Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Partyyy!

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!
Well it seems like it has been a while since I talked to you guys last! This
week was a ton of fun. On Monday we all got to go into Suva to LDS Tech the LDS
school and play sports all day long because President was stuck on another
island with a few other missionaries because all the flights were getting
cancelled haha It is always way fun to be with all of the other missionaries.
On Tuesday we all had a big combined Zone conference. It was really good. We
always have a lot of good trainings and things that give me a good boost to
keep working hard and getting better. That night we had our talent show. Our
zone learned a Meke which is a Fijian dance. There are a lot of different ones
so that is what the other zones did for the most part too. It was a ton of fun.
Some other people sang and did some other stuff too that was all really funny.
And then on Wednesday we got to go to the temple which was awesome. The temple
here is super small. A whole lot different from the one in Mesa but I like it a
lot. It was nice to just be able to relax and not have to think about anything
else but just being there in the temple.
Well I got my new comp. His name is Elder McCombs. He is from Toqurville, Utah.
He was Elder Stocks trainer. He is a really good kid and a really good
missionary. I think me and him are going to get a whole lot of good work done
in this area. We have a lot of investigators right now and we are getting new
ones all the time. The other day we were walking out to this part of our area called
Wainibuku that I have never actually walked to before because we usually take
the bus because it is quite a ways, but we missed the bus and they only go out
there every 2 hours so we had to walk. While we were walking, this Fijian women
called us over to her. She asked us what we do and we told her we are
missionaries for the LDS church. She said she doesn’t go to any church but
wants to and asked if we could come teach her. Of coarse we were pumped and
said yeah we will definitely be back haha It is crazy how much the Lord guides
this work. Even in ways that you don’t realize He will until after they have
already happened.
O yeah, so this week something happened to my foot and it was HUGE and swollen
and all infected and red so Elder Whiting the mission doctor guy got me some
antibiotics. So it wasn’t really getting any better for a few days and then on Sunday
I had to wear my real sandals instead of flip flops because we were going to
church and when I got there I realized that my foot was like leaking puss and
stuff out of this tiny little hole on the top of my foot from my sandal
squeezing it. So I went into the bathroom at the chapel and started squeezing
it and slowly so puss started coming out, and then I squeezed it really hard
and it just EXPLODED with blood and puss! haha blood shot literally like 5 feet
and there was a bunch of little boys in there too and they all thought it was
awesome haha but now it feels a TON better so that is way good.
Last night we had a missionary Christmas devotional in Suva where us
missionaries where the choir and we sang some songs and stuff. It was really
good. It will definitely be a lot different Christmas this year but I am still
really excited haha I am not really even sure what we are doing on Christmas
day but I am sure we will do something fun!
Au lomani kemudou vakalevu!! Keep being awesome!
Loloma, Elder Hawk

Friday, December 9, 2011

Noqu itokani sa lako e na siga moniti!

Ni sa bula vinaka tale mai na noqu matavuvale!
Well I don’t know if you remembered but today is our P-day because this next
week is all the Christmas party stuff so they moved our P-day to today. The Christmas
party stuff is going to be awesome! Monday we have zone conference, Tuesday we
pretty much get another P-day but with everyone at LDS Tech and we get to play
rugby and stuff and then that night is like the talent show thing, and then Wednesday
or Friday we get to go to the temple which will be awesome. This week was
really good too. Last Monday we went to Reggae Falls with all the boys from
Wainibuku. It was soooo fun and so beautiful up there. I will try to send lots
of pictures of it today.
Neivote, Sala's son also got baptized last night which was really good. It is
awesome that we met our goal of 7 baptisms before Elder Ika leaves on Monday.
He is going to Tacilevu with Elder Stock!! and Stocks Trainer, Elder McCombs is
coming here to be my comp, so me and Elder Stock are Brothers!! haha I am sad
that Ika is leaving. We had a ton of fun and worked hard and really turned this
area around. This area is on fire right now and it usually is one of the
slowest areas. We got a lot of new investigators this week so im sure Elder
McCombs will be happy to come here because the work up there is really slow
right now. It is out on Vanua Levu which is the other big island. Ika was an
awesome trainer. I know that we both learned a lot from each other. I will
probably be in this area for another month or 2 before I get transferred.
Usually you are in an area between 4-6 months.
This week we also went on exchanges twice. Elder Nawaqasema came to Naulu with
me and then the next day after that we went on exchanges with the ZL's and I
went to their area in Nausori with Elder Alleman. It was really fun. There are
a lot of really cool missionaries here. I ate sugar cane for the first time
while I was in the ZL's area. It is wayyy good haha they call it dovu in Fijian
and when you say you have to say gunu dovu which means drink it because if you
say kana dovu which means eat it, it is like a dirty slang term that I’m sure
you can figure out haha. When I was with Elder Alleman we went and taught these
2 ladies from Rotuma and it was a way good lesson. It is so cool how we are all
teaching the same message and so you can just go with someone that you have
never taught with and have an awesome lesson like that. I pretty much committed
them to baptism and I am not even in that area haha It was really cool.
Last night after the baptism it was our ward Christmas party. It was a ton of
fun. We had a lot of investigators that came so that was really good. We had a
huge lovo with pork and chicken and dalo and all kinds of other foods. I am
really going to miss this ward when I leave this area. There are so many
awesome people here. It was way cool to also see all of our recent converts
that we have baptized there and just being a normal part of the ward. This ward
has been really good about fellowshipping all of them. That is so important in
this work. Without the ward doing that most converts would probably fall away
after not very long.
Well I hope everything is going good with you guys. I feel so blessed to be
here serving my mission. It has already been flying by! Au lomani kemudou!!
Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Climbing up a Coconut Tree

Au a ciqoma na nomudou isolisoli! (I got your gifts!)

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Man the time is flying by. I can’t believe I have almost been away from home for 5 months! I got Grandma and Grandpa's package and your guys' package this week! They got here way fast. Like 2 weeks. I also got a letter from Grandma and Grandpa that they sent in the beginning of October haha I don’t get what goes on with the mail once it gets to Fiji. Sometimes I get it quick and then sometimes it is like that where I dont get it for over a month haha The packages were awesome though! The bop-it game has been getting some good use haha I have been showing everyone the pictures too. It was really good to see you guys in the pictures. My companion might get transferred in like 2 weeks. I don’t think I will for at least another month at the least. It is all good though because I am really loving this area. And we are going to start going out to this other part of our area more that is kind of out a little in the bush so it will be more people that will actually want to speak more Fijian to me so that will be awesome haha It is called Wainibuku.

Well I will be emailing you guys again on Saturday because we are having our p-day moved to Saturday instead of next Monday because next week all of the missionaries are coming in again for the Christmas party! It should be way fun. On Tuesday we are going to this little tiny island that is really close to the coast to do some kind of service thing and then we all get to play sports on the beach! It should be pretty sweet. And all the different Zones and stuff are learning meke which is like traditional Fijian dances and that night we are having like a talent show thing that we will do them at and then another one of the days we will get to go to the temple so that will be awesome. There will probably be some elders that will stay at our flat so that will be fun. We are also having our ward Christmas party this week on Friday so that will be way fun too.

Today me and Elder Ikafanga are going out to that Wainibuku village part of our area because we are going to go with some of the boys from our ward and go to this little water fall place up in the bush. It should be pretty sweet! I will take some pictures to send next week. it is called Reggae Falls.

So this week was a little slow because my companion was really sick one of the days. He had food poisoning I think, so we stayed in the flat one day. It was the first day that I haven’t gone out and worked, and hopefully the last haha It really wasn’t that bad though because that was the same day I got the package from you guys so I had the candy and the bop it game and stuff haha and I got a lot of reading and stuff in.

A few weeks ago we were with some of the YSA (young single adults)in our ward and there is a kid named Pita that comes on splits with us sometimes because he is trying to get on his mission and he is the man. But all the YSA in like all of Fiji and some other islands around this area came to Suva and had a big YSA camp for like 3 days, and on the last day they had a big testimony meeting and Pita got up and the first thing he said was "there is an Elder serving in my ward and his name is Elder Hawk and he told me a poem that his dad taught him and it goes "Mary had a little lamb that turned into a sheep until it joined the Mormon church and died from lack of sleep" haha I told them all that a couple weeks ago and they all thought it was hilarious so he shared it in his testimony in front of like a few hundred YSA haha We didn’t get to go to any of the camp of coarse but I just heard about it from the other kids that were there. I thought that it was pretty sweet that I got quoted and it was a quote that I learned from dad.

Yesterday in testimony meeting the girl we baptized last week got up and bore her testimony. She told a story about how her boyfriend, Rapo cut a piece of her hair and how mad she was and she was screaming at him and stuff and the next morning she felt bad about it and she was about to read the Book of Mormon so she prayed and she asked to get some kind of answer from the scriptures that day so she opened up the book and the first verse she read was "I the Lord was angry with you yesterday, but today my anger is turned away" she said that she felt the spirit so strong and she started crying and went and told him that she is sorry that she got so mad at him. She went on and bore her testimony and how thankful she is for the gospel and how it has changed her so much from who she used to be. I can't remember if I told you the story about how she stopped smoking but that was pretty amazing too. All of the people that we have baptized are so amazing and have such strong testimonies. I feel so blessed to have been a small part of their conversion.
This week Naivote, Sala's son, should be getting baptized. We may have a few more this month too.

Thank you so much for being such an amazing family and amazing people. Seeing those pictures and stuff just reminded me of all the fun times that we have had as a family and how much more we still have to come!! I will let you know as soon as I find out when I will be able to call or Skype or whatever. It will probably just be that P-day after Christmas since that will be Christmas there. I will let you know for sure when I find out though. Au lomani kemudou valevu!! Vinaka sara valevu na isolisoli!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Elder Hawk with a Big Ugly Fijian Pig
We didn't have any life jackets so we couldn't go to Bau Island
Parry got baptized on her Birthday and received the Gift of the Holy GhostThe Rabian Kids love their CTR rings

Tolu na papitaiso e na macawa oqo! (3 baptisms this week)

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well another great week in Fiji down. I sent your Christmas package off just barely. It cost me 82 Fijian dollars just to send it haha but that is only 40 something American so not too terrible but that is probably the only package for quite a while haha. I am glad that you guys had a good Thanksgiving. It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun. I didn’t even remember it haha no one here even knows what that is haha They don’t need it here though because they are all already so thankful for what they have.

So we baptized 3 people this weekend. That makes 6 for us! And we should have one this week and hopefully some more in December. The older Fijian couple that we baptized got baptized by our stake president, president Togidugu. They worked together in the fire department way back in the day. After the baptism the man Esira that got baptized bore his testimony. He is the man. He talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and that his knowledge of the truthfulness of those 2 things is really what converted him to this gospel. And then on Sunday Sainimere the women bore her testimony in sacrament meeting and she talked for like 10 minutes and told the story of her conversion and talked about how thankful she was for us the missionaries for frequently bearing our testimonies about the book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith and to always encourage them to pray about it and find out the truth of it for themselves because they know that they received an answer to those prayers just like we promised them they would. It felt really good to hear her actually say that she was thankful for our help. We don’t need the recognition but it is always nice haha. And then after the baptisms we went over to their house and they had killed one of their pigs and some chickens and got some fish made a big lovo so we had a big feast. They had tons of fruit too. I love so many different foods now haha And it is crazy because I never really felt like I had to get used to it, it just kind of was normal from the beginning. And most of it is stuff that if I saw at home I would never even touch it haha

This week I also got to go to Toga area on exchanges with Elder Keli'ikuli from Hawaii. It is the village that has that boat that goes across the river to get to it and they speak mostly Fijian there so it was good for me to get to use more of my Fijian. We went to one of their investigators houses way out and they weren’t home yet and they have a little pond thing on their land so we found the stuff that they use to fish in it (which is just coke bottles with fishing line wrapped around it haha ) and we fished for a while and caught a few little tiny talapia but they were all too small to cook so we went out and found a coconut tree and I was throwing stuff at the coconuts so that we could drink it. Finally i knocked one down and we drank it but we were still hungry so we found a moli tree (which is like these lemon type things) and we threw sticks at them until they fell and ate those haha they are pretty good.

Well thanks again for all of your guys' support. I am so thankful for all of you and your good examples to me. Keep sharing the gospel and being the good examples you are. Au lomani kemudou vakalevu!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some Fijian children showing off the CTR rings that we gave them
Evangeline's Baptism
Sala's Baptism

Wananavu sara ga na macawa ogo!

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

When they say that the Fiji Suva mission is the greatest mission on Earth it is true haha I am having soo much fun it is ridiculous! One of the main reasons it is so fun is because we have been working hard and now we are getting the rewards by all the people that we have been baptizing.

Sala got baptized this week. We wanted to baptize all the kids too but the dad (the Methodist guy) said that they aren’t old enough yet and that they all have to wait until they are 21 and can make the decision for themselves. He is the man though. So this week after Sala's baptism the older boy Net who is 17 and has been coming to church and stuff with us for a while talked to his dad and his dad is going to let him get baptized this week coming up! Sala said that she was praying that he would soften his heart and she is already receiving the answer to her prayer. When he came and told us that we could baptize Net he said one by one. So we are hoping that the other kids will be able to get baptized soon as well.

So this Saturday coming up we have 4 baptisms. Net, the 2 older Fijian couple, and Parry the Rabian girl that is living at David's house (the guy that we baptized a couple weeks ago). So all together that will be 7 baptisms just in the last month! There had only been 5 baptisms in this area the whole rest of the year before now. It is amazing how much the Lord has blessed us for the hard work we have done. I think it is really motivating me to keep working hard so that I can continue to have this kind of success throughout the rest of my mission because it is so much fun.

This week it was our turn to speak in church again. I am amazed how comfortable I feel talking in front of people. I have never really had a problem with it but now it is just so easy. I gave my talk on the Book of Mormon and how important it is to us. I talked about how I gained my testimony of the Book of Mormon when I was on Trek and read the testimonies in the front. I could really feel the spirit when I was sharing that story testifying to me again that it is true. I hope that everyone was feeling the spirit as strong as I was.

I am really starting to become really good friends with a lot of the members here. I love going to their houses and playing cards and stuff with the kids. I have been giving out the CTR rings so I will send the pictures. We have a lot of fun with everyone here. I know that I am growing spiritually a lot but don’t worry I am still the same good ol Tanner that likes to have fun haha

Well today we get to go to Bau island with our zone for P-day! I am so pumped haha it is just a little island that is like a mile or so off the coast. When it is low tide you can actually walk all the way out to it but I think we are all just going to take the boat. We are going to go out there and play sports on the beach!! How lucky am I to be serving in Fiji!!?? haha

Alright well au lomani kemudou valevu!! You guys are the best. Thank you so much for all the support you give me.

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Papitaiso tale ga!‏

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!!

Wow! This week was probably one of the best weeks I have had so far! It was a lot of fun. That is awesome that Parker got that award! That really shows how hard he worked and that the coaches recognized it. I did get the ctr rings from the package and I have been giving them to some of the kids. They love them! I have a picture actually of some kids that I gave them to the other day so I will send that to you guys. This week on Friday I got to drive the ZL's truck around in Suva with them because I am getting my Fijian drivers license tomorrow haha I am excited to get it just so that I can have the card haha

Alright well the dog bite that I had, got REALLY infected this week. It was pretty nasty and didnt feel too great haha I had to go into Suva to the doctor and she gave me some antibiotics for it so it is a lot better now. I will send a picture of that too.

Well the highlight of the week was for sure the baptism on Saturday. Evangeline is so awesome. She is so young but she already has such a strong testimony. After she got baptized she got up to bear her testimony and she started crying and she looked right at me and said I am so happy to be a member of this church. I got choked up a little too haha I just felt so lucky to have a small part in bringing the gospel to her and seeing the happiness that it has brought her. Her aunt Maya who helped us out a ton in teaching her is in our ward and served her mission here in Fiji back in the day. She also got up to bare her testimony at the baptism and she told a story about how that night she had a dream and in her dream Thomas S. Monson appeared to her and told her that he truly is a prophet of God on the earth today. When she was talking about that I could feel the spirit so strong testifying to me that we do have a true living prophet on the earth today and that it is Thomas S. Monson. It is so cool how other people sharing their testimonies can strengthen ours so much. That is why it is so important for us to share our testimonies.

This week one of our other investigators Peri, who is a girl that is living in the same house as David the man we baptized a couple weeks ago, she has had a couple different baptismal dates but she has been living with a boy there so they haven’t been able to happen yet. But this week we gave her a new baptismal date for the 26th of this month and she is so excited for it because her birthday is the next day. So her and the boy were planning to get married but then one day we went over there and she said "we are not getting married because I want to go on a mission" We were shocked but SO excited. And the boy Rapo has been a member for a long time and so he said now they both want to go on missions. It complicates things for the baptism a little bit but that will be so awesome for both of them to be able to go on missions. She hasn’t even been baptized yet and she already has that strong of a testimony and that much faith. She is the bomb! haha

Alright well hopefully that is enough to get you through the week haha This week we should have a couple more baptisms of Sala the mom of that Fijian family that I sent a picture of a while back with the Methodist dad, the dad isn’t getting baptized but Sala and hopefully a few of the kids will be. Then the week after that, we have Peri and 2 other baptisms of an older Fijian couple. I feel very blessed to have been given these investigators that the Lord has prepared to hear the gospel.

Today is Elder Hansen’s birthday and they are staying with us tonight so that should be fun haha we are gonna party and smack some juice and attempt to make a cake haha This week was such a fun week. Being a missionary in Fiji is the best! We are the only mission in the world that wears sulus and sandals. How lucky is that?! haha alright well I love you guys so much! Keep being the awesome people you are! AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Beautiful Sunset View from Tanner's Porch
Elder Hansen, Elder Stock & Elder Hawk
"Brothers from the MTC"
Dog Bite on Tanner's Hairy Legs

Na Koli! (The dog)

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale! Vacava tiko kemudou?!

Well another fast week finished here in Fiji! The baptism didn’t end up happening this weekend but it was just because they had some other stuff that came up that they had to do but it worked out because we had mission tour this weekend so all the missionaries in Fiji came in and Elder Watson from the area presidency came and so it would have been hard to get back and do the baptism and then go back. It will happen this next weekend though so it’s all good!

I was thinking about Christmas and you guys should send the package pretty soon like asap or I probably won’t get it for quite a while haha The only things that I could think of that I really want is like a photo album with a bunch of pictures of you guys and stuff, some multi vitamins or especially vitamin C so that I won’t get sick at all anymore haha and some silly bands (those rubber band bracelet things) so that I can give them to kids. Send me tons of those haha And of course lots of candy haha I did get your package last Monday. The card reader works perfect and the candy was way good so thank you! haha I loved the pictures and the big picture of the Gilbert temple. I put it up on the wall next to where I study.

Alright well I will explain the story behind the reason why the subject is na koli haha so the other night we were walking up to an investigators house and the guy drives a taxi so his taxi was parked in the driveway and when I walked past the front of the car a dog jumped out and bit me right on the leg and held on for a little and was growling and stuff haha it was pretty crazy. When it let go there was two nice holes on both sides of my leg from its teeth and they started bleeding pretty good. The people there are awesome though and they like freaked out and started putting all this coconut oil and stuff on it ha it was awesome. I will send the pictures of it.

So mission tour was so awesome!! There are a lot of way cool missionaries here and it was way good to get to hang out with Stock again. He is doing good. Elder Watson is the man! He served as like clerks for the prophets for the last like 38 years or something so he has been with a lot of the prophets. He talked a lot about how important it is to retain the converts that we make. That is something that we don’t really think about before the mission but once you get out here you really realize how hard that actually can be sometimes. We have two Elders that are serving in Tuvalu right now that stayed at our flat for mission tour. They are both really cool. Tuvalu is a TINY little island way up north and they speak Tuvaluan haha There are 3 other languages that I could possibly have to learn besides Fijian because there are some other islands that we go to that speak total different languages. It is way cool though.

David got confirmed yesterday in sacrament meeting. It was just me bishop and Elder Ikafanga that were in the circle and the bishop did the confirmation. It was really awesome though. We were walking somewhere later that night and he was just on a walk and so we stopped and talked to him about it and he said that he feels really good about it. I am going to miss going to his house as much as we used to. Their family is so awesome. We will still get to go there quite a bit for the next little while though since he is a recent convert.

Well everything is still going good here. The dog bite is slowly healing up. I am glad it didn’t have rabies or something or I might be coming back home with half a leg haha. It sounds like everything is going good at home though. You guys are the best family I could ever ask for. It will be Christmas before we know it and I will get to see you guys! Pretty crazy what we can do with technology today. Alright well I better start loading the pictures. Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, October 30, 2011

David's BaptismRuby, Elder Hawk, David, and Christina
Celebrating Diwali
Another Victim of the Wiffle Ball Bat

Papitaiso!!! (Baptism)

Bula Vinaka!!

This week was awesome! David got baptized!!! He picked me to do it too so that was such an awesome experience. After he was baptized he bore his testimony and he got choked up and it made me choke up because I was so happy that I knew that he really appreciates this gospel and that he could feel the spirit and feel that it will really help him in his life. I haven’t cried at all since the day I left but when he started getting choked up the spirit was so strong and I felt so happy that I was able to help in giving him the gospel that I got choked up too. He is the man!! He is going to be such an awesome addition to this ward. The door to the font was locked and none of the bishops keys were working so I had to climb over the glass in front of the font and jump down into the water to go and open the door haha so that is my funny story from my first baptism! We are having another baptism this weekend of a 13 year old girl. We have only been teaching her for like 3 weeks but she already has so much faith it is amazing. She picked me to baptize her too so I am really excited for that. We have a bunch more baptisms coming up in November too. There hasn’t been a baptism in this area for like 5 months so it is so awesome that things are picking back up here. It is so awesome to be blessed with these investigators that the Lord has prepared to accept the gospel. I definitely know now that the scripture is true that says how great our joy will be when we bring people into the gospel.

Well the baptism was definitely the highlight of my week but it was all just a good week in general. There is a Hindu holiday called Diwali that was on Wednesday. It is pretty much like their Christmas haha They all put lights on their houses and make tons of Indian sweets and light a ton of fireworks so that day was really fun! We went to this house that invited us in for sweets and ate a TON of sweets! They are so good. It’s all just like fried sugary things haha there are a bunch of different kinds though. It was really fun though. I also got sick again. My throat was hurting so I looked at it in the mirror and my tonsils were all nasty and white so I called the mission nurse Elder Whiting and he said to come into Suva to go to the doctor so we went in and she took one look at my throat and said yeah that’s tonsillitis haha she said I will probably need to get my tonsils out but that I probably don’t want to do it in Fiji haha She gave me antibiotics and I feel tons better now so it’s all good.

Tell Lupe that we killed another mouse with the wiffle ball bat! haha This time it was me that killed it. We took a video of the whole thing on Elder Ika's camera and it is hilarious! I have some pictures too so I will try to send them.

We also got asked by some Indian people to bless their taxi which was pretty weird ha They are Hindu but we gave the lady a blessing one time because one of their neighbors is a family we go see all the time and she told them about blessings, she said she was having headaches everyday and she told us that after we gave her a blessing she didn’t have any more after that so now they wanted us to come and bless the taxi because it has been having problems haha Elder Ikafanga just said a normal prayer and pretty much just blessed that the guy would drive safe and not drink and get enough sleep so that he could drive safe haha after the prayer they wanted us to like go and touch the car all over on the inside so that it would be blessed but we told her that it wouldn’t do anything and that we don’t do that haha me and Ika were cracking up about it after we left. It was pretty funny. They gave us a bunch of Diwali sweets though so it was all worth it ha

Alright well I will send the pictures from the baptism and the mouse! I will have more baptism pictures next week too! It sounds like everything is going great at home. That is so exciting that you guys get to be Ma and Pa again. They will be so lucky to have such awesome parents on the trek! Keep up the good work you guys have been doing in sharing the gospel and being the good examples that you are. AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drinking Coconut Milk
Ratu killed this mouse with the bat Lupe sent
Ratu, Elder Ikafanga, an Indian girl, and Elder Hawk
With an Indian family that we are teaching
Centipede Bite---Ouch!

Another week in Fiji

Bula Vinaka!

Well another week down already. This week was really good. There is a Fijian boy that used to be one of the Elders companion here for like 3 months as a ward missionary and this week he came back into town and stayed with us for a couple of days so it was awesome to have another member present for all of our lessons this week. His name is Ratu. One of the days when we got back to the flat there was a mouse and he grabbed the wiffle ball bat that Lupe gave me and we were all chasing it around the flat and finally he got it and killed it with the bat haha it was awesome. I’ll try to send the pictures. Yesterday was daylight savings here so I think we are an hour closer to you guys now. It was weird doing daylight savings because I havent done it for the past couple years haha

So David didn’t end up getting baptized this weekend because he wasn’t able to go to Suva to get the marriage license thing but today we went over to his house and they were leaving to go to Suva right now to get it so if it all works out he should be getting baptized this weekend on Saturday for sure! I am really excited for him. He is really excited too. We are teaching another girl that is 13 and her aunt is a member here and in the last lesson we taught her she asked us what was the soonest possible that she could get baptized haha It is so awesome to have these investigators that gain their testimonies so quickly and have that much of a desire to be baptized. So she will be getting baptized on November 5, Danielle’s birthday! haha that was the first thing that I thought of when we gave her the date. We have a couple other people that we are planning on giving baptismal dates to soon too so we will see how that goes.

Yesterday was our turn to speak in church again. I really felt like I should talk about how it is the responsibility of every member to be a missionary and how we want them to work together with us to help us in all parts of our work. It really does help so much when the investigators that we teach are referrals from members. I challenged them all to start being more bold about the gospel and that every night when whoever house we go to to eat dinner we are going to ask them for referrals. After I spoke about it the bishop got up and added to the things that I said and I think that it really got a lot of them motivated to do it so hopefully we will be getting lots of good referrals soon! After the meeting a couple of people came up and said they were going to try a lot harder so it should be awesome.

Now for a funny and kinda crazy story haha so the other day I was walking and I noticed that my foot was hurting in one spot but I thought it was just from my sandals and then when I got home I looked at it and it was like to marks that looked like teeth marks and they were kind of swelling and had some puss so I poked it with a needle and put some stuff on it and went to bed and then the next morning it was all swollen more and a lot of puss and you could see the two big teeth marks haha So I started asking some of the members what they thought it could be and they said that it was a centipede, and centipedes are poisonous and you usually have to go get a shot if you get bit haha but I called the mission nurse Elder Whiting and he told me to put a hot towel on it and not to squeeze it and hopefully it would go down so that I wouldn’t have to get a shot. So last night I did that and I am pretty sure it is alright now. It is still annoying but I think it will be alright haha I took a picture of it so I will try to send it today.

Well everything is still going awesome! We have been busy and a lot of our investigators have been progressing so hopefully some more baptisms will be coming up soon! We have a goal of 7 by Dec. 6 and I really think that we can reach it. We just need to keep working hard. Well I love you guys! Thank you for all the support that you give me. I couldn’t do it without you guys! Au lomani kemundou!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Where the ocean meets the sky
They rode this boat over to talk to an investigator. When they came back, the boat was on the other side, so they had to wait for this boy to swim across and bring the boat back over.
Hanging out with a Fijian Family
Tanner's Kitchen
Scraping a coconut
A Hindi sign in our town

Subject: Tauvimate! (sick)

Bula Vinaka!

Man it’s hard to believe it is P-day again already. The time goes by so fast here its crazy. I have been pretty sick this whole week. I have like a sinus infection and sore throat and stuff. It has been pretty bad all week but I think I am starting to get over it today. Elder Ikafanga was sick too but we didn’t really waste any time on it. We actually had one of the best weeks teaching wise since I have been here. I hope that I don’t get sick too often though because it makes it a lot harder to concentrate and things haha

Well that family you asked about where the man has to get married should be getting baptized this weekend if he can get the marriage stuff figured out so that will be awesome!! I am so excited for him. It has been awesome to see how much he has progressed since we started teaching him. I hope that he will pick me to baptize him haha We also started teaching this one really big Indian family this week that is like 4 adult women and 10 kids that are all under 15 haha One of the days when we were teaching them I was sitting there and they were all there sitting in front of me and I was teaching about the book of mormon and they were all just looking at me and listening to everything I said. It kind of hit me that I am really on my mission sharing the gospel with these people and I love it so much! Teaching is my favorite part about it. It is so fun because it is challenging. One of the main things that I talked about with that Indian family was about families and about how we can live together forever because the dad of a lot of the kids died a couple years ago and he was actually a member. I shared a little bit about Jace and about how I am so thankful to have a knowledge of this gospel to know that we can all live together again someday. I know that I will have so many opportunities to share that story and help other peoples lives because of it. I think that is really one of the things that kept them interested in wanting to continue with the lessons.

We also have been teaching a 13 year old girl that is the cousin of one of the ladies from our ward. Last night we were teaching her about the Book of Mormon and after the lesson she asked us when she could get baptized haha It is such a cool feeling to see how these people can gain testimonies so quickly about the church even when they don’t know much about it. I know it is because of the Spirit that they feel.

So right now I am in the middle of Suva town because we came with some other Elders that had to get their truck serviced. It is hard for me to go through all of the shops here because there are sooo many sweet things that I want to buy and send home to you guys haha I really hope that you guys can come pick me up and see it here. You guys would love it.

Being a missionary is so fun. We get to meet so many cool people and just talk to them about everything. We have dinner at member’s houses every single night this month haha I love eating dinner there and just talking and having fun with them. Next week is our turn to talk in sacrament meeting again and I am going to talk about how we need the wards help and how much more success we can have if we all work together in missionary work. I am excited for it. Hopefully it will get them excited to share the gospel and get us some referrals! haha

Well sounds like everything is going great back at home! Tell everybody thank you for all of the support! I will try to send the pictures again today so hopefully they will work this time! AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, October 9, 2011

One month in Fiji

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!!

I have been in Fiji for a month already and on my mission for 3 months already! It is insane how fast the time goes by, especially when we are working hard and teaching lots of lessons. It sounds like everything is going great at home. You guys are the best family that I could ask for. We are so blessed to have each other. Before we know it will be Christmas and I will be skyping you guys!! that will be awesome!

So this week has been really good. We had zone conference this week and we combined with the Suva zone so there was quite a few of us there. We met at one of the bigger chapels in Suva so that we could all fit. It was really good. There are a lot of great missionaries in this mission. President Klingler and his wife are so awesome. When they speak to us you can really tell how much they care about us and how much they love this gospel. I really want to come back and be the mission president here some day. haha

It has been raining a TON this week! so I have gotten pretty wet some of the days haha The other night me and Elder Ikafanga were at a members house for dinner and it started pouring rain outside. We weren’t that far from our flat so we decided to just walk instead of take a taxi and the umbrella that i had broke and it had no pole and so I just had to hold onto the frame and try to spread it out over me all the way home haha While we were walking home there is a back alley way that we take as a short cut and it is down a hill so there is like a little sidewalk going down and then some stairs and the water was running down the stairs like a waterfall because it was all coming through that alley way! I wanted to take a picture of it but I didn’t want to ruin my camera. It was awesome though haha

So earlier this week we were teaching a man named David that we started teaching right after I came into this area. His family are members and have been for a couple years. The mom Christina and him were both married before and both of their spouses died so they have just kind of been living together for a couple of years now so none of the kids are actually his. He has been such an awesome investigator though. When we first started teaching him he was really timid about everything and was not very confident but now he is the man!! haha Last night when we went there Christina was telling us how that morning he was the one that woke them up and started reading the scriptures and prayed before they all went to conference. He has grown soo much just in the short time we have been teaching him. The other day Christina was telling me how happy she is that I came into this area because missionaries have been going there for a long time but he has never really taken the lessons and she said there is something about me that she knows that I am the one that was sent here to share the gospel with him. It made me feel so good and really was another testimony to me that I am in this area for a reason and the Lord knows exactly where He wants us. I know that if I keep doing my part I will have more experiences like that. He is supposed to get baptized on the 23rd but him and Christina have to get married first and it is hard sometimes because they have to buy the marriage license and people here don’t always just have money to do that so it is hard but he has so much faith and he really wants to get baptized so he has been working hard to get it.

We got to watch conference the last two days at the chapel and it was awesome. We actually had like 6 investigators come, to at least parts of it so that was awesome. They talked so much about missionaries and about how not just us that are on full time missions are missionaries but how we all need to be more bold about the gospel. I know that you guys have been doing great with that so keep it up! you guys have been great examples to the people around you of what we believe and that is so important. It really made me want to be even more bold about sharing this gospel with everyone because it really can help everyone. Listening to the Prophet and Apostles speak always strengthens my testimony of this gospel so much because they speak with so much power that there is no way you can deny the things that they say. We are so lucky to have such great men leading this church.

Hopefully I will get that package this week!! That would be awesome. If you guys put candy in it I might not get all of it because they open it at customs so when it gets to the mission office it is opened so when Elders go there they like to go through to find some good free candy haha so hopefully I get lucky and no one will take anything from it haha

Well everything is still going great. The work here is really starting to progress. I am loving being a missionary especially here in Fiji. Everyone here is so awesome. They all really respect us and what we stand for. I will try to get a CD made of all of my pictures and things so I can send it to you soon! AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 3 in Fiji

On a bridge in Kuku

Bula vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well this week has definitely been a crazy week haha on Tuesday after district meeting I went on exchanges and so I went over to Kuku which isnt too far from here with Elder Church. He is way cool. He has family in Delta and goes there for the 4th almost every year so I am sure we have seen him there before haha His companion in the MTC was the kid from Delta that grandma and grandpa know so I might get to meet that kid too at some point.

So now for the crazy part haha so on Wednesday me and him were walking down this dirt road in his area and probably like 20 feet in front of us there was an older Indian man walking and all of a sudden we just heard him like gasp and we looked up and he collapsed to the ground. I just thought that he was drunk or something but we ran over there and we flipped him over and he was breathing really heavy and was like passed out and so then all these other people came running out to help us and we sat him up and some people brought water and they were pouring it down the back of his neck and stuff to try to get him to wake up and then his body started like twitching for a little bit and then it just stopped and he went really limp and one of the guys that was helping us grabbed his wrist to feel his pulse and he just said "he’s done". it was such a weird feeling to have been right there when he died. And we were the first ones there and so some people went and got the police and they came and talked to me and elder church and took our names and number and we told them the story and they said they might be investigating so i might have to go back out there or something. That night me and him were pretty shaken up about it and so we just sat up all night until like 5 in the morning talking and stuff ha we finally got a couple hours of sleep though so it was alright. But what is even crazier is that his companion is from Fiji and he just got here a couple months ago because he was in another mission in Australia but him and his companion there walked into a house where a guy had hung himself and so it messed him up seeing something like that so they sent him here to see if he could finish out his mission here and he has still kind of been having a hard time with it. So it was crazy that we were on exchanges when that happened because if he would have seen it he would probably be done. It was such a testimony to me that Heavenly Father is so aware of all of us and he knows what we all need and how he will make things work out. Especially with his missionaries. when the man’s wife and daughter came running down the street crying the first thing I thought of is how happy I am to have a knowledge of this gospel and that we can see our loved ones again. We talked to them a little bit so hopefully they can go over and teach them. It was definitely something I will never forget. and then when I got back to Naulu a man in our ward had died and he was in his 30's and had a wife and 6 small kids so all the rest of this week we have been helping them and doing stuff for the funeral and stuff. It was pretty cool to see that side of Fijian culture. Everyone comes and brings all these gifts and things and they just stay up for like a couple days straight and sing and drink grog "kava" it’s pretty crazy.

Alright well now for some more positive things. haha We picked up some awesome new investigators this week that were referrals from our ward. One is a family that the two parents are probably in their 60's and they have a son in his 20's and 2 other girls that I think are their daughter in laws that were there and their kids and we taught all of them the first lesson. I love telling the story of the first vision and how powerful that experience is. We also got one girl who is about 13 and her aunt is in our ward and is an RM and she is a really good investigator too. The people here have so much faith and are so humble. It has really made me appreciate all of the things that I have been so blessed in my life to have. We need to make sure that we always thank the Lord for how blessed we are in our lives.

Wearing a sulu is amazing haha I know that I am going to hate wearing pants when I get back haha I am never wearing pants to church again though for the rest of my life haha We don’t hear much news about the US but we hear about the rugby world cup all the time haha Usually the games are on at everyone’s house and they won’t turn them off so we catch little glimpses every once in a while haha I now eat a lot of curry chicken, curry duck, curry everything haha and tons of vegetables and noodles and rice and kasava and dalo which that root plant that is kind of like potato. I haven’t eaten a ton of fish but I have had some and it was really good the couple of times that I have had it.

Well sounds like everything is going good with you guys at home. Keep being the great examples that you are to the people around you. Never be afraid to open your mouth and share anything about this gospel because it can bless EVERYONE! I am going to try to send some pictures so hopefully they work haha there is some good ones that can go on my plaque so just pick one haha AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Second Week in Fiji

Bula Vinaka everyone!

Well I have now been in Fiji for 2 weeks! pretty crazy how fast it is going by. I dont really get to teach in Fijian like at all in this area so that has been kind of a bummer but I know that I will get my chance to go to an area that is all in Fijian soon enough. I am actually going on exchanges tomorrow up to Kuku which I think is more in Fijian so that should be sweet. I will go tomorrow after district meeting and stay until Thursday morning. I think it will be good. It will be sweet to be able to go see some different parts of the Island. Elder Stock is out on Vanua Levu so the other island so he is a long ways away from me but we are having mission tour in November so a general authority will come and everyone goes into suva for a couple days so that will be good to see him and everyone else.

This week has been really slow teaching wise. We had a lot of other things we had to do so we weren't even in our area for a couple days except to sleep. On Wednesday we went into Suva to have a training for all of the trainers and new ones that came in with us. Only me, Sister Longley and Elder Neider and our trainers could come because everyone else is out farther away but it was good to see them. The training was pretty good. Nothing new really haha it was good though because we got to go shopping in Suva after so I bought a white sulu and and Fijian bible and just some other stuff that I needed so that was good. I dont know if you guys sent a package yet but I need a usb card reader thing so that I can send you guys pictures. I just use my companions now but I should probably get one for myself so that I dont always have to use his haha thats the only thing I can think of that I really need but you can send me whatever you want haha

So we are teaching a man named David and he is from an island called Rabi and they are totally different from fijians, it is a different language and everything but he speaks english so we just teach him in English but his wife and family are all members but he isnt. Him and his wife actually aren't married yet so we have to get them married before he can get baptized but I committed him to being baptized on October 23 and he seemed determined to get it all done by then so I really hope he does. It is amazing to see how much faith some of these people have. Him and his wife now both were married before and both of there spouses died so I am not sure which kids are theirs haha they are all awesome though.

The other night we went to teach a boy named Jone and I hadnt met him before and they hadn't taught him any lessons yet but when we got there, there was like 5 boys there and they are all in like their 20's and they all wanted to sit down and be taught. So we taught them the whole first lesson. They all seemed very interested and had lots of questions but they accepted everything that we taught them. After the lesson I realized that I had pretty much taught like the whole thing myself haha I didnt mean to but it was one of the first times that I have really felt guided by the spirit that much in a lesson. Especially when I was sharing about the first vision I could feel how powerful that event is and I know that they could feel it too. They all said they wanted to come back for the next time we come and teach so hopefully they do.

On Sunday we were at the church all day because there is another ward that meets their after ours and it is the ward that the sisters are over and they had a baptism that they were doing after church and my companion is the one that baptized her. It was an older lady. I cant remember her name but she is awesome. Seeing that really motivated me to work hard so that I can baptize people because I could see how happy it made her and also how happy it made us even though it wasnt even our own investigator. I know that when you are the one to teach them from the start and see them change and everything it will make it even more special and happy.

We watch conference on the 8th and the 9th so we just get to go to the chapel in our area and I think our ward is combining with the Makoi ward and we will all just watch it together. I am really excited for it. I know that being a missionary will make me look at conference in a whole different way then I ever have before.

Well I miss you guys but I know this is where I need to be. We are so blessed to have such an amazing family. not only our family but all of our extending family is just filled with such great people and great examples. I am so thankful to have grown up in this gospel and have the knowledge I do about these things that help us so much in our lives. Keep being the awesome people you are! cakava cakacaka na luvequ!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Pictures from Fiji

In front of the Suva Temple with the Mission President and his wife
The Chapel
A Fijian Home

First week in Fiji

Bula Vinaka!!

I don't really know what time it is there right now but here it is about noon on Monday so this is about the time I will probably be emailing every week.

Well I am in Fiji! Pretty crazy that I am actually here. When we are walking around sometimes it will just hit me that I am actually out on a big rock in the middle of the ocean haha everything has been good. I will try to start from the beginning haha

So we flew out Saturday and the plane we got on to come here was HUGE!! I have some pictures and I will try to send them in this email. So we got to Nadi at about 5 in the morning local time and had to go through customs and everything but we didnt have any problems so it went by quick. One of the Elders that was there at the airport to pick us up was Elder Inu that was in the MTC with us for a week or so before they came here so it was good to see him. Him and his companion took just me and Elder Stock to a place called the bread kitchen to get these cream filled roll things for everyone haha they were way good. So after that we got on the longest bus ride I have been on in my life haha it was beautiful though. The pictuers I have of the ocean and stuff are from the bus ride. So we finally got to Suva and the mission president and a couple of the Elders came and picked us up and took us back to the mission office and mission home which are in the same complex as the temple which is awesome. So that night we just hung out there for a while and had our interviews and they ordered pizza for us. It was a little different but really good haha Then we all got assigned which flats around Suva we were going to go stay at and luckily me and Elder Stock got paired up to go stay at the same flat. The 2 elders that stay there came and got us and took us straight to their dinner appointment at the Bishops house of the ward they are covering. The 2 elders we were with were kind of weird and I pretty much did all of the talking the whole time haha but it was crazy because one of the ladies there served in our home ward a couple years ago!! she was like asking me about people in the ward and stuff so it was crazy haha and her husband that was there too is the brother of the sister missionary that was at Harry's house in Florida! haha pretty crazy how small the world is sometimes even when your all the way on the other side of it.

So the next morning we went back to the mission office and had our whole orientation thing and went to the temple which was really good and then got our assignments. I am in Naulu! I was actually pretty bummed when I opened it because it is only like an hour outside of Suva and pretty much everyone here speaks english so my Fijian really isnt going to get a whole lot better in the next couple months haha but now that I am here I like it and it has been good to be able to help so much in the lessons and everything. My trainer is Elder Ikafanga! He is Tongan but lived in Australia and New Zealand. He is way cool. I take the lead on a lot of the teaching we do because he isn't as confident in his teaching, but it is good for me. You would be sooo suprised at some of the things I have eaten haha I have been quite suprised myself. The first night I got to my area we ate at the Bishops house and we had like eggplant in some kind of sauce on top of rice haha it was weird but not too terrible. We mostly eat a lot of rice and noodles and vegetables. We also eat a lot of chicken curry but when they cook chicken here they just get the chicken and chop it all up bones and all and cook it and serve it like that so when you eat it you just put a piece in your mouth and suck all the meat off the bones and you put them back down on your plate haha I haven't gotten very good at it yet haha there are tons of tiny bones and stuff so its not always easy. Our flat isnt too bad. If you guys saw it you would probably think that it is pretty nasty but its not too bad haha pretty much all of the houses here are just made of tin and wood and then some are nicer and made of cement and things. There is a lot of garbage everywhere. They don't have a good garbage system so everyone just throws their garbage around or puts it in piles by the road and burns it. pretty crazy haha

So we have about 5 investigators right now so I have taught quite a few lessons. It is amazing how accepting these people are to the gospel. Some of them will just say "hey I want to get baptized on October 9th" or whatever and we just say ok cool sounds good to us haha We go to one families house almost every night and they are so awesome. It is the tin house in the pictues that I hopefully can send with this but the dad is this Fijian guy with a huge beard and he is methodist but he knows all kinds of stuff about the church because he used to teach with some missionaries here back in the day haha he doesnt want to be a member but he lets us teach his family. He is one of the funniest guys I have ever met haha His wife came to church with us on Sunday so that was good. They also have a couple kids and they are all awesome. We play this card game called lock with all the kids and they love it haha They call me Elder Manulevu which means big bird haha I love it so I tell pretty much everyone to call me that haha I am going to get a name badge that says it.

So yesterday was my first Sunday. They actually have a pretty nice chapel. It is small but nice compared to everything else here. It is the white building in the pictures. On every third Sunday the missionaries speak so we had to speak in sacrement meeting. It was really easy though. I just talked about the things that Elder Holland talked about when he came and talked to us at the MTC. I thought it was really good. When I was bearing testimony at the end about how powerfully he spoke when he spoke to us and how I know that this church is true because of it I felt the spirit just like I did when he was talking to us. I really do know that this church is true and that it is for everyone.

Alright well I better get going but hopefully this answers most of the questions you guys have about whats been goin on! O and I didnt feel the earthquake. This is actually the first time I heard about it so I don't know haha alright well I love you guys!! Keep being the great people you are. Good luck with all of the injuries and surgery and stuff haha hopefully that will help your knee out alot in the long run. Au lomani kemudou!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bula Vinaka from Fiji

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well I made it! It was a long journey haha a ten and a half hour flight and then a four and a half hour bus ride that seemed even longer than the flight. haha The mission house is awesome. It is so nice. It is in the same complex as the temple. I dont have very much time to write because we have a lot of stuff we have to do but I will write you all about it next time I get to e mail. It is beautiful here!! I took some good pictures from the bus haha we should find out what areas we are going to get sent to tonight, all the Elders that are here in the office right now said we are so lucky because all of the ones we have a chance to get sent to are all way cool areas. Most of them are out in the bush which is awesome haha Alright well I better get back to work. Hopefully I can send some pictures on my next Email. It was awesome talking to you guys last night. Hope everything is going awesome for you guys! AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Week 9

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!!!

AHhhhhhh 4 more days and I will be on a flight to FIJI!! It has gone by so fast. I am so ready to get there and start working though. We got our flight plans this week. Our flight leaves at 5:00 PM from Salt Lake so I will have a little bit of time to call you guys from there probably between like 3-4 and then we fly to LA and we have like a 5 hour layover so I can call you guys again from there. Our flight leaves at 11:30 pm on Saturday night from LA and we get to Fiji at 5:10 AM on Monday haha pretty crazy. and then we have a 4 hour bus ride from Nadi over to Suva so that should be sweet haha I'll be sending home a box later this week of just a bunch of stuff that I dont need to take with me and some pictures and stuff that I finally got to print of today since the machine has been broken haha
This week has been awesome. It has definitely been one of the best weeks I have had here which is pretty hard to beat when I havent had any bad ones haha the first thing that made it awesome was that on Tuesday our speaker for the devotional was Elder Holland!! It was an amazing talk. I have never heard anyone speak with that much power and authority. He talked alot about how his mission means everything to him and I really want to work my hardest and do my best so that I can look back on my mission in the same way. He also talked about how we have more prayers for us then probably anyone and how we should trust in the Lord and it really made me feel like I never should have a reason to feel down or feel discouraged about any situation I am in out here as long as I am working my hardest because the Lord is going to bless me with the things that I need. Hearing him talk really motivated me to always work my hardest and to love the work as I do it. I havent had any problems with that yet and I know that it will be even easier for me to love the work once I get to Fiji.
We also went to in-field orientation on Friday which was really good. They talked a lot about finding people and just all kinds of things that will help us to be better missionaries. One of the things that really stuck out to me from it was the amount of faith that I need to have in every part of this work. I think a lot of the time missionaries get caught up in focusing on how much faith the investigators have when really we as missionaries should have so much faith that they can do these things because we know that it is true and we know how much it can help them.
Sunday was also an awesome day. It was fast sunday and I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting. I talked about a talk that I had read I cant remember who it was by but he said that he was at a funeral of a teenage girl that had died and her father was speaking and one of the things he said was "our families faith is centered on Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes" and then I talked about our situation with Jace and how I am so thankful that I have such good parents that had that same attitude because I cant imagine going through a situation like that in any other way. That is how we need to be in all parts of our lives. We just need to do the best that we can do and trust that the Lord truly does know what is best for us. Even though a lot of the times it may not seem that way. Us 7 Fijians also sang "Come thou Fount" in Fijian for sacrament meeting. I thought it sounded really good. I loveee singing in Fijian. Maybe I will sing you guys a song when I call you on Saturday haha We also had mission conference on Sunday which was really good. And the departure devotional with the MTC presidency. There were 500 of us set to leave this week. Pretty crazy. The MTC presidency is so awesome. You can really feel how much they care about this work and how much they care about us and they are all hilarious haha
The new Fijian district gets in tomorrow so we are getting kicked out of our classroom haha we just have to go into the one next door though because it is empty for another week until the new Tongan district gets in. We met one of them today because he is from Australia and internationals get in on Tuesdays. He knew me and Elder Stocks companion Elder O'Connor that left. He told us that he is getting married in 2 weeks haha pretty crazy!!
Well everything is still going great! I cannot wait to get there on Monday!! It doesnt really even seem real yet though haha I dont know if you guys sent me a package yet our not but the stuff you guys said you would send in the letter is really all I need. I ran out of gel today so hopefully you sent some of that haha Alright well I will talk to you guys on Saturday!!! AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mission Home Address in Fiji

Tanner will be flying to Fiji on Saturday.
His address in Fiji will be:

Elder Tanner Hawk
Fiji Suva Mission
Suva, FIJI

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Week 8

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!!

Holy cow! I cannot believe I have been here for 8 weeks!! pretty crazy. Everything is still going awesome. This last week was really good. We didnt get our flight plans like we were expecting but we should get them this week for sure. We got to host this last week and that was pretty fun haha getting to see all of the new people come in and think about how much I have already grown up in the short time that I have been here. We get to host again tomorrow so that should be fun. This last week me and Elder Stock got all of our silk ties and went upstairs and traded them all for polyester ones cuz we cant take silk to Fiji cuz it will rot. But I got some pretty sweet ties out of it so it was good haha Oh!!! and last night we decided was fort night so we took all of the mattresses off of the beds and made a sweet fort out of all of the extra blankets that we dont use!! it was definitely the coolest thing ever haha luckily our roommates that are going to Brazil are way cool and loved it too haha everyone kept coming in to look at it and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I took a bunch of pictures of it so I will try to send those next week haha
I also finished D&C and JSH this week which was awesome. I dont know if I have ever read either one of those all the way through but I am glad I did. They are both such great testimonies that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet.
So today is our P-day and like weeks ago we made a poster of the first vision in Fijian to put in our room so that we could memorize it and we have had it as a goal for like every week but we have never done it. so today we decided we would do it and I memorized the whole thing in like an hour!! it was pretty sweet. So I’ll have to recite it for you guys when I get to call you next week. I think we get to the Salt Lake airport at like 2:30 ish and I should be able to call you from there and from our big layover in LA. That will be awesome to be able to talk to you guys.
Both of the devotionals that we had this week were awesome. Last Tuesday was Elder Zivic from the 70 and he talked a lot about just becoming a man and doing your best and stuff. He said a man needs to know 3 things. Where I am, where i'm going, and how I am going to get there. Being on my mission and setting all of these goals all the time has really made me realize how important it really is. I dont think that in our lifes we really step back and evaluate how things are going enough. Or step back and think about where we want to be in our lives and how we are going to do it.
The other devotional was President McIff from the MTC presidency. His was kind of similar to Elder Zivic's. He talked about how "The Lord needs missionaries, not young men and women on missions" and I have always felt that way. If I am going to take this time out to serve the Lord I am going to give it my all and be the best instrument in the Lord's hands that I can be. He also talked about our attitudes which is another thing I have always had a strong testimony of. Before I came to the MTC a lot of people said how they didnt like it or how it sucked but I came in with the attitude that I was going to get the most I could out of it and have fun doing it and that is exactly how it has been. I have not had any days that I looked back on when I was laying in my bed and said today wasnt good. Every night I lay in bed I think about how great it is to have this opportunity and how great doing this work makes us feel. And I know that is mainly because of my attitude about it. He also talked about how Bronco Medenhal wears 3 bracelets one has an A one has a D and one has an E. They stand for Attitude, Discipline, and Effort. He wears them because that is how he lives his life and that is how he wants his football players to live theirs. I know that in anything we do in this life if we have a good attitude about it be disciplined and put in our best effort we will be successful in everything that we do.
It sounds like everything is going great with you guys! keep up the good work. I cant wait to get to Fiji in a week and a half and start really learning the language and teaching the people. AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!! CAKAVA CAKACAKA NA LUVEQU!!

Lomana, Elder Hawk

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Week 7

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!!! (Hello my famiy)

Wow! I cannot believe I have been here for 7 weeks already! The time has been flying by! I am definitely ready to get to Fiji though and start doing the real work. 2 and a half more weeks!! I am way excited to get to call you guys and talk to you! It will be sweet for you guys to be able to hear me speak some Fijian! Me and Elder Stock have been trying to speak pretty much only in Fijian today if we are talking to each other since it is our P-day. It is pretty cool how much we can actually say already when we have only been here for 7 weeks!
So the Tongan district just left which was pretty awesome. I am so excited for them. I got close to a lot of them so it was kind of hard to see them leave but I am so excited for them to get to out in the field and start working. A couple of us did the Hakka for them when they were leaving. Me and one other white kid were the only ones that knew it haha I have it on video so maybe once I get to Fiji I can send it to you. Tanner Peterson left this week too and so did Devin. I hung out with Peterson a lot but I didnt get to see Devin much.
Lupe sent me a wiffle ball bat and a bunch of other stuff this week and everyone who saw it thought it was the coolest thing ever haha pretty funny what a couple weeks in the MTC will do to you haha It was awesome though. I am excited to take it to Fiji and teach the kids how to play! I am sure I won’t have it for too long because I will give it away to some kids. haha
I got the pictures that Danielle and you guys sent from the wedding! Everything looked awesome!! I am glad that it all went so well. Seeing those pictures of Casey made me miss him!!
We might be getting our travel plans this week so in my next e mail I might be able to tell you the details of when we are leaving and stuff and when I will be able to call you! We also get to host tomorrow so we get to help all the new missionaries that are coming in by taking them to their rooms and their classrooms and stuff. We are pretty excited for it haha
Well everything is still going great here at the good ol’ MTC. I am getting a little antsy to get out of here and get to Fiji but I try not to think about it too much or it will just make the time go slow haha I am so excited to go out and share this great gospel that has brought all of us so much happiness with the people of Fiji. I know that there is nothing else in this life that can bring us as much happiness as this gospel can and especially the happiness that we can receive from sharing it with others. AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!!
CAKAVA CAKACAKA NA LUVEQU!! (remember C makes a "TH" sound and Q makes a hard "NG" sound haha)

Lomana, Elder Hawk

More Photos from the MTC

Elder Stock, Elder Bete (from Fiji going to Atlanta, Georgia) and Elder Hawk
Elder Yogoh from Kenya and Elder Hawk from Arizona
Elder Hawk on top of Elder Corder's shoulders at the Provo Temple
Hangin' loose in my sulu!
Planking in the MTC stalls

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week 6

Bula Vinaka everyone!!

Holy cow!! I cannot believe that I have been here for 6 weeks already! pretty crazy! Ill be in Fiji in like 3 and a half weeks!! I am soo excited to get there and start working. This week was pretty eventful so hopefully I can get it all in before my time runs out haha
So we got roomates this week, which totally stinks haha me and Stock have had our own room since O'Connor left 6 days in so now its a huge difference to have four of us all in the same room. They are both going to Brazil. It is Elder Kendrick and Elder Bowerbank. We give them quite a bit of grief but they are always good sports about it haha I short sheeted one of their beds like the second night they were here but he didnt even sleep in the sheets so I was pretty dissapointed haha he was freaking out when he tried to make his bed the next morning though haha O and the coolest thing happened!! the other night they said that I was talking in Fijian in my sleep!!! haha I thought that was the coolest thing ever haha
I did actually get to see Wes a couple times while he was here. I have some pictures of me him and Devin all together that I will send home sometime this week.
Elder Bete our Fijian friend left for Atlanta this morning so that kind of stinks. Me and Stock just hung out with him and the Kenyan Elder in their room until like 11 last night haha They were both some of our favorite people here so it kind of stinks that they are gone. He told us that one of his friends from Fiji is supposed to come in today though so we will have to find him and make friends with him too haha The Tongan district is also leaving this week which will be hard too. They are all way awesome and some of our best friends here.
I'm glad that Danielle's wedding went so good! I hope that she liked my letter that Dad read for me! I wanted to record my voice and send it so that you guys could hear me speak some Fijian! Thats alright though because you will be able to hear me in 3 and a half weeks when I get to call you from the airport on my way to Fiji So this week we got new zone leaders in our zone and all week everyone kept saying that it was going to be me and Elder Stock haha they kept calling us Zone leaders all week and then on Sunday it ended up not being us but the branch President pulled us aside before church started and said that we are some of the best examples in the zone and that it very easily could have been us but that the Lord knew that Elder Duke and Elder Ormsbey from the Samoan district needed it. He said that if they ever needed help for anything though that they would come to us first haha I know that they will be great and it was cool to see how the Lord works through his servants and how the calls we get are truly inspired through Him.
Today we saw Elder Stocks mom and his three little brothers and sisters on the way back from the temple! they were on their way back to Washington from Colorado and his uncle lives right by here so they stayed there for the night and came and saw us today haha he had no idea they were going to be there so it was pretty funny. We only talked to them for like ten minutes but it was cool to meet some of his family. Its great that I have a companion that I know won’t be affected at all by that happening. Me and him are so lucky to have each other as companions here. We have not fought even once since we have been here and it seems like we have known each other forever so it has been awesome.
This week we had a fireside that was about being a "successful" missionary. It was awesome. He talked all about how it has nothing to do with how many baptisms and stuff you have but it has to do with your commitment to the work and if you are giving it your best. Even if we don’t get any baptisms we can still be the most successful missionaries if we always work hard and give ourselves fully to the work. In the end we cannot control the agency of the people we teach, it is there opportunity to choose to accept this great gospel and if they don’t it does not mean at all that we were not successful. One of the things I really liked that he said was "Do everything in my power and expect nothing" I think that is the best way to look at really anything in life. All we can do is work our hardest and give everything our best efforts and we can be satisfied that it was a success. And any rewards you get are just a great bonus on top of that
Alright well this e mail is HUGE so i hope this will get your through another week of Elder Hawk withdrawals! haha Keep working hard and being awesome!! Au lomana kemudou!

Lomana, Elder Hawk