Bula Vinaka na Noqu Ma'avusueFirst off, Ma'avusue is Vosavara (the dialect in my area) for family. I thought it looked cool. Second, and the most important reason for this email is that I have made history. I was the first missionary in Raki2 (that means Raki squared or Rakiraki) history to take a hot shower in the Raki2 flat. I managed to gerry-rig the the hot shower heater with pipe, coat hanger, a hole in the wall, and a metal bar too; now we have hot water. Also, because there is no plug in the bathroom, the cord goes out the door and into the bed room across the way, but that's okay. Man that was so exciting. I actually look forward to showering now.
Just a word to the wise, if you send me a package and it is time sensitive, send it way in advance. The mail system here is terrible. The church doesn't use it. The package arrives in Fiji, sits in an office for a while, eventually gets magically approved and then sent to the mission home where it sits until someone comes out towards my area that they can send the package with. Give it lots of time.We had service this week and everything fell through, it was kind of sad. Instead, I swept our entire flat and I have a testimony that missionaries are disgusting. That's all I will say about that. Also, I'm turning into dad, I clean things when they need to be cleaned just because it needs to be cleaned and living in a pig stye is nasty. That's a good thing though. After sweeping the house we had more time so we went upstairs to the church and started to clean. You know it has been a while if you have to clean the cleaning supplies before you can clean the building. Judging by the state of that mop bucket, I'd say that it hasn't been used since it was bought when the building was made. Mopping the church reminded me of my Wendy's days. I'm so happy I'm not working there right now. My heart goes out to all the poor fast food workers.
In more exciting news, one of our recent converts changed houses and when looking for her (because there aren't really street addresses here, you just ask around) we met a family whose mother used to be a member until she got married and was forced to change to her husband's religion of Catholicism (a tradition in Fiji after marriage). I'm not sure if she will ever come back, though she claims to still hold the faith, but there are no boundaries on the children joining the church and I think they would be great additions to our branch. As a matter of fact, one of this woman's children is one of our recent converts, so I know they are a willing family. The funny part is that we didn't know they were related when we asked them where our other recent convert lived. The Lord leads you to those he prepares.
We also started meeting with Veniana's daughter, who has met with missionaries before, and her sister-in-law's cousin thing I think. Even without missionary encouragement she has nearly read the entire Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized. We just need to make sure she's ready. Hopefully we can get her husband to start listening to the lessons as well. That's the biggest problem in Fiji, the wives are willing, but the husbands are not. Such is the case with a long time investigator Sister Ana who just can't join the church (or come to church) because he husband won't let her or the kids go. I pray for their hearts to be softened.
Our most progressing investigator besides the one with a baptismal date rapidly approaching, is Vuli (another relation to Veniana that I don't understand fully). He knows the church is true and we invited him to come to church. He didn't come. When we talked to him about it he said "I woke up this morning and I thought, I want to go to church, Then I realized I don't know where it is." We never told him where the church building is. DONG! McFly! Anybody home? Think McFly, think! Now that he has directions, hopefully he'll come.
I love seeing the eyes of understanding come to these people. Fijians are simple people, and sometimes it is hard for them to understand complex ideas because their language causes everything to be simplified. However, when they know it, they know it, and they will not let go. I've seen that fire start to kindle within these people and I love helping them start it. Especially the doctrine of Christ. If we but have faith in Him, repent of our sins to come to Him, are baptized and cleansed in his name, receive the Holy Ghost as our guide, and keep pushing forward or endure to the end, it is possible for us to receive "all that the Father hath." When they know that, their face brightens and hope kindles within them. I just want to share that message with all that will hear me. I know that this is the doctrine of Christ and by following it we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. I hope you all know that as well. I love you all,