Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week #85

Bula Vinaka Family and Friends! Transfers were this week! It has been stressful but all is well in Zion haha. So Elder Willoughby was transferred to the north on Vanua Levu. That's where he'll be ending his mission in 2 months. Isa lei, going to miss that guy! As for me, I am still here in NAITASIRI! My new companion is Elder Stock and we both came to Fiji together so it's going to be a way fun transfer! He is from Sandy, Utah. He's a pretty tall dude and comes from a family of 9!!! We have similar personalities so it should be fun haha! This past week was a lot of driving people around to their new areas. I'm pretty excited to stay in Naitasiri! The zone here is so much fun and I love being able to serve here. I will try to tell you all the things I have learned this week but my brain is fried and I am pretty exhausted hahaha! Our mission is on fire right now! No joke.....As a mission council we set a goal of 144 saints and today we got an email from our mission president that we surpassed our goal and with the help of Jesus Christ had 187 converts! The work really is hastening and it is hastening fast. I love serving in a place where so many are ready to receive this awesome gospel.  I've been reading in the Book of Mormon and just a thought that I would like to share is something that has changed me. On my mission I have had the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon multiple times and one thing that has stuck with me is that Heavenly Father is so merciful to us.... There are so many times his children mess up in the Book of Mormon and He gives them so many times to repent and change. I just have a strong testimony that our Heavenly Father knows what's best for us. He wants us to be able to come back to Him. He will continue to reach out to us and help us because He's our Father. Missionary work, jobs, family life and the world can be pretty stressful. But if we can just take a break and be still and know that He is God than we can find more peace in our lives. If we have faith and believe in Him...He will carry us back to Him. I love this gospel because it is the answer to everything. I love you all and look forward to getting back to work in Naitasiri.

Love, Elder Jonati

The Singh family made me an Ibe! They are too nice

Naitasiri Bondfire

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week #84

Bula Everyone! This has been a good week so I'm just going to dive right into the details and tell you all about it!  Monday night after p-day we had an appointment with this family we have been working with. They live up behind a school by a nearby village we always visit and they are awesome. They're a young Fijian couple and are both school teachers. They have a little baby named Faith and they just need the gospel. So Monday night we headed down around 7:00 and they were home so we went right on in. The lesson was awesome. We taught them about the restoration of the gospel and about Joseph Smith and they were just listening intently the entire time. Towards the end of the lesson the spirit was right so we invited them to be baptized. They told us they believe it is all true but that they cannot change churches because it's their forefather's church. In Fiji this is what everyone will tell you. I can't even count how many times I've taught someone and they come to know it's all true but they just "can't change". Sometimes it blows my mind! There're always some frustrating things that come with trying to help others receive the gospel. But no matter how hard it can be it is ALWAYS worth it. Take for example Petaia and his wife Leba! I have great news! They were both baptized yesterday in the river below our chapel. But I want to tell you all a little more about Petaia! There are some things we found out about him this past week. This last Thursday we had an appointment with him and his family and as we walked up to the house all the lights were shut off. Petaia came out smiling with only a candle and we entered the home. After sharing with them about how their baptism was going to work Petaia told us that he wanted to tell us something. He told us how a year ago he lived on the 2nd biggest island in Fiji, "Vanua Levu". He told us how he was the head Minister of his church over the entire island..... Then he received a vision that he and his family should go to the main island of Viti Levu. At the time he didn't know why but he just decided to listen and go. He left everything. He came all the way here to Naitasiri. He told us he had been waiting here for a year to find out why God sent him here. He had been praying and fasting and then he said the day we entered his home he knew. He felt peace and he learned things that gave him a purpose and he's come to love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Petaia is one of the most humble men I have ever met and his wife is just as amazing. I know they will be converted forever! It has been an awesome week. I also got to go on exchanges with the assistants and it was a blast. Suva is way different than Naistasiri hahaha! It's like going from bush to city and it's crazy. I'm slowly turning into a bushman! I love every experience I have been having on my mission! It can be hard but it is more rewarding than anything I have ever experienced. Tomorrow is transfer calls and I hope I can stay longer! I love you all! Ni sa moce!
Love, Elda Jonati   

One of our investigator's kids. They have the coolest view from their house

US with our bomb members (Sister Wati and Brother waisele)

Petaia and Leba heading to the River

The Baptism!
After the baptism hike
Dramatic pose
Pretty cool moon we had Monday night

Finally no rain!!! Way nice weather this week

This picture sums up the week (Never thought I'd stand on top of a tractor in the middle of Fiji)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week #83

Bula Vinaka y'all! It has been a super awesome week! Never in my life have I seen so many lightning storms! I have to admit though that sitting in a lesson at night in a village when there's crazy lightning and thunder going off feels pretty dang cool. Especially when Elder Willoughby and I share our testimonies and it ends with a big boom of thunder! We felt pretty cool hahaha! A lot of awesome things just happened this past week. We've been working pretty dang hard with our Vanua Levu family and they are starting to prepare to be baptized! Just this past week we sat down with the whole family and shared about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity and they loved it! The father said after we shared those commandments with him that he read some verses from the Book of Mormon and he just knows that those commandments are important! He and his wife were originally going to be baptized on the 25th of this month but they've decided to push it closer and so they are going to be baptized this Sunday BULLLLAAAA! I'm so excited for this family. They said they want to take the lead and then their kids are going to follow. I've been meeting with this family ever since I've been in this area and they are just such humble people and were so prepared to accept the gospel. I'm more than happy! This next Sunday is going to be sweet! Along with their family we have been working with some other families that are still working on reading the Book of Mormon and hopefully they'll get their answers soon. On Friday we went to the Singhs to do service and holy cow my shoulders are killing me. Brother Singh is a work horse! The guy is like in his 50's and he works like an animal. He took us out into the woopwoop and cut down these huge logs and we got the lucky job of carrying them on our shoulders. We took multiple trips and some of us almost died along the way but we felt buff after so that was nice.

This week I've been reading in the Book of Mormon about Captain Moroni, Helaman, Teancum and the 2000 strippling warriors. Probably the best section in the Book of Mormon in my opinion. But the lessons I've learned from these legacy's is that satan only has as much power as we give him. As long as we make preparations and fill our minds with faith in Jesus Christ we can conquer anything in this life. It may be scary sometimes when we can't see the future of our lives but when we obey with exactness and push forward with faith, everything is possible. That's what I know. Anyways on Sunday we had Lotu Vata (combined church).  About 4 units came along with the Stake President and Bishop and it was bomb.  A lot of our members got interviewed to be able to go to the temple to be sealed as a family and so there's nothing better than that! Naitasiri is doing awesome and I'm glad to be serving here. Au lomani Kemuni! 

Love, Elder Jonutz

Fijian Army

The kids literally pile up every time we take pictures

We found these way sick looking flowers so we hung it up in our car

Elder Willoughby standing outside when lightening strike. It was pitch black outside and the lightning lit up everything!

Our boat upgraded and got an engine!

Members getting picked up for the lotu vata

Pretty sweet picture....


me an my perty flower

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week #82

Dear Tamara Vinaka (good people), It has been another good week out here in the bush. Lots of things have happened as always! On Wednesday we dropped Elder Payne off at the mission office. He's in Tuvalu now. Lucky kid hahaha! On the bright side, while dropping him off we found a mexican food restaurant. I could hardly believe it was real. I didn't know those existed out here and I was quite surprised. I tried to bridle my inner man but I ended up giving in and getting nachos and a burrito and ISSSAAAAA LEEIII! It was pretty dang good. It was a blessing hahah! On a more serious note, we found tons of new investigators this past week. Since we can't really tract in the villages we have decided to hit up all the houses that are on the outskirts of the villages and some have been pretty good contacts! Just the other day we sat down with this family who had so many kids. They seemed like a pretty happy family so we began by sharing with them about the sealing power. We told them how we could help them to receive an answer to know if the power to seal their family together is in this church. They told us if they found out that it was true they would all be baptized. So I'm way pumped for them because they are definitely going to receive an answer because it is true. And plus......who doesn't want to be sealed to their family for eternity! I'm excited to get to share with them. Petaia and his family (Vanua levu family) have been doing amazing. We've been teaching them for awhile and Petaia and Sereana and a few of their sons have come to church a few times now. Lately we just haven't been sure who all really wants to be baptized so we decided last friday to sit down with them and figure all that out. After some pretty cool impressions of the spirit, all 6 of them have decided they want to be baptized by the end of this month. They are one of the coolest families I've ever met. When we teach them they are all so intently listening and humble. They literally follow any commitment we give them. They really have full purpose of heart in trying to follow Jesus Christ and that makes me so happy! Lately I've been learning a lot about prayer. I've been trying harder to have prayers throughout the day that are in correspondence with the goals I am working on. I've seen some cool changes. I have a testimony that if we set goals with Heavenly father and work on them with Him throughout the day then they can become a reality. He really does answer our prayers. Our unit member, Brother Vounijese, recently had his mother die. We went to visit him the other day and we shared with him about all the temple work he can do for his mom. He is really grateful that he can help his mom still get to the celestial kingdom. Just seeing this made me realize how loving God's plan is for us. He wants us ALL to come back to Him and he does so many things to make that possible. I love sharing the gospel. The atonement has the power to transform you and when you let it and set goals you can become more like Him and it's pretty awesome. I look forward to sharing more with all you guys next week!
Love, Elder Jonutz

Lomai Village

Sportin my sulu and sandals.

Cute kids from our unit

Our chapel (just a rented out classroom) It's pretty cool

When we walked to church

King kong mountains

Just one of the weird bugs here