Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Friday, December 26, 2014

MTC Week....4? I can't even remember anymore.

Bula vinaka, na noqu matavuvale kei itokani!

Oh boy, what a week! Marau Siga ni Sucu! (Merry Christmas in Fijian! Or, at least, as close as I can translate it at the moment)

I've been learning so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Fijian language, and about my purpose as a missionary. For those of you who don't know, this is our purpose:

"To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

I've since memorized it in Fijian:

"Sureti ira na tani me ra lako mai vei Karisito ena nomu vukei ira me ra ciqoma na kosipeli vakalesui mai, ena nodra vakabauti Jisu Karisito kei na Nona Veisorovaki, veivutuni, papitaiso, ciqoma na isolisoli ni Yalo Tabu, ka vosota me yacova na ivakataotioti."

Christmas was great this week, and I got some great gifts from my family and a few friends here at the MTC. The best gift, though, came from the Savior Himself.

We got to watch the movie "Ephraim's Rescue" last night with the whole Missionary Training Center. The movie is about a man named Ephraim who, by being constantly obedient and worthy, was able to bless the lives of hundreds. Specifically, it's about the Martin Handcart Company, a group of Mormon Pioneers who had an extremely difficult journey. Many died from harsh conditions and sickness and exhaustion. One of the pioneers, Thomas Dobson, was me. I saw myself in him. He believed and loved the Gospel, but wasn't giving his whole self to it. I saw it and the Spirit told me that I needed to step up. I needed to be like Ephraim, who kept himself worthy enough to act in God's name for the salvation of His people.

As a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, I testify that obedience brings blessings, and exact obedience brings miracles. I also testify that no matter how low we fall, our Savior has descended below all things that we might rise above.

Au lomani kemuni!

Elda Panapi (Elder Barnaby/Elder Pineapple)

Pictures for the MTC

Elder Barnaby and his MTC Fijian district.

Elder Barnaby and Elder Masoe 
Companions and friends!

The second is of Elder Kintstone and Elder Barnaby. Elder Kinstone is also going to Fiji and is from Papa New Guinea.

Elder Logalaca and Elder Galvez. Elder Logalaca is from Fiji and is going to the Marshall Islands, he's super cool. Elder Galvez is going to Samoa, and he's pretty cool too!

Friday, December 19, 2014

MTC Week 3 - It just gets more and more....everything

Ni bula vinaka! Vakacava tiko?

Another week come and gone. The language is getting harder, the lessons are now completely in Fijian, and I'm learning a ridiculous amount about the culture, the people, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In lessons, Elder Masoe and I have extremely broken Fijian, but we try our best to use it without notes. We still use notes, but less than other companionships. It's so hard to converse, though, because we have to try and translate their answers to us and it's absolutely ridiculous. We understand like two or three words at a time, and have to write down new vocab every time we hear something we don't understand in a lesson. It's so crazy. And I love it.

My testimony has grown immensely this week. I was sick with what the doctors here diagnosed as a "Viral Respiratory Infection", which kinda sucked for five days. But I'm better now! When I was first getting sick last weekend, I thought I could just ignore the sickness and move on. I thought that if I just lost myself in the work, I'd be fine. But I was humbled after getting a blessing from my Zone Leaders. The Lord can't bless the lives of others if you physically cannot get up and bless them by your efforts. It's a good lesson to learn here rather than in Fiji, where my life would actually have been in jeopardy if I'd done that.

Our Heavenly Father really loves us. A lot. I can't tell you how much He loves us, because there are not words to describe it in any language, English or Fijian or otherwise. He loves us enough to give us an entire universe and dedicate all His efforts towards our eternal life and joy. He loves us enough to sacrifice His Son so that we could be saved from our own mistakes. He loves us enough to give us the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead. He loves us. He loves us. He loves you specifically. He loves me specifically.

I love you specifically. Stay strong, and always remember.

Elder Barnaby

"There are lives to brighten. There are hearts to touch. There are souls to save." - Thomas S. Monson

Friday, December 12, 2014

MTC Week 2 - Kaukauwa kei Wananavu (Hard and Awesome)

Ni bula vinaka!

Week 2 is coming to a close and it's just getting harder, better, worse, and more awesome than ever before. We taught out first investigator all this week, and though some lessons were worse than others, we learned a lot about our purpose as missionaries and how to teach people, not lessons. One lesson I had the investigator read the story of Alma the Younger's conversion - except I gave the wrong scripture references! And since we read it in Fijian, I only knew some of the words, so I had no idea until the end what had happened! We've also learned a lot about Fijian culture, such as it's rude to talk down to a person, meaning you always have to talk at their level. If they're sitting on the floor, you have to get down to their level before speaking to them. Also, we take our shoes off and leave them outside the door. This place is awesome. (Both Fiji and the MTC)

It's been a hard week, to be honest. Lots of classes, lots of praying and learning the language, lots of really processed food (I mean, it's good, but super processed). We have an Elder in our district who's having a really hard time, he might be reassigned due to a previous injury he hadn't told anyone about. Not because he hadn't said anything, but just for his safety. He's a really awesome guy and a recent convert, so keeping him in your prayers would be wananavu (awesome). Keep me in your prayers too, and my companion, because we're both starting to get sick and I'm losing my voice. Not cool! At least we have the Spirit with us.

I've had a lot of great experiences this week too, Especially involving the Spirit. When you are close to Him, He helps you draw closer to your Heavenly Father and your Savior. He also answers questions and doubts you didn't even know you had. I learned that a bunch this week. Our Heavenly Father loves us, and wants us to know the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He's there for us, so he not only provided a Savior for us, he gave us a constant, unfailing guide. Don't forget about the Holy Ghost, not for one second.

I love you all!

Elder Barnaby

Friday, December 5, 2014

MTC Week 1 (more like MTC Day 3)

Bula vinaka!

Oh boy, what a crazy first few days at the Missionary Training Center. It's been super challenging, both physically and spiritually. And linguistically. Our teachers speak mostly Fijian to us - even though so far they've both been very white and very American. Even though it's been so insane and hard to understand, I am understanding! It's a good thing I learned how to pronounce all the letters, because that's been a huge help. I can introduce myself, ask a few basic questions, give a few basic answers, and almost bear my testimony entirely in Fijian! Granted my testimony is less than three sentences long, but WOW! Talk about the gift of tongues.

I've also begun to learn about how to give a prayer. All of you know me, I have a big testimony of prayer. And I use the word 'big' not lightly. But after learning about how to pray in Fijian (or at least the basics), I've discovered the beautiful simplicity of prayer. I tried to pray in Fijian last night, and even though by the end pretty much everyone was laughing at how much I messed it up, I felt that it was the same as if I'd said it in English. Maybe not as flowery or wordy as I would've said it in English, but it meant the same to my Heavenly Father. Now if I can just memorize the words.

My companion's name is Elder Masoe. He's a big New Zealander who's just really cool and fun. We're getting along really well, too, which is wonderful, and though we differ in opinion or enthusiasm occasionally, we really work well together. We'll see how we teach together, though :) We have two other companionships of Elders in our Fijian District and one set of three Sisters. We have a pretty fun group, which is really encouraging!

I'll tell you one last thing that I've learned before I sign off:
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is an enabling power. It is infinite and eternal, spanning all time, space, and every mistake, pain, and sorrow we will ever experience. I've learned here that, as part of my purpose as a missionary, we are commanded to call people to change. This kind of change is more than a lifestyle change, and it's only possible through the Atonement. That Atonement is perfect and always available, because the one who made it possible descended below all things so that we might rise above.

Mocei! Au kila ni dina Kosipeli!

Elder Barnaby

"There are lives to brighten. There are hearts to touch. There are souls to save."

- Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Elder Barnaby Reports

Max reported to the MTC at 12:30pm MST.  He was in good spirits and so excited to start the new adventure.  See ya in two was what he yelled to his dad!

** Elder Barnaby **
'God will be with you till we meet again'

Saying Goodbye

It is always hard to say goodbye to someone you love.  Tuesday morning was no exception.  We had to do a quick goodbye before the car got towed!