Bula Vinaka Family, This week has been a long one to say the least. I've been on a boat ride, 2 3-hour bus rides and an hour and a half plane ride. Yes..I was transferred. President called me on Tuesday while we were all in the somosomo flat. I picked up the phone and he said, "Hello Elder Jonutz, how is Taveuni?" I told him I was loving it...but as soon as he asked me that I knew I was getting transferred. He said, "You've been doing very well in Taveuni and we are very impressed with your work and so we have prayed about and decided to send you out of Taveuni to Sigatoka. There you will be follow-up training Elder Stevens!" I said I'd love to President! So, on Wednesday I had to say goodbye to everyone in Taveuni. I’m not going to lie...I miss that place with my whole self. Elder Vitiarai was just about to baptize his mom and we had found those two boys the week before who weren't members and wanted to go on missions and be baptized. I was hoping I could stay in Taveuni and baptize his mom with him and see those two boy's baptisms ugh! But I am thrilled to know that Sigatoka is the new place the Lord needs me to be. However, saying goodbyes on Wednesday was pretty hard on me. I went to say goodbye to Sister Taylor and Sister Peterson (who is this elderly lady in the branch that I love!) Sister Taylor baked me two cakes and she and Sister Peterson both cried as I walked away from their houses for the last time. The members in Taveuni are my family and I love them. Thursday morning at 8:00 I got on the boat and slowly watched the island of Taveuni disappear. It was sad haha...Elder Vitiarai is the new district leader in Taveuni though! I’m so excited for him. When he first got the call though he was pretty scared. He was like, I can't even speak much english! I just laughed. He's going to be the coolest district leader out there. It was just as hard to say goodbye to the members as it was to the district. We had all spent Christmas together and helped each other through a lot and had all become like way close friends. The Czieps fed me one last dinner. THEY MADE ME ENCHILADAS! They are the bomb and I'm going to miss them a lot. On Thursday night I had to stay in Labasa and then the next morning I took the plane to Viti Levu. I arrived in Sigatoka on Thursday night. It was about an hour drive from the airport and we have a car so that’s chill! Elder Stevens is a funny guy haha. He's from Spokane, Washington. His sense of humor is a little different but I’m excited to get to know him more. So....Sigatoka is huge. We cover about 3 hours of car driving in our area! All I know is it's the second biggest area in Fiji that you can serve in. And it's just me and Elder Stevens :) So should be quite the experience. To be honest I’m scared out of my mind. It's a big deal to follow-up train someone and I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed with all these members and investigators I don't know. But, I know that I’m here for a reason and I’m just going to work as hard as I can and pray for as much direction as I can for this area. Sigatoka is quite the opposite from Taveuni. They call it the “Burning West” here haha. Yeah, it’s hot!!! And we live right by these huge sand-dunes that stretch out for about 3 miles. Sigatoka compared to Taveuni is a huge city. I’m only used to one road and it’s crazy here. Cars and roads everywhere. All the elders have been telling me Sigatoka is kind of known as the dead area of the mission. Meaning there’s not really a lot of work here. Last month they had 0 saints. I’m going to put my heart and soul into this area. If I can be exactly obedient and pray for help I know with Heavenly Father we can find those who are ready to receive the gospel here. Last night I gave a baptismal date to one of our new investigators named Julian. He accepted to be baptized on February 28th. Please pray for him. Church was crazy. They meet in this building on the second floor and there are about 60 members. They told me right when I showed up to give a talk haha. In Fiji that’s just how it works. An american couple from Utah attended church with us and when I started my talk in Fijian they thought I was cool. So I felt pretty awesome hahaha. Our flat in Sigatoka has power for more than 2 hours a day...unlike Taveuni...so that’s sweet! It's a lot of change and the only thing getting me through is the gospel is still the same. And no matter where I go Heavenly Father is my best friend and he will be here to teach me and show me how to help his people here. I don't know how people live without a relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. I love him. I miss all of you. Please pray that I might have peace of mind and be able to know where I should start in this area. I want to be a good follow-up trainer. I’m excited for this challenge and I miss all of you so much. I know Sigatoka is my area for now. The members here (from who I have met so far) are all very nice and....weird hahaha. It’s hard to explain. Oh and I lost my name tag on the boat from Taveuni...It blew off because there was a lot of wind. So I’m borrowing an elder’s name-tag for now. It stinks hahaha ugh. I’ll be getting another one soon though. I can't wait to email you all next week.
Love, Elder Jonati
|Last District Lunch before we all got our transfer calls. Gonna miss these guys like Crazy|
|View from new flat|