Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Lord Leads His Work (Matei Area, Week 2)

I am somewhere over the rainbow!!

Gorgeous, right? Wish you could see it in person.
This week was amazing, if you all want to know. It was....I don't know if I can even describe how learn. I found this week, though, that this is truly the Lord's work; He lead it this week, not us.
amazing it was. Not only am I on this completely beautiful island, I'm blessed with wonderful people to work with. This week was fantastic, we found eight new people to teach - none of them were related, they were all individuals. And almost all of them are really interested in the Church. In Fiji, it's really easy to share with everyone, because they're all already Christians. It's harder to find the ones that really want to

Cool service - raising a garage!
Examples: He placed so many people in our path this week for us to meet and teach. We found out that one of the people who was coming regularly to church wasn't a member - even the members thought he was a member! His name's Alosio, we're really excited to teach him. Hopefully it will all work out wonderful for him. Other people were relatives of members and recent converts, who were just waiting there and willing to hear our message. All we had to do is follow the commandment to "open your mouth" (see D&C 33:8-10). Another example: I've been given so much courage to just speak to people this week, it's definitely been from the Lord.
Way pretty - lots of scenic shots this week

I've learned this week that through obedience, blessings are truly made manifest. The Lord God of Heaven and Earth truly owns everything in the universe - everything, that is, except one thing: you. He created your spirit and body and has a plan for you, but he gave you the ability to make choices on your own. That is agency. He gave it to all of us, so that we could choose the right or the wrong, the good or the bad, or just the better or the best. The thing is, when we choose the best, which is to follow our Heavenly Father and His Son, we are far from restricted; in fact, our horizons become endless. When we are obedient, the power of the Almighty God is manifest. He can direct our paths, He can bless us and help us to bless others. He knows perfectly what is best for us - why not tap into that power? He invites us, even implores us to do so. Christ said that, "If [we] love [Him], keep [His] commandments." (John 14:15)
This was so much fun. It's just in the middle 
of a settlement, no reason, just fun.

It's a wonderful truth - as we are obedient, we not only show our love for Him, blesses us with His power and knowledge. As King Benjamin says in the Book of Mormon, "And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?" (Mosiah 2:23-24)

Some native music :)
I love the Lord, and I know that He loves me and you. Matei Area is starting to pick up. Things are looking up. One little girl we're teaching, whose older siblings are members, is excited for her baptism next month. That's why I'm here: To do the Lord's will to bring happiness to his children - even the little ones. And me, too :)

Loloma levu mai vei au,

Elda Barnaby

In Fijian, "Chicken" is "Toa"

Pancakes. That's right. Pancakes. Elder Carter is a master chef. 
No eggs were used, either.

Sai Taveuni
I am so happy!!
Before the Rainbow - came the....

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bushwhackin' (Matei Area, Week 1)

On the plane to Taveuni!

Elder Carter, from Australia!
That's right - I got transferred again! This doesn't usually happen, but due to extenuating circumstances, I was transferred to Matei area - on Taveuni island. I was way sad to leave Suva 4th so quickly, because of the people I was leaving behind (and the McDonald's) but I am also so indescribably happy to be here in Taveuni! This was my dream when I got to the mission - the area I wanted to serve in the most. And now I'm here, with my new companion, Elder Carter, from Australia.

So yeah! Tuesday night, Elder Po'ona and I were walking home after a lesson, just after 9pm. All of a sudden, we got a call from our mission president, and the first thing we thought was "Oh snap, it's past nine and President is wondering where we are". So we answered and then he informed me about the transfer to Taveuni. He said that I could only bring one bag and a carry-on, and the bag had to be less than 15kgs (about 30lbs). We had no scale, so I just packed a bag and judged it, praying that it would be okay. And it was 15.0kgs on the dot. That was divinely assisted, like there was no way I could have guessed the weight that exactly.

This is the Matei Taveuni flat! We have power only in the evening for a few hours,
so no fridge for us! Also, no hot water, but at least we have running water.
But yeah! I flew from the Nausori/Suva airport to the Nadi airport (it was like a 20 minute flight) and then from Nadi to Matei airport (which was about 1 hour long in this tiny plane). It was a long day to say the least. I was exhausted, and I got to the flat in Matei - and there's no electricity. Only 2-3hrs in the evening when the landlord turns on their generator. So that was exciting! Also, I carried my cold from Suva to Taveuni, and the climate change isn't helpful. But it's okay cause this place is AMAZING.
This is the other side of the road we live on.
My second day, Elder Carter and I went to look for one baptismal candidate who had moved to a village called Bainikarasi (or "Wall of Grass"), so we walked about an hour and a half down the road towards Qeleni koro and took a side road towards the interior. A pickup truck came by and, here in Taveuni, cause there's no other transport other than one or two buses, everyone gives free rides. So Elder Carter and I hopped in the bed and road it for about twenty minutes into the bush. 

This is transport in Taveuni :)
The driver then turned off the road and asked us to get out so we could walk to Bainikarasi. We walked 30 more minutes through a field and into a forest of palm trees. Then we found the village and found out that the person we were looking for lived a little ways away - and we crossed through something of a small jungle to get there. It was way cool sara ga. And we finally found him! But we had to walk home in the dark, because I'd left my flashlight in Suva and need to buy a new one. But it was way cool day. Probably the biggest adventure I've had so far.

I love it here. It's beautiful, and though the work is slow right now, we've got some goals to get it going again. I'm so excited to be here, and even though the church is very small here in Matei (it's not even a branch - it's a group that's part of another branch), I'm done with discouragement. This is the Plan of Salvation I'm preaching, the Plan of Happiness, our Heavenly Father's Plan for all of us. That's what I'm living, that's what I'm loving, and that's what I'm sharing with the people of Matei, Taveuni.

Loloma levu,

Elda Barnaby

This is Elder Pinapew. His head is a pinapew.  
This is Elder Pinapew. He's eating a pinapew.

(Barnaby sounds like pineapple in Fijian -
He is teaching you all a little Fijian)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Au Suasua ka Liliwa Tiko - I'm Wet and Cold (Suva 4th Area, Week 2)

Here's a picture with Bishop Tora's family from Tavua - just before I left! 
Bishop was at work, sadly, but I was glad to see the rest of them.

I got this Sulu done in Tavua by a member - 
"Kai Tavua" means I'm a native of Tavua!

We were so wet this day, but it was a dinner appointment, 
so we braved the elements to get some delicious "kokoda", 
or a raw fish salad. Way tasty.

This title literally says it all. It rains all the time in Suva and it's surprisingly cold. I started wearing another Elder's long-sleeve white shirt this week, and we have no car so we're always wet! :) I think I've gotten a cold this week, it's been AWESOME.

It was pouring rain, and one of our investigators pulled 
out a giant plastic bag and cut holes in it - it was way funny
But actually, I love the people here in Suva. The members are really powerful and our investigators are just the best! We have one, Daiana, who is getting ready for baptism next month. She came to church for the first time last Sunday, and she's really excited to be baptized in August. Apparently, most of her family are members, but her parents aren't. She's way funny. Another one of our investigators, Emosi, is really excited about everything we teach him. He's way fun to teach - and he's from Ba, which means he speaks the dialect I learned while in Tavua! Way fun to be able to talk with him in the little bit of Tavua dialect I know.

This kid was way funny. I forget his name. 
We walked with his family to church, along with one of our investigators
Elder Po'ona is the MAN! We've gotten off on the right foot and just had so much fun since we've been together. He's an excellent missionary, and even though he's close to being finished, he's not trunky to go home. He's here to serve the Lord and do his very best in all he does! It's way inspiring! Because he's a District Leader, I got to go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders the other day. And we saw Brother Crump, my MTC Fijian teacher! He's back in Fiji with the HEFY (Humanitarianism Especially for Youth) group from Utah. Way cool! He gave me a big hug, which was surprising because he didn't hug anyone else.

I love the people here so much. My mission is the best. No where else compares.

Elder Barnaby

This is the Suva 1st/Suva 4th ward chapel - the first chapel built in Fiji! It's gorgeous!
A little taste of Suva suburbs - this leads down into Raiwai, one suburb of Suva. 
We live in Flagstaff, about a 5 minute bus ride towards Suva City

Brother Ratuvukivuki with his grandson, Kenneth, who's half-Fijian half-Texan! (I thought that was way funny) 
His dad is an RM (returned missionary) who served in Fiji. 
His wife is, therefore, the Fijian of the two. I didn't get to meet him, though.

Got to go on splits with Elder Luatua, who's in my intake of missionaries!
 He's assigned to be Hindi speaking

Rocking the new missionary attire - only kidding...
New flat - this is our bedroom! I'm on the floor again!....

Sunday, July 5, 2015

City-Boy (Suva 4th Area, Week 1)

It's official - I am no longer in Tavua! I've been transferred, after 6 months, to Suva 4th - in the city! It's way cool here! I'm here with Elder Po'ona from New Zealand - yes, my third companion from NZ - but he's the man. This is his last transfer cycle, so I'll be "killing" him (his final companion).

This area is way cool, because it's a Fijian-only ward. That means all our lessons, all our church services, everything, 100% is in Fijian. I'm SOOOOOOO excited! This is where my Fijian takes the next step! It was so sad to leave Tavua, I miss all the people there. It was actually harder leaving them than my own family, but I know this area is where the Lord needs me to be - right here, right now.

I'll tell you more next week - we're short on time today. I love you all, and now YOU are in MY prayers! This is where everything changes - my language, my mission, and my life.


Elda Barnaby