Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sivia na Koniferedi, Sivia na Marau (Matei/Qeleni Area, Week 19)

Another day in paradise - what should I do???
Maybe sprain my ankle again!
Maybe we need to start praying for Max's Ankle!

It's kind of hard to describe the word "sivia" in English. Basically, it means "exceedingly much", or in more modern terms, "a ton". Translated, the title means, "A ton of conferences, a ton of happiness".

This week was absolutely nuts (or should I say, Jonutz) - and of course, it started out with a nice new spranged ankle. The same one as before. Obviously there was a lesson that Heavenly Father was trying to teach me before that just didn't get across or something. When I fell this time, I was walking on flat ground. So. It's even less cool of a story than last time. This time, though, when they sent the crutches, they were too big and didn't adjust any smaller. Thankfully, it's not as bad as last time.

More importantly, we had the Taveuni District Conference - all the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Vanua Levu Island (second biggest island in Fiji), Rabi Island, and Taveuni Island come to Taveuni for a two-day spiritual feast (and a few literal feasts, too). This time, Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Quorum of the Seventy (one of the main leading bodies of the Church) came to visit and speak to the Saints in Taveuni District. Elder Pearson is currently the President of the Pacific Area of the Church, so the Taveuni Saints were really excited for this event. We also had our Zone Conference in addition to the big member-attended District Conference, so from Thursday until Sunday we had meetings.

The Sisters fed us well!
District Conference was simply filled with joy. I can't describe the wonderful feelings we had as we saw the Somosomo Branch Chapel overflowing with members. So many wonderful people came to the Conference from all over Vanua Levu and Taveuni. So many less-active members we've invited to church a thousand times finally came to meet together and hear the word of God. It was a priceless experience. Elder Jonutz and I were all over the place on Sunday - greeting members, saying hello to everyone, even helping out an elderly Sister Mariana to get safely from a taxi into a wheelchair and then into the chapel. The best part was, these people were so happy to see us.
And they kept feeding us - ymmy!
Lots of food for the District Meeting
Members were happy to see all of their favorite missionaries from the different areas they serve here in the North Zone, but I felt special and priveleged to serve the people in Matei and Qeleni. As we greeted and served them on Sunday, there was a special spirit that radiated from every member we met, and they all were so happy to see us. They were so happy that our new Zone Leader, Elder Fong, who served previously in Matei, came up and gave me a hug, thanking us for taking care of Matei and Qeleni. It was a special experience that I don't want to forget.

Junior and Hinckley, two youth from Matei
I just wanted to mention some of the things that Elder Pearson and the other speakers told us in the various sessions of the Conference:

"We're not proving anything to Heavenly Father - He's proving to us that we can do more than we think we can." - Elder Pearson

"We can open the floodgates of heaven if we help the missionaries." - President Petero

"The reason we as men receive the Priesthood is because it's Heavenly Father's way of helping us to become more like His Son. If, as Priesthood holders, we look and act like the Savior, others will see an example of Him." - Elder Pearson

"The Lord calls you because He loves you, and He trusts you, and He wants you to do His work." - President Kalougata

"We are not objects; we are agents." - Elder Pearson

Elder Davis and I with our trainees!
 Elder Davis and I are in the center - we were friends in the 
Mission Training Center and haven't really seen each other for almost 
a year!
And too many more to put in this update! We were so richly blessed this week. Next week, Elder Gifford Nielson, also of the Seventy, will be doing a "Mission Tour" of the Fiji Suva Mission - two General Authorities in less than two weeks! I love it here!

I felt and had faith that the Lord would bless Taveuni as a result of this Conference. And the blessings are already on their way. Let's see what Elder Jonutz and I can do.

Vakarau tiko? (Ready?) Sa Set? (Set?) Lako (Go)

Elder Barnaby

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