Wednesday, January 8, 2014

You might be in Fiji if you solve the silverware problem simply by not using it

Bula Vinaka!

     HAPPY NEW YEAR! VAKANUINUI VINAKA VOU! Now that I have that out of my system, I guess I can quickly talk about the new year here in Fiji. In Fiji this means have this thing they call veisui. Which basically is water fight. That is the tradition in Fiji for the New Year. From the New year to when school starts again (this being their long break) you just randomly throw buckets of water at each other because you can. Or you drag someone down to the river by their sulu and push them in. The first day no one got us, I think mostly because they weren't doing it because it rained all day. The next day, after service, we just started throwing water around, it was pretty great. I've also snuck up on my branch President a few times and soaked him. It's all in good fun. And besides, I am participating in the culture. :)
     Speaking of service day, we were getting ready to go do service when a member came by and told us the water was going to be shut off. We went and cut wood, of course soaking us in sweat. But the water was off, so no shower. Instead we just went to the tank of rain water outside our house and just soaked ourselves to try to get the sweat off. When the water finally came back on it was super muddy. When I went to fill a cup it was brown. I looked up and said "It came out of the faucet that way Eunice." (If you don't get it, no problem.) I wish I had a picture. But our water is back on now, so no problem there, it was just a little rough that day.
    A quick funny story for that day. We went to eat with a member and he was outside working. When we finished we asked if we could help him cut down the tree he was working on. He decided he could handle it, got into his truck just backed into it, knocking it over. That is American type ingenuity and laziness!
     I've decided we're doing something right here because the members are showing increased love. We've had gifts of fruit coming out of our ears. Bananas, Vudi, Pineapples, papaya, etc. We had so much that we started giving it away. I know I have a hard life out here on the garden island of Fiji.
      Speaking of the garden island of Fiji and food and what not. This has nothing to do with anything really, but for everyone's edification, I have eaten turtle. Also, I know everyone says it, but it tasted just like chicken, so don't try going out of you way to eat it.
      On to a more spiritual type topic, but still pretty cool. I have fulfilled one of my dreams and hiked to our interior village Bainikarasi. We've been trying to plan a trip for months, but things just kept going wrong. We finall decided to just get up and go regardless. It wasn't perfect, but it got the work going. It is an hour hike straight up, and if you don't start by about 6 or so, you end up in the blazing sun and sweating more water than you thought you had. We got up and the sun just broke through the morning mist as we did. Perfect timing. We started teaching, and we didn't get to see everyone we wanted to, but it was a start. The biggest obstacle is that these people usually only come down once a month if even that, so church attendance may be hard. We met a lot of less actives down lower closer to the road though. Hoping they can start coming to church, that would really boost our branch and save their souls at the same time. :) The best part, besides the visits, is I can say that I have hiked through the jungle with a guide hacking at the foliage all around me with a knife, just to get to an appointment. Everything is worth it if you can just help one come closer to Christ.
     Sorry not a whole lot of spiritual this week. We have had a pretty rough time, many of our investigators are young and not too interested in using their school break to sit with the missionaries. We still work our tails off though regardless of what people do. We have learned that to do missionary work the right way it must be the Lord's way. And that way is obedience. We brought a less active to church last week. His name is Siri. He's been wanting to come, but he's been scared. This was the best week to bring him. We read Elder Uchtdorfs talk The best time to Plant a Tree. It was all about starting again, and the best time being now. It got Siri all fired up and he started telling us everything he was going to do to be active again. To start right now. So if you feel lost or like you're too far gone, don't wait until a new year or a new month or whatever to start again, to try harder, to make yourself better. Start now, it is the best time to start. As the Music Man says," If you pile up enough tomorrows, you'll end up with a lot of empty yesterdays." That's my two cents for today. I love you all and hope the best for you in everything.
  Elda Mokini

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