Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week #37

Bula Matavuvale! I don't think I've ever worked harder or learned more in just one week in my entire life. To be completely honest I think it's going to be impossible for me to convey to you everything that this past week has meant to me.  I could spend some of this limited time telling you all about how I almost died on a cliff or how I almost converted a dog, but I'd rather share some more personal experiences that have changed me a lot this week! Maybe it hasn't been apparent in my emails but the past few weeks have been a struggle for me.... I never thought it could be so hard to be a missionary! I'm not going to lie to you all and say every day as a missionary is perfect. I'm pretty sure you all know that’s not how it works. What I will tell you is that every day Heavenly Father is perfect. That not one day will go by that He isn't with us. Everything He gives us is for our good. The past week I felt weak in my speech and a lot of hard things were being thrown at me that I had yet to experience. I would ask myself sometimes when days weren't going as planned......why?  I'm doing all I can to try to do what’s why am I having such a hard time? Personal studies are our only time as missionaries to study our scriptures for an hour a day. Last Friday, I decided that instead of studying for myself to find an answer, that I would study for all of the people we had planned to see that day. I was studying for one of our less actives and my study led me to Proverbs 3 in the Old Testament. While trying to find something meant for him I found what I needed. Proverbs 3:11-12- "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."  After reading this scripture I had one of those moments where I felt Heavenly Father talking to me directly through scripture. I realized how Perfect He is. Everything that is thrown at us in this life is to make us stronger. Despise not the chastening of the Lord. I now look at afflictions and trials with a whole new perspective. Not to be weary or afraid of their coming but to have the knowledge that these things we are being put through are to strengthen us. We signed up before this life to face the challenges that would come on this earth. To become the sons and daughters that our Heavenly Father wants us to become we are put through challenges. If we need to grow He is going to give us opportunities to grow. I can testify that I know every hard thing I have faced on my mission has been for my good. No matter how hard it was or discouraging I am now a stronger person because of it. Now, having this knowledge to myself is great and all but what about all the rest of our brothers and sisters in this world who are facing similar challenges and have no idea it’s for their good and they have a loving Heavenly Father who is there to help them?  By realizing my own growth from challenges it has increased my desire to let more people know about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel is so perfect. Our Heavenly Father is so precise. Whether it's going through challenges or witnessing miracles it is the same. Because in both, the Hand of our Savior is present.  I cannot see him. But I know He is with us. He is our Savior and if we just "try" He will bless us for our efforts and help us through this life and guide us back to him. Elder Bond and I had a week of miracles this week. Sakaraia, our investigator who is going to be baptized, came to church this last Sunday and Loved it. When I got on my email this morning I saw that my investigator back in Sigatoka, Vilikesa!, the one who told us all those crazy visions...was baptized. I am so happy for him!  Akuila and Kula's marriage got pushed back to this week but both he and Sakaraia are going to be baptized on May 15th. Along with Sisi, this nine year old girl we have been teaching. Miracles are happening everywhere every day. When I face challenges it’s a miracle to me. To be able to see the hand of the Lord correcting me and shaping me into the person I'm going to need to be in the future and after this life. I want all of you to know that a mission is hard. But I love how hard it is. Because I know it is helping me become who He's preparing me to become. He's making me stronger for other people and He's humbling me every day. To me that is a miracle. I love this gospel. It is so true. No matter what we face we can grow.  He is always there and if we endure it well our testimonies will grow.  I love you all so much and wish I could convey to you all just how Perfect our Heavenly Father is. I can't wait to email you all about next week. I miss you all. This week I will send some pictures. My camera broke so it’s been hard but I found a way haha!

Much Love, Elder Jonati

We did a ward baptism this last Sunday. Our investigator's son, Malcom, was baptized! 

here's our room from our new flat

The kitchen

This is the view from our flat!

These are the never ending stairs up to our flat


See that mountain right there....I climbed it. Never again!

View from the trail that didn't even exist

One of our new investigators. Super excited about the bible!

This little boy is way funny. He's one of our investigators brothers

Chilling with some members playing "Samario"

The view from one of our less actives house

Mr. Crabs

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