Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week #31

Dear Family and friends, BULA VINAKA. So, transfers happened........I'm kind of in shock right now. Let's just say currently I am not in Sigatoka anymore! In fact, I thought for sure I'd stay in Sigatoka! But the Lord has other plans for me hahaha.....The mission president called me last tuesday and turns out the Lord needs me in Ovalau, Levuka. It's a separate island....only 2 elders stay on it...It's just me and my new companion, Elder Bond. We cover the entire island as well as another smaller island called Moturiki. We go to Moturiki once a week on a small dinky boat hahaha. We'll be going there this Wednesday. You can probably tell that at this time I am pretty scared but way excited at the same time! It took 7 hours of bus riding and 2 hours on a ferry boat ride. The cyclone took it's toll on this island.....whole villages here are gone. Houses completely torn apart...One of which was our flat :) So right now currently we live inside the chapel which is just a house not a dedicated church building. It's pretty awesome! We sleep on the floor with foam pads. I knew this place would be crazy because when the mission president called me he asked me if I was ready for an adventure hahaha.... President called me as the senior companion. Elder Bond was from my same intake at the MTC so this will be fun haha! I never thought I'd be serving on an island with just me and my companion...But I guess Heavenly Father did! So...something you all should know is that Elder Bond and I are both brand new to this area. So there's no elder here who knows anything about the people or really about anything. We are sort of doing what us missionaries call "white washing the area". Our area book was lost in the cyclone from when the last two elders were here. So we have no current investigators except for like two that we might have. So we are starting from scratch. This is going to be a lot of hard work but I am so excited! From my last area I really learned to just have more faith and to realize that heavenly father is going to show us what to do and will be with me every step of this experience! So to give you guys an idea about what levuka is like.....It looks like an old western ghost town on a tropical island. It really reminds me of like monterey bay california but it looks way older than that. It was the first island settled by the english in Fiji so that's why the whole town is way way wayyyyy old looking. I've only been here for a few days but this place is so beautiful. It is known for it's old tuna factory so the whole island is kind of like that island in the movie cloudy with a chance of meatballs. It smellls like tuna tooo hahaha! So yesterday was Sunday and our room is the primary room so all I had to do to go to church was wake up, put on church clothes and walk into the meeting room haha! The branch president asked me if I could introduce myself and share my testimony during sacrament meeting. It just felt good to stand up in front of all these new people and share with them my testimony. But as soon as I sat down the branch president got up and said, "Thank you Elder Jonati, that will conclude our sacrament meeting." Keep in mind I only talked for about 5 minutes. I WAS THEIR ENTIRE SACRAMENT MEETING. We're gonna have to let them know that sacrament meeting needs to last a little bit longer than that haha... After sacrament they came up and asked me if I could teach the adult sunday school class. So I did. I was pretty nervous having to teach it in Fijian but after teaching the class yesterday I'm so glad I was given that opportunity! Because they had given me like no time to prepare it really made me rely completely on the Holy Ghost. It was just a huge testimony builder to me that the lord will give us what to say! I am extremely excited to serve here in Ovalau. I am extremely nervous but this morning I was reading in the BOOK OF MORMON and read about the 2000 strippling warriors. In Alma 56:46-47 Helaman says that never had he seen so much faith and courage amongst all the nephites. He said they had never fought a battle in their lives and had no experience in warfare but because they had faith and trusted in their Hevaenly Father he protected all of them. Not one died. It just hit me because here I am on an island with just me and my companion. We are both new to this area and have no idea where to start. We don't have a lot of experience. But I do have faith. Heavenly Father is going to show us exactly what to do for this island. It's going to be a lot of hard work but I'm confident the lord will be with us in everything we do. We might not get  a lot of work at first because what this area really needs right now is service. People are without homes. The lord has a plan here for me and Elder Bond. And we are going to do everything here that we can to make him proud. I love all of you. Please pray for me. I Know this is going to be crazy hard but the lord doesn't ask us to anything we won't be able to handle. And plus I have his hand in all this work! I can't wait to email all of you about what happens this week. Love you...your stranded on an island son,brother,cousin,grandson, and friend...
Elder Jonati

Saying goodbye to the district in Sigatoka

I drew this map of Ovalau so I have some general idea of what the island looks like haha

We hitch-hiked with this Indian family to get to the ferry for Ovalau

On the ferry

Levuka town at night

The trees are a little different here!  It looks like fall all the time

Leaving the ferry

This is what the island looks like everywhere, just stuff thrown all over the place from the hurricane

The view of Ovalau from the boat

Saying goodbye to my friends in Sigatoka. This was the Inoke family.  They made me one last dinner before I left

Elder Jonati

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