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)