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


Makogai Island


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!

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
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