Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bamboo Log for the Weight Lifting Bench we're making

E dua na mate mai na koro (a death in the village)

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well this week was pretty crazy. On Tuesday we were driving in Kuku at night
and I didnt even see it when I was turning but there was a huge drain ditch
thing that was probably like seven feet deep and I pretty much drove straight
into it. We pretty much hit in the absolute only way that the truck didnt fall
all the way in and that would have totally jacked the truck up and probably us
too. We were climbing out of the truck and it was tipping and almost fell in.
It was insane. But these people brought their tractor over and pulled it out
and there was no damage at all to the truck. It is insane how lucky we were.
And then that night when we got back to our area we were teaching a lesson in
the village that is close to our flat and there is a guy that we took to the
hospital last week and Bro. Tabua came to us and told us that he had just died
like an hour before and that they called the police and they didnt have any
trucks close by so they asked if we could take his body down to the hospital
place. So we drove the guys body in the back of our truck to the hospital. It
was pretty crazy.
Other than those 2 crazy experiences we had a really good week haha We were
doing our weekly planning on Friday and I was just looking at all the
investigators we have right now and how hard we have been working and I started
thinking about a quote that I wrote in the front of my PMG that says "Dont
just go on a mission, BE a missionary" and I really felt like we are doing
"real" missionary work. We are working really hard and we are being
blessed for it. There are these 2 older guys that we are teaching. One is
Tomasi and the other is Simi and both of them told us this week that they
remember that earlier in their lives that someone had given them a Book Of
Mormon. It is crazy how the Lord really does prepare these people to receive
his gospel.
So every Wednesday we go out to this place called Waimalua. We have a lot of
work out there right now and we even got like 6 more new investigators out
there this week. But it is crazy because to get out to where a lot of our
investigators are we pretty much hike through the jungle for like 30 minutes.
haha It is so beautiful out there. I will try to take some pictures when we go
out there this weekend. This week I think me and Elder Stock are going to get
to go on exchanges with each other! I am way excited haha it should be way fun.
Well yesterday I was probably the sickest that I have been in a long time. My
whole body was super sore and I had a terrible headache and I had a super bad
fever. Bro. Tabua gave me some stupid massage thing on my legs and hands and it
was probably one of the most painful things I have ever been through haha I
literally was like crying it hurt so bad. So we went back to the flat so I
could lay down for a bit and then I was feeling a little better so I said lets
go teach some more lessons. So we went to teach another lesson and I was in so
much pain and felt like such crap that I didnt even say anything the whole
lesson and Elder Seila just told me to lie down, so he was teaching the lesson
to the lady and I was just laying down on the side. It freaking sucked haha but
I feel a little better today so thats good. I HATE being sick. Especially here
on the mission because I dont want to miss appointments and stuff.
Well it sounds like everything is going good with you guys! O yeah the picture
is a big piece of bamboo we cut because I am in the process of making a bench
for weightlifting out of bamboo at our flat haha
It should be pretty sweet. I will take some pictures of it when it is finished.
Being that sick and stuff really made me miss you guys. It was really the first
time I have felt homesick my whole mission haha We have the best family ever.
Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Elder Stock and Elder Hawk eating "dovu" (sugar cane)

Ka rua na macawa e loma ni kateni (2nd week in "the box")

Bula vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well it was another good week in the box! haha We got a different Elder that
stays in the box with us some of the time because transfers happened. It is
Elder Yashko. It sounds like nothing too exciting is going on at home ha Things are
going good here. The work is going really good right now. We have been getting
a lot of new investigators and a lot of the older investigators are started to
progress a little more. I'm send home a card with pictures and some videos. I want
to sing a hymn in Fijian on it too so that you guys can hear it because that is
like my favorite thing about Fijian is singing the hymns.
This week we had a really good District meeting about sacrifice. It really made
me realize that I need to be more willing to sacrifice things in my life for
the gospel. Especially in my life before the mission. I know I really could
have done a lot more better things with my time then I did, but at least I have
learned now! ha It really made me realize that sometimes we are too easy on our
investigators too. They should have to sacrifice things for this gospel because
that is how they will really gain a testimony of it. And it is the same with
us. That is how we can really show that we have strong testimonies if we are
willing to sacrifice things for it.
On Tuesday night on our way back up to our area we stopped in a koro (village)
called Naitutu to teach a lesson. After the lesson we were walking to the car
and I just looked up at the sky and I have never seen so many stars in my life.
It was even more than at the cabin I think. It was awesome. And then at our
church yesterday Brother Tabua talked about how everything testifies that there
is a God and it made me think back to those stars and how that is so true.
There is no way that all of this stuff just "happened" haha
This week we also were teaching Kalaraini the girl that got baptized last week
about temples and stuff. I was sharing about sealing and at the end I bore my
testimony about our family and about how big of a blessing this knowledge of
sealing is in our life because of Jace. It really strengthened my testimony
about it and after I was just thinking about how cool it was that I just shared
that experience in a little tin house in a little village up in the bush in
Fiji, and I did all of it in Fijian. It was awesome.
Well sorry I don’t really have any funny stories or anything haha everything is
going way good. My Fijian is getting a lot better. I still have SOOOO far to go
though. Being in this area is totally different than anywhere else I have been.
I haven’t spoken English to anyone out there. Sometimes it gets frustrating but
it is good for me. It really motivates me to work harder at it. You guys should
tell me more about the stuff going on back at home in your emails! haha I feel
like I don’t even know what is going on with you guys! Well au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kalaraini's Baptism
The Chapel

Our Flat "The Box" and Our Toyota Hilux Truck
Elder Seila and Elder Hawk

Tawase na kaulotu! (mission split!)

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well as you can maybe tell from the subject I have some pretty sweet news! Our
mission is getting split! We have New Caledonia and Vanuatu in our mission but
now those 2 and the Soloman Islands are going to be one mission and just Fiji
is going to be a mission! It should be way awesome. It means we will probably
be getting a whole lot more missionaries and a lot of new places will be
opening up. And now the mission president will have a lot more time to just
focus here in Fiji. It isn’t happening until July and they haven’t even
announced it yet so it is pretty crazy. I guess they are supposed to announce
it on the 18th in some church news thing. We are all way excited though.

Well on Sunday we had a baptism. Her name is Kalaraini. She had a smoking
problem before but quit and when she was bearing her testimony after her baptism
she started crying and talked about how much this has changed her life and stuff.
It is the best thing in the world to be a part of that kind of experience for
someone and see how much happiness they get from receiving this gospel in their
lives. This week we found a lot of new investigators so we have been really
busy. I think we taught like 16 lessons this week which is really good. I think
we will start getting even more than that now with all of the investigators
that we have. Elder Seila is the man. He is such a good teacher and a hard
worker. He is 28 years old. He had to get special permission to get out on the
mission. I am going to learn so much from him.

So this week we found out that there is another unit that we cover that we didn’t
really know about. It is pretty much just one family that does church at their
house because their village is pretty far from where the chapel is. We have
been visiting a lot of the less actives and trying to get them some transport
to take them from their villages up to the village that the chapel is at
because it is kind of far. I think it will help them out a lot if we can figure
it out. A lot of them have really strong testimonies it is just so hard for
them to walk multiple miles with all of their kids and stuff to church.
Hopefully we can help them out.

So our flat is a flat that the church just built for the missionaries. It is
just that little house which is just split with a wall down the middle and one
side is the kitchen and the other side is the room and the bathroom. We
actually do have hot water and a pretty nice shower since the church is the
ones that built it haha All of our water comes from these 2 big tanks out in
the back that are hooked to a rain gutter on our roof. So if it doesn’t rain
for a long time then we just have to go up to the church building to shower
with the fire hose haha the church building is awesome. That is the picture of
it up on the hill. And then the picture where you can see the ocean off in the
distance and the other islands is the view from the chapel. And the little
white house that you can see right off the dirt road in that same picture is
our flat. We just have to burn all of our garbage because there isn’t anything
that comes and gets it up there haha This week I was burning our garbage and I
accidently dropped the lighter in but I wasn’t sure if I did or not so I was
looking around in the grass like right next to the fire and it EXPLODED like
right in my face haha luckily I didn’t get burned at all or anything. It just
burned a little hole in my shirt haha

Well everything is going awesome. My Fijian is getting a lot better. Being out
there makes me realize how much I really don’t know haha because out there they
all speak so crazy fast and since my comp is Fijian they just speak like they
always do so it is a lot harder. If it is just 2 whities they simplify it a lot
but they don’t at all with us because he is Fijian. It is hard but it is really
good for me because it will really help me to learn it well. All is well in
paradise! That is way awesome about Rand! Good job man!!
Au lomani kemudou!!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Monday, February 6, 2012

Veisau tale na noqu vanua! (Transferred again!)‏

Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

WOW!! what a crazy week. I am sure you can tell it was pretty crazy just by the
title of this email haha So on Thursday we got a call from the ZL's and I got
transferred again! There was a kid from the intake that just came in a few
weeks ago that had to stay back in the MTC for a bit because of health issues
and he came in and the Elder I was with is training him. So now I am serving in
Korovou with Elder Seila!!
So I will tell you just a bit about my new area. So It is pretty much one of
the most bush areas in the whole mission! We live in this flat way out in the
bush that is called "the box" because it is just this little shack
pretty much that the church made for the missionaries and us and 2 other elders
stay there sometimes. So I get to drive a Toyata Hilux truck around the bush
all the time. We just cover a bunch of little villages out in the middle of the
jungle pretty much. We have one good ward that has a way legit church building
up on top of this mountain up behind our flat and then we cover 2 other units
out in the bush. So pretty much every day I get to go offroading in this sweet
truck on sketchy roads out in the bush up the mountains and stuff and speak straight
Fijian! And my comp Elder Seila is Fijian too so I am going to start to just
speak as much Fijian as I can to him too so my Fijian should get WAYYY better
while I am in this area. And Elder Seila is probably one of the very best
gospel teachers in the entire mission. He is amazing. I know that I am going to
learn sooo much from him. He is the man.
So on Sunday we went to one of the units for church because 2 people out there
needed to get confirmed. The road out there was way cool. If we didn’t have 4
wheel drive there is no way that we would have made it because it has literally
rained every single day for like the past 2 weeks. There has been like
hurricanes and cyclones all around Fiji so it has just rained a ton. The whole
west side of the big island Viti Levu has been flooding like crazy for a few
weeks now. A lot of the Elders out that side had to just stay out in their
flats for a few days while the flood went down. And now they might be doing a
lot of service because tons of houses are just like filled with mud and stuff
from the flood. So back to the church experience, we finally get out to this
place and we just have it in these members little house and there was like 10
of us all together in there. We brought the ward mission leader with us out
there to do the confirmations. His name is Brother Tabua and he is the man. He
told me that he will never speak any English to me so that I can learn better
but I think it is more just because he doesn’t really know English haha So in
the unit I blessed the sacrament and it was awesome cuz it is just all in
Fijian. It is a lot harder to understand people in this area because they speak
Tailevu dialect so some of the words are different and they speak crazy fast
but it will be good for me.
One of the other awesome things about it is that Elder Stock is in my
district!! And we are so far out there that on Sunday nights we drive closer to
town and we will stay at other missionary’s flats and we stay until Tuesday
afternoon for P-day and district meeting on Tuesdays. So I am back in the same
zone I was in before so sometimes if I want we can go stay in Naulu and I can
go see all the people I baptized and stuff from there. O yeah and tonight me
and Elder Stock are going to go on splits together since we are staying at
their flat! We are both way stoked haha
Well I am sure I will have a lot of more crazy stories in the weeks to come. I
will make sure to take some pictures out there this week to send next week. I
am so glad that I am going to have this opportunity. President emailed me this
week and told me that he just put me as a place holder in Nasinu because he
knew that I will be diligent in working there until I got changed now to
Korovou. Tell Rand good job and to kick butt at state!! Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The ocean is in my new area
"Uncle"------Our Landlord
Elder Hawk with Joseph and his Family