Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Week I Starred On The Travel Channel (Matei/Qeleni Area, Week 9)

Missionary of Steel - 
on Crutches... 

I didn't actually star on the travel channel, but with the amount of travelling we had to do this week, I should've! We had Zone Conference in Labasa this week, which is another island and a 4-hr bus ride away from Taveuni. Travel was absolutely nuts - After Zone Conference, we had to wake up at 3 am to catch the bus from Labasa back to Savusavu and the boat back to Taveuni. I can't even describe. We spent full days this week just travelling. To top it off, I got some crutches for my sprained ankle - my arms are way sore, but at least I can go out and work now.

View of  the island of Vanua Levu.
Tuesday we left on the 8am boat to Vanua Levu island - I was way excited to be riding a boat, because one of our rules as missionaries is that we aren't allowed to ride in boats or participate in water sports - just for safety reasons. But we got to ride a boat called the Taveuni Princess and it was cool classic-looking wooden boat.

When we got to Vanua Levu, we rode a bus to Savusavu and then on to Labasa. It was really warm there! Vanua Levu is the northern island in Fiji, the second largest and it's nickname is the "Friendly North". When I got to Fiji, my dream was to serve in Taveuni or Vanua Levu. Now I've been to both.

Cool training during 
our Zone Meeting in Labas
We had Zone Training Meeting on Tuesday evening, we went and got some FANTASTIC food (I got Mongolian beef - it was so good, you have no idea). I also got my crutches on Tuesday, so by Wednesday I was using them everywhere I went. Zone Conference was on Wednesday, and boy, it was so good. For Zone Conferences (every 3 months), our Mission President, President Layton, always comes up from Suva to visit us and give us some training. This time, it was focused on finding people to teach and retaining recent converts after they are baptized. It was a really good day, I learned a lot - especially that our efforts often have a ripple effect that we could never have realized. President Harward, 2nd Counselor in the Fiji Suva Mission Presidency, told a story how after 50 years of being off his mission, he got a call from a girl who thanked him for baptizing her mother. Since then, that one lady President Harward had baptized has had several children and many grandchildren, many of whom have since served missions of their own, in turn blessing hundreds of other lives. All because President Harward served his mission and baptized that one person. I love it! It gives me hope that even just one person whose life I touch could have an effect that would bless dozens, hundreds, even thousands of lives. It's a wonderful thing.

We ate at this one place in Labasa, "Horseshoe" - 
man, they had some way good $4 burgers. 
We never, ever get burgers in Fiji, let alone for $4.
The trip back, as I said before, was a nightmare. We woke up at 3 am and for basically 10 hrs we just traveled. And then, after a little bit of down time, I went straight on an exchange to Vuna with Elder Brown, who is a new missionary in training. I was exhausted, but it was definitely a fun experience. Until on Friday, when we went to one area called Navakawau. All of a sudden, I came down with a high fever, and there was no cell service, and the bus was 3 hours late coming down to Navakawau. So I was taken care of in the home of a few members of the Church, the Muri family. They took care of me until the Senior Missionary Couple, the Vermeerens, were able to drive down and pick us up (we found cell service after searching for a while). The fever was gone by Saturday, though.

This is from the Vuna Flat on the 
southern side of Taveuni Island.
Elder Lautogia is serving in 
the most bush-area of the mission - Nakawakawa. 
As you can see, it's doing interesting things to him.
Unfortunately, we had Sikeli's baptism planned for Saturday, but he didn't show up. He also didn't come to church, which was unlike him. We're really unsure of what's up, but we're going to work hard this week to answer his concerns and help him to make that covenant of baptism, which can only bless his life. He already wants it, he just needs to take the step of faith. It would mean a lot to me for him to be baptized. But it's up to the Lord, and Sikeli. All I can do is work
From the Taveuni Princess boat to Vanua Levu from Taveuni
and pray.

Tough week, but only good things are ahead! Toso!

Elder Barnaby

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