Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Monday, February 29, 2016

Aftermath (Samabula 2nd Area, Week 3)

A cyclone can't stop Fiji from being beautiful

One of my favorite songs before my mission was "Aftermath" by Hillsong United. It's about the Savior and the aftermath of His sacrifice for us - it takes on a new meaning after the disaster of Cyclone Winston. So much has happened - the southern half of Taveuni, which encompasses Vuna
Trying to get home during Cyclone Winston
area, was smashed hard. Koro Island was nearly entirely destroyed, as were parts of the Lau island group and the Lomaiviti group. The province of Ra, up near Tavua, was also hit so hard - apparently, they're not expecting power to be restored there for 6 months to 1 year. Power here in Suva is on and off constantly - our flat is again out of power, it's just ridiculous. And we're hearing reports of another, potentially more powerful storm forming somewhere near Vanuatu. It's quite a time to be serving in Fiji.

Speaking of changes, though, I got another new companion - again, before the normal 6-week transfer period is over! Elder Aguiar got transferred to Nakelo Area (which, I told him, is the best place in the world) and Elder Kanongata'a came here to Samabula 2nd with me! Elder Ta'a (shortened version of his name) is Tongan from California. He's the man - he's actually been in Fiji longer than me, and just came from Levuka, a small town on the island of Ovalau in the Lomaiviti group. He said it was disaster there - even the Elder's flat was destroyed. He lost most of his possessions in the storm. One of the few buildings that's still intact, though, is the Levuka Branch's chapel. That's where several member families and the Elders are now staying, until they can rebuild. Elder Ta'a was so sad to leave them, and he doesn't want to be back in Suva, but he's determined to "kill it" here in Samabula 2nd. We're in for a fun ride!
I love to see the Temple

So much has happened this week, I am just always exhausted. I've had probably 8 or 9 missionaries taking turns staying over at my flat over the past week. Elder Nelson, from Ohio, is the latest - in fact, he's still here, waiting for medical things to clear up before heading back to Vanua Levu island. It's
Nakelo Reunion with Apimeleki Ligica - 
the Branch made me a Nakelo flag!
been a hard but fun week. One of the special things that's happened this week is that we got to see Matai and his family Monday night and find a new investigator, Sisa, who's married to a sister in the Ward. Matai and his family accepted baptism our first lesson with them - they're really cool, we're hoping for great things with them. As for Sisa, we started visiting him this week and he just has so many questions and he's so excited to learn. He apparently was studying religion in college, and so many of those unanswered queries he had are starting to come to light as we share with him the message of the Restored Gospel, because that's what it does - it answers the questions of the soul.
Matei/Qeleni Reunion in Suva! 
Left to Right is Elder Jonutz, Junior, Neori, Peni, and me!

I can't describe how exhausted I am - but somehow, I'm still so happy. The Lord is making miracles happen everywhere - this past month, we had 129 baptisms and less-active members come back to church, in addition to the first baptism that Rotuma Island has seen in nearly 2 years. This is the year of miracles. This is the year of the Fire Monkey.


Elda Barnaby

President Henry B. Eyring wearing a Fijian "isalusalu"

from the Temple Cultural Celebration 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Spirit of God (a.k.a. the Year of the Fire Monkey) (Samabula Area, Week 2)

The Suva Fiji Temple, seen as Tropical Cyclone Winston hits the
island nation on Saturday. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.
Isa, I can't email for very long this week, I'm just going to keep it short. But I just wanted to let you know that we survived the storm - Cyclone Winston was a category 5, and we were spared from the worst of it, but Taveuni got smashed hard, so please remember the wonderful saints in Taveuni! They need a lot of prayers! As for us, we're still without power, and our flat is still a little wet, but we're having a good time anyways! Elder Jonutz and his companion are staying with us over this weekend, so it's been a great time catching up with him!
The LDS youth performing in the finale of the cultural celebration for the
rededication of the Fiji Temple.  All the missionaries are
sitting in the back right corner.
We got to attend the Fiji Temple Rededication and Celebration, and wow, it was just perfect. Things went wrong, yes - the celebration was cut short by the hurricane and there were technical difficulties when we were watching the live broadcast of the rededication, but the Lord's agenda was more than fulfilled. Lives were brightened and touched, and now souls on both sides of the veil will be saved as the Temple is now fully operational and more beautiful than ever. Hosana was the shout that rang in Fiji as President Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, rededication this holy house of the Lord. Boy, it was special.

And then we got a glimpse of Elder Barnaby.  Elder Barnaby's dad added a
little something to help everyone see him, and to help distract Elder Barnaby's mom
from worrying about the impending cyclone!

As for the work of salvation going on in Samabula, we're going to see what's happening next tonight. Elder Aguiar and I have some important appointments with our new investigator, Liku, and the family of Matai, who may be the family that we've been dreaming of finding. Miracles are happening, and it's high time we just have the faith to expect them. The Lord is doing amazing things here in Fiji!

I gave a training to my District last Tuesday about the "Year of the Fire Monkey", how the monkey represents us and that the fire is our faith. We're all pumped up now, and we're so excited to make this Year of Miracles into the Year of the Fire Monkey - where miracles are poured out on the people of Fiji. Let's go!

Love you all!

Elda Barnaby

Monday, February 15, 2016

And Then I Got Transferred Again (Samabula 2nd Area, Week 1)

Ligica Family - we took this picture after dinner on Monday, 
not realizing that the next day I would be transferred.

I'm getting really good at packing my bags quickly. I got transferred again.

On Tuesday, we were having a normal day in Nakelo, doing our visits in Lomainasau, when all of a sudden, I got a call from President Layton, the mission president. And when he calls, you know he's not just calling to chat. This is what he said: "Elder Barnaby, we have a missionary who has to return home due to issues with his health, and we'd like to ask you to come here to Samabula to be the new District Leader here. Can ya do that for me?" Of course I said yes, but inside I was freaking out. Why me? I think my name must be at the top of some list, and whenever anything happens, they say, "Oh, Elder Barnaby will do it for us!" For anyone who knows what an "emergency transfer" is, this is my fourth time.

So we said goodbye to Susana and a few other families, caught a taxi home, and within the hour, I'd
Delana family - the day I got transferred. Sister Delana was mad hahaha
Saying Goodbye hasn't gotten any easier!
packed all my stuff and the Assistants picked me up from Nakelo. It was the fastest transfer I've ever been involved in. It was nuts, and I was so sad to leave Elder Raiqisa, Elder Lemusu, and Nakelo. So sad. I got into Samabula, Suva late Tuesday night, and I've been here in Samabula ever since. I came to replace Elder Davis, who was in the MTC with me - he's unfortunately very sick and had to return home to see if the doctors there can help him. Please keep him in your prayers - he's really upset about all of this and his health just keeps declining, so he can use a lot of heavenly help. I was so sad to say goodbye to him, as we were supposed to fly home together at the end of our missions, and to know that I was replacing him in one of the toughest areas in the mission was really intimidating. But I've found that it's not so bad after all.

And this is my comp! Elder Aguiar and a few of our 
I have a cool companion - Elder Aguiar, from Oregon! He's half Mexican, half Cuban and  all American wrapped up into an awesome missionary!  He's the man.   We're getting along way good and really enjoying working together. He just started his mission a few months ago, so we're working together to get
This is Brother Ceguadrau 
and his daughter, Raijeli (Rachel)
him into tip-top shape, so he can be set for the rest of his mission. Work here in Samambula 2nd is way fun - hard, yes, but fun. We're working on finding new people to teach at the moment, and the ward is being really helpful in referring many people to us to teach. It's exciting to see such a "dreaded" area already start to bloom!

Is that...the Temple? In my area?

This weekend is the Temple Re-dedication. And the Temple? Yeah, it's a five minute walk from my house. It's so cool being in this area - I literally walk by the Suva Fiji Temple every single day. The Temple Cultural Celebration is on Saturday, and the Re-dedication is on Sunday. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will both be coming, along with four members of the Quorum of the Seventy. It's so exciting, I can hardly stand it! As soon as I finish writing this, we're going to the LDS High School to attend a practice for the Cultural Celebration.
It's been really really hot this week. Especially for
this New England boy!

The miracles are coming in waves, and I love being a part of them! Please pray for Fiji this week, there's supposed to be rain this weekend, which would put a damper on the celebration, so please remember us in the Pacific! We'll remember you in your snow-covered lives!

Love you! Next week, I'll be the happiest person on Earth - I guarantee it!

Elder Barnaby

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Love To See The Temple (Nakelo Area, Week 8)

We visited the Suva Fiji Temple Open House this week with a 
bus load of members and investigators

In the reception tent after 
the Temple Open House 
tour with Susana

Boy - it's been quite a week here in Fiji! They just finished up the Temple Open House on Saturday. The grand total: 22,483 guests came to take the free tour. It was a special time! Apparently, on the last day, 28 bus-loads of people came from the western half of Viti Levu to see the Temple, including
people from Tavua (I wasn't there to see them, though). We went with a bus-load from Nakelo, including two investigators, our recently baptized friend Susana, and several of our less active members. It was the best - it's been well over a year since I've been to the Temple, and even though it's not yet dedicated, I felt such a powerful spirit in the House of the Lord. It's rededication is less than 2 weeks away!

Some of my favorite smiles
at the temple
On the 20th of February, there will be the celebration for the rededication of the Suva Fiji Temple, and the missionaries have a part in the end with the youth. Here's the message from President Layton:

"The Temple Celebration will be streamed live over the internet. You can send the following link to family and friends, if they desire to view it: 
The broadcast will begin streaming live on Saturday, 20 February 2016 at 3:00 p.m. Fiji Time (Friday, 19 February 2016 at 10:00 p.m. EST)"

I thought I wouldn't find scenic shots in Nakelo

We had some fantastic miracles this week. While visiting Susana in Lomainasau, she told us about

one of her nephews, Peni, who had told her that he wanted to take lessons. We were intrigued, so we asked her where his house was in the village and then we went to find it. When we met him, before we'd even finished introducing ourselves, the 23-year old guy asked us, "How do I become a member of the church?" His cousin, Judi, sat down with us and was interested as well, and by the time we left, they both had committed to being baptized at the end of March. After we left, it took all of our willpower not to scream and shout for joy in the middle of the village. Miracles.


My first District Meeting went really well - it's stressful being District Leader, but it's also really blessing me to focus myself and become the best missionary and best person I can possibly be. The Lord is amazing - He's forming me into someone that people can follow. I don't know any other explanation for it than that He's doing all the heavy lifting and I'm watching in awe. I feel so blessed to be in Fiji at this time and in this area with one of my favorite companionships, Elder Raiqisa and Elder Lemusu. I testify that Heavenly Father is a God that truly loves His children, more than any of us can comprehend.
We are the most diverse companionship in Fiji

Service this week, digging a "qara ni benu" 
(garbage hole - there's no dumps in the bush) for some members - 
I got a serious sunburn!
We're prepping for a baptism this week, Sami Tavuto, a 9-year-old son of a member who hasn't been baptized yet. We're also getting ready for a fun Nakelo Branch activity this Saturday - pictures will be insane! I love being here in Fiji, and I love you all!

Quote of the Week: "Put God first, regardless of the trials you face."

An Elder Barnaby who just always seems to be happy nowadays

Microwave cake anyone? (It was actually delicious)