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

Sunday, June 9, 2013

This week has been wonderful. The rain has slowed down a little so we actually got to go out and teach! yay!!  We've been super busy with all the new people we have.  We got six new investigators and six more solid referrals last week!! All you RM's know how awesome that is :D  We have one investigator with a baptismal date and another who will hopefully have one by the end of this week. We'll see.  All I can say is that its gonna be a crazy busy week and I hope we survive!! 
On Tuesday we had exchanges with the sister training leaders, so I had a different companion for a day.  It was fun to teach with her and I learned a lot, but I was so happy to see Sister Maile when she got back.  We work so well together and I'm so grateful I got her as my trainer.  We have been out working a lot more now that we know the area better, and have had some fun finding "shortcuts" the locals tell us about. (FYI: not all of them should be used when its raining. lol!)  We've had some pretty close calls. :P   The members are getting more used to us and have been more willing to help out, thank goodness!!
Noteworthy stories for this week: chasing geckos around the flat, taking the wrong bus and ending up back where we started, lots of slip and near falls from all the mud (found out I can almost do the splits lol!) playing baseball with the elders in ankle deep mud, running from the neighborhood dogs. you get the idea.  Lots of awkward moments that are bound to happen if I'm around lol! 
The work is really getting going in this area and we're doing well, but there is still sooooo much to be done.  I hope we can whip Tamavua into shape and get some baptisms before I have to leave. 
That's it for now!  I'm out of time. 
Love ya!! 
Sister Pyne

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Suva North Zone Conference

Bula everyone!! 
This week was pretty interesting. it was raining constantly and we had a cyclone warning so we were stuck inside for most of the time.Needless to say we got a little cabin fever, which resulted in reorganizing everything, drawing pictures, singing to modernized primary songs, and lots of fun memories.  
We got a lot of referrals last week so we had plenty of people to call while we were in weather quarantine. our newest investigator is Susan. She lives at the end of our street in a small tin house. The nearby village owns the land and she has been living there for about a year, making a small 'plantation'. She's 60 something and lives by herself, except for her dog. (he's pretty mean and has sent us running for cover more than once lol! ) Susan is amazing!! She's Methodist, but her brother and son are both members and she is very willing to learn. she actually asked for a Book of Mormon within the first 5 minutes!! She is so nice and has had really good questions for us to discuss with her. The other day we spent almost two hours just talking about things she read! We are super excited about her. We also had the opportunity to go visit some people in the local hospital. a member from another ward is in the hospital and contacted the mission office about bringing some things to the hospital for him. We thought it was just to keep him busy so we got some ensigns and a Book of Mormon for him. Turns out, he needed teaching pamphlets! While he's been there he's been teaching anyone in his hall who will listen and has a whole group of new investigators for us :D How awesome is that !! It's definitely the coolest story of the week. It's amazing that he could turn to spreading the gospel when he's sick and away from home. Hopefully we will be able to get contact info for all the people there and get it to their area missionaries! 
We also had zone conference this week. it was really nice to meet everyone and get some training. plus the lessons were all exactly what we needed! We've been having trouble getting the ward involved in missionary work, even the ward council! almost everything we talked about in the conference applied to member relationships and using them to do missionary work. We've already benefited a lot from what we learned. 
I think that's it for now, not many note worthy stories this week. I hope everyone is doing something fun to kick off summer! Fill me in on your adventures! :D 
Sister Pyne

Better pic of Sister Maile.  She hates pictures...I had to sneak up on her!
My "pet" cat, still no name.  He lives under the porch and we give
him some of the less edible things we get from members. LOL!