Sunday, August 14, 2016

Week #53

Bula Vinaka Family! If I could only describe this week in words.....If I could just show you all every thing that sequentially happened this week, I know for a fact anyone who would read it would know that we truly do have a loving Heavenly Father! I didn't even realize it was my year mark until we wrote down the date in my daily planner Friday night. I can't believe it. If I were to be completely honest with you all I feel like I have been here for 6 months at most. I title this week the miracle week. Basically every single week has been full of miracles here and I have not ceased to be amazed by God.  Monday night we had family home evening and Diana came and loved it. Not as many people came this week but the spirit was much stronger!  After family home evening we were walking back to the flat. One thing I've learned to love on my mission so far is kicking frogs at night hahaha. Elder Ruwhiu and I were walking up to our flat when I saw a frog.  It was raining pretty hard and all the sewage gutters were flowing fast with water.  I spotted this huge frog just chilling right on the edge of the gutter so I decided to attempt to kick it..... Turns out my shoe wasn’t very secure and flew off into the water and the swift current swept it right away and it was heading out into the ocean!!  Elder Ruwhiu and I just looked at each other like...oh snAP.....Next thing you know we start booking it as fast as we can to get to the seawall where the sewage drains out into the sea. Within seconds my sandal floats out but the current is just taking it further and further.  Diana and Sister Ana and all the member young men saw me in a panic and ran over to see what the problem was. I told them I tried to kick a frog and now my sandal is floating out to sea. Sister Ana and Diana bursted out laughing calling me an "Ulukau" (Wooden head).  But Timoci our recent convert decided to SAVE MY SHOE! So we watched him jump in and grab it!  The members keep teasing me every time they see me now.  As funny as it was, it was a blessing to me.  I only have those shoes currently with me so it was a miracle that Timoci was there and willing to jump in!  Hope you all enjoyed that story hahaha!  It was pretty funny!  It's been raining here non-stop.  Baba's village rivers were flooded and it was pretty fun to cross them to get to appointments hahaha! ONLY IN FIJI!  So on Tuesday night we went to go visit Diana and she committed to be baptized!  She told us she knows everything we share is true and we were so happy!  This week Elder Ruwhiu and I saw how satan tries to slow down the work. With the pouring rain this week our phone got damaged and no longer works.  Brother Betchu is THE MAN and donated his phone to us for this week until our Zone Leaders come out next week to bring us our new phone!  Aditabua knows the Book of Mormon is true with a surety!  We were sitting down with her Tuesday night and she told us that while we were teaching her it just hit her.  She said, every night when I read my Book of Mormon I get super tired and can only read 2 or so pages and then fall asleep.  She said Satan really works on me when I read and the spirit just testified to me that I know it is true.  She said that after the time you guys first told me that all you have to do is pray and read to know if it is true that she only ever prayed once. She said just lately she started praying more and sacrificing more time to read it. The spirit was so strong as she testified to us, "It's taken me awhile but now I am so happy because the holy ghost has testified to me in this lesson that the Book of Mormon is true!"  The past few lessons we have been helping her prepare for her baptism this Sunday.  Diana and her cousin are both ready to be baptized together this next Sunday. Hoorah for Israel!  So I guess losing my shoe wasn't enough because while trying to run to an appointment Wednesday name tag flew off into the unknown.  For like 30 minutes we had people with flashlights trying to help us find it!  I was praying so hard for a miracle because it's the only name badge I have. We didn't end up finding it. The next day the detective, who has been helping me recover all my stolen items, came to our house and told me he found my name badge along with my speaker, ipod, sd card (with all my mission pictures) my camera, and my charger.... I have felt so blessed this week!... I can testify if we just forget about ourselves and serve God's children who are our brothers and sisters...God will take care of us. It is as simple as that! I love Heavenly Father so much! So Lai has been wanting to be baptized so bad. Only problem is we hadn't yet asked her mom's permission. So Thursday we went to her house and sat down with her and I called up her mom and her mom said "Elda's Kerekere kua ni papitaiso na Luvequ!" In English that means, "Elders, I’m begging you, please do not baptize my daughter."  When I hung up the phone I had no idea what to tell Lai.  I wanted to cry.  She wants to be baptized so bad... We told her that we'd pray harder and in a few days call again. The next day we had been praying non-stop. This time we had her aunt (another one of our investigators)-Sister Tukana, call her mom. People have their agency...This time her mom became even more angry and said absolutely not.  Last night we returned from sitting down with Lai. She was crying because of how badly she wants to be baptized. We told her how God works in His own time and that now is the time that we can strengthen her testimony even more in the gospel until she can be baptized. She asked for a blessing and we all left the lesson feeling content and happy!  God comforts His children when other's agency affects us. Viliame and Kalini were interviewed and baptized this past Sunday.  I was way proud of 9 year old Viliame! He had the choice of going on vacation with his whole family or being baptized with his cousin. He decided to stay.  Both of Viliame and Kalini's parents aren't members. Their parents were surprised at their decision to be baptized and it made them re-think a lot of things.  I know that in time their parents will be taking lessons as well!  I just can't explain all that took place this week.  All I can say is that I love the work.  Pain enables growth and because of the power of Christ...satan will never win.  The work is the work of the Lord and I'm just happy to follow His will and do my best. When we are doing what God wants us to do....there is absolutely no better feeling.

Much Love, Elder Jonati

Viliame and Kalini's Baptism!

Samisone and his wife were way happy to see their grandchildren be baptized. 

Member presents with Brother Betchu. This guy does so much for Levuka!

Proselyting in the rain is the best!

Brother Samisone and Brother Sauwamudu

Sovaya, Lai, Samisen, Sauwamusu, Sakaraia, Baby-Resina

A full chapel is a happy chapel hahaha

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