Tuesday was pretty chill too, caught the wrong bus into the wrong area for district meeting (the Toga bus does NOT go to Toga apparently, it goes to Navatuyaba. The LOKIA bus goes to Toga. Why? Life is full of unanswerable questions) and ended up having to boat across a river into the next area. District meeting was awesome, set some high (and reachable) goals for ourselves this transfer. Seems promising!
Monday was an awesome P-day, nice meeting all the new trainees in the zone! They all seem way onst and adjusting well to Fiji, Suva missionary life. One missionary, Elder Billings, recognized my last name and asked if my brother attended BYUH. He told me he skyped Herb in the MTC for TRC! Said Herb was wayy nice and chill, and wants so bad to reach the level of ease at which Herb pronounces his words correctly at lightning speed. But yeah! The zone seems way good. Elder Hariprasad and I decided that we'd switch off zones for P-days every week. Last week, we wrote and qito'd in Nausori South. Today, we're writing and qito'ing with the Nausori North missionaries in their zone.
NAMASTE hamar bahut bahut julum priwaar!MAN what a great and especially humbling week it has been. Recap of the week!
Wednesday was a way good work day, and my slap-in-the-face BE GRATEFUL day.
On a quick side note, yesterday in church the second counselor in Nausori ward (attended BYUH for a few years and moved back home after getting married just recently) asked me if I missed my family extra hard this week. I said... not especially, why?
... because of thanksgiving? You do something big for thanksgiving?
So for the last week, I actually forgot that thanksgiving was a holiday.
ANYWAYS, the work on Wednesday was awesome. Then night came. We had dinner with a family that lives in Kuku, a house to which I've been once. With Mong Yen. Like ten weeks ago. Only other time I've been in the area as well. I didn't know which bus went there or what time it left or even exactly how to get there, all I knew was that the number the family left on the dinner list was not working, it was 6:30pm and dinner was at 7pm. We get on a bus we know is going in the general direction of the area, and we turn before kuku. We get off the bus just in time for the kuku bus to come by, and we get on that one. About 20 minutes later, the bus reaches the end of its route and parks for the night. I realize we passed the house about ten minutes before. Elder Hariprasad and I leave the bus and walk back the way we came. As we walked, I complained about not having a truck in the area. We would have been able to freely go where we needed at as slow a pace as needed to be able to recognize the street post or driveway. When we got to the house, we found out that we were a day early. They signed up for the 24th, which I was positive it was. She showed me on the calendar that it was the 23rd. In unbelief, I checked my planner, and sure enough, it was the 23rd. I accidentally skipped Tuesday, and my Wednesday plans were being written on the Thursday page. A mistake easily made since my days are written in Hindi and sometimes I don't bother to read them to see what day it actually is. She insisted on feeding us anyway.
As I sat there, I was really upset. I've been out in Fiji three months. I'm leading an area I don't know. I don't know the families or their addresses or numbers. I don't know the language. I sat there really discouraged and feeling sorry for myself, when Elder Hariprasad flipped open his scriptures and pointed to the scripture we would share with the family after dinner. Dinner was awesome, but the lesson that followed was far more fulfilling than any meal we could have had that night. We shared a scripture in Ether about how the Lord shows us our weaknesses that we might rely on him and become strong. I also related one of my favorite scriptures in Mosiah 24 (always thought that was funny) that says that Heavenly father will lift our burdens when they become too heavy for us to bare ourselves, if we let him. When we rely on him and allow him to help us, we get stronger and become more capable to bare the burdens that world has for us. I related the advice from mom, about acknowledging heavenly father for every tiny good thing that happens to us throughout every day. The father of the house told us that he does the same thing, but to add to that, he does it when something bad happens. He was walking at work and kicked a 2x4 that had a nail sticking out. The nail went through the front of his big toe and stuck out the top of the back. He thanked God for the nail. Work is stressful often, he thanks God for the stress. It reminded me of a story I had a loong time ago, about two young girls in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. The young girl complained about everything from the brutality of the guards and the difficulty of the labors to the filthiness of their living quarters. The other being her older sister, however, exhorted for her young sister to thank the Lord unceasingly for the pains and burdens of the world, as they are graciously given from a loving father in heaven. They conducted regular (and very dangerous) bible studies in their barrack, and when their living quarters were infested with fleas, the young girl couldn't believe her older sister thanking heavenly father for the fleas. The older sister explained that she overheard the guards talking outside, and they refused to enter the barrack to check on the girls during their bible study because of the flea infestation.
No, I don't know the area or the families or their addresses or numbers. No, I'm not nearly fluent in either of the languages I proselyte in. Yes, we walk a lot and spend lots of time and money on buses and taxi rides due to a lack of personal transportation. However, I've been blessed with a strong body that can take the walking and the heat. I'm blessed with an incredible family that loves and supports me while I'm away in a different country, and my parents have been blessed with incredible jobs that they love AND allows them to be together every day. Yes, I've been living off personal for a while now, and I know how hard it would be to support both 'Io and I on our missions without these jobs. The Lord knows EVERY aspect of EVERYTHING, and blesses us according to our faith and reliance on him. I've been blessed with a gift to pick the language up quickly, and though my Hindi is still extremely limited I can and WILL pick it up. Heck, I've been blessed with a companion who happens to be fantastic with names and addresses and he helps me to remember things. I have more to be thankful for than I can even begin to think about. Thank yous SO much for your love, support, and prayers for 'Io and I.
BUT YEAH. That was my Wednesday, and it was an awesome Wednesday.
Thursday Friday Saturday were way good, more great families reached out to. Nothing super out of the ordinary. OH found out some sick news on Thursday though, I'll explain with the pics. Also ended up eating with the same family from Wednesday on Thursday night, insisted on feeding on the signed day as well. They're awesome!
SUNDAY, we ended up attending all three hours of Nausori ward. Elder Hariprasad also suggested that we switch off weeks for the wards. Yeserday was a Nausori day, next week we attend Waila only. But yeah, after Nausori ward we headed over to Waila for a lunch that was going on. We got there to discover that the lunch was a going-away party for three people! A senior couple that attends Waila ward, the Aldredges, die in two weeks. The third was Jeanette Maiwiriwiri! She heads out to Utah on Friday and will spend a week there before she enters the MTC. Man, who is that sister from Keaukaha ward that left on her mission last year and is serving in Japan? She wanted to know haha.
After the lunch, we had an awesome visit with a new investigator! It was the first visit we had with her, except running into her on the street every now and then and sharing a thing or two. On the first appointment, we extended the invitation to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized IF she prayed and received an answer from God that the things we taught were true. She accepted! We look forward to visiting her and teaching her more often, I see heaps of potential!
But yeah, that was our week! It's getting hotter, and heaps of members are telling us that the cloud patterns and weather changes every day are signs of an incoming cyclone. A bit scary BUT I've no doubt that whatever happens, everything will be okay.
Now to address the letters:
Glad everyone is still in AWESOME health and AWESOME spirits! Man, congratulations on the new position mom! What a huge blessing, both the Lord and the leadership there knows your capabilities and dedication to the work, I'm so happy for you! Also way happy that yous get to get together for lunch every day or so, what an enormous blessing! I imagine the work might get a little more difficult or stressful with this one-up, but I doubt I have to remind you that patience, diligence and dedication brings accomplishment because you taught me that.
I do remember Brother Brown, and though not very well, I am saddened by his passing. I do remember that he was way nice and way funny. One of those unkos that just make old people jokes, and while all the other old people are laughing the kids are laughing because it was so cheesy. I also remember that he did have a bit of a heart issue when they asked for our assistance, and though his passing is a sad thing, it's good to remember that he doesn't have to deal with those health complications anymore. I know he was a great man, and he's with Heavenly Father now. Please give my aloha to the Brown family when you can.
Please, I feel like nobody brings anyone to Grandma's house unless it's serious. If it's not, waste time. Grandma no care who your friend is, grandma like know who her new grandbebe going be.
Speaking of grandma, please give her another good long foot rub for me kerekere. As well as Aunty Roxie!
I forget about the babies, there are so many now. I forgot Kiana was hapai again! Thank you for telling me, know I'm praying for the baby's health.
Also know I pray long and hard for yous and Filipino Elder Ishibashi long and hard each and every day. I'll start sending the pictures now then head out to qito soon.
IN CLOSING, and something I just remembered: I want to extend to you, my incredible family whom I am incredibly grateful for, an invitation. It's an invitation that Elder Hariprasad extended to me, and I think it's really really good because It's something I seldom ever do to be honest. The invitation is this: Just say a thankful prayer. A long, heartfelt prayer where you just thank heavenly father for his many blessings and tender mercies. Don't ask for anything, just thank and express gratitude.
I love you all so much, and thank you for everything you've done for me throughout my life that I could be where I am today. Have a blessed week, I love yous!
Au lomani kemudou sara valevu!
Ham aaplogke bahut bahut pyaar karta hai!
P.S. I think 4pm would work well for me! I'll have to check with my companion to see what time would be convenient for his family in India as well. I'll let yous know asap!
-Our like ten year old boat guide
-Boat ride to district meeting
-Welcome to Nausori. This is every driveway. I'll come home with a six pack on my thighs.
-Look at this cutie we found in the bathroom!
-One thing I had to rudely learn as a Hindi elder: you actually absolutely do have to learn Fijian, even as a Hindi elder. We primarily teach people who prefer to be taught/are more effectively taught in Hindi, BUT we do regularly go on splits with the district leader in their areas. It's a bit awkward sitting through a 20-30 minute lesson of lightning vosa vakaviti and I'm sitting their like "Oh she said kete. That means stomach." Also, as I've explained before, effective Hindi elders will be called as zone leaders and chucked into the Fijian program, so It'd be a bit awkward to be a zone leader that doesn't speak Fijian. SO YEAH I've been paying heaps more attention during lessons while on exchanges with the Fijian elders.
-Look who's coming to Fiji!! I'd know that name anywhere, this HAS to be Hearii Lee Chip Sao's little brother or something. Please ask Herbert to confirm this with his first counselor for me! Please also tell him to tell Hearii that I look forward to training this young man in the Hindi program! Something's itching at me, I just feel it. Anyways, WAY stoked to meet him! Elder Lee Chip Sao was one of my favorite elders from back home, can't wait to meet this one!