Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Noqu Vanua (Matei/Qeleni Area, Week 22)

Bula Vinaka and Merry Christmas everyone!

This week has been one to remember - it was hard, to say the least, but it was worth it. It was so worth it. Where do I begin?
Matei Taveuni.
We had a bomb lesson with Roberta on Tuesday - she was so excited to sit down with us and when we taught her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, the only question she had was, "Can I read the book?" I can't wait to see her next week so we can follow up on what she thought and felt about the Book of Mormon. We also had a very Spirit-directed lesson with one of our less-active members. The Lord truly knows His children!
This is Ela Radaniva, a recent convert, and Brother and Sister Cziep!

Wednesday was the beginning of our troubles. From Wednesday to Saturday, this giant rugby tournament was held up in Qeleni Village, so literally everyone was gone. We walked all the way back from President Bautarua's house after we found out that they were gone (we found out the hard way, of course). But it was okay, as we struggled and pushed ourselves, the Lord was able to bless us with the lessons we needed and the people that needed a visit.

Left to Right: Nau Rosa, Nau Mari, Elder Barnaby
and Elder Jonutz
Thursday we had Zone Training Meeting and the Zone Leaders came to Tav from Savusavu. It was a way good meeting, we learned a lot about how to ask "inspired questions", or questions that provoke thinking and soul-searching and further questions. These type of questions are really what helps people to come unto Christ - teaching them just gives them the information, answering questions and asking their own gets them further, and applying it in their lives - well, that's conversion. We've truly seen it, real change in people's lives. I just realized this week how wonderful our message is to the world - I've seen hearts softened and relationships flourish under the influence of the message of the Restoration. The Holy Ghost testifies of its truthfulness, and my testimony of its truth is only a small part of a much bigger picture. An eternal perspective.

Cool Christmas present from 
mission president and his wife - custom made 
Temple Recommend holders 
for the Fiji Suva Mission!
Elder Jonutz taught me a wonderful principle this week. He taught me that we need to be studying and applying the Atonement every single day of our lives. Not just here and there when we need it or we get into trouble, but every day. It's there to help us, lift us up, and make us what we can't make of ourselves. It's way cool, I've never thought of it like that. Elder Jonutz officially finished his training this week, and this coming week is transfers, so maybe by next week I'll be emailing from a new area! But my time with Elder Jonutz has been fantastic. He's going to go far, in the mission and in life, and so many people will be blessed for knowing him.

The closest village to Matei, about 10 minutes 
walk from our place
And then there was the miracle of Siga Tabu - Sunday. Matei Unit has been struggling, chugging along but not showing the church attendance that should be there. A few weeks ago, we had 8 people at church. Now multiply that by 6, and you'll get this week's attendance. We had a total of 49 people at church in Matei. It was packed - we ran our of seats when we hit 40 people, and then another family came late. A good 6+ people were standing, and it was just a wonderful, peaceful feeling.
Elder Jonutz and I were happier, though, than everyone else - because we love these people, and this is what Matei Group deserves. These people are Latter-day Saints, not just in word but in deed and in their lives. I love them. They are my family. I love and miss Tavua. I love and miss Suva 4th. But Matei and Qeleni have a special part of me. Taveuni has a special part of me.


There's a Fijian song about the Tagimoucia flower, which is only found on Taveuni. The chorus starts with a declaration: "Noqu vanua" - "My land". I concur wholeheartedly.
Yes, that is a refrigerator. Fiji.

I love you! We'll see what happens next! Vakanuinui vinaka na Siga ni Sucu!

Elder Barnaby

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