Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week #41

Bula Vinaka Matavuvale! Na yaloqu sa vuabale vata kei na yalo tabu!!! I love Heavenly Father so much...... it's been a struggle out here in Levuka sometimes but yesterday made every suffering moment worth it!  Akuila and Sakaraia were both baptized yesterday after church. The church was full of people there to support them and it was an amazing day. If you guys could have only been there to see the look on Sakaraia's face before he was baptized. He was so ready and dedicated. Same with Akuila!  Akuila has been taking lessons from missionaries for two years!  Sakaraia was our first investigator that we have been working with since day one in Levuka! I just owe so much to Heavenly Father right now! To be able to see and experience the joy that comes from seeing others accept the gospel and promise their lives to follow Jesus Christ...I’m not even able to describe! All Elder Bond and I did was talk and visit with these two guys. Heavenly Father and the Book of Mormon did the rest...Seeing their new found devotion to follow the Savior makes me want to devote myself more! This week has been probably one of the hardest most rewarding weeks of my entire mission... Last time I mentioned through skype that our mission president here expects us to teach about 20 lessons every week and have about 2 baptisms a month. The past two weeks have been a trail of faith for me and at times it was discouraging. This week we kept the faith and literally prayed for miracles. I just have so much thanks and happiness in my heart right now to Heavenly Father! We were able to somehow see 30 people this week....and baptize 3 people this month. I never thought that could be possible but that’s because I wasn't remembering whose work this is. When we recognize who we are serving and make our desires his desires and diligently strive to be obedient with exactness, that's when miracles occur. This work and everything my companion and I have given to this area had nothing to do with us. If I sit back and look at how these past two months have gone it shocks me....This work has been led in every detail. At points throughout the past few weeks sometimes I would have no idea what we were doing or why, but now it’s so clear! I testify that we have been led every day out here....from house to house, which words to say, people to greet and help, where to go and what to do.  LITERALLY this work is so led by our Heavenly Father it's insane. I've learned so much the past few months that I realized this week. I've learned to stay strong through every trial even when it’s not clear and doesn't look promising.  I've been learning about how to be tenacious.  I can promise that if we can be patient and endure all things with faith and fill our hearts with humility and charity we will witness miracles in our lives. Not right away. No miracles come until after a trial of our faith but he promises us that they WILL come! For those who are desiring to serve a mission, just a few words of advice. Not to scare anyone or discourage but, Satan is real. The hardest part of missionary work really does go on inside the head. In all things he will desire to discourage you and make you feel inadequate. He will use things like pride and jealousy to limit your potential of becoming consecrated. Unfortunately, I've suffered all of these things. Even through my own dreams he tries to discourage and my thoughts to corrupt. It is a constant battle and to win you have to be exactly obedient in everything and pray your heart out. I've learned that no matter how real Satan is our Heavenly Father is 1 billion times stronger.  As missionaries, we are doing His work so as long as you are obedient you can expect His powerful help. I went on an exchange with one of our Zone Leaders this week and some advice he gave me was critical. He said, "Never compromise Exact Obedience".  There are a lot of little rules we are required to follow as missionaries. Follow every single one of them.  Don't compromise. I can testify that being exactly obedient makes missionary work so much more fulfilling and fun. When we're exactly obedient it allows Heavenly Father to have more trust in us and we will be more susceptible to His help. This week has been so much fun!  It has been fulfilling and my companion and I are more united because of it.  Akuila our investigator killed a bat and ate it....and this morning we found a crab in our bathroom hahaha!  We found a shop that has macaroni and cheese in town and I about died!  It’s from California so I got a little taste from home. I miss cheese so much.... Oh, some of our less active members were walking around with T-shirts from Carmel, California and I was like duuuuuude, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT!? They were like some guy came from California gave it to us! It made me miss home a little bit hahaha!  Anyways, this week has been awesome and I miss you all. Thanks for all your prayers. They help! 

Love Elder Jonati

Seru! Akuila's son

Sisi's baptism a few weeks ago

Walking down to the way tui (ocean)

Akuila before his baptism! He's the man. That's his wife Koula and their two kids Seru and Ica

Sakaraia and his nonmember wife and kids (Soon to be members;)) I had the opportunity to baptize him!

Avete with a star fish hahaha

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