Sunday, December 29, 2013

              I found this chicken foot in my curry, and yes I did bite it! Take that Lauren!!
The two in the middle are new converts. From left to right. Sister Mataoa, me,
Seniloli, (the member who baptized Sami), then Sami, Bradley,
 Elder Saumaki and Elder Hyde.  Elder Hyde's my district leader in Labasa now :D
P.S. Labasa is pronounced "Lambasa" In Fiji you put an M before a B.
Here's some pictures of dalo. You boil the leaves with coconut milk or other stuff, and you can bake the root. It makes your throat a little itchy if its not cooked enough though.
                                                            Me and Sister Chong

We had exchanges with the Sister Leaders this week so we went out for dinner their last night
                                                               Some recent converts

                                                          Too muddy even for sandals!

                      I tried to convince my dad that this was our new flat, but no go. It is just down
                      the street from our place though. We live in a duplex where EVERYTHING is
                      pink, from the paint to the tile.  Yikes!

How was everyone’s Christmas?! I hope it was wonderful and filled with family and the spirit.  I know mine was!  It was so wonderful to talk with my family on Christmas.  To all you I didn’t get to talk to, know that I love you and wish I had enough time to Skype each of you!!!  There’s soooo much work here!!  The problem is church attendance right now.  Most of our investigators live far from the chapel, so it’s hard to get them there and find fellow-shippers.  We’ve started a few units, but it’s not the same with only 2 or 3 people each S
unday.  Actually yesterday we went to a member’s house for unit sacrament.  He’s paralyzed and hasn’t been able to come to church for 15 years!!  I think everyone forgot about him out in the bush. We had a tiny meeting at his house, with his siblings (all adult non members who only speak Hindi ) and two of my investigators.  We sat on the floor, his brother had his shirt off the whole time, there were chickens running in and out, and we didn’t have any sacrament cups so we used a few cracked mugs. There weren’t even enough for us missionaries to participate.  But surprisingly it was one of the most spiritual sacrament meetings I’ve been to.  We had a wonderful OYM a few weeks ago, and we visited her friday night.  It turns out her husband is a Pentacostal pastor and she’s super strong!  The whole time she was looking to convert us.  After we shared with her she said she felt bad that we didn’t know the truth and shared about the trinity and some other stuff.  We already told her we would come back tonight and now her husband and the whole fam will be there.  It should be interesting.
This is what I got,  I’ll send my letter to president too. :P sorry!!  By-the-way, during that service project I got to 'wele wele'    a.k.a. cut the grass with a huge k-knife! and start a tei-tei of cassava. There are some exciting pictures on the way.  Also, next week we will be driving to Savusavu for our zone meeting. We get to stay in a hotel ‘cuz were the only sisters hahaha!!  I’ve heard the view is gorgeous and we will be doing some shopping there so I’m not sure how emailing will be.  If you don’t hear from me on time, don’t freak out :D

Love always!!! Sister Pyne

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hi gang, just a quick note,
My new companion is from Hawaii. We get along really well!  The flat is more what I was expecting. The ward is interesting as usual.  All of the leaders were baptized within the last 5 years or so they don’t really know what they’re doing.  It’s caused alot of problems, nothing new!   The area is way cool though, drier than Suva.  There are a TON of Indian people here!  We just found a new investigator who doesn’t speak any English so we have to have a translator but as of last night I can bear my testimony and pray in Hindi, how cool is that!!  The Fijians here have another dialect
, they drop almost all of the k's and t's.   

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I moved from Suva, on the lower right side of Viti Levu, all the way up to Labasa,
which is near the top of Vanua Levu.  It's a little sunnier and a little less humid, Nice!
This week was really wonderful!  We had a member of the 70 come for mission tour, and it was sooooo good!!  8 hours in a meeting never passed so fast!!  I learned so much from Elder Pearson. I realized that I have gotten stuck in a rut and haven’t been doing my best for a while now. I’ve really been inspired to work harder and become who I was meant to be.  Sister Mataoa and I really discussed how we felt, what we had learned from the meeting, and made some huge goals.  All I can say is I will never be the same missionary again. And that this is the perfect time…. new year… new beginning, and .....A NEW AREA!!!  
That’s right everyone, this homebody finally got transferred out of Tamavua!!  I found out way late Saturday night, and they said I would probably be flying out Tuesday or Wednesday.  No worries right?  Wrong!!   Church went well, I had a nice farewell with the traditional singing of 'God Be With You' and some teary good byes, then lunch at the military barracks with the youth, and my last Sunday dinner with sister Singh and the fam.  They’ve been my family here. Rohit had bought a cake with my name on it (spelled “pine”  :D ) I’ll miss them and the other ward members so much!!  Not to mention all the investigators I’m leaving behind.  Here’s the crazy part.  At 11 Sunday night I found out the AP's were picking me up at 7 Monday morning!!  I spent the whole night packing and washing clothes with a few hours nap in between.  I successfully sorted through my luggage and put half in storage, (I was only allowed to take 30 pounds of my stuff!) cleaned the whole flat, and hopped in the AP's van with Sister Mataoa and Elder Swerling.  On the drive to Nausori  I finally got to see the other end of the Tamavua area!  Took me long enough huh?  It goes so far into the forest that we had never been to the edge before.  It’s way in the bush!!   Elder Palmer and I said goodbye to everyone then went to wait for the flight. It was so nice to have an experienced flyer with me. He’s flown to my area a few times and told some awesome stories. It was really fun. 
I just got off the plane an hour ago, met my new companion, Sister Chong from Hawaii, and sent this letter for the blog  so no awesome stories yet…… but I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve learned alot in Tamavua and I will miss the people, but I’m grateful for this transfer. I feel like I had been in the area too long and wasn’t being challenged anymore. Serving in Labasa will be a new start for me and I’m going to do the best I can here.  We'll see how far the spirit will take me!  I haven’t seen the area yet so I don’t have anything to report, but so far I love it here. More sun, more fields, and less humidity yay!!   Plus I have alot of friends up here already.  My first district leader is one of the zone leaders, its great to be with them again. Aahh!! no time to finish!!
Love you everyone!!!  Hope you have a fantastic week and lift someone’s spirits this Christmas season.
Love always!! 

Sister Pyne

Sunday, November 17, 2013


-Mama Pyne-

So I'm sill in my first area, and almost done training my first daughter (companion).  The work here is doing really well.  We had two baptisms on  Saturday, Sami and Bradley, both really strong ysa boys.  They've had a rough time finding their testimonies, but with help from the ward and really good friends they pulled through.  Sami still has a lot of questions, He was really nervous about his testimony and was actually texting us till almost midnight asking questions but he's willing to trust and keep looking until he understands.:P He tries so hard to do everything well!!  He always asks if he can do the prayers for the lessons so he can practice, and always asks for feed back, lol!  Such a great boy.  He's actually a great example of those simple promptings.  We had had a ton of fall-throughs and had no idea what to do, then I was like" Hey, lets check on this less active!"  So we walked down the road, and she wasn't home.  We almost gave up, but then I remembered a family who we talked to a month before who didn't want lessons. I thought we could stop and say hi, but it turns out that they had moved and Sami's family was there instead! Now he's baptized, his brother is taking lessons from the elders, and some other family members are interested, all from a simple prompting.
Bradley is so humble and sincere.  He answers every question as truthfully as he can, and is very patient. is actually going to do baptisms at the temple tomorrow!!  His grade at school goes every year and last year he just waited outside.  After church yesterday we had a lesson on temple work etc and he was really excited!  He really took everything to heart, especially how you can be baptized for your ancestors.  Needless to say, we went straight to the bishops office and got him a recommend.  We will definitely be making a trip to the family history center in the next few weeks.

The food is really good!  There are a lot of  Indians here so we get curry a few times a week.  The Fijian food took some getting used to, but now I love it.  It will be hard to give up when i go home. The fruit is sooo good!  It's mango season here so we have them all the time.  The other day our taxi driver handed us a huge bag of them from his house and asked if we could hand them out!  Definitely some interesting people.  There are so many different cultures and religions here that every person you meet is totally different.  I've had investigators from England, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, India, and some from  Australia.  My favorite places to go are in  the settlement areas. the people are very willing to accept the gospel because theyre so humble.  You just say hi, and they invite you in!  They don't always want to take lessons, but definitely willing to share and visit. I love listening to the investigators prayers.  They're so sincere and because they're unsure of what to say they really look to us to help them.  My favorite is when they pray for my family or the ward leaders.  There's one Indian boy (Vikshal) who prays for every member of my family ( brothers, sister, parents, grandparents, everyone :D ) 
As for chapels, the temple is really the symbol of the church around here.  It's a short drive away and next to one of the main roads so everyone sees it.   Right now we meet in the LDS highschool, so no chapel.  We actually have sacrament meeting in the cafeteria and there's birds and geckos coming in and out the whole time. its pretty funny.

The water isnt too clean.  I  got sick a few weeks ago because the pipes are cracked and the nasty rain water gets into the water system.  Not fun!  
 I  definitely know that fiji is the perfect place for me to serve. there are so many people I've learned from and people I've helped. Couldn't have happened anywhere else.  I cant believe how fast its gone by! december is month nine. half way already!!  
This week is gonna be interesting. that last intake came in saturday morning and we've had sisters with us all weekend.  We've been super busy (baptism, ward party, primary program at church,) and I think we totally wiped them out, poor girls!  One went to her area this morning, but the other is still with us.  Only half of their intake made it and the other half might get here next week, so we'll have another transfer.  For now, I'm still in Tamavua.  Tomorrow we have our zone conference at presidents house, but thats the only big thing for this week. 
Love you all, thanks for all the letters and prayers!
Sister Pyne

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nothing new for the blog.  Tons of meetings this week, super rainy, I was sick for a few days. This past week was Halloween, but no one here celebrates :(   There was a huge Hindu holiday on the 3rd called Diwali.  It's a festival of lights so there were "Christmas" lights up everywhere, TONS of fireworks (I mean the huge, super dangerous ones that people probably shouldn't do in their yards). till about 2 am and of course delicious Diwali treats. Other than that we had alot of rain, and its been super humid.  I walked out of the mission office this morning (a.c.) and my glasses actually steamed up because it was so humid lol! We had to post pone our baptism again. Boo!! There's another one from our ward on the 16 and bishop wants to do everyone together, so we have to wait.  We have a few new investigators and some we have to drop, so it should be an interesting week.
Aahh!! I'm out of time!! yosota!!
Au lomani keda,
Sista Pyne

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hey!! We had a crazy busy week! Exchanges on Tuesday, so I had another sister with me in Tamavua. It's always weird to be with a different companion :P  We found a bunch of new investigators this week and got to work out some problems with investigators.  The work here is booming!!  We have 2 other companionships covering the same area as us so we run into each other alot.  Friday night we were at a members house teaching Sami and the new elders were going around knocking on doors trying to find someone!  We went into the other room for our lesson and they quickly asked the others about the boy they were looking for. AWKWARD SARA GA!!  Whenever we go to that area, all our families say that the elders have been coming around lol!  The good thing, is they're finding some referrals for us :D
Anyways.... as I said, we had alot to do.  Tuesday morning at district meeting, President Klingler walked in for a surprise visit!  So glad I didn't have to do the training that day!
Saturday we took a YSA from our ward with us. She's prepping for her mission and we found some investigators that she would be really good for.  It was sooo nice to have her with us in the lessons. We have a new family we're teaching and the dad's English isn't very good.  She was able to translate alot into Hindi and bear testimony so he would understand more.  Awesome!!
We were also able to go out to a new part of my area I hadnt been to yet.  It's way out in Colo-i-suva forest and there aren't any buses so we had to wait for a member who knew the way.
Not much time left, but things here are going great.  Lots of work, lots of rain and lots of fun.
Here's my letter to the Mission President to fill in the gaps (I hope it's not weird that I send these)

Dear President Klingler
This week went really well.  First off we had exchanges on tuesday. I stayed in tamavua with sister Tsu'a.  We were able to visit alot of families and found some new investigators. one of which we have started teaching.  Her name is Matila,  She's 14, lives with her siblings and grandma.  We just had our first lesson with her, but hopefully the others will join later on.  We were also able to visit with Vakacegu and her family.  They had baptism dates earlier, but haven't been keeping appointments and we havent been able to see them in a while.  We reviewed lesson three, focusing on faith and acting on what they know.  She shared that she is scared to ask her husband if they can be baptized.  He has been supportive of them taking lessons, but so far only the kids have been attending church.  We are finding another fellowshipper that we think will be able to help her work up the courage.  Meanwhile all we can do is continue teaching, show our support and pray that his heart will be softened.  We received a referral from the Tamavua First elders and were able to contact her yesterday.  She didn't have time for a lesson, but we have an appointment for next week.  Her name is Kal.  She has a few kids and from what the elders told us, her husband died a while ago.  She had visitors over, so we couldn't sit and talk.  Another good new investigator is Fina. Sister Maile and I OYMed her a long time ago and I've been stopping by with my other companions but till now shes been too busy in her village.  But Friday we were able to sit down with her, and we made a return appointment for next week.  She and a few of our other investigators are good families for us to teach in Fijian, and we are hoping she will be willing to help us out.
A new ward mission leader hasn't been called yet (I think we have a lack of priesthood brethren in our ward) so for now, we are reporting to the Bishop.  As we've been speaking with him more, I noticed that he doesn't seem to understand much about missionary work and what his role is, so that might account for the lack of support from the ward in the past.  We are trying to share as much as we can with him and he's been more willing to meet with us.  We've been working with the Relief Society president and her family to help us with some investigators and visiting less actives.  There's one family in particular that we're worried about, the Samisoni's are a recent convert family and we have been teaching Siliwaqa (their niece who lives with them).  She is ready for baptism, but missed the date because the family is going less active.  We think they're being pressured by Brother Samisoni's dad.  He's not LDS and has recently asked us to stop teaching the kids about the Book of Mormon and only do Bible stories.  We have talked to the bishop about having some priesthood brethren visit with us to speak with the parents and see if they need help from the ward.
We had to move Sami's baptism date to the 9th of November because of stake conference, but he is continually progressing.  We have been teaching more about prayer and testimonies.  He is still nervous, but is always willing to participate share his testimony.  He has asked one of his friends from the ward to baptize him and we are very excited that he has so many friends in the ward.
That's all I have time for this week.  I'm very excited about the sisters training this week and about all of our new investigators.  We have a lot of work to do .
Thank you for all your help and advice president!
Love always Sister Pyne

Love you alll!!!!!!!
Moce toka,  Sista Pyne

Monday, October 21, 2013

This is from our meeting for the training companionships, at the presidents house

Hey everyone!!
So this has been an interesting week.  Lots of new experiences.  First of all, there was an earthquake here!  Crazy!!  To be honest I didn't feel anything, because the house we were in shakes everytime you walk, so we had no idea until we heard a member talking about it  :P   I think its the same one that hit the Philippines.  No damage here though so that's good.  Weird thing number two.  Woke up around 2 am Thursday morning with a giganto black centipede crawling down my arm!!! Aahhh!!!! FYI, they're poisonous, about 6 inches long and like to bite people.  Not to mention super creepy. (I sent a picture of an orange one a while ago) and it was in my beeeeeeeeed!!!!  Luckily, I've had plenty of animals jump on me in my sleep ( ie geckos, spiders chipmunks...) so I didn't freak out until after we took care of it. (can you tell I'm still grossed out?) Needless to say, I couldn't sleep the rest of the night, and I had to shake out my bed and bug proof the bedroom door for a few days.  Hopefully it wont happen again or I might be scarred for life!!
Other news, its cyclone season again.  Yay!  It's been raining almost everyday.  Pretty sure I wont be dry again till next spring lol!  I love hearing the rain outside.  It's really good for proselyting because we get free rides from our taxi friends and everyone invites us in to get out of the rain, so we're meeting lots of new people.
OK. low on time, and I want to send some pictures. so I'll tack on my letter to president to finish things up.

Dear President
This week went well.  We had alot of fall-throughs, but the lessons we were able to have were wonderful!  Especially with Sami.  We have been teaching him at a members home and this past week we watched the restoration video.  He took it very seriously and was able to feel the spirit strongly.  The Sogari family bore wonderful testimonies about how they joined the church and their personal conversion.  Sami really understood, and even though he wasn't comfortable sharing his own testimony yet, you can see that he has one and he's becoming closer to Christ.  He is still keeping all of his commitments and even gave some pamphlets and a true to the faith book to a friend who was asking questions.  He is such a strong boy and is sticking to every truth that he learns.  We were able to attend our stake music festival with him and some other less actives.  They all really enjoyed it and Sami even participated in the ward numbers.
We haven't heard from Jokaveti, but we gave a Book of Mormon study guide to her fellowshippers to pass along.  She said she was trying to read, but it was confusing for her.  I hope she can turn to the scriptures and the members for support while we aren't able to help her.
On Saturday we went to Siliwaqas house with our relief society president so she could visit with her aunt and uncle, but they were on a trip and only the kids were home with the grandparents.  We weren't able to discuss their church attendance, but it did give us the chance to OYM the grandparents who sat in on the lesson.
Vakacegu and her family aren't keeping appointments and aren't calling us back.  We have stopped by the house a few times but were unable to contact them.  We will keep trying, and discuss their expectations from our visits. 
Prem and Rita (our newest investigators) had to cancel because of a wedding so we weren't able to finish lesson one with them, but Prems leg is healing quickly so we hope they will be able to attend church soon and start getting to know the members.  We are planning on bringing a member with us soon.  She's putting in her mission papers and asked us if she could come with us, the same night that we were planning to invite her!  It's amazing to see how the lord prompts from both sides. 
On Sunday one of the zone leaders investigators attended our ward!  He was a referral we received, but he didn't seem comfortable with us, so we handed him over to the elders.  This was his first time at church.   I'm so happy they were able to help!!  Elder Ohlson said they would help him progress then hand him back over to us so he can get used to the ward.
The talks on Sunday were really wonderful. the youth spoke on what they learned from conference and were able to share exactly what the ward needed.  Everyone is getting together to help fellowship  and I have high hopes for this area.  There's so much more work we can do with the members help.
That's it for this week, thank you for all you do president.
 Love always, Sister Pyne.
Bula vinaka mai viti tale ga!!!
This was the week of meetings.  We had our zone training on tuesday, 'train the trainers' on thursday, then conference on Saturday and Sunday.  Sooo great!!  Pretty sure everyone knows how much I love firesides and stuff, so this was an awesome week for me.  We had to drop an investigator, always hard, because they weren't progressing and weren't willing to make any effort.  We did find a new family and we have some more referrals, so I'm really excited about that.
The hot season is starting up and I'm seriously missing the orange leaves and chilly mornings of fall in Utah.  The only change is weather here is rain, or no rain lol!
Conference was awesome.  It was shown in the gym at our ward and we all ate lunch together in between sessions.  We have a stake music festival coming up and the youth and ysa are doing the Cup Song so we practiced that.  So fun!!  Even our investigator started doing it with us!
Aahh!! only 6 minutes left.  I cannot tell you how fast email time goes every week.  It's crazy!!
Anyway, we had some transfers and one of my really good friends got sent to an outer island.  No chance to say goodbye!!  So sad.  The good thing is he's being replaced with one of my favorite elders from my intake, so I'll still have a buddy in the area.
The Fijian ward in our area got split so we're getting a new set of elders in our district.  So there's gonna be 3 sets of missionaries covering the same area!  The elders area is split to match the ward boundaries, but we still cover both of theirs for the English. soooo many people!!
Well, my times "sa oti" so you'll have to wait till next week.
Love you all!!
 Sister Pyne

Monday, October 7, 2013

Check out the bats in our tree!!  It took forever to get a picture, but there are always bats
flying around.  We hear them screeching all night in our tree. see.

how was conference!? i hope everyone enjoyed it. havent seen it yet, but i cant wait to hear what our leaders have to say. this past week was interesting. theres a flu bug going around, and both of us were sick so we spent most of the week at the flat. we did get the chance to find a new family to teach though. their names are prem and rita. nice indian family. we only met with them once, but they seem like theyll be a really good family to discuss with. the father is sick and a member family  they know contacted the elders to him a blessing and we got a referral to teach after  that.
we also have another baptism :D sami from volaus family accepted a baptismal date. hes the only one who comes to church and been present for every lesson. hes such a good kid!!
other than that, theres nothing new. we have some fun ideas to try with our area so hopefully ill have some stories in the next few weeks. ill keep them secret till then. 
love you all!!
sister pyne

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gorgeous view!

Me and Sister Agavale on transfer day. 

My new companion, Sister Mataoa.

This week was really busy.  We had alot of extra things going on.  The ztm on Tuesday went well.  I prepared a doctrinal insight on the atonement and how it covers more than sin.  I really enjoyed hearing from the missionaries who are new to the zone, they had some really good insights.  We had a district inventory, discussed some key indicators we felt like we could do better on, and made some goals for the district.  Last, we talked about the importance of testimonies and had a testimony meeting.  The leaders are really thinking outside the box and it makes the meetings more effective.
Friday night, we had a ward missionary fireside.  It was the first one theyve had, so it was a little haphazard, but turned out well.  The theme was finding the lost sheep.  We asked a family to speak and they did a wonderful job.  One daughter talked about the attitude of the members and how we need to be more welcoming and willing to help out.  It's exactly what everyone needed.  We had planned an activity to do after the speakers, but somehow there was some miscommunication and Bishop Buresova never got permission to use the gym so we had to cancel the activity.  But we can save it for the next time.  Not too many people came, but its a start and we had a good time.  We learned from our mistakes and are sure the next one will be even better.

Friday night, the bishopric invited us to speak in sacrament meeting, with the topics of obedience and  the blessings we receive.  Sister Mataoa did a wonderful job and didn't seem nervous at all.  I spoke on why we have commandments and why we should obey.  At first I wasn't sure what to speak on and I was struggling to prepare, so I did my best and prepared what I could.  As usual, help came in the very moment I needed it.  During the beginning of sacrament I got some wonderful ideas and rewrote my talk.  It reminded me how the lord is always there for us.  If we do our part and  act on our faith, he will help us. (During my talk it was pouring rain!  The roof is metal and it was really loud, so I'm pretty sure the congregation had no idea what I was saying! :P )

We have started teaching a new family from last week and they are progressing very well.  Finding them was a very spiritual experience.  This week we finished lesson one.  They were very receptive of what we shared, attended sacrament meeting, and even invited some friends and family over for lessons.  Last time, we committed them to pray about the truth of the book of mormon and Joseph Smith.  We plan on following up this Tuesday.  They have been very sincere thus far and we are excited to see how they progress.  I found out that one of the relatives they invited over has family who are members back in Salt Lake, and one of my close friends from home knows them!  I'm hoping they will encourage him to continue with lessons and be a source of support for him.
Well, this is a very long letter, I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Love always, Sister Pyne

Monday, September 16, 2013

This is our district before the transfers. The one to my right is the one who went home last week, from Australia. The Kai Valagai on my right is my district leader, he just got transferred to Savusavu. He was at Snow College with me! 

Random double banana.

BTW, my new companion is sister mataoa from tahiti. speaks french

                 I was on the porch reading when "Cat" surprised me by dropping a brand new
                                      kitten in my lap, probably just an hour old! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hey everyone!!
This week was crazy, as usual.  Tuesday we had our zone conference at the mission home so we spent the whole day doing trainings, going over our areas, and doing interviews with the president. Loved it!  It's so fun to see all the missionaries and we always learn a lot.  We also got to hear some departing tesimonies!  That was a little sad. my zone leader from the whole time I've been here is finishing his mission this week.  That night, we were up for exchanges so I went to the sister leaders flat in Samabula and her companion went to my flat in Tamavua.  I spent the night, then Wednesday we went around her area and saw her investigators and stuff.  It was really fun. we were both a little sick and it was raining all day, but we made the most of it.  (i.e singing disney songs and splashing in the puddles when no one was looking  )  As soon as I got back to Tamavua I passed out, woke up the next morning and was super sick!!  No fun.  I tried to tough it out, (I'm still a Brighton PD at heart  ) but by Friday morning  I couldnt take it any more, so we went to the hospital get it checked out.  Turns out it was a bad case of tonsilitis!! Fun huh?!  No worries, I didnt have to go in for surgery or anything.  Meds and a bunch of Benadryl did the trick. and now I'm back to normal. :D
Big news of the week,  I'm getting a new companion! Again!!  There was a crazy huge transfer this week and everyone's been mixed up with the new areas, districts and callings.  It's weird.  I'm staying in Tamavua (booo!) but I get to train a new missionary!!  No idea who it will be yet.  They just flew in this morning and they don't get they're assignments until tomorrow night.  I'll give you the scoop next week.
That's it for now!!
Lots of love from Fiji
Sister Pyne

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hooray for baptisms!!  From right to left: Elder Andrews my district leader,  
his companion Elder Moantew, Lillian, Milika and Apisai Bavadra, me and my companion. 

Bula Vinaka to all my lovely family and friends!!
I hope school is going well for all of you and you're making the most of the labor day weekend.
This week was interesting.  School was still on break, so almost all of our regular visits got cancelled and we had a lot of fall-threws.  Luckily that left us with more time to prep for the Bavadras baptism!  Between lessons, interviews, and clothes fittings we were at their house every day, so that was really nice. They're such an amazing family and I'm excited to see how they progress in the church.  Prep for the baptism was crazy as usual.  Late Monday night we found out that the stake was having a huge party at the same time as our baptism! So Tuesday we changed to another building, but when we called to let everyone know, they said it was too far and they would all be at the party!  Geeze!  So Wednesday night we finally settled on the first building and changed the time.  We thought the troubles would end there, but we were wrong.  We went to fill up the font, and it was super dirty so we had to find some stuff and clean it before we could fill it.  Then once we turned the water on, the kids from the party kept throwing stuff in! LOL!  I almost went swimming trying to get a ball out :D  All in all, it was an exciting day.  The baptism went wonderfully.  The elders took turns baptizing because it was Elder Moantewa's first time, so we wanted to give him the opportunity, but the mom is bigger than him, so Elder Andrews had to help out LOL!  They're the best.  Some of the Bavadras family attended and they're interested in learning more, so we may have the chance to teach her parents and sister. Yay!!
That's the biggest thing for the week.  Other than that, it was lots and lots of rain.  Our usual Sunday dinner appointment invited the senior sisters from our ward, so that was fun.
I'm out of time, so ill talk to you next week. Love you all!! 
Sister Pyne

Sunday, August 25, 2013

These are the Samisoni boys; Temo, Sakaia and Josefa. they're a recent convert family from the elders. They're the ones with the crazy cinder block path to their house. definitely one of my favorite families. This is the view from their back room where we teach.

                               We went down a new street and found a gorgeous view of the harbor!!
Not much happened this week.  It was a school break and a week long festival (Hibiscus Festival, its kinda like Miss America and the state fair combined) so pretty much everyone was away from home or sleeping the day away after a night at the fair grounds.  Not much work happened.  We have some new investigators, had to drop some others, and have another baptismal date.  So that brings to count to 6,  three this Saturday and three on the 14th.   It was pouring rain all week and we came home early, soaked every night.  Most of the families cancelled their dinner appointments so they could go to the festival, so it was kind-of a bum week, but hopefully this next week will be better!!   Saturday marks the end of month 5 for me. I can't believe its gone by so fast!!  At the end of September I'll be 1/3 of the way through my mission. Aaahh!!!  So weird. Anyway, that's my week! 
I love you all and wish everyone good luck with school. 

Moce toka!!

Sister Pyne
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

This is Eric.  His brother is a recent convert.
He's the  one who pee'd on me! : P

Last picture with Sister Maile and the ZL's
View of the harbor from the temple grounds.

This is the Vavadra Family.

This lady in our area weaves scripture cases and I had her do one for me. 
How cool is this!!  It's way nice. The F.S.M. stands for the "Fiji Suva Mission"

Hey everyone!!  I'm sorry its been so long since I sent a real letter, but things have been a little crazy over here.
I have a new companion (in case you didn't know) her name is Sister Agavale.  She's 22, from American Samoa, and is from the same group as Sister Maile, so she will be heading home in January.  We get along pretty well and have made a lot of progress in the area.
We have some baptisms coming up, yay!!  The first group is on august 31st. It's the mom and 2 oldest kids from that golden family we have been teaching.  This whole experience with them has been amazing.  Their last name is Vavadra (you pronounce an 'n' in front of the 'd' and roll the 'r' ).  The parents were born in Fiji but moved to England because the father is in the British army,  so their 5 kids have never been to Fiji before.  They were church hopping a lot in England but couldn't find something that was right for them.  The father was actually a Talatala for a while!!  (that's a minister or a  pastor etc.)  They decided to move to Fiji for a few years so the kids could get to know their grandparents.  As soon as they got here they contacted the local primary school to enroll their kids and it happened to be the LDS primary!  So they met with the principle, we got a referral for them, and 5 days after they came to Fiji we were sitting in their front room teaching the first lesson, fast huh!!  The cool part is that sister Maile and I had been praying for a new family to teach because we felt like someone was missing. I guess we found them!  They have attended church every week and are very open with us about their questions and concerns. They have been sooo prepared!  The children found out about the word of wisdom from the school code of conduct and immediately stopped drinking coffe/tea and encouraged the parents to do the same. They read their Books of Mormon until their mom forces them to go to bed and are so smart!  The parents have shared many spiritual experiences with us about how they know the things we are teaching are true.  All of their questions go exactly with what we planned to teach that day. . . I could go on and on.  So this past week we invited them to be baptized and they accepted, no questions asked!  The only hitch is that the father is going back to England until December (he left this morning) but he felt so strongly about what we are sharing that he asked his wife and kids not to wait for him, but that he will find the missionaries in his area and continue to learn there. How great is that!!  He even gave us his address and phone number in England to send to his elders there. Before he left he bore his testimony that he knows they were prompted to come to Fiji so they could find the truth in this gospel. they are so spiritual and are rock solid in their testimonies even though they don't know everything yet.  I have learned so much teaching them and hope i'll continue to learn as we visit.  I know that they are the reason I was called to Tamavua,  no doubt about it.   I've helped a lot of other people, and learned from them too, but this one family has had a huge effect on me and I'm so grateful that I've had the opportunity to share this experience with them.

We have two other investigators with baptismal dates, but I'll share more about them next time because this is super long already.
We also had the opportunity to do our service at a fund raiser for the local LDS primary school.  It was so much fun!  They had a fair going on.  The kids had all made things to sell.   We helped them with the set up and prep for some traditional dances they did.  I can now say I'm a pro at tying sulus.. lol!   It was so great to see all the kids having fun and working together to get money for the school.
On Saturday we went to visit an less active Indian family in our ward, and when we arrived there was a ton of people there.  They were having the 6-month funeral rites for their grandmother that night so all of their family was there preparing.  They invited us back for dinner and the funeral after we finished our appointments. We got there a little late and had to sit outside because there wasn't enough room, but it was still a really cool experience. We got to hear them singing with the drums and everything and I could kinda see what they were doing.  We had to leave early because of curfew, but the family was very grateful for our support and sent us home with a ton of yummy Indian treats.
Those are the biggest things for this week. I just want to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers.  I feel so much gratitude whenever I think about you back at home and hope you know that I couldn't do this great work without you. I have no doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and I'm so grateful for the many blessings I have received in my life by following the doctrines and teachings. I have learned so much as I have been inviting others to come unto Christ.  The change that you see as people learn and begin to follow the principles of this gospel is unlike anything else.  I know that only faith in Christ and acting on that faith can bring such change of heart. I know the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God.   Everytime I read it I learn something new that increases my understanding of Christ's great love for us. I found a scripture the other day that perfectly phrases my feelings. Moroni 8:16 says "I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear."  Christ's perfect love for me calms my heart when I'm afraid or don't know what to do. He is always there for me, and I know that he will never lead me astray. I know that everything we go through in this life is for our benefit and learning, as long as we trust in him and keep moving, there is nothing that can bring us down. I know Christ lives and that he is my Savior.  I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God called to restore Christ's church to the earth.  I know my Heavenly Father loves all of us and he has hastened this work to give all of his children the opportunity to hear and accept the truth.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity I have to learn and grow as an instrument in the hands of my God and serve the people of Fiji. I send my prayers to all of you at home and am always thinking of you.

I love you all and hope you are all well!! 

Sister Pyne

Sunday, July 21, 2013

This is the path to the house of one of our investigators.  It.doesn't look too bad,
but it's steep and the blocks are covered in moss!! Super scetch!!

My news is boring. The people who were getting baptized aren't ready, they still have problems with the word of wisdom and law of chastity.  So.... no baptisms.  It's disappointing, but I'm glad we found out beforehand.

Cool story, one of them is in the TB rehab and gets to go home for the weekends so it's been hard to keep track of him and keep him going to church because he's out of our area.  After our lesson on Tuesday, Sister Maile gave me this look like she was gonna say something weird, and then she asked him if he's been keeping the word of wisdom. It was totally off topic and we hadn't talked about it for a few weeks because he wasn't having any problems. Turns out that he drank coffee and tea with his family this past weekend.  It was the first time since we taught him about the word of wisdom, and he didn't want to insult his family by saying no.  He thought it wouldn't be a big deal.  You should have seen the look on his face when she asked, he was totally shocked and knew that we had found out about it "somehow".  Hopefully it was a learning experience for him. Don't keep secrets from the missionaries!! :D

And now for the funny experience of the week.  We were teaching  an Indian family on Friday, and I've gotten to know one of the little boys really well.  He's probably about my neice Zadiees age (almost 2).  He always wants me to play with him, so as usual, he was on my lap and we were reading a book, when out of the blue he PEED on me!!!  He just let it rip while we were sitting down!! hahahaha!!  The mom was so embarrassed but Sister Maile and I couldn't stop laughing!  Luckily it was raining when we left, so I just walked around without my umbrella until it washed out, hahahah!!  The next time we went over  his mom said he had done that to one of the elders too.  Wasn't the first time..... and it wont be the last.

We also spent a lot of time with the zone leaders this week.  They're the elders that cover the same area as us, and they've had a lot of trouble finding people because they drive everywhere instead of street contacting. so they called and asked if we had any referrals for them.  Little did they know, we were already planning on handing some investigators over  and had been OYMing people for them all week. so when they called we had a list of about 15 people for them to check up on.  We spent the rest of the day driving around and introducing them to people and showing them where the referral houses were.
You're all going to be super jealous about my dinner last night, fresh crab curry!!! It was sooo good!!! and Sister Maile didn't swell up because it was a different kind of crab :D  yay!  So yea, thought I'd rub that it :D loL!  I'll have to learn the recipe and make a bunch of delicious Indian food for you all when I get back.

Monday, July 15, 2013

We find these millipedes all over our flat! 

Our first baptism, a 13-year-old named Kelly Yuen.

"Cat" is still hanging out around our flat.

Suva Temple

Nothing too exciting this week, we had a lot of fall- throughs so we had some time to OYM and get new investigators. This week alone we have 7 new people to talk to and 3 new investigators.  We have so many people we've been giving them to the elders who share our area.  They have a car and don't stop and talk with people so they're running out of people to teach lol!  Those lazy elders :D

 The picture above is of our first baptism, Kelly Yuen.  She's 13 and  really "cheeky"!  We have three more planned for the 20th, hopefully they'll go smoother than Kellys' did!

We had a new intake (new missionaries coming to Suva)  this week.  The sister that I met at the MTC from California came in with them,  so I'm no longer the only white sister here!   I didn't have time to sit and chat with her, but we got to say hi.   Two of the other sisters stayed in our flat for a few days while they were waiting for their assignments.  It was super fun!!  

Still super rainy, but it's "winter" here right now, so the weather  isn't that hot actually, only 70-80 degrees lol!.   People have been walking around in sweaters and ski hats, lol!   Not that I'm much better,  I've gotten so used to the heat and humidity that when we have a "cool streak" I freeze to death!!  The only jacket i brought is my dad's rain slicker and it's not very good for snuggling up in bed. :P  We'll see if i can find a cheap hoodie somewhere.  The seasons are pretty much backwards. So when it starts getting chilly there it will be burning hot here.  Probably around September, which  is also the beginning of cyclone season. Yay!!

Love you so much!! 
sister pyne

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello Hello Hello!!
Biggest news of the week is that our first baptism was Saturday!  The Elders before us had started the lessons so they did most of the work on this one, but we have three more on the 20th that we started with, so exciting!  So the baptism was crazy!!  We called to double check the plans the night before and the bishop and 1st counselor both said they were busy!!  We had to change the program, almost no one from the ward showed up, someone pulled the plug on the font so we had to refill it, and the guy who was supposed to baptize her never showed up so we had to post pone for about an hour so the elders could run home a get a white sulu and baptize her.  It was insane!!   But we got everything worked out, and she was confirmed a member of the church yesterday!  :D   Walking home after the baptism, there was a huge rainbow across the whole sky!  The first one I've seen in Fiji.  I thought it was a nice touch.
Cool story of the week.  There are two huge German shepherds on our street who are always out and we've been having a lot of problems with them on.  On Wednesday we were trying to get by them and they started chasing us!  Right when they got close a senior missionary couple in a car pulled up and saved us lol!  They had driven by and seen us running and decided it was time for a rescue.  The next day we were having problems with the same dogs . We couldn't get by and had forgotten the phone so we couldn't call a cab to pick us  up. We decided to walk back home and get it, but when we got to the flat there was a cab waiting already!  He said someone had called from our address,  but it wasn't us and it wasn't the people upstairs.  It was a cab sent from heaven!!   Nice to know we are being looked after.
Things here are going well!!  Not much else to report and my times almost up. .
Love you all and miss you!!
Sister Pyne

Monday, June 24, 2013

FYI: I (Annie's mom) post Annie's letters and photos to this blog, she doesn't have any access to this blog and can't read any of your fun comments.  You can email her at the address to the right. Because of the time difference, our Sunday is her Monday, which is her P-day and  the only day she she can receive and send emails.  If you email her no later than noon on a Sunday morning, she will get it and email back at around 6:00 that same Sunday night, mountain standard time (which is noon on Monday in Fiji.)  She only has a short time on the computer once a week so she may not be able to answer individually every week, but she loves your emails!   P.S. HER BIRTHDAY IS JULY 7th!!!  We would love to inundate her with emails, letters and  packages.  It does take about 2 weeks for a package to get to Fiji, and it's definitely not cheap, but we want her to feel especially loved on her birthday and appreciated for her service!
Hey guys, we started a mission scripture thing this week!!  Read along with me, about 9 pages a day. This week is from 1 Nephi 1-22. I'll send you a schedule next week.  Read for Faith, Baptism, Repentance, etc.!  Love you!! Sister Pyne
On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM, Annie Pyne <> wrote:
I've finally gotten used to the rain . I can't remember the last time it was sunny for more than 24 hours straight!  The constantly changing weather reminds me of Utah :D  Walking around in the rain is super fun!  When we get to the investigators homes they give us hot milo and cookies to warm up :D   The other day it was raining so hard we went and took rain-bath in the yard, complete with a bar of soap and opera singing.  Some nights are so clear you can see tons of stars, I wish we could sleep outside, but there's huge poisonous centipedes, spiders, mongoose . ..  you get the idea.
Its hard to keep track of the US holidays here, but the 4th should be pretty fun, we live close to the U.S. embassy and I'm sure they'll be having a party and fireworks or something.  The 24th is a big thing in all the LDS schools here as well.  They make a whole week out of it and dress up on one of the days. I wish we did that!  And as for that other special day this month.... :D  cant wait!  My first baptism is scheduled for the day before, we have dinner with one of my favorite families that night, and the zone leaders said they would try and plan something fun for p-day (hopefully a hike! ) . 

I've been trying to cook a bit here, but they just aren't turning out quite right, partially because of substitute ingredients.  There's a lot of stuff that you can't get here or it's way expensive.  A jar of peanut butter like we always get at home is around 20 bucks!!  Ouch!!  Won't be eating THAT for the next 14 months :D 

Fun things for the week: Had goat liver curry at an old Indian ladies house!  Kept telling myself  "its just chicken, its just chicken!" Luckily the spicy curry covered up the goaty liver flavor lol! When we told other Indians about it they were kinda grossed out. Apparently it's an old person thing and most Indians don't make it, especially for guests, hahaha!   Last week Sister Maile and I got to have an 'Ulu' dinner.  That's when they bury everything in banana leaves and dirt etc. to cook.  Super yummy and I got some fun pictures of wrapping up the packets. Eating raw sugar cane is a big thing in the pacific, and I tried it for the first time. You peel off the outside and just take a big bite. The texture is like celery on steroids! Super stringy. You chew on it until all the sweet juice comes out, then spit out the fiber part. Weird, but good.

We had a huge meeting this morning and watched that worldwide leadership training from Provo. If you have the chance, watch it! So amazing!  I'm hoping it prompts our ward leaders to get their butts in gear and help us out more!! 
Anyway, I'm out of time.  Love you all!! Miss you all tons!!

  Sister Pyne

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I forgot the camera stuff, so that will have to wait again. sorry!! Ii thought I packed it this time! 
Anyway, this week was good.  We have another investigator with a baptismal date, so that makes three!  But im not sure who will actually be baptized before I transfer.  I hope I'll be able to see at least one!  The newest one is the guy at the TB hospital. His name is Aca (pronounced Atha). He's 40 something, Fijian, super nice.  He actually reminds me of Thomas lol! Same lanky build, long face, shy expressions. it's the weirdest thing!!  If thomas was older and Fijian, they would be twins!!  I'll send you a picture of him.  We were in the middle of a lesson with him when both sister maile and I felt like we should invite him to be baptized.  It was out of the blue!  He hadn't been to church yet, we'd only met him a few times, and hadn't even finished teaching about the Book of Mormon!  But we had seen a change in him over the past few visits.  Sister Maile looked at me and I knew she had the same idea I did, so we wrapped up the lesson and flat out asked him.  He said he had been waiting for us to invite him and was super excited!!  He was really honest and told us everything that might keep him from being baptized (he had word of wisdom problems before he came to the hospital, and he's not married to his "wife")  even when we hadn't talked about those things yet!  He's been totally prepared to hear the gospel.  It's amazing to see!   And he came to church this Sunday!!  His "wife" and stepson are members and he's lived with them for 7 years.  No previous interest in going to church or hearing about the gospel, he actually kicked the missionaries out before!  But now he is so eager to learn!  I'm not sure why he changed his mind, but I'm sure glad he did!!  He's being discharged from the hospital this Saturday so we're praying we'll be able to finish the lessons before we have to hand him over to the missionaries in his area.  He's worried about them not understanding his situation, and us not being able to attend his baptism.  I hope it won't be a problem!!  So thats Aca.  An amazing guy! 
Monday we got to have family home evening at a members house.  We normally don't have dinner appointments for monday night so FHE hadn't even crossed our minds when they signed up to feed us.  When we got there everyone grabbed their scriptures and sat down so we assumed someone had been assigned to give the lesson.  Turns out it was us!  They just said  "We will now turn the time over to the Sisters for the lesson" and stared at us.  Luckily I had read about the stripling warriors in my morning study, so we read through the scriptures together and I made up the lesson as we went along. lol!  The lesson went really well and now they will never know we were unprepared :D 
Friday was pretty interesting too. all but one of our appointments fell through, it was really rainy and we got totally soaked, no new referrals, and 3 different people tried to bible bash us!  It had never happened to us in this area and it was totally random.  All three of them were talking about Christ and trying to use scriptures to tell us how our church is wrong.  They assume that we dont know anything because we are so young and not from Fiji.  Sister Maile has been letting me take the lead on alot of things and this was no different.  She just raised her eyebrows at me to say 'go ahead' and didn't say a word!   I said a quick prayer each time, then started talking, and the right things to say just popped into my head!  I remembered scriptures I hadnt read in weeks and was able to support the things I was saying. its so cool to be led by the spirit like that!  It's happened during lessons before, but this was more like I was defending my beliefs instead of answering sincere questions.  One guy even accepted a pamphlet and we handed them out to everyone else at the bus stop who had been listening. All I can say is that Friday was meant to be a learning experience.  Someone was trying to discourage us, but since we kept a good attitude and always followed the spirit we came through knowing more that we did before. 
Sorry, this ones gonna be long.  I realized that I haven't told you guys alot of the little things that make Fiji so fun!  One of my favorite things is riding in the open air buses.  Everyone crams in so you get to talk to alot of people, you get a great few of the harbor and beach from the main road, and the buses are kinda rickety so its a gamble everytime you ride lol!  It's really strange to have so many exotic plants growing everywhere.  We pick guavas from the backyard for breakfast,  fresh passion fruit from our neighbor, and we collect lemons as we walk for lemonade when we get home.  Super fun, and it all tastes so good!   Eating at the members houses is always an adventure.  The other day one family had some huge mud crabs they had just caught.  We cracked them open and it was really good, but when Sister Maile started to get itchy we figured we had better leave.  By the time we got to our flat, her face was swollen and she was scratching like crazy!!  Thats how we figured out she's allergic to crab lol!  That was fun to explain to our leaders :D 
There are tons of weird animals I've never had to deal with before.  We see huge bats flying around every night, geckos everywhere (I accidentally cut off ones tail with the door the other day, so sad!). If your out after dark you have to watch where you step or you'll end up stomping on toads the whole way home, and every once in a while youll see a mongoose or two running around the yard in the morning. 
All in all its been a crazy experience so far.  I'm sure Sister Maile is getting tired of me asking the name of every plant we pass or trying to catch the geckos in our flat.  It's all normal for her so she thinks I'm a little weird.  I'm gonna try and find a plant book or something so I dont have to keep bugging her lol! 
I think that's it for this week.  I have some pressed flowers and stuff to send you along with some shark teeth for Mike and the boys.( which im proud to say, I personally took out of the sharks mouth. impressed? :D )  I'll see if I can get a few more things together before I send them off. 
Love you all and hope your enjoying your summer!!   Next week I'll make sure I bring my camera so you can see the pictures of the families. :D 

Lots of love!! 
Sister Pyne

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