Email 13 Oct 2013

Bula Vinaka!

Haha, oh conference! Yes! We did get to see it! And it was a nightmare and a half getting it to work! I’ll try and keep the story short, but lets just say that someone (satan) did not want this conference to be shown. So it was first of all a miracle that the dvds with conference even got to us on this island. They were sent on a plane and then the airport had locked them up in a storage warehouse when the senior couples went to get them. But by divine intervention, there was a man at the airport (despite it being a holiday) who knew the guy that could get them to that warehouse. They called him and were able to get the DVDs. Then the Saturday sessions all worked well. But came along, and there was no power! So us, and the senior couples on the other side of the Island all knelt in prayer and then started making calls! We managed to find a generator to use! So we get things all set up and we get the generator running, and we push play and the choir starts singing, then the generator died! So Brother Bull took it back to the owner, and they quickly replaced the spark plug and brought it back. about 20 min later, we managed to get it playing again! Then about 20 minutes after that, it died again! Bro Bull said the owner replaced it with an old plug, so he ran and managed to find a brand new spark plug! So we replaced the plug and finished the session. Then, as we started the second session, the generator wouldn’t start at all! wahoo! So we pulled the plug out assuming it was flooded. It wasn’t flooded, but the plug was way dirty, so we cleaned it out and started it up again! Conference played for a little bit, then the projector died! Yahoo! We decided that because the projector had had power cut to it multiple times without cooling down properly, that the lamp was just over heated. So at this point we pulled out the old tube TV at the chapel and played the rest on that. And that was the adventure of the making conference work! We busted our butts to get it working!

Now that wasn’t really even the frustrating part. I actually found that I was really getting upset and ticked off by the members. We were busting our butts and it was as though no one even cared at all about conference. Attendance was terrible on Saturday. Then Sunday, after the first technical problem, several people left instantly. Then at the end of the first session, majority of the members left and did not come back for the second session. This is the part that really stressed me out. We were working so hard to try and make conference work and be a good experience for everyone and many didn’t even care. But by the last half of the last session, there was still a small group of members still together. The sight of them brought tears to my eyes. Once the projector died, we said to them that we knew it was late and the only option left was to set up the other TV. We asked if any would still be willing to wait for us to do that, and they did. These members truly understood the significance of conference. These members truly had the desire to listen to the living prophets. They were happy to wait and endure to enjoy the word of the Lord. That last portion of conference was the strongest I have ever felt the spirit in a conference, despite my fault of feeling anger before, their faith still managed to soften my heart.

At the end, we were speaking with the only priesthood leader left and he simlpy said “well elders, it looks like we have a lot of work to do here in Labasa.” Later, while praying for forgiveness for my anger through the day, I realized that he was right. The members just did not understand the significance of living day prophets and had yet to experience that conversion, so we just need to help and guide them to realize what they can get out of conference, and enduring to the end!

So that was that excitement. As for Paula, We are unsure on that date. He didn’t make it to church this week again and so we are still trying to help him develop a bit more dedication. He is getting close, but taking time. Again, teaching was slow this last week, and it will be a bit slow this week as well. Transfers came in and Elder Moka is leaving and I’ll be getting a new companion. In addition, I’ll be going to Suva this week for a district leader specialized training and will be gone three days. It has been an interesting experience in this area. With the senior couple gone, we are taking on a lot of administrative roles in the branch. We have been learning how to use the church MLS system, recording donations and managing branch finances, updating member records, quarterly reports, etc! Our branch members are not quite to the point where they can take on some of these responsibilities and so we are working and training them on that, but they also don’t have a full building yet, which means no computer, so no MLS for them to use. So that is where those responsibilities lie now! Us! And we won’t have a new senior couple until January maybe.

That is crazy. She is old! Abby will be so big when I get back! Has she been more of a shy toddler or more outgoing? I was sad that I never got a card sent for Abby! We just never were able to get to it! I still have a letter to send to someone that I’ve been holding for awhile. It has been an intense couple of weeks. I don’t know if we’ll have that baptism yet, but it is on the way!

That talk sounds really interesting! I really would like to read that!

I love you all!

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock

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