Well hello family. Let me just tell you about my new companion. Her name is Sister Uoka (pronounced Waka) from Tuvalu. I was right about her being from the New Zealand MTC, and about her being a visa waiter. I'm so smart! She was actually called to serve in the Australia Brisbane Mission, but has yet to receive her visa. I'm happy to have her. She has already taught me a lot. She was baptized a little over a year ago by our FSM alumnus, Elder Taylor Smith. She is very quiet and has a hard time talking to anyone, so that has been a challenge. But I feel confident that by the time she goes to Australia she will have more confidence in herself. That's one thing that I really enjoy doing--helping others gain confidence in themselves. I look forward to the weeks that I get to spend training her. Seeing your greenies blossom is just oh-so satisfying.
Let me also tell you about the Muslim family that we have been teaching. First of all, no one gets to teach Muslims around here. They are just never interested, and when they are, their family stops them from taking the lessons. But we got so lucky! The father of this family is the one who is so interested, so of course the rest have his permission. Brother Ali is a great investigator. He listens intently to everything that we say, and he asks really great questions! Questions that force me to use the Old Testament. Ah it is so fascinating. You know, the Quran and the Old Testament are very similar. And so it is very effective to use the Old Testament to teach them. This past lesson was one that I will never forget. We concentrated heavily on Jesus Christ. Brother Ali's question was Who was the last prophet, Jesus Christ or Mohammed? Well, to answer that question, we started by trying to help them gain a testimony of the divinity of Christ. ("Well, you see, Brother Ali, Jesus Christ was much more than just a prophet.") We watched Finding Faith in Christ together, and discussed how ever prophet that ever lived prophesied and testified of Christ. Even the ones in the Old Testament, and therefore the Quran. I read passages from Isaiah that were very clearly about Jesus, and pointed them out in the movie. And in this particular lesson, the testimony that I bore of the Savior was probably the most powerful one I have ever born to date. I talked about how He paid the price for all our sins. I talked about how in the Law of Moses, those who committed adultery were stoned (something that is still practiced in the Middle East). I pointed out the scene/story in the movie of the woman taken in adultery. The pharisees took her to Jesus, and laid the case before Him. Should she be stoned? Well, because Jesus Christ was the one who fulfilled the law and made it possible for a person like that to repent, he gave her that chance. He told them that whoever was without sin could cast the first stone at her. Out of all of those people, actually out of all people ever, He was the only perfect one. So of course, He was the only one that could technically cast a stone. But He did not condemn her. No, he gave her another chance. I explained that God is a God of second chances. This is why He sent His Son to die for us. Jesus Christ paid the price for all of our sins, and made it possible for us to repent. And not only repent, but also live again. He broke the bands of sin and death. My soul rejoices in this knowledge, and in the opportunity that I have to share it with others! Sharing it makes me so happy :)
After that, Brother Ali said, "I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that he is the Son of God. I believe everything that you said. But what about Mohammed? Was he the last prophet, or not?" That's of course when we taught about Joseph Smith and the First Vision. We have prophets today! And Brother Ali told us that it made a lot of sense...
The only issue is he still has a strong belief in the Quran and Muhammed. How do we go about addressing those concerns? This is the quandary that we have to resolve before Tuesday, when we meet with them again.
AH I'm still on a high from that lesson. I got to use my knowledge of the Old Testament as well as everything I know about Islam and Judaism and the early Christian church. So fun! And they got it! Yay!
Guys. Time is ticking down. I am feeling sad.
BUT I love you all. I am so glad to hear that basically everything is ok. Yay for blessings.
I love this gospel and I love sharing it and I love the people of Fiji. And I love life. What a blessing to be able to live. To be able to have a body and to run and jump and breath and smile! I wish everyone could taste of this happiness that I have. Ah.
(notice the white bandage on Sister Wright's poor face…stupid boil!)
Sister Wright and Sister Uate
Just frying a little fish that she bought from some guy on a street corner - 12 for $10, what a deal!
Well, she might get boils, but Look At That Hair!!!
My people. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY MY DEAREST DARLINGEST DADDY. I love you and I am so grateful for your continued support and counsel. You are my favorite dad and that ain't ever gonna change. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SAMMY BOY! You are 14 years old! Watch out, stake dances!!! :))) HAPPY GRADUATION MY ADAM BROTHER! I am so sad I missed that. But I am proud of you and I love you and I'll be there at your graduation from SUU, no worries :))) Haha :) A lot has changed since I last corresponded with you. The biggest thing? Companionship change. Guess what. I'm expecting! Haha training again. Sister Uate, my beloved son, is getting transferred to my old stomping grounds, Suva 1st. She is so not looking forward to it, which slightly irritates me. I keep telling her to chill, it's actually a pretty great place. But she says that the main cause of her angst is the fact that she'll no longer be companions with me. I guess I'm pretty cool or something. Haha I love Sister Uate and I will miss her, but she won't be far. I'll see her every Monday and also Tuesdays (District Meeting) because she's in my district, so yeah. I'll be able to keep an eye on her haha. When it comes to my new companion, I was able to figure some things out by simple observation. You see, I am the only one that was called to train in this particular transfer. No elders, and no other sisters. Just me. So this means that there is only one sister coming in. Clearly, this is not an intake from Provo, because there are always at least four. So this sister must be coming from the New Zealand MTC. Which means one of two things: 1) she is a Fijian speaker, called to serve in Fiji (people go to New Zealand MTC when they need to polish up their English or they don't need to learn a language), or B) she is some sort of visa-waiter, someone called to serve in Australia or Vanuatu or Papua New Guinea (all places that do not hand out visas easily) (she'll serve here for three months until she gets her visa, and then they'll ship her out). Either way, she probably speaks Fijian, so that's a plus for me. I can polish mine. It's been awhile since I really spoke it. Suva does that to you. But anyway, I guess President thinks I'm a good parent or something, because this is my third child. Sister Eneri, Sister Uate, and the mystery-most-likely-Fijian sister. We are a happy family. And all of us are in the same zone. Crazy. Something else that happened this week: we are starting to teach a Muslim family. That doesn't occur very often, and I am grateful for the opportunity. This is how it happened: Mohammed Ali is a taxi driver, not a boxer. He recently had a heart attack. He felt that he needed to get his life in order. He had never even heard anything about the LDS church, but he felt something drawing him to Samabula, where the temple is. He ended up going to the mission office, and asked if he could be baptized. They were like whoa whoa whoa, slow down. Where do you live, we'll send the missionaries your way. And so, we received this lovely referral. And now we are teaching a Muslim family. They aren't hard core Muslim, but still. This will be a big adjustment for them. I am excited to be a part of it. I have always been fascinated by the Muslim religion. You know, it's easier for them to understand Christianity than the Hindus, because they believe in a lot of our prophets, and they believe that Christ is only a prophet. But at least they have a basic understanding of Him. In Hinduism, they believe in dozens and dozens of gods, and not one of them is Jesus Christ. So it's a bit harder to teach them. Anyway, stay tuned for that one. I'm grateful that we have a new family that seems slightly golden, because it will be a good experience for my greenie. Also, I have always wanted to teach and baptize a family. Also, we need some more priesthood holders in our ward. So Mohammed is a good candidate. Of course, like they say, don't count your eggs before they've been laid, or your chickens before they've hatched. But I have faith. And when we went to visit them, the Spirit was definitely strong. Haha I feel like a Jedi- "The force is strong with this one." But the Spirit is infinitely more powerful than the force. Booyah. Among other things, I bought myself a fancy new watch. My other one got destroyed about five months ago, and I went without. But now I have a new one, and it has three different colored lights and an alarm and it is both digital AND what do you call the other option? analog? and it is waterproof. Also it was only thirty bucks, or fifteen American dollars. So I am happy about that. What else? Oh I cut my own hair. Can't tell if it is a bad cut or not because it's curly, so whatever. Don't worry, it's not short. Just a trim and some bangs (long ones, more like layers than bangs). The bangs were on accident but they look good so whatever. Honestly, it doesn't matter what I look like right now. (I mean it does, but not really.) Mama, you're going to have fun making me look halfway decent before I go to school in Jan. Anyway, I love you all so much. You really make me happy :) Love, Your Sister Wright
Bula vinaka home-boys and girls. Um this week...well the most happiest thing I want to talk about it the reactivation of this family. The Bali family. They are the ones that Una has been staying with. The mom and dad are both RM's, the mom served in New Zealand and the dad served here in Fiji. They have three adorable kids, ages 7, 5, and 3. In the past the missionaries here would come and visit specifically for the Bali family, and they sort of ignored Una. Well we switched things up a little bit. We sort of ignored the family (because they needed to come back on their own) but were still over there constantly because we were teaching Una. Brother and Sister Bali saw what was going on. Their hearts were stirred with memories from their own missions. And they basically decided on their own to become more involved in Una's conversion. They started coming back to church. Una really encouraged them. It was lovely. This Monday, we decided to have FHE with them. I took the lesson. I decided to have it be all about setting goals as a family. I talked about how it is important to have a vision of what they want their lives to be like, what they want their eternities to be like. I talked to them about how the temple would be closing in October for a full year for renovation. Getting themselves sealed before it closes would be a really awesome goal. But I told them that they need to focus on small daily goals and weekly goals in order to make that big goal a reality. Like it says, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Every choice counts. So, we helped them set some daily and weekly goals. Ones that are not too overwhelming. Daily family prayer and scripture study. Weekly church attendance and Family Home Evening. These things will help them to make it to the temple before October. It's totally possible. And they have been doing it. They shared with us that it has been really slow going with reading one chapter from the Book of Mormon a day, because the kids are small, but they are seeing how their reading skills are already improving, even after just one week. Made me think of back when we were still small, and we would read the Book of Mormon together as a family. SO TEDIOUS sometimes, but definitely worth it. Help them make a habit of it while they are still young, and it will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Haha and then the dad shared how when he was a Zone Leader here in Fiji, it was always the sisters that helped straighten them out when they weren't being super obedient or super diligent. He said, "Now it's just like old times!" Haha they are so great. We love to talk to them about their missions. We've grown really close to them, and honestly I am just as happy about their reactivation as I am about Una's baptism. Reactivation is just as important. These people's souls are just as precious to the Lord as any others. And if they make it to the temple, wow! This work makes me happy :) SO my challenge to all of you is to go out and visit less-actives in your wards! Get to know them, get to love them, show them that love, help them understand that it doesn't matter how far they have fallen, the Lord will always help them get back up. His arm is continually outstretched :) I love that visual! When I grow up and get married to my RM husband, we are so going to go out and do missionary work. We will be unstoppable. I like that visual too haha. Love you all lots and lots :) Sister Wright
Hi my boil is fine, folks. Ok enough about that, let's talk about Una! She got baptized! Yay for Una! It was a really great baptism. All four of the Nasinu 1st elders showed up, as well as our beloved Zone Leaders. Actually they all showed up long before the baptism was supposed to start. So we all sat in a circle and sang hymns, Una included. It was beautiful and the Spirit was strong. Music is powerful. Then, for the first time ever, a bunch of people showed up! The room was filled! That is unheard of for Nasinu 2nd! Una was so happy and there were tears in her eyes as she listened to the talks, and our musical number. Yes, the missionaries sang a musical number. That's why we all showed up early, to practice. We sang Oh Love that Glorifies the Son (hymn 295) using a Tongan hymn's melody. It was powerful. I'll have to teach you guys that one when I get back. Then, she was baptized. When she came out of the water, she was glowing, and completely speechless. That's what I like to see :) I asked her, "Can you feel how happy Heavenly Father is for you?" and she said, "Yes. Yes, I can feel it." Ah I love her. I could feel how happy Heavenly Father was too. He was very very happy :) Then on Sunday she was confirmed, and right away we took her out proselyting with us. We have been taking her proselyting with us before, but now she is a member. Now she has the Gift of the Holy Ghost. And she could feel it. We went and found an investigator that we had started to teach, but who had gone awol. Una shared her conversion story with them and the Spirit was so strong. After the lesson, she was just freaking out over how wonderful it feels to be a missionary. I felt like a proud parent. She can't wait to be able to go on a mission herself. She is already planning on going to Institute and Mission Prep classes. And she is working really hard to reactivate the family that she is currently living with, the Bali family, her cousin's family. Tonight we have Family Home Evening with them. Basically, I am happy. God is good. Oh yeah, I'm also a year out now. Completely forgot about that for a second there haha. It's super weird to think about. And I'm starting to feel that feeling that I've heard about, the one that is wistful and bittersweet. Six months goes by so fast! I am going to miss Fiji so much. Leaving is going to be really hard. I never thought that I would be one of those ones that isn't ready to leave when it's time to leave, but I'm starting to feel that I may be exactly that. But. It's not time to leave yet. It's time to work. It's time to make the most of the six months I have left. Emeni. Love you all so so much! :) I really love you people. I am sorry for being a cause of much worry. I hate that. I'll try to be better. Take care of yourselves. Love, Sister Wright
Hello family. So I got a boil on my face. My entire left side of my face completely swelled up. My eye and my neck were even swollen. Remember Fat Booth on the iPad? I had no need for that. I looked like the most hideous lopsided chipmunk. It was like I had a tumor or some other kind of strange growth. And it hurt like Hades. But anyway, the day after the funeral is when this all went down. And it was so painful that I couldn't see straight and it hurt every time I took a step because the thing would jiggle haha. Needless to say, we stayed in the flat for awhile. I took a lot of ibuprofen and Sister Limburg gave me some antibiotics and told me to just wait it out, because going to the hospital would be pointless. I tried to have a good attitude about it. We took a lot of silly pictures. I drew some pretty sweet cartoons of myself and enclosed them in a couple of letters I was writing to some missionary friends. But despite all of this unfortunate business, we still managed to get Una interviewed for her baptism next week (this week Saturday). Satan can mar my visage as much as he wants, but I will not let that stop me from doing the Lord's work. Gosh dang it. Finally on Sunday night I decided that I couldn't take it anymore. I was going to do what all of the locals had been telling me to do. I was going to use Island medicine. Sister Uate was a huge promoter of it. I had only heard of positive results. And they were very specific about which leaves to use (chile leaves and bele leaves). What did I have to lose? (Besides my life, but I had gotten pretty desperate ok.) So Sister Uate, being the good nurse that she is, found some chile leaves, rolled them around in her hands until they were about the consistency of a paste, squeezed the juice into the head of the boil, and then covered it with a chile leaf. Within twenty minutes the swelling, which had lasted three days, was going down. The leaf juice was drawing out the infection. Later we used the bele leaf in the same way and the results were even faster. Now, the swelling is basically gone. The boil is still fighting to survive, but I can tell that it is fighting a losing battle. I've been walking around with a fat bandage on my face, to protect the innocent public from seeing something shocking and gruesome. So now I get even more stares than usual! And I get a lot of stares. It's like no one has ever seen a white chick before. Anyway, this week we have a baptism to look forward to. The lovely Una. And she is planning on serving a mission! I love her and am so proud of her. I am excited to see what her future has in store. If she stays faithful, it will only keep getting better. Also, although this past week proved to be an unsuccessful one missionary-work-wise, we did manage to contact a former investigator that had gone awol for awhile and possibly pick up another one that we had dropped before. Not new investigators, per say, but still we will take what we can get. Thank you, everyone, for your prayers! Also, SISTER ENERI IS HERE!!! Oh man was it good to see her! I honestly love her. Like real true love. She is precious to me. I plan to go and visit her in Kiribati or maybe in Hawaii if she goes to BYU-H. And she loves me too. She is so loyal to me, it is so endearing. Ah. I wish we could go back in time to when we were serving together in Lautoka. Back when the sun shined with a greater intensity (that's just how it is in the West). Here it is just so much more gloomy. But. It is still good and I am grateful to be here. I have learned so much. Like I learned what the point of the mission is. It is to learn how to love. To really love. Charity is what it's all about. It's true, rules and the like are important. Numbers are important because performance measured and then reported is performance improved (or whatever the quote is). But the most important thing to learn on the mission is to love. Like Shakespeare has said: "They do not love that do not show their love." Or in other words, love without works is dead. It's just like faith! If you love someone, do something about it. If you love someone, serve them. I believe that with all of my heart. And although I am not perfect in this, I am working on it. Not only have I learned this lesson, I believe that my capacity to love has also grown. Grown to envelope an entire island nation. Haha I'm such a sap.
ADAM YOU LOOK SO HANDSOME IN YOUR SENIOR PICTURES!!! AH I love you people. Thank you for always making me so happy. I am so totally blessed to have you in my life. So blessed to have you as my family. I have the best family in the world!
Forgive me for being a punk last week. I knew right after I sent that email that I was making a big mistake. But the ZL's were like "Sister Wright, can you please stop being the problem and try being the solution for once?" We have a great relationship haha.