Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blessings Are Easier To See In The Midst Of Afflictions (Tavua Area, Week 11)

Bula vinaka, you people who I love!

It's been a hard week here in Tavua! Hard, and full of wonderful blessings! I realized today how true the statement is that a diamond is more brilliant when displayed on black velvet. Blessings are easier to see in the midst of afflictions.

Good news - I got over my skin ailment this week! I may have some scarring from it, but it's pretty much gone. I've still got stomach pains, but that's natural when you're still adjusting to a completely different environment. Boy! I get to LIVE here for more than 20 more months! How awesome is that?

This past week was my "Week 11" in Missionary Training - which means that I lead all the missionary efforts this week, in place of my companion who's been doing this for over a year. It was surprisingly easy, though I noticed plenty of things I need to work on.

On Monday night, we stopped by Bishop's house to see if we could have a Family Home Evening lesson with his family. Our dinner appointment had fallen through, so we had extra time on our hands. We ended up having a wonderful lesson, and their niece, who lives with them, expressed interest in being baptized! Woot! We're starting the lessons with her tomorrow! Also, they fed us dinner that night, and we played Spoons with them. I love Bishop's family! We also did service with them this week, helping them move a pile of gravel in their yard. Bishop cut some sugar cane for us, and we ate it! Right off the cane! Boy, it was sweet. 

Blast from the past!  This is the computer I was emailing from
Thought all my tech savvy relatives will get a kick out of this!
Tuesday and Wednesday were disappointing, to say the least. Most of our lessons fell through, and we only got to see a few people. One of them was George, who was going to be baptized two weeks ago but will now be baptized this coming week! I'm so excited for him, and he's so excited too! He even came to Stake Conference on Sunday, an hour-and-a-half long bus ride from Tavua! Boy, so cool! He's the man!

We found a lot of new people to teach this week, and almost all of them came out of no where. We were searching for a less-active member of the Church on a certain street, and we came across a few families that we invited to take the missionary lessons. One of them, an Indian family, invited us back before we'd even said anything! I'm so excited to see them today!

This is Brother Sharma, cutting it up! 

Honestly, this week, numbers-wise, looks like a failure. But I feel really good. I've seen miracles this week, and I don't think I've been grateful enough to my Heavenly Father for my many blessings. I may say it every day in my prayers, but I need to start showing it. That's my challenge to you all. Don't just tell you're Heavenly Father you're grateful - show your gratitude! I love you all. Be the best you can be, and through our Savior's Atonement, He can make up the rest!

Elder Barnaby

This is Stake Conference.  It is when a number of LDS congregations come
together to learn and fellowship.  It was so worth the
hour and a half bus ride!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My Body Hates Me (Tavua Area, Week 10)

Bula tale!

I can't believe it's been 10 weeks since I've gotten to Fiji - 16 since leaving home! The time is flying so fast. I wish it would slow down a little.

Except that my body actually hated me this week.

We went down to Lautoka for Zone P-Day last week - that was the most fun I've had in a long time! We played touch-Rugby in the pouring rain. So fun! We got absolutely soaked, and my District wrecked! And none of us play Rugby!

We had Zone Conference on Tuesday in Nadi - boy, that was amazing. President Layton came to speak to us. As my companion says, "That man is on a different spiritual level." Dina sara ga. I learned so much about becoming a successful missionary, I hope I can apply it all! We each had an interview with President, too - one on one. That was a wonderful experience, too.

My Zone

Then began the part where my body hated me. From Monday on, I started developing some rash on my hand and knee. At first, I didn't think anything of it. Then it started spreading. And it itched like crazy. I asked the mission nurse what it was, and she didn't know! No one seemed to know! The rash started blistering with pimples, kind of like what happens when you get Poison Ivy really bad. Except
they don't have Poison Ivy here. And then, to top it off, I ate something that just didn't agree with me. That was a way rough night. But I'm getting better, no doubt thanks to a healing blessing that my companion administered to me. He's the man - and so is the Lord.

We had a baptism planned for this week, but the person isn't quite ready yet. Maybe in a few weeks. Two of our investigators lost interest in the Church, and we had so many fall-throughs this week. It was way disappointing. But Elder Beilman and I aren't giving up.

After all, there are lives to brighten, hearts to touch, and souls to save :) The Lord's work will go forward! We may be low right now, but as we increase our faith and trust in Him and His timing, He will bring us higher.

Love you all! Au lomani kemudou kece!

Elder Barnaby
 There is beauty all around- 
         Especially in Fiji 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Safety from the Storm (Tavua Area, Week 9)

Bula everyone!

I'm keeping this one short today, we have to get going down to a Zone Conference with a lot of other missionaries today and tomorrow. There's some great pictures with stories this week, and that's all I'm going to say.

This is the storm - at least, the worst it got in Fiji. 
A few nights ago the wind and rain were insane, 
and it blew into our flat at one point. But that's as bad as it got.
I want everyone to know that we are okay here in Fiji. Cyclone Pam, which was headed towards us, was miraculously driven away - no doubt because of the many prayers in our behalf! From what I heard, it was devastatingly powerful - if it had hit Fiji, we're in the western part of Viti Levu, and it would have done massive damage to us. Thankfully, we were only hit with some heavy rainfall and some wind. Elder Beilman and I were getting excited for the storm - now, we're immensely glad it missed us! Thank you for your prayers for our protection, and more importantly, the protection of the Fijian people! Please keep the people of Vanuatu and other small islands in your prayer, as they weren't as lucky as we were.

We built this...
Manly Battle scars!!
one of the metal sheets on top cut my hand

We've got a big week ahead, so next week's update is going to ROCK! The Lord's work won't be stopped, not by storms or men or whatever it be! Onward, ever onward!

Elder Barnaby

We met some Fijian members from Sydney, Australia on Monday - way cool family! 
Their son-in-law, who took the picture, is a High Councilman in Suva, 
and he knows one of the Elders from my intake!

This is Solomoni and Brother Vauvau.  We had the privilege of being there as this 
amazing father baptized his son!  It was a good day!  We got cake, too!
This is the explanation for the ninja picture last week. 
Ninja massacre, for District Meeting (there was a purpose, I swear)
Missionary training can be fun!  
( Elder Beilman and I didn't fair so well - I'm in the back face down)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Officially the Weirdest Week (Tavua Area, Week 8)

2 Months! 2 months in Fiji today! And 3 1/2 months since leaving home!

This picture is completely real. No filters or anything.

Okay, the title this week is entirely accurate. This has been the best and the weirdest week yet. So many things happened, so much good, so much hard, so much weird.

Teaching the Youth
We got to go to a Ward Family Home Evening (FHE) on Monday. We had a great turnout - and when we got there, we found out we had the games! (classic Fiji) So we came up with some fun games for the kids, including a hilarious game of Musical Chairs. It was a good day! Except that all of our lessons fell-through and we wandered the rest of the night, finding no one to teach.

We sang as we walked and walked and walked

Lots of walking this week - we walked all the way out to a village called Balata, probably an hour walk from town. After that, we returned to a village called Mataniwai, about a 20 minute walk back from Balata. That's always a fun walk - especially when it looks like it's going to rain. But Elder Beilman and I have been having a LOT of fun lately fooling around as we walk to appointments. We're very professional when other people are watching, of course. Only the best for the Lord. But I am also convinced that God has a sense of humor :)

Even in neon the Book of Mormon is True!
(I found the neon setting on my camera this week)
Another amazingly long day of walking was Saturday. We took a bus out to Gram Pani, which is an area about 6 miles from town. After visiting some members out there, we had planned to take a bus back, but that wasn't for another 3 hours. So the member we were meeting with told us the directions to get to the Vatukoula area, the area we were headed to next. We had no idea we could do that - and found out quickly that her directions were terrible. All the left turns were right turns, and it required cutting through fields of Sugar Cane and across people's lawns. Boy - that was an adventure! It took us only about an hour and a half, but it felt like all day. That was a great day.

We have a baptismal date set for one of our investigators! He's been waiting for 6 months to get baptized, and finally, the only thing holding him back is gone! I'm so excited for George! And he is too!

The Gospel is TRUE! And this is the best work I could be doing right now! I love it!

Elda Barnaby
I really love the skies here in Fiji :)

The weird parts of this week: Ninjas, our neighbor's niece, orange flavored soda that tasted like lime, frogs, and much more.

Dinner!  Yum! Yum!

This is a picture of the Tora's - the Bishop and his family here in Tavua!

This is Pio. He's the man sara ga. He's half Fijian half Tongan. He's hilarious

Lots of "werewere" work that day! To "werewere"
 is basically to trim plants, mainly grass, with a sele.

Lesson with a convert (middle) and two of her friends who
may be interested in the church. They were all way cool.

This will be fully explained next week.
Stay Tuned!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

We Eat At Curry Corner A Lot (Tavua Area, Week 7)

He is the Reason!
I also thought this picture looked cool and artistic
like something Mom and Emma would do.
(It's true)
Bula Vinaka!

It was a hectic week! I'm surprised we got so much done! We went down to Lautoka on Monday and Tuesday for another Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) and Elder Beilman and I stayed with the Lautoka 2nd Ward Elders again. We visited a new member family in Lautoka and had dinner with them - man it was good! Their little boy was so funny.

ZTM was good, though kind of long. One of the Elders in our district got brownies thrown at him (for a demonstration, it was pretty funny). The trip back though was long, the bus ride was not enjoyable. Public transportation is Fiji is no good unless you're going long distance, like to Suva (which is like 8+ hours).

Speaking of transportation, I learned how to drive this week! I mean, I knew how to drive, but I learned how to drive a manual! In a truck! On a back-bush road! Boy, it was actually way fun! I got the hang of it pretty fast, but boy, was it hard. Elder Tinney, one of our Zone Leaders, taught me how to drive in their truck. It was very different, and I stalled on every hill. When we got back to town, I stalled in the middle of the street - scary! We're good though, just a little shaken up. Apparently you shouldn't start the car in 3rd Gear.

We plan a lot.  
This is my planner - pretty sweet huh? We get a ton of church magazines 
and cut out pictures to use on our planners.
The one baptismal date we had, the person backed out. She said she didn't feel ready for baptism yet. Even though that's sad, we understand and actually welcome it - as missionaries, we don't want to force people to be baptized. We are only here to invite, and especially invite all to pray about our message to know it's truth for themselves. We ended up talking about and reading from the Book of Mormon, which is a sure way you can know of the truthfulness of this Gospel and this Church. It ended up being a rather spiritual experience, and I think the investigator felt the Spirit as strongly as us.

I love it here. I love the people, I love the culture, I love the food, and I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The more I study, the more I teach, and the more I testify, the more I learn and grow and love it! And the more I appreciate my Savior - wow, He did so much more for us than we can ever repay.

Onward, ever Onward.

Elder Barnaby

Two men on a mission.  Me and Elder Beilman
just doing our thing.

With some help from our friends....

This is Tevita (David in English), the Bishop's son. He's a riot.

My peeps!
I heard Gabe was a hit.  
When I started to take the picture it was just Gabe and I.
Then I looked back and there were two more kids on me.
If I had known I would have tried to get there faces in the shot.
Always room for one more!