Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week #16

Bulaa! Sorry I just got on the computer to do e-mails...I had to wake up at 5:00 this morning and I've been on a boat, a bus, and a truck ride for the past 6 hours! I'm exhausted HAHAHA! We had to travel to Labasa today because we have mission tour here tomorrow. Gifford Nielson from the quorum of the seventy is coming to give the missionaries here a training! As for my week.....WELL IT’S BEEN INSANE AND TIRING! My head hurts from all the work we have done this week hahaha! But I love it so much. Before I start talking about my week I want you all to know that I did have Thanksgiving here in Fiji but it wasn't the same without any of you and I miss you all a lot.... Funny thing though! Thursday came last week and I didn’t even know Thanksgiving was last week. Sad truth is I really can't even keep track of what date it is down here because we are constantly working. I seriously feel like I’ve been in Fiji for like 2 weeks... It scares me haha. On Thursday the Czieps gave me and Elder Barnaby Thanksgiving at their house! It was really nice of them. Turkey here costs 180 dollars and you have to get it flown in so we just had chicken hahaha! But they made gravy and we had rolls that reminded me of Grandma’s rolls with butter and jam! They even made us pumpkin pie! They said it took them two weeks to find the pumpkin hahaha! I was really grateful for them. But eating Thanksgiving with them really made me miss you all! This week Elder Barnaby and I worked our selves to the max! Next week is my big week...They have this 12 week training program now and next week I have to lead the entire week...Meaning planning it all out, leading all the lessons, and just everything. I’m way nervous so could ya please pray for me haha...Thanks ;) So this week we started using the Czieps just like president told us too! They came out teaching with us three days this week. They are way helpful especially because they have a car and we can get to appts faster! Their desire to help the branch out here really inspires me actually. I love the Czieps. They will be living out here for 6 months and instead of just vacationing they have decided to be branch missionaries and helps us. It just gets me more excited and motivated about missionary work! Tuesday night I probably had one of the most spiritual moments of my life! Taubale and Paulnia's lesson was insane. We've been trying to get them to pray and read the book of mormon for like the past month. When we got there Tuesday night all they wanted to do was bible bash and they wouldn’t let us get through the lesson without asking a million of random questions in-between. This went on for a good hour...Finally I had had it! I was about to cry hahaha! I love this family so much and they just aren't getting it so I put my Book of Mormon down and bore my testimony to them. I hardly remember a thing I said but I remember telling them that all they have to do is pray to know the book is true. I felt the spirit so strongly and after I bore my testimony, Paulnia said to me that the things that I had said are true and neither of them spoke through out the rest of the lesson and we left their house with the spirit! Me and Elder Barnaby walked out of their house like WOAAA! I'll never forget that lesson. Please pray for their family! I know for FACT that they felt the spirit that night! It's awesome to have a personal study every morning! I’m almost done with the book of mormon again...WHO KNEW I COULD READ IT THAT FAST HAHA. Elder Barnaby and I have been getting so blessed with missionary work it's amazing. I honestly feel so blessed. We have a baptism planned for next month. Mesake is his name. He's been coming to church every week and we just thought he was a member but he isn’t! He said he wants to be baptized we just have to teach him all the lessons and then he's good to go! The only problem is he can't read or write so we have to teach him. He's 14 and I’m way excited to get him ready for baptism! Elder Barnaby said my Fijian is just rocketing. I hope he's right! Right now I’m just working on how to carry on conversations with people which I even had a hard time with in English haha (Mom)! But I really have felt Heavenly Father’s help this whole time I’ve been learning fijian! We found out it was just members with a key who were breaking into our flat hahaha! So the branch president put an extra lock on our door but it’s not going to do much good! I’ll have to take a picture of it it's pretty funny how they put the lock on our door! Here in Fiji it's pineapple season! I’ve literally had like 10 pineapples given to me this week. They are so sweet and amazing here. But the fijian people like putting salt on their pineapple..I’m not a fan. I thought the day would never come but yesterday we took the sacrament to these elderly ladies who can't come to church and they fed us lunch and I actually enjoyed it... It was chicken, with dalo (which i used to hate) and it had all the guts and stuff haha. But I was just sitting there cross-legged eating outside their doorstep...and I was loving it. (We were sitting outside their door step in the rain because there was no man in the house so we couldn’t go in so we ate in the mud and rain haha. FUN STUFF. But fijians only eat with their hands and I felt like an animal and I like enjoyed all of the food. It scared me actually hahaha! But I feel like a fijian now. Someone told me the other day it sounds like I have an accent. I think they were lying though I hope haha. Anyway me and Elder Barnaby got 24 lessons this week! President told us that’s the number he wanted from us and this week we delivered. It's not about the lessons though. We sat down with 25 of Heavenly Father’s children and tried to help them feel the spirit. That’s my job as a missionary. Sometimes we don’t get fed all day and then I sit down in a lesson and I feel the spirit and I forget that I’m hungry because the spirit is so strong. But don’t worry about me getting fed. I am fed well here. I love and miss you all. Hazel looks so funny in those pictures. I hope she still remembers me. I miss everyone! Tell Tyler,Travis, and Jordan I miss them like crazy. I love you family and friends. There isn't a greater job in the world than missionary work!

Love, Elder Jonati

Chillin in a member's hammock. Seems Legit

The Boat...from today

Boat ride to Vanua levu today!

Pink sky Taveuni

It's been raining all week! Small hurricane came through. Nothing serious though

Some members cooking kasava.

Some investigators gave me a pineapple. I'm kissing it ;)

We found this new village called korovo! It's on top of this ulunivanua (mountain)

This is our church...

This is the church building. Just is a house basically haha

pretty Big Thunder Clouds

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Week #15

Bula Vinaka Matavuvale! I honestly feel like I start off every email with, THIS WEEK HAS BEEN THE CRAZIEST WEEK YET! But literally it’s like each week gets crazier and crazier here! Last Monday we went to go QITO (play) volleyball at the church and after we were walking back to the flat Elder Barnaby twisted his ankle really bad... I don’t even know how it happened! He was just walking and then he was on the floor. We were planning on going back to Matei to do some work that night but Elder Barnaby said he couldn’t walk so we had to stay in Somosomo for another night! Poor guy. This is the second time he has twisted his ankle since being here in Fiij! Nevertheless, on Tuesday the work pressed on. We were only able to see 1 person but we definitely needed to see her. Her name is Dipika. We've been teaching her for awhile and last time I had invited her to baptism and she said no hahaha! LAME!  Anyways we decided to talk to her about her book of mormon reading. She said she knows it’s true and she can feel it when she reads it. I was like SWEET! THAT’S WAY GOOD. But she told us it's really hard english for her to understand and so we ordered a HINDI SCRIPT book of mormon for her and I’ll be giving that to her this week! That's about it for missionary work that we got done this week! Only because this week was Zone Conference and all the areas and islands around Fiji met here in Taveuni for a district conference. So we had 10 elders staying in our flat for 5 days this week! They just left this morning...It's been a jam-packed full week! Our flat is a mess and I’m so tired HAHAHA! On Tuesday night I woke up at 2:00 in the morning to loud panting and large bangs being made throughout the flat.....Elder Barnaby wasn’t in his bed when I looked over. All I could think was great....MY TRAINER IS POSSESSED AND I’M GOING TO HAVE TO DO THAT WHOLE SCARY THING HAHAHA. Then I just see him walk by the door and he's holding a sasa (Fijian broom/pest killer) and he's running around killing cockroaches! There was no joke 15 of them on the wall....They had broken into our flour and sugar! Wednesday Elder Barnaby and I were getting the flat ready for everyone to come and stay at our flat...the containers we kept our flour and sugar in are in these plastic ice cream buckets. And since they were all gross from the nasty roaches we had to buy some new ones...and the only way to buy new ones was by buying ice cream:)))))  Sooo. I had ice cream for breakfast on Wednesday hahaha! I felt so sick after bluhhhh! But good times! After that the Czieps took us to our flat in Qeleni to grab the 4 mattresses we have there so we could take them to Matei flat for all the elders. When we walked inside the Qeleni flat there was a pile of phones charging and an ipad on our desk.......and food that wasn’t ours in the fridge... Someone has been breaking into our flat hahaha so that’s fun!! YAY! Anyways on Thursday president flew in to Taveuni and our interviews began at 9:00. I was way pumped for interviews. My interview went really well. President told me he's been watching me really closely and that my leaders keep recommending me for things. He told me to be more bold in the language and we had a good laugh about some stuff. He also told me that the Czieps who are that American couple that live by us in Matei are being set apart as branch missionaries and they are begging to go out with us and do visits. President Layton told me to USE THEM 4-5 days a week hahaha! I was like duuude heck yesssss! They are going to be so much help to us I can't wait! On Friday we had our zone conference and I literally learned so much stuff! This week has been kind of a reflection week for me and I've really been able to figure out the things I need to work on to become a better missionary! I need to be more friendly and bold in my teaching. I want people to feel my excitement as I’m teaching them. It's my goal to just start saying more things in fijian and not being afraid of messing up. I want to be way more social with my members and I want people to feel the Savior’s love for them through me. For our zone lunch we had spaghetti and garlic bread and salad and chocolate cake and cookies.....IT WAS REAL FOOOODDD   BULLLAAAA! It was so good! Any ways on Saturday Elder Pearson from the seventy flew in for the district conference here for all the members! He gave amazing talks about how big grog (kava) is here for members in fiji and how priesthood leaders shouldn’t drink it. It's not against the word of wisdom but general authhorities strongly suggest to not drink it. I hate kava so much. It wrecks peoples lives here! He called the fijian men out though in our conference! He was like stop hitting your women! You have the priesthood! Stop drinking kava. He was like don’t be a villager! Be a man of the priesthood I was like yeahhh hahahaaaa! We also had this special meeting with him and I got to talk to him for a little bit. He is a way cool guy. But on Sunday that’s when I saw miracles..... These two older ladies Nau mauri and nau rosa haven't been able to come to church because nau rosi has this disease and she can’t move...But Saturday night Elder Pearson wentn to go see them and he paid for a transport for them to be able to make it to district conference. Me and elder Barnaby stood outside and waited for her to show up. We lifted her out of her car and put her in the wheel chair and pushed her into the meeting. She was crying of joy the whole time...I even lost it for a bit I was so happy. To see someone miss church so much makes me see how lucky I am! After the meeting we got a random baptismal date....We thought this kid Mesake was a member because he goes to church every Sunday...BUT WE FOUND OUT HE WASN’T! So we asked him if he would be baptized next month and he was like yess! I am so happy! Like everyone from matei and qeleni came to the conference. This week has been crazy. I miss and love all of you so much. The work will press on this week and I pray for all of you!

Love Elder Jonuti

District Conference

Sunset in Matei

This is Nau Rosi and our less active sister koroi at the conference on sunday!
Ice Cream for B-fast ...I almost puked

Service Project (taken from Vemeeren's blog - I love that they take so many pictures!!)

Fijian food...MY FAVORITE!!!

 Ya....Found this while cleaning the house!! Bigger than the last!! Had an eggsack attatched to it  Yum

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week #14

Bula Sacas! I’ve never worked so hard in my entire life. Last week I told you all that Elder Barnaby and I have decided to be completely consecrated! Well this week we did our absolute best. For the past 7 days we've been out working from 6:30 to 9:30 every single day. We go to bed right at 10:30 and we wake up right at 6:30. I’ve been studying the language like crazy and Elder Barnaby said my Fijian Sky rocketed this week. Heavenly Father literally helps me every second of the day....I've been in charge of planning out our days this past week. Mainly where we are gonna go and who we are going to see and what we are going to teach! It's A LOT OF HARD WORK. On Tuesday we missed a bus back to Matei and Elder Barnaby told me I had to re-plan the entire day hahaha. During my personal study I prayed for inspiration on who the Lord needed us to see. After my study I wrote down the plans that came to my head. That night we went out and not 1 person that I had planned to see was unavailable! They were all there! If that's not proof that Heavenly Father exists and is involved in missionary work....I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE IS! We spent a lot of our efforts this week in Matei. I prayed for our members everyday like non-stop. It feels so good to work as hard as we can every hour of every day. I've seen miracles this week because of exact obedience to even the tiniest of things! I have been loving my personal study this week. I've been reading in 3 Nephi and MANNN! To be able to read the words of our Savior is powerful! To be able to read the words he spoke when he came to the Americas and called his 12 apostles is AMAZING! I'm finding that a lot of what Jesus said to those disciples are the exact things I need to hear as a missionary! On Wednesday we took this American couple (who have a vacation home in Fiji and live here every six months to help out with the church) to go see this less active family named the Tings. We were going to drive up there to see them but the road was too sketchy for driving. So we took the 40 minute hike to the top of the mountain hahaha. It was so hot!  And Brother Ting was a way crazy old man who was hard of hearing. I don't think he heard one word of our lesson but it was great we were able to see him and get him affiliated with the senior couple, The Czieps!  After that he diced up this huge pineapple and gave it to us. Brother Ting owns a pineapple farm of like 1000 pineapples. Guys....IT WAS THE BEST TASTING PINEAPPLE EVER! After them we went to go do more visits and found a new investigator named Rosi! We took one of our members to our first lesson with her and it went great! We worked till 9:30 that night and it was insane! On Thursday we did service for some members. We went and had breakfast at Sister Taylor’s house. It was like the first legit breakfast I’ve had since being in Fiji! It was so Good! She fed us lemon tea (herbal of course;)) and scones with peanut butter and jelly, fried kasava, and fresh fijian bananas...OH IT WAS SO GOOD. After breakfast we did service...they gave us sele's (Fijian swords) and we werewere (Slicing with a sword) their farm. We weeded their garden in the jungle with sele's for about 3 hours! I got a lot of blisters on my hands from it but it was way fun. Not a lot of people in this world can say they worked on someone’s farm on an island in the middle of the pacific ocean using an old fijian cultural sword HAHAHA! The next day was DEWALI! I don't know if you guys have ever heard of Dewali but it's like the biggest Hindi Holiday! They celebrate their gods and shoot fireworks and decorate their houses like christmas and make an offer of these sweets to their gods. It was a crazy night. We got invited to like 5 parties and had to say no:( hahaha. But our landlord is Hindi and she said she'd bring us dewali sweets. That night we were working way hard and were way far away from our flat. Fireworks were going off everywhere and the island was like lit up. We made it home really late and it was bad. But in our defense we were working non stop that day and needed to see all the people we saw. On friday we made it down into Qeleni! We Worked our tails off there this week. We got Brother ULULAKEBA to come to church! He was the one who got mad at us when we were teaching him and his hands were scaly because he's always drinking grog. He showed up at church and I WAS SO HAPPY! He was like smiling and it was great. In sacrament meeting the branch president asked me to get up and give a talk....wasn’t prepared for that...That was fun hahaha. Today I found out 30 members came to church in Matei this sunday!!! We weren't able to see because we had to go to church in Qeleni this week. But a member came up to us and told us. I almost cried I was so happy. BEING CONSECRATED AND WORKING TILL YOU’RE DEAD EVERY NIGHT MAKES MIRACLES HAPPEN! I have been so blessed this week to see miracles and I can feel Matei and Qeleni growing FINALLY! Next week is zone conference so it’s going to be insane. But we are going to be consecrated again! We got 20 lessons this week which is way good. Numbers don’t matter but we were able to help 20 of God's children come closer to Jesus Christ this week and that does matter! I miss all of you so much. Just know that God's work is real! My ponderizing scripture this week was 3 Nephi 19:26- And Jesus said unto them pray on; Nevertheless they did not cease to pray. I've been praying non-stop everyday! Every second almost. Jesus commanded his disciples to never cease to pray. If you follow this and always have a prayer constantly in your heart. You will see why Jesus Christ told his disciples to do this. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you next week!

Love, Elder Jonuti

Marika (boy) wouldn't let go of my hand for like an hour

We Went pretty deep into the jungle to find this Family. NEVER FOUND THEM

After a rainy day

A member gave us this for dinner. 

Some Jungle...

This is Marika! He's a way funny kid from a recent convert family in Qeleni

Stormy Seas In VureVure

Some native fijian children. Creyekeez!

Fijian Rooster...Bak

Classic Poison Frogs of Fiji! These things cover the lawn in front of our house at night. Like Hundreds of them!

Dewali Celebration! This was a member playing with Dewali Fireworks! I'm learning how to use my camera pretty good:))

Livin Like A True Native

The Hike coming down from visiting The Tings

I thought I looked cool with this flower behind my ear HAHAHA

PERTY FLOWER in Fijian = senikau totoka

This place is across the street from our flat. I think it's funny because I'm in Fiji and just like back home I still live across the street from SUN CITY

Looks like I'm standing next to a pool but it's the OCEAN - in fijian ocean is WAI TUI

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week #13

Ni sa Bula Vinaka Matavuvale! THIS WEEK HAS BEEN STRESSFUL! After I emailed you all last p-day we had transfers the next day on Tuesday. And man it was a chaotic day.... After our district meeting we went to this pizza shop called Tramantos! I HAD REAL LIFE ACTUAL TANGIBLE PIZZA! We can't go there hardly ever because one pizza is like $40! But since it was our last district lunch together we decided to eat somewhere fancy. We all set the phones in the center of the table just expecting at anytime for one of them to ring so we could find out who would be transferred and where! Obviously I knew I wasn’t going anywhere but I was anxious for all the missionaries I’ve made good friendships with here. Finally later that afternoon we got a call... Elder Brown is going to Tuvalu! Elder Noble who was my district leader is going to Vanua Levu (sad to see them go). This week we hardly got any work done because we had to stay in Somosomo with Elder Tera who was awaiting his new companion/our new district leader. So we had to be in a tri-companionship with him for a few days. This week I MISSED MISSIONARY WORK! On Friday the new elders and sisters came so he got his new comp. Elder B and I were so excited to go back to Matei and start up the work again! Especially after what Elder Vermeeran had told us the day before... He sat me and Elder Barnaby down and told us what some of the members have been saying about us. Some pretty discouraging stuff that made me pretty sad..But later that night I got on my knees and prayed. I'm using what he told me to motivate me! Supposedly the members have been saying they hardly see us anymore....and they made a big deal about us showing up 1 minute late to church because elder Barnaby forgot it was daylight savings! The members watch the missionaries here like hawks! We have decided to become totally consecrated! I want Matei and Qeleni to change! I’ve been working so hard in these areas and it was painful to hear that’s what the members think of us but oh well. I just have to press forward! When we got back to Matei it had been two weeks since I had been there! Because the week before I was on exchanges with elder Noble and this past week we were stuck here in charge of an elder for transfers. But boy was I so happy to be back. I want to share a scripture that I have made my “ponderizing” scripture this week. I feel like it relates to my situation in Qeleni and Matei. It’s in Moroni 9:6. It reads, " And Now my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform....That we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God."  Matei and Qeleni are making it pretty hard on me and Elder Barnaby. For example, this Sunday my heart was broken in two. It was pouring rain and only 8 people were at church. This scripture is my strength to stay diligent and fight for the souls of my areas. I love them all so much and they miss out on the sacrament every week. We have decided we need to focus on the members this transfer!  I had some amazing experiences with members these last two days. The holy ghost is real. We were walking along the road and I got this random feeling to go see Brother Celua who is the group leader for the church in matei. At first I thought it was just a random thought, but then I remembered I was a missionary and that the idea to go see him must be inspired so I told Elder Barnaby. He said okay and we went to his house. When we got there he was  extremely happy to see us. We sat down with him and he went and grabbed his scriptures and explained to us that he found a scripture that was causing him to doubt some stuff! We were able to testify of the truth and his doubts went away. We needed to see him and if I hadn’t followed that prompting he would still be confused. Another experience with a member and the holy ghost...We went to go visit a member named Sister Koroi. Elder Barnaby unexpectedly threw me under the bus and said, " Elder Jonutz has a lesson to teach you"  I was like whaaaaa?! I began to open my scriptures and decided upon this one in Alma. We started with a prayer and immediately after the prayer I knew that I needed to change the scripture. I felt prompted to share this one in 1st Nephi and it talked about the tree of life and how we can’t always see what our future is and we just need to push through the darkness and hold to the rod. This sister began to cry...and explained how she was worried for the future of her husband and how this scripture helped her. The spirit was really strong and I almost started crying! The Holy Ghost is unbelievably real. It is absolutely necessary for missionary work! I am so happy to be back in Matei. I am going to work as hard as I can to help these members. I’m starting to realize why I’m here in Taveuni in Matei and Qeleni. I’m learning more and more about what Jesus Christ did for us and I literally feel myself coming closer to him.  Missionary work is incredible. I miss you all so much... Pray for Matei and Qeleni daily. I know that diligence is the key! You asked for my favorite scripture mom, It is Mosiah 28:3! I hope your week goes as planned and that everyone stays healthy and happy. Elder Barnaby is having me lead the areas now so wish me luck. I hope I can report that we have a successful week next Monday. I know I will! Gots to have FAITH! Until Next week!

Love, Elder Jonuti

There's a storm a brewin'

Last picture as a district

Waiting for the boat with the new transfers on it

Welcoming the new sisters

Picture of the new district
Taking a needed break

View from the pizza place we ate at - WAY pretty!!

These clouds looked way cool. Taken outside the somosomo chapel at a branch activity

My Shadezzzzz