Email 13 Apr 2014

NiBulaMaleka!

Conference was great! I loved it! I was a bit disappointed at first with the attendance in the main ward for Saturday. And the other elders reported it wasn’t to good Sunday either, but Saturday we watched in English at the main chapel. Sunday, we went to Lomaivuna and watched only one session in Fijian. All was really good though. I think listening to conference in your mission language is a good way to measure the success of your learning. That was definitely the most I have understood from conference in Fijian! So I still have one more session I have yet to see. I got the overall lying theme as moral courage. There was a lot about building your faith, defending your faith, and defending your morals in public and in private.
The best part about Sunday was that our bishop payed a carrier to take the Navurevure unit up to the Lomaivuna unit so it was all combined, and after conference we had a baptism service! While the main ward attendance was disappointing, our combined unit conference had 36 in attendance with 7 of them investigators. All recent converts were there too. I’ll try and get a couple pictures out! But we had the Baptism of Samu and his daughter Miriama by myself, and of Leba by Bro Qaqanisautu, the Navurevure unit leader. So it was a great service. Samu’s wife said she felt great relief knowing that her husband made it finally!
Our new zone goals seem to be working out pretty well! This last week it seems the rest of the zones hit some rough spots while our zone seemed to improve quite a bit!
I did get the Easter Package! But what I learned from a package one year ago, I can’t not open once I get it. If it is left and there are sweets in it, the ants will get to it before I do! But Manakwanakwanakwa vakalevu! I love the color of the tie! And that puzzle is the greatest! I have already been through 2 spiderman puzzles then threw them away to keep away clutter, but I don’t think I’ll be tossing this one! And just when I don’t think I care too much for candy anymore, I get some candy from back home!
Also, today we had a zone p-day in Colo-i-Suva again, so we just got back from that. I’ll be sure to send some photo’s!
Loloma levu vei kemuni! And remember, just because you have a smart phone, it doesn’t make you smart! 😉
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March 2014 Baptism Challenge

Memo to Elder Pearson regarding March 2014 Baptismal Challenge

So maybe you’ll find this pretty interesting. This is a copy of the memo and email responses with President Klingler to Elder Pearson, Elder Hamula, and President Layton (the new mission president coming in June). It explains a lot about the mission process of achieving goals in the first quarter of this year. Pretty cool stuff!

 

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock
FSM

Elders and Sisters,

 

For your information, we provided the attached report to Elder Pearson.   We copied Elder Hamula and President Layton.  Here are the responses received from each one:

 

President

Congratulations!!!

We are simply thrilled for you and Sister Klingler and your marvelous missionaries!  This is a tender mercy for your individual and collective exercise of faith, obedience and diligence.  I am sure this is month never to be forgotten.

Thank you for your wonderful leadership!

With Love

Elder and Sister Pearson

 

President, this is absolutely outstanding.  What an inspiring report!  I am so pleased for you and your missionaries.

 

Best regards,

Elder James Hamula

 

President Klingler,

 

I can’t remember an email as exciting to read as yours outlining the Fiji Suva Mission accomplishments in March. Congratulations to you and all of the wonderful missionaries for assisting 122 of our brothers and sisters to enter the waters of baptism. I can only imagine the feeling of excitement within the mission for accomplishing this record setting event.

 

Sister Layton and I were already thrilled to return to the islands to serve as missionaries. We are even more excited now that we have a feel for the caliber of missionaries we will be serving with. Obviously the missionaries know how to work hard and engage the spirit of the Lord in accomplishing the challenge they were given.

 

I was impressed with the process that you and the Mission Leadership Council went through to identify monthly objectives to lead up to your success. As each month and week passed the focus was on the end result and the Lord sustained your efforts.

 

May the Lord continue to bless you and your missionaries. We feel so fortunate to inherit such a well-trained and solid missionary force.

 

With personal regards,

President Layton

Email 6 April 2014

BulaNakwa!

Conference sounds great! We are going to watch all of the Saturday sessions in English here in our ward chapel, but Sunday we will see on a small 12″ screen in Lomaivuna in Fijian with our two units combined. We will also be holding a baptismal service as well afterwards! Samu, with is youngest daughter Miriama, as well as Leba. That is if the interviews go well this coming week. This baptism will just be held in the river up by the unit. So conference should be exciting! Then we have our Stake conference as well at the end of the month!
That is the summary of the last week. Last preparations for interviews and baptisms for those individuals. We also have a couple new investigators and are working towards another baptism in the coming month with Saikusa. He is great! Committed and everything. The only issue we face with him is that his son is handicap and if he goes to church than his daughter has to stay home and take care of him, and the reverse. So we are going to have to expect him to only come about every other week, which we feel for his situation would be fine, but we still want him to attend more before baptism.
There was one more story to share! I already mentioned how Lepani wanted to help Samu so he planted Co boi at his home to use in place of tea. That act of love, as well as us helping him in his farm, really softened his heart and gave him strength. This last week, he went the full distance over to Lepani’s home, and worked and helped him in his farm. When Lepani told me this I about broke into tears. The change and the growth in both of these men, especially Samu, is incredible. The joy was indescribable to see such incredible acts of Christ-like love.
I think that is about it! Work is going well! Too much to do and so little time and kilometers allowed to us to do it all with! It is tough and taking a lot of planning and patience! But I love it all 🙂 Loloma levu!

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock
FSM

Mission Leadership Council - March 2014

Email 30 March 2014

Nu Bula Nakwa!

I am actually companions with the Elder who replaced me in Labasa and he got to go down to Nakawakawa and do 15 baptismal interviews for the Elders there. They were a huge part of us reaching our mission goal! Which by the way, you all know that we had the goal to hit 100 baptisms in the month of March. Just on the last Sunday our zone alone had 10 baptisms, including the Saturdaybefore the mission had 45 baptisms, giving us a grand total of 123 baptisms for the month of March! At the MLC we had this last week, we also discussed helping the mission not slow back down after this great effort, but continuing to improve. So as a council we set a new mission goal for the 2nd quarter of reaching 420 total baptisms for the year by the end of June. We are going to try and even continue to increase the momentum!

As for other news in realation to our area, half of our zones baptisms on that last Sunday came from the family that we baptized! Senivalati, Luisa, Senivalati Jr., Ana, and Amani were all baptized and they are in the photo which I already sent! It was a crazy awesome Sunday. It was the Waila ward conference as well. Overall it was probably the best church service I have been to in Fiji. Classes, talks, etc were all astounding. In addition to the 5 who were baptized, we had 7 other investigators attend church! One investigator of which, Saikusa, said to us afterwards when trying to find a time to meet him “Don’t worry about me Elders. I am in the fold now. I am in the fold.” As if to say “consider me baptized.” It was a very good day.

I think that is all I have to share this week! What an exciting time to be serving!

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock
FSM

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Email 24 March 2014

Bula Maleka!

Yeah, it was a bit of a bummer to get the dengue, but the good news is that I am now immune completely until the end of my mission, but then after that I will be more vulnerable to the 3 other strands of it. However, by that point, I will not be in an area with dengue! I’m all well and healthy again, but just tired. They say that you can feel pretty worn out from it for up to 6 weeks. I seem to be doing alright, but I definitely feel the tired. That is a really big bummer for dad. It has motivated me to drink less soda and more clear water! Maybe try and get him up on the Vitamin C too? I’m pretty sure it really helped me fight the dengue.
Work is good! We had a visit with Samu in which we made him a calendar, discussed a new baptism date, and got his full family involved more in helping him out! We told him to get rid of all tea and temptation from his home. We also are planning to get him baptized with his youngest daughter. We didn’t know she was 8 at the time her mother and sister got baptized, but now it is confirmed and we’ll have bishop do her interview! We set him for the 13th, but we realized after that that is the day for general conference here. So it might have to change slightly, but he is much more determined and motivated now! Plus here is an extra cool story about him that I sent to Pres. Klingler:
“One fun story from this last week, we have an investigator, Samu, who has been taking lessons for awhile now and his family got baptized without him due to his tea and coffee problems. When he was interviewed that first time, he failed his interview as well as another in the area. Several weeks later he told us things were going well, but then in a second interview confessed again that he was still drinking tea. The one who failed with him however passed. So he, Lepani, was baptized and Samu is still awaiting his baptism. We took Lepani to go and visit Samu since their struggles were both similar. Then we found out in our next visit that during the week, Lepani walked 2 hours early in the morning to Samu’s home, and planted a bunch of “co-boi” or the lemon grass so that Samu could use that as an alternative to the red tea. I was thrilled at the love and service of Lepani to help Samu overcome his addictions.”
Otherwise, Senivalate is on track for baptism! He has now been off of tobacco for about three weeks, his wife is on 5 weeks now, and they will be interviewed this coming week on Tuesday with 3 of their children. Overall, with this March challenge, our zone has struggled. We seemed to be doing pretty well at the start, but so far this month we have only reached 12 baptisms, and we are even the largest zone in the mission. So that has been a little bit disappointing. However, our zone is planning on 10 more this coming weekend which will almost double our count! So we hope they all go well!
Elder Olmstead made it alright! He even emailed and gave a little info on the flight luggage process which scares a few missionaries. All the transfers went well! Elder Hyde is the man and is way happy to be in this area! It is a crazy awesome area.
As for the tortilla chips, I think it is just becuase no one out here knows what it is! They have corn. It isn’t really big at all. Most of it is pretty poor quality. But any and all tortilla chips are imports from the Americas. So I will really look forward to getting that!
The Birthday cakes look way cool! And a Huge congrats for Lauren Poet! I also via solia na vakanuinui vinaka vei April! Mo kamusu na yavamu! (Break a leg!) And that sounds like it will be a way cool conference! I don’t know if we are going to get that here, but general conference is going to come on the 12th and 13th. We will probably have to wait to watch it though until we get the Fijian translations on DVD and we will probably bring those up to the two units one week after another to watch them. Bishop is still working it all out.
I feel like the entire house has already changed since I’ve been gone too! New floors, front door, bathroom, and even the sunroom looked way different when we skype! The movie room sounds like it will be great for catching up when I get back 😉
That is all this week! Loving life! Loving the work! Loving it all! Just trying to hasten it all as the Lord is wanting!

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock

Release date email March 2014

So here is a copy of an email I got from President Klingler. This would be my outtake. Pretty much, coming home will be delayed for a little bit. I don’t think there are any conflicts, but I’ll wait to respond to him until next week to give you a chance to give any input if there is any!

Elders and Sisters,

 

If you are getting this e-mail it is because you are affected by a change in the Missionary Department process.  They are in the process of changing the timing of intakes from the Provo MTC and the New Zealand MTC so that the Fiji Suva Mission will receive transfers every 6 weeks rather than every 2 months.  The first change is for the July intake.  They have moved that intake to the 29th of July instead of the 22nd of July.  As you might expect, it would be best for the mission of we have those leaving during the month coincide with those coming in.

 

Unless I hear otherwise from you, I will be moving your release date to the 31st of July.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you have school conflicts or other issues you foresee with that release date.

 

Love,

Kenneth D. Klingler

Fiji Suva Mission President

Email 15 March 2 014

Bula!

So this week wasn’t all too exciting. We taught a bit but are hitting some road blocks with some investigators. A lot of the time is just comes down to attending church. But with Samu, it has still been the word of wisdom battle. He has had the hardest time out of any I have worked with before in the mission. Otherwise, there hasn’t been too much progress there.
The real excitement this last week was that I did end up catching the dengue fever. So the few days that I was out working were tough, and then the weekend I was stuck in the flat. There was another in the zone, Elder Raju who caught it too, so we split to go to our doctor appointments and rest in the flat while my companion and his went out and worked a bit in both areas. I didn’t get anything too serious. My blood platelet level was down a little, but nothing serious. Elder Raju’s was a little worse, but still nothing too bad. At this point it is over, just worn out a bit from it.
This coming week Elder Olmstead goes home, and my new companion will be Elder Hyde, the one who replaced me up in Naduna.
Here is Lepani’s photo! Sorry for not sending photo’s much recently. I was working on backing up my last camera card again to Dvds to send home, but again, I have encountered problems with the card. I’ll try to send more photos home in the coming weeks.
That is about all this week! Gotta get out shopping for my companions last P-day in the field! Loloma levu

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock

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Email 8 Mar 2014

This last week was pretty good! We didn’t really get too much clean up service time, but everyone seemed to be able to take care of themselves pretty good! One of the villages we visit we couldn’t even get to for a couple days. That village had water inside of all but 3 homes. One of our recent converts was in that village, and the family of 5 that is getting close to baptism.

Which leads me into the baptisms and interviews. We interviewed just the dad of the family, but he was still having some smoking issues. So we deciede to wait to interview the rest since they all want to be baptized together. Since the interview however, he has been clean and hasn’t again smoked. We feel we’ll still be able to get him and his family, Samu, and Sis Leba baptized by the end of the month. Lepani however did get baptized on Sunday! It was great! It was a really good service. He was so overjoyed with it all, that he forgot that he was suppose to come back out of the water! He laid down flat like a brick, and I lifted him most of the way out of the water, but he stayed flat as a board and it took him a second to stand up on his own and realize that he was out of the water!

We also had a missionary fireside after church on Sunday which went pretty well. Also, at the end of sacrament meeting, Bishop Nathan had Elder Olmstead go stand up on the stand, and the congregation sang “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” He’ll still have one more Sunday up in Lomaivuna, but it was his last combined church down in Waila.

That is about all the excitement I can think of for this week! Other than two nights in a row I had pretty bad slips and bruised up my rear end pretty bad 😛 I love you lots! Loloma levu!

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock
FSM

Email 2 Mar 2014

Bula!

This last week was pretty intense. We had a pretty intense storm come this way. Mostly just extremely heavy rain and lightning. There was pretty severe flooding in a lot of areas, which also caused a lot of road damage. It prevented us from being able to get to our area a bit.
We had 8 baptism interviews planned for Saturday, but only 3 took place. The five others, Sainivolate, Luisa, and three of their kids, were in a village that the storm blocked us from getting to. We are hoping to get to it on Tuesday. The three that did happen were Sister Leba, Samu, and Lepani. Sister Leba did not pass yet. It was a bit silly actually. She told us the day before that she hasn’t had red tea for years, but then the day of her interview,  due to a weak stomach, she drank tea to help it… But we are okay with it. We feel like she could use a little bit of extra time to come to church anyway. Next was Samu. This was his second interview, and again, he didn’t pass. He had been telling us that he was doing good with the tea and the coffee since the last interview. Then on the second, he confessed the opposite. His weakness is that people bring it to him, and he struggles to turn it down. So his godly sorrow is growing more and more. He asked for a blessing to help him. But the last interview was a success! Lepani passed! He has done well with dropping the tea and is set for baptism this coming Sunday!
Again, the last 5 will hopefully be interviewed this coming Tuesday.
My present companion is Elder Olmstead from Ogden. He leaves way soon. He is a bit excited to go home 😛 But he’s the man. I think that I’ll probably finish my mission in this area (not that I am getting trunky or anything) but it seems likely and I really wouldn’t mind! I’m not a big fan of moving around 😛
Anyway, that is it for the week. Despite all the rain and storm, all the missionaries are okay and none of the flats in our zone were flooded. Loloma levu!

Au lomani kemuni! Moce mada 🙂

~Elder Hancock
FSM