Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Oqo (Lautoka 2nd Area, Week 10)

Got to go back to Nasivikoso - one last time!

Well this week has been quite a week! Sorry, it takes too long to explain this week's title, suffice it to say that it means, "This" in Fijian. Things are still moving here in Fiji Suva Mission, here's the run-down!

Monday we had a fun combined Family Home Evening at the Stake Patriarch's house, followed by a boss potluck dinner. It was potLucky for us! #letsgo #dry

Tuesday District Meeting was fun, we had some fire cooking from the Sisters (though Elder Mokie did knock my plate on the floor). After a few fallthroughs to start off all of a sudden the work picked up and we were able to see a bunch of our investigators and less-actives. One of our investigators, Eroni, we invited to be baptized on the 13th on next month, my last Sunday. He happily accepted, but when he came to church on Sunday, he asked, "Hey Elders, can I just get baptized next week?" So we're getting excited to have him for baptism next week, along with Sister Taukei, whose records are missing and has to be baptized again in order to recreate them. Probably best part of our day, though, was getting to sit down with Niko. He's still the man - his church attendance since his baptism has been on and off, it's been hard because of his work, but we're trying to help him see the wonderful benefit of coming to church every week and putting the Lord first in his life.

More shenanigans with Elda Afatasi
Wednesday we went up to Nasivikoso with the Dratabu Elders, probably for the last time. The area has been handed over to them so we, being the only one who knows the way up through the mountain road, took them up to show them around and introduce them to the members in the village. It was a fun time, especially when I was talking to a recently baptized 10-year-old girl up there and asked her who baptized her. She replied, "Elder 'Ita and Elder Painapiu!" I just laughed because I (Elder Painapiu/Pineapple) hadn't baptized her, she had just forgotten the other Elder's name.

Thursday we hopped right into an exchange with Rakiraki elders, and I got to go with Elder Masoe, who was my MTC companion. It was actually ridiculously fun, we told stories and laughed the whole time and had a boss day of laboring in the Lord's Vineyard (see Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon). We got some new investigators, two Indian girls named Jana and Jyoti who are ons tu mada ga. Jyoti asked some really soul-searching questions, so we came back on Sunday and started teaching the Plan of Salvation to help her out (for more on the Plan of Salvation, go to

Friday we got back from exchanges with Rakiraki elders and, after a quick lunch, went straight on exchanges again with the Nadi Hindi elders. It was a fun day of lessons in their area, though it was funny because we taught only Fijians, when their primary focus is supposed to be the Fiji Indian population. One family we visited (who the Nadi elders are hopefully going to baptize next week) was way funny as we taught them about the law of tithing. The father wanted to give an example, so he pulled out one of the pamphlets, gave it to Elder Howard (of Nadi) and said, "Here, let's say this is my tithing. I give it, and"--picking up his empty glass of water--"the Lord pours out His blessings upon us." He then tipped over the not-so-empty cup and out came water, all over Elder Howard's lap. We all died laughing, it was a classic gag.
Lots of exploring this week - gotta love Fiji!

Peni got baptized!
Saturday was a really slow day, but we were able to get Peni approved for his baptism, which was held before church on Sunday. We were so happy for that event, because it's been well over a year in the making. He finally made it, and it was a special experience to watch his wife hug him right as he came up out of the water, and as he bore his testimony he started crying and it just showed how much this man has hoped for this day, trying to overcome past mistakes in order to align his life with the Savior and His teachings. It was just a great end to a great week.

I love you all, and I am ready for another awesome week!

Elder Barnaby

he Naicker kids were looking for crabs while 
we walked with them to visit one of their friends.

I made pudding pie with an oreo cookie crust for District Meeting. It was pretty good!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Me + Christ = More (Lautoka 2nd Area, Week 9)

Picking up Pattie again with some of the elders - happy happy, joy joy!

My oh my, it's already been 9 weeks in this one area - that's so fast! I love it here in Lautoka, and even though this past week was long and hard, I think I finally know how much worth each minute is here on the mission.

At District Meeting, the Sisters got each of us jellybeans 
with Disney characters that "represented" us - I got Yoda, cause I'm small haha
What made this week long? Just lots to do, most of it spent traveling back and forth from Nadi in the car. But we finally got Pattie from the garage and gave the Nadi Hindi elders their car back, so everyone's happy now! It was kind of unsettling how they fixed the doors on Pattie, though - we watched as probably four or five mechanics pried from the outside with screwdrivers and kicked and pushed from the inside until the door got unstuck. Only in Fiji, folks. But hey, I should be grateful, however ghetto it was, it worked, and now the doors are unstuck.

My universal charger broke, so I went all MacGyver on it
Like I said, it was a very busy week, but one of those busy weeks that drag on because a lot of the business is spent sitting waiting or driving places. We did have the Assistants over on Thursday after
our self-reliance class because of the Leadership Training meeting on Friday, where President and Sister Layton came and taught us leadership skills. It was a good, intense meeting with some lovely pizza in between (as lovely as pizza can get in Fiji).

We had a good lesson with Sereima, Sireli, Elesi and Fina on Saturday - we had challenged them to watch the "Restoration" dvd that we'd given them and some of them watched it, but I felt like we needed to be more serious with them about all of this. They seem to like the Book of Mormon and understand that what we share is good and might be true, and they're like right on the threshold of revelation but haven't quite made that final step to know for themselves. So we challenged them to try their faith and come to church. We even offered to walk with them. They said yes. On Sunday morning we walked to their house (a good 30+ minute walk) and only Elesi and Fina could come, but we brought them anyway. They seemed to really like it, even though the chapel was far and transportation was hard to find. We tried hard to get as many people as possible, especially the YSA group, to introduce themselves and make them feel at home. We were really proud of them making that step, and we're hoping that Sereima and Sireli will soon follow afterwards.
Powerful zoom on my camera reveals the stowaway - hope he doesn't fall off!
I've learned a lot this week about love - the divine love that our Heavenly Father has for us, His children. I also learned that being positive goes a long way in making a better day - a lot of the time this week I was pretty down because of missing appointments and the amount of travel in order to fulfill our duty as Zone Leaders, but when I was happy and positive, everything changed. Finally, I learned that I can't do all this on my own. Me + More does not equal Christlike. No, the correct equation is Me + Christ = More. (see

Use Christ's enabling Atonement this week, and I promise I will too. Remember, the Atonement is for much more than just blotting out sins; it's about making sinners celestial.

Love yous!

Elda Barnaby

Monday, October 17, 2016

I Love Walking (Lautoka 2nd Area, Week 8)

Ulunikoro family, definitely one of my favorites here in Lautoka

Wow! This week has legit been one of the craziest, most exhausting weeks of my life - every single night I hit the hay way hard and woke up still sore and tired from all the running around the night before. We had several unexpected transfers and other errands to run, this week was just crazy.

We were hoping for Peni's baptism this week, but unfortunately, he his interview didn't go as well as we hoped, and he will have to wait a few weeks to make sure he's fully ready to make the commitment to be baptized. We were disappointed, but proud of him, because he asked us for a Priesthood blessing ( to help him to stay strong until the time that he can be baptized.

My newest (and last) companion, Elder Afatasi!
We were able to find several new people to teach this week. One is Eroni, a friend of some Recent Converts that has now come to church twice. Another is Sini, the husband of a member who has also come to church two times. We're excited to start working with them this coming week.

We were also able to go on exchanges with the Nawaka Elders in their area. Boy, I was so excited to walk again - it's kind of funny how that works. But we had a great time, got a lot of work done, and had some funny moments - like when I interviewed a baptismal candidate and then we found out afterwards that he had already been baptized a member of the church and had just forgotten. That was hilarious. Kind of disappointing, but very funny nonetheless.
Our District Leader, the sisters and I spent the 
morning making donuts to surprise Elder Afatasi for his birthday!

Sorry this isn't very long, we spent all morning making donuts for Elder Afatasi's birthday (which is tomorrow, but we want to celebrate with the Zone for P-Day) and I didn't have a lot of time today. But I do want to share one thing from General Conference, which we were able to watch this past week. Here are two quotes that I loved:

"Someday 'every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess' that God’s ways are just and His plan is perfect. For you and me, let that day be today." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"There is only one way to judge righteous judgment, as Jesus Christ does, and that is to be as He is." - Lynn G. Robbins

Love yous all!

Elder Barnaby

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Reality Check (Lautoka 2nd Ward, Week 7)

I think that the beginning of the end is almost harder than the actual end. Last week, we had transfers, and thankfully I didn't go anywhere, but Elder Fitisemanu got transferred to be Zone Leader over in Suva Zone, in the Suva 2nd Ward, while Elder Afatasi, former Zone Leader in that zone, got transferred to be with me, as my final companion. We've now also been told that Nasivikoso will be handed over to the Dratabu Elders, along with our truck (we'll be getting the van from them - that's right, Pattie's back!) I've now officially had 16 companions and 7 areas, and this is my final transfer.

Tuesday we had our Zone Training Meeting, and it went pretty good, though we ran out of time at the end so Elder Fitisemanu and I greatly shortened our training, to the point where we really didn't say much at all. But it was still a good meeting - lots was learned, and to be honest, I learned a lot about running a meeting, almost more than the actual topics discussed. The same thing happened last ZTM, and Zone Conference as well. The Lord designs these missions in an amazing way.
The Beginning....
(me entering the MTC on Dec 3rd almost 2 years ago)

Later that day we got the transfer calls, actually right as we were waiting with Miri for Peni to get home so we could review the Baptismal Interview Questions with him. It was way funny, too, cause after the call from President, we waited until it was dark out and then we turned to Miri and told her we'd come back another time and just closed in a prayer. In the prayer we asked that the Lord would help Peni prepare for the interview on his own and that he would remember everything, and to our shock, as we closed in the name of the Savior and said amen, who should walk up at that exact moment than Peni. It happened again later, as we had a wonderful lesson with the Vunibola's about the Temple and, as we talked about giving Niko the picture of his baptism, Niko walked up right then. It was awesome, because Elder Fitisemanu was then able to say goodbye to him before getting transferred.

Elder Fitisemanu left on Thursday, and I hung out with the Dratabu Elders until Elder Afatasi came in. We then worked on Transfers until Saturday, when we helped out the Dratabu Elders with the outgoing missionaries. That was a long, hard day - not only because of all the logistics, but also because it was hard seeing them go. Elder Ta'a finished his mission, as did Elder Noble, and two of the Sisters that served in my district in Samabula, Sister Fiu and Sister Taufa. It was hard saying goodbye, but I was so proud of them all - especially my comp, Elder Ta'a. Overall, though, it was just a big reality check, because I'll be in the next group of missionaries that goes through that airport to the plane home.
The Middle...(me on the beach of Taveuni over a year ago)
The Finish Line is not far ahead.....

Sunday was a nice dive back into missionary life - we had a packed house at church during the watching of General Conference. In fact, we had 4 investigators and something like 7 or 8 less-actives that came. We had to go into the overflow, there were so many people! It was a great introduction for Elder Afatasi into the ward. We were hoping to have Peni's baptism on Sunday, but Bishop asked for us to have it next week, so we obliged and so did Peni. We're so excited for him, though, and the rest of our less-actives and investigators we're working with this month.

Even though I know reality is catching up with me, I'm going to work hard and achieve much in my life these last few weeks. No need for "Ready, Set, Go" because I can see the finish line - but before then, I think I'll be on my knees a lot, and then on the move towards victory.

Loloma yani!

Elder Barnaby

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Our Way < The Way It Actually Went (Lautoka 2nd Ward, Week 6)

Nice scenic shots from Nasivikoso and Natabua seaside

You know those days that you have a great schedule ahead of you and you think, "Man, I can't wait to get started!" and then partway through the plans which are beginning to go awry you're like, "I hope things get better..." and then next thing you know it, you're stuck in the center of Fiji, sick in a blazing hot tin house, trying to teach five people about prophets and none of them are grasping what you're saying. Yeah that was basically this whole week. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying it how it is.
Mission Leadership Council, October 2016

Monday we had a fantastic DLC - way good, us and the District Leaders in our Zone are now pretty much on the same page. We're way excited for this month after that meeting. MLC was similar - we had a lot of great discussions as Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in the Fiji Suva Mission and came up with an achievable goal for the month of October. We did get into Suva later than we wanted and left Suva later than we wanted - again, our way versus the way it happened!

The drive up to Nasivikoso is always a spiritual experience
 (especially when I fall asleep for half of the way)
Thursday we had planned to go up to Nasivikoso and get a lot of good work done up there. There was about 7 investigators that came to Stake Conference a few weeks ago, so we thought, "Oh perfect, we'll start up the lessons and they can be baptized within the next month or two." And then we got there, and we were told that there was a funeral going on that weekend, and in Fijian culture, when there's an event like a funeral going on, you can guarentee two things: 1. Everyone will be busy, and 2. They're probably gonna kill a cow. And that's exactly what happened (And exactly what didn't happen was the lessons that we wanted to teach).

I mean, I did get sick from some bad water in Nasivikoso, and we taught a total of a single lesson, from which we realized that we would have to be at this for a little bit longer than a month or two to get these people baptized. We ended up coming back a day earlier than expected, because the Nasivikoso Group of the Church was heading down to it's mother unit, Nawaka Ward, to join them for Sunday services.

Still sick, we ended up going to church back in Lautoka 2nd, and we did end up getting a lot of good work done there. It was just an up and down experience this week. I've learned a lot. It doesn't really matter to me that we didn't get what we wanted or expected this week - that happens in life. In fact, I can see how much I have to learn because of my experiences this past week. "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed" (Romans 5:3-5).

And then we wenta farmin' with Atu Sigadrodro
I know that these experience will work together for my good. It's my job to learn how to react in a way that won't stifle the Spirit's quiet teaching, that won't give into anger or selfishness or pride, that will bring about much righteousness. Hope you all can learn a little from my experiences this week - and just remember, when you think it's not going to plan: it really is, just not your plan. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8)

Elder Barnaby

This camera has been floating around the mission for like a year, 
and I'm using it for the last stretch of my mission 
until it's rightful owner comes off of Rotuma Island.

Gettin' ghetto in Nasivikoso #kaicolo