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