Sunday, April 30, 2017

Week #90

Bula Vinaka everyone! I'm going to start this email by telling a story:

A few days ago I had an awesome experience with the Holy Ghost in our lesson with Eta. We met Eta last transfer and she was an awesome investigator. Our first visit with her was so nice and every visit after that she began to progress more and more. We gave her a baptismal date and invited her to church and then nothing ever happened..... I was pretty confused because Eta was doing so well! She loved the Book of Mormon and she was ready to take the next step. For some weeks we had been trying to visit her but she kept avoiding us. Just 2 weeks ago we knocked on her door. I could see her in the back, but her husband came out and told us she was gone. At this point I began to lose the hope I had for Eta. This past week we decided to make one more attempt. We walked up to Eta's house. Again, her husband answered the door and we could see Eta sitting on the back porch cleaning. He told Eta to say "bula' to us but she refused and even began to yell. She said she was busy cleaning and did not want to sit with us. Her husband continued to ask her why. As we stood outside the door it was quite awkward because Eta obviously did not want us there. But we did not move. There was a quiet voice that told us to stay put and not leave, so we obeyed. Not knowing what was going to happen, we stood there until Eta stood up angrily from her cleaning bowl and said, "COME IN ELDAS!"  Without saying a word we entered the home and Eta went into her room. Five minutes later she walked out holding her Bible and Book of Mormon. She sat down in front of us with tears in her eyes.  Her husband left the room and we sat in silence. I had no idea what to do! My companion and I just began to speak and ask her questions. Without fail she began to open her heart to us on all the things she was struggling with. She explained how every time she opens up the Book of Mormon or tries to do something good, her husband would stop her. She told us she wants to join the church but her husband wants her to be Catholic. We sat in silence and then as we opened our mouths I witnessed the Holy Ghost  bringing peace into Eta's heart. We asked her where she was in the Book of Mormon. She told us she was just finishing Moroni. Joy filled my heart because I knew she knew it was true. We talked some more and she with confidence told us she wanted to attend stake conference. At the end of the lesson I felt so good that the spirit helped us help one of God's daughters find more peace and help.

Missionary work is the best. Experiences like these is what reminds me of why I am here. I left home and everything because I have the gospel and others don't. If you don't have this gospel you're missing something... Nothing else can bring as much peace or joy as the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm still learning it as I go. Sometimes we can forget what it feels like and that's why some of us fall away at times. He'll never stop trying to help us though. I've read the Book of Mormon many times on my mission and I can say for a fact that I know that it is true. Whatever rumors, stories, or lies you've ever heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints is the tool of Satan to drag people from where Jesus Christ truly can be found. I've read the book and I've seen others read the book and accept this gospel and they cannot deny it. This church has to be the church of Jesus Christ. 
This week is transfers week and I'm anxious to know where He's going to send me!

Love, Elder Jonutz

A member family made this tapa for me. SO COOL!
Sitting in the carrier with members and investigators

Everyday in Naitasiri

The hike in Colo i Suva

On top of one of the falls

I made a steak and dang was it GOOD

When the rain comes! it comes...


Exchanges with Elder Howard

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week #89

Bula Vinaka Everyone! Okay I just need to apologize that this email is going to be pretty short. We're taking our zone on a hike to some waterfalls today and so we don't have a ton of time to email. This past week has been a roller coaster of events. Elder Stock got pretty sick this last week and so we spent some time in the hospital... He's all good now - just got a little scary there for awhile. But all is well! The majority of this past week he's been sick and recovering. 

Saturday I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Miller. We took him up to Naitasiri and he loved it. It's fun to take elders up to our area because they don't get to see things like that. We spent the night in our hammocks and had a blast. Saturday evening we just went hard and knocked on every door we could. In Nauluvatu, we've been working really hard. A lot of the villagers do not want us there but we keep going and I know their hearts are going to be softened. This week I've learned about our missions. A different kind of mission. I know Heavenly Father has a mission in this life for all of us and to follow it we have to be receptive to the Spirit. Do all you can to be able to receive His promptings and you will know what to do. This week was crazy but I learned how to be more positive so I grew. 

Love, Elder Jonutz

Naita dinners rock!  Bula shirts mada

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Week #88

Ni sa Bula Vinaka everyone! It's been such an awesome week to say the least. I'm exhausted but I love it hahaha! I'm happy to report that Sanaila was confirmed this last Sunday and he is just growing stronger and stronger in the faith. We actually have a way fun relationship with the kid. In Fijian it's kind of like a big compliment all the youth give when they say "boso levu" It means like big boss haha. But one night we were leaving Sanaila and he was following us out to the car and I called him "boto levu" which means big frog and he died laughing man. He thought it was hilarious so now that's what we call him hahaha!
This past week I made a goal to re-read all of preach my gospel. I just want to dissect the book apart and learn all I can! It's only been a week but I feel like my knowledge has just grown so much. I would recommend that everyone should read it! To members it will inspire them to share and HOW to share. Not only that but your knowledge of the gospel will become so much clearer and more simple. I just love how easy the gospel really is.
So last week I told you all about Filimone. At the beginning of this last week we were just trying to sit down with him but he kept avoiding us..... Which didn't make any sense because he was doing great and ready to be baptized. Elder Stock and I decided to have a fast for him. Saturday night we showed up at his house and he didn't run away :) It was a miracle. We sat down with him and had a heart to heart. Earlier that morning I was studying what we should share with him and I remembered the conference talk by Joaquin E. Costa. Specifically when he shared the experience where a missionary had him read from Alma 42 and every time where it says "behold my son" he had him replace it with his name. I felt prompted to do the exact same thing with Filimone! As he read we could feel the spirit and it opened up his heart. He explained to us that he just needed one more week to pray. We gladly are going to keep working with him and I know it was all an answer to our fast! So that was pretty awesome.
We had a surprise exchange with the assistants which was really fun. We went to one of our villages where the work just isn't going as well and we went to battle! We knocked on as many houses as we could and shared with families. Some were really accepting and I'm excited to go see them again this week. There's a lot of work that needs to be done and I am hoping the Lord just shows us how to do it. I have faith He will and this next week should be awesome! I love you all!
Much love, Elder Jonutz

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week #87

Ni sa Bula Vinaka Everyone! LONG WEEK! but a great week! The majority of it was filled with Zone Conference and interviews. Our Zone Conference was THE bomb.COM. We talked a lot about how to help our investigators come to sacrament meeting and how to help them accept baptismal dates. Something I learned from it all was that if we want any investigator to accept a commitment we have to help them see the WHY. One of the most rewarding experiences of being a missionary is helping someone to love Jesus Christ so much that they see the importance of the Sacrament. This past week we sat down with one of our investigators who wasn't able to make it to church last week, so we went to check up on her. We sat down and she told us she wasn't able to come because Sunday morning she woke up with a huge boil underneath her arm. (YIKES!) We asked her how she felt about it. She told us she felt like Satan really did not want her to come to church and she was able to gain insight that if satan was trying to stop her from coming that this church must be true. I thought a lot about that and it is so true. We helped her to realize that she has more power than him and it gave her a lot of joy and comfort. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and those who live it are always being attacked by the adversary.  But we can find joy and peace in the fact that we know it is true and it is why satan tries so hard to distract us.  I was able to listen to some of general conference and I loved President Uchtdorf's talk on how we can be happy even in this dark world! On Sunday, we drove down in a carrier from Naitasiri to Waila ward to watch general conference. Sanaila and his brother Filimone were both supposed to be baptized yesterday. When we showed up at their house only Sanaila was ready to go. We could have been sad or mad about this but we decided to be happy and we had a great baptism for Sanaila. We talked to Filimone's dad and he told us that Filimone woke up on Sunday and felt pretty shy and not ready... Elder Stock and I are going to visit him soon and listen to the spirit. We know the adversary does not want him to be baptized. The gospel can fix it. I love sharing it and we have some new investigators we found this week that I'm excited to work with and help. 

Love, Elder Jonutz

Sums up the week

Driving in the car to service

Found a huge millipede

Getting a car wash

Carrier ride to General conference. (The carrier is FULL:))

On our free time. WE chop down trees. It's not an easy job.

Saniala's Baptism

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Week #86

Ni sa bula Vinaka! This last week went by so fast! Probably because we have been so busy haha! This whole past week was filled with meetings and proselyting in our area. Elder Stock and I have just been giving it everything we have and are seeing some pretty awesome miracles. This week we started teaching a lot of new investigators. For awhile now I've felt prompted to go and try to contact this guy who lives outside the village. We saw him one time at one of our member's homes and he seemed interested. Tuesday evening Elder Stock and I went up to his house and lucky for us...and for him, he and his wife were there. His name is Josaia and he's what you call a Kailua (half cast). He's half Irish and half fijian.....pretty cool. As we sat down with Josaia and his wife we found out something cool about him. He was originally going to paint the mural for the Fiji Suva Temple. He's a way talented artist. He doesn't know a lot about the church but that's going to change. He and his wife are interested in the temple and want to be sealed together. I'm pretty pumped to be able to teach them!  We also got a referral from the Singh family.  Sister Singh's mother, father, and brother live in Lomai village and have talked them in to letting us come over and share with them the lessons.  Sister Singh has two daughters who are preparing to serve missions and so we're going to let them practice teaching the lessons to their family! Within that same village we also met another family.  A mom and a dad with tons of little kids. Peni and Vaseva are their names and they are way solid. Just the other day we sat down with Peni and showed him Heavenly Father's plan for us and he loved it. He said he knows our church is true. He's noticed that all the people who have converted in his village are mocked  by all the other villagers but he said he knows that means this church is true. Pretty wise man. Some of his kids came to church with us this past sunday and we're aiming for the parents to come next week. I am loving it out here where the work is moving so fast. Peatai and Maritina were confirmed this last Sunday and are really becoming more involved in the group. Two of their sons, Filemone and Sanaila are preparing to be baptized this Sunday!  Last week we started with no real solid investigators. We just tried to have as much faith and hope as we could and went out and worked and miracles are starting to happen in Naitasiri. This week we are the first zone to have zone conference and so I'm pretty excited. I have not been able to listen to general conference yet, but I just downloaded it onto my flash drive so we can listen to it in the car. It's going to be sick. I had some resolves this past week to make small changes to be more in tune with Heavenly Father and I can feel the difference. Exact obedience isn't just a term used by missionaries it should be applied to everyone. If we follow exactly the laws of God at least all that we are able, then we will see miracles in our lives. I can testify of that. I love this work. I am so tired but I feel like I have so much energy. The spirit is real.

Love, Elder Jonutz