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