Email 27 Jan 2013

Ni sa bula vinaka

 So yes! A lot has happened this week! The new intake was delayed, so only some people transferred on time. The rest of the transfers came in on Wednesday and I have left Suva! The first few nights after the new intake came, some stayed with us at our flat in Suva. Elder Schofield was one of them! So I got a picture with him! I would email it, but my camera cord seems to be missing. I’m hoping it is buried in bag somewhere, and not left in Suva. If so, it will be awhile before I get it back. But anyway, I have moved to the north end of Viti Levu (the big island). I’m in a village called Rakiraki. HUGE change from Suva. I went from and English Ward in the biggest city to a small Fijian branch in a village. The flat we are in is rented by the church, and church meetings are held in the upstairs! I also went from two American companions to a Fijian companion who barely speaks any English! I was praying that I might be a little more compelled to learn Fijian, and now my prayer has been answered WAY more than I anticipated! haha, it is a bit tough and stressful, but it is what I needed. Elder Vagarau is a good elder and is helping me learn a lot. I feel like I have had more practice with Fijian in the last 32 hours than I have had my whole time in Suva! I can already see how much it is helping! It give me a bit more hope in being able to learn this language! I think the hardest thing is when you are sitting in a lesson and have no idea what is being said! Then sometimes they turn to you and it is your turn to talk and you have no idea what is even being spoken about! haha, but hopefully I’ll be able to understand people soon!
Leaving Suva really kinda stunk though. I loved the ward and the people there. But it is time to go! I am told the worst part of missions is how often you say goodbye.
We had a few new investigators before I left and we even set a baptism date with one of our best investigators in Suva! I was way excited to see the work really open up there, especially among the ward members. Suva 3rd will be growing a bunch this year! Here in Rakiraki, work moves a bit slower. However, I was lucky to come to Rakiraki the same day as a baptism! Because there is no font here, we had to go to a nearby river. We rode there in a carrier truck. Pretty great! Then Sunday was full of firsts. First time in a branch, first time participating in the sacrament on the mission, first time blessing the sacrament in Fijian! Because the church is so small here, we have to do a bit to help run the meetings. However, it is way better than before!
I am actually following in the footsteps of my trainer! His second area was Rakiraki. However, when he was here, they had to teach all of the classes, run sacrament and literally do everything. Now, they at least seem to be able to take care of their branch well enough. We just need to help it to grow so they can get more priesthood holders and leaders! We even set a baptism date for an investigator yesterday named Isireli. He seems to be doing well! At least from what I could understand in the lesson 😛
Anywho, other details, the area is really big! Tons of ground, so we ride bikes or buses. Some places we teach in we have to pack and stay overnight to have any time to teach there! But the Rakiraki village is the focus. The flat we are in is pretty nice! it is big, but no hot water, so we only get cold showers! I’ll try to get some pictures, I just hope to find my cord.
Now that I am far from the mission office, I wont get packages until the zone leaders are able to go to Suva and pick them up, and then they can get them to us. Typically  it is several weeks between those visits. That is the same with mail as well I think.
Anyway, that is all that I can think of at the moment. Ko i au lomani iko kei kemudou kece vakalevu! Thank you for your prayers. Please keep me in them so I can learn Fijian and understand the people here! Moce mada

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