Monday, December 26, 2016

Week #72

Bula Family and Friends! So the past 2 weeks have been insane. We were stuck in the flat for about 6 days due to flash flooding. That was quite the adventure. Everyone is safe and all is well, just a little sick of staying inside. It feels so good to be free and back into the real world and life of a missionary. A lot has happened and I don't have a ton of time. It was when we were stuck in the flat around 9:00 P.M. I recieved a call from my mission president informing me that my Grandpa Jonutz had passed away. I was pretty upset and didn't really know how to feel so I did all that I knew how to do and got down on my knees and prayed. I can tell you this...the plan of salvation is real and true.  My Grandpa Jonutz is in the spirit world and my family and I are going to see him again. When I prayed I just was filled with a feeling of peace. I am sad he is gone but he really isn't gone.....because we are sealed as a family we will see him again. I'm so grateful to be on a mission and proclaiming this message to all I can. I'm out here because I believe it and know this to be true. I'm out here because there's so much that people don't know and so many blessings they can have. We just have to go out of our way to share it! The dead will rise again....families can be together forever if sealed by the priesthood power of God, we can become clean from sin, we can be happy through any trial because we know we can return to live with our Father in Heaven again! I love this gospel. It's so true! I know it has been awhile since I have sent pictures but I have some that I will share soon! I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you all feel the spirit of the Savior. Even if you don't really know if He lives, I testify that He does and He Loves you. Pray and ask.

Much Love, Elder Jonutz 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Week #71

Dear Parents of the missionaries serving in Naitasiri Fiji,

I want to write and let you know that you won’t be receiving an email from your Elder serving in Naitasiri today. As you may have heard we have received a lot of rain and wind the past few days. As a result the access road to the Naitasiri flat has flooded with about 5 feet of water that has created a new lake in the mountains. I sent the Assistants up into the area this morning and they took enough food and water to supply the elders for a week. We arranged for a boat to pick up the food from the Assistants and take it to the elders on the other side of their new lake.

I just called the elders and they are doing fine, they have telephone and electrical service, and are comfortable inside their flat. We will monitor their situation and let you know if anything changes. As for now they are happy and getting in a little extra study time.

If you are interested in the weather situation here in Fiji, the web sites I monitor are the following:

We sure love your missionaries and will keep a close eye on them for you.

Warm regards,
President Layton

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week #70

BULA VINAQUA! Pretty crazy week out here! The past few days have been raining with thunder and lightening non-stop! I woke up the other night and all I saw was whiteness......and then the biggest boom of thunder I have ever heard! It was so sweet! Overall I'm just super happy about last week! Things are really beginning to grow in our area. We have this one member named Brother Juta and he is the MAN! He has started to come out teaching with us and he is now one of my favorites hahaha! He's about 50 years old but has this back problem that makes him a hunchback but he's way crazy and happy all the time and super pumped about sharing the gospel. Currently we're working with the son of one of our members. His name is Savenaca and he's a beast! He's in his 20's and plays on a professional rugby team! We taught him the plan of salvation the other day and he seemed to really like it because the next day he came to church! This week I've learned a lot about the promptings of the spirit. On Wednesday Elder Carlson and I were driving and all of our appointments fell through and we both had no idea where to go.  And then this thought just came to my mind about going to Nauluvatu! Just some background information, Nauluvatu is the furthest village in our area and to get to it we have to cross a river. We decided to listen to that prompting and when we arrived in the village there was this group of 8 people sitting down on an ibe (fijian mat) just waiting for us.....They told us that they were waiting for us to come and share something with them! It was so cool because we hadn't even planned to go there that day but I guess the Lord did hahaha! Missions are crazy! The other day Elder Carlson and I were walking through this village and I saw this way small fluffy little bird just sitting on this log stump. I made a joke saying that I was going to go and grab it. As I reached down, to my surprise it didn't fly away! So we picked it up and took it to a lesson with us and the Fijians got a kick out of it hahaha! I absolutely love the people in our area. They are so kaicolo (bush poeple). For example, we were in a lesson and one of our members was trying to explain something to us about this "plane like thing" that swings up at the top and moves up and down. He even began to make hand motions but he just could not describe what this flying machine was called or what it was! We finally told him it was a helicopter. I was laughing so hard. It's so fun to be in an area with such fun people! For service this week all 4 Elders from our flat went to Brother Juta's teitei (farm). We had to walk across this river and when we got there we were amazed. He's just this small old dude but his farm was HUGE! I have no idea how that man keeps up with it. He gave us this staff and made us dig holes and we had a blast eating all the guava fruit we could find up in the guava trees! We did a lot of finding this week and it was fun! We met this old man named Tomasi. He is from the islands of Lau'. We sat down with him and felt impressed to share with him about baptisms for the dead. We told him how Jesus taught that a man must be born of the water and of the spirit to enter into the kingdom of heaven. We asked him if he knew that was true and he then said yes! We asked him for his bible and he got it down for us and we asked him this question. "If one must be baptized to make it into heaven, what about all your ancestors who lived in Fiji before the gospel was even will God judge them after this life?" We told him that the bible shows us how we can help our ancestors enter into heaven because our Heavenly Father is a fair God." We had him turn to 1 Corinthians 15:29. We explained that in this chapter the apostle Paul is speaking to the people of Corinth. At the time the people of Corinth did not believe in the resurrection and Paul was trying to prove to them that there will be a resurrection. He then remembers that the People in Corinth at that time were practicing baptisms for the dead. And Paul poses this question to the people in verse 29- If the dead rise not at all why are you then baptizing people for the dead? We told Tomasi that the power to perform this work for his ancestors is on the earth today restored to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. We asked him if he received an answer from God by the Holy Ghost if he would then be baptized but ONLY IF he recieved that answer from God. He told us yes and we are way excited to continue to meet with him! The way we taught that lesson was shown to us by our mission President. So far since I've been on my mission this approach of teaching has gotten so many people to accept baptism! Next week I get to give a 15 minute talk for our Christmas Zone Conference and I am way excited. It's on...Our Relationship with the Savior Eternally! Wish me luck! I love you all and can't wait to tell you all about my week next week!

Love, Elder Jonutz

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week #69

Ni sa Bula Vinaka Family and Friends! Another awesome week here in Fiji! We started last week off by going on some exchanges with some awesome Elders from our zone. Elder Roberts and Elder Kalio! They are way awesome and hard working missionaries and we had a good time! This week we had our Mission Leadership Council and Elder Cardon attended and man was it awesome! It was such a cool experience having a member of the seventy train us. The whole meeting was really powerful and I needed it a lot! Our mission mom, Sister Layton, shared about, "The Secret of the Camel".  She shared how camels have some of the strongest bodies of any other animal on earth. They can carry weight over 600lbs and travel through rugged terrain without stopping for hours. The secret of the camel is every morning he kneels before his master and his master carefully loads the camel with packages and supplies being very careful of where to put them. The camel then stands and goes on throughout the day and when night comes he kneels again before the master and the master unloads the heavy burdens from the camel.  Every day in this life we all meet challenges or struggles, stress, fatigue, or even depression. Jesus Christ is our Master and as His servants we are permitted to kneel before Him and feel His atonement lift the burdens from our backs. I know this is true....I have seen it and felt it my whole life and it is true. We don't have to stress so much and carry the weight all the time. The Savior can make it light and easy for us to carry.  One of my favorite scriptures from this week is - Mosaia 24:14.  Sometimes I can't take the weight anymore and I do fall on my knees and beg for His help and I am so grateful for the testimony that I know when I do, He will lift it from me.  We have had some huge miracles happen this past week. I mentioned some weeks before that in our new area we cannot knock on doors or talk to nonmembers unless it is referred to us by member... but the Lord has changed that and somehow miraculously we are now permitted to knock on any door and to talk to all we can!  He is in this work there is no doubt about it.  As of this new advancement in the work out here in Naitasiri we found 6 people last week who said they want to be baptized!!!  This week has had some challenges but I can move past them because there is work to do!  There are sheep that need to be fed.  This week I learned how to drive stick shift so I feel pretty cool.  We had some scary moments where I almost killed us but hey.....I'm a pro now and I am proud of it. We bought this creepy huge face of Santa and put it on our front door and we are planning on cutting down a palm tree so Chhristmas is looking pretty promising this year hahaha! I hope you are all doing well and can't wait to talk to you all next week!
Love, Elder Jonutz