Sunday, February 26, 2017

Week #81

Bula Vinaka everyone! This past week has been one of the best weeks of my life. So many life long lessons I think I will be able to remember and use for the rest of my life. This past week we had our zone conference and the spirit was so strong. We spent the three hours going over all the new changes that have taken place in the missions all over the world. Our entire schedule has changed so that we can have more proselyting time! We spent a lot of time having everyone share their spiritual impressions and it was pretty powerful. I'm pretty lucky to be able to serve in a zone where all the Elders and Sisters are awesome missionaries. Most of the Zone Conference we watched a worldwide missionary broadcast that was lead by Dallin H. Oaks, David A. Bednar, Neil L. Anderson, and some others! Something that Elder Bednar said hit me pretty hard, "All we have to do is be as good as we can be and God will form us into someone better than we could have ever become!" Over the course of my mission I've seen how true this really is.... As a missionary you get to see the atonement change people and you even get to see the atonement change you. It is so cool! I've realized that sometimes we fear more than we hope. I remember the scripture, "Look unto me in every thought; Doubt not, fear not." The past few weeks I've been trying to practice this scripture in my life and I've seen so many cool changes in myself. We don't have to fear the future events of our days or lives! All we have to do is get out there and do good and look unto Him in every thought! He will guide us and lead us and we will learn and grow. I love being on a mission. I've had some really hard times out here, but I always come out stronger than I was before and I am so grateful for that. He has a plan for all of us and we just have to trust Him and enjoy the change no matter how uncomfortable it sometimes can be. He's doing all He can to help us become more like Him!  After zone conference I started studying the New Testament and found a cool way to invite people to be baptized using the scriptures John 3:5 and Mark 1:9-11. I tried it out in one of our villages the other day and everyone in the family accepted baptism if they come to know that it is true so that was pretty dang cool. This week Elder Willoughby and I decided to do something pretty hard but we knew it would help our members. So here in Naitasiri, there is not a lot of ways for transportation for people to get to and from church. The past few months they'd been relying on us to help them get transportation and we just can't do it anymore because our mission president and stake president have told us not to. The walk from our flat to the church chapel is about a 4 hour walk through some pretty rough dirt roads. Elder Willoughby and I felt impressed that this past Sunday we needed to leave our truck at the flat and walk to church. So we woke up pretty early and started the long walk. The members were pretty shocked that we walked all that way for church. When they realized we didn't have our truck with us they began to panic. At first they were mad with us for not bringing the truck but we needed to do this so they could see that they were relying on us too much. They sat down as a group and counciled together. Some walked home and some waited for the bus. I'm not going to lie. The walk was hard and my feet are pretty torn up but it taught me the importance of the sacrament. He just wants us to remember Him and the walk was totally worth it. I also hope our members learned a lesson. I love them. On the walk back home we heard news that one of our members was kicked by his horse so we went to his home and we were able to give him the sacrament and a blessing. We got home when it was dark and I felt so drained but yet accomplished by the end of the day. These things have taught me life long lessons and I'm just so happy to be able to be learning so much out here. Our vanua levu family came to church again this week and we're pretty excited for them. Fiji is the place!
Love, Elder Jonutz

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week #80

Bula Vinaka everyone who is reading! I want all my family, friends and anyone else who is reading this to know that the Holy Ghost is real. This week I've learned the different ways it works. To keep the Holy Ghost with us we must respond to it's promptings! As a missionary in Fiji speaking the Fijian language it is impossible to touch the hearts of the people if the Holy Ghost is not guiding me in all I do. Earlier this week I realized a difficulty in recognizing His promptings. The work became a struggle and I had no idea what to do. I prayed and prayed and prayed but was still struggling. A lesson to be learned is in the Book of Mormon in the book of Jacob chapter 4 verse 7 it says, "Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by His grace, and His great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." I just want to take this moment to testify that this scripture is absolutely true. It is only by God's will that we have the Holy Ghost to be with us. To members of this church we have been given the Gift of The Holy Ghost, this is true. But to keep this gift with us we have to recognize that it's only because He is allowing us to. I never want to jeopardize my companionship with the Holy Ghost. He guides me in all ways and comforts me in all trials! To those of you who maybe don't have this Gift yet...the way is simple. It starts with baptism. God wants us to have this gift. This life is hard enough without it. I just want to say how grateful I am to be able to be a missionary. I'm grateful for the things our heavenly father teaches us and the things he puts us through to grow. He knows ALL. This week Elder Willoughby and I had some cool experiences! Pushing forward through trials we invited others to be baptized. A family we've been working with for awhile finally made their first step to follow the Savior and be baptized. Sitting down in their home we read with them Mosiah 18:8-10. Immediately we felt prompted to invite them to be baptized and they said yes! Just yesterday they came to church despite the expensive travel fair. Petal, Maria,Va, and Fili are all working towards their baptism for March 25. I have faith this will happen. And I can't wait for them to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! Missionary work is so rewarding! We have zone conference this Thursday and I'm looking forward to it! I love you guys! Ni sa moce!

Love, Elder Jonutz

Fiji Suva Temple!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Week #79

Bula Vinaka y'all! Pretty awesome week to say the least! Good news is I'm still in the bush out in Naitasiri and get to enjoy another transfer with all the amazing people here. I'm way stoked about that! My "son", Elder Payne, is also now in Naitasiri but his situation is a little different. He'll be spending 3 weeks with us and then he's going to be on his way to TUVALU! I'm way pumped for the kid! It has been fun having him in the flat this past week. Elder Willoughby and I got to do transfers this whole last week and somehow still were able to manage going on an exchange and have a baptism! Which was a miracle. I actually had a way good time on my exchange with Elder McKee. He's from Washington and a very smart guy! While I was out with him in his area we had some guy walk up to us on the street. To start off the conversation he said, "Hey, I want to join your church." After some additional comments we figured out that he was really looking for some direction in his life and felt like he needed to join our church. We shared with him the story of the restoration and he was excited to hear more. I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes for the Elders teaching him. Being a missionary is so awesome. For some young adult man to come up to us and tell us he's looking for direction in his life is peculiar and normally I wouldn't know exactly what to say.......but that's okay because the gospel of Jesus Christ says it all! That is the greatest thing I have learned on my mission. There LITERALLY is nothing more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It answers every question and solves every problem..... I just want to teach it to everyone! If you're not currently happy refer to the gospel: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and then endure to the end. I can testify that there is no other way to find true happiness. ONLY by following the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes even as a missionary I have to refer back to these steps to make sure I'm happy and it works every time. Elder Mckee and I also had a cool experience in helping a less active family. We shared with them the importance of the Sacrament. If we think about the Sacrament as a feast to remember our Savior....we will never EVER want to miss a sacrament. He made it so we can ALWAYS remember Him. The next Sunday we saw the family come to church and we could tell how excited they were to come break bread with the Savior. Later that night I had a pretty funny experience! Remember the scene on The Grinch when he gets the fudge shoved in his mouth till he is sick?!...I had a similar experience.  After coming back from a dinner appointment where they made us tons of food we went to one last appointment to visit a man named Wame. We walked inside and he was playing some christian songs on the guitar and singing pretty loud. In between his songs he would add, "Honey, make these boys some dinner!" We told him no thank you but then he'd ignore us and continue on with his song. His wife came out with a huge plate of eggs, rice, sausage, and ketchup. I was already so full but ate it anyway. Now I was really full and my stomach hurt. He then made us eat hot chocolate and pie and I literally almost popped. I was trying not to laugh as he was stuffing my face with all this food and singing these christian songs and then I realized just how happy this guy was. We shared with him the restoration and he said he would be baptized on March 5th! We'll see how it goes! This last Sunday Save Naca was baptized and so that was awesome. He was super pumped and when he came up from the water you could just see the change in him. He could not stop smiling. I just want you all to know that I cannot nor will I ever deny the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the MOST important thing in this life. I love you all and look forward to telling you more next week!

Love, Elder Jonacani (someone tried to call me that the other day hahaha) 

Exhanges in Waila

Found the scooby gang

Power went out while nightly planning so we went back to the 1800's

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week #78

Bula Vinaka Everyone!  Well it has been a pretty crazy week just as every week has been! We received some pretty devastating news last Thursday. One of my past zone leaders, Elder Amai, just finished his mission this last December and we found out he was killed in a car accident...He was an amazing missionary and I looked up to him. I know he's continuing on the work up in the spirit world right now. He served in the area I am currently serving in and the members were sad to hear the news but it was a faith building experience that helped build their testimonies on the plan of salvation. It's so much more satisfying having a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I've come to realize that it is the most important thing in my life. I love studying it, living it, and sharing it! It's a humbling experience when being able to repent causes you to lean on the Savior's mercy and plead for his help. To be able to become clean again is in and of itself a miracle. It's awesome! This week we finally got Save Naca ready for his baptism. I'm really hoping I get to stay to see it because I've been working with him ever since I've been in this area. Transfers are tomorrow and I'm not planning on just got to keep my fingers crossed. Yesterday we had a pretty crazy experience! We had a lot of appointments cancel and we didn't know what to do. We felt like we needed to go see Brother Navuso (Save Naca's dad). We showed up at his house and he was pretty sick. His breathing was uncontrollable and he had a pretty bad cough. Because the spirit prompted us to go there we were able to take him to the hospital and get him some oxygen. He was really grateful and we are glad the spirit was able to speak to us. Lesson learned this week is that if we want to constantly have the spirit with us we must constantly repent and pray. The feeling of the spirit is something I wouldn't trade for anything else. I'm sorry if this email is very short but Elder Willoughby and I are in charge of a combined zone beach p-day and we don't have a ton of time to email today. I just want you to know I know this gospel is true and I love it! This past week I finally got to listen to Grandpa Jonutz's funeral recording. I am so happy that I have a family firmly rooted in the gospel because there is nothing better.
va loloma! Elder Jonutz