Elder Dawson

Elder Dawson

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week 49-Transferred


So this is going to be really brief. I'm getting transferred. I'm going to a place called Nakawakawa on Vanualevu, the other island of Fiji. (Say Nakawakawa 10 times as fast as you can!) 

So, when missionaries here speak of bush areas, they put Nakawakawa among the top. It is an eight hour bus ride to the nearest town. It's pretty gnarly. I'm way stoked though, because my companion is ELDA GREEN FROM THE MTC!! I'm way excited. Anyways, I'm not sure when I'll be able to email next. I love you guys so much! 

Elda Dawson 

I reached out to some Mom's on my Fiji Suva LDS Mission Parents page and learned a few things about Nakawakawa!

DarrylandKristy Green So excited! Elder Green will LOVE being with Elder Dawson! David has reported to us that this is the most 'primitive' area he has been in so far. They wash their clothes in the river and have a rain barrel that they drink and bathe from, unless it runs dry. Then they use the river for that too. No worries, still sanitary. (As long as they boil it). They live in a small shack that the members made for the Elders. They have recently opened a new area and are trying to get permission to open another. They have a truck and the nearest internet access is about 4 hours drive. So we only hear from him when they go to town for meetings and things like that. We have also had our Elder tell us that the members in this area are very very loving and feed the elders very well. He is loving the area and will be over the moon excited to be with Elder Dawson.

Sandy Stock That was my son's first area. No running water or electricity. They shower in waterfalls and wash clothes in a stream, and they live in a tin shack that the members built for the missionaries in less than 24 hours, but my son LOVED this place and still feels a pull on his heart strings when someone he knows gets to go there. He will love it!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Week 48-August 22, 2016


Cola vina kemuni kece, 

So I didn't email yesterday because the public holiday had all of the internet shops closed. It kinda sucked but Fiji knows how to party. 

My week this week was really nothing super special. Just lots of normal day to day things. Proselyting, walking, slipping in rain and mud. That sort of thing. I am finally getting around to your tons of questions today, so tons of answers.  See if you can guess the question from the answer.

-We do not go home for lunch. We do our studies until 11 in the afternoon, eat quickly and then are usually gone the next hour. 

-A typical food day...so for breakfast we will usually just drink cocoa or something. For lunch we will make some Chow and tin fish with rice (something like that). For dinner it is kind of whatever our members make us. Fish, chicken, chopsuey, rourou, kasava, dalo. 

-We walk all day. Lots of walking.....LOTS of walking.

-I really am not about the spiders here, they are pretty gross. Also I'm really not a fan of the fish markets. I hate the smell. 

-Awkward teaching moment, well we were going over the baptismal questions with Maraia (my first baptism in Bau) and I didn't know how to say some words to describe sexual misconduct so I used the only word I knew...not a swear word but not polite. I didn't mean it offensively, I just needed to be understood.  It wasn't as much awkward as it just made her and her nieces die laughing.That's probably my awkward language moment as well.

-I just want to know if missionaries in Europe use toilet paper or not. Someone told me they don't but that doesn't make sense to me. 
-I would tell 14 year old me, "Mack on all the cuties!"

-All my companions have been pretty cool. Not to many weird habits. Elda Visawaqa, my first companion, used to shower 5 times a day. 

-I don't think I have one of those "Don't tell Mom" stories yet. 

-I don't really feel home sick.  I absolutely think Fiji is the greatest place on the world. I do, however, believe it is misadvertised...a bit.

-All the Resorts are in the West, Suva area, and Vanualevu. No where near me. There are tourists, but they never talk to us. I'm sure there is a tourist season, but we don't really pay attention to it. 

-We get medicine from our mission nurse, I know not where she gets it from. 

-I miss food the most. I miss basic white kids the least. 

- Yes I miss Sister Grimmer.  

-Here for work people do all sorts of things. Fishing, accountants, PR, athletes, Sugar Cane, Farmers. Tons of things. 

-They are recovery really well from the typhoon. They have a very resilient spirit. It kind of looks like New York after Hurricane Sandy. 

-People love that I can speak there language. Especially the lewas. I have mad game in Fiji. The language is coming. Toso vamalua. I understand and know vocab, my grammar is still under construction though. I can read it. I've dreamt in it before. Valailai ga. 

-People actually speak tons of English. There are actually Fijians who prefer speaking to me in English rather than Fijian. Kids are taught English in school now.

-Chiefs are more like a head of state rather than a head of government. He's purely village based. However everyone respects them. 

-People wear normal clothes. Lots of second hand stuff. Sometimes there are naked babies running around. 

-The majority of Fijians are Christian, Indians are mostly Hindu and Muslim. Basically every Fijian is Chrisian. They celebrate Easter the same as us. 

-We are allowed to eat pretty much everything as long as we can find it. I don't know what Balut is...

-They have a Fiji Day, their July 4th. They also have things like National Sports Day and now a "We won a Gold Medal" Day!! 

-There are snakes, however I've only ever seen one, a sea snake. 

-I did help clean up a lot after the typhoon.

-I have ridden in a few boats. Nothing crazy though. Just little fiber glass or wood ones. 

-Raw fish was a first for me. Gibblets. Literally just a fried onion. We just get hungry and get creative. 

I hope this has shed some light on my life. I love you guys so much. Until next week.

Elda Dawson
Peace Be Still
Keep it Real

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week 47-August 14, 2016-A Public Holiday (Step Up Your Game "Murica)


Ni sa yadra vinaka kemuni kece!  Isa, this has been a pretty awesome week! So yeah, Fiji being the great country that it is DESTROYED the Olympics 7's tournament. Things here were way funny. Elda Mclean and I were in town waiting for the Zone Leaders and we saw (and heard) this crazy car, just tooting it's horn and waving the Fiji flag. We didn't think to much of it, but then a ton of cars just started doing the same thing and a bunch of people (adults and kids) were in the streets dancing and singing Fiji's Olympic Anthem "Go Fiji Go". Elda Mclean asked an old man what was going on and he told us that Fiji just beat England in the finals. It was such a sight. We heard Suva was even crazier. Such a cool people. Oh so yeah, Fiji gets a public holiday for the 7's team winning. Next Monday they get the day off because they won Gold. Best government ever! 

So this past Monday was a lot of fun. This whole week has been crazy rainy and Monday was no different. We had a way fun qito in the rain.Tons of slipping and sliding. It was a good time.
 Us hiking a mountain in our area. It was supposed to be a shortcut, but we got lost...

Tuesday we had a really nice District Meeting. Nothing to crazy. We met with one of our investigators Maria, and because Mclean loves me so much, he let me teach this 17 year old girl about Na lawa ni Tiko Savasava. She understood it though enough though. She just kept giggling at all my mistakes or my pauses and stuff. She's great though. 

Wednesday was a slow day but we ended the day at our Branch President's home for dinner. So this home is at the top of a very muddy hill, and when it rains it's crazy slippery. Getting up wasn't too hard, but we knew getting down was going to be rough. We had a good dinner and a good talk with the President's wife, Sister Tagicakobau. She's probably one of my favorite members here. She is like a sassy older sister. She's awesome. We hung with her and her 7 children who are all under the age of 12.  (They are the kids that were playing with my new camera and dropped it off the porch.  It didn't survive.  Blame the Fijians!) We just talked and ate. Afterwards there little daughter led us to our next appointment so we wouldn't slip and die. We had a quick last lesson with Filo. Oh she's great. 

SO Thursday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders because Mclean had to do some Baptismal Interviews in Nausori and Lautogia had to do some interviews in Bau. So on Thursday we saw Maria and Filo again. Both were pretty weirded out by Lautogia and Filo asked if I could be with her alone instead of Lautogia, but that's tabu so she just agreed.
All of our dogs. We named them all too. TJ, Festa, Spear, Cujo, Fudge, Linda, and Sweetpea

Fast Forward to Saturday, we had a double baptism. Maria And Filo!! Well we also had our Branch Mission Leaders daughter who got baptized, so a triple baptism. It was great. There were some hiccups to start but everything ended up just fine. It was such a special day! One to remember for sure. 
Our Baptism. Venina is the little one. Filo is in the middle and Maria is on the right. 

Us with our girl Dimiri. She really likes me. 

Dimiri and Da Bois!

Yeah Dimiri really likes me. She thinks I'm from Los Angeles...maybe because I might have told her I'm from Los Angeles. 

Us and Filo
I've been thinking a lot and I'm way afraid of getting transferred. I love Bau and I love so many people here. It's going to stink. Transfer calls are next Tuesday, so we'll just wait and see. 

So Mom asked to describe some stuff. 

A Home: Mostly mad of tin where I am right now. We almost always sit on the ground which is just wood covered by an ibe. It almost always smells like smoke inside. Something is usually cooking. Lots of stuff on the walls, Fijians love sentimental things.  

A smell: The smell of Bau, is usually just smoke and that weird poopy mud smell. Not a great mix, but it's our smell.  

I thik it is indeed winter here. Lots of rain and lots of flooding. I recently bought a blanket though and that has made things unbelievably better. 

Sometimes I'm cold....but I have a blanket now. 

I have no rash anymore, I'M HEALED!! 

Anyways, I love you guys so much. Don't worry about me, I'm having a great time. #CAMERAFORDAWSON2016

Elda Tosani (Dawson)

PS Pray for Elda Ogden and his family.  
Peace Be Still
Keep it Real


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Week 46-August 6, 2016


It was cold this week. Like way cold! There were so many meetings this week also! Just so many meeting!!!! 

So on Monday we had a way fun P-day. The Zone Leaders set up these way sick games that put the Junior Companions vs. the Senior Companions. It was a lot of fun. JCs crushed, you know how we do.  

On Tuesday not much happened. We had ZTM. That's all that really happened. We did get some good work done that night though. 

On Wednesday, very early in the morning, the ZLs took Elder Naivaluwaqa to the airport so he could go to PNG, and Tupou got his new companion Elder Waqa. Both were native fijians who were waiting for visas to go to their missions.  Elda Mclean had a meeting (that I wasn't allowed to go to, lame) so I got put with Elda Ratu. He is a Ward Missionary who came home because of medical reasons. My day with him was...interesting, yeah lets just say I was VERY happy when Mclean came back. Plus Mclean brought me a birthday package, which was way sick! 
Sick package from home!

A birthday present from Elda Lautogia, my Zone Leader

Thursday, Thursday was fun. We caught a pig and carried t to another village for service. They are fast and loud. Very loud. The people were impressed though. 

We did a lot of proselyting on Friday and Saturday.  I don't know. I'm never really sure what to say about it. We just walked around and taught lessons. 

So Sunday was interesting. It was pouring rain all day. Like all day. So only 25 people showed up for church. We got chastised at church for stupid stuff. I wish people could just understand what we do before they yell at us. After church we got chastised some more. We had a wonderful dinner with one of our investigators Maria. Rice and Chicken stew. It was perfect after walking in the rain all day. We had to leave early though because Elda Mclean had to be home in time for Call ins. It was a nice day though. 

Not too much else has been going down. Just kind of keeping my head up and pushing along. I love you guys so much!!! 

Elda Tosani

Peace Be Still
Keep it Real