Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week #7

Wow.... I don’t even know where to even start this email. Bula Family! I miss you all a ton! I loved talking to everyone on the phone at the airport. The plane ride was way long because I had to sit in-between two of the biggest guys in our district and I was squashed ugh hahaha. So, I’m in Fiji right now....words can't describe it. We landed in the Nadi airport at 5:00 in the morning and took a 5 hr bus ride to Suva! So we show up.....we meet President Layton and his wife and they are way cool and they fed us some food and made us feel at home and then they threw us a curveball! They said, “you all will be going out teaching tonight!!”  I was like ha ha haaaaa NO! So we go and they send Elder Nelson (who i got along really well with at the mic) and I with the suva north's district leader. So we get in this van and drive to the flat where we would spend the night AND IT WAS CRAZY! SMALL BED ON THE FLOOR and NASTY FLOORS! Lizards on the walls and cockroaches in the cupboards! But, it’s all good haha! So then we went teaching! The next thing I know it's POURING rain!  And I’m walking in the jungle! IT’S MUDDY WET and very humid. It feels like you’re in the shower pretty much! I was still in my church shoes and on the way to the house the path is muddy and slippery so I slipped in front of the vale (house) right before we were about to go in! In fiji, before you enter someone’s house they bring out a bowl of water for you to wash your hands. This little fijian boy brings out the water and I’m covered in mud! I FELT SO BAD WASHING MY HANDS IN IT!  THE NEXT thing I know I’m sitting in this tin roof house on a dirt floor out in the middle of the jungle sitting cross legged in front of a fijian family. That’s when I experienced CULTURE SHOCK! ha it was way cool though. I couldn’t stop smiling because I was way nervous and then the dad asks me to say a prayer! So I did and the lesson went well...I shared my testimony and we got a baptismal date! Too bad it wasn’t my investigator because I was only doing this for one night!  Anyways, they insist that they would feed us but the thing was we had a dinner appt right after that! So I was culture shocked and then I got stuffed with chicken curry which I ate with my hands. YUM YUM!  And then I was fed some green slimy leaf that was cold and I was told later that it was supposed to be warm so ew hahaha! Then I had beef and it had small bones in not quite sure how that works haahaha. The next day we went shopping for our sulu's. Way fun but I’ll admit I feel kinda like a girl right now! So thursday afternoon I got interviewed by president layton and the first thing he asks me is if i’m an eagle scout! GREAT! He was like do you like the outdoors and I was afraid to answer yes but I did anyways! Now what do you know. We get our calls that night and read out loud where president has assigned us and i’m sent to a very small island called Taveuini! He told me it’s out in the bush a bit and that I could only pack 30lbs of my stuff to take with me and the rest would be left at the mission home haaa! I’m the only elder from my district on this island! So let me tell you all about how long it took me to get here in Matei Taveuini haha..... 2 DAYS! So I packed up on thursday night, the zone leaders dropped me off at a random flat in suva and didn’t tell me when they'd be coming back and i stayed with some elders there for about 4 hours. Then they came back and picked me up and drove me to the airport. It was on a small plane that took about an hour and it experienced some major turbulence that about made me pee my pants but life is good yeah!:) So we land and the zone leaders meet me there and we drive around for a little bit while they did their zone leader stuff and then it’s 7:00 and i find out i won’t be getting to my area until saturday! Because they have to drive an elder from my district 5 hours up to a place called nakaukawa. They said i should go along for the drive. So i drove with elder stock who was from my district. Nakaukauwa is where he got assigned! So we start the drive. It starts pouring and we have like a four wheeling truck and we are off roading to this place..... It’s dark and we are going out in the middle of nowhere in the jungle. The zone leaders tell me tons of uplifting stories about how big black magic is here in fiji... It’s actually a huge problem here and i hope i never see any of it but they all say that likely i will so yayyyyy fun fun funnn hahhaha. Heavenly father protects his missionaries just gotta remember that! So we get up to nakaukauwa and it’s out way in the bush. The zone leaders tell them not to go into the forest by their flat because it’s said to be a dark forest and missionaries have had bad problems there in the past. So just so you know this place is the most stranded place you can serve in the fiji mission. It’s in the mountains on the north side of Vanua Levu. I am the only missionary who has ever been allowed to drive up with the zone leaders to see it. Family...Their flat was literally only four walls and it has no door. No electricity. The toilet wasn’t even a toilet and they bathe in the river and the area is way creepy. I felt so bad leaving them there. So then we drive all the way back after we dropped them off and i get to the zone leaders flat and fell asleep in my church clothes on a matress on the floor. They wake me up at 5:00 the next morning and get me on a bus with another elder coming here for transfers and we take another 4 hr bus ride to get to the boat to sail to taveuni haha. The past few days have felt like a never ending ride of indiana jones and the jungle cruise ride! The boat ride was about an hour and the only thing that helped make all of this worth it was the island is so pretty. It’s the dream zone for missionaries to come here and all the missionaries tell me missionaries never get this place as their first area and that i’m like way lucky. So i’m here and i’m safe. My trainer is really cool we are like the same person. I’m taller then him bullllaaaa. This never happens to me! What’s cool is that i followed his blog a ton before i came! His name is elder barnaby and he's from boston and way way way good at the language! So i’ll get trained well! Our flat is in Matei Taveuini but we travel between two flats every day and the other one is in Qeleni. President wants us to open up the area there. It’s about a 2hr walk away from matei so should be fun hahaha! Yesterday was sunday for me. We had a ward baptism in the oceaaannnn! So cool. Church is weird.... They made me talk for the baptism just randomly and i was like ummmm okay so i did the best i could! Church is held in like this old small run down house and it smells bad! and everyone leaves after sacrament. It’s not even a branch here. They call it a group. It was way funny because during the sacrament talks the group leader (equivalent to a stake president kinda haha..) he read out of the ensign the whole meeting. They all call me elda chonutee because they can’t pronounce z's! I really have no idea what else to say. Literally i feel like i’ve been on this huge adventure already and i have no idea where to start or what else to say! I’ve been through so much the past few days and it’s definitely humbling! I miss all of you. I'll be starting to teach some lessons soon. Please pray for me and the language! I'd like a baptism in the ocean soon:) that would be sicccckkk! I feel really scared right now because every thing is new, but praying helps. Thank you all for all your prayers. I miss you mom and dad and everybody! My showers are cold hahaha! I eat tuna every night ugh but yet i feel the spirit so strong already here and i feel so ready to share what i have with the people - i just have that language barrier. I pray for all of you and i have lots of pictures!

My bed for the first night in Suva
A Fijian Vale

Some Fijian Houses

"Jurassic Park" Mountain haha

A Fijian Market

We found this owl injured in the middle of the road staring at the car on the way to Nakaukauwa
Bus ride to the boat

Bus ride to the boat
The boat I took to Taveuini
On boat

Elder Barnaby and I

Where ward baptism took place

View from house

Pictures found on the blog of a senior missionary couple…so thankful for these pictures!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week #6 Last few days in the MTC!!!

BULA family! What a week once again! I don’t even know where to start hahaha! Last Sunday was probably the most spiritual I've ever had! That day Elder Sieverts and I did a special fast for Elder Miller. When we took the sacrament it was so spiritual. I just decided that day to really focus on the life of the savior and everything he's done for us and it made the sacrament so special! To make the day even better Elder Sieverts and I taught priesthood meeting for the elders and the spirit was so strong. Our topic was obedience. We took like an hour everyday planning the lesson so it turned out just AWESOME! Anyways, the past few days since I have gotten my flight plans have been crazy! I stay up at night with adrenaline and  ANXIETY just thinking about the plane ride there and what IN THE WORLD HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO HAHHA BULA. I'm so pumped at the same time though! My mind keeps telling me I'm not ready and that I don’t know the language that well.  But these are the same thoughts that I had before I came to the MTC.  I've realized however that I'm a missionary.  A representative of Jesus Christ. I am on his errand and I've begun to realize there is no reason for me to fear when I am in the service of my Heavenly Father.  He created the universe..... I'm not afraid to get out there and just open my mouth.  In fact I'm so ready to shove the spirit in all the Fijians faces!!!  As nicely as possible of course:) This week a lot has happened. Probably one of the most influential weeks of my life... I say that every week though hahaha au vei waliga haha! I've come so close to my savior i feel like. Thinking about every single thing he has done for me and how happy this gospel makes me. I bought a Book of Mormon and have only been highlighting all the attributes of Crist that I can find. It has been so helpful! I just want to emulate him as much as I can.  Some missionaries here don’t understand why being all the way strictly obedient is so important.  But it’s because we need to have the spirit.  We can’t convert without it.  When i look at being obedient it doesn’t seem that hard when i think about all the things the Savior has done for us. He gave his life, was spat upon, rejected and yet all he asks of us is to follow his commandments... There is no end to his love! I’M so spiritually high right now haha BULAAAA. Nonetheless some sad news... Elder Miller's appendix burst and he has to stay home for two months! His parents had to come pick him up from the hospital. It's such a bummer. We were looking forward to him flying with us. So now I’m in a tri-companionship with Elder Sieverts and Elder Nelson (who was Elder Miller's companion). Oh well though, obviously the lord has other plans for Elder Miller. He went home yesterday. Yesterday was spiritually amazing! We had this in-field orientation that lasted for nine long non-stop hours but it was good. Then that night we had another skype call with this Fijian lady. I  always am terrified of skype calls because for one THEY ARE SO AWKWARD!  And for two I always forget all my fijian and sit there in silence sometimes like ummmmmm...... But last night was none of these experiences! She said she felt the spirit through my fijian and my companions and i wanted to cry i was so happy! I’ve been praying for the spirit to come through my Fijian so it was awesome!!! I also remembered the whole first vision in fijian BULAAAA hahaha! It feels so good!

So about my flight to Fiji!!!!!!! So since I'm leaving the MTC at 2:30 in the afternoon and my flight leaves at 7:30, expect a call from anytime around those hours! Ah super excited! Weird. About the video from hazel i never got to see it! My email wouldn’t let me!! I was so sad!! It’s the computers here at the mtc they have a block. I should be able to watch them in Fiji. Tomorrow all the tongan,samoan,kiribati, and marshall island districts are singing to us our farewells. Last night my whole district was singing this fijian song outside and we sounded so good that everyone came out from their classrooms and told us we sounded so cool and they've never heard a cooler song! Its’ way cool! I took a video I’ll try to send it!  Anyways, I love you all! FIJI HERE I COME! I took all day packing today and i weighed my luggage. 45 lbs for both bags bullllaaaaaaa! I miss all of you!   

Here’s the first vision in Fijian! 

Au sa raitha e cake e dua na rarama
donuya tiko na uluqu, ia ni sa mai toqa
e mataqu au sa qai raitha e rua na tamata
ia na kendrau iserau kei na iukuuku sa 
sega ni vakamacalataki rawawa, a sa 
kacivi au e dua vei rau, ogo na nomu
gone nitoko, MO ROGOVI KOYA!

Love Elda CHO  

(That’s what they are going to call me my teacher said! They pronounce “J” like that and they have no Z's so they said they will basically call me elder Jo but it sounds like “elda CHO” hahaha)

This elder always falls asleep in class! Ignore the stupid look on my face ah haha but i couldn't resist doing this because he sleeps with his mouth open. 

My bed clean hahaha

Me and my minion buddy

It rained so much this week! Just preppin us for Fiji!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Week #5

Bula Vinaka Fam fam! I got my flight plans today!! BUUULAAA! It literally feels like I’ve been here for two weeks at tops. It's crazy how fast time flies here at the MTC! So I’ll be leaving the mtc on the 21st (not this monday but the next monday). I am so scared hahahaha........ This week started off super amazing. I spoke Fijian for two days straight all by myself. No one wanted to do it since we all failed last time hahah.  But I DID.  BULA for meee! So I don’t even know where to begin this week. Literally a lot of crazy things have happened. I’ll start with a list!

Elder willingly rips his toenail off!

I bought 1000 flashcards for Fiji

Emergency room, E.R., Appendix bursting!!!

So if those headliners didn’t catch your eyes I don’t know what else will. Not too many exciting things happen here at the MTC but this week was a wave of craziness for sure. So Monday night we were in our dorm room and this Elder in our room (Elder Howard) took off his sock and realized he had an in-grown toenail. ew haha.... SO he goes and grabs these pliers! First off I don’t even know why he had pliers.....? He then proceeds to say oh well i guess i have to rip this one out too.... SO HE JUST GOES AHEAD AND RIPS HIS TOENAIL OFF WITH THESE PLIERS!!!! I wanted to puke. He didn’t even wince with pain. He’s like this huge guy and it was so gross ahhh. So sorry for bothering you with this disturbing story...the next day was way more spiritual! Tuesday was awesome and sad! Tuesday morning we lost 30 missionaries from our branch! They were alll leaving to tonga, samoa, and the marshall islands! It was sad to say goodbye since i had made friends with so many of them but they are off to better things! Tuesday night we had an awesome devotional from Bishop Causse' who is in the presiding bishopbric of the church. He was way awesome and gave this talk on how we as missionaries need to be more bold and it made me gain more confidence! After his talk he walked over to this grand piano and played for all 2000 missionaries and he was soo good. I miss music! So every chance i get to hear songs or sing them here it is awesome! So like I said i spoke for two days straight in fijian. It was more like a day and a half cuz i decided to stop at dinner. So all my fijian teachers are only speaking fijian to us in our 3 hour language classes! It’s so hard. Keep the prayers coming please haha. This week i actually felt good with the language until our skype call last night from someone from Fiji. That’s when i realized i still have so much to learn. Oh wells. Bulas Vinakas Dudes haha. That’s what my whole district says now. It’s called finglish ;) SOoooo to get better at learning the language i decided to go buy 1000 flashcards and organized them into categories ;) Mom you’d be so proud of me haha. Anyway! I don’t have a lot to say this week. I’m just in shock i already have my flight plans! And I’m super tired because I was up until 1:00 last night! So this Elder Miller in my district yesterday was having a lot of stomach pain and so he went to the doctor and they said they thought his appendix was going to burst and if it did, it would be a 6 week recovery and he wouldn’t be able to leave to fiji with us. (oh i forgot to mention something! All the 19 fijian elders are all flying on the same plane! It’s so awesome! that’s rare here). so anyways, they gave him meds and sent him back and at one in the morning last night he started puking and saying he was hurting really bad and his breathing was creepy and like shivering so we called the front desk and they sent an ambulance and security guards to our dorm and rushed him to the hospital. I feel so bad for him. Luckily i woke up at 5:00 and he was back in the dorm from the hospital. Supposedly, it’s a really bad viral infection and the tissue around his kidney is inflamed. We're super happy his appendix didn’t burst and are praying he gets better by the 21st! SO that pretty much sums up my week. Just craaaaaazy crazy. I feel the promptings of the spirit everyday here and everyday i learn something new from the holy ghost. The most important thing i have learned from this week would be that as a missionary i need to be more bold and open my mouth and say the things Heavenly Father needs me to say and not be afraid of people rejecting it. I found this to be true in a scripture I read in MOSIAH 12:19! I love you allllll.  I’ll be calling home on the 21st i think sometime around 5 or 6 but I’m not sure yet! I’ll have more details by next friday. I love you all and thanks dad for all your letters! Oh and mom I got my face wash :) Thanks for hooking your son up ;)

Love you all,

                   Elder Jonutz

My District

Me with my flight plans

My flashcards

My flight plans

Friday, September 4, 2015

Week #4

BULLAAAA Matavuvale (family). Vakacava Tiko (how are you)!?  These days have just been flying by! I honestly cannot even recall what I did Sunday through Wednesday this week!  I am in shock every time P-day  comes! So on tusiti (tuesday), Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke to us. It was way good! He and his wife spoke to us on how we can better come to feel the spirit and be guided. It was broadcasted from the Provo mtc to all the mtc's around the world. He talked about how we cannot teach the gospel without the spirit. I thought it was perfect for me because i’ve been searching for more ways i can be guided by the spirit. What he said surprised me. He said the most important thing we can do as missionaries to be guided and connected to the spirit is to partake of the sacrament every week...but instead of just going through the motions of partaking of it to think about all the words in the prayer and recite them through out the entire week. So i’ll be doing that this week to see how it goes! My district sung in the choir for that meeting and i was on “mtc tv” all over the world hahaha i’m so not cool!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE HAZEL IS WALKING! I miss her and all you guys and extended family and friends! So the thing where we were only going to speak Fijian....ha....ha...haaaa. Yeah....We lasted about one day up until dinner and we all cracked because we were mentally going insane by not being able to say the things we wanted to say hahaha! Not going to lie, this week has been pretty tough on me. The language is hard and we taught this lesson one night to our teacher and he said this one thing in Fijian and i had no idea what it was so i just froze and was like whaaaaaaat??.... and then i forgot my whole lesson and it was terrible. I wanted to cry haha! I was really dissappointed in myself so that night i prayed like crazy and the next day me and Elder Sieverts were able to come up with this awesome lesson and we asked him to be baptized and we was soupa excited and then he said the worst thing he could of possibly said in Fijian when we taught him. He said he was already baptized into the methodist church and i had no idea what to say to that...ugh. He is hard on us on purpose!  On saturday night we had TRC! It's my favorite part about the mtc by far!!! It’s where actual people from fiji come and you sit in a room with them for 40 minutes and just share a home teaching message cuz they are all members. Some are Fijian and some are return missionaries. Anyways, i was teaching this one guy and i literally understood almost every word he said and he told us his whole life story and i was able to relate his life story to the gospel in fijian and i was even surprised with myself! I didn’t know i was able to say some of those things!!! It was a way cool experience. Fijian is so cooool. I memorized the missionary purpose in fijian hehehe. And i’m not copying it off paper right now so be amazed! 

Sureti ira na tani me ra lako mai vei Jisu Karisto
ena nomu vukei ira me ra na ciqoma no kosepeli
vakalasui mai ena nodra vakabauti i Jisu Karisto
ka na nona veisoravaki, veievutuni, papitaiso, na ciqoma na isolisoli
ni yalo tabu. Ka vosota me yacova na ivakatautioti

It took me a day to memorize that but i got it ;)))

I think i figured out why i have been struggling with the language so much! During my personal study yesterday i found an awesome scripture - Jacob 4:7  
It taught me that sometimes when we are trying our hardest to do something and we just can’t do it, it's the Lord just showing us we can’t do it without Him. Our power only comes from his grace. And once i realized that i started doing better in the language and other things. 

Anways Au lomani keitou (I LOve you guys)  I’ll probably be getting my flight plans next saturday ahhh. This is so weird!

LOve, Elder JOnutz!      P.S  Thank for the package mom and everyone. Tell aunt natalie thank you for the poster I love it! 

Working hard...

I love my guitar playing minion

This is probably TMI, but our room stinks and we need this!!

Trying to learn the language!!