Sunday, July 6, 2014

Two weeks worth of news!

OH I have so much to tell you people.

Let me start with the week that we missed.
1. The Ali family: I really prayed about what to say to them, how to
help them and such. And my answer came from a multitude of literary
sources, but mostly from God. I believe in personal revelation. So
here's what I came up with:
-In the Preach My Gospel there is a section that specifically
discusses investigators that do not have a Christian background. It
says that we need to be respectful of their beliefs. We need to find a
way to teach them without offending them. To me that was a bit of an
answer because it means that we can't straight up say that Muhammed is
not a prophet and the Quran is not scripture. Which was a relief. I
didn't want to have to say that outright. But what the PMG really
focuses on is helping these investigators have spiritual experiences.
Bear frequent testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Read the Book
of Mormon with them. Bring them to church. If the Spirit gives them
his witness, then they will come to know on their own what the truth
is. That is the key. They need to come up with it on their own. They
need to come to their own conclusion that the things that we are
teaching are true, and that their old beliefs are incomplete. The
amazing thing is that the Spirit is just so good at helping people do
just that. After all, he does "teach you all things, and bring all
things to your remembrance". Soooo we are working on that!
-Alma 31:5- "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great
tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had
more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or
anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it
was expedient to try the virtue of the word of God." We can't force
them to change their beliefs and I honestly don't want to. I'm far too
nice to do that. So. We are going to do exactly what Alma did, which
is exactly what we have been doing. Teaching the word of God. Teaching
correct principles and doctrines. Testifying of Christ. And the Spirit
will do the rest.
-Alma 29:8- "For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of
their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all
that he seeth fit that they should have." Every nation at every point
has been given a portion of God's word. That does not mean that they
have the fullness of the gospel like we do now, but they have at least
had a portion. Muhammed was a man that accomplished much good. He
helped an entire nation unite under a monotheistic religion, when
before they had been extremely divided idol-worshippers and oh-so
polytheistic. So that was actually a step forward for them. Also, a
lot of his teachings were very good. Islamic people are just about as
family-oriented as we LDS are. I have witnessed this with my own two
eyes. (There are plenty Muslims in Fiji. Five times a day we can hear
the call to prayer emanating from the mosques.) These are things that
I respect and agree with as an LDS missionary. So. We can at least say
that Muhammed was a man that accomplished much good.
ANYway, guess what. They came to church this week. Also, they are
reading the Book of Mormon. It's a bit difficult for us to read with
them because Brother Ali is reading it in Hindi...BUT we are still
going to try. Sister Ali confided in us after church. She told us that
it has been YEARS since she has gone to a Christian church, and she
said that it felt SO good to be back. And she said that ours felt
better than any one she had ever gone to before. That made me happy :)
2. Noqu itokani: My companion is doing so well with her training. I
have decided to train her differently than my last one, because she is
still very new to the church (just a year and a half since she was
baptized). As in I'm doing a better job this time around haha. I'm
still referring to the 12-week training program that they provide for
us, but as usual, I'm making it my own based on her needs and the
needs of our investigators. She takes extensive notes! Which is a
little new, but I'm ok with it. And we do SO many roleplays, because
she didn't really do any in the 2 weeks that she spent at the New
Zealand MTC. At first she was hesitant, but now she has embraced my
methods. One thing that we have also been doing is a TON of
doorknocking. I love doorknocking in Fiji. No doors get slammed.
Everyone says to come inside, everyone agrees to listen to our
message. The key is figuring out which ones are sincere in their
interest. A bunch of them just love to see a palagi speaking Fijian,
but don't really care about what we have to say. They are always way
nice, but frustrating nonetheless. Oh well. Planting seeds.
3. New Mission President: President Layton came and wow he is like
seven feet tall! Which makes me think, how on earth could we be
related when I am barely 5 feet tall? But we are! He is related to the
New Harmony Princes, and so am I. So we are distant cousins I guess
haha.

AND this week:
1. NOQU YACA SA SUCU!!! Yes, that is right, a child was born in
Lautoka on the 4th of July, and they named the babe after me. Emily.
Because it sounds more Fijian than Megan. Emily Dau. (The Dau family
was an inactive family that me and Sister Eneri was helping towards
getting sealed in the temple. They are going this month, once the baby
is a bit older :) In Fijian culture, to have a child named after you
is a big honor. Names hold a lot of significance around here. If you
have a namesake, you had better set a good example to them. Also, you
should shower them with gifts and spoil them rotten. But the Dau
family told me I don't have to do that haha. In Fijian, you are called
their yaca (YATHA, meaning NAME) and they are called yours. So when
you see each other, you say, "Oh, hello yaca." and they respond,
"Yaca! Bula!" Around the mission it is a bit like a badge of honor to
have a yaca. You may ask someone, "How many yacas do you have?" Many
of the elders have two or three, sometimes even four. It's crazy. And
now I have one! And not only that, the child was born on the 4th of
July! How appropriate, seeing as how her namesake is American.
2. Kelera Wakolo Toga- The first Fijian member of the Seventy was our
very own Brother Taniela Wakolo, from Suva North Stake. Well,
recently, he was released from that calling and issued another. As of
now, he is the new mission president for the Arkansas Little Rock
Mission. In the Church in Fiji, he is a bit of a celebrity, because he
is the first one of his kind. He is also one of those men that I am so
grateful I had the opportunity to shake hands with. AND guess what, we
are officially teaching his niece, Kelera. Kelera was a referral. We
went to see her and we hit it off immediately. She always respected
her Uncle Taniela (Fijian version of the name Daniel), and never fully
understood what work he had been doing in the church. She also said
that she was the last one in their extended family that hadn't been
baptized yet. Why? Oh she had just been putting it off. But then she
told us that right now she has not been going to her Methodist church
because she was bored of it. They never taught her anything new. She
wanted a church that had more to offer. Ok! We asked her what else she
wanted out of a religion. Well, something more family centered. Check!
And more focused on education. Check! One that really focuses on youth
and helps them make better choices and have better futures. Checkeroo.
And thus another beautiful conversion story began. NOT only that, we
found the absolute perfect fellowshipper for her. Our Stake Relief
Society President, the venerable Sister Taito, just happens to be
related to her. And they are both army wives, waiting for their
husbands to come home from Syria at the end of August. Plus, Sister
Taito has a car and can drive her to each and every activity! So we
discussed it with Kelera, and she definitely wants her son, Seru, to
serve a mission. So she plans on them both getting baptized. Then,
once the husband gets home, we can teach him too. Wow! Now this
particular investigator is one of those ones that I have been praying
for. I guess it helps that her uncle was a member of the Area
Presidency and was probably praying for her too hahaha.
3. I am happy. I find so much joy in missionary work. It can be so
hard sometimes, and frustrating. But then your investigators tell you
that they are halfway through the Book of Mormon when you just barely
gave it to them last week. Then your trainee shares something perfect
in a lesson that they hadn't planned on sharing. Then a family of
less-actives comes to church for the first time in years. AH. So much
satisfaction! And when you still can't find that silver lining, that's
when you get on your knees and ask for perspective. And that's when
the Lord comforts you. And His love feels so beautiful.

Being a missionary is the best job in the world. Well, for now. I am
sure that when I become a mother I will change my mind. But I believe
that the two are similar. Very similar.

I love you people so very very much. Thank you for being so wonderful,
and for setting such a good example to me. Never give up. As the newly
set apart Elder Willie Irava said in his testimony on Sunday, "LDS
people are not quitters." We have no reason to quit, and every reason
to keep going!

God bless you all,
Sister Wright

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