MMk so one thing that I desperately need to clear up with the world at
large. Fiji is spelled FIJI not FIGI. PLEASE. This is a crucial
mistake. Every time I read the word FIGI I cringe and a piece of my
heart shrivels up. SO. If you want me to survive until November,
please spell Fiji in the correct fashion. With a J, not a G. In the
native tongue of this lovely group of islands, the country is called
Viti, so I will accept that spelling as well.
Oilei training. It takes a different kind of patience. The kind of
patience that only a parent can understand, I suppose. But I like that
kind of patience more than the patience that I have had to develop up
until now, which was more of a tolerance towards unkindness and
disrespect. Just kidding it wasn't that bad, but sometimes it felt
like it. My comp is great. A breath of fresh air. However, she is a
brand new missionary, and I have to teach her how to do everything.
Some missionaries come what we call "pre-trained". I was one of those
missionaries. It wasn't as hard for me to learn how to teach and how
adjust to missionary life. But other missionaries do not come
pre-trained, and this is my companion. Which is fine, you cannot
expect these greenies to be pre-trained. But, it does mean that my
work is cut out for me. And it also means that I will be having to
make up for what she does not know. It means I do most of the teaching
and whatnot. And guess what, I like that. I would love to do all of
the teaching. And even worse, she also likes that. She would love for
me to do all the teaching. So we both have to step out of our comfort
zones. I have to give her more responsibility. And she needs to be
brave and just teach. It's not easy, but it's not that bad either. The
12-week training program helps keep us on track. This week we are
working on "Teaching People, Not Lessons". That's a hard one for
newbies. So, we work on it. We do a lot of roleplays. She hates it (in
an ah man, not again kind of way), but I say tough. This is the only
way she'll learn. And we both learn. It's great.
Luckily, we have fun while we go. We joke around a ton and tease each
other plenty. She's always teasing me for being a palagi. I always
tease her about this elder that she went to high school with that
happens to be in our zone. It's great fun. And incredibly, the work is
expanding. We are working closely with our Ward Mission Leader,
Brother Reddy, and his wife, who is a recent convert of one month and
his right-hand-man. She is so involved, it's awesome. This Friday is
our Missionary Fireside. We are doing some role-plays/skits to get the
members motivated to do less-active work. We are having some people
speak at it, some former less actives as well as myself and probably
one of the elders. Then, we are organizing groups to go visiting after
church on Sunday. We're calling the visiting a "Ward Harvest". I'm
super excited about it. First time I've ever organized a fireside.
Good experience for the future.
Um what else. We have some new investigators. They are great. One girl
that we found is Kiribati, so that is really fun for Sister Eneri. And
not only that, but she also used to go with the Kiribati LDS crowd
back in Suva, and even dated a guy who is now on a mission in
Washington. When we went and knocked on her door (or rather yelled
Maori! (Kiribati word for hello) through the gate) she immediately let
us in because she was excited to "talk to her boyfriend's associates"
haha. Good news for him, not only will his girlfriend be waiting for
him when he gets home, but if all goes according to plan, she'll also
be temple-worthy! Blessings for him, whoever he is. Also a funny
story, this boyfriend was originally from Sister Eneri's branch back
in Kiribati. Small world! The Lord works in mysterious ways.
We have a few awesome new investigators like this. We are hoping to
have at least three baptisms in March. We have two scheduled, but only
one of them is for sure. There's a lady that we have been teaching
since November that could be ready by then too. Pray, everyone. Pray
for Sovaira and Mosa and Alice and Iliavi and Junior. These are the
ones that we want to get baptized in March. Mosa is for sure, but the
rest will need the prayers. Put their names in the temple too, if you
Haha but then there are other new investigators that will probably not
progress towards baptism. Like Saki, a referral from the elders. The
other day he called me his girlfriend. This is something I hate. I
hate being a palagi sometimes. Some people only talk to us because
they want to talk to me. Particularly young Fijian men. Who just want
to talk to a palagi girl. Makes me want to be violent. I have more to
offer than just the color of my skin! I offer an invitation that could
lead to eternal life and exaltation! Grumble mumble groan cough ugh.
So frustrating. Also, when I want to avoid people, I can't, because my
skin glows in the dark. People can see me a mile away. I can't hide my
face. Sometimes I want to be brown.
Well, more brown than the brown that I currently am.
I know that this church is true. With my entire soul and being. I want
all of you who are reading this to know and understand that I was not
born with this knowledge. I didn't really gain it until I came on my
mission. It took time. It took study. Hours and hours. It took prayer.
Hours and hours. But I can look at all of you in the eyeballs and tell
you with all the feelings of a devoted Christian, this is His true
Church and His true Gospel and the only way to find true happiness is
through entering into the waters of baptism and becoming a part of it.
So I invite all of you who have not yet done so, to investigate the
option. I often refer our investigators to Matthew 7:15-17, & 20.
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves." Definitely be weary, because there
are people out there who are trying to deceive you. "Ye shall know
them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of
thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a
corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." I love this. How do you know
that a mango tree is a mango tree? It brings forth mangoes. How do you
know that a breadfruit tree is a breadfruit tree? It brings forth
breadfruit. Ok. You can see that with your eyes; it's super easy to
determine what kind of tree a tree is based on the fruit it produces.
But how do you know if the fruit is good? You have to taste it.
Alright, so then let's say that the tree is a church. You can see that
it is a Christian church because that's what kind of fruit that it
bears. Plenty churches call themselves Christian churches, though not
all of them bare good fruit. So what do you have to do to know that
the fruit is good? Take a bite! Partake of it, try it out. Read the
books that they offer. Listen to the doctrines, pray about them. Same
goes for this church. We have the Book of Mormon. How can you know if
it is a good or corrupt fruit if you never taste it? So read it! You
will see for yourself that it is a good fruit. "Wherefore, by their
fruits ye shall know them." Take a bite. Taste for yourself the fruit
that is sweet above all that you have ever tasted, and that is
desirable to make you happy. It has made me happy, and now I want you
to be happy as well. But it is up to you to try it out for yourself.
And if you do, I promise that you will taste of it's goodness and
instead of wanting to spit it out, you will want more.
Guys. This week is my eight month mark. Then my nine month mark
doesn't even exist because this year is not a leap year, but it will
be here before we know it. And then, it's a downhill slide. Woop woop.
Sorry to be happy about that. It's a bittersweet kind of thing. Because
Fiji has become my home. I will definitely cry when I leave. In ten