It's definitely been a very, very interesting week for the Nausori-Hindi companionship
Monday was good, we all (Elder Mong Yen, the Navatuyaba Elders, and myself) got sick haircuts after emailing. Qito was wayy fun that day, I'm developing a great passion for rugby and I think I'm getting pretty okay at it. Elder Mong Yen's steps are way good, he's super fast and agile on the field. He even reminds me of 'Io in his fake-outs and how he sticks his tongue out when he runs. We ended up spending that night at the Navatuyaba flat and having dinner with the family that owns the flat. (former bishop of the Navatuyaba ward) I loove that family. Way humble and way funny. It's funny being in the Navatuyaba flat and thinking that Elder Reuben was in that same room 2-3 years ago. Yes, he stayed in that flat when he served in this area! Pretty cool thought.
Tuesday morning, oh boy. I feel like I have to apologize to mom, for taking advantage of the lack of responsibility in the flat and breaking the word of wisdom in a sense. Pictures are attached and explained.
AFTER that event in which we failed for a hour to care about what we put into our bodies, we had a great and uplifting district meeting. Our District leader, Elder Kanogata'a, had some Elders share insights using their favorite object lesson, and I was chosen amongst them! I wanted to do the one where you slam a can on top of your hand and it doesn't hurt (in case you don't know it, I'll explain later), but I forgot to bring a can, so I ended up doing the quarter in the dish one (I'll explain this one later as well, but it's wayyy cool) just using materials I found in the chapel kitchen. All the insights were great, and Elder Carlson gave a wonderful training on the importance of heeding to spiritual promptings in dangerous situations. Overall, great meeting!
Wednesday was good I think, I don't remember much of it.
THURSDAY. I'll begin by pulling this entry directly out of my journal:
I leave my trainer for three hours...
The sun is setting. Smells of rotti and cow poop linger in a still, quiet breeze.
Chickens are clucking. Children are screaming. I'm on a boat.
What island is this?
The water is black. The driver is gone. My companion is white.
I cannot begin to explain this, but I will do the best I can.
So Elder Mong Yen and I went on splits on Thursday, Elder Mong Yen with the district leader, and I with Elder Hamon. (a white guy from Australia) I had one job, comprising of different things: Visit families. The visiting part went okay, I was able to commit one of our investigators to baptism! Their date is set for October 15, so it was a awesome visit. The trouble started when we got on the bus to Nasila, where our dinner appointment was. Now, I had never met Sister Karikaritu, and I have only been to Nasila once to drop our WML off at home. What I knew: Karikaritu's house, 7pm. It was 6:30pm. When the bus route ended at a dock, I was confused because that wasn't where Brother Rokendali lived. I asked the lady in front of me if she knew the Karikaritus, and she said "Yes! My village! Mai, in this boat!" So I figured, huh, maybe we just took a bridge I didn't notice before. I get on the boat, and after about a two minute ride she says, pointing to a large man sitting in a chair on the shore smoking a cigarette "Ekea (there)! That is Karikaritu!" We get off the board, meet this man, and he, not speaking a lick of English, said that his LDS family lived on the other side of the river (from whence we JUST came) we were able to catch the boat driver on his way back to the dock, and he picked us up. About a minute later, he said "Isa! Cold eh? One minute!" He pulls the boat over to the side, jumps out, and runs into the koro.
So yeah. There I am, in a boat with a white guy, no driver, no clue where I am, children playing with chickens in the distance, someone making dinner somewhere and some cow making doodoo somewhere. The driver came back about ten minutes later wearing a beanie and a hoodie and with a bag of potato chips. By the time we reach the dock again, we decide it's too late to try looking for the Karikaritu's house and we take the next bus back to town. We tried calling to cancel dinner, but nobody answered. That night, Sister Karikaritu called us, and was very disappointed. "I made all this food! For all four of you, and no one come!"
Yes, all four of us. Apparently, and without our knowledge, the North zone leaders were supposed to join her for dinner as well but did not inform her that they were off island that day. She was very understanding of our situation, and we promised to make it for dinner this Friday night. Suuuch a sweet lady, we finally officially met her in church yesterday haha. ANYWAYS, so that was Thursday. Bahut bahut confusing, but fun.
The days following were great, lots of awesome appointments with awesome families. On Saturday, Elder Mong Yen and I received three calls, cancelling three appointments, leaving three hours open before dinner. As we were out finding, we passed a group of young kids playing touch. One of our recent converts were amongst them, so we decided to join in on the qito for a while. We played a few tries, then invited Ritesh (our recent convert) to sit on the sidelines with us for a minute for a quick lesson on the Plan of Salvation. When we sat and Elder Mong Yen pulled the Plan of Salvation things out, all the kids stopped what they were doing, came over and sit with Ritesh in front of us. Since it would have been difficult to teach a group of about ten (mostly methodist) kids between the ages of 10-14 the Plan of Salvation, we decided to just do some HTBT where we introduced ourselves and had everyone else introduce themselves. We played a little game called Bani bani and related it to paying attention to spiritual promptings. Everyone seemed to enjoy the activity and understand the message, it was awesome! I love these kids saraga. Elder Mong Yen and I like to joke that we got ten new investigators that day, but we actually did hopefully plant some seeds!
Running out of time, the sabbath yesterday was awesome! We had a missionary fireside, in which Elder Mong Yen and I covered a workshop about the importance of home and visiting teaching. It had an awesome turnout!
We actually have plans, in the next seven weeks, to bring enough Indians to church to start a Hindi branch in Nausori. There are no Hindi speaking units, branches, or wards in Fiji at this time, and I feel sorry for the Indians that come to church and are either weak in English or don't know it at all, and thus can't contribute to classes. Those people are awesome, to come despite not understanding a word being said, but to feel the spirit.
Finally, WE GOT OUR TRUCK THIS MORNING! MORE APPOINTMENTS, MORE GROUND TO COVER! I'm soooo happy, we can finally reach out to everyone it's been difficult to see for the past three weeks. Elder Mong Yen keeps saying "This is our week! We're going to smash it!" in his heavy Tahitian accent. I love him, he's the man. Anyways, everyone seems to be done writing so I'll finish off.
Thank you guys so much for the letters and pictures!
AHRE, LEHIA AND MIKEL. That's one massive puhi!!! That's way scary, holy smokes! Did you eat it?? The thing is so big, save some for me.
I'm so glad you're all doing great and progressing in all your ways!
SO PROUD OF HERB! YOU GO, MAN!
Kemuni a ciqoma e dua na ka special from au mai na nomu home away from home na tuakaqu wananavu sara, I promise. AU SA MARAU SARAGA ENA VUKU NI NA NOMU VAKAWATI! BAHUT ACHAA HAI!
The babies are getting so big! Jeremias gets more skux every picture I get, ahre larkaan!
Alright I have to send pictures and go. I love you guys so much, thank you so much for everything you've all done for me to get me to this point in my life. I pray for you folks every day, and I'm overjoyed to know that my prayers are being answered!
Know I am well and in good health, my companion and I are working hard and are seeing great blessings from this gospel and from our awesome families! I love you guys so much, until next week!
Get a food can with ridges (MAKE SURE IT HAS RIDGES), like beans or tomato sauce or something. Place two or three fingers on a hard surface. You can slam the can SIDEWAYS onto your fingers, and it won't hurt. The ridges allow for the can to "wrap" around your fingers as the top and bottom of the can hit the hard surface. It will look and sound painful, but it won't be. I like to relate it to testing faith. Try it, freak out your friends!
Coin in the dish:
Put a coin in a dish, and fill the dish with JUST enough water to just barely the face of the coin. Ask someone to get the coin out without touching the dish or getting their fingers wet. When they figure out that they can't, tape a match (sticking upward) to another coin, and place the coin in the center of the dish. Use another match to light that match, and immediately place a clear drinking glass over the lit match. Not sure exactly how, but the water will be sucked into the cup, leaving the coin on a dry dish. That trick had my district mates sprinkling water at me and shouting rebukes.