Sunday, July 3, 2016

Week #47

Bula Matavuvale! It's hard to describe the happiness I am feeling right now! This week was a combination of hard work and miracles. So, Monday night after I emailed, we gathered with the Betchu Family and had a family home evening with Same and his family! Elder Bond and I taught the family home evening and it ended up going super well. The blessings of miracles just keep coming....I literally am just so grateful right now! This past week has been an everyday walk with the Savior. There's no way to describe it other than Jacob 5! The Lord truly is helping us harvest his vineyard here in Levuka! There's no better feeling than just letting go and working as hard as you can and the Lord leads and directs everything else. On Tuesday we went to Natokalau to visit Simione. Simione is this pretty old guy who has taken lessons from elders in the past and has read the entire Book of Mormon. He told us last time he just thinks it’s a book about wars and fighting. So we decided to teach him the restoration and just start from square one. Before we sat down with him we tried to see some other people but everyone we tried was busy or gone. When we sat down with Simione we told him about how he was the only person available for us to see and he said he knew it was because God planned for us to come that day! We told him that that was true and that we had a message for him and that if he would listen he would know why God wanted us there. The rest of the lesson was 100% led by the Spirit and afterwards he committed to trying to pray and re-read the Book of Mormon! The spirit unlocked his heart. On Wednesday we boated out to Moturiki! It had been forever! All of our investigators were way happy to see us. I don't know if you guys remember Siti but we were told by our member Sister Vuki that we should go visit him because his wife had left him since we last saw him...We went to his house and found him lying face down on the floor. We were about to walk away when I saw the Book of Mormon opened up in front of him! Seeing that stirred up a lot of emotion inside me. Later that afternoon we returned to his house to find him awake and reading the Book of Mormon. He was way happy to see us and told us to come in! He said, "Elders, I have been waiting for five weeks for you guys to come back!" We told him the reasons why we haven't been able to make the trip in so long and then he said, "I've been reading the Book of Mormon everyday since you guys left!  And it's a really good book. I've been feeling pretty sad and old but this book gives me peace and energy.” He had read all the way to Moroni 7. Elder Bond and I were way happy! After visiting him...all the other men were out in the forest farming so we decided to do some service which consisted of raking up trash and then making this huge fire and burning it :) Thursday through Sunday were amazing....So much is happening in Levuka... We consistently met with Same and his family helping them prepare for baptism. We saw Satan work on their family hard. We told them they could find power from the Book of Mormon. They said ever since family home evening 2 weeks ago they have been reading the Book of Mormon every night as a family. Same went out to Makogai (an outer island) to resign from his position as a preacher. I could tell it was not easy for him. Saturday morning our District leader came out and interviewed them all. For awhile I've been serving out on the island of Ovalau. I remember when I first got here I had no idea where to start or who anyone was... Now Seven of my strongest friends Akuila, Sakaraia, Sisi, Same, Sereina, Seriana, and Meli are baptized.....Levuka is my treasure. It has not been a walk in the park nor will it ever be, but I love Levuka. Sunday was Samisone's (Same) and his family’s baptism. I can barely write I am so happy! Satan could not beat nor will he ever take down this family! All dressed in white we drove down to this beach about 30 minutes away. As we walked into the ocean the waves were big and it was rainy. I watched as Samisone gathered together his family holding hands in a circle in the ocean. No temptation or evil could enter that family as they stood there! Same spoke to his family and they prayed together and then he told them,"This is it! We devote our very last breath to serving Christ and building up his kingdom!" They truly understand the meaning of enduring to the end! After the baptism Same threw his hand up in the air. They were so happy it lit up the entire beach and continued to do so as we all gathered back into the chapel for them to share their testimonies! Samisone said as he came up out of the water that he literally physically felt all his sins washed away... This family is going to endure to the end! The power of the atonement is real. Our sins CAN be washed away. And by baptism we make the first step to the Celestial Kingdom!  After Church Brother Betchu's daughter came up to me and said, "Elder Jonutz, I want to start taking lessons!" She asked if we could come over everyday and see her at 5:00 P.M  Of course I said YESSS! I love this feeling. God has been with us from the start even when we felt alone and discouraged. These people have been slowly preparing to receive the gospel this whole time Elder Bond and I have been here. I love my Heavenly Father. I just want to keep giving my soul to this work because there is no greater work! I testify that this is the work of a living God. I love you all and can't wait to tell you what the Lord does out here next week! 

Much Love, Elder Jonati

My favorite picture!

Walking out...

Samisen (Dad), Sereina (Mom), Seriana (Daughter), Meli (grandson) BAPTIZED

You can't do weekly planning without your pillow hats

Moturki boy caught a bat. His name is Wesele

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