Bula Vinaka! So I made it! I finally made it. The flight from LAX to Nadi felt like a lifetime...14 hours I think. When we arrived we were greeted by four Elders; Elders Johnson, Tomasi, Childers, and Robinson. They welcomed us to Fiji and then we embarked on a five hour bus ride to Suva, which also felt like a lifetime.
|View from the bus! Photo cred: Elder Forbush|
|Sticking with the smile! Photo cred: Elder Forbush|
|Cramped much? Photo cred: Elder Van Roosendaal|
Honestly, the time I spent in Suva and at the Mission home feels like a blur. I know we ate Chinese takeout, bought some sulus, ate more food, had a lot of orientation presentations, and met President Layton, Sister Layton, and the Assistants to the President (APs).
|The Newest Fijians|
|President and Sister Layton|
On Wednesday we got our first assignment. I was called to serve in the Ba Area in the Lautoka Zone, and my trainer is Elder Visawaqa who is from Savusavu, Fiji. Ba is on the west side of Vitilevu (Fiji's main island). The best way to describe Ba is with one word. Africa. Ba is exactly what one would imagine Africa to look like. Super hot and dry. It's easily one of the prettiest places I've ever been though. There are huge trees everywhere full of fruits and flowers. Ba Area is huge in comparison to others. It takes like an hour bus ride to get from one side to the other, and the best part, we are a walking area! Oh yeah, all the flights of stairs in the MTC weren't to make my legs huge, they were preparing me for Ba.
|Elder Visawaqa and Mari, one of our investigators! She's 10.|
My flat is pretty sweet, its in the same grounds as a cute little Hindu temple which is cool, because this Wednesday is Diwali, which means lots of sweets for the Elders. It does have indoor plumbing but zero air conditioning. The food in Ba is so dope! It's a sweet mixture of Fijian food and Indian food. I had some Chicken and Pumpkin curry the other day. Wow, it blew my mind!
|The church building.|
|The sweet little Hindu temple that is right outside my front door!|
Now, to answer some of your questions Mom:
The only way I can describe the smell of Fiji is with the smell of Seaworld in San Diego. Like, that's the only real way to describe it, wet, green and kinda fishy. Also hot, it smells hot.
I love my sulus! They are a billiion times better than pants.
The language is coming along slowly. Sometimes when I'm trying to think of what to say, I can hear Sister Trammell singing one of her songs. I thought they were weird and pointless. Not so pointless after all. Elder Visawaqa has been very patient with me. I'm sure teaching me is similar to teaching a child.
The bugs here are nasty. I spray myself with bug spray and they just find the one place I missed and swarm. The spiders here are way big, but they aren't to bad. I've already been bitten by one on the foot.
The people in Ba are some of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. Everyone is so friendly and happy.
Yesterday was my first day at church in the Ba ward, and I got here just in time for their Primary Presentation. It was way awesome. They made everyone a sick lunch after church too. So cool.
After church, Elder Visawaqa and I taught three investigators that were brought to church. Then we took three prospective Elders out with us and proselyted for like 7 hours. The guys we had with us were way awesome. There was Junior, Temesi, and Joeli. They were way sweet. We taught five more lessons that night. Eight lessons, in one day. Elder Kumar (our District Leader)) said that that is the most he thinks he has ever heard in the Zone. Yeah, the Fijian Ba Elders rock!
|Junior, Temesi, and Joeli|
I thought that once I left the MTC I wouldn't feel the Spirit as strongly as I did while I was there. I was wrong. The Spirit is so strong with the Elders in Ba. I'm so grateful to my Lord for giving me this opportunity to come to Fiji and serve these wonderful people. I'm so happy I get to share his message of happiness with these people. I'm happy I get to teach these wonderful families that they can be together forever! In the MTC we were told:
"A missionary leaves his family for two years,
so others can be with their's for eternity."
Man I'm so happy to be out here. I miss you guys so much and I love you tons.
Peace Be Still
Keep it Real