Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

ikorakora!

Bula vinaka!

Well I cannot believe that the time has come for me to send my last email to you guys before I will see you this week. It doesn't seem real to me at all haha Serving on Kadavu is way different from serving anywhere else in the mission. For some reason when you serve here you just kind of feel like you are apart of the life here and you kind of forget about everything else and just work. It is such an amazing place to be able to finish my mission. It has made it really easy for me to be able to stay focused and finish strong. This week we actually taught the most lessons that I have taught in one week in my whole stay in Kadavu so that was exciting for my last full week here. We also had our 4 baptisms which was so awesome!!!! Some of the best baptisms of my whole mission. What a blessing. I will talk a little more about that in a minute. The zone leaders were also here this last week to come and do all the interviews and stuff. One of them is Elder Peleseuma who is the Samoan elder that we were on Tuvalu with. He actually served here on Kadavu before he went to Tuvalu and now is the Suva ZL so that was really fun for him to get to come back here and see the people that he knows. 

Well I don't think that I told you guys last week but do you remember Ratu Sela? He is the guy that we baptized a few weeks ago. Well the week after his baptism he slipped back a bit and drank and he came home and got mad at his daughter and hit her. And it really wasn't a huge deal because that is pretty normal here but for some reason the mom was really mad so she went and reported him to the police and he got locked up and had to go to Suva this week to get judged. He is all good though and just got a warning and will be coming back this week. It has been so cool though to see how God really knows what he is doing in this work and how he needs to teach people. At first I was really nervous because the whole time his wife has been really iffy about the church and kind of against it and then when this happened I thought that she was going to totally blame it all on him being baptized but it actually had the opposite effect. She completely has turned around and said that she knows that this is the true church because he was baptized and then slipped and messed up again and instantly God had this stuff happen to him to teach him. It also gave us a lot of opportunities to serve them. This week we did service for them for like 5 hours. We went to the bush and cut a TON of firewood and bundled it up and carried it to their house and then chopped it up into smaller pieces and then went and chopped 2 more trees to make poles and made them a new clothes line and we also got the relief society president and branch president here involved and we were able to get them some fast offering money and went and bought them a bunch of food and took it to them. I already loved that family soo much but being able to serve them like that this week just gave me an even greater feeling of love for them. The 2 kids got baptized yesterday and the mom is now saying that she wants to be baptized this week as soon as Ratu gets back haha she will have to come to church a few more times first though. It also really softened the hearts of a lot of people around them. Kadavu is probably the hardest hearted people in all of Fiji (which is really still nothing compared to the rest of the world but it seems bad to me because I am used to most other Fijians haha) they are great people though. But a lot of people here talk bad about the church but this week we heard that a lot of people around here were saying "see this is the true church, they are Christlike and help others" so that was pretty awesome too. That day of service my companion got sunburned for the first time in his life because the sun was so hot that day and his eyes got super swollen the next morning. It was crazy haha. we worked our butts off. Thanks for teaching me how to work hard dad! haha

Other than that the other highlight of this week was yesterday. This whole week we visited all the less actives and investigators and we had all of the transport set up to get everyone to church and everyone was super excited and ready to come and we woke up yesterday morning and it was POURING rain and I prayed really hard that we could at least have some good weather for church and the baptisms. O yeah we also bought 2 big bundles of fish and we made kokoda which is raw fish with the lemon juice and coconut milk stuff and that is what we took for our contribution for the food on Sunday haha everyone loved it!! It was funny too because they said we are like the first elders ever to actually bring food on a day that everyone eats together at the chapel haha but back to the story. so we walked to the chapel and the rain had already stopped but we got there and called one of the members who was supposed to be bringing a President Korologa and all the members from Tavuki side and he said he wasn't coming because of the bad weather, too little faith that the Lord would prepare the way... ha but anyways.... I was calling around like crazy trying to find another way to get all those members here and finally I got a hold of someone there in the village that took the phone to President Korologa and I told him to just hire a boat from his village and they could just come. So all the members from Vunisea came and I started sacrament meeting and once that was over the people from Tavuki showed up on the boat and we had the baptism. Inoke, Kalesi, Tuqara and Onorina all got baptized. It was one of the best baptisms of my mission. The spirit was really strong and you could just feel the happiness and excitement that everyone had. It was great. After the baptisms Elder Tekenimatang and me were walking out of the ocean and I looked at him and then tackled him into the water hahaha it was pretty funny. 

Well I guess that is it for this week. Hopefully the weather gets better by Friday so my flight doesn't gt messed up so I can see you guys. Still doesn't seem real haha The members from Vunivesi made the zone leaders there call the AP's to call me and ask me when I am coming there with you guys haha so I am pretty sure we are going to have a nice party there haha that will be so awesome. They make the best food I have ever had! You guys also better start stretching and practice sitting cross legged on the ground! haha I am way excited to see McKay as well!! I have hardly talked to him since I have been gone. He would never email me back haha  Well see you Friday!!! Au lomani kemudou!!




Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vakadeitaka tale na noqu ivakadinadina‏

Bula!

Well we are very blessed to be able to email 2 weeks in a row! haha and today is on a way nice laptop. We are emailing on the computer that I used for skype on Mother's Day. 

So this week was an awesome week. We found a lot of new investigators lately because of our open house thing and just from contacting people and a lot of them are doing really well. They are always really excited for us to come over and they really prepare themselves for when we come to teach them. It really makes it fun to teach people when they are excited about it. This week when we walked to Tavuki (the 24 km round trip) I wore these different sandals that had a back strap thing on them and my feet got blistered SUPER bad haha because I usually just wear flip flops. So that has been kind of annoying all week but it is all good. 

This week on Thursday we rode the big boat up to the top side of the island where the other unit is. It is in Kavala Bay. We went and visited that family that Elder Ravutaumada and I baptized the 3 kids last time and they are doing really good and coming to church and everything so that was exciting. The dad also sat in on a couple of the recent convert lessons that we had with them and he was talking to us a lot and joking around with us and stuff so hopefully he keeps coming around like that so that the elders can teach him so he can join the church with the rest of his family. He is a great guy. On Friday night, the last night we were there, the family there made a big lovo for me and we did a bunch of meke (Fijian dances) because that is the last time that I will be going up there. They are a really awesome family. The next morning we got on the Fiber boat and it was really awesome because we got to come around the back side of the island to come back to Vunisea because there were some primary school kids that were going back to their villages on that side and we rode with them. It was beautiful on that side. There are huge waves on that side too because that is the side that has that huge coral reef that is like the 3rd biggest in the world or something like that. 

So here is the big story of the week. Yesterday we had church and it was really good. Then we went to one house to visit Ratu Sela's family but the JW missionaries were there so we told them we would come back. So we were walking and we were deciding who we should go see. Elder Teke said we should go see Lily, she is the girl whose computer we are using. We talk to her quite a bit but we have never really taught her and so we went to her house. We went in and there were 2 other guys about our age there and we started talking to them and they started asking lots of questions about being a missionary and where I learned to speak Fijian and stuff like that and then they asked about Joseph Smith and so we asked if we could teach them all the first lesson and they said alright. Before we started teaching them I asked the boys what they were doing in Kadavu because I had never seen them here before (and here you know if someone is new because it is so small) but they said that they are also here to do missionary work. They are here for the 7th day Adventist church doing missionary work. So I was a little shocked but now even more excited to teach them about the Restoration ha so we taught them all the whole first lesson and it was really awesome. They asked lots of good questions and I was thinking that we were converting these guys haha then they asked if they could share their missionary stuff so it was only fair that we let them share as well. I knew that they were going to know the bible super well and so I prayed probably harder than I have ever prayed before that I could have the spirit with me to be able to put the words in my mouth of what to share with them. So long story short it went back and forth for at least another hour or more and it was really awesome because we weren't arguing or anything we were just sharing and I could really feel the spirit speaking through me and helping me know what to share with them. At the end I said that I just wanted to share one final scripture, I shared 1 John 5:9 where it says that we can have no greater witness than from God and I bore my testimony and said that anyone could come to me and share all the scriptures in the world and try to convince me of anything but what I would always do is ask God. Then I bore my testimony and told the story of when I was in Vunivesi and spoke at that baptism and felt the spirit so strongly confirm to me that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. As I was bearing my testimony I said (in Fijian of coarse... haha) "If someone were here right now with a knife to my throat and told me that they would kill me if I didn't deny my testimony of all of this I could not deny it because I have received the testimony that I have from the Holy Ghost" the spirit was so strong and I was shocked that I even said that but I really felt in that moment that what I said was true and that I would really do it. After that complete peace filled the room and the 2 missionaries just said thank you for sharing with them and all of us just said thanks for the things that we learned that day. After we got up and we hugged both of the missionaries and I gave them a Book of Mormon so hopefully they will read it and pray about it. It was yet another amazing experience on my mission to strengthen my testimony of this gospel. That is what being a missionary is all about. Bearing testimony of what you know to be true.

Well this week the zone leaders are coming. We should be having 4 baptisms on Sunday which is way excited. The members are planning on all bringing food and we are going to have a big chow after the baptism as both a celebration for those being baptized and kind of a going away party for me. I am going to cry like a baby.. haha I have grown to love these people here so much it is crazy. Just like mom said last week, being with the Fijian people even for the week that you guys will be here will change your lives, just imagine how much it has changed mine living with them and serving them for 2 years... so blessed. Well I am super excited to see you guys! Get ready for the best week ever!!! au lomani kemudou!!!

Loloma levu, Elder Hawk



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bula!

Well we have finally found a laptop for email haha

So last week we had our fireside on Saturday night. There were over 50
people there! We only have about 20 or so active members so all of the
rest were either non-members or less actives that came. It was really
good. We had some members speak and then we watched the Restoration
video. The spirit was really strong when the music starts playing
while Joseph is praying. It was so awesome. We have already gotten a
few new investigators out of it and it really strengthened the branch
a lot.

This week we found a lot of new really good investigators. We also had
some great lessons with our other investigators as well. One really
cool lesson this week was a lesson that we had with Inoke and Kalesi.
They are the couple that have been taking lessons since right when I
first got here and they are way awesome. They hadn't come to church yet
though and it was mainly because of Inoke's family and their friends
and stuff who were all trying to get them to not come to church but to
stay at the church they are going to. So we planned the lesson and
went over and we read Mosiah 18 where Alma is talking to the people
and he explains about baptism and stuff and then he says if this is
what you desire that what is stopping you from being baptized? So we
read that and they totally just opened up and told us that that is
really the only thing holding them back, all of those people trying to
stop them. So I thought of a scripture in 2 Corinthians that says we
need to walk by faith and not by sight and as soon as I opened my
bible to go to it I instantly had the prompting of another scripture
from the Book of Mormon that was way better. It is Alma 5:60 I think.
I told them the story of how when I was serving in Korovou and we were
teaching Meliki and she was supposed to get baptized but then her
parents who were less active members stopped it. Then a few weeks
later the bishop told us that the mom had come to see him and wanted
us to go back. So we went back and she said that one day she just
opened up her Book of Mormon which she hadn't read in years and that
was the first verse she read. It talks about how the Good Shepard
(Christ) is calling you to his fold but that the wolves are trying to
break in and take you away. I told them that and bore testimony to
them that the Good Shepard is calling them to His fold and this is it.
The Spirit was way strong and they said they would be at church on
Sunday. On Sunday they came and they loved it. I really hope I can see
them get baptized before I finish. They are so awesome.

On Sunday there were over 30 people at church!!! Sis. Mere who just
got called to be the Primary president is AMAZING!!! The primary was
so awesome and before it was non-existent. Ratu Sela and all of his
kids came and everyone was in high spirits because the church was so
good. Then after we had the baptism for Ratu Sela. We all walked over
to the beach and it was a perfect high tide and I had the blessing of
baptizing Ratu Sela. He is the man!! I got some really good pictures
so you guys will get to see those soon haha. His wife didn't come but
we found out later that it might be because she didn't feel like she
had good enough clothes so we will make sure to fix that this week
because she is awesome too and starting to change a lot as well.

Everything is going great. We are really busy and working really hard
which is awesome. It makes it easy for me to not think about how close
it is to the end. The work here in Kadavu is growing a lot and I think
this is going to be a huge year for this place. I feel so blessed to
have had the opportunity to come here at this stage in my mission and
especially after working close with President Klingler for those 6
months because I have really seen how much I have learned and how much
it has helped me to be a much more effective tool in the Lord's hands
to help move His work.

If we don't get to e-mail again next week, don't worry about me!! We are
doing great!!! Au lomani kemudou!!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Companion

Bula!

Sorry I do not have much time to email. This laptop I am using is
about to run out of battery I think. Sounds like everything is going
great at home. I am glad you guys liked the pictures. I wish I could
have sent more. I will show all of them to you guys soon though.

This week we had a big shock. Elder Ravutaumada got transferred. He
just left today and I got my new companion. It was way sad to see
Elder Ravu leave. I really loved him and we were doing a lot of great
things here. I was kind of upset at first but I know that it will all
be alright and me and my new comp Elder Tekenimatang will be able to
continue the good work here. My new comp is also from Fiji but he is
from the Island of Rabi where they speak Kiribati language. So he
speaks the same language as Elder Tamuera. He has been in the field
for 3 months and I am his follow up trainer. He is hilarious. It will
be fun. We could have quite a few baptisms this month. We have such
awesome investigators. Last year there was only 4 baptisms the whole
year on this island and I think we could possibly get 6-8 this month
if things work out. I really hope they do. I really love the people we
are teaching right now and they could strengthen the branch here so
much. This Saturday we are also doing our fireside. I made posters and
stuff while I was at the office in Suva and we have been putting them
up around here and it sounds like we could get a pretty good turn out.
I am SUPER excited for it. I think it will help the work out a ton
here. I think this is going to be a great year for Kadavu. I wish I
could extend haha I am way excited for you guys to come though. It is
going to be so amazing for you guys. I am focused and ready to sprint
to the finish. No slowing down.... au lomani kemudou!!

loloma levu, Elder Hawk

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baptizing in a little river
 Elder Ravutaumada, Elder Hawk and three children in Kavala
This is our flat on the left

Bula

Bula!!

Hey sorry this is late. We didn't get the chance to email yesterday because
our flight got delayed getting off the island because it was bad weather.

We just had zone conference today and it was way awesome. I had to bear my
departing testimony and I cried the WHOLE TIME haha For like the first
minute and a half I didn't even say a word because I was just crying. It was
a great experience though. The spirit was crazy strong and just was
bringing to my memory all the great things that I have learned and
experienced on my mission. Man, I have learned SO much and changed so much
it is crazy. Elder Stock is the man. In his departing testimony in all of
the other zones he gave me a shout out and said that he is glad that he met
his best friend on his mission. I love that guy.

Well this last week in Kadavu was way awesome. I don't know if I have talked
to you guys about Ratu Sela before but he is the man. He has a baptismal
date and his wife has always been really iffy about the church and stuff
and we have always tried to get them all to sit down as a family 2 weeks
ago we had a family home evening with them and it was way good and then
this week we went over and we were teaching some of the kids as well and
she was in the other room and we knew that she was listening but she didn't
really want us to know and I asked the kids in Fijian "what did Joseph
Smith see after he prayed" and then from the room she answered "a vision"
haha it was hilarious. and then Elder Ravu is the man and he changed the
subject to prayer and she came out of the room and then it was on.... it
ended up being a 2 hour spiritual powerhouse of a lesson of her asking us
tons of way awesome questions and us answering them. Then she told us a
story about how when her husband first started taking lessons she got way
mad at him and was talking bad about the church and the BOM and then that
night she could not sleep and she said that she could not feel any peace.
She said it got so bad that she woke her husband up in the middle of the
night and said she was sorry for what she said about the church and the
BOM. He said "don't say sorry to me, say sorry to God, he is the one that is
mad at you for saying bad things about HIS church and HIS book" haha he is
the man. She said she prayed and said sorry though and that after that she
fell right to sleep. After the lesson she just kept saying 'wow, this is
the church of Jesus Christ" it was awesome.

This week we also had our 3 baptisms in Kavala. We did it in this little
tiny stream out in the jungle haha it was awesome. Then we rode the little
fiber boat back and it took 2 hours because it was pretty rough seas. It
was pretty fun though. Then we had some awesome lessons in Vunisea.

Well we are heading back out tonight on the boat. The boat leaves here at
11 pm and then gets to Kadavu in the morning. It is pretty stormy so it
should be a fun boat ride! haha Things are going awesome. I am ready to get
back to Kadavu and sprint to the finish! Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk




Monday, May 20, 2013

Kalavo (Rat)

Bula!

Sorry my e-mail is so late today. The family that we usually e-mail with
broke that webbox thing that we usually use so we have been trying to
find another place to e-mail and finally found a laptop that has
internet.

This week was really good. The zone leaders came down and went on
exchanges with us so that was way fun. Me and Elder Haimin took the
nice long walk to Tavuki. It was way fun though because he is the one
that went to Riverton so we were just talking about all these people
that we both know and stuff haha and just about all the good times on
the mission so far. He is the man. On the way back we tried to take
this cross cut through the jungle that we take when it doesn't rain but
I couldn't find where the trail started so we just went into the jungle
looking for and and we kept crossing this little river looking for it
and we got way lost in the jungle for like thirty minutes and we
finally found our way back to the road and then we walked a little
farther and there I saw the start of the cross cut haha so we took it.
It is a crazy cross cut through the type of jungle that you see on
movies and there is a few way sweet water falls on the way. I will
have to take some pictures of it sometime.

This week we also got our washing machine fixed but that is another
funny story. Bro Lal one of the members here is good at fixing
electronic stuff so he came up to our flat and our washing machine was
in our tiny little shower because that is where it has to drain. But
it was full of water and not working so Elder Ravu and I were in
the tiny little shower room and we had to shut the door to get around
the machine and tip it over so that we could dump it out. We tipped it
up and I felt something run across my foot..... I looked down and it
was a HUGE RAT!!! hahahaha I yelled "KALAVO!!" which is the Fijian
word for Rat and we were jumping up and down in this tiny little
shower room and the rat was running all around underneath our feet.
Finally Elder Ravu landed on it and it died haha it was probably one
of the funniest things that has happened on my mission haha

This week we also had some awesome lessons with Inoke and Kalesi. One
day we were teaching them and we were teaching them again about the
priesthood and I was talking about how we can trace our authority back
to Jesus Christ and then I was talking about how I have that authority
and I can trace it back to Jesus Christ and I felt the spirit way
strong and just felt so blessed to have that in my life and be able to
do the things like baptize and bless and things like that because of
it. I think they will be getting baptized next month, they are so
awesome.

Well sorry this email is going to be way short. We have a lesson soon.
This week we are going to Kavala. We should have 3 baptisms up there,
and hopefully set up for another one or more for when we go next
month. We are riding the boat up there on Thursday and we will ride
the little boat back on Sunday. I am not looking forward to sleeping
in that house with all the rats haha hopefully they don't eat my
feet!!!

We are working really hard. I think I have seriously lost like 15
pounds just in this month. way awesome. Hopefully I keep losing more!
Finishin' strong!!! Sprint to the finish! au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Monday, May 6, 2013

1 of 2

Bula noqu matavuvale!

Well this week was pretty awesome. The work here and the branch is
progressing a lot faster than I expected. We are definitely being
blessed a lot. My English is getting worse I can tell haha awesome.

This last week started off awesome on Monday night. We went and
taught a man named Tomu. It was him, his wife, his cousin, and another
lady that lives at their house in the lesson. It was our first lesson
with him and as we sat down and started to explain ourselves and our
purpose as missionaries and stuff like that we asked him some
questions about himself and he told us that he grew up in the AOG
church but as he got older he never felt any peace about it and so he
left and he went to the new Methodist church and he became a talatala
(preacher) there and he was really involved in that for a while but he
said it came to the point where every time he came home he never felt
any peace about it and so one day he went to preach and he said he
couldn't do it anymore because he knew it wasn't right so he left that.
and he said after that he went over to Nadi and he was having a hard
time and he kept praying that the lord would help him to find the
truth in his life that would bring him the peace that he was always
wanted. and he said that ever since then he goes to the Methodist
church every few weeks but he knows it isn't true and he said to this
day i am still searching for the truth. we were kind of shock and how
prepared he was but the spirit was really strong and we just explained
a few teaching about the church and the BOM and answered some of the
questions that he had and then bore our testimonies. He told us that
every Monday at 7 o clock his house is our house and he will be there
with his family to listen to our message. We left and we could not
stop talking about it all night haha I just wanted to go back there
and teach him everything right then and show him that the Lord is
answering his prayer right now. so we have been excited all week for
tonight to go and teach them again. we have so many awesome
investigators right now and it is great because they are all couples
and families and stuff like that that will really strengthen the
branch a ton if we can help them get baptized.

The branch is doing so much better already. this week there was 26
members at church which is almost all the members on this side of the
island. We have some more less actives that we are working with so
hopefully we can get them coming too. it is just so hard to get around
the island so it is super hard for people to get to church but we have
a lot of good plans to help them out . We had a way powerful testimony
meeting that I know strengthened all of our testimonies about the
church and really lifted all the members spirits. after church all the
members were all super happy and spirits were high so hopefully we can
keep it up. it was definitely a good start. we also had a meeting with
the branch presidency. I am actually the 2nd counselor haha I might
have told you that already. But the meeting was awesome. We are going
to start giving the members callings and getting all of the auxiliaries
and stuff set up with teachers and leaders. I think it will help the
members out a ton to have responsibility like that to help them want
to come to church. We also planned ways to have certain boats go to
some other villages to pick some members and have them pay part of the
cost and the church budget to pay part of it so that should help us
get some more of the less actives to start coming back. We are really
excited about the way things are going.

2 of 2

This last week we also went up to the other end of the island to the
other unit that is here. it is pretty much just one really strong
family and a few other people around there. We are teaching a family
though that the mom is a member and has started coming back so she has
3 kids that we will baptize next time we go there and hopefully we can
keep working with her husband and help him join as well. they are a
great family.

When we go up there we ride the ferry boat up there on Thursday and
stay at those members house until Sunday and then ride a little fiber
boat back. The ride back in the little fiber boat is like an hour and
a half and it is gorgeous because we get to see like that whole side
of the island. There is a bunch of white sandy beaches along there
that are pretty much untouched.

The members house that we stay at up there in Kavala has LOTS of rats.
If you don't cover your feet at night they come and start chewing on
your feet just like in the other side of heaven and you just here them
running around the tin all night haha the toilet is just a dug out
outhouse with a small tin shelter around it and the shower is just a
pipe outside with a few pieces of tin thrown up as "walls" pretty
awesome. we definitely get to live the real Fijian life while we are
there. cook with firewood and everything. it was cool. the last night
we were there some people that we taught gave us some fish and we took
it back and ate it and I think it was bad because I got pretty sick
and had to run outside to the outhouse a few times in the night haha
after that one day I was all good though.

Well everything is going awesome. We are working really hard and we are
being blessed because of it. The Lord is preparing a lot of people
here to strengthen this branch. I am really sad that I  have such a
short time left and would love to extend my mission but I know that I
will just work as hard as I can with the time that I have left and do
my best to do what the Lord sent me here to do. Au lomani kemudou!!

Loloma, Elder Hawk

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Are you out there?


1 of 2
 
Ni sa bula vinaka tale!

Well, I am alive and well! haha I am emailing on this little thing
called a webbox that is just a tiny keyboard hooked to a small tv
screen so it is pretty hard to email haha I will do my best though!

Everything here is going awesome! the branch before was only having
6-10 members come but the last 2 weeks we have been over 15 so it has
been good. Before I flew over here president met with me for like an
hour and we just talkd about what he wants to see happen here and some
things that I can do to help. It was realy good to know exatly what
president wants so that I can do my best to make it hapen. My
companion is the man! His name is Elder Ravutaumada. He is Fijian and
I don't think that we have spoken any English at all to each other,
just Fijian all the time so that is way fun. I love being able to
speak Fijian all the time again. Our flat is a little wooden house
that is like a 20 minute hike from the road up this hill. It is a
killer to get there haha it is just up on this hill all by itself
overlooking this bay. The island is really beautiful and the people
are awesome. It is still way rooted in like the old Fijian culture so
sometimes the people here are hard hearted to change but we are
teaching a lot of great accepting people right now. As you could see
on google earth there is hardly any roads here. The people get around
to the other villages mostly by fiber boats. There are tons here. The
electricity is all just generators in the villages. So where we are at
the electricity is on for a few hours and then off for a few and like
that all day. It is usually on when we get home at night so that is
good. Except this week they shut our power off because the bill hadn't
been paid for some reason so we were with no power for a few days but
it was all good. Our shower is just a pipe with a little spout on the
end and the water is freezing ha it is way fun to live like this
though. I am going to send this email and then start another just in
case the power goes off again at least you get some ha

2 of 2
 
So most of our work is in the villages right here closer to our house
but once a week we walk 3 hours one way up and down the mountains to
get to where the branch president's village. We teach what we can there
and help him out and then make the 3 hour walk back. But the crazier
thing is that our branch president is like in his 50s and the last 2
weeks he has made that same walk on Sunday mornings with his wife so
they could come to church. then on the next day after that we walk to
another village that is a 2 hour walk one way. There is an Indian man
that just got baptized there and he walks it every week to come to
church as well. He is the man. he has one of the strongest testimonies
I have ever seen. This last week while we were walking there I was
kind of being a baby and thinking how far it was and stuff but once we
got there with the people in their houses and teaching them it was all
worth it and I felt so stupid for complaining. What a blessing it is
to be here serving the Lord in such an amazing place. I am going to
lose a lot of weight here from so much walking so that will be another
great blessing too! haha On this walk to one of our less active's house
it is an hour walk through THICK jungle and there are these vines that
hang down from the trees, so I cleared out this area and we got a
video of me swinging on this vine like Tarzan haha It is way sweet.

This week we also had a cool experience while we were teaching a new
investigator named Inoke. Him and his wife are both way awesome, but
his wife was busy so we were just teaching him and we taught him about
the restoration and the BoM and then Elder Ravu was inviting him to be
baptized and the room was just filled with the spirit and he accepted
the invitation to be baptized. It was so awesome to get to feel of
that feeling again of such happiness when you see someone who really
understands the importance of our message and feels the spirit and
accepts the invitation to be baptized. That is what this work that we
are doing is all about and if that feeling of happiness that we feel
by seeing other people accept it was the only blessing that we got
then it would all be worth it, how crazy it is that the Lord gives us
so many blessings even though that one feeling is enough. Life is
good, the gospel is true, and Kadavu is wananavu! haha that means
awesome in Fijian.

This week we are going to get on the big boat and go down to the other
side of the island called Kavala. there is another unit there. there
are some investigators there too. hopefully we can find more work
there. the elders usually only go there once a month but if we can get
some work going we will go twice a month. we ride the big boat there
and then a little fiber boat back haha it is going to be sweet.

well au lomani kemudou! I am going to try to talk to this other girl
that we just started teaching to see if her laptop that she has can
skype and we might be able to skype on Mother's Day! If not though I
think I will just give you guys our phone number and you can call from
there. We will get to talk for sure though so no worries!

loloma, Elder Hawk

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TUVALU

 






Talofa from Tuvalu!!

I have some pretty insane news.... We made it back to Suva and this morning we had a meeting with President and I am getting Transferred!!!! and I am getting transferred to like one of the coolest islands in the mission!!! It is an island called Kadavu and it is down to the south of Viti Levu. Me and my comp are the only missionaries on the whole island and the branch is just tiny. President wants me to go down there because the branch is having some problems so he thinks me and Elder Ravutaumada (who will be my companion there) will be able to boost it up. My comp is a Fijian and the whole island speaks absolutely nothing but Fijian and they have a way cool dialect so I am going to be speaking straight FIJIAN 24/7 until I finish up!!! I am so stoked beyond belief.... It is BUSH!!! and it is just this beautiful island. There will be no email there unless we get it set up to use this one members computer and figure out a way to get the internet. They have it working lately so hopefully it will work while I am there so that I can keep in contact with you guys haha I am flying down there on Friday so next Monday if I don't email you guys that will be why... because we might not get the internet down there haha I will try my best to get it though. I just wanted to let you know so you don't freak out next week. I will try to send you guys some of the pictures from Tuvalu right now. AU LOMANI KEMUDOU!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Talofa from Tuvalu!!

Talofa!!
Well... first off I am SOO stoked for Rand!!! He is going to be a great missionary and is going to have a blast in Argentina! I cannot believe that it is in Quynn's mission! I really hope that they get to serve around each other! I haven't watched the video yet because the internet here is slow and won't load it, but I will watch it once we get back to Fiji.... I am still here on the beautiful island of Tuvalu!!! Our flight to come here on Tuesday got moved back to Wednesday so we were WAY bummed because our scheduled flight back was for Thursday. So we were only supposed to be here for like 24 hours. BUT... the plane has been getting cancelled every day and now here we are still on Tuvalu six days later!!! It has been some of the funnest days of my mission. This place is amazing. It is so beautiful it is ridiculous. It is so TINY too. Pretty much anywhere you are on the island you can see the ocean on BOTH SIDES of you haha which is pretty insane. We have been studying the language while we have been here because we have been teaching TONS of lessons. We taught 28 lessons in 5 days! The work here is ON FIRE! But I can bear my testimony and say a prayer and explain myself a little bit all in Tuvaluan! It is such an awesome language. It is a lot like Samoan. It sounds so awesome. I wish I could stay here longer and really learn it well. The gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues is so amazing and real!
So the first day that we got here we got off the plane and we were straight to work because we thought it would be our only day here. We split up and taught a total of 8 lessons that day. I was with Elder Peleseuma. He is a Samoan from Australia and he is the man. I love him. But one of the other Elders that had served here before is in Suva now and so before we left we had him write down how to share a testimony in Tuvaluan and on the plane ride the whole way here I was just studying it and memorizing it and in the first lesson that we went to at the end I bore my testimony in Tuvaluan and Elder Peleseuma was shocked haha it was funny. Elder Stock has got it all down too. He is the man.We taught this lady named Ina and Elder Peleseuma was teaching her in Tuvaluan but she knows some English so I started teaching a little in English and I talked about how we have a living prophet today and how he spoke to the whole world just last week and I asked her if she would be interested in hearing what he said and to see him and she was really excited and said of course! The Spirit was really strong and it was just another good witness to me of how awesome it is that we have a living prophet today and how big of a blessing it is to know about it! Then that night at one of the other lessons we taught, after the lesson the guy said "you guys have to stay and eat" Because it was his daughter's birthday. So he goes outside and brings in a WHOLE pig!!! haha They cooked it in the lovo (earth oven) It was sooo good. I got some good pictures of it.
The next morning Elder Stock and I got up early and got on the bikes to go get some good pictures of the island because we thought we were going to fly out that afternoon. So we went all the way down to one end of the island and it was crazy because we were just standing on this little strip of white coral that is like 5 feet wide and the ocean is on both sides of us haha but that wasn't the side that we actually wanted to go to so we got back on the bikes and rode all the way to the other side of the island, which only took us about 40 minutes. But we got tons of amazing pictures down there too. So we came back and started walking to the airport and this member guy took our bag on his motorcycle and went to the airport to drop them off for us and we were walking and we saw him coming back with our bags and he stopped and said "no airplane today" We all were jumping around and so excited haha so we had another day of great work with lots of lessons and lots more of feeling like a greenie not being able to speak the language and not knowing too well what is going on haha it has been fun to feel that way again. I worked with Elder Smith that day and we had some more awesome lessons. We were teaching a boy about our age named Apo and it was like the same lesson to Ina about prophets so he spoke pretty good English too so I shared to him the same thing about conference that I shared with her and it had the same results. It was great!
So the next day Elder Stock and Elder Smith went to check at the airport about the plane and they said it would come on Saturday and they also said that for everyday that the plane is delayed we get $50 Australian as compensation!!! haha So we have been getting paid $50 a day for being in Paradise! So if we leave today we will have $200 Australian haha and Australian money is worth a little more than American money! So we will go back to Fiji and be rich!! haha So we have just been working hard every day and the work here right now is on FIRE! So we taught a total of 28 lessons in 5 days!!! That is so awesome. It has been good that we have been so busy and doing such good work. So then on Saturday the plane got moved to Sunday and then Yesterday we were at the airport waiting and they said it was going to come. They had already stamped our passports and everything but then the plane had to turn around because of problems and so we got to stay all yesterday too! haha We got to go to church here which was really awesome. There are like 100 active members and we got like 7 investigators at church which was really exciting.
One other cool experience that Elder Smith and I had was a lady that we just contacted at her house. Elder Smith was speaking Tuvaluan to her and she came out and we went and sat on the little hut thing that they all make by the ocean and she had good English so we just had like an introduction lesson with her in English and at the start she said "You guys are so lucky that God has called you to represent Christ" and she said "I know that you guys are called of God and that you have the Holy Spirit because I can see it in your faces" It was a really cool experience and a great blessing to hear that and realize how much people can see us as representatives of Christ. I am SOO blessed to be a missionary and a representative of Christ and I am so thankful beyond words for this opportunity.
So that brings us to today... they told us that they plane should be coming today and we have to go to the airport at 1:00 to check it out but we will see haha we do need to get back though. It is probably pretty hard on President to not have any Assistants in the country haha I feel so blessed though for the opportunity that I have had to come out here to Tuvalu and to have had so many great missionary experiences and testimony building experiences. I can't wait to send you guys lots of pictures once we get back to Fiji! It is going to blow your mind! haha and pictures don't even do it justice. But I love all of you guys so much! We have the best family ever!! haha There is a lot of exciting stuff happening in our family! It will be way fun to get to skype you guys next month and talk! Au lomani kemudou sara vakalevu kau sa vakavinavinakataka na nomudou veilomani veitokoni ka ivakaraitaki vei au!!!
Loloma levu, Elder Hawk

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Joji's

Bula Vinaka!
I know that I say it every week and usually I end up writing a way long email anyways but this week's email might be pretty short because we are way busy and we haven't gotten to play sports on
 p-day for quite a while so we are going to make it happen today.
So this week I got a new temple recommend because mine expired with the end of last month. It is so crazy to think that it has been 2 years since then. Time goes by WAY too fast. It was cool to get a temple recommend interview from President Klingler. He is the man.
This week we had a Sisters training here in Suva. All the sisters from the mission, which is only about 12 right now, came in and we had a training for them. It is WAY different with sisters but it was way good. Our training was about prayer. I thought that it went really well. I think that is probably one of the strengths that me and Elder Stock have together, we have given some pretty awesome trainings. It is way fun. Then on Friday we flew over to Savusavu. We flew on the little tiny Northern Air plane again but President and Sister Klingler weren't too keen on that so they flew the bigger plane on Pacific sun so we took off and they were supposed to leave 30 minutes after us but their flight got delayed before we took off and we got to Savusavu and then they called and said it got moved way back until 3 that afternoon so we were supposed to do the training in Savusavu that morning but we had to move it until the night when they would get it. So we had a bunch of missionaries in Savusavu and so 6 of them went on splits and then the other 8 of us went over to the purple mansion and cleaned it all out because they moved out of it. That place was SOOO dirty! It was nasty. We cleaned it for like 3-4 hours and it was looking pretty good. It is actually a way good thing too because just the Elders there would have never finished that by themselves. So then we went back and got all ready again and started the training at 5:30 in the evening. it went til 9 and we went to stay at the new zone leader flat and there were 8 missionaries and 4 mattresses so a few of us took the ibe out on the porch and lit some mosquito coils and slept out there just on the ibe. It was pretty sweet. We didn't even get any mosquito bites so that was awesome. Then the next morning we got up and flew back over here.
Other than that we were just busy doing a bunch of office stuff and getting ready to go to TUVALU tomorrow!!! We are so excited its not even funny haha we have an Elder that is the zone leader of the zone that we are in now and he just came off of Tuvalu a few months ago so he wrote down a bunch of notes for us on how to share a testimony in Tuvaluan and stuff so we have been studying up. It should be so much fun and I will have hundreds of amazing pictures next week haha
O yeah, Sister Maiwiriwir, the one that you guys took to dinner in Florida. Somehow she found out that you guys are coming and she wants us to go over and have dinner and stuff at their house, so we will have to do that one night while you guys are here. Some of the senior couples have invited us over while you are here too and there will be lots of members so we will probably have dinner covered for most nights while you guys are here haha I think we should for sure stay in Savusavu for 2 nights if not 3. So I think if we want to do that we could go right over to Savusavu like right when you got here. It would be way fun to go to church there. Out in Vunivesi. I am really up for whatever though. We can plan it all real good when we skype next month. Unless I get transferred somewhere that I won't be able to skype. I would be able to call though so no worries. Well au lomani kemudou! Have a good week! AND I AM SOOOOO STOKED TO HEAR WHERE RAND IS GOING TO GO!!! Record him opening it and send me the video!
Loloma, Elder Hawk
 
 The Joji's Crew
 Our new "Shades"
The airplane tire..."Air Hawk"

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ham and Weesy Potatoes!

Bula vinaka tale na noqu matavuvale!

So last week Sister Klingler invited us over for Easter Sunday lunch and she said that she was going to get some ham, which I have not had at all my whole mission so we were all over that haha but I asked her if she could make some cheesy potatoes and I told her all about weesy potatoes and why we call them that and stuff and she thought it was pretty awesome. So that is what we had for Easter lunch and I about ate myself to death.... haha I ate SOO much. The ham and potatoes were amazing though. This is why I have gained so much weight since being here in Samabula! Once I get back out though I will probably lose weight quick. Hopefully I go to the bush somewhere and then I will just eat Fijian food and walk and lose weight fast right before coming home. I ain't worried about it though haha I am definitely going to work out a lot when I get home though. Yesterday we also had a stake missionary fireside just like the one last week but this one was in the Suva stake. There was a ton of people there and one of the Fijian wards had a choir and they sang and it was SO amazing! Fijians can belt it. And they are super good at harmonizing. That is actually like one thing that Fijians are famous for, singing good gospel music. It is sweet out in the villages when you walk by the churches and there are always people in singing and it sounds awesome. I got to see some members from when I served in Suva 3rd too so that was pretty fun. One lady shared a way awesome testimony about how back when she was 21 her dad died and then 2 weeks later her grandma died and then not too long later her sister got diagnosed with cancer and she prayed to God and made a bargain with him that she would go to church every Sunday and do everything right if he would please just spare the life of her sister. But soon after her sister died and this lady just went years and years being mad at God but then she felt like she could find the answers she needed so she had started going around to tons of different churches and stuff and she didn't really know what she was looking for but she knew that when she found it she would know it. So a few months ago the Elders came over to their house to teach the nephews or something and she just sat close by for one of the lessons and she said that as she listened she felt the spirit and knew instantly that this is what she was looking for and they taught her about the plan of salvation and she just got baptized 3 weeks ago. It was way awesome! Way powerful testimony.

Earlier in the week we flew over to the West with President and had a train the trainers meeting with them over there and there were only 4 other missionaries in the meeting, but it was really good. We gave the same training that we gave last week to all the trainers on this side of the island. Then we went on some splits with the Lautoka zone leaders and that was really fun. I got to work with Elder Moaalii again. He is the man. I love that guy so much. I look up to him alot. and then we drove all the way back to Suva with them because we had zone leaders council the next day. It is like a 3 and a half or 4 hour drive. It was fun though. Zone leaders council was way good too. We have 5 zones in the mission now so there was more people there. It is tons of fun though because all of us are really good friends and no one gets left out or anything.

This week we also went over to these member's house and they are from Kiribati and the dad had just come back over from Kiribati that day and he brought some flying fish with him that he caught in Kiribati so we had that for dinner. It was pretty good. We asked him to bring us back some turtle meat next time and he said he will so that should be pretty sweet haha we are trying to get people to feed us turtle and stingray but we haven't gotten it yet so that will be cool if he can get it. We also had a huge feast with that one Tongan family as well. The Tuatongas. We had raw fish and a bunch of other way good islander food. You guys will love the food here when you come!!

Well I think that is it for this week. I will try to get on the other computer and send you a few pictures in a minute. Hope you guys had a good Easter! You should read a talk called "His Grace is Sufficient" by a guy named Brad Wilcox. It is WAY good. I studied this week a lot about the Savior and the last week of his life as well. That is actually what our district leader did for district meeting and it was awesome. I also started reading Jesus the Christ so we will see if I can finish that huge thing before my mission is over haha it is really good though. This week we have 2 more trainings to give. One to all of the sisters and then another up on the other island to all the trainers. Should be fun. Well. au lomani kemudou!! Have a good week!

Loloma, Elder Hawk
 

Elder Stock and our Easter Feast
Delicious Ham

Sunday, March 24, 2013

 Apensia's Baptism
 
Sister Terry's Pecan Pie

Pigs!

Makogai Island


Savusavu‏

Bula Vinaka tale!
Well yet another week that has flown by. It was a good week.
Well that is really awesome that you guys got to go to St. George and go to Justin's farewell. That was really good to give him the support. I think that he will be an awesome missionary. He definitely has the energy to work hard and that is one of the most important things haha. How are Rand's papers going?! Did you hear that Tean Allsup is going to Tampico Mexico! It is crazy that these guys are going to be going on missions! So awesome though!! haha I am way jealous. I would start all over again for sure if I could, the mission is so awesome.
Well at the start of this week we gave a training to all of the brand new missionaries plus their trainers that are serving in the 2 Suva zones and the Nausori zone. There was like 26 missionaries there so it was a big training. We had just decided on our topic for the training like 2 days before the training and we didn't have any time to prepare it so we planned it all out from 9:30-10:30 the night before haha it went really awesome though. It was about OYM (open your mouth) it is a key indicator that we count on how many people you just contact. Me and Elder Stock do it quite a bit so we had some good stories and stuff to share and a lot of the missionaries shared great stories too. It was actually a really awesome training and the spirit was way strong. It was so fun to be with all of those brand new Elders that are just so stoked to be here and be starting out there missions. You could just feel the great energy in the room. It was awesome.
Then on Thursday Apenisa got baptized! I got to baptize him. He is the MAN! After his baptism me and him were in the bathroom and he was saying "It has taken me so long to change but I have done it and now I am clean and I feel so happy! thank you Lord!" we were speaking Fijian but yeah.. that is the just of it haha It was really awesome. He really has changed so much from when I got here and started teaching him. He has been taking the lessons for like 2 years off and on so it is really exciting for him.
This week we also flew up to Savusavu for exchanges. We flew on the tiny little Northern Air plane again haha On the way in to land at Savusavu we were only like 200 feet off the water maybe and we were flying over the reef and I saw a huge sea turtle and then I also saw 2 sharks swimming around. It was way sweet haha then on the flight back out me and Elder Stock both saw little turtles. But while we were in Savusavu I got to go and teach a recent convert lesson to Tupou, the girl that me and Elder Moaalii contacted that just got baptized there a few weeks ago. It was really cool to be able to bear my testimony to her and talk about how I remember the first day that we just contacted her at her house and we taught her on a little bench in the front of their house and how we saw so much potential in her that day and now she has made it and received the gospel and she is doing awesome and is way happy. It was really cool. And we also got to go out to Vunivesi and see some of the people that we baptized there. Vasiti and Semi are doing good and they are already planning on going to the temple this December for them and all of their kids to get sealed. I really wish that I could be here for that but hopefully I can at least get a picture sent to me.
One other cool continuation from last week is that I talked to Elder Palmer, the Elder that I went on exchanges with up into those villages last week and they went back up there this week and that one old guy that I gave the BOM too has read all of first Nephi and looked up like all of the cross references and his BOM is all marked up and stuff already and he bore testimony to them that it is the word of God and he couldn't stop saying how great it is. Way awesome. I usually don't give people the BOM in and into lesson like that but I really felt like I should and I am glad that I did!!
Alright well drive home safe! That is SO exciting that Rand is getting his papers all turned in next week!!! I am excited beyond belief for him!!! He is going to be a great missionary. Did you hear that Nikki Wells got her mission call to Japan!? I got a letter from Chris.. that is pretty sweet. Well Au lomani kemudou!
Loloma, Elder Hawk


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lade ki na veiyanuyanu!

Nu sa bula nakwa! (that is the dialect of this place that I went this week, Naitasiri)
 
 Well this was a pretty exciting week. Earlier in the week Elder Stock and I got our calendar for the next 2 months and we put in all of the trainings and intakes and outtakes and all of that stuff that we have to do and then we made of list of all the people that we thought it would be good for us to go on transfers with and tried to plan that all in. One of the people we want to go on exchanges with is the Elders in Tuvalu, it is another country and it is just one tiny little strip of land out in the middle of the ocean with like 4,000 people on the island and they speak Tuvaluan. We are the ones that take their numbers and all of that and so we thought it will be really good for us to get out there and see what it is like, and of coarse how awesome would it be to get to go to another country that is some tiny little speck in the ocean that no one has even heard of. Back like 2 years ago was the last time that any other missionaries went out there to visit it besides the Elders that are actually serving on the island. So we pitched it to President and moved some stuff in the schedule around and on April 9th we are going to TUVALU!!! I don't think me and Elder Stock have ever been so excited in our lives haha You will have to look it up on google earth. It is Funafuti Tuvalu. It will be like a 2 hour and 20 minute flight. It will be really good though. The Elders out there are way stoked for us to come too. We also have a lot of other really good exchanges planned. We are going to be getting out a lot more and be in the field working with some of the missionaries that are training and stuff so it will be really good. We are going to Savusavu this week on Friday to do exchanges there as well so that is always fun to go back to that area.
So this week we went on a really awesome exchange. We went on exchanges with the Nausori zone leaders. I went with Elder Palmer up to this little unit that they cover up in the interior that is pretty much just one family. This family has 3 kids that are albino. There is actually quite a few albino Fijians. They look pretty awesome. I will send you pics. So it was like a 45 minute drive up into the bush and it is way awesome up there. We got there and taught a lesson to some young girls that live with that member family and then we took Brother Qaqanisautu with us and we drove another 10 minutes to a different village called Nadakuni and there is a family that is members that lives there and they have some kids that are over 8 and not baptized yet so we were going to teach them but we got there and they were gone so we just started talking to this one other lady in the village that was right there and then this man comes back from spear fishing in the river and told us to come sit on his porch thing. So they spread out the ibe and we go sit there and before we know it there is like 8 people all sitting there on the porch with us and they are all in awe that we can speak Fijian haha it is always way fun to go to bush places like that that have never seen much of the missionaries because they always think it is insane how well we can speak Fijian. So we start to teach them about what our purpose is as missionaries and stuff and some of them were way interested. They hadn't really ever heard anything about the LDS church so I talked to them a little about prophets and a living prophet today and stuff like that and they were way into it. The one old lady said that she has been going to the Methodist church for years but lately she doesn't go much because she knows that a lot of the stuff they do isn't right so she is very interested to learn more. So that was way awesome and the spirit was super strong and then we got back in the truck and drove another 20 minutes to the end of the road where there is a river with a village on the other side. The member guy that was with us told an old man in that village a long time ago that he would have the missionaries come see him but they have never gone. So we get in this little boat (that is what the picture on this email is) and this little Fijian girl pulls us across the river. We go to his house and he is asleep and we wake him up and go in and he said that he knew we were coming because that day 3 Maina birds flew into his house and were just standing there in the house chirping and they never do that so he knew that he would have 3 visitors today. Pretty cool. But he is the Tuirara for the Methodist church in that village which is a pretty high up position but he really wanted to see the missionaries because this member man had been sharing with him about the church and he really liked it. So we started teaching him and his wife about our purpose as missionaries and stuff and he started talking about having hope in this life and it reminded me instantly of one of my favorite scriptures from Moroni 7:41-43 that talks about how we have hope through Christ and His Atonement. It is the scripture I read that time in Vunivesi. But I got a Fijian BOM out of my backpack and read that scripture to him and testified about it and the Spirit was super strong. I gave him that BOM and he took and and said that the minute we left he would start reading it. Way awesome lesson. But then they were both sick so we gave both of them blessings and that was awesome too. Then we went back across the river and back to the village where the member is from and changed into service clothes and went to his farm with our machetes and did some work haha we worked way hard, it felt good to work like that.
So then after that we went back down to their flat, showered and then went to the dinner appointment with this Indian family that just got baptized a few months ago. They are so awesome. But we were sharing a spiritual thought and I cant really remember what they were sharing about but then I felt like I should use that same scripture from Moroni again so I did and this time I bore testimony about how we don't just have hope because of Christ but we have hope because the Prophet Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and they restored the fullness of the Gospel through him. And the spirit was super strong again and it was a way good testimony builder again for me of all of that. So that day was pretty much just a day full of way good testimony building, spirit filled lessons.... that is what it is all about.. the best thing ever.
Well I think this is a pretty huge email so I will leave it at that. Sounds like you guys had an awesome spring break. That will have to be one of the first things we do when I get back... go out in the desert, ride the 4 wheeler and shoot guns.. haha how are Rand's papers going? When do you think he will get his call? I can't wait! Well au lomani kemudou!
Loloma levu, Elder Hawk
 
 
 




Sunday, March 10, 2013

le levu na ka vou!

Bula!
Well we survived another busy week! Hopefully these next few weeks should be a lot less hectic but I wouldn't bet on it haha We successfully got all 16 of our new missionaries in and we got the huge transfer done pretty smoothly so that was really good. It was really fun to be with all of the new missionaries. They are a good bunch. Another cool thing that happened this week is that a girl that me and Elder Moallii contacted and started teaching in Savusavu just got baptized this week! Her name is Tupou. I don't know if you remember me ever talking about her. Me and Elder Moaalii were pretty stoked when we heard about it though. Another pretty crazy thing is that this week President got an email from the missionary department and now in the whole world missionaries can email pretty much anyone, friends, family, priesthood leaders, recent converts. So you can tell people that they can email me if they want haha 
So this last week started off with a bang when we got these 16 new missionaries on Monday. So Monday through Wednesday we were just running them around taking them into town to go buy sulus and sandals and stuff and doing all of their orientation stuff and interviews with president. It was POURING rain some of the days so that made things pretty fun haha they got a good intro to Fiji. It rained like every single day for over 2 weeks. The last 3 days have been beautiful though. On Wednesday we had a longggg day of driving people back and forth from the airport and all around to do the transfer. We drove over 150 KMs just within like a 30KM radius haha it was a tiring day for sure. but it actually all went way smooth. Then on Thursday we went and picked up Elder Chlarson who is finishing his mission. He is the MAN! He was an awesome humble missionary. So that night we were at the gas station filling up and I was at the counter with our card to pay for the gas and I just started talking to the lady at the counter in Fijian and I was just telling her that I was a missionary for the LDS church and she asked if we just go visit people at their houses and I said yeah, do you want us to come and visit you at your house?, and she said yeah I don't really go to church but I really want to so I got her info and gave it to the Elders where she is staying and I saw those Elders today and they had a lesson with her on Sunday and said that she is awesome. Then another cool contact that we had this week was when we were coming out of the Tapoo city mall place in Suva from having lunch with Elder Chlarson and this Fijian lady said Bula to us and we started talking to her a little bit and she said that she has a sister that is a member in Hawaii and that that sister told her she should join the church and if she ever saw the missionaries to talk to them. So this lady said that she wants the missionaries to come over and teach her and her 5 kids so we got her info and gave that referral out as well. That is really the only thing that keeps us sane and feel like we are doing good missionary work is contacting people as we are running around all over the place. I am thankful that the Lord is giving us those opportunities and also that we have a good enough sense of our purpose as missionaries to realize that that is the best missionary work that we can do with the kind of schedule that we have. Pretty awesome.
I have actually felt a little drug down lately just because I really miss being out with the people and teaching lessons and feeling like a normal missionary, and I thought I might be getting to get back out in the field and do that soon but we had our interviews with President this week and it will still be a while before I get out. But it was super good because I really feel a renewed sense of energy. I told President that I am ready to get back out whenever he is ready for me to and he knows that I really want to but he said "I really need you here with me" and that is all I needed to hear to know that I need to be here and I need to lose my pride and not do what I want to do but just do what President and the Lord needs me to do. One really good quote that I heard a while back and really like is "Pride is characterized by what do I want out of life, rather than what would the Lord have me do with my life" So I am glad that I can feel me losing that pride and feel more peace about the good that I can do here. One thing that we are really going to start doing more is getting out and going on exchanges and stuff with the missionaries. It will be really good. We are excited. When all the new missionaries opened their call letter things to find out where their first assignments were it made me wish that I was in their shoes just starting out haha the time has gone by way to fast, but I am happy with the way everything has gone and am ready to finish strong, keep improving, and doing the best that I can do.
So we have an investigator named Apenisa that I have probably talked to you about before. But he is back over here in Samabula now and we had an awesome lesson with him on Sunday after church. He has changed his life completely. It is so cool to see how he has truly changed to the point that he has no desire at all to do the things that he did before. He is the man. He is going to be getting baptized next week so that will be awesome.
That picture is of a girl named Litia. They are a member family but one of the little boys is 10 and not baptized so we are teaching him and she always comes in and just sits there and stares at us with those big eyes and when we talk to her she will answer all of our questions by just shaking her head yes or no but she will never say a word haha she is so cute.
Well I got the boys some sweet shirts and I am going to be sending them today or tomorrow hopefully. They are for their birthdays/ Christmas haha they are really sweet. I think they will like them a lot. I am also sending a badge. They have these magnet badges now instead of the clip ones for suits so I got one so you can put it on the fridge haha Well I love you guys! Have a fun spring break!
Loloma, Elder Hawk
 
 Litia
Belated Birthday Cake

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rua tale na bose‏

Part 1 of 2
 
Ni sa Bula Vinaka tale na taciqu kei na ganequ vakayago!
Well yet another crazy week down and the next crazy week starts today! haha We are getting 16 new missionaries in today. They are on the bus right now on their way here. It has already been pretty crazy because they missed their bus this morning because it took them so long to get through security and businesses in Fiji have no concept of service so we lost like $300 from that haha but we got them on another bus and they should be here in a few hours. So I don't have a ton of time to write but I will try to get in as much as I can...
 
 We got to go real quick and get the stuff for lunch for all of these new missionaries and then go and pick them up so I will get back on later today and write more email.
 
Part 2 of 2
 
 
na kena ikuri‏

Alright well we have been running around all day with these 16 new missionaries trying to get them sulus and getting them food and getting them interviewed by president and all that fun stuff. They are all awesome. Definitely culture shocked pretty good haha and they haven't even gone to the villages yet! We got our first two 18 year olds... pretty sweet. They both turn 19 pretty soon but they are still the first 18 year olds in this mission so that is something pretty cool that they can say. They are all awesome though and it has been fun. Lots more stuff to do with all of them tomorrow, the temple and stuff like that and then Wednesday is the huge transfer. It will be good when the transfer is over and things get rolling again. Really exciting things happening.
Well this week was pretty awesome. Last Monday night we were in the office and our card key things stop working at 10 but we were in the office after ten finishing up some last minute things for the zone conference the next day and we went out to go to the bathroom and we forgot that our cards would stop working if we went out but we had left our keys to the car and our phone in the office and we got locked out, and we didn't really want to wake president up because it was like 10:30 and he has been every bit as busy as we have so we know he is way tired and so we grabbed the cushions off of the couches in the temple housing side and we brought them in by the office and put them on the floor and we were just going to sleep there but then the security guards came in and they called the senior couple that is over the temple housing and they came over and said that they would just take us downstairs to sleep in the bunk room down there. So we went down and slept in the bunk room with a couple Tongans, and a few guys from New Caledonia. It was pretty sweet. Then we woke up at 6 when our cards would start working again. Finished our stuff in the office, went home, showered and then went back to the mission home for zone conference haha. Both of the zone conferences this week were really awesome. It is always way good to have the zone conferences at the mission home, it is kind of like home field advantage. Our balance survived all of the zone conferences so that was awesome. The best part of the ones this week though was a departing testimony that Sister Michael gave. She is from the Solomon islands and she goes home in may so at the your last zone conference you bear your testimony. So she is the most humble person ever and she has the most pure faith that I have ever seen in my entire life. I actually used her as an example of faith in all of the zone conferences. but she got up and bore the most powerful testimony that I have ever heard in my life. Her English is not very good but just like Brigham Young said that all the knowledge and fancy sermons in the world could have never convinced him that the Book of Mormon was true. But when a humble man got up and bore his testimony without eloquence about it by the power of the holy he knew without a doubt that it was true and that is what this experience was. The spirit was so powerful and it was awesome.
This week in the zone conferences I also used a quote from you mom. I talked about how you always say that your goal was not to raise good children, but good adults. and I talked about how right now our mission is like Heavenly Fathers training ground for us to be good adults and to be able to serve Him in the way that He will need us for the rest of our lives. I also used part of the training that President gave about how there is a certain point in business where the quality of service that you give will be so good that the people you are serving become "apostles" and share about it with everyone. So I talked about how right now we are serving the Lord and we want our quality of service to be so good that when it comes to our judgement day that Jesus Christ will be there to be our "apostle" and tell the Father how great our service was for Him. It hit me pretty good.
Well I want to go get some sleep. Just email President about that travel stuff. I don't know if he will know for sure yet or not. Au lomani kemudou!!
Loloma, Elder Hawk