Well, this week was every bit as crazy and more than we thought that it would be haha it all worked out though. These next 2 weeks are not going to really slow down at all though. This week we have zone conference tomorrow and Thursday, and tomorrow we also just found out like yesterday that they are sending us 3 missionaries from New Zealand MTC. Two of them are Fijians that are coming to wait for their visas and the other one is a missionary that was serving in NZ but he got transferred to a different mission and he has to come and wait here until he can get the visa for his new mission. So there will be a little transfer with that, then we have zone leaders council on Friday, and then on Monday we are getting an intake of 16 missionaries. haha We are getting our first two 18 year olds. Pretty exciting! Did you hear that there was 58 new missions announced that will be opening in July?! That means there will be 405 missions in the world! That is insane haha I am so stoked for Rand to get his papers in.
Well this week both of the zone conferences that we did were so awesome. Our whole balance thing worked out great. Everyone thought that it was really cool. The coolest part though was being able to give people those papers where we had written something personal to each of them about what kind of potential we see in them and what Christ-like attribute and stuff like that. The spirit was really strong for all of it. I didn't cry at all for the first like year of my mission but lately I like always cry at the end of our trainings when I am bearing my testimony haha maybe just because I am more receptive to the spirit now. But in Labasa during the whole meeting I just kept feeling this great sense of love for all of the missionaries there and I just got thinking about how I really had no idea what it was like to feel that kind of love for people before my mission. So at the end I was bearing my testimony and I just started talking about that and I said that I didn't know what love was before my mission and how I am so thankful to have come to a country where there is so much love and I have really learned what real love is and I feel it so much for everyone here and for all of the missionaries. It was a good feeling. Life is awesome. Another cool thing that happened at zone conference was that we had the area doctor with us, his name is Elder Anderson, he is from St. George, but he is the MAN haha he is hilarious. But his wife said a way cool quote. I don't know exactly how it goes but it was by Russel M. Nelson and it talks about how in the pre-mortal life we all knew where we would serve our missions and we promised that we would be there and that is why the places we are now is exactly where we are called to be and really we are "at our post". It was a way good quote. I will have to see if I can find the actually one and send it because it was way good.
Well this week me and Elder Stock also got asked to be the guest speakers for the devotional at the LDS primary school here. So we went and first we spoke to the Kindergarten-Class 3 and then Class 4-Class6. It was sooo much fun. Those kids are awesome. We just talked about being missionaries and how awesome it is and pumped them all up to go and serve missions. The coolest thing was at the end of the one with the youngest kids they sang "I love to see the Temple" and they were just singing it sooo loud and the spirit was way strong and I could just see all of these little kids growing up and making the church so strong in Fiji and going to the temple. It was pretty cool. Then after all the kids were just going crazy and gathered around us like we were celebrities. It was way fun. The kids here are the best thing ever.
I got a letter from Fishy this week haha I was pretty excited. Quynn emailed me too and told me that he sent me a letter and so did Wesley so hopefully I actually get those sometime within the next 4 months haha Well I love you guys. You guys are awesome. I am so proud of you guys for not being ashamed of the gospel and who we are. You guys are all great examples. Au lomani kemudou sara valevu!!
Well we thought that this week would be a pretty free week but we ended up being in the office probably more than I have been at any other time... which was a pretty big bummer, but we got a lot of stuff done so it was good. This week starts another few weeks of craziness. Tomorrow morning we are flying over to Labasa and we will have the first zone conference there, we will be there for most of Wednesday too so President can do his interviews with everyone and then we will fly back here to Suva on Wednesday evening, sleep here and then wake up and fly over to Nadi and do the 2nd zone conference there and all the interviews and stuff and then we will fly back here on Friday. Then next week we will have another 2 zone conferences here at the mission home for Suva and for Nausori. Then Zone leaders council the day after the zone conference, and then a intake of 16 a couple days after that..... awesome... haha it is going to be crazy but it will be awesome. It is fun to be busy and it will be good to get to be around all of the missionaries.
One of the things that we are doing for our training is about "the balanced effort". We are going to be starting off talking about what is the balanced effort in missionary work and how doing the balanced effort will bring us the best results, but also talking about what more we can do on top of that and taking "the next step" in always recognizing and following the promptings of the spirit. So we had the idea to do a visual thing where we actually have a balance and we put the stuff on there and see what happens. So this week we were running around all over the place trying to find anywhere that we could get a balance. We spent probably 45 minutes at the FNU nursing school one day talking to tons of different teachers and asking if they had a balance or knew where we could get one. Finally we concluded that we were just going to have to take matters into our own hands and make one ourselves. So we went to Vinod Patel (the wanna be Indian version home depot of Fiji) and bought a plunger, pvc pipe, fishing line, curry dishes, and a bolt and went back to the office. We found some tools and went to work (Elder Hogge had just gotten some complimentary hats from Courts and so we figured we would go official and wear the hats while we worked as you can see in the pictures haha) But the finished product is pretty amazing... we even found some gold spray paint and painted it gold. We are super stoked to use it in our training. It should be a good attention getter right after lunch haha. We also are doing this way cool thing where we have made these papers that people are supposed to respond to the questions, "who are you?" "What are you to the Lord, and what does he see in you?" and "What more can you do?" We also have a spot on there where me and Elder Stock have written a paragraph to each individual missionary and talked about some of the potential and good things that we see in them. It has been a ton of work and will still have a ton more to do but we think that it will be pretty awesome. I got the idea from some of the things that Elder Hamula shared with us when he was here for mission tour. He talked about really figuring out who we truly are, who we truly want to be or what our potential is, and then what more we can do to be that person. I am way stoked for it. I know that it has been good for me to think alot about it too as we have been preparing for it. I have a lot of things that I can do better with.
Well as far as our investigators go we are getting a lot of progress. Luke is still doing awesome. He is just facing a problem with his dad because his did is a talatala (minister) of another church and Luke hasn't really talked to him yet about coming to the LDS church or wanting to be baptized and stuff so hopefully his dad will soften his heart and Luke will feel like he can tell him about it because that is really the only thing holding him back right now. We are also teaching a guy named Koli. His wife and two sons were baptized last year by the sisters. He is progressing a ton too. It is fun to teach him because he really understands things fast. We asked him about Joseph Smith and he already knew a ton of things about him and said how he love the LDS church because he says we are the only church that lives what we preach and actually follows the example of Jesus Christ. That is why we really have to be careful of what we do and really be good examples of living the gospel because people will notice and it will either have a great impact on them for good, or could have a big negative impact on them as well. I think that it is way awesome that you guys have had all of those missionary experiences lately and even been able to specifically teach some of the lessons to your friends. There is nothing better in my mind that you could do better to serve a mission than to start now to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ and to share it with others. Keep it up!
Well sorry this is a little bit of a short email. I am going to try to send you guys some stuff soon. Nothing big at all, so don't get too excited haha Au lomani kemudou!!!
What a week it has been! Crazy... It is insane how much we do in one week and then I sit here to email and the time has gone by SOO fast for the week but when I think about specific things that happened in the week it seems like they were forever ago because so much stuff happens in between haha There was a big huge earthquake near the Solomon Islands this week and we had a tsunami warning here in Fiji, so we were frantically calling all the ZLs and telling them to tell everyone to stay away from the water, and all of Suva town was getting evacuated because it is right on the water and then.... nothing happened at all. haha pretty funny. That is way exciting about the boys! I know they may not have done as well as they wanted to but that is a huge accomplishment to even get those places. I am glad that they both have a good head on their shoulders and realize that there is more to life than things like that. It is still always fun to win, but it for sure isn't everything. The real win that we went is to win in life and become what the Lord wants us to, and they are winning in that, so keep that up!! I sent Justin a letter and this really good talk called "The Fourth Missionary" I think I will send a copy to the boys too. It is way awesome.
So this week was pretty crazy as expected. I knew that it was going to be pretty hectic because it was pretty hectic just looking at the plan, and we always know there is going to be a ton of other stuff that happens, we call those things mayhem haha we actually plan in 'mayhem' everyday haha pretty awesome. Dealing with some of this stuff has been dragging President down a bit, us too. It is hard to see people that don't get it. They don't get how great of an opportunity this is and they don't get how blessed we are, they just waste it. Way sad. It is hard for me and Elder Stock to even understand sometimes because we LOVE our mission so much. But everyone is different.
Well we had some pretty cool experiences this week. I don't really feel like writing a huge email this week but we will see what happens. haha So last Monday we had to pick up the Elders from Kadavu (another island) because they were coming in for one of the leadership trainings. After we picked them up from the bus stand we asked them if they wanted to get something to eat and they jumped on the opportunity to go to McDonald's because they just came off of an island that doesn't have really anything ha so we went to McDonald's, which is pretty rare for us even though we serve in Suva, and we were in the drive through and me and Elder Stock were just talking to the Indian lady working there and being are usual happy exciting selves haha and she all of a sudden said, "I want to join your church, what do I need to do to join it? I have been a Christian for a long time but I have never been baptized and I really want to." It kind of caught us off guard but we got her information and it ends up that she lives right up here by us. She said, "o yeah I just live in walking distance of the chapel so I will come to church" So we called her up on Sunday morning and she said that she really wanted to come to church but that she had to go to the west because her parents live there and were super sick. She asked us to pray for them and said she will be here this week. It was just yet again a great reminder that a lot of times as long as we always have the mindset and the faith that the Lord will lead us to where His prepared people are, and if we are doing what we need to do to be the examples of the happiness and blessings that the gospel brings, then those people will notice and feel it. So always be happy examples of the gospel because you never know who is paying attention and searching!!
Well this week we gave 2 more of the leadership trainings. The one on Tuesday was the best one out of all of them. Just the spirit that was there was awesome, and it was the best training that we gave too. I received some sweet ideas while we were sitting there listening to the other trainings and so did Elder Stock, and they made our training way better. Dad, you will like this one. So our training was about planning and the zone leaders training was about setting inspired goals and so while the zone leaders were giving their training I was thinking about how goals and planning really have to work together at the same to for us to be able to come up with the best result. And Wilsonart glue popped into my head... haha I cant remember what the glue is called but it is the glue for solid surface that has those crazy nozzle things that has the zigzag pattern inside of it that mixes the 2 different substances together and when it comes out in the end it makes the strong glue. So I explained that and attempted to draw a picture of it on the board and compare it to how we have to do our planning and our goals together to help us to come out with the best result and push us to do the best that we can do. I thought that it was pretty sweet haha but that is probably just because it made more sense to me because I have seen the actually thing a million times. So thanks for having me work in the warehouse so that I could get that idea!! haha After the training that day Elder Trent, one of those Elders on Kadavu was thanking me and Elder Stock for our training and he said "you two just make missionary work seem so exciting and fun". It felt good to hear that because I know that that is one of the reasons that President put Elder Stock and I together, so that we could pass on our excitement and fun hard working attitude, so we have to make sure that we keep that up because people notice!
This week as well the Muirs (the senior couple from Savusavu) are finishing their mission. It is going to be a huge blow to the mission. They did SOO much. Elder Muir is the one that served his mission here 50 years ago and can speak Fijian. They are awesome. But this week we went to the temple with them and the whole session was in Fijian like over the speakers. We have gone through the session quite a few times in Fijian but we always have to wear a headset and talk in English but this time it was all in Fijian. Even the veil, we went through in Fijian. So that was WAY awesome. Hopefully we will get to do that a few more times before we have to go home.
Well the work here is going awesome. We have so many people that we can teach. Luke is doing awesome. He is the man. I really wish we had more time to see everyone we want to but it is all good. This week should be a good week of teaching for us. But then we go on our zone conference tour so the next 2 weeks after that will be crazy, lots of traveling. And then the first week in March there is a big intake of 15 coming. Really exciting. Well I love you all! Au lomani kemudou!!
Well... this has been one of the craziest weeks ever. It has been good though. This whole month is going to be pretty insane. We gave 2 trainings this week in the North and in the West. And we will be giving 2 more this week here in Suva and Nausori. And then we have a one week break from giving trainings and then we start the zone conference tour so that is 4 more trainings in all of the zones haha it is fun though. It is cool doing trainings with Elder Stock because we teach really well together and we come up with good ideas.
On Wednesday we woke up early, like 5:00, and came into the office to put the programs and stuff for the trainings together before we had to leave to get to the airport because we hadn't had anytime to do that yet. So while we were there other stuff just kept coming up that we had to do, like usual ha, so we ended up grabbing President and Sister Klingler and barely making it to the airport in time to get onto our flight. PHEW! that would have been bad.. ha so we got onto that flight and then flew up to Labasa, went to the chapel, had our leadership training with the leaders in that zone from 9-3 (it was a way good meeting) and then made it back to the airport there by 5 to get on our next flight at 6 to fly back to Suva. We flew back to Suva, got off of that plane, got onto another plane, and flew over to Nadi. We got there at about 7:30. We went to the hotel that President and Sister Klingler were going to be staying at. We were walking with them to their room and President was pushing 2 of their bags and there was a rain grate type of thing in the walkway and when the bags hit that it made them tumble, which then made him tumble and land hard on the concrete walkway. It was scary. We scrambled over to him and helped him up. He had a knot on his forehead, his glasses were completely scratched and we were thinking that he probably broke his wrist. It was scary. It is pretty scary watching a man that we love and care about so much take a spill like that. So we helped them to the room and President Klingler was already making jokes about it. He is the man!! He was beat up pretty good and had been dealing with a whole lot of hard stuff the whole week and then this but he was still in good spirits. Way awesome. Then we got to eat dinner with them at the hotel, which is always an awesome experience. Cajun chicken burger from a nice fancy resort kitchen has got corn beef and noodles beat in my book... haha Then that night we went and stayed with a bunch of the Elders that were in for the training in the Nadi Elders flat. Then woke up the next morning and had the training meeting all over again but with the leaders in the west. Our training was about planning. At the end we were focusing on planning and including the Lord in the planning to be able to bring about His will in all things. I had found this scripture in Ephesians 6:5-6 that talks about not being "menpleasers" or trying to do "eyeservice" but doing the will of God from the heart. Way awesome scripture. That is what life is all about, and something that I didn't have a very well understanding of before. It's all about doing the will of God in all things, from your heart, with real intent. Then President gave a way awesome training where he read some entries from his journal about when he was getting called to be a mission President. It was really emotional during his training. You could really feel of his love for all of us, and that the love he has for us started way before he even knew us, it started the minute he found out that he would be a mission president, and that he would be a mission president in Fiji. A really cool part though was when he was talking about how when he was on the video conference with Henry B. Eyring and President told us about that experience "I did not want to do anything else other than exactly what this apostle and Prophet of God wanted me to do". I really felt such a strong desire in the same way that I do not want to do anything else other than exactly what President Klingler wants me to do and I can have a sure knowledge that it is exactly what the Lord wants me to do because it just follows the proper line through the prophets and apostles. Way good feeling. Then that night we got on another flight and flew back to Suva and took President to the hospital here. He got x-rays and luckily his wrist wasn't broken. Just lots of soft tissue damage. It is pretty bruised up.
Then Saturday Saki got baptized! It was great. It was been such a miracle to have seen the change in him from the first time that me and Elder Estill taught him. It is cool because it has been a different transformation than I have seen at any other time in my mission. I have seen lots of transformations from bad to good and things like that but this was just a literal transformation from someone who was already so good and pure but just had his mind completely opened and the spirit teaching him in the way that he could understand and remember. Awesome experience.
On Sunday I confirmed Saki in sacrament meeting. I love being able to do those kind of priesthood ordinances in Fijian. But the best part about Sunday was that I was fasting, and I was fasting that I could be more humble and submit myself more to the will of the Lord and kind of just have help being stripped of some of my pride because I have been feeling too prideful lately, and that night we ate dinner with the Klinglers (we had probably my favorite meal of my mission so far, this amazing chicken pot pie and biscuits and homemade raspberry jam... enough said) but after dinner we were sharing a spiritual thought with them and Elder Stock started and he shared Ether 12:27 about being humble and talked about how he too had been fasting to have help being more humble and then I thought of a scripture that I just put on the cover of the program for one of the leadership trainings and it is Words of Mormon 1:7 and it talks about how we don't know all things but the Lord does and "He worketh in me to do according to His will" but that can only happen if we are humble enough to accept it and do it. And I just talked about how I too want that in my life. Then I started just talking about how that first week that I came here to Samabula to be the AP that intake was going home and we were at their departing testimony meeting and how amazingly humbling it was to be there in the presence of all of these amazing people and missionaries that I had looked up to my whole mission and then to just feel the humbling weight of the responsibility that I had just been given. All of those same humbling feelings came rushing back and I started to cry because it felt so good to feel that humility and that is the way that the Lord answered my prayer and fasting. I know it is something that I will always need to work on and improve on, but it felt good to have another good experience like that to get me on track.
Well I am starving and we have been running around like crazy trying to help all of the missionaries coming in here for P-day and stuff but I love you guys so much! Keep up the good work in sharing your testimonies! There is nothing better! And kick some butt next week at State!! I will be excited to hear about it next week! Au lomani kemudou!!!