Monday, May 27, 2013

Our bedroom (notice "Snowy" on my bed.  He goes with me everywhere!)
My study desk

Our fabulous kitchen.  This used to be the senior missionaries flat.

This is the main room, there's a hallway that goes past our bedroom, the spare bedroom, the laundry room and bathroom.

The wall outside our compound.  Does that make you feel better mom? Lol!

Our Street

My companion


the past week has been interesting. we met some new investigators that are going to be wonderful, and got some referrals. but others have said they dont want lessons anymore, so thats a bummer. everyone here keeps asking for the elders and where they went. people in fiji are so nice, that even if they dont want to join the church, they let you in and have you come back just to visit. some of the past elders "golden investigators" that they spent months with have told us flat out that they only took the lessons to get to know the elders. super frustrating. we're pretty much starting from scratch. 
since we didnt have very many appointments this week, we spent most of our time visiting the members in the ward and getting to know them. there are alot of inactives or less actives in our area so we're focusing on them for the moment. 
one of my favorite families are the Racule's. theyre one of our dinner appointments every week, and have been super helpful. one son just got back from his mission (he got called as our new ward mission leader yesterday :D ) and another just got his call last week so they area really interested in the missionary work in the area. we stop by whenever we're in the neighborhood, and they help us find the investigators houses. another great family are the samisoni's theyre a recent convert family and are so amazing!! they live pretty far out, and its an adventure getting to their house every week. both parents grew up as members but stopped going when they were young. because they know what life is like without the gospel, they are so strong now. they have three young boys, and all of them love reading the scriptures, are super polite, work hard and always participate in lessons. they are so willing to learn. definitely my favorite family. 
now for the news of the week. we spoke in church yesterday :D one of the counselors called us during a dinner appointment on tuesday. a minute or two later the phone rang and one of the daughters picked it up, talked for a bit, then ran into another room and started screaming/crying! turns out she got asked to speak too lol! it was pretty funny. we spoke on forgiveness. surprisingly i wasnt nervous at all, and actually had to cut off the end of my talk because i went over 10 minutes! how crazy is that!  definitely had alot of help from the spirit. 
funny events of the week: i kinda have a pet dog! we named her lia. she is super sweet, waits for us at the gate every morning and walks us to the main road. she comes when we call her and even chases off the scary neighborhood dogs! 
a few days ago, we were having dinner with a part member indian family and got in a discussion with the husband about his belief in the bible. he said he doesnt believe the bible because there and no dinosaurs in it. lol!! apparantly his hindu books talk about dinosaurs. because we know they existed he thinks that them not being included is proof that the bible is false. crazy huh!! super fun discussion about that after . . . .lol!
other than that, its just been an adventure of new foods, geckos in the flat, crazy bus rides and trekking through 'short cuts'. still loving fiji and and loving the people.
thats it for now!! hope everyone is doing well! 

love ya! 
Sister Pyne

Sunday, May 19, 2013

On the Temple Grounds

Getting our assignments

The Elders

We picked these growing wild around our flat!

The green five has a clear part that you can see through  It's weird and they are so colorful, one side has the queen and the other has plants or animals and stuff.

Found this little guy in our flat last night, he doesn't look big, but he was about 8 inches long! 

It's been a crazy week here in Fiji with tons of fun experiences and new things. I think I'm finally used to the swing of things. I love my companion! Her name is Sister Maile or Miles (depending on if you Fijian or Tongan) and we get along great. We are always joking around and having fun. 
The members are all over the place. We have some really solid families who are at church every week, some partial member families, inactive, and there are a few that come to all the church activities and sacrament each week but aren't members! We've been trying to sort everyone out and see what we have to work on. 
Our area is so huge!!  Tons of hills and the neighborhoods are really far apart. On the plus side, I'm gonna have super buff legs when i get back! :D  We walked so much in the past week trying to get used to the area that when we woke up on Saturday we could barely get up!  We had to hobble around the flat like old ladies till our legs stretched out hahaha!!  Speaking of which, our flat is pretty much the nicest in the zone.  It used to be for the senior couples so we have tile and wood floors, leather couches and a working ac!! (I'm always hot, and sister Maile gets cold with the ac, so we're trying to balance it out).  There's a small flower garden out back that I'm sure Lauren would be jealous of.  All of these tropical flowers that are hard to get, are everywhere here. There's orchids just growing off trees on the side of the road!!  I took some pictures for her, maybe she can tell me what some of them are lol! 
We live in the compound with one other family from Australia. they live above us.  The other day Sis. Maile dared me to go and ask to use their guitar (we hadn't met them yet) and of course i had to.  It was super awkward. We were in our pjs and I'm sure we looked super gross after a day of walking.  We knocked on the door, introduced ourselves and gave the daughter some candy.  They invited us in and I awkwardly commented on their guitar until they offered to let me play it lol!!  Pretty sure they think we're crazy. hahah!!  So that's a fun story . . .. . 
Oh!  We went to the big market in town this morning!  The relief society president has been helping us so much and she offered to show us around today.  It was so fun!!  I didn't have time for pictures this time, but I'm sure we'll be back. 
Other things about Fiji. . . . the buses are so fun!  They're open air and when it rains they roll tarps over the sides to stay dry lol!  The taxis are kinda crazy, some are really nice and safe but a few have been pretty crazy drivers. I think everyone is Fiji just follows their own rules when it comes to driving, especially the taxis.
Another fun story.  We were going to visit a family way out in Savutalele,  past where the buses stop and turn around.  We had no idea where they lived and the mom said to walk for a half mile or so past the bust stop and she would send her son to get us.  Turns out it was alot closer.  We totally passed the settlement and ended up walking out into the middle of nowhere by the forest reserve lol!   After turning around and trying a few other villages we finally found the right spot.  Their house is really cool!  It's at the top of a huge hill and the back is open and hangs over the edge of a cliff.  You can see all their farmland going up the next hillside.  I'll try and take pictures next time. 
Anyway, this has been a super long email and I have to send some pics so I'll get going. 
Love and miss you all!!  Hope you're doing well and having fun. 
Sister Pyne. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fiji is awesome. I'm serving in the Tamavua area, right by Suva.  My flat address is  75 Navurevure Road, Tamavua, Suva, Fiji. (send packages and letters to the mission office.)  It's a two-bedroom flat.  We live on the ground floor under the family that owns it, but we haven't met them yet. We haven't done much teaching yet because my companion is new to the area too.  The elders who were in Tamavua before us didn't leave very good notes for the phone numbers and addresses of  investigators.  On one of the records it actually says " on the hill under the big mango tree".  How in the heck are we supposed to find that!?  We have to wander around the neighborhoods until we find someone who knows the families we are visiting.  It's been pretty fun.  The area I'm serving in is a pretty good mix of everyone.  Our neighborhood is really nice.  There are some white families in our ward and a small Chinese community, but everyone else is Fijian or Indian.  All the other places in our area are shanty villages.  Last night we had dinner at one of the members houses,  its a little tin-sided shack in a shanty town, and she doesnt have electricity.  She had kerosene lanterns around the house so we could eat and give a quick lesson.  It's so humbling to see the way they live and think about how much we take for granted at home.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Annie is finishing her MTC experience and flying to Suva, Fiji Saturday, May 4th! I have posted the address of the mission home in Suva which is the best place to send letters and packages until she can notify us of her actual living address in Fiji.  Her email will remain the same though-out her mission, and "Dear Elder" is still available but will no longer be free at the Fiji address.  There are limitations to what can be sent to her in Fiji.  The following is the mission home recommendation for packages to Fiji:

Our missionaries are thrilled to receive letters and packages from home.  Such signs of love mean alot to every missionary.  However, please be aware of some mailing issues that will help you be successful in sending these valued packages. We have excellent supplies of meats, dairy and of course wonderful fruits and vegetables, packages from home should be special items of love and fun, not basic foods. Clothing, food products and merchandise should be sent directly to the mission home address.  However  "dutiable" merchandise often does not reach it's intended destination. Packages are opened at the time of arrival by Fijian Customs Officers for inspection and a fee may be charged to the missionary based on it's contents.  For small amounts of food or supplies the fee will be nominal. DO NOT SEND any meat products, not even jerky or ramen; any dairy products, not even  boxed mac and cheese; high priced items such as cameras etc;  multiple articles of one type of clothing (these may confused as being brought into the country for resale).  Take off all tags.  Label the package as "missionary supplies".   Small packages of nominal value should be sent through the US Postal Service.  Merchandise sent through a commercial carrier is extremely expensive and may be subject to higher customs.

hey everyone!! its been a crazy week. im heading to fiji in two days and im super excited!! :D ive heard so many wonderful things about the people of fiji and how much they want the gospel. cant wait to meet them.
 my last week in the mtc has been a little crazy. my classroom had some things that needed to be done, so we switched everything over to a new building, and the whole mtc changed schedules. our meal and class times are totally different, and they changed our p-days to thursday so its been a while since i was able to check my email and stuff. now we are scheduled to eat dinner at 4:30 every day!! how crazy is that?! im pretty much starving by the time i get home and we've noticed that the vending machines by our zone's rooms are getting very empty :D  luckily i dont have to deal with it for very long.  thats all i have time for, but i love you all and love hearing from you. the next time i write ill be in FIJI!!!!
lots of love, Sister Pyne