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. 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 here....how 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 . 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