Sunday, September 18, 2011

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

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