Just a lame fyi, nobody actually says that. The "pure" Hindi (Hindi spoken in India) salutation is namaste, with goodbye being something else. Here, it's a little different! The Fiji-Hindi greeting is "hello", with goodbye being "goodbye".
Speaking of which, a thought occurred to me when I was first assigned to Hindi and trying to come up with the positive outcomes. The thought was: I could make bank speaking Hindi, maybe as a court translator or even in international travel or something. Pft, who even speaks Fijian? Fijians, and people that served in Fiji. Wayyy more people speak Hindi that Fijian, my language will prooobably be more useful than Herb's. THEN, God snuck another little thought into my head. That thought was: You're speaking Fiji-Hindi. That's a different language. So in reality, I think it's safe to say that sigNIFICANTLY more people speak Fijian than Fiji-Hindi, but that's okay! I'll have Joseph to speak our secret language with. Also Elder Green and Elder Mong Yen, who continues to be an incredible example and teacher for me. There are countless similarities between pure and Fiji Hindi, so heck, maybe I'll be able to pick up the pure form easily post-mission! Anyways, the language is cominnng little by little. I still haven't quite gotten around to using it around native-speakers without reading it, but the grammar and structure is starting to make more sense to me.
Alrighty, now for this last week! Spent my first full week in Fiji, and made three months out on Thursday! To start off, since I've already covered the language, the driving!
It's definitely coming along! Another companionship taught me how to hill start a few days ago, so that's helping a lot. I still have a tiny bit of trouble switching gears without a little kick, but the kick has definitely gotten smoother since Thursday! (The day I started. We ran out of kilometers due to the truck being used in transfers, and they're reset on the first of every month) The driving coordinators are taking our truck for a few days this week for maintenance, so we'll get some good walking in. Anyways, driving is getting a lot easier and I've adjusted pretty well to the left side. Just don't let me drive for a while when I get home.
Oh, Sister Alldredge told me that she spoke to mom about my DMV records when I saw her at church yesterday! It was then that she told me you folks were bunkering up for another hurricane, and my first initial thought was "what the hhheeeck?" Like come on! BUT I'm so glad you guys are completely safe and were so ready to help out the community, I have the best family beneath the heavens. The power of prayer is real!
Those pictures are sick, Lehia! Elder Mong Yen body boarded back home, and he used to go to Teahupo'o all the time just to watch the crazy people surf and wipe. He never tried it because it's wayyy too crazy to body board, but you'll make it there one day. Keep going at it!
Kala'i, you's a skux. How are the gains, still going hard? Well me too brah. I'll come back bigger. Better. Faster. Stronger than ever. Like one Indian rhino. Except instead of a horn it'll be a little dot. Remember the deal! You get $100 if you get 7k followers on your music account, and no cheating!
Penina, you just keep being you awesome girl. There's a little girl upstairs that reminds me so much of you, always singing from the Frozen soundtrack out loud and having to hold her head in place as she frantically tries to hug our legs. She makes me miss you so much! You give mom and dad a BIG big hug and kiss for me right now please!
Let me see, significant things that happened this week. Oh, speaking of Joseph! Apparently, he served in my area, and we met a family that he started teaching! The Singh family are members now and they're awesome. I love how supportive all these Indians are when they find out I'm trying to learn Hindi. Immediately they'll say something like Oh! Okay, kana kau kamutla (means) "eat food." Kana kau, eat food. And then they have me say it. They're all wayy nice and wayy funny.
Since we cover two areas, Nausori North and South, we cover two wards as well! The English wards in each area, I don't believe that have Hindi wards yet. Last week, we attended the Nausori English ward in the Nausori South zone. Yesterday, we attended the Waila English ward in the Nausori North zone. That's the Maiwiriwiri's ward! It's always so nice being around them, what an awesome family. It being fast and testimony meeting, I stole the opportunity to introduce myself to the ward and share a small testimony. That ward is awesome, such powerful things were shared in that meeting and the spirit was so strong.
Speaking of powerful things, I've learned some lately.
Last week in the Nausori ward YSA meeting, we discussed pride and humility. The teacher brought something up that I really liked, a little word of instruction. I don't know the original source, but the instruction was:
ALWAYS read the scriptures more times in the day than you look in the mirror.
This applied to me quite a bit at this time to be honest, because I've been losing a lot of weight and I check my progress pretty often. Spiritual progress is FAR more important that physical progress. God gave us these bodies, not to look good (though I know sometimes we can't help that), but as instruments to do his work. As important as it is to work out our bodies, we must actively and constantly work out our minds and spirits as well.
Another powerful thing came to me this morning during my personal studies. I read a story from the Ensign of a woman who outgrew her YSA ward, and thus was encouraged to attend her home ward. She felt uncomfortable and out of place at first, being the only single woman in a ward full of families young and old. After several weeks, she thought about her feelings and what SHE could do to feel more involved and not so isolated from the ward, instead of waiting for people to reach out to her. She started to sit with people, instead of in the back by herself. She started to look for people that might need help or a friend. She started offering her services to the parents with teaching callings and kids who wouldn't leave them.
Her mentality changed from "What can I get today?" to "What can I give today?"
This is an excellent mentality to have in any situation. It reminds me of Elder Bednar's talk about Christlike love. (It's an incredible talk, if you haven't seen it, DO. It's called the Character of Christ, and it's a tear-jerker) He talks about how Christ NEVER turned inward in situations that the natural man would. When the natural would think "you aught to feel sorry for me, you owe me this," Jesus Christ only ever turned outward. When the Roman soldiers came to Gethsemane to take Jesus and Simon-Peter cut the ear off of one of them, Jesus healed the soldier's ear. When Jesus was being spat at and mocked on the cross, He asked Heavenly Father to forgive them for their unbelief. In order to be like Christ, we need that love to turn outward and seek always to give rather than to receive.
In priesthood yesterday, the bishop asked me to share a spiritual thought. The thought I shared was one of mom's, and I was reminded of its importance and significance as I shared it. I started it with my favorite scripture (of course), which says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path."
At times when we're discouraged, when nothing seems to be going right, mom instructed me to try something she did. Thank Heavenly Father for every single little thing that happens throughout your day. If you find a quarter on the floor, thank Him. If you pass an exam, thank Him. If there's JUST enough milk left for a bowl of cereal, thank Him. When you acknowledge him for the small things in life, you begin to see His hand in your life more often. You begin to see his tender mercies, big or small. Through small, and as you'll see, frequent, tender mercies, you see how much the Lord loves you and that He's always there.
EVERYTHING good comes from God, and ONLY good comes from God.
Also, remember that the Lord doesn't put anything in our lives that he knows we can't overcome. This idea has made everything that's happened SO easy. He wouldn't change my language if He knew it would overwhelm me. He wouldn't have me drive if He knew I couldn't learn. He wouldn't do anything he knows I can't.
So long as we remain obedient and faithful to Christ's gospel and our families, and always strive to see His hand in our lives, we will be blessed with guidance and a knowledge of where to go and what to do.
Hum aapaan gawahi maangta share kare, hum janta hai ki ee gospel sachay hai. Hum janta hai ki ee church sachay hai. Hum janta hai ki Bhagwaan aur Ishu Masih ulog rahe, aur uulog humlog se pyaar kare hai. Hum ee gospel bahut pyaar, aur hum aaplog bahut bahut pyaar.
I know that I'm here in the right place at the right time with the right people. I know that all the incredible things that have been happening in our family is a result of your undying faith and your efforts in physical, family and spiritual growth. I love you guys so so sooo much, I'm so glad you folks were missed by the hurricanes and that you're all okay and healthy! Know the same for me. Only one picture this week, sorry, but maybe next week! Alright, since we were late to get on due to a power outage earlier, we have a lot more to get done before QITOOOOOO so I'll finish off now.
Again, I love you guys so much, have an awesome week!
Again, I love you guys so much, have an awesome week!
Hum aaplog bahut pyaar, moce!
(Oh man, I have to find out how to translate that into Hindi and order a Hindi name badge)