Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fall-throughs and Follow-ups (Tavua Area Week 2)

a road heading to a koro (village)
Elder Barnaby in front of the church building in Tavua

Bula tale!
This week flew by in the fastest way. I can't believe I'm here again, emailing everyone! It feels like I just got here yesterday. I think I'm going to be saying that for the next two years.
This week was a difficult week, to say the least. We had a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but we got through it regardless. I learned a lot about perseverance and diligence this week. We had District Meeting on Tuesday, where the Elders and Sisters from the surrounding areas come together for a kind of training meeting. It was way fun and I learned a bunch! It helped us to reshape our goals for the week, too.
I'll focus on some of the highlights of the week. We sat down with Jope, a less-active Return Missionary. We just talked about his mission and it was a super nice experience, he had some really cool stories too! He's the Bishop's brother and I really hope he comes back to church soon. We don't have a lot of Priesthood Brethren in the Tavua Ward, which is a little discouraging. But that's what we're here for!
On Thursdays, we spend the morning doing service for people, whatever they need help with. We usually have a set service appointment, but this week, we didn't have one. We decided to go around asking if anyone wanted anything done. The problem with Fiji is that everyone is nice - too nice. Everyone we asked said "Set, naka" which is like "we're good, thanks". We ended up walking probably three miles, in flip-flops, trying to find service. We even forded a river to find something to do! No one wanted our help. Isa.
Probably my favorite part of the week was a lesson with one of our investigators, Ana. She's 19 years old and she's genuinely interested in learning about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! She asks the best questions too. I felt the Spirit so much during our lesson with her, I want her to be baptized way bad! I can't wait to watch her testimony grow as we meet with her again.
The Gospel is true. I know it, I live it, I love it. Through our diligent efforts to keep the commandments, endure to the end, and invite all to come unto Christ, we will be blessed beyond our understanding. Do your best to follow the Savior, because He's going to make your life brighter and happier than you can even imagine! I love you all!
Elda Barnaby
"There are lives to brighten. There are hearts to touch. There are souls to save." -Thomas S. Monson

Elder Beilman 
-Food Food Food -
It so good, and I ate so much that day I thought I was going to explode!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Welcome to Tavua, Fiji! (Tavua Area Week 1)

BULA VINAKA! I am in the great and mighty land of Fiji! I'm really here, and it's really amazing!

We landed in Nadi, Fiji last Monday at about 6 am. After waiting for two hours for our bags (there was a storm outside) we got on the bus to Suva, Fiji's capital and the home of the Fiji Suva Temple and Mission Home. That bus ride took five hours, and in a full suit it was the most uncomfortable experience of my life. We finally got to Suva and we were brought to the Mission Home, where we met our awesome Mission President and his wife. President and Sister Layton are just the best.

We got to go out with some of the missionaries serving in the Suva area and teach a few people. We ate with members and then stayed at the missionaries' flats. It was wonderful. For those of you who don't know, here in Fiji it's customary to sit on the floor of a person's home. We also eat with our hands here (even soup!). It's the best. You'll hear me say that a lot in this email.

The next day we went shopping for sulu's and other necessities - for those who don't know, a sulu is a man's formal skirt in Fiji. Yes, a skirt. Yes, I'm wearing one right now, and it is the most comfortable thing. I love wearing them, though I need to get mine hemmed, they're a little long. We had some last orientations at the Mission Home and then we were sent off to our individual areas (though I left early Wednesday morning).

I'm serving first in the Tavua area on the main island, Viti Levu. Tavua is a huge area centered by a small town, and we have not vehicles (not even bikes), so we walk a lot! It's awesome! (or, at least, that's what I keep telling myself) My mission trainer is Elder Beilman, who's been out for almost a year and been in Tavua for the past three months. He's way cool and I'm learning a ton from him. We live in a four-room rented flat that's like way different than what I'm used to. The floors are cement covered with like a fabric-like tile, and actually our kitchen and bathroom are way nice. But the windows here are kinda different, they don't really...close, so our neighbors keep us up at night. Just a little. But the beds are nice and the shower works and it's like really a blessing. I hear some areas in Fiji they have to use a "community shower", or worse, bathe in a river or pond.

I've learned so much this past week. I've had some really cool spiritual experiences and had some really hard times. The people are really nice, so that's a plus, but sometimes I don't think they understand our message. As missionaries, we don't just come to a foreign country to visit people's homes and share a nice message with them. Our message is an invitation to change, to act, to follow the example of the Savior and be baptized into this, the true church of Jesus Christ. It's going to take a little more effort than I thought. A little more work, a little more prayer, a little more trust, and a whole lot more of me.

I've come to learn, though, that I can and I will do that. Give it my all. Literally give up my entire self for this work. Because it's true, and people need it. I've also come to know that this is my home for the next two years. It was kind of hard to realize, but it really is. And I'm so excited. Mission life is best life.

Elda Barnaby
Alma 29:9

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Bird's Eye View of Tavua

Tavua is located in the Ba Province in the north-western area 
of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island:

It's is a nice little town with a population of at least 2,388 (as of 2007) plus one! 
I'm staying in a basement flat at the eastern edge of town, approximately in the circle.
Look close--can you see me waving?  ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Heading to Tavua

This is my first assignment:  

This is President Layton and Sister Layton - oh and me!

Friday, January 9, 2015

MTC - The Final Week

Bula vinaka, na noqu matavuvale kei veitokani! (Hello, my family and friends!)

I'm beyond excited right now. I leave the Missionary Training Center in just about 24 hours. How completely insane is that? By Sunday (Monday in Fiji time) I will be in the country that I have been preparing for the last few months to help and serve. I've actually had a really good time at the MTC, but I am so ready to get out into the field, and here's why.

Last night, we had the opportunity to Skype several people in Fiji and teach them the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the first time, I realized that I not only instantly loved the people we talked to, but I also understood them. Almost everything they said made sense to me. And I could reply, easily! I testify that the gift of tongues is REAL! It made me so excited to get going to the greatest place on planet Earth!

This week, I learned about the importance of working hard. My MTC Branch President, President Willes, told us that if we worked as hard as we could in our studies these last few days, we would leave the MTC happy, prepared, and on a spiritual high. I'm sure I'm going to learn again in the field what it really means to work hard, but for right now, I just know that what I'm doing isn't necessarily easy, but so beneficial. The Lord can only work through people who prepare themselves.

Au lomani kemuni, and keep praying for me! The next time we talk, I'll be in paradise! (not the one after this life, of course)

Elda Barnaby

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

Temple View

Great view, right? Last time I'll be able to enter the Holy Temple for almost two years (the Fiji Temple is closed for renovations for most of these two years). For more info on the Temple, visit

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fijian Missionary, the Fijian District Elders and the Pokemon Elder!

Elder Barnaby and Elder Vuniwai (a missionary from Fiji)

Elders of the Fijian District (minus Elder Davis)
Fiji is one lucky country!

I found a Elder who can handle his Pokemon!

MTC Week 5 - Na Kosipel i Jisu Karisito dina! (The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true!)

Ni sa bula vinaka, na veitokani kei na matavuvale!

Well this has been a very long and exciting week. I got my travel itinerary this week, I officially leave the MTC on the 10th of January! I'm so pumped I can't even handle it!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope yours was better than mine, I spent it sick in bed with a fever and a sore throat! Not the best way to start out the year, but hey, I'm here at the MTC preparing to serve the Lord, this year will only get better!

This was a pretty interesting week, I learned a lot about how the Spirit works in people's lives, especially those ready to receive the gospel. I also learned how important it is to always have the Spirit with you. A lot of people think that you have to be serving a mission or be an Apostle to always feel the Holy Ghost, but that's totally not true! Anyone can feel it's influence if they stay worthy of it! Of course, you need to have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and that's where I can help ;)

I gave my first blessing of comfort this week. It was a very new experience for me, something I will not soon forget. For those of you who read this and wonder what I'm talking about, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who hold the Priesthood can use that authority to bless an individual with comfort and counsel. They do this by laying their hands on the person's head and listening to the guidance of the Spirit to bless the person with specific blessings of what they need to feel and know. If you're still confused, ask either my parents or visit to learn more about the Priesthood and Priesthood Blessings. It was a sweet experience for me, and drew me closer with that Elder so I could help him with his problems.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It blesses countless lives, and it's only purpose is the selfsame purpose the Lord God has, which is to give lasting joy and "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). I know it, I live it, I love it, and I want to share it with the world.

Au via wasea na kosipel i Jisu Karisito kei na Vuravura.

Au lomani kemuni!

Elder Barnaby