Elder Dawson

Elder Dawson

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 59, October 30, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 58, October 24, 2016

Bula Re na wekaqu,

Isa, it's been a while. So these past few weeks have been crazy. I'll try and fill you all in. So, yeah I got a new companion. Elda Dunn (Las Vegas, Nevada), my boy from the MTC. It's been good having him up in the mountain man area with me.

 Two-ish weeks ago we had the awesome opportunity to baptize our home boy Simi! It was an awesome experience. I got to do the baptism in the river, the same river we bathe in haha. It went really well, no hiccups or anything.  We also got to baptize a beautiful little girl named Una!
Simi's baptism

Una's baptism

So lately the work in the area had been a little slow. Just for the common man's information, missionaries usually set trends in area, ways of doing things. Sometimes it great, others...not so much. Nakawakawa had been struggling a bit. Elda Dunn and I decided to revamp the area. No more old habits. We started focusing our efforts more outward to other koros, other than just focusing on Nakawakawa koro itself. The work, started off slow, but as of late has really been picking up!  What's really been kicking things up is our class at the secondary school (high school). 

Teaching at the Secondary School
We teach tons of these awesome kids. We are like their cool white guy friends. We teach them things about the church and about the Savior and they give us mangoes and stuff. Lately I've been teaching some American slang, like "Sup dude", "that's rad", it's really funny walking by the school and just hearing a bunch of Fijian teenagers say "Sup dude!?" we usually just answer "yo, bula sa rai mada va oqo" ("we are going this way"). They just respond "that's rad". It's way crack up. They are some of the coolest people I've ever met. 
Our awesome class!

Isa, so I want to explain a little bit about our bathing situation, just because it's something not a lot of missionaries get to do. So this is usually how it goes. We will be sitting in our flat, doing studies, drinking breakfast or something of that nature. As we sit in our little cozy cabin in the mountains of Fiji, a smell starts to rise towards our noses. It starts as a tickle, then quickly overwhelms our poor noses with the stench of dirty man. As we wipe the tears from our eyes, one of us will usually say, "Hey dude, do you want to go bathe?" which is usually followed with a very quick, "PLEASE!" We grab our bathing clothes which is just a pair of basketball shorts or something and we drive down to our cute little river. We walk a small trail down to a drop off, protruding out of said drop off is a large log. We both take off our shoes and shirts and climb onto the log. It doesn't matter how hot, or cold, or sunny, or rainy, we have to embrace the suck-all-at-once and jump into the river. It's usually much colder than we anticipate. We swim, oh wait, I mean we "bathe" over to our rock that we stand on to soap up on and we just jump back into the water to rinse all the soap off at once. Sometimes we bathe in like 5 minutes, sometimes it takes longer for us the "bathe" back to shore. The experience never fails to surprise me though. Last time we saw two of our branch members butchering a cow in the river just down stream from us. So sanitary, and people wonder why we always get boils or rashes or stuff like that. It's all part of that bush life though. 

Have I mentioned yet how much I love the people out here?  The kids...I love how fun the kids are!  They love American candy and I always try to have something to pass out to them.  I got a bunch of super sour War Heads in a package from home and it's been a blast to watch the kids try and eat them!
Kai colo kids

Their swimming pool.

Bum jump!

Elda Dunn and his squad

Gunuqu mango

So this is Pasemaca (on the left) or "Sister Dawson." She saw a picture of Spencer and wants to marry him now. 

Some kids from the koro

My little squad of bush killas

I'm having lots of fun out here. It's great to be a missionary. I love you all tons. Talk to you guys in like two months. #skypeatchristmas  #timeflies   

Elda Dawson

Peace Be Still
Keep it Real

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pictures of Zone Conference and District Meeting

My boy Elda Giacalone (Knoxville, TN)

Our boy Tank (Labasa, Fiji)

Our Zone Leader's truck after five minutes in our area!

Week 56, October 9, 2016

Sa Bula Re!  How are things?
I'm doing well! Just kind of living life, you know?

Nakawakawa is great.  The life here is so fun.  It is, no joke, just like camping all the time.  It has it's pros and cons, bust mostly just pros.  Oh, one of the cons...the spiders are HUGE.  Like SO LARGE and they are cheeky sara ga, so it makes them worse.  We just torch them with body spray and a lighter.  I'm going to kere President Layton for a small 22 handgun, just in case we find the tama ni spiders.

Other than the creepy crawlies, it's way peaceful out here.  I can reach Nirvana daily out here.  It's way quiet.  When I go into Labasa it's hard to sleep because of the sounds of the town.  I have also learned to really enjoy sleeping on the ground.  Having a truck is way fun.  Did I mention that I am a licensed Fijian driver and expert on stick shift?

I know I keep talking about wanting a Fijian wife.  Let me explain.  Not only are the people beautiful but they are so kind and good.  I just love Fijians!

The work here is hard.  There have only been two villages open to missionaries so Green and I struggle to find work. The talatala (preacher) of the local church is trying to shut us down because when we teach he loses members and money.  We are still trying to get work started up though.

Isa, can you believe I have been out a whole year?  Crazy, eh?!  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was spending the night at Stacy and Corey's, getting ready to hit the MTC.  Time goes fast.  Just think, in like two more years I could be married and a dad.  Wow, I just scared myself a bit.  I think maybe more than two years.  A lot of people out here tell me that I will be a good dad, but that might be there way of asking me for a half white baby.  I can't tell.

How are things back home?  How is Michael?  Boy, I sure do miss that guy!  One of my good friends here  goes home nect week and lives close-ish to Michael, so I will have them look each other up.  I'm excited to come home and have a sister-in-law, ha, it's kinda weird to say.  My boy actually found his "one!"  It took some trial and error, and patient parents  but her found her!  I am so glad they are happy.  How are the littles?  Don't be offended but lately I've been missing them the most.  Lots of Eldas share stories about home and they all love to hear my stories of Spencer and his mischief, but sharing those stories pulls at my heart a little.  Sometimes I regret not spending more time with them, especially Emma.  I miss her sweet smile and fun personality.  I know she is young but I wonder if she has thought about being a missionary?  She would love it and be so good at it!  Does she still have a dumb little boyfriend?  Boys are gross, and believe me, I should know.

Oile, I love you guys tons!  I miss you an appropriate amount, not to much, not to little!  I can feel your love from here and when I can't, I can feel His.  The church is true.  Lolova levu.

Your missionary,
Elda Dawson

Peace Be Still
Keep It Real

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 55 , October 2, 2016

Bula Re,

Man, this weeks letter will be short.

So Elda Green and I went back up to Nakawakawa after Zone Conference. I missed it while we were away. It's just so quiet and nice. 

So our P-day was so fun. Okay so we bathed in the river while drinking cokes and eating crackers, it was way fun. 
Afterwards we went back to the flat and we played the card game golf, for 3 full hours! Afterwards we played the card game war for like and hour and a half. It was super intense. The rest of the week wasn't spectacular. The work up there is pretty flipping slow.

This last Thursday we got permission to teach a class at the Secondary Boarding school for anyone interested. It was tons of fun. I think like 14 kids showed up. We were excited because when we invited them to church they all wanted to go. It was awesome! When we showed up on Sunday we walked with 8 of them to church and they LOVED it!! It's way sick! 

We are really hopeful for some of them. I'm doing good. I'm still loving this place. I love you guys. 

Elda Dawson

PS. Mom, tell Michi not to worry.  (I'm not 100% swapped)

Peace Be Still
Keep it Real