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