Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Road to Nasivikoso

Fijian kids playing in the river
 Potential Flat for the missionaries in Nasivikoso
 The church in Nasivukoso.
 They sit on the floor because there is so many of them attending here.
 The village of Nasivukoso
Gotta love Fiji
Hawk & Stock on top of the world


Bula Vinaka noqu matavuvale!
Well it sounds like everything is going awesome back home! I am really jealous that you guys got to go shooting! There are NO guns in Fiji haha the police don't even have any guns. The only people that do is the military. That is sweet that the boys both did good in that tournament, and that their team did so well. It was really fun talking to you guys on skype. It made me actually miss you guys for about that day... but it wore off again and I don't miss you anymore... haha im jk. I do miss you guys a ton but it just doesn't really effect me because I am so busy and having so much fun here. I cannot believe that I am going to be 21 on Wednesday... I didn't shave this morning and my beard is big just from one day! haha I am totally going to grow it out for a while when I get home just to see how big I can get it. We are going to be flying over to Savusavu on my birthday to go on exchanges with them over there. I didn't plan it like that but if I did have to plan where I wanted to be on my birthday I would probably choose Savusavu so it worked out pretty awesome. The senior couples over there know that it is my birthday and they both said they are going to be making me some cake so that should be sweet as well.
Well this week was another fun filled busy week for us. I guess you know about all of the stuff that we did up through Tuesday from Skype. The picture on this email of me and Elder Stock is what we wore on Christmas day here haha Our Christmas tree had fallen down so we used the stuff on it to decorate ourselves instead. Turned out pretty sweet.
On Thursday we had our Zone Leaders Council. It was really good. Probably one of the best ones that I have been to. All of our zone leaders right now are way good. It is really cool to see how all of us at that meeting have like the same good attitudes about everything. It is fun because all of us have been serving together all this time and we are all really tight together so it makes things really fun. We had cheeseburgers and milkshakes for lunch and it was amazing... haha funny how not having little things like that makes us appreciate them so much more. There is actually 3 McDonald's here in Fiji, 2 here in Suva and 1 in Nadi, but they are too expensive usually for our support money and it really isn't the same as America ha We always go there to get soft serve ice cream though because that is the one thing that is cheap and good. Still WAY different than American soft serve though.
The highlight of this week was for sure going up to Nasivikoso though. We were going to go to after the Zone Leader Council on Thursday but we had to deal with some other stuff that happened here. So on Friday morning we woke up really early and then drove with the Lautoka ZL's over to Nadi. The Lautoka ZLs are Elder Moaalii and Elder Tausinga so that was really fun to get to be with them for a few days. So from here to Nadi was like a 3 and a half hour drive, then we picked up a member and drove another 2 hours up the crazy mountain rodes way into the interior of the island. That is what some of those pictures are from. It was so beautiful up there. When we got there we split up and went to just find the people that have been going to church up there and aren't members yet and also to look at the flat the the Elders would stay in if we send a set up there full time. I would LOVE to get to go serve up in there and just live in the village like that. They would have to bathe in the river and use the neighbors outhouse if we send them up there. It would be awesome haha So the Elders haven't been up there for a while and there is like 8 people that we taught that have been going to church up there and will probably get baptized in the next little while. We taught 6 lessons in like 4 hours ha it was so awesome. It is crazy because it is just this village out in the middle of no where but the church is booming there. There is like 70-100 members there which is more than attend some of the wards here in Suva haha they just meet in this tin building. I will try to send a picture of that too. It was so amazing being up there though. Then we drove back down that night and stayed in Nadi and then drove up to Lautoka the next morning so go see the Zone Leaders area there. Then we drove all the way back to Suva from there. It was a really good exchange, we got a ton of work done.
Well there is an Elder here named Elder Ishibashi and him and his family were following my blog before he came out on his mission and he was skyping his family here in the office this week and so I went over and said hi to them and I told them that I would give him a shout out this week in my email home so that it would make it on the blog. So shout out to The Ishibashi family in Hawaii! You have a very nice family! And thank you for letting us have Elder Ishibashi here with us! He is the man! He is doing great work.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes! And especially for taking care of me and putting up with me for the past 21 years! haha Au lomani kemudou!!
Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, December 23, 2012

 Temple at Sunset
 Peni and Mela and their little girl Wini from Vunivesi came to the temple
to get sealed!
Companion Study by candlelight.
 We were without electricity for 3 days after the hurricane

Hurricane Pictures

Vakanuinui vinaka nomudou Siga Ni Sucu!!

Bula vinaka!!
Well, yet another fun filled week here in Samabula. It is so crazy how fast the time goes by here but when I think about certain things or events that happen they seem way longer ago just because there is SO much that we are doing here all the time. I got the package you guys sent this week!! Thank you very much! My favorite part was definitely the gummy worm eggs ha The poster was really awesome too. I put it up on the wall in our flat. Last night me and Elder Stock made our Christmas tree... it is made out of a coconut tree leaf thing. It turned out pretty awesome haha Those are the pictures of it that I attached to it. The poster says the same thing as the subject of this email, it means "merry Christmas" in Fijian. Hope that you have a happy birthday too dad!
Well this week was a little different because of the Hurricane. On Monday everyone in the mission just had to stay in their flats all day. I guess we were the lucky ones that just got to be in the office and get to go and eat at Presidents house haha That night we had dinner at presidents house with a bunch of the senior couples because the power was out everywhere. After we had a FHE and me and Elder Stock were put in charge to lead it. I shared a scripture from Alma 26:35-37 and told of some experiences where on my mission I really felt like the Lord knew me and was aware of what I was doing and was helping me out with it. Then I had everyone in the room go around and tell of an experience they have had where they really felt that the Lord was aware of them and loved them. It was way awesome. Sister Klingler said that that scripture is actually the same one that Elder Jay E. Jensen shared with here when he set her apart to come here to Fiji. Then President Klinger played Christmas songs on his teeth.... haha he can do this way cool thing where he like flicks his teeth and moves his jaw to make different pitches and play any song. He is the man! haha
This week there is a girl here in the temple patron housing that came to go to the temple and get her visa to go to St. George to serve here mission there. She is from Vanuatu. 
This week Peni and Mela and their little girl Wini from Vunivesi came to the temple to get sealed!! I was so cool to get to see them again and especially to get to see them come out of the temple after being sealed. I got a picture with them so I will have to send that to you. There was a couple other people from Savusavu area here too to go to the temple so that was way fun to get to see all of them.
We have a lot of really good investigators right now too. We have one guy we are teaching named Tiko. He has been taking the lessons for over a year and a half. He comes to church a ton and everything but he has just never been able to drop his problems with the word of wisdom. This week we had a really good lesson with him about the Atonement and how a lot of the time we forget the part of the Atonement where Christ suffered and felt absolutely everything that we would feel or face in this life. We taught him about relying on the Lord for help and also about having faith in himself that he can actually do it. He really has a desire to change and I know that he will.
Me and Elder Stock have been doing really good about just contacting everyone that we meet. That is probably one of the best things that we can do just because we are always so busy and running around everywhere. It is so fun that we both just have that excitement about the work and it really is just multiplied with us together. And we both just love the people so much and can really get people to feel comfortable and open up to us. The other day we were in town and we just started talking to a man that was working cleaning up the street. He was amazed that we were speaking such good Fijian because he had never met any other missionaries before. We started getting a few other of the workers that started wandering over because they could hear us speaking. Long story short we ended up at a picnic table in the middle of town, drinking juice with all of these people and teaching them about a living prophet and the restoration of the gospel. It was so awesome, and so much fun! We got all of their information and referred them to the proper missionaries in the areas that they lived in. It was way awesome.
We also had a pretty fun adventure the other night getting all of the Northern Zones Christmas packages on the boat to send to them so that they could get them before Christmas. The boat came in at about 9pm so we went to the dock with these 2 big huge boxes that had all the packages and stuff in them. There was THOUSANDS of people there that were trying to get onto the boat. So we were waiting outside of the boat for quite a while and it was way fun just talking to all of the people there. We finally started all moving onto the boat and it was a mad house haha we got onto the boat and it was just packed shoulder to shoulder but we finally made it to the cage and got the packages on. We ended up being there til about 1030pm. It was fun though just talking to all of the people there.
Well I hope that all of you have a very merry Christmas! I am so glad that we have always had those Christmas traditions that have made it so easy for us to really just focus on the true meaning of Christmas and to build our testimonies. So awesome. Well I am planning on Skyping on Wednesday morning here. So it should be in the afternoon on your Christmas day Well Au lomani kemudou!!!
Loloma levu, Elder Hawk

Sunday, December 16, 2012

 Look at what's for Dinner
 Elder Hawk, Elder Mema'ofa, & Elder Stock
 Getting ready for the Christmas Pageant
The Zone Leaders, the APs, and President & Sister Klingler with President & Sister Hamula

Cagi Laba!!! (Hurricane)

Bula Vinaka!
Well it has been a pretty crazy week. There is a Hurricane whipping through Fiji right now. We are actually the only 2 Elders in the whole mission that get to email today because everyone else has to just stay in their flats. In the Northern side nobody has electricity or water. It is pretty crazy here in Suva right now but it isn't supposed to hit here directly. The eye of the storm is supposed to start turning down this way though and head for New Zealand so it will probably get worse here today. The forecast for the thing has changed about a million times. It pounded Samoa pretty good. As of right now it is a category 4 hurricane which means the winds are over 100 MPH. Everything is cancelled and shut down and stuff. Pretty crazy. Everyone is fine though. It should pass by tomorrow, but we are not sure because when it hit Samoa it turned back around and hit Samoa a 2nd time, So we will see. We are definitely in the safest place though here in the mission office. I am pretty sure it is one of the nicest buildings in Fiji haha so no worries. It has been pretty crazy though because we are the ones that have to keep coordinating with President and all the zone leaders and making sure that everyone is getting checked up on regularly to make sure that they are all ok.
This was a really good week. On Tuesday was the day all the transfers happened and it was a pretty insane day. The weather was bad that day too and so every single flight that had missionaries on it got changed multiple times. So we had to keep on changing our plans and stuff to get everyone to where they needed to go. Me and Elder Estill drove like 140 kilometers that day just back and forth to the airport and all over Suva and Nausori. It all worked out good though and we got everyone to where they needed to be. On Wednesday we got to go through the temple with all of the people that were going home. It was really crazy because Sister Longley went home and she was in our intake! Time goes by way too fast. But the temple was way awesome because me and Elder Stock got the headphones and we did the whole session in Fijian!! It was so cool. It was all really easy to understand. I want to do it some more before I leave because I don't know if they will have the Fijian at other temples back home ha. How is the Gilbert Temple going by the way? You should send me some pictures of it.
Me and Elder Stock are having a blast ha we are doing a lot of really good work. We had some really awesome lessons this week. We have an investigator named Apenisa. He is in his mid 20s, he has always been a big partier and stuff but he has been coming to church for a while now. In Fiji this last week they had a huge YSA camp at this resort and he went to it and he came back and he wanted to be baptized. He just had a ton of really awesome spiritual experiences and realized how much more happy we can be when we are doing the right things. We went and saw him and asked him when he wanted to be baptized and he said "tomorrow" haha but since he had some of those problems with word of wisdom and stuff we need to wait a few weeks. He is doing awesome though.
Well I wrote the first half of this email a few hours ago, a lot of stuff has been happening. We had to run outside and help them cut down this big tree because it was falling towards the temple presidencies house. But then we went to President Klingler's and Sister Klinger made us some PB&J so that was sweet ha It is getting bad though.. the zone leaders from the west called and that is where it is hitting bad right now and they said there is just water coming through all the windows and doors even though they are shut tight just because the wind is blowing so hard. I cant imagine all the people that are just living in the tin houses... we might be doing quite a bit of service after this. Keep praying for us all here in Fiji. I know that we are in like the safest place but I wish we weren't. I want to be out and helping all the other missionaries and make sure that they are all ok. I know that I will be fine. I am just worried about the missionaries, and especially just worried about the people of Fiji because I love them so much. It will all be ok though.
Well just one other story I want to share real quick. We are still teaching that man Filipe, the one that lives with the old member Sister Sinu. Well earlier this week or maybe last week she was really sick and had been for a while and so we went to see Filipe and we taught him and then he asked us to give his mom (sis. Sinu) a blessing. So we did. and then me and Elder Stock went back to teach him the other day and he was amazed and bore a good testimony on how right after we blessed her and left she was better. She went out and started working in the yard and she is almost 80 years old haha it was really cool though. It is always a great feeling when we get to see how we actually do have so much power in our priesthood and especially how much faith these people have that the Lord can help them like that, through us. He also told a story about how the first day we came over his mom said the missionaries would be coming and he asked her if it was going to be Fijians and she said, no just 2 boys from America. So he wasn't home when we first got there and so we were just sitting down talking with Sis. Sinu and he came home and heard people speaking Fijian and he thought "o, they brought along a Fijian boy to translate for them" and he came around the corner and just saw us and so he thought "o the Fijian boy must have gone to the bathroom or something" but then he saw that it was my mouth moving and that the Fijian was coming out of my mouth and he said he almost fell to the floor because he was so shocked hahaha It was really cool. He said it is a miracle and just another witness to him that this is the true church. It is way fun to be with Elder Stock now too because his Fijian is way good so when we teach in Fijian it is just like we are speaking English, probably better haha me and him even just speak Fijian to each other a lot of the time. Way fun.
 Don't worry about this hurricane stuff either. We will all be ok. Au lomani kemudou!!
Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, December 9, 2012

 At the temple with the Bavoros
 Christmas Party
 Kevin and Yungyung at their Baptism
 The Suva Fiji Missionaries
Beautiful Night view of the Fiji Temple

Hawk and Stock!

Bula Vinaka noqu matavuvale!!

Sorry I am emailing so late. We had a big temple trip this morning with the Suva and Nausori zones. And Elder Estill's parents just got here today so we have been over talking to them for the last little while. Well as you can see from the subject of this email I have found out who my new companion is... Me and Elder Stock are going to be comps again as the APs hahaha I cant believe it!!! I am so stoked!! It is going to be so awesome. The transfer is tomorrow. We are going to have so much fun and work so hard together. It is going to be awesome. SO excited...

Well the rest of this week was really awesome. Elder Hamula flew home this morning. On Tuesday we had another mission tour meeting here in Suva. It was interesting to see how much he changed his message compared to the one that he gave in Nadi the day before that. It was alot of the same types of things but just a lot of different things that he expounded way more on and others that he really left out. Just shows how close he is to the spirit to know just what the people need. I am really glad that I got to go to both of them though. I learned so much. My favorite meeting of the whole week though was our zone leader council that we had with Elder Hamula on Wednesday. Me and Elder Estill had to account for the work the mission did for the whole year. It was really easy though because we had such an awesome year. It went really good. Then Elder Hamula talked to us for a while and it was way awesome. He told us that "things are going exactly right here" it made me feel really good that I have had a part in setting all of the stuff up that we did and have had a part in leading the mission and that he was so excited with how well everything is going here. Then we had personal interviews with Elder Hamula. It was such an awesome experience. He is just a way good guy. He told me that he really hopes that I get the chance to get back out and be in an all proselyting area again because he could tell how much I really love the people and love this week. He said he is almost certain that I will get to. I am sure I will too. But I am willing to do whatever that Lord has in store for me and do it to the best of my ability.

Another way cool thing that happened this week was that we went over to the Lauvili's a recent convert family, and they had called us on Monday because there 13 year old boy had fallen out of a high tree and had been unconscious in the hospital for hours. They wanted us to come and give him a blessing but we couldn't because we were in Nadi. We called our bishop and he went over and gave him a blessing. We didn't really hear anything else about it until we went over there and the dad told us the story that the boy had been knocked out for hours and had not moved at all. He said that bishop came in and Brother Lauvili just really wanted bishop to give him a blessing because he had the faith that he would be ok. So bishop gave the boy a blessing and when bishop said amen the boy opened his eyes and moved around a little bit but then fell right back to sleep. But bro Lauvili said that it was all he need to know that his son was going to live. He bore such a powerful testimony about how he knows that if they had not joined the church and gained the faith and testimony that they have because of it that the boy would have died. It was a way awesome experience. The boy was supposed to be in the hospital for like a week but he was back home the next day.

One other cool experience we had this week was that we went to Sister Sinus house to teach her son Filipe that I have told you a few stories about. He is in his 50's. But we went there and there was a ton of relatives there doing this big Fijian ceremony thing there they bring food and stuff as an offering because they had a fight years ago and hadn't seen much of each other since so it is kind of like "burying the hatchet". But they did their ceremony thing and then they wanted us to give them a spiritual thought type thing. Some of them were members and some weren't. So the scripture that I had shared in Vunivesi at that baptism where I had that awesome experience popped into my head. So I read Moroni 7: 41-42 and talked about how we have hope in this life because of Christ and how he gave us the hope but it is up to us to live the gospel to return to Him and our Father in Heaven. It was way awesome. And then another day we went over there again and we watched the restoration video with Filipe and he said the minute he started he could just feel the spirit so strong and he testified that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I am so excited that we will be a little bit less busy now and that we will really work hard to find more time to proselyte because I really love just being with the people in their homes.
The first picture is a fish we ate at our Chinese investigators restaurant. Well the ones that just got baptized. They both got the priesthood this week so that was exciting. That is just the picture of the temple one night as we walked out of the office. That is way awesome about Rand and Parker and all the wrestling stuff!!! Way cool too about the opportunity Rand had to share the gospel with them. That is for sure the best way to prepare for a mission. Well I love you all so much!! I am not for sure what day I will be skyping but I will let you know for sure. Au lomani kemudou!!!

Loloma levu,

Elder Hawk

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back from Nadi! (part 2 of 2)

Bula Vinaka tale!!

Well we just got back from Nadi. It was amazing.. Elder Hamula is the man. We flew over there and we were running around like crazy making sure everyone got there and buying watermelon and drinks and ordering 10 huge pizzas and stuff but once the meeting started it was awesome. He talked a ton about getting rid of anything that is holding us back and just really serve with a willing heart and give all we have to the Lord. He talked about giving our will to the Lord because that is the only thing that we can give him that is actually ours to give. It was cool because his wife spoke to us too and she talked about Christmas and about asking ourselves "what can we give for the Lord?" and I think it is so cool that we have done that as our Christmas tradition for a long time. I know now that we write to Jace but it is still the same idea. Now we get to do the whole meeting again tomorrow but here in Suva. Then on Wednesday we have another zone leader council meeting with Elder Hamula there and me and Elder Estill have to account for the work the mission has done this year. It should be good though since we had such an awesome year.

So back to things in kind of a chronological order.. haha after the ZLC on Friday we had our combined mission zone conference on Saturday. It was pretty insane having 80 missionaries all staying in Suva and us driving around like crazy in our vans picking up people and dropping them off. The zone conference was amazing. Me and Elder Estill gave a training to the whole mission all at once and it was definitely one of the highlights of my mission. I learned so much from it myself as we were giving it and the spirit was so strong in the room. I love all of the missionaries in our mission so much. They are all doing really good work. Our training was about having a bigger vision of missionary work which will lead us to really feel its significance and give us a sense of urgency to work hard and get it done. I used the video clips from Elder Holland's talk at conference where he talked about how the gospel is supposed to change the world. It is actually really awesome because Danielle sent me that quote a few weeks ago and that is what inspired me to use that for the training and it was perfect. He is such a powerful speaker and that was like the best part of the training, just watching those videos, so thanks Danielle! Then at the end of it I read 2 Nephi 1:25-26 I think where it talks about arise from the dust and be men, and to shake off the chains with which ye are held bound. I talked about pretty much the same thing Elder Hamula talked about, giving up all the things we were before the mission and really living up to the significance of this work that we are doing right now. O yeah another way cool part of it was that I read a scripture from John where it talks about how the sower and the reaper will rejoice together and talked about how this week I was on splits with Elder Lauti in Nasinu while his comp did our baptismal interviews and that is the area that I served in for 2 weeks, and he told me that he was looking through the area book and 3 people that I found while I was serving there for those 2 weeks were eventually baptized. I felt so happy and so blessed with the feeling that I had done what I needed to do while I was there. It was so awesome. After the training I felt like we had just won the state championship or something haha but it was a way better feeling than I have ever had from winning anything in sports. I just felt so pumped up and excited and blessed to be here and to be doing this amazing work with all of these amazing people.

Then that night we had everyone at the mission home for dinner and that was way awesome and then we went over to the chapel and had our Christmas party. All of the zones had prepared like dances and stuff. Our zone's was way sweet. We did this Samoan slap dance. We are going to be making a video of it all so I will send that to you when it is done. We also made a way sweet slide show so I will send that to you guys too. I wrote this way funny song about all of the stupid stuff that all the senior couples and us in the office have to deal with with missionaries calling in and complaining about stuff. It was way funny. I got up and sang it in front of the whole mission haha It was to the tunes of lots of different Christmas songs. I was pretty proud of myself because I didn't know that I had that much creativity in me haha it was really cool.

Then the last highlights of the week on Sunday was that Kevin and Yungyung got bapitzed!!! It was such an awesome baptismal service. I was soo happy for both of them and they were soo happy too. I got a really good picture of all of us so I will have to send that to you guys. Kevin is going back to China for a little while for some business stuff but he should be back in a couple of months. They are both the man. We have a lot of other investigators too that will get baptized if we can just find the time to see them. I am really excited because after this week we should have a lot more time to proselyte. Then on Sunday night we had a big Christmas fireside with the all the missionaries and there was a couple hundred members that showed up for it. It was pretty powerful having 80 missionaries singing those songs. The spirit was really strong there. Elder Stock was conducting and he was the man. He made some funny jokes and said some really good stuff. He said that next November his family is renting this big catamaran boat thing in the carribean that fits 12 people. I guess his dad does it every year and they just sail it themselves and go all around. He said that I am invited to go so don't make any big plans for me next November. haha

Well this has been the most exhausting week of my life, physically, mentally, spiritually, everything haha it has really stretched us pretty far but everything has turned out so amazing. I feel so blessed to be here at such an exciting time. I am learning so much. It will be exciting to get to be with Elder Hamula some more for this next couple days. I know that we will learn a lot from him. Well I love you all so much! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he loves all of us. I have felt so much of His love this week. How blessed we are to have such a loving Heavenly Father, and the great gospel of His son to bring us happiness in this life and in the life to come!! Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma levu, Elder Hawk

Half way there!! (part 1 of 2)

Ni sa Bula Vinaka noqu matavuvale!!

I am sooo exhausted right now. I have never been so busy and stressed in my life, but it has all been going so amazing!!! Definitely one of the favorite weeks of my mission so far, it is not over yet though. We still have meetings the next 3 days with Elder Hamula, he is in the first quorum of the seventy and the president of the south Pacific. We are actually about to leave with President Klingler to fly over to Nadi. We put 2 of the zones on the bus this morning to head over there. We are flying over there this morning and then flying back tonight after the meetings. Then doing the same meeting again on this side with the other 2 zones. We have been going NON STOP for the past few days, but it is paying off for sure. I sent you guys a package this week so keep an eye out for it in the mail. I don't have much time but I will try to write about as much as possible. I might try to get back on tonight when we get back because I want to send some pictures and I forgot my camera.

Well the first highlight of the week was that I got to go to the temple with the Bavoros!! It was so amazing. There was a ton of people from the Naulu ward there so it was way fun to see all of them as well. Elder Ikafanga made it there in time to come to the sealing too with us so that was way awesome. They are such amazing people. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to teach them and be with them when they were baptized and now to have gone with them through the temple. It was such an amazing feeling to see them go through the temple and be sealed and have that next step of blessings of this gospel in their lives. I really wish I would have had some more time to talk to them after but I will be able to see them again. What a blessing.

On Friday we had the zone leader council and that was really good. We have so many amazing leaders right now in the mission and it is really helping the mission do so awesome. We are over 500 baptisms on the year for Fiji!!! That is a record... And just wait until next year when we are supposed to have 150 missionaries here instead of 80 haha I am so glad that I still have time left to get to see a lot of that growth and progression here. We also got to be with President to set apart a kid that is going on his mission to Ghana. It is actually Epeli the kid from Savusavu so I know him really well. It really made me think how cool it is and how big of a blessing it is that I have the priesthood authority to stand in the circle to set someone apart as a missionary. I am super excited for him.

Well President just came over here to the office and we need to go help him move some stuff and then we are going to be off to the airport so I still have a ton to talk about so I will try to get back on here tonight. Au lomani kemudou!!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk