences in the mission and needs a gentle and patient comp.  Sister Wright is on board!  They will be staying in the same area.  That's about it.  I hope to get more next week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September has BEGUN


Can I just say that time has a funny habit of moving CRAZY FAST. Wow I can't believe it. 
Can I also say that I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ? The greatest blessing ever given. Why I say that, our dear district leader Elder Motuliki (from my intake, my favorite elder in the MTC) asked me to do the training for our next district meeting, and it has to be about the Atonement and how it applies to our work as missionaries. And you know me, I love to give trainings, so I was like I ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE. Doing a training on the Atonement is not an easy thing! I tried to back in Lautoka and it was mediocre at best. But this time it will be better. This time it will be epic. So lately I've been reading up and studying up on the Atonement. What a blessing that has been, because as I did so, I realized just how dumb I have been lately. (i.e. The slump I mentioned to you last week.) I need to get my act together. So. That's what I decided. If I were to give this training and NOT change, then I would be a hypocrite. And I thought about it, and I thought about the Atonement. And I am just so grateful that our God is a God of second chances. What a blessing that is to me, because I have made so many mistakes. I have not been an angel! I am, even still, hopelessly flawed, and therefore nothing without my Savior Jesus Christ.
Yes, Kelera did end up getting baptized. How grateful we are that this happened. Because it was a difficult journey getting her to the waters of baptism. Her husband and son did not even attend, but at least it happened! And when she bore her testimony afterwards, she cried and thanked her two sisters :) I love her forever.
Here's some other fun stuff that I failed to mention in previous emails:
1. Book of Mormon Confirmation: A few weeks back we were focusing on the Book of Mormon during training. It was awesome because I love the Book of Mormon and I love helping other people love it too. Sister Uoka is currently reading it all the way through for the first time, and she is eating it up. This gives me such satisfaction. Anyway, we were discussing the promise found in Moroni 10: 3-5 (search, ponder, pray to know if the book is true). We talked about how it is good for us as missionaries to also pray and ask if the book is true. Well, it just so happens that that very week, I happened to finish the Book of Mormon (for like the fifth time on the mission). And I thought about what I had just talked to Sister Uoka about. But for some reason I didn't really want to. In my mind, I thought, "I already know. Why do I need to pray about it again?" I had already received a 'burning in my bosom' concerning the truthfulness of this divine book. But I needed to practice what I had preached, so I knelt down and asked the Lord. I felt nothing. I shrugged my shoulders and continued on with my study from the Doctrine and Covenants. And there I read this lovely little nugget: D&C 6: 22-23-- "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" Whoa it was an awesome experience, because it totally answered my prayer perfectly. I may not have received an intense burning in the bosom like I had that one time, but I didn't need to. Guess what, no one needs to. You can receive answers to prayers in so many different ways. In the past, I thought that it was only through intense emotions, but the mission has taught me otherwise. Thoughts, dreams, and other people can all be indicators of God's hand in your life.
2. Ratu mai na koro i Nabukadra: A couple of other weeks back, (not really, it was the same weeks as my other story) we were over at Kelera's house, and there was a visitor there. We taught our lesson, and then opened the floor to questions/testimonies. When it was his turn to speak, he started asking questions that had nothing to do with what we had taught that day. He asked about baptisms for the dead, and temple work. He sounded as if he had already taken the lessons before. Who was this guy? But it was awesome, because he was saying that doing work for the dead was a concept that he was really interested in, because he felt really connected to his forefathers. We happily showed him all of the scriptures that mentioned baptisms for the dead and missionary work being done in the next life. He ate it up. He took notes. And then, we found something out that was amazing. The guy was a Ratu. What is a Ratu? A chief. It's the closest thing Fiji has to royalty. After further questioning him, we found out that he was the chief of this village in the west, Nabukadra. He told us that every generation of chiefs had introduced a new religion to this village. His great grandfather had allowed the Methodists to come and preach there. His grandfather had allowed the Seventh-day Adventist missionaries to come and preach there. His father had allowed the Assemblies of God church to come. Each had been converted by these churches, and the villagers would always follow the chief. This Ratu told us that he was not satisfied with any of these churches, and that he was looking for something better. The truth. He said that our church really interested him because he would be able to help his forefathers also find the truth that they clearly had been searching for. Heck yeah! Now, this interest was awesome enough all on it's own, but the fact that he was a Ratu meant that this village could very soon be opened for proselyting (you need permission from the chiefs to even step foot in a village). AH that would be so awesome. That would be some HUGE hastening of the work here in Fiji. It's been awhile since a village was opened! So we were pretty stoked. We gave him every pamphlet that we had on hand, as well as the My Family booklet, Family Proclamation, a Book of Mormon, and an LDS King James Bible with helpful markings inside. He was very grateful. He described to us some land that he had prepared for a chapel. On top of a hill, overlooking the sea. I can see it all now haha. 
His contact information was given to the Mission Office. I have no idea what has happened since then, but I'm glad that I could be a part of it. What an awesome experience.
What does a chief look like? Any other Fijian. He wore jean shorts and an "America needs some R&R" Mitt Romney t-shirt (which made me like him even more) (the shirt was from a second hand shop, shows how humble he is) (good man).
3. Man from Peru: We went to Valelevu (shopping complex in our area). We were going to the chemist (aka pharmacy). A white guy was following us and staring at us creepily. Ok weird. We went into the chemist, got what we needed, walked out. There he was, waiting for us. He said, "You two are the LDS missionaries?" Yes. He then asked for a Book of Mormon. Ok, we just happened to have one. He took it and opened to the picture of Samuel the Lamanite in the front. "The Book of Mormon took place in America, right? Central, and South." We nodded. He pointed at the picture and said, "I'm from Peru. I can tell you that there are no buildings like this anywhere in South America." Well, first of all, yes there are. The Incas built plenty buildings like that, though they are now all ruins. Duh. And second of all, it's just a picture. An artist's interpretation of what that particular scene looked like. Not a photograph lol. Dumb. But we didn't say any of that, we just looked at him with furrowed brows. This felt weird. He then said, "You know the promise? If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, and then you will receive that wisdom?" Yes. "Is that how you people believe that you can be saved?" No. Receiving wisdom is not enough, you have to act on that wisdom. "But what about what it says in Romans, that all you have to do is declare Christ as your personal savior, and then you are saved?" I said, "What about what it says in James, that faith without works is dead, being alone?" Then I stopped and realized that I was about to Bible bash with him, and that the Spirit had already left ages ago. So I started to bear my testimony. "Regardless of whether or not you accept these things, I know for myself that they are true. And I am so grateful for them, because they have changed my life and helped me to become the person that I am today. I have a strong desire to share this gospel with anyone and everyone, but that does not mean that I am going to force it on anyone. I respect your beliefs, and I would appreciate it if you would respect mine as well." I had started to get emotional. I almost started crying. We were in a food court, so there were a lot of people looking at us. Some Fijian boys looked like they were about to get up and do something to help us. The Peruvian then said, "Jotepasimis." Or something like that. I'm like, "What?" Sister Uoka understood him though. "Joseph Smith." He said, "I can prove to you that he was not a true prophet." At that point we had taken back our Book of Mormon (get your grubby hands off of it, you meanie) (not giving my pearls to this swine) and were walking away. But I turned to him and said, "I don't need you to do that, because I have already proved for myself that he is a true prophet of God. Have a nice day." And then we hot-footed it out of there. Man we were shaken up. 
This experience was significant for me. Because I had never once in my entire mission ever encountered an anti before. Never. The culture of Fiji does not allow for it. They are far too respectful and loving and kind. So after this man from Peru confronted us, I was filled with gratitude for the people of Fiji. I know that if I had started to cry, those Fijian boys would have gotten up and asked this man to leave. Because as missionaries, and especially as sisters, we are respected. Everyone knows who we are. Everyone likes us. Everyone is willing to listen to us, whether they choose to accept our message or not. What a blessing this has been. And I took it for granted until this particular incident. Haha all I could think was, "Go back to Peru. Get out of my Fiji. Stop corrupting my beautiful island home. Your kind are not welcome here." Which of course is un-Christlike of me. But still. I love my Fiji. 
Did I react in the right way? Did I do the right thing? A lot of missionaries have told stories about how some of their golden investigators have come from successful Bible-bashing sessions. And it's not that I do not have the knowledge necessary to counter his silly arguments. But I just wanted to get out of there fast. So I did. 
Don't get me wrong, I have encountered people who wanted to Bible-bash with me before. But I had not encountered an anti until this week. And I never want to again. Yuck.
Hmm what else...I love all of you. Yeah, I've said that before, and I'll probably say it again. Don't get used to it, appreciate it every time, because it represents all the loyalty and compassion and charity that my little heart possesses. You people are my people, even though I probably won't recognize you when I get home. You probably won't recognize me either. Because I'm fat and covered in spots haha. But no matter. At least my insides are gorgeous.
LOLOMAS,
Sister Wright

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bummer.


So Kelera did not get baptized. We made the mistake of scheduling her baptism the week that her husband got back from Syria (he's a soldier). Everything seemed like it was going to work out, but then it didn't. They went on a last minute trip to the West. Kelera was really upset, she really wanted to be baptized. So we let her know that it was ok, we can postpone the thing. What is a few days compared to eternity? So it should be happening on Wednesday. Around here, everyone has investigators that run away before their baptisms. We were fortunate because at least she's coming back. At least her baptism is still going to happen. Fingers crossed, heads bowed in prayer. 
Our other investigators are slowly progressing.  We just keep on keeping on!  Um not much more to say. I'm in a bit of a slump but I still have a testimony, so that's good.   
Love you people, 
SISTER WRIGHT

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hi, I'm back!

Sorry about not being a good emailer the past few weeks. Lots has happened. So much. Allow me to update the lot of you. 
1. We dropped the Ali family. Or actually they dropped us. Things had already been getting weird with them, and then they went and asked us for money, and we said that we couldn't really help (it was a BIG sum). And then they stopped coming to church and were avoiding our calls and finally they said they'd call US when they wanted us to come back over. Ok we can take a hint. Haha the joys of missionary life.
2. We picked up like TEN NEW INVESTIGATORS. The blessings have been pouring in. Not even sure if we deserve it, but that's just whats been happening...HERE'S HOW-------->
3. SISTER TAITO: She is the Stake Relief Society President. She is a member of our ward. She is so close to the Spirit I can't even explain. And she has a HUGE desire to help us with our work. It all started with her coming and being a member present for lessons with Kelera. Then she suddenly had referral after referral for us. She also took us to all the less-actives that she could find. And it was like suddenly the orange that was Nasinu was not only completely peeled (whereas before we were just scratching the surface, barely making a dent), but also opening up and tasting delicious. That's a weird metaphor. Not sure how I feel about it. But it manages to illustrate my point. WORKING WITH MEMBERS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO. Now Kelera is getting baptized this Saturday and next month we have four baptisms scheduled. Like I said, we don't deserve these blessings haha but we sure are grateful! 
Sister Taito is seriously one of the favorite leader ladies I have ever met in Fiji. She really knows how to be active in the church. She visits people like nobody's business. She goes out with not only us (though we are the favorites) but also the other missionaries in the two Suva zones. WOW WHAT A WOMAN. She also dedicated their van to the work of the Lord. What?? Who does that? So awesome!! So if we ever need a ride somewhere, we just give her a call and she comes speeding to our rescue. She also is a dedicated fellowshipper. When she commits to being an investigator/less-active's friend, she is 100% there for them. Ah I love her so much. She has helped our work here explode in the last couple of weeks. And it feels good :)
4. Training has been going a lot better. For a minute there, I was having a hard time, but I really started to realize that there is no point in worrying about things that you cannot control. There is no point in beating yourself up over choices other people make. You can't control them. You can only teach them the correct principles and then let them govern themselves. And set a good example. And be willing to step in if things get ugly, but still give them their agency. And you know what, prayer is a huge relief for me. My last slightly long email went over just how grateful I am for prayer. Wow what a blessing it is. I love my Heavenly Father. He is really there for me. He has got my back. I love Him. And then suddenly, this past week has been a breeze. I don't have to compel her to do anything, I just have to tell her and then she is willing to comply. What a blessing. And she has been happier. Joking around more. And telling me that she is grateful for me and that I have taught her so much. That makes me happy. That's all I need. I can do everything for someone, sacrifice everything for them, as long as they tell me they are grateful. Wow my husband will be a lucky man if he figures that one out hahaha.
5. Just a little discovery that I have been adding to basically my entire mission: we are all brothers and sisters!! We are all on the same team. Every one of us. Before we came to this earth, we were totally aware of this, and we joined together and fought Satan together, under the leadership of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But then we were born and the veil of forgetfulness was placed over our spiritual eyes. And we forgot that we are all friends and brothers and sisters. And that we have only one enemy, our common enemy Satan. He is the only one we should be fighting against, not ourselves. But Satan is clever, and he knows that the best way to destroy us is to make us destroy ourselves. So he whispers in our ears, planting jealousy and pride and over-sensitivity and grudges into our hearts. We start to hate each other. We start to reject others, even though we may have been best friends with them in the previous life. Imagine! Imagine the person that you have always hated. Imagine that they were fighting right beside you in the battle against Satan in the premortal life. But then you both were born and forgot about it, about the joy you felt when Satan was cast out and you discovered that you would both be born at the same general time in the same general area. And that you would meet each other. What a pity that you chose to hate them instead of love them. Because of some mistakes that they made that hurt you. What the heck we all make mistakes, forgive others for theirs or else you yourself will have a hard time finding forgiveness in the future.
This is something that I have really been thinking about a lot lately. Because believe me, I have always had a hard time with this. I have always been competitive. I have always been overly-sensitive. I was once the queen of holding grudges. But the mission has really changed my perspective. Now I see everyone differently. That doesn't mean that I am perfect at this, no. But I am working on forgiving those that have hurt me, and seeking forgiveness from those that I judged harshly and hurt because of my (former) narrow-minded and abrasive personality. I still have a lot of people to apologize to. Sigh.
6. I have 3.5 months left. Sister Uoka has two more weeks of training and then her work permit for Fiji expires on the 16th of September. She'll be going to Brisbane as soon as she gets her Visa and then I predict I will be staying in Nasinu until the day I die. This is my prediction.
I love you people. So so much. AHHHH.
Adam, make good choices at college, ok? Stay away from girls. They are bad news.
Sam, don't worry about high school, it ain't no thang. Just stay away from the girls. They are bad news.
Sophie, you are so adorable, stay away from boys. They are also bad news.
Everybody else, all of this advice applies to you too.
LOVE YOU!
KEEP HOLDIN ON, STANDIN STRONG, SINGIN SONGS, LIVIN LONG, AVOIDIN WRONG, and being awesome (which still slightly rhymes). Amen.
Moce.

Monday, August 4, 2014

More dogs

Pot of gold.

Say hello to my little friend.

What is this weather?  Fiji in winter


America and around the world, hello. It's me, Sister Wright, your favorite Fijian Sister Missionary. (Yeah, I'm Fijian.) Another week has come and gone, and it's as if every week I find myself even more grateful for the restoration of this gospel. Why is that? Well, being a missionary is not an easy job. And there are times where you just have to close your eyes because that's where you find the most privacy from the world around you. And in that privacy is where you pray. You pray to your Father as if He was sitting right there in front of you, paying 100% attention to what you have to say. You tell Him that you are trying your best, but it seems as if your best isn't good enough. You cry to Him, because you know that you need to suck it up and keep going because you've been here awhile and you shouldn't have these feelings of discouragement anymore. But you do. You pour your heart out to Him. And He listens. And not only does He listen, but He also responds. He speaks peace to your mind. He reminds you of the countless blessings that have come, and that will continue to come. He encourages you to keep moving forward, and to not give up. He helps you to pay more attention to what you are teaching these people-- and suddenly you remember what a blessing it is to have a knowledge of this gospel! Oh yeah. You forgot for a minute there. But now your perspective is realigned with eternity. Now you can move forward with a lightness in your step. 
Ok this type of experience has happened a few times throughout my mission, where I have basically had a bad day that could have potentially caused other people to have a bad day too. But prayer is such a blessing and privilege! Every time, I have asked that the Lord will give me something, anything, to boost me up. And He always has. Without fail. Sometimes it is a package, sometimes it is a letter. This time it was just a peaceful feeling that everything is going to be ok. That's good enough for me :)
Haha I sound so melodramatic. Honestly no one this side of the pond knows that I was going through anything. I've gotten very good at controlling my emotions and my facial expressions. It's a great talent to have haha, one that I had trouble with before. But discovering the power of prayer and also the fact that happiness is a choice has completely changed my life! I am happy :)
This week we went to contact one of our referrals. Here's what they told us about her: "She lives up on top of a hill and she has more than a dozen dogs. So you'll have to call her before you meet her." As you may remember, I just got bit by a dog a couple of weeks ago. So when they told me that, you would think that I would be freaked out or something. BUT NO. "And I Nephi said unto my father, I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that he giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he hath commanded them." That was by memory so it might be a bit off. Sorry. So we went and she is named Constance and the dogs DID NOT BITE US. It was a miracle, because apparently they usually do bite. And Constance is really interested in learning more, and possibly getting baptized, so that was a good referral.
Then one of Kelera's friends, Loata, came to church with her and REALLY enjoyed it. (Especially my Gospel Principles lesson ;) :D) And she told Kelera that she wants to get baptized. So we're going to be teaching her soon. Yay!
And ah one of the things that the Lord reminded me of that really made me happy is my family. I love you people so much. What a blessing that I happened to be born into the Wright family. I don't know what it is that I did in the preexistence to deserve such a rocking awesome family, but I am so glad that I did it.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the blessings in my life. Overwhelmed.
I love you people. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bad habits



Ilivasi Raiqisa made this. He was my third baptism. He's Young Men's president in Suva 1st now and is preparing for a mission. Heck yeah!

Some bad habits I've picked up since I came to Fiji 14 months ago: 
  1. Picking my nose in public. It isn't a weird thing around here...
  2. Eating with my fingers. Everything, including noodles and rice and soup... And also picking the bones clean. Chicken, fish, you name it. Honestly, I don't know how to eat fish without using my fingers...
  3. Sitting on the ground crosslegged ALWAYS. I have calluses on the outsides of my feet from sitting on too many concrete floors crosslegged for HOURS. And I don't mind it. I have a hard time sitting on chairs...
  4. Saying eh at the end of every sentence. AND I DIDN'T EVEN SERVE IN CANADA. 
  5. Responding to people with my eyebrows. It's the other language that I've learned while I've been here...
  6. Avoiding palagis...no seriously, I have an irrational fear of white people now. A group of HEFY kids came to Nasinu for church and I had to hide.
  7. Calling people to repentance...in a nice way! Haha. 
Help me out with these when I get back home, people...or at least be patient with me. I'm definitely going to be that awkward RM. Definitely.
In other news, we had another great week this week. Got a few referrals, praise the Lord. That's pretty big, because it shows that the ward is progressing too. They haven't always been super into missionary work, but lately we've been seeing a big change. We are not going hungry for investigators like we were before. So that's one blessing that I've been thanking the Lord for. (Your prayers have been working!) Hopefully they end up being as golden as our favorite lady Kelera. You know, she has also been giving us referrals. She really wants her family members to join the church too. And she wants her own family to get sealed in the temple. I wish I could come back to Fiji to be there for that.
Transfers happened. And I am leaving Nasinu. JOKES, I'm still here and I will most likely die here. And that's ok with me. But some of my favorites got transferred, namely Elder Tafuna'i (our district leader) (he's zone leader of the North now, companions with the well-renowned Elder Heninger) (holla) and Elder Walls (seriously one of my brothers) (mom and dad I gave him your email, he'll probably be emailing you for the rest of his mission), Sister Trammel and Sister Rich (my two palagi sisters), along with a bunch of others. I'll miss them! I'll miss Elder Ishibashi, the favorite Zone Leader (as opposed to the dingbat ZL Elder Jack...lol jokes) because HE IS GOING HOME TO HAWAII. So weird. Shoutout to all former FSMissionaries. If they ever read this blog...
Guess what else. My mom, Sister Bechu, is getting married in September. I'm way happy for her! Not only that, she is marrying an FSM alumni. And my dad, Sister Aoina, is already married! She married another FSM alumni, and is living in Fiji now as a civilian. This is within a year of them getting home, and in fact within six months. HOW do I feel about this? Haha. Happy for them. Way to get working on the second mission right away! My counsel for them: God's first commandment is still in full force; multiply and replenish!
How about you people, how have you been?
LOVE LOVE LOVE,
Sister Wright

Monday, July 21, 2014

Heh heh, don't freak out

Another week in paradise. Haha. Actually this week it was freezing cold. As in it was probably in the 50's. That is 10 degrees Celsius. HOLY CRUD, THIS CAN'T BE FIJI. I'm worried about going back to school and the snow. I will most likely die. AH. 
Um what else. We postponed Kelera's baptismal date for this reason: her husband is coming back from Syria on August 20th. And she wants him to be there. SO that is a noble reason, we believe in families, we encourage unity and trust, we are ok with this. Then there is the issue of their 17-year-old son, Seru. He is way more into texting and playing rugby than just about anything else, so it is hard to get him to sit down and listen to us. But we're hoping for the whole family to take the lessons and get baptized. Hopefully it'll all go down before I die (mom's note: when a missionary goes home, they call that "dying"). That would make me super happy. 
When it comes to the Ali family, sa toso vamalua. Moving slowly. We weren't actually able to sit down and meet with them this week. But Sister Ali came to church on Sunday. We had a rocking awesome Gospel Principles lesson about how Jesus Christ was foreordained to be our Savior, and I was mad that Brother Ali wasn't there. Gosh dang it. But you know what I realized? I love teaching. I love teaching Gospel Principles. I love teaching Relief Society. I love teaching the Youth class. I love teaching Primary. I love it. Here in Fiji the missionaries get to do it all from time to time, because of a missing teacher here and there. I really love it. I love teaching investigators. So I really decided now. I want to be a teacher. A high school history teacher. It just feels right. I actually had been praying about what I should do with my schooling, what I should major in, which direction I should go. And I think I received my answer by this realization, of how much I enjoy teaching. Of how much joy I get from it. So. There's that. But anyway, the Ali family. We are going to try and invite them to be baptized this Thursday. We will! We will. 
On another note, we found a very very less active. He got baptized in 1994, just a few months after I was born haha. He's pretty much been less active since then. But we were visiting with him and he shared with us the sad story of his health problems. He's slowly been going blind, though surgeries have slowed the process enough that he can make due with glasses (for now). Also, he has a really uncomfortable and painful skin condition. He says that he blamed God for a long time. But now he realizes that God is the one that has been keeping him alive and sane. He asked us to give him a blessing haha but obviously we couldn't. So the next time we brought Bishop. And I talked about Job, about how sometimes the Lord gives us these difficulties, or at least allows these difficulties to occur, to test us. It isn't because God hates us. It isn't because God has forgotten about us. It isn't even because we did something wrong. It's to see how we will react, how we'll take it. As one of my Book of Mormon teachers back at the Y once said, "A trial is an invitation to become more like God or more like the devil." Amen to that. Our lives are made up of a series of choices, but all of the important choices basically boil down to choosing between Jesus and Satan, Love and Hate, Freedom and Captivity, Light and Darkness. Be like Job. Choose to be patient. Choose to have complete control over your own self, over your own destiny. Decisions determine destiny. Amen to that. Then Bishop shared about the Holy Ghost, about how you can receive guidance through life's difficulties as well as comfort from him. Can I get another amen. Then he gave the guy a blessing. And it was incredible. In the blessing he felt prompted to tell this guy that if he were to get his life in order, receive the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods, and go through the temple, then his medical issues would ultimately be solved. That he would be guided to the right doctors, that the doctors would be able to find the right medications. The Spirit was strong, and confirmed that what he had said was true. What an awesome experience. I have so much respect and love for the priesthood on this earth. I really really do. Anyway, this less-active guy said that he was going to ask his boss to give him time off on Sundays so that he can go back to church. And we are going to re-teach him the lessons (hopefully his other family members will sit in and enjoy the experience and GET BAPTIZED haha). I'm excited about that because when he was taught the first time, it was the discussions, the memorized rote version of the gospel. Now we don't recite anything except a scripture here or there. Now we follow the direction of the Spirit. I'm happy that he gets to experience that. I personally love it. It's one of the reasons that I love teaching so much--the Spirit that is always there to testify of truth. As long as we are obedient and worthy of it haha. 
Oh and yeah. On Saturday I got bit by a dog. 
HAHA.
Not a serious bite. The dog didn't maul me. But I had to go to the hospital and now I'm on antibiotics. It's a good thing that I got all my injections before I came on the mission, because the tetanus shots here leave a cute little scar the size of a dime. But it's ok! 
Also, it was my fault. I was petting one of the puppies and the mama dog snuck up from behind me and attached herself to my ankle. Just sunk her teeth right in there. And she didn't even warn me, no bark or nothing. Haha missionary life. BUT ALL'S WELL. I am still proselyting and in fact I am using it as a conversation piece. How creative am I. 
Anyway this is actually really ironic because I am usually the one that defends my companions from dogs. There are a million just roaming the streets of Fiji, and Polynesians are generally terrified of them. So usually I ward them off with a stick or I pretend to pick up a rock and throw it at them, which usually sends them scooting. But this time the dog knew how savvy I was and snuck up from behind me. I'm honestly embarrassed. But at least my companion is still dog-bite-free. It means I am doing my job. 
And she is doing well. I've stopped worrying as much about how much she progresses, and what do you know she's been progressing. So. We're both happier. 
This email is too long. 
I LOVE YOUS. 
Lolomaz, 
Sista Donu