Monday, July 30, 2012

Papitaiso macawa mai oqo!! (baptism next week)

Ni sa Bula vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

Well yet another week has flown by. I have already been in this area
for a month now. So crazy. We actually had a really awesome week this
week. Probably the best one since I have been here. We are doing
really good work right now. We found 4 new investigators this week and
we have probably 5 more that we will just need to contact this next
week and they should be new investigators too. That is way exciting
that the olympics are on. I am actually watching it right now at this
place that I am emailing at haha That thing that dad said the guy from
Fiji was wearing around his neck is called a salusalu. It is like a
ceremonial thing here for big occasions like that. I will probably be
wearing one when I come home on the plane. I want to get someone to
make me one. I can't believe that Rand is going to be a senior this
year! I feel like that was me just barely a few months ago. One of the
only things that I really miss from home is being able to watch the
boys play sports. I am glad that I will be back for Parkers senior
year though.

Well Emma will be getting baptized this next Saturday! We are so
excited for her. She is really like one of the strongest investigators
that I have had so far on my mission. It was so cool how this week she
bore her testimony to us and told us that no matter what happens to
her in her life she will never leave this church because of the spirit
that she has felt that has testified to her that it is true. It has
been a way awesome experience teaching her.

This last week we also had leadership training on Wednesday. It was
way good. I love going to things like that because they really
motivate me to keep getting better and working harder. It was also
just way fun to get to be with a bunch of the other missionaries. It
is crazy how now I am like getting to be one of the older missionaries
in the mission. It will especially be that way once all of these
massive new intakes start coming in. There are over 20 coming in
September so that will be insane. I think I will probably be in this
area until that intake comes in September and then I will either be ZL
or go open up a new area. I think I am going to tell president that I
would really like the opportunity to go and open up a new area. I
think it would be a way good experience. And most of the new areas
opening up will probably be in bush places and that is where I want to
be haha I love this culture and this language so much and you kind of
lose a lot of that here in the city. It is way funny though because I
ALWAYS will speak Fijian to people here if they are Fijians and
they think it is so cool that I will do that. And that I can just speak
to them normally in Fijian. I think they are actually more suprised
about a white kid who is speaking Fijian here, than in the bush. haha

Well sorry it is kind of a shorter email this week. I should have some
good experiences coming up soon with all of these good new
investigators that we are getting. O yeah. I will definitely need a
different material of shirts than those other 2 you guys sent. The
parts where it is tucked into my sulu is like fraying up, or I don't
really know a good word to describe it haha my English has definitely
gone down from being here but I think that is cool haha Well you guys
are the best. Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hiking to a Waterfall

Tagi (cry)

Ni sa Bula Vinaka noqu matavuvale!!

Man, I cant believe that I am already sitting here emailing you guys again ha the time is definitely just going faster and faster. This week was a pretty good week for us. I got the shirts. I like the medium one better. But I dont like the material. It is super thick and hot. Thank you so much though! If you can find some that size but a lighter material that would be way awesome. If not no worries. Could you also send me a couple more zebra pens too haha I love those things now, I can't use anything else.

Well last Monday we all went and hiked to that waterfall. It was way awesome! I forgot my camera though haha I will just have to copy the pictures from some of the other elders. I will try to get some today from another Elder that is here emailing with us. There was a couple of Fijian boys that were like our guides and we just followed the river up into the jungle for a LONG ways. All of the sisters didn't even make it all the way to the waterfall haha But once we got there it was way cool. One of the waterfalls was probably like 20-25 feet tall and it came down into a big pool of water. All the Fijian boys we brought were diving off and I wanted to do it SOOO badly haha I am definitely going to have to come back to Fiji so that I can do all the other fun stuff like that. It was way beautiful up in there though. That is what is so cool about Fiji and about being here as a missionary is that there are so many gorgeous places that tourists never get to go to but we do because we live here and know the people that know the cool places to go.

So this week we were teaching that Emma lady I have been talking about my last few emails. She is so amazing. But we were teaching one lesson to her about faith and it was just a way awesome lesson and the spirit was so strong and it was all in Fijian so that made it even better and then at the end she just started talking about how right now she is facing so many trials but that her receiving this gospel in her life has given her so much more hope and happiness. And she started like bearing her testimony and she was crying and I also started crying a little bit because I felt so blessed to have been a part of bringing the gospel to this women and seeing the difference that it is making for her in her life and how much she truly appreciates it. It is the experiences like that that make this work all worth it, and make me want to continue sharing this great gospel for the rest of my life so that I can continue to feel that great feeling.

Well that was the good spiritual part about this week but now for some funny stories. So one night after a lesson we were going to go to the chapel because our ward was having an activity with all of those youth from America that are here. So we got in a taxi and it totally smelled like weed in there haha So I sat in the front seat and I was trying to talk to the guy but he was totally high and so he was just like laughing and didn't really want to talk. But we got to the chapel and I got my money out to pay him and he just said "no, don't worry about it" and I was saying, no its ok I can pay you, and he was just smiling and laughing and just said "no worries man" haha I was laughing so hard, I don't know why I thought it was so hilarious. But we got a free taxi ride out of it so that was way cool haha O yeah and one of the youth that is here from America is this girl that went to Perry high school. She is cousins with Conner Levi that kid that is in our stake and played baseball at Mesquite, and is good friends with the Trudeaus. She said that she knows who the Trudeaus are. Pretty crazy haha

Well that is about it for this last week. This week on Wednesday we are having leadership training so all the leaders are coming in to Suva. It will be way fun to get to see everyone. Elder Ikafanga is going to be staying at my flat to so that will be fun. And we will get an amazing lunch cooked by Sister Klingler after the trainings so that will be way awesome. Sounds like you guys are doing good at home. That really sucks about your knee dad. It sounds kind of like a hot rod story, I am going to start raising money to pay for your surgery and then I am going to come home and beat you up! hahaha "And YOU WILL RESPECT ME......PEACE!!!'' Well I love you guys so much. Thanks for always supporting me. Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vakaukauwataka noqu ivakadinadina (strengthen my testimony)

Ni sa Bula Vinaka noqu matavuvale!

Well this week was a really awesome week. I had a lot of experiences that really strengthened my testimony about this gospel. Those pictures from Trek are awesome! Dad, you look like a stud dressed up like that. I think you should just dress like that all the time haha I am glad the boys are keeping on the Hawk name legacy. I know that I am so proud to be a Manulevu! haha The Ap's just texted me and told me that I have a package in the office so I will go pick it up there right after this. You will have to print out some of those pics from Trek and send them to me when you send me some more shirts. I would also like some more zebra pens if you get the chance ha. I think I will be sending you guys my sim card soon too so that you can see the other videos and stuff that I have taken. So this week the first thing that happened that really strengthened my testimony was during a lesson we had with one of our new investigators Emma. She is married to a guy that is an inactive RM. We started teaching her last week and she loves the lessons so much that she wants us to come over like every single day to teach her haha and it is way good because she is Fijian so we always just teach her in Fijian so I love that. But during one of our lessons with her there was another member lady there named Sister Wilson. She is the bomb. She is from Rotuma. But she asked us during the lesson why God chose Joseph Smith to be the one to restore the church because she said that another lady asked her that one time and she wasnt really sure how to answer it. So I started talking and I was just saying how God's plan is perfect, and everything about Joseph Smith's life and about him as a person was perfect for restoring the gospel. Even the place and the time that he was living in. And I talked about how God chose him before the world was even created and things like that and while I was talking I just got like hit with a wall of feeling the spirit testifying to me that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. It was probably the most powerful experience I have ever had specifically about Joseph Smith being a prophet so that was awesome. I know and testify that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and that he restored God's true church back to the earth. Another cool experience was last night we had a missionary fireside and all of us missionaries in Suva went and President Klingler and his wife talked and some Recent converts talked and one of the stake presidents talked and it was all way good. But at this one point in the fireside when the stake president was talking I felt just so much peace and happiness and just so blessed to be a part of this great true gospel. I almost started crying and it would have been a little weird because no one else was crying then because it was kind of just a random point in the meeting but it was a way cool experience for me. This week also Solo and Va, a couple that I was teaching in Korovou and was about to get baptized but then went out of town for a while and then once I got transferred here I went and found them that day in Lami and everything, well they got baptized yesterday which is way awesome. The Elder who did their interview said that they both asked for me to come back and baptize them haha I really wish that I could have but it is all good because my son, Elder Tamuera got to baptize both of them so that is awesome. Elder Tamuera actually just got transferred into my district so that will be way fun to get to see him alot again. There is also a big group of youth from America that are here in our ward for some EFY humanitarian thing. It was way weird seeing so many white people haha But it did remind me how good looking white girls actually are haha all of them are in high school though so too young for me. ha Well I love you guys so much. We really do have the best family ever, and I know a huge reason for that is because of this gospel that we are so blessed to be a part of. Keep sharing it with others so that they can have the same blessings that we have!! Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Celebrating the One Year Mark....Missionary Style

Yabaki dua!! (one year)

Ni sa Bula Vinaka noqu matavuvale!

One year down... one more to go! I cannot believe how fast this last year has gone by. And I know that this next year will probably just go by even faster. I had a pretty sweet day on my year mark. 8 of us missionaries all went to this place called pizza king and had lunch there. Then it was just a good day of work and then came home and burned my shirt!! The only crappy part is that when I burned my shirt I broke the landlords closeline and now they are all mad at me... but its not even really broken bad and I should be able to fix it. Hopefully they won't hate me forever for it haha This week was a really good week as far as the work goes. We were able to find 5 new investigators from our street contacting and from a less active family. A ton of our investigators are brand new and just starting out but a lot of them look really promising. There are a couple that are brand new that we have already committed to baptism, the only problem we have been facing is getting them to come to church. It is way different here because people have jobs and things here so they work on Sundays and stuff. I didn't have to face that problem at all out in the bush in Korovou haha So it will be a new challenge for me. But we are really going to try to start working with the members in helping our investigators come to church. We have a really good ward. And probably one of the best bishops in Fiji, he actually really knows what he is doing haha Well other than that the week wasn't too eventful. It's not like in Korovou where I always had all kind of cool adventures and things to tell you guys haha O there is actually one really funny story. This week was the first time in my whole mission that I have like actually had someone talk bad about the church and stuff like right to us. They were actually yelling it at us from down the street. But on Thursday we were walking to go do our service and I just said Yadra to this Fijian lady which just means good morning and she said it back but then she said a cuss word in Fijian to me too. haha I thought it was pretty funny and just kept walking. And then we were walking back and I saw her again and she came up to me and I was speaking Fijian to her but she kept speaking English and she just said her uncle is a bishop for the mormon church and just some other stupid things about the church. But the funniest part was that night we were walking past there again and it is like a street where there are stores and stuff so there was quite a few people just on the street and I could just hear someone yelling back behind us. Eventually I turned around and it was that lady and she was yelling "the mormon church is going to burn to the ground!" and just a bunch of other crazy stuff like that. Elder Nawaqasema was kind of scared and started walking all fast haha but all the people in the street were just telling her to shut up. It was pretty funny. First time anything like that has happened on my mission. Well that is way exciting that Danielle and Jordan are coming down. That will be way fun to see them. Trek should be really fun too. I loved Trek, I thought it was way fun.You will have to send me lots of pics from it. I will be praying for you Dad. I know you will be alright. You made it on that hike with me that one time when you had swine flu ha. Well I am looking forward to this next year here in Fiji. I know I have a lot more good times and adventures to come! Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Monday, July 2, 2012

 Baptism in Korovou  
 Eating Chicken Feet
 Me and my 2nd family (The Tabua Family)
Me and My Yaca (namesake)

Sa dusimaki keirau na Yalo Tabu! (Spirit is leading us!)

Ni sa Bula Vinaka na noqu matavuvale!

This week was a really good week. We had a ton of way cool experiences where we were totally led by the spirit. It was way awesome. I still dont really like being in Suva, I always find as many opportunities to speak Fijian as possible so that has been good. I still get to speak quite a bit of Fijian everyday, especially because my comp is Fijian. One really crappy thing though is that the Newspaper here put this full page story about this ex-mormon lady that kind of bad mouths the church and it also had pictures of people just wearing their garments which was way messed up. It will probably turn some investigators and other people away from the church but a lot of people just think it is stupid.

So Tuesday I got to do my first district meeting. I thought that it went really good. I actually really like giving trainings, I think I learn a lot more in preparing a training than I ever did listening to trainings before. I also got to do 3 baptismal interviews which was way awesome. They were all in Fijian too so that made me happy too haha It is such a cool experience though to do baptismal interviews for these people that have such a strong desire to be baptized. I really felt the spirit in the interviews stronger than most times in my mission. It is a good testimony building experience for me too just to feel of that spirit and hear how strong these peoples testimonies are even though they are just receiving the gospel in their lives.

One of the cool experiences when the spirit lead us was on one of the days I went to an area called Lami to do a baptismal interview. After the interview we had some more time and so me and the Elder I was with (who is actually Elder Eliason from Delta that Grandma and Grandpa know) but there was a couple named Solo and Va that I was teaching back in Korovou and they were so awesome. They were supposed to get baptized but then they went to Lami for a while. So I told him we should try to find them so that they can get baptized because they were the bomb. So all I knew was that they were staying close to this hotel place. So we were walking around there and we really had no idea where to go. So we were kind of just walking back and then this boy came up to us and he was a member and I told him who we were looking for and he said "o yeah they are staying at my house" so he took us straight to them. It was so cool. We went and they were way happy to see me and they said that they now got married and are ready to be baptized. So they should be getting baptized in a couple more weeks!! Way cool experience.

The 2nd cool experience of us being guided by the spirit was me and my comp Elder Nawaqasema were trying to find this lady named Shelly and he had never been to her house yet. All we knew was just the general area that she lived in. So we were walking down the road and we walked past this other small road that went off to the side and Elder Nawaqasema said he felt like we should go back and take that road, so we did, and then we walked back that way for a while and he said he felt like it was this certain house, so we went and knocked at the house and it was her! It was so cool. And then right when we finished the lesson with her one of her neighbors daughters came over and asked if we could come to her house to because her grandma just died and her mom was having a hard time. So we went there too and we were just having like an intro lesson and the lady stopped me mid sentence and said "I am feeling the Holy Spirit testifying to me that this all is true" and then she said that when we got there she had this super bad migrane but it all went away as we shared our message. Way awesome.

We also have this other new investigator that we found this week that we already committed to baptism. She is way awesome too. It has been a good week. This area has been a little slack lately because the kid that I replaced just went home so he was a bit trunky haha. This was a good week to kick start the work though and we should have a lot of other good stuff coming up as well.

It sounds like you guys had a ton of fun at the cabin. I am way excited to go there right after I get home next year. That will be a way nice relaxing vacation right after getting home ha. You will for sure have to send me some pics from the trip.  Thanks for being the best family in the world! I can't believe that my year mark is on Friday... insane. Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk