Email 23 June 2013

Bula re! (more dialect…)

Haha! That is great! Elder Johnson mentioned that he use to get his hair cut there! But yep! That is the right Elder! Sharing the truck! I actually just finished an exchange with Elder Johnson. We went and visited one of the far off area’s in there area where there is a small unit, called Bua. The farthest west end of the Vanua Levu island. Pretty long drive… But it was great! If you have ever pictured the Fiji mission as contacting in jungles, this was it! We crossed rivers, hiked muddy trails through jungles, and visited a group of 3 homes where there is a unit! We stayed the night in a members home, bathed in the river, ate way tasty, but risky food (fresh prawns, way different tasting than shrimp back home). We gave sacrament talks on our knees. It was pretty much the bomb. The blessings of the priesthood are reaching even to the farthest corners of the jungles!

So that is one cool part about being district leader! I get to do exchanges to help and train other missionaries in the district. I collect the number reports for the areas. I direct and train in district meetings. I am also responsible for all baptismal candidates in the district and I conduct their interviews and make sure they are ready to make the covenant! It is pretty fun, yet pretty tough and trying too. Correcting people is the worst, and I have to do it a bit up here. Gotta love them all, and try not to make them hate me, but help them up! It definitely has been a humbling experience, but I am grateful for it! All together, things seem to be progressing here bit by bit! Plus, I got to fly back into Suva for a couple days for a training! It was way cool and very helpful.

It is tough because we do cover a really large area, but we are focused in Naduna and the area closer to Labasa. The tough thing in our area right now is that we don’t have a lot of investigators right now, and the ones we do we can only meet once a week if even that… So I haven’t even had much of an opportunity to develop any relationship with them. Plus, I have only been able to attend the Naduna branch once so far. We are going to try to focus a lot more on that branch though and hopefully just that area. It is a pretty far spread area and home are far apart. You’d never find the church building if you didn’t know where it was already (I’ll try to get a picture of it soon). All of our current investigators though are attending the Labasa branch however.

We are working mostly with a couple of people. One couple, Vishal and Esta (Indian), love and believe the message! They are great! But he works a ton to support his family as a security guard and is struggling to get Sundays off. Esta has come once, but only because we walked her there. She needs someone to walk with. (it is about an hour walk).

We are also working with a couple named Sowani and Seru whom I’ve mentioned. They are doing well. But he is the choirmaster for his Methodist church and does not want to leave it. We have been direct and bold and he accepts that he need to leave the Methodist church to be baptized, but they are now just praying to know if it is right! We’ll see… It has been awhile since we have seen them.

We also have one less active family we are trying to help. Brother Chetty! Way cool family and way nice man! They are really smart too. They just have a little grudge somewhere that pulled them away. We are working on using the son to do missionary work and get him pointed to serving.

I’m not sure on the membership in the Naduna branch. It is pretty small and attendance is pretty small too. But Labasa is really big! Big enough to be a ward, but there is not yet a stake in Vanua Levu. It is all just a large district. Not sure what is preventing it from becoming a stake yet, but I guess it just needs to continue to grow and strengthen!

Yay for Riley! I’m excited to see the pictures! Did you attend or view the broadcast today? We just came from watching it on the chapel computer. Way cool! The Lord is hastening his work! This really is an incredible time to be serving! The mission force is growing way fast! Areas keep splitting or opening, more missionaries coming in, age change, it is intense! I’m so thrilled to be serving at this time!

I love you all! Thanks for the support! Mostly from you mother, but also from everyone else, friends, family, ward, etc, who has contributed and helped me to be able to be here! I love the work! I love the Gospel!

Dou moce mada! 🙂
~Elder Hancock
 District Leader Training - June 2013 DSC04726 DSC04734 DSC04745 DSC04748 DSCN3598
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