Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week #102

Dear Family and Friends, this is the last email I will be sending off as a set apart missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fiji......

This past week has been a miracle and an experience of a lifetime. I know my Savior lives and just because I am coming home this week does not mean I am done being His disciple. As a missionary we are commanded to follow certain rules and when I return home and am released, those certain rules I will no longer be expected to follow. My new goal is to be as good of a disciple as I can be without being bound by missionary rules! 

This past week Elder Ogden and I worked till we dropped! Which was all I wanted to do...I can't explain how happy I am when I am absolutely exhausted from missionary work. It's a feeling I'm always going to remember and it will keep me driven and motivated for the rest of my life haha! 

We went out finding this week and as always the Lord led us. One of our first encounters of the week was with this older man from the Catholic church. We tried sharing with him about the sealing power that belongs in Christ's church to seal families together forever. Before we even finished reading the scripture he stood up in front of us and told us we were misled and that all of our doctrines were false. In the beginning of my mission this would have discouraged me. Instead, I just sat there and smiled. I just felt peace because I had no doubts about what we had shared. I have complete faith that this church I belong to is Jesus Christ's church. The more persecution I receive the more strengthened my testimony becomes. So I thanked that man and we left his house. 

On that same day we were looking for people to teach and weren't having much success. We were about to get in the car when we had a prompting to try the house our van was parked right next to. We went and knocked on the door and the family let us in. At the end of our message the father of the home said that that week they had decided to leave the Methodist church and were praying to find direction. He told us that we came in at the right time and that his family would pray and seek to find if the church was true. The spirit leads and it testifies of truth when we follow and obey.

THE BEQA TRIP:  Friday morning we took the boat out again to the island of Beqa. We went there to conduct the baptismal interviews for Lavenia and Susana (A mother and her daughter). These two were preparing to be the very first baptisms on the entire island of Beqa. Elder Ogden and I had the awesome privilege of giving them their interviews and I won't forget it... I interviewed Lavenia, the mom. I don't think we realize how mindful our Heavenly Father is of us sometimes...This woman had been searching for truth and she was just ready to follow whatever God asked her to do. We found her 3 weeks ago and sitting down with her in an interview and seeing how much she had learned from the spirit amazed me! 

Saturday morning we scraped coconuts and cleaned up the house for the baptism and the Lovo! President and Sister Higgins came out on a boat that morning to witness the baptism. We hiked to the center of the island to a river and the baptism was full of the spirit! I can't even try to describe it. 1st 2 baptisms on BEQA baby! History made last week! 

On Sunday our ward had me stand up at the front and they sang in Fijian, "God be with you till we meet again". That was hard.

Sunday afternoon, Lo was baptized and I had the privilege of being able to baptize her. At her baptism she shared how as she was leaving her house her mom and aunt were crying and begging her not to go. She said she also began to cry but she felt peace and left and came to her baptism. She knew what she was doing was what God wanted her to do and I know that He is so proud of her...I am too. This gospel changes lives....I know how the Savior feels for us and I can't wait to do home teaching!!

Love, Elder Jonutz

Proselyting is the best

Knocking doors (Fijian doors..)


Upgraded from our van to this!

Waiting at the dock for Beqa

Packing stuff on to the boat

Engine starting up....

And we're off to Beqa!

Got pretty rough along the way at times

Land ho

Went explorin

Found a hidden beach covered by mangroves

My pride rock
A huge hornets nest

Pondering life in Paradise

President and Sister Higgins walking with Lavenia and Susana to their Baptism

The hike in

The baptism smile

The 1st Beqa members

Pretty sick Butterfly

The lovo  YUMMMM

Scraping coconutz

It was hard saying goodbye...

Goodbye Beqa

The Senikuraciri family

Nawaqasema Family

Some of the YSA

More of the YSA

LO at her baptism!

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