Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

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)


  1. This is Elder Harris' Father. He was on Taveuni a couple months ago and loved it. You may have already seen this, but if not you will love the Vermeeren's blog. They post a lot of pictures.