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 

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