Thursday, March 24, 2016

Week #32

Bula everyone! What a week! I literally like always have no clue where to start! Life's been pretty crazy out here in Levuka. Like I said last week we are starting from scratch. This week I was kind of humbled.... I was pretty nervous about where in the world we should start and who we should go see. I'm happy to report that I didn't make that decision. We're lucky we have a Heavenly Father who knows a lot more than us and if we ask him he will show us what to do! On Tuesday we felt prompted to go to this village called Natokalau! We had no idea where it was or how long it would take to walk there but we just started walking. As we were walking some fijians would ask us where we were going. We'd tell them Natokalau and then their mouths would just drop open. We asked them how far away it was and they'd say, "BOH...SA YAWA SARA GA!" which basically just means, MAN! WAY FAR OUT! We decided to walk it anyways. Luckily, we have the hand of the lord in this work and we were able to catch a ride to Natokalau. Most of the villages here aren't like any villages I've ever served in before. They all are pretty isolated haha..... We started by visiting the branch president to see if he could give us some names of less actives so we could go and visit them. His name is president Liga. His house is one of the only houses that survived the cyclone. Out of the 75 homes in Natokalau I'd say 60 are destroyed. It's pretty hard not to hurt for these people here. Many of them are living under tarps right now or just half destroyed homes. President Liga is this short, really out there Fijian guy. He helped us find a few more people to go and visit. Before we left his house he asked us to help give his daughter a blessing. I won't say much about it but probably one of the more scary moments on my mission so far. We were able to find a new investigator on tuesday!! BULLLAA! I thought we'd be focusing a lot this week on just seeing the members and less acvtives but the lord provided us with miracles. Our new investigator's name is Poloni Vesi. She is this pretty old fijian lady but we found her while trying to find some members. Elder Bond and I sat down with her and talked to her about why we come out on missions and what the restoration of the gospel means. She was excited to start reading the Book of Mormon and we'll be following up with how she liked it later this week. Later that night Brother Bechu, who is the 1st counselor in the branch presidency  came to our flat to tell me that the stake has called me to be the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency....wasn't expecting that one haha. But I'm way excited to work with President Liga and Brother Bechu! I know I'm going to learn a ton! On thursday we went and did a lot of service for this guy in our ward. His name is brother Musuka and he is hilarious! We had to wake up early and hike up to is house. He lives in the mountains hahaha! We brought our seles thinking that we'd be doing some farming for him but NO! He had us move sheets of tin. The stuff they use to build houses here. His house was all torn apart from the cyclone and he decided that he wants to live down the mountain. So he had us carry these huge sheets of tin down and up the mountain like 12 times. It was some of the hardest work I've ever done haha! The day before me and elder Bond went running in the morning to these famous stairs in Levuka. There's a way cool spot in Levuka that has 190 step to the top of this mountain so we decided to work out there! It was way hard haha. So we were already sore from doing that so carrying stuff up and down a mountain was way hard. Elder Bond at one point was having a hard time and Brother Musuka walks by him with three stacks of tin stacked on his back and says to elder bond, "Do you know how old I am?" He was like I'm 68! I'm fit! And then he just walked on ahh haha! Elder Bond's face was priceless! He's the man. Elder Bond is way awesome. He's from Arizona and likes to ball room dance. I can't dance....but he's good! We get along way good and I'm happy i get to grow with him out here! We've been working with this investigator who was supposed to be baptized. The only problem is that he has failed his last two interviews with our mission president....So this week me and elder bond had to go and find out why he didn't pass. We had a way bomb lesson with him. He made it clear to us that he has had a criminal past but that he's all repented of it. He just never told president about it and I think that held him back. But he is way solid. He has a 7 year old son and he wants to be baptized with him next month because his son turns 8. We promised we will do everything we can to help him be prepared to be able to be baptized with his son next week. I'm way excited for him. On Saturday we go up to Baba. It's way up in the mountains and there is this huge river that goes down the middle of the village. Saturday there was a flashflood and the whole river was flooded way bad. The bridge that we take to get to our member's houses was flooded so we had to find another way around! It was crazy. On Sunday I was asked to teach priesthood to all the men in our branch. The lesson was on the atonement and I felt way happy i was able to share my favorite gospel topic to them! I've learned so much about the Atonement out here on my mission so far. There's no greater gift..... This week I've been trying to work on patience haha. Sometimes i find myself wanting immediate results. But I've found that it hardly ever works that way. Patience takes a lot of faith. I thought a lot about our savior in 1 Nephi 19:9. After serving our father in heaven's children with his whole heart they rejected him. They spat upon him, mocked him and he suffered through it without ever getting angry or speaking back....He is the ultimate example of patient and long suffereing. When i think about all that he did. It strengthens me. If he can do what he did then I can be patient and work through trials here on my mission. I just want to love the people. Please pray for me to find patience and faith. This week has been crazy. This morning I got up at 3 to catch a boat and a bus back to suva. We have zone conference tomorrow! Then we go back to Levuka on Wednesday and won't come off for at least a month. The lord is using me and Elder Bond out here in Ovalau. And I only pray that we will be willing to do all that he asks of us. I love you all so much.

Love, Elder Jonati  

The isolated village called Lovoni. Smack dab in the middle of the island

The village

I decided to try to make the most tourist looking photo possible. I succeeded har

Big Mountain woa

Our flat. Luxurious eh?

This was a long walk

The comp Unity

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