Sunday, October 25, 2015

LAMI - Week 2

Bula vinaka!
Week 2 down in the Fijian islands! It is such a beautiful country. It was a really good week! I guess I'll just give you a breakdown day by day.

Monday - Last monday was awesome! We went to the beach for P-day! That's really rare for missionaries to do here, so I started off my mission with a super strong p-day! 
Tuesday - A super hard-working day. We had to walk really far to different villages. All of the lessons went really well though! We gave one of our investigators (my favorite one) a baptismal date and he accepted! If all goes as planned, he'll be baptized on November 21st. I really hope it works out! It would make me so so so happy. His son would get baptized too.
Wednesday - A SUPER hot day. My first real experience with the Fijian heat. My whole body was just wet. In Fijian you'd say "Sa katakata tiko nikua." which literally translates to "It's hotting today." It was still a really good day though! There's a tradition to burn a white shirt when you hit your year mark as a missionary. 2 of the Elders in my flat hit their year mark on the same day, so we had a little celebration. They said it goes by so so so fast.
Thursday - Thursday's are service days for all the missionaries here. We find someone to do service for and do about 3 hours of service. This week we helped an investigator with his farm. We weeded (with machete's), chopped down some plants (with machete's), and planted a bunch of stuff (not necessarily with machete's). Then once we finished he took us straight into the jungle. HOLY COW it was so sick. We followed this river and even went to an underground waterfall. Then he took us to the top of this mountain and the view was AMAZING. I felt so grateful for the beautiful world our Heavenly Father has given us. It was a way awesome service day. So my both first service day and P-day were possibly the best of my mission!
Friday - A lot of the appointments we had fell through. It was kind of a tough day, we walked way far. But a member bought us a TON of dinner so that kind of made up for it. ;)
Saturday - On Saturday we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I went to a different area and taught lessons to people that I'll probably never see again. But it was way fun! 
Sunday - Sunday went great! My favorite investigator came to church! He also brought his kids, and pretty much all of the neighbor kids too. Haha. I sat with them during sacrament. PHEW! I gained so much respect for mothers that deal with kids during sacrament. Haha.

All in all it was a great week! The language is coming along! It's getting easier to understand what people are saying, but speaking it is a little harder. I'll just keep plugging at it. I love being a missionary! It's such a great feeling, teaching people the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel the spirit SO much every day. I would encourage you all to try feel the spirit as much as you can throughout the day, there's no other feeling like it!
Have a great week, stay strong in the Faith!
Au lomani kemuni! Taumana na vakabauta!

-Elder Jaxson Miller

Lami town
A view from the chapel in Navua

A fijian dinner. They leave all the bones in the meat. 
My district. My companion is on the front right, the big Samoan.
Lami koro
It's tradition to burn a white shirt after a year in the mission. Elders Danielson and Burgener hit their marks
An investigator. He has a baptismal date for Nov 21
My companion Elda Danielson, then Elders Burgener and Amisone
Me and my companion, Elder Danielson

Lepani and Melika

Kids playing rugby
An investigator came to church, and brought his kids and all the neighbor kids
Pacific Harbor beach. We went there as a zone for P-Day

Sunday, October 18, 2015

LAMI - Week 1

Week 1 in Fiji down!!

Bula vinaka from the beautiful island nation of Fiji!! Man oh man do I have a lot to fill you in on. I'll keep it as short as I can. If you want the short and condensed version, skip to where it says "I'll end on this."

My first week here has definitely been a crazy adjustment, but it's been great. I guess I'll start at the beginning.

So I got here into Nadi International Airport at about 4 in the morning. The Elders who were supposed to pick me up thought my flight landed at 5:50, so I kinda wandered around for a bit having no idea where to go. Luckily there was a church member that worked at a phone kiosk there and she called the missionaries for them to come get me. Haha. So I hopped on a bus at around 5:30 in the morning to go all the way to Suva. It was about a 4 hour drive. Holy cow, this is such a beautiful place. The scenery changed so much too. On the west side of the island where the airport is, they call it the desert. Basically it's just a little hotter and a little less green than the south and the east. But there were farms everywhere and we'd pass through little villages. Then as we got closer to Suva it got greener and greener until it was just straight rainforest/jungle/I don't know what to call it. Amazing. The road around the whole island follows the coast most of the way so it was just an awesome ride. I didn't even really notice how long the drive was or that there was an Indian guy basically sitting on my lap. Haha.

Anyways, so I pulled into the bus stop in Suva and hopped off. Apparently the airport Elders forgot to tell the Mission President that my flight came in early, so they weren't there. Haha. Once again, the Lord helped me out. After a while some Elders came walking by the bus stop and asked me what I was doing. They called the Mission President and he got to the bus stop in like 4 minutes. The Lord definitely looks out for his missionaries.

Then the Mission President, President Layton, and his wife took me to McDonalds. Haha, my first meal in Fiji was McDonalds. The McDonalds here is so expensive though! The Dollar Menu was like the $6 menu! (which is about $3 US) It's like a dream for the all the missionaries here to eat at McDonalds.

Then I got right into it! They took me to the mission office where I did an orientation, and then the Zone Leaders took me right out to my first area! I'm serving in Lami, which is like 15 minutes outside of Suva. It's an awesome area, I love it. There are 4 Elders total in my flat (what we missionaries call our houses), so we share it with another companionship. There are only 2 flats in the whole mission like that. It's a blast. I already got a taste of what the next 2 years is gonna be like. There are tons of rats, cockroaches, huge spiders, and all sorts of weird stuff. And I have no hot water. And our washer doesn't spin. But I love it here!!

The work here is going great. We have more lessons than we can even fit into a day. We go from house to house. I LOVE the Fijian people already. They are so humble. And hilarious.

Gosh I could just talk and talk and talk. But I'll end on this.

I already know this is going to be the hardest 2 years of my life so far. I've already felt super homesick, I got pretty sick after one of the dinners a family gave me, it's been hot, rainy, I've been frustrated with the language, and I've felt soooo tired. But I also know these will be the most rewarding 2 years of my life. I've already progressed in the language IMMENSELY, my testimony has already grown TONS from just the week that I've been here, I've already committed someone to baptism, and I love this place with all my heart. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me, if only I just put my head down and get to work.

I love this gospel, I love this beautiful world, and I love and miss all of you. 
Au lomani kemuni!

-Elder Jaxson Jeremy Miller
The first thing you see when you walk out of the airport in Nadi
A picture while driving on the bus. 
A street in Qauia 

A bridge in Quaia
My flat. It's split into 3 houses, we share it with 2 other families.
This spider was in my flat. It's almost as big as my hand.

A Fijian kid asked to use my camera but didn't know how 
A Fijian kid that BEGGED to take a picture

Monday, October 5, 2015

LOL - Change of plans (again)

The Home Stretch (HA, get it?)

Well the plans have changed once again. Because of logistical reasons, I am now set to leave this coming Saturday, the 10th. I will fly from here to Pheonix, from Pheonix to LA, then from LA to Fiji. I will arrive in Fiji on Monday at 6 AM their time. 

Despite another setback, I'm stoked to finally get out there! It's definitely hard just sitting here and waiting, but then again, how many missionaries get to have their mom as their companion? I will for sure make the most of the time I have with my family here. All I have left to say is this: Satan better be ready because once I finally get out there he won't know what hit him. 
Au lomani kemuni!

-Elder Jaxson Jeremy Miller

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Home - Week 2

Ni sa bula!

Well, I'm headed to Fiji!! (finally) The Doctor cleared me 3 days ago and the Church office has given me a departure date for this Tuesday, the 6th of October (in 2 days). My parents will take me to the airport and I will fly from here to LA, and then from LA straight to Fiji. A 14-hour flight. The time has come!

The last 2.5 weeks that I've had here at home have been such a blessing for me. I spent some much needed time with my family recovering from the surgery. I even got the chance to go to St. George and just be with my family there! Holy cow did I recover so fast and so well. I am completely better and am told that there is only a 1 in a million chance of there being any residual effects such as an infection. I feel so good!!

I love this gospel so much. My testimony of the truth of this work has grown IMMENSELY in the short couple months that I've been a missionary. It makes me so happy! 

I love you all and can't wait to get out there and finally just get to work. Keep working hard and having fun!!
Au Lomani kemuni sara ga!

-Elder Jaxson Miller