Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dua na macawa e na noqu vanua vou!

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well I have been in my new area for over a week now. I am loving it. There are
soo many awesome people in our ward and the work here is exploding right now.
We got like 6 new investigators this week so now we have like 20! It is crazy
hard to even be able to see all of them in one week. Our area is pretty huge
and we just walk so it takes a while to get around. O I got the package today!!
Thank you for the stuff! It is perfect. I haven’t seen what songs are on the
thing yet but im sure it will be good. VInaka vakalevu!
This week was a good week. There is a girl named Mereseine that is about 12
that I have taught a few times and she just got interviewed yesterday and will
be getting baptized on Saturday. We have a lot more people that are getting
closer to baptism too so there should be a lot more coming up in the weeks to
come. We have sooo many investigators right now which is awesome. The hardest
part though is just getting people to come to church though. A few of our
investigators live way out in this way bush area that has no water or
electricity or anything. We went out there this week and taught them and they
gave us rain water to drink because they don’t have pipes that run out there to
bring them water either. It didnt taste too good but kind of cool to think that
it was just straight rain water haha they kept saying "na wai mai
lomalagi!" Which means the water from heaven. haha My Fijian is getting a lot
better. I can understand pretty much anything that anyone says to me. And I am
totally fine and confident in teaching anything in Fijian. I think it is way good
for me to be doing all the lessons now in Fijian because it makes me actually
have to rely on the spirit more and think more about what I need to say and
keep it simple. I kind of would get in a groove at times when teaching in
English just because it was so easy.
So there is this guy named Josefa that just got baptized like a year or so ago
and when he was baptized he was already too old to serve a mission but he
really wanted too so he always comes around with the missionaries. We have been
bringing him around with us a lot. He is living with his aunt and uncle and a
few of their kids in our area right now and we would just go over there and
hang out to wait for him to get ready and one day I just asked him if he thought
his family would want to take the lessons and he said he isn’t sure but he doesn’t
want to be the one to ask them. So the next time we went over there we just
asked them if they wanted to know some more about the church and they said
yeah. So we just taught them yesterday and before the lesson started I asked
them if they had any questions to start off and the man said, "we go to
the Pentecostal church but I have always wondered why we all use the same bible
but the teachings are different" I said that’s a perfect question because
that is what we are going to explain today haha We taught a way good first
lesson all about prophets and the apostasy and the restoration. I love sharing
the Joseph Smith story in Fijian. After the lesson I was shocked at how the
whole lesson I didn’t even really have to think hard of how to say things in
Fijian. I was just spiting it out like crazy haha It was so awesome. I love
this language.
Yesterday we went over to these members house for lunch after church and the
kid just got back from BYU Hawaii and my comp also went to a year at BYU Hawaii
before his mission and we were just talking all about it and he was showing us
all of these pictures and stuff and it really made me want to go there. The
awesome thing is that since I am serving my mission in the Pacific I will get
half off tuition if I do go there. I of coarse haven’t made any decisions yet
because that is a ways away and I am on my mission but I think it would be
pretty awesome even if I just went for like a year or something. There are a
lot of people from this mission and from Fiji that go there so I would get to
speak Fijian all the time.
Well hopefully this is enough to get you guys through another week! Everything
is going great as ever here. The Christmas card looks awesome! Au lomani kemudou!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nasinu 1st!

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well I am in my new area! It is pretty crazy being in a new
place again and having to learn my way around. Our area is pretty huge so we
walk a ton! And it is the hot and rainy season right now so at all times I am
either drenched from sweat or from the rain, but usually both haha our flat is
huge. There are another set of missionaries that cover our same area but all
the English and they all used to live in this flat way back in the day but
something happened I guess so they split them up and now we have this big 'ol
flat all to ourselves which is pretty sweet. It is pretty dirty but we are
going to clean it up a lot. I guess it used to be way worse and my comp has
already cleaned it a lot before so that’s good. My comp is Elder Vandygriff. He
is from Tennessee. He is way cool. He goes home in June just like my last comp.
They were in the same intake.
So I am going to start with some stuff that happened in
Naulu before I got transferred on Thursday. So on Monday night after all the
P-day stuff we always just go to dinner at this same member’s house. So we ate
there and then on our way home the power all went out because it had been
raining quite a bit that day. So we got back to the flat and we had to light a
candle to see around. And the worst part about it is that we always have the
fan going on all night while we sleep cuz it is hot so we were mostly mad just
because we couldn’t have that haha so we plugged the fan in just so that when
the power did turn back on that it would just turn on too. So we both said our
prayers and we’re just laying in bed and we were both joking that we have never
prayed so hard that the power could come back on just so that we could have our
fan haha so like 5 minutes after that I just hear Elder McCombs say "hey!
Do you feel that breeze?!" He pretty much thought that our prayer had been
answered by a nice breeze coming through the window but I could see a light on
outside the window so I said "No man its the fan!!" and we were both
pretty much just cheering and laughing so hard because he thought that it was
just the wind haha good times.
So Thursday I come here to Nasinu. We are in the Fijian ward
which is way awesome. So we pretty much just teach in straight Fijian which I am
loving. It is pretty crazy how well my understanding and stuff is. I can pretty
much understand anything that anyone says to me. And my teaching in Fijian is
actually pretty good too, I just need to get more used to it and it will keep
getting a lot better. I am way excited for that though. So the time here moved
back an hour and we had no idea. So our ward starts at 8 and it is like a 40
minute walk from our flat so we wake up at 630 like always and walk to church
and get there just before 8 and no one is there. Finally a few people show up
and they said "o dang I think that the time changed last night" and
it did. So we were there really at 7 and we could have gotten a precious extra
hour of sleep!! haha So the other Elders flat is close to the chapel so we just
went over there for a bit and hung out with them until church started. Being in
a Fijian ward is way cool. My favorite part by far is singing the hymns in
Fijian in sacrament meeting. And our ward is really big so it is way loud and
it just sounds sweet. And after church this lady came up to us with her husband
and said "he is not a member yet but he wants to get baptized can you guys
come and teach him?" haha That is
pretty much the best thing to happen as a missionary. There are also some other
boys and stuff that we are teaching that should get baptized soon too so that
will be sweet.
Yaba the lady that
was married to the Samoan guy in Naulu got baptized yesterday. I called Elder
McCombs to make sure it happened and he said it was awesome. She is so awesome.
We started teaching her like 3 or 4 weeks ago and she already has such a strong
testimony and is now baptized. So that was my 10th baptism in Naulu. Which only
had 10 baptisms in the last 2 years combined. I feel so blessed to have been
there in the time I was and to have received all of those blessings in turning
that area around.
Well it sounds like everything is going good at home. Keep me updated on
all of the wrestling stuff. That will be way fun for you guys to get to go to
Florida for that Top Gun thing. If Sister Maiwiriwiri is still in Harry's ward
you guys should go and see her so you can meet a Fijian! haha She is way cool.
Well thanks for being awesome. I forgot my camera at the flat so I will send
some pictures next week. Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Monday, January 16, 2012



The Feast at the Bavoro's Home
Elder McCombs, Joseph, Esira, Elder Hawk, and Roko

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well I found out on Saturday night that I will be getting transferred this
week. But.... I am going to Suva.. So it isn't too much of a transfer. I was
really mad at first, but I know it will all be fine. It is an all Fijian
speaking ward so that will be really good. We will only be teaching lessons in
Fijian so my Fijian will definitely get way better. A lot of people thought
that I would be getting to go to a different island so it was kind of a big
surprise. It will be good though because now I will get my Fijian down and then
hopefully next time I get transferred I will get to go to a different island.
Well this week was really good. Me and Elder McCombs have been getting a lot of
lessons the past few weeks. We have gotten about 15 for 3 weeks in a row so
that is way good. We have found a lot of good new investigators too that will
probably get baptized within the next few months. We did end up having 2 of our
baptisms yesterday after church. It almost didn't happen though haha So the
font takes HOURS to fill so we always go the day before and start filling it
and then just go back and turn it off the next day. So on Saturday we went to
the church and turned on the font so that it would be full for our baptisms on Sunday.
When we got to church on Sunday we went to check the font and someone had
unplugged it so it was completely empty! We turned it on again and went and
found this huge bucket and started going to the faucets outside to fill the
bucket and then bring it in and dump it into the font. We were doing that for
about thirty minutes but we had to go and teach the lesson in priesthood so we
had to stop to go and do that. So after priesthood we got a few of the boys and
got some more buckets and we were filling them outside and then bringing them
in and dumping them into the font to fill it. So we did that for the whole hour
of Sunday school and it was still only like a foot deep. Luckily some members
that live behind the chapel brought a hose and we ran it from outside through a
window and into the font so that there would at least be a little more water
going into it while we were in sacrament meeting. The baptism was supposed to
be right after sacrament meeting and Roko had some family coming in from
another place to be there so we really needed to do it then. Luckily by the
time it was time to do the baptism there was barely enough water to be able to
actually dunk them haha so Esira got to baptize Roko which was way awesome! He
did it once and he wasn’t even close to going all the way under and so we told
him that he had to do it again. He didn’t even say the prayer or anything again
he just instantly dunked him again when we told him and Roko was not ready for
it at all so it was way funny haha But then he did it all right after that so
it was all good. Then I got to baptize Joseph so that was awesome. He is the
man. After the baptism we went to the Bavoro's (Esira and Sai) and we had a
HUGE feast there because of Roko's baptism. It was way good. There was a ton of
their family there so hopefully that will open up so more of them to accept the
gospel. After that we went and taught Yaba who is this Fijian women that we
have only been teaching for a few weeks but she is totally ready to be baptized
and will be getting baptized this week. At the end of the lesson we asked her
if she had any questions and she asked "can I bear my testimony like you
two always do at the end of the lesson?" and we said "of course you
can that would be awesome!" haha She progressed so fast because she
actually would do all of the things that we would ask her to do.
There are those 2 other Indian women that we have been teaching for a while and
both of them are totally ready to be baptized but they are both just being dumb
and not coming to church!! It is pretty frustrating haha but I guess I won’t be
dealing with them anymore after this week ha
Well it sounds like everything is going good at home. Everything is still going
great here. My new comp in Nasinu is going to be Elder Vandygriff. He is way
cool so it should be fun. I have gotten way lucky with my comps so far on my
mission. Thanks for all the support that you give me. Au lomani Kemudou!! I
will re-send my email from last week because it was really good.

Loloma, Elder Hawk
Beautiful Fiji Sunset
Look at all the GREEN

Burning of the 6 Months Tie

Ono na Vula! (6 Months)

Ni sa Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Isa! I can’t believe that this week was already my 6th month mark. We burned a
tie so I have some pictures from the ceremony haha I called Elder Stock and
talked to him for a bit too so that was good. Last Monday the sisters made me a
cake and stuff and brought it to P-day so that was fun. We also had a big water
fight for the New Year.
Well this week was really good. Yesterday Roko, Esira and Sainimere's grandson
got interviewed and is going to be getting baptized this next week. And what is
even more awesome is that Esira gets to do the baptism. It will be way sweet to
see one of my recent converts baptizing his oldest grandson. They told us this
is just the start and that they eventually will get all of their family to join
so that would be so awesome. On one of the nights that we were teaching him
this week the other little kids were all running around and stuff and the
spirit was definitely not there in the lesson, but then Esira and Sai made them
go out and we needed to make sure that Roko had a testimony of Joseph Smith and
the Book of Mormon. So Elder McCombs started re-sharing the Joseph Smith story
to him and instantly the spirit was back. It was so strong that Elder McCombs
started to get choked up as he was sharing the story. And then I bore my
testimony about it and then Esira and Sai both bore their testimonies about it.
They were 2 of the most powerful testimonies that I have probably ever heard.
When Sai was bearing hers she started crying and it made me cry because I felt
so thankful to have been the one to just have a small part in helping her to
receive this gospel that she was bearing testimony about. They are both the
bomb. They are pretty much like my Fijian grandparents haha
On Sunday Joseph also got interviewed and will be getting baptized this week.
He has taken the lessons probably 5 or 6 other times at all different places
that he has lived in Fiji. He just could never stop smoking, until now!! He is
the man. His wife Louisa has been a member forever and she is amazing. She is
really the only reason he made it. Angeline and David should be getting married
this week so she should be getting baptized this week also. Shabina was being a
huge drama queen as usual and didn’t come to church and hasn’t for the past few
weeks, so she won’t be getting baptized this week which kind of sucks because
she is totally ready, she just needs to show some more effort and go to church.
There is a cool story that happened with her though yesterday. So her husband
is Muslim and he has pretty much hated us from the start. So this week while we
were there he came home and she called him over and said that we all need to
take things out or something. So we talked to him and he pretty much just told
us he doesn’t like us because he is a pure Muslim and all this stuff but that
Shabina can choose to do whatever she wants. So we just told him we are not
forcing her to be baptized and stuff and that it is her choice. He was still
pissed when we left but I guess it was a little better haha now for the good
part though. So last night we get a call from Shabina and she tells us to come
over to pray for her husband because his leg suddenly got all swollen up and he
is in so much pain that he is crying. So I told her we could come give him a
blessing. So we go over and get in the house and he is laying down grabbing his
leg and crying in pain and smoking his cig like a chimney. So we tell him that
if he has faith that us giving him a blessing will heal him that it can. So he
is a little hesitant but he says sure do it. So Elder McCombs anointed and then
I gave him a blessing. Of course we were hoping for us to open our eyes and for
him to be healed but that didn’t happen haha so we sat there for like 15 more
minutes but then we had to leave and when we left he was still in a lot of
pain. But then that night we are at the flat and we get a call from Shabina. I
answer and ends up that it is actually the husband on the phone. I could tell
he was a little hesitant but he said, I just wanted to call and tell you thank
you, I am feeling a lot better now. So pretty much we healed this man who hated
us and now we are hoping that it will soften his heart and he can get baptized
too! ha It is so cool to have these front row seats and get to even participate
in the Lords work.
Well by next Monday I should know where or if I am getting transferred. We are
all pretty sure that I will be because there are 7 new missionaries coming in
and Elder McCombs will probably be training again. I am really excited, but I
know that I will miss a lot of the people here.
It sounds like everything is still going as good as ever back home! That is
crazy about that missionary from Herriman haha I am pretty sure that I know who
you are talking about. Tell him that I say hi! O yeah! and I finally got my
Fiji drivers license card today so I will try to take a picture of it and send
it haha Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Arise & Shine Forth"

“I have to teach the Young Men at Ward Conferences this month and the
Theme is Arise and Shine Forth--- D & C 115:5. Can you give me some of
your thoughts on this and what it means to you as a missionary?

Elder Hawk:
“I think that to me as a missionary the first thing that I think about when reading
this scripture is how everyone who sees us knows that we are different. No matter
what country you go to on your mission one of the most important things is to
look like and act like a missionary (at least in public haha) because people do
notice even when you don’t think that they do. There has already been countless
times on my mission where people will just come up to us and start talking to
us just because they can tell that we are different (sometimes just because we
are white ha). A big part of that too is just living up to the calling and to
live the gospel so that people don’t only see the difference, but they can feel
of it through the spirit. Because living the gospel is the "standard"
that we need to have and show "to all nations". I think to me it also
means we can’t be shy or timid about sharing the gospel. You just have to
"arise and shine forth" just like it says and have the confidence
that this is the Lords work and he is going to qualify you to help him in it.
And it doesn't mean that you just need to be that way on your mission. It is
just as important to be that way at home because it is all of our responsibility
to share the gospel that we have received and that blesses our lives every day.”

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Playing with a Centepede

Noqu siga ni sucu! (My birthday!)

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!
Well, today is my 20th birthday!! I still feel like I am 17 haha it is insane
how fast life goes by. Especially when all of your time is just devoted to
serving other people and not worrying about yourself. I love it. We haven’t
really done anything for my birthday yet, but I think the 2 sisters in our zone
are making me a cake and bringing it to the chapel where we all go to play
sports on P-days so that should be way cool. And then tonight like always we
are having dinner and family home evening with Maya and her family. She knows it’s
my birthday and she is the bomb so I am sure that she will probably make us a
way good dinner and have cake and make everyone sing to me haha It is crazy
that this week on the 6th is my 6 month mark! I am mostly just excited that I
get to burn a tie haha I will make sure to send pictures of that next week. For
new year’s we just bought some oreo's and sprite, which is pretty rare for us
to get because they are kind of more expensive and we just stayed up til
midnight talking about stupid stories and stuff haha it was still pretty fun.
And then at midnight there was a lot of people lighting off fireworks so we
went outside for like 5 minutes and watched and just went to bed.
Well, this week was really good. We have gotten quite a few new investigators
lately and pretty much all of them have been doing awesome. There are 4 people
that could possibly be getting baptized this next week on the 14th. One is this
boy Roko who is the grandson of Esira and Sai who we baptized a while ago. They
are awesome and want their WHOLE family to become members and this kid is
living with them right now and he has been coming to church every week and
loves it so we have just been teaching him quick so he should for sure be
getting baptized next week. He is turning 13 next week too so it will be sweet
that he can get the priesthood too. He is pretty much the man. And then another
one is Shabina that Indian lady that I was telling you about that always just
tells us about all of her problems even though most of them are just in her
head. She is finally starting to realize how many blessings and things she is
already getting from coming to church and things so she should be getting
baptized next week. And then Angeline who is another Indian lady that her whole
family but her is members and she has been coming to church for a long time but
her and her "Husband" of like 17 years have just never gotten married
so we have been trying to get them married for months and hopefully it will
happen this week and if it does she will be getting baptized next week. And
then Joseph who is Rabian, his wife is a really good member and he has taken
the lessons way back but he could never stop smoking. So we have been teaching
him for a while and this week he said he is really ready to trust the Lord and
stop smoking so that he can get baptized. He told us how the other day he
walked up to the shop to buy his cigs but when he got there he just realized
that he needs to stop and he bought his kids gum instead. So that was a big
step for him. So hopefully if he can keep it up this whole week he will be able
to get baptized next week too. So that would be way awesome to get all 4 in one
day! Especially since we think I will probably get transferred the week after
that when the new intake comes in. There is a kid from the new intake coming in
that I went to middle school with in Herriman. I never really hung out with him
so you guys wouldn’t know him but he is a way cool kid. So that should be cool
to have someone in the mission to talk to about people from up there.
O yeah, so Fijians for new year’s used to always do this thing, where on new year’s
day they pretty much just have a massive water fight with buckets of water and
stuff but now that tradition has kind of died. They still do it out in the
villages and stuff sometimes but now for the most part especially in Suva and
stuff it is a lot like it is in America. They light fireworks and have a big
party in the streets in Suva. But today we might have a water fight at the
chapel with the other missionaries so that will be fun.
Well thank you all for the birthday wishes! Even if I don’t really do anything
for it or get any presents or anything it is still one of the best birthdays I
have had because I am in FIJI!! How could you have a bad birthday when you are
in Fiji?! haha Well you guys are all amazing. It was so good to get to see you
guys last week. You guys have all been good examples to me all growing up and
are still good examples to me because of the great people that you are.
Happy New Year!! Au lomani kemudou vakalevu!!
Loloma, Elder Hawk

Elder Hawk on Skype on Christmas Day