Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Bula vinaka!

Well I cannot believe that the time has come for me to send my last email to you guys before I will see you this week. It doesn't seem real to me at all haha Serving on Kadavu is way different from serving anywhere else in the mission. For some reason when you serve here you just kind of feel like you are apart of the life here and you kind of forget about everything else and just work. It is such an amazing place to be able to finish my mission. It has made it really easy for me to be able to stay focused and finish strong. This week we actually taught the most lessons that I have taught in one week in my whole stay in Kadavu so that was exciting for my last full week here. We also had our 4 baptisms which was so awesome!!!! Some of the best baptisms of my whole mission. What a blessing. I will talk a little more about that in a minute. The zone leaders were also here this last week to come and do all the interviews and stuff. One of them is Elder Peleseuma who is the Samoan elder that we were on Tuvalu with. He actually served here on Kadavu before he went to Tuvalu and now is the Suva ZL so that was really fun for him to get to come back here and see the people that he knows. 

Well I don't think that I told you guys last week but do you remember Ratu Sela? He is the guy that we baptized a few weeks ago. Well the week after his baptism he slipped back a bit and drank and he came home and got mad at his daughter and hit her. And it really wasn't a huge deal because that is pretty normal here but for some reason the mom was really mad so she went and reported him to the police and he got locked up and had to go to Suva this week to get judged. He is all good though and just got a warning and will be coming back this week. It has been so cool though to see how God really knows what he is doing in this work and how he needs to teach people. At first I was really nervous because the whole time his wife has been really iffy about the church and kind of against it and then when this happened I thought that she was going to totally blame it all on him being baptized but it actually had the opposite effect. She completely has turned around and said that she knows that this is the true church because he was baptized and then slipped and messed up again and instantly God had this stuff happen to him to teach him. It also gave us a lot of opportunities to serve them. This week we did service for them for like 5 hours. We went to the bush and cut a TON of firewood and bundled it up and carried it to their house and then chopped it up into smaller pieces and then went and chopped 2 more trees to make poles and made them a new clothes line and we also got the relief society president and branch president here involved and we were able to get them some fast offering money and went and bought them a bunch of food and took it to them. I already loved that family soo much but being able to serve them like that this week just gave me an even greater feeling of love for them. The 2 kids got baptized yesterday and the mom is now saying that she wants to be baptized this week as soon as Ratu gets back haha she will have to come to church a few more times first though. It also really softened the hearts of a lot of people around them. Kadavu is probably the hardest hearted people in all of Fiji (which is really still nothing compared to the rest of the world but it seems bad to me because I am used to most other Fijians haha) they are great people though. But a lot of people here talk bad about the church but this week we heard that a lot of people around here were saying "see this is the true church, they are Christlike and help others" so that was pretty awesome too. That day of service my companion got sunburned for the first time in his life because the sun was so hot that day and his eyes got super swollen the next morning. It was crazy haha. we worked our butts off. Thanks for teaching me how to work hard dad! haha

Other than that the other highlight of this week was yesterday. This whole week we visited all the less actives and investigators and we had all of the transport set up to get everyone to church and everyone was super excited and ready to come and we woke up yesterday morning and it was POURING rain and I prayed really hard that we could at least have some good weather for church and the baptisms. O yeah we also bought 2 big bundles of fish and we made kokoda which is raw fish with the lemon juice and coconut milk stuff and that is what we took for our contribution for the food on Sunday haha everyone loved it!! It was funny too because they said we are like the first elders ever to actually bring food on a day that everyone eats together at the chapel haha but back to the story. so we walked to the chapel and the rain had already stopped but we got there and called one of the members who was supposed to be bringing a President Korologa and all the members from Tavuki side and he said he wasn't coming because of the bad weather, too little faith that the Lord would prepare the way... ha but anyways.... I was calling around like crazy trying to find another way to get all those members here and finally I got a hold of someone there in the village that took the phone to President Korologa and I told him to just hire a boat from his village and they could just come. So all the members from Vunisea came and I started sacrament meeting and once that was over the people from Tavuki showed up on the boat and we had the baptism. Inoke, Kalesi, Tuqara and Onorina all got baptized. It was one of the best baptisms of my mission. The spirit was really strong and you could just feel the happiness and excitement that everyone had. It was great. After the baptisms Elder Tekenimatang and me were walking out of the ocean and I looked at him and then tackled him into the water hahaha it was pretty funny. 

Well I guess that is it for this week. Hopefully the weather gets better by Friday so my flight doesn't gt messed up so I can see you guys. Still doesn't seem real haha The members from Vunivesi made the zone leaders there call the AP's to call me and ask me when I am coming there with you guys haha so I am pretty sure we are going to have a nice party there haha that will be so awesome. They make the best food I have ever had! You guys also better start stretching and practice sitting cross legged on the ground! haha I am way excited to see McKay as well!! I have hardly talked to him since I have been gone. He would never email me back haha  Well see you Friday!!! Au lomani kemudou!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vakadeitaka tale na noqu ivakadinadina‏


Well we are very blessed to be able to email 2 weeks in a row! haha and today is on a way nice laptop. We are emailing on the computer that I used for skype on Mother's Day. 

So this week was an awesome week. We found a lot of new investigators lately because of our open house thing and just from contacting people and a lot of them are doing really well. They are always really excited for us to come over and they really prepare themselves for when we come to teach them. It really makes it fun to teach people when they are excited about it. This week when we walked to Tavuki (the 24 km round trip) I wore these different sandals that had a back strap thing on them and my feet got blistered SUPER bad haha because I usually just wear flip flops. So that has been kind of annoying all week but it is all good. 

This week on Thursday we rode the big boat up to the top side of the island where the other unit is. It is in Kavala Bay. We went and visited that family that Elder Ravutaumada and I baptized the 3 kids last time and they are doing really good and coming to church and everything so that was exciting. The dad also sat in on a couple of the recent convert lessons that we had with them and he was talking to us a lot and joking around with us and stuff so hopefully he keeps coming around like that so that the elders can teach him so he can join the church with the rest of his family. He is a great guy. On Friday night, the last night we were there, the family there made a big lovo for me and we did a bunch of meke (Fijian dances) because that is the last time that I will be going up there. They are a really awesome family. The next morning we got on the Fiber boat and it was really awesome because we got to come around the back side of the island to come back to Vunisea because there were some primary school kids that were going back to their villages on that side and we rode with them. It was beautiful on that side. There are huge waves on that side too because that is the side that has that huge coral reef that is like the 3rd biggest in the world or something like that. 

So here is the big story of the week. Yesterday we had church and it was really good. Then we went to one house to visit Ratu Sela's family but the JW missionaries were there so we told them we would come back. So we were walking and we were deciding who we should go see. Elder Teke said we should go see Lily, she is the girl whose computer we are using. We talk to her quite a bit but we have never really taught her and so we went to her house. We went in and there were 2 other guys about our age there and we started talking to them and they started asking lots of questions about being a missionary and where I learned to speak Fijian and stuff like that and then they asked about Joseph Smith and so we asked if we could teach them all the first lesson and they said alright. Before we started teaching them I asked the boys what they were doing in Kadavu because I had never seen them here before (and here you know if someone is new because it is so small) but they said that they are also here to do missionary work. They are here for the 7th day Adventist church doing missionary work. So I was a little shocked but now even more excited to teach them about the Restoration ha so we taught them all the whole first lesson and it was really awesome. They asked lots of good questions and I was thinking that we were converting these guys haha then they asked if they could share their missionary stuff so it was only fair that we let them share as well. I knew that they were going to know the bible super well and so I prayed probably harder than I have ever prayed before that I could have the spirit with me to be able to put the words in my mouth of what to share with them. So long story short it went back and forth for at least another hour or more and it was really awesome because we weren't arguing or anything we were just sharing and I could really feel the spirit speaking through me and helping me know what to share with them. At the end I said that I just wanted to share one final scripture, I shared 1 John 5:9 where it says that we can have no greater witness than from God and I bore my testimony and said that anyone could come to me and share all the scriptures in the world and try to convince me of anything but what I would always do is ask God. Then I bore my testimony and told the story of when I was in Vunivesi and spoke at that baptism and felt the spirit so strongly confirm to me that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. As I was bearing my testimony I said (in Fijian of coarse... haha) "If someone were here right now with a knife to my throat and told me that they would kill me if I didn't deny my testimony of all of this I could not deny it because I have received the testimony that I have from the Holy Ghost" the spirit was so strong and I was shocked that I even said that but I really felt in that moment that what I said was true and that I would really do it. After that complete peace filled the room and the 2 missionaries just said thank you for sharing with them and all of us just said thanks for the things that we learned that day. After we got up and we hugged both of the missionaries and I gave them a Book of Mormon so hopefully they will read it and pray about it. It was yet another amazing experience on my mission to strengthen my testimony of this gospel. That is what being a missionary is all about. Bearing testimony of what you know to be true.

Well this week the zone leaders are coming. We should be having 4 baptisms on Sunday which is way excited. The members are planning on all bringing food and we are going to have a big chow after the baptism as both a celebration for those being baptized and kind of a going away party for me. I am going to cry like a baby.. haha I have grown to love these people here so much it is crazy. Just like mom said last week, being with the Fijian people even for the week that you guys will be here will change your lives, just imagine how much it has changed mine living with them and serving them for 2 years... so blessed. Well I am super excited to see you guys! Get ready for the best week ever!!! au lomani kemudou!!!

Loloma levu, Elder Hawk

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Well we have finally found a laptop for email haha

So last week we had our fireside on Saturday night. There were over 50
people there! We only have about 20 or so active members so all of the
rest were either non-members or less actives that came. It was really
good. We had some members speak and then we watched the Restoration
video. The spirit was really strong when the music starts playing
while Joseph is praying. It was so awesome. We have already gotten a
few new investigators out of it and it really strengthened the branch
a lot.

This week we found a lot of new really good investigators. We also had
some great lessons with our other investigators as well. One really
cool lesson this week was a lesson that we had with Inoke and Kalesi.
They are the couple that have been taking lessons since right when I
first got here and they are way awesome. They hadn't come to church yet
though and it was mainly because of Inoke's family and their friends
and stuff who were all trying to get them to not come to church but to
stay at the church they are going to. So we planned the lesson and
went over and we read Mosiah 18 where Alma is talking to the people
and he explains about baptism and stuff and then he says if this is
what you desire that what is stopping you from being baptized? So we
read that and they totally just opened up and told us that that is
really the only thing holding them back, all of those people trying to
stop them. So I thought of a scripture in 2 Corinthians that says we
need to walk by faith and not by sight and as soon as I opened my
bible to go to it I instantly had the prompting of another scripture
from the Book of Mormon that was way better. It is Alma 5:60 I think.
I told them the story of how when I was serving in Korovou and we were
teaching Meliki and she was supposed to get baptized but then her
parents who were less active members stopped it. Then a few weeks
later the bishop told us that the mom had come to see him and wanted
us to go back. So we went back and she said that one day she just
opened up her Book of Mormon which she hadn't read in years and that
was the first verse she read. It talks about how the Good Shepard
(Christ) is calling you to his fold but that the wolves are trying to
break in and take you away. I told them that and bore testimony to
them that the Good Shepard is calling them to His fold and this is it.
The Spirit was way strong and they said they would be at church on
Sunday. On Sunday they came and they loved it. I really hope I can see
them get baptized before I finish. They are so awesome.

On Sunday there were over 30 people at church!!! Sis. Mere who just
got called to be the Primary president is AMAZING!!! The primary was
so awesome and before it was non-existent. Ratu Sela and all of his
kids came and everyone was in high spirits because the church was so
good. Then after we had the baptism for Ratu Sela. We all walked over
to the beach and it was a perfect high tide and I had the blessing of
baptizing Ratu Sela. He is the man!! I got some really good pictures
so you guys will get to see those soon haha. His wife didn't come but
we found out later that it might be because she didn't feel like she
had good enough clothes so we will make sure to fix that this week
because she is awesome too and starting to change a lot as well.

Everything is going great. We are really busy and working really hard
which is awesome. It makes it easy for me to not think about how close
it is to the end. The work here in Kadavu is growing a lot and I think
this is going to be a huge year for this place. I feel so blessed to
have had the opportunity to come here at this stage in my mission and
especially after working close with President Klingler for those 6
months because I have really seen how much I have learned and how much
it has helped me to be a much more effective tool in the Lord's hands
to help move His work.

If we don't get to e-mail again next week, don't worry about me!! We are
doing great!!! Au lomani kemudou!!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Companion


Sorry I do not have much time to email. This laptop I am using is
about to run out of battery I think. Sounds like everything is going
great at home. I am glad you guys liked the pictures. I wish I could
have sent more. I will show all of them to you guys soon though.

This week we had a big shock. Elder Ravutaumada got transferred. He
just left today and I got my new companion. It was way sad to see
Elder Ravu leave. I really loved him and we were doing a lot of great
things here. I was kind of upset at first but I know that it will all
be alright and me and my new comp Elder Tekenimatang will be able to
continue the good work here. My new comp is also from Fiji but he is
from the Island of Rabi where they speak Kiribati language. So he
speaks the same language as Elder Tamuera. He has been in the field
for 3 months and I am his follow up trainer. He is hilarious. It will
be fun. We could have quite a few baptisms this month. We have such
awesome investigators. Last year there was only 4 baptisms the whole
year on this island and I think we could possibly get 6-8 this month
if things work out. I really hope they do. I really love the people we
are teaching right now and they could strengthen the branch here so
much. This Saturday we are also doing our fireside. I made posters and
stuff while I was at the office in Suva and we have been putting them
up around here and it sounds like we could get a pretty good turn out.
I am SUPER excited for it. I think it will help the work out a ton
here. I think this is going to be a great year for Kadavu. I wish I
could extend haha I am way excited for you guys to come though. It is
going to be so amazing for you guys. I am focused and ready to sprint
to the finish. No slowing down.... au lomani kemudou!!

loloma levu, Elder Hawk

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baptizing in a little river
 Elder Ravutaumada, Elder Hawk and three children in Kavala
This is our flat on the left