Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week #11

Bula Vinaka! This week was a lot better. It didn’t start off that way though hahaha! On Tuesday I got another really bad fever but I was able to get to medicine fast so it was gone by the end of the day and I’ve been fine the rest of the week so HALLELUJAH! Guess WHAT?! We actually got to go outside into the outside world and teach this week. BULLLAAA! Bote! To this sickness! Bote means like “in your face” kind of thing in Fijian hahaha! I'm definitely learning a lot of patience on my mission so far. Wednesday morning I felt sick again but I have had it with being sick so I just decided to get up and work out and we went out and taught and it was hard but I MURDERED THE SICKNESS! 

So I had a funny experience this week with a rookie mistake during a lesson. It was embarrassing! We were teaching this woman named Lidia who is less active but all we need her to do is get an interview from president to make sure she's worthy and get her a calling. We didn’t want to just come out and say you need an interview to see if you are worthy so we gave her a lesson on the temple and I asked her if being sealed to her family is something she wants and she was like YES.  And then she talked about how her husband’s brother died and he never got his endowments done. So being a rookie greenie I was like Lidia, if you get a temple recommend and go to the temple you could do the endowment for him. I told her this feeling all excited for her and then my companion was like she can't and then I realized what I had said and we all just laughed. IT WAS EMBARRASSING!  After that we went to go see our our golden investigators Taubale and Paulnia! The ones who are like perfect and gave us a ride when we prayed. YEAHHHHHH...... about them. They kind of broke mine and elder barnaby's hearts this week. We started the 2nd lesson with them and we were so excited! We opened up the book of mormon and started reading it with them and then it got to a verse that said something about the holy ghost being separate from heavenly father and Jesus Christ. They started telling us all about how they are all one. They told us all this stuff and read us all these scriptures on it and then gave us all these pamphlets from their pentacostal church and told us they'd teach us more when we came back. That was our last lesson of the night and Elder Barnaby and I walked home kind of depressed. I still see hope in them though and I’m praying for them to have a change of heart. This all took place in Matei area which needless to say is dying... Last church attendance was 8 people! It breaks my heart. We talk to all the members and pray way hard and nothing happens and no one please pray for Matei!  After that we drove to Qeleni on thursday night and we just got back Sunday night.  

Qeleni was an adventure. We decided to go explore this village we've never been in before and right when we got there we were invited into the chief’s house. They were amazed with us and how we spoke fijian and the chief is like this little old guy who reminds me of grandpa jonutz and he laughs and has no teeth but he's like my favorite person I’ve met in Fiji so far. There was him, his wife and two of their children in the room. We shared a message with them and the chief just ate it up! He said, “Eldas...this is your second home from now on. We will listen to you talk about Jesus whenever you want.”  Even better...he's the Pentocostal Preacher of Taveuini so if we get him, we convert the village, and all the Pentocostals heeheeheeheee! HAHA....Very unlikely :( but he's way cool. He gave us some drau ni moli, which is tea but just like herbal tea with a lemon leaf in it haha. 

The next day on Saturday we walked to Vurevure and it took about 2 hours and all of our lessons that were planned there for that day were all gone! So we did some finding and found like this guy and then we had to walk all the way back. It was about a 2hr walk back and we went to Qeleni koro. All I have to say is this place is creepy......People huddled in groups laughing and drinking grog and we saw this dog eating something. Turned out it was it's baby...I almost cried. Plus the dog was an albino dog so it had red eyes so it made it even worse.....On sunday Elder Barnaby got sick again....We just keep switching off.  I don’t understand why this is happening. The Lord is just teaching us. Since we were all the way in Qeleni there isn’t really a store anywhere close by so we had no medicine so I gave him a blessing.  At church our investigator, Sikeli, was supposed to show up for his baptism and he didn’t... These are some of the things that keep falling through. We keep getting sick. I want you all to know it’s not tearing me down. It was at first I’ll admit. It’s hard to be sick and then go out and work and nothing productive happens. But I’m learning a lot out here. Heavenly Father is strengthening me so much these past few weeks. My language has gotten a ton better. I can pretty much teach lessons now and understand what’s being said in the lesson. Heavenly Father is blessing me. I hope by the time I leave my area I will be proud to say we turned Qeleni and Matei back into a living church of strong members. That’s my goal! I want it so bad. I’m sick of seeing less and less members show up to church and it’s like my desire to fire the members back up with the spirit! I think tha’ts why all this stuff keeps happening. Last night the district leaders called me and Elder barnaby and said they needed us up at somosomo by the night... We weren't planning on going up until the next morning and we had already missed the bus. The walk from Qeleni to Somosomo is about a 10 hr walk haha.... Me and Elder Barnaby said a prayer...packed up, (not to mention he was still sick), and we just started walking. We just had faith we'd get rides. Well heavenly father is real because we were able to hitchhike all the way there using 4 different cars. I rode in the back of a truck with 10 kids in the back. It was way fun. We got a ride from another truck, a party van (that was weird...), and a huge semi truck picked us up too. We made it to somosmo in an hr... When we stepped off the last car we immediately said a prayer thanking Heavenly Father! We were truly blessed last night and I will never forget hitchhiking at night hahaha. It was an adventure. This is a new week. I am going to give it my all and try my best to fire up Qeleni and Matei the best I can. Missionary work is real! I was able to watch two talks from conference last night on a portable dvd player. I saw the “ponderizing” one and loved it!!! I also saw Elder Bednar’s on why we have elderly leaders in the church and I thought it was sooo gooood! I love you all. I miss you all.  I miss all my family and friends! It's hard sometimes not going to lie.... But, being out here I see why the Lord needs me and I pray I can give Him my all. Thank you for all your prayers. They Help!!!

Much Love, Elder Jonuti

Cool Mountain

Welcome… TO JURASSIC PARK!!! hahaha

When your comp is sick…you get bored!!  

Pictures of our Qeleni flat

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week #10

Ni sa bula vinaka matavuvale! Au misitaki na kemuni kece! (Hello family and friends, I miss all of you!) 
   So I'm hesitant to tell you everything that happened this week....Before I begin -  I'm okay and so is my companion, we've just had an interesting week! Tuesday night we had an amazing lesson with some of our new investigators, Taubale and Paulnia. We met them once last week. They are this awesome Fijian family who are as ripe and ready for the gospel as can be! So on Tuesday we started talking to them about the Book of Mormon and modern day prophets. When we told them about modern day prophets they got so excited and started asking so many questions and that's actually rare for Fijians to ask questions. Normally if you ask a fijian if they have any questions about what you've taught them they interrupt before you can even end the question and they say sengaaaa (which means nooo). When they do this it makes me so livid hahahah!  After Tuesday...our work came to a halt.  And it was long. It was boring. Miserable. And I almost lost my mind hahha! But, I was able to see some small miracles. It started on the dreary October night of Tuesday the 12. Have I got your attention yet? haha. Just kidding I'm so dumb haha. Okay but no, really it all started Tuesday night. My companion and I were walking back in the pouring rain back from our investigator’s house and we were both just soaked and the wind was insane! We got home, did our studies and went to bed. When we woke up the next morning we both woke up with fevers. Not going to lie, it stunk really bad. We both had really bad stomach pain and everything we ate didn’t stay in. Yeah! I know gross! My fever was at 102.5 degrees and it was freezing and hot but I had my sweatshirt. Honestly I'm not trying to make you sad but it was the worst pain/sickness I’ve ever been in. I guess I haven't ever been really, really sick before this though. So we had to stay home all Wednesday and we called the mission nurse and she told us what medication to take. I was really upset because I really wanted to go out teaching. But, me and Elder Barnaby were just so sick and the fevers made our bodies ache so it would have just been stupid if we went outside in the rain...At one point we were both just done spiritually and emotionally and really struggling to stay positive and so we gave each other blessings. The spirit just came into the room and even though we were sick there was a peaceful feeling with us that we both felt. We knew heavenly father would take care of us. We were able to get some more sleep that night. The next morning we were supposed to get up and catch the bus to SomoSomo to make it to the Zone training meeting. We were both feverless but still nauseous and it took us awhile to get ready and we missed the bus! The walk was a 3hr walk so we started. In our heads we just thought...why is this happening to us!? So I said a prayer that someone could come pick us up. I was begging in my prayer because I was really discouraged and losing faith. Five minutes later this old beat up truck pulls up next to us. It’s our investigators Taubale and Paulnia and their family! We got in and they gave us a ride. It turned out they were having some questions and doubts about the church that we were able to clear up for them. I felt so grateful for this small miracle. It was no coincidence that they picked us up! God knows how much we can handle and in my lowest moment he answered my prayer and it turned into a huge blessing for me and the family! The rest of the week I got better although Elder Barnaby did not! Thursday night I went on splits with one of the zone leaders-Elder Condie!!!! And I had to take the senior couple along with us and lead the area and lead the lessons. IT WAS WAY NERVE WRACKING! During one of the lessons I felt prompted to invite our investigator Dipika to be baptized. OF COURSE SHE SAID I ALREADY AM BAPTIZED IN THE PROTESTANT CHURCH! :( So in front of a zone leader i had to explain to her the whole priesthood authority thing and talk in fijian and she said she'd talk to her husband about it. Elder Condie said he was way impressed with me so that made me feel a little bit better about that whole stressful evening! It helped strengthen my confidence a lot!!! As for the rest of the week we had to stay inside for Elder Barnaby to get better. I almost lost my mind staying inside all day joke. But I learned a lot of patience so that’s good;) I also got a lot of studying in!  I’m almost done reading Nephi in fijian so that’s cool for me! Other than that the rain has been crazy this week and some guy thinks there is going to be a hurricane but we were informed that was unlikely. Last night we found a spider in the house....It was a wolf spider but this wasn’t just some ordinary wolf spider....This thing was a mutant monster that was bigger than the picture of that one spider that I sent.  And when it ran between my legs on the floor in our house I screamed like a girl and about peed my skirt (wow never thought I'd say that......) anyway, it’s dead and life is looking up from here ;)  haaaaaa this week I’ve learned patience. I've learned more about the atonement and small miracles. I am just praying Elder Barnaby gets better.  We don’t want to stay inside anymore and we’re ready to start some preachin hahaha UGHHH! I love you all. Missions are hard. They are insane. But they are amazing!  For all of those people who said the fiji mission is a vacation ha ha haaa. This is the best mission in the world but it is no picnic in paradise haha. I love you all. Mom, I have plenty of food. I miss normal food though like, goldfish, bread, cold water hahahaha! I’m all good. Heavenly Father is definitely protecting me. I'm not sick anymore. I’m just acclimating so don’t freak out. Miss you all a lot.


   Elder Jonutz
Sweet View from up on tagi mocia mountain.  Guys go on itunes and look up the song Tagi Mocia. They play it on all the buses here. It's about this flower that only grows on taveuni. No where else in the world. You have to hike through the jungle to get to it and we are doing it next week for p-day. Its a fijian song and it's way catchy!!!

This is vurevure a village we teach at  Its about a two hour walk not bad

This is exactly how I felt today

walking through jungle......

This Fijian kid was way cute and he led me to an investigators house

This is happy me when I'm not inside and get to share the gospel


Not so little wolf spider

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week #9

Bula Vinaka Fam! Just so you all know I am all good. I was sick last week and did throw up a few times, but I’m now recovered so everything is fine. They were first worried I had worms...but I don’t so THAT’S GOOD ha...... This week has been rough for starters. When we were at the training meeting President Layton made me role play with him in front of all the missionaries so that was scary! The training was way bomb though and I learned a ton! I Just wanted to get back to my area and finally start teaching. I feel like it has been just this past week that I've truly started missionary work. During my personal study at the beginning of the week was a mission changing experience for me. When we first got back to Matei I was just pumped and Elder Barnaby had to calm me down and explain to me that we can’t just talk to everyone and think they are going to be converted on the spot..... This has been a struggle for me! Every time I see someone I’m like YESS let’s go convert them. During my personal study I realized that this simply isn’t possible ;(  I was reading in Alma 29: 1-10. It talks about Alma and how he basically just wishes he could be this amazing angel that brings everyone unto repentance and his words just convert the people! I was like no way...THAT’S WHAT I WANT TOOOO! He then goes on to say that his wish is simply impossible...because God can only help us convert those who have the desire in their hearts. We should rejoice in the few who do have the desire and we can't expect everyone we teach to have that desire. This scripture is like now my favorite. It was a really humbling experience for me to say the least. So after that study I felt ready to go teach. That morning all, not just some, but...ALL of our lessons fell through and my companion was way upset. I told him that this happened for a reason. This is God's work and He has another plan. So we took a new path one that we hadn’t taken before and we saw this house and both felt like we should go there. The door was wide open and this young married couple super enthusiastically invited us to come in. So we went in and taught them a lesson and they loved it. They are seventh day adventists and they loved it and said they wanted us to come over again! I was way happy. 2 new investigators. We then walked further up the hill and this whole family invited us to come in and we taught a similar lesson. 3 new investigators there. After that we went to this other KORO and found this catholic family who seemed hesitant at first when we taught them and then we shared our testimonies on Jesus Christ and that was 3 more new investigators!!! The Lord had a different plan for us and look what happened when our plan failed and we followed Him. 8 New investigators. This truly is the Lord’s work. The next day we went to camp out at our Qeleni flat for three days. When we got there we found out we didn’t have the key yayyy no! So we tried breaking in with sliding our cards in the door and trying all sorts of fun stuff and none of them worked haha. We had to take the hour long bus ride back to Matei to get the key. Then we drove all the way back and it was pitch black and there was no power anywhere! We found a flashlight in my bag and when we turned it on outside there were literally like 300 frogs in this grass field. And in fiji they are poisonous and a pest so you’re allowed to kick them and they just go flying it’s so funny...but I started to feel bad so I don’t kick them anymore hahaha! We found 3 new investigators just while being on the bus the whole day and found out they all lived in this little village by the ocean about a 1hr walk away from our flat in Qeleni. So the next morning all of our lessons fell through again - so we felt like we should walk to the village. It’s called VureVure and it’s my new favorite place. It's so pretty. The beaches there are insane. So we got there and started teaching this guy and at first he was friendly and I was thinking to myself...yes, we got a keeper hahaha and then his voice stops and he gets mean and he says, I don’t believe in the mormon church. You guys are a cult and I think the Book of Mormon is so not true. I was like ohhhhh heck noo. I was fired up, but I just said have you ever even read it or prayed about it? And I explained what it is and how it’s similar to the bible and it doesn’t replace it and I bore my testimony and then Elder Barnaby offered him the restoration pamphlet and he just sat there quietly and guess what? We got a return appt. with him scheduled for next friday and he’s now a new investigator. So we had 11 new Investigators and the majority of our lessons fell through every day. The lord works in mysterious ways there’s no doubt about that. This week I’ve been through a lot.. I really missed all y’all when I was sick. But I’m all fine now. I was fed chicken alfredo a few days ago and I felt literally like I was in heaven. And then yesterday nobody fed us at all and for dinner we got home and all we had was rice, tuna and onions so  that was fun haha. I was so hungry yesterday I wanted to cry. We only were able to teach two lessons all day because fijians literally sleep all day on sundays it’s so lameee! But, we had one lesson where we sat down and taught literally 20 kids!!! It was way cool I counted. This work is tough. I’m learning a ton. Thank you for all your fasts and prayers. They help!  Btw mom I used my card the other day it works and I was able to buy stuff. I just received my sweatshirt and it’s great...things are looking up hahaha. Love you all!!

                     Elder JONUTI

This is a pic of walking to Vurevure in Qeleni area

Awesome secret beach we found!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week #8

BULAA Family, so once again I don't even know where to start! Sorry if this letter is shorter than usual, I had to travel all the way back to vanua levu!  We had to take the same bus ride and boat ride that I took to get here. We had to come here because it’s a “train your trainer” meeting. So, where do I even start....The first day after I emailed you guys I went teaching.  All of the older ladies here love me because they say my fijian is coming so fast and they say “isaaaaa” which is basically like “awww” in america. Elder Barnaby the other day asked this kid to hand me some of the food he was eating and i took it and ate it! It tasted so good and then he told me it was octopus!! Way weird! He was mad because it was supposed to taste gross and he was hoping i would be disgusted! Who knew I’d like octopus!!! We've  been teaching so many lessons!  But this week i went on transfers! I went on transfers to a place called Vuna with Elder Brown. Vuna was all bush. No stores. No running water. Soooooo.....we bathed in the ocean. I didn’t really get to much because i was tired a lot at night. Every day there we'd walk for 7 miles for 10hrs a i just showered by dumping a bucket on me me. It was tiring but fun haha.... Nobody spoke english there so it was hard to teach. It's really weird though, Elder Brown would speak in Fijian and then look at me and I’d just start talking and the people actually understood my fijian and the elders here think I’m doing awesome because I already understand this complex thing in the language that takes awhile to get. But it's definitely not because I’m smart it’s all because Heavenly Father has a work for me to do.  My fijian has improved a lot the last week. This next week I told elder barnaby that I want to teach a lesson in fijian so wish me luck hahaha! 

So, back to my exchange in Vuna! THE MOST TIRED I HAVE EVER BEEN. We got there on thursday and i had a huge duffle bag that i bought to put all my stuff in for exchanges and we didn’t stop at the flat first for me to drop it off so i walked around all day with this giant duffle bag and my back killed that night! Elder Brown thought it was funny... So we walked for days and days and days! I have bad blisters but it has been all worth it. We had some amazing experiences teaching lessons. One guy named wasiki was my favorite lesson. He has been less active for a long time. So we went to teach him about why coming to church is important! I poured out my heart on why the sacrament is so crucial and we talked to him about what his Savior did for him!  And he just sat there in silence and was like, thank you so much...i want to be a better example to my children and you guys have reminded me of the importance of coming to church. He almost made me start crying i was so happy i was like bullllaa our lesson and what i said did something for him. It feels so good to help someone feel the spirit! The next night we had a member dinner...... All i have to say is when i walked into that house i knew i was about to have a very hard time. Let’s just say heavenly father has a sense of humor. They scoop me up this plate of...i have no idea. It looks like cabbage pasta and these purple slices of...also i have no idea. I start to eat and i cant even swallow it.....I gagged and had to make it silent so i wouldn’t offend them. Dad...I guarantee it was way nastier than anything you ate on your mission.... This family was poor.  Like soooo poor. I didn’t want to offend them! I prayed that heavenly father would help me eat the crap i had been served hahaha ugh so nasty! So each bite i gagged. The mother looked at me and said “kana kanaaa!” Which means “eat more” so i laughed and smiled and then I’m pretty sure i cried... I looked over at elder brown and he had finished his whole plate and i was like NOOOOO! HOW? WHAT? WHYY!!  So family, friends, people.... I proceeded to eat this food. Every bite i took i wanted to throw up.. That family would feel so loved if they knew how hard it was for me to do that! MOM....... i miss chinese food.  THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING! So i don’t know what else to say. Thank you for all your prayers! Mom maybe if you could send me a sweatshirt! Fiji has been way cold and it’s so weird cuz it’s supposed to be hot. I left all my sweatshirts in suva :'(  My love for fijian people is starting to grow. It will probably take awhile to ever love their food though haha.... But yeahhh! I’ve been living and sleeping on the floor! It honestly feels like I’m camping everyday in the jungle! Cockroaches and mokos (lizards), and rats all live in our flat. Oh and spiders bigger than my hand hahaaaaaaa! They are so scary i want to flip out and run away every time i see one. I miss the small tiny spiders back home! Anyways all is well. Mosquito bites hurt and i have weird rashes but apparently everyone says that’s just my body adjusting here. I feel my testimony grow everyday and i miss you guys everyday! Till next moniti (monday)!

LOVE, Elder Jonuti

Taveuni Beach

Moon lit night after teaching a lesson and walking home

Bus ride to Vuna for exchanges for four days

Hiking to teach this investigator who lives in the jungle. Wasn't even home when we showed up!

A Fijian norb spider.  That spider is bigger than dad's hand btw

Had to hike with this duffle bag all day :(

Inside a fijian home.  

An abandoned fijian barn   ooooooo

The five mile walk begins......

Crazy scary ocean place. The water was way choppy


A fijian family that we taught

Cool view

We'd walk through this palm tree forest every night in Vuna in the pitch black to get home and it was way scary.  Look closely! There's a spider in that pic haha....

Boat ride back to Vanua Levu

Drinking out of a coconut