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!!