Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Power of Members (Tavua Area, Week 15)

On the railroad tracks we follow to get to the "Mataniwai" settlement. We were just heading back when we saw the sunset and had some fun.
Boy, Week 15 already? That means I've been gone for over 20 weeks. That's a long time! And it's almost May? What's going on? Where's all this time going?

Great week this week - things are really moving along in Tavua area! I'd like to give a lot of credit to Elder Carlson. He's really emphasized what we call "member-present lessons", or lessons with investigators that have a member of the Church present as well. The point of member-present lessons isn't just to get a number on our weekly goals - the point is to have another witness of what we share is true. Often the members are friends of investigators or people they know, and hearing the testimony of someone like that brings a powerful Spirit into the room. Miracles happen when members come with us to lessons. Here's an example.

This was last week - finding a trail for our District Hike today 
should be good!
This week, we were teaching Losana, a teenage girl who wasn't super-duper interested in the Church or anything. But she accepted the invitation to come to church on Sunday. While at church she realized that one of her childhood friends was a member. Mere, who's one of our best youth members. We decided to bring Mere with us to see Losana this week. In that lesson, we taught about the Plan of Salvation, our Heavenly Father's plan for us as we navigate this life. All of a sudden, she had questions for us and was more interested in our message. At the end of the lesson, we talked about some of the things we have to do in order to find everlasting joy with our Father in Heaven after this life. One of those things is to be baptized by someone holding the proper Priesthood authority of God. We invited Losana to be baptized, and all of a sudden, Mere jumped in and bore her testimony of the truthfulness of this Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Losana, with calm enthusiasm, accepted the invitation to be baptized.
Bishop Tora (the man himself)

To you members of the Church, you are powerful! Go out with the Missionaries from your ward, whether you be young or old! Invite your friends to hear the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! You can change lives! Be that member missionary!

"There is beauty all around" when Fiji is your home...

Nina didn't get baptized this week, but she will in a few weeks, after the school break is over here. And Anasa finally accepted baptism as well! We've got high hopes for Tavua, things are looking up! I'm doing great, and though it's hard, I know why I'm here. I'm here to bring souls unto Jesus Christ, and "this is my joy" (see Alma 29:9)

Toso meda toso!

Elder Barnaby

We will teach anyone who will listen...
Fun with the companion - our newest investigator, Simoko, Bishop's goat!
Simoko's baptism has yet to be scheduled. We're still teaching the Word of Wisdom, "Thou shalt not eat thy Elder's scriptures"
Got a new watch - $15 because it is "Watea Resist"
(My New England family will understand)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

In the Tavuan Dialect, "Bula" means "Fire" (Tavua Area, Week 14)

And that's what's happening to Tavua Area right now. We are on FIRE! 
Missionary man!

This week has had the most lessons that I've had in the past 3 1/2 months. 18 lessons. And we have a bunch of new and potential-new investigators! I'm so excited! The work is really taking shape in Tavua, and it's just going to get better from here!
COOL RIGHT  - found a new setting on my camera

We have a baptism coming up, not this week but next week. Oh I'm so excited! Nina is awesome, she's so prepared too. Lessons with her are almost hard to teach - she knows so much about the Church and the Restored Gospel! It also helps that she lives with Bishop's family, who have family prayer and scripture study every night and Family Home Evening every Monday. And Bishop is kind of the bishop and Sister Tora is the seminary teacher. So, that helps.  

We've had a lot of cool experiences this week. One that I'd like to share is about how God humbled me. We had some lessons fall through (per the norm), and we were walking through the village trying to think of someone to visit. I told Elder Carlson, "Hey, let's go see Sister Korodrau and see if there's anything we can do to help her." While en route, I proceeded to warn him about all the negative things I knew about Sister Korodrau. Not many people liked her - not even her own children and grandchildren, so I had always gone along. The few times I'd met her, I agreed with them. But when we got to her house, my pride was knocked down below sea level. Sister Korodrau answered the door and said, "Elders! How did you know I needed your help?" She had been going through hard times and wanted to come back to church, and the Spirit guided us to her in her time of need. I was humbled beyond belief - I felt like someone spoke in my mind and said, "There - that'll teach you to talk like that." Sister Korodrau didn't come to church yesterday, but I know now how to treat others, especially as a representative of Him who loves unconditionally.

Never forget that. He never gives up on you. He lives, and that means He plays an active part in all of our lives. He can change us - if we would just come to Him. 
This is Graham Amoi - one of my FAVORITE members. 
And now he's going back to BYU Hawaii! Isa!

Ether 12:27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Loloma levu,

Elda Barnaby

Our landlord's remodeling the flat! 
On the right you can kinda see what the floor looked like before.

Latest Rash - but it's gone now. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Goodbye Mission Dad, Hello Mission Mom! (Tavua Area, Week 13)

Elder Beilman (my mission dad/first companion) is gone! He got transferred to Sigatoka, which actually is still in my Zone, so that's cool! But I'll miss him, he's a way good missionary and a way good friend!

Elder Beilman and I helped paint some trim - in our proselyting clothes!
We are always prepared to help!

This is the Sharma family - 
Master Sharma, Sister Sharma, and Abigail! 

Here's Elder Carlson and I! 
First day together!
Good taste in ties!!!
And so Elder Carlson (my mission mom/second companion) came to Tavua! Elder Carlson is 20-years-old from the island of Palau in Micronesia. His dad is American (hence the name) and his mom is Palauan! He's been out for 6 months and this is his second area. He loves basketball, and he just so happens to go to the same college Elder Beilman went to! Sa dina! I'm excited to get working with him, he's a good guy.

This week was way good! We had some rough days, but great news - I got my Driver's License this week! The test was way hard - I stalled the car four times. I really shouldn't have passed. And yet, I have a full Fiji Driver's License! That's kinda cool, eh? We celebrated with ice cream, of course.

Our week, missionary-work-wise, was fantastic! We talked to Su, who was taking the lessons before and we really weren't sure if she was all that interested in the Church. We went to talk to her, and we ended up talking about the Book of Mormon. We asked her what she thought of it, and she said, "Well, I guess I'll have to read it and pray about it to find out if it's true." And that's exactly what we were going to say! It was a very exciting moment for me, Su's awesome!

Our landlord is remodeling the flat! 
Which is nice, because the flooring 
and paint job are terrible.
We have a new investigator, Akariva. He works with Bishop Tora at the Vatukoula Gold Mine, and he's a way nice guy. Elder Carlson and I started teaching him this weekend, and when we saw him Sunday evening, he said, "You know, I was talking about it with my wife and we've decided we don't want to switch churches or anything." It almost broke my heart - here he was, a person I thought was divinely prepared to receive the gospel, and he rejected us! He did let us share our message, though, and it was crucial that we share about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shared about Joseph Smith's First Vision of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The room got quiet, and we asked him what he thought of Joseph's experience. He said, "If this is true, and if Joseph Smith was really a prophet, then the church he started would be the true church."

This week I've been blessed with people who just get it. A lot of times here in Fiji, people let us into their homes to share our message, but that's what they think we do - only share a nice message. But our purpose is to change lives, through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. And when people just get it, I get it.

Elda Barnaby
This is Sister Milika and her family.
She's holding the baby and 
she feeds us good food!

Sunday, April 5, 2015


It's official - I'm done with my in-field training! After 6 weeks in the MTC and 12 weeks of in-field training, I am READY TO ROCK FIJI. Not that I haven't been doing that already.

We had my first baptism this past week! It was a wonderful experience for everyone! George, the person baptized, is the man! He's an older guy, and he's got a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! He's at church before everyone else, and he's the only one who wears a full suit! Everyone else wears sulus (the skirts and dress shirts, like in all my pictures). But I'm so happy for George - he's begun a wonderful journey that ends in eternal joy and happiness with our Father in Heaven.

It's been a rough week - probably the most eventful of my mission thus far. I threw up earlier this week, and the next morning went out to proselyte. The Lord's work never stops! I could have chosen to stay inside all day of course, but that's not how I want to be. There are lives to brighten, hearts to touch, and souls to save. That kind of wonderful work waits for no man! And I am not missing out on the opportunity I have to help as many people as I can!

This is Nancy, our favorite member! 
She's almost finished with her mission papers, I
 hope I'm here when she gets her call!

I'm going to start sharing a "Miracle of the Week" segment in these emails. This past Easter Sunday, we went to some appointments with investigators and less-actives, and everyone was busy. We tried visiting other people, but holidays are huge events here in Fiji. Everyone's gone at a party. It also didn't help that there was a Rugby game on. That was interesting - walking through the village and all of a sudden hearing shouts and screams from every home as Fiji scored. Anyway, we went to go visit Master Sharma, who teaches at one of the schools in town. We hadn't planned to see him - we were only going to go over there to ask if we could come by another day. As Sister Sharma opened the door, though, she gasped and said, "Elders! Come in, we were just praying you'd come by to give Brother Sharma a blessing!"

Elder Beilman and Bishop Tora's niece, 
Makareta (Margaret). She's from Kadavu.

That, my friends, is a miracle. Our Father in Heaven knows his children, and he also knows the missionaries. That's what we're here for - to be instruments in the hands of God, following the promptings of the Spirit, and blessing the lives of His children.

That is a miracle.

Happy Easter!

Elder Barnaby

Met this little girl on the bus. Her name is Silo - cutest little thing! 
She taught me how to sing 
"If You're Happy and You Know It" in Fijian.

"Kevaka ko mamarau, tukuna emeni!"

RAICA - the Korowere Squad. 
We ran into these kids when looking for some people out in the Vatukoula settlements. 
They were the bomb. 
They called themselves the "Korowere Squad", 
after the village they're from.