Bula Vinaka!It's been a GREAT week here in Viti. (The actual name of the country) Sometimes it reminds me of Utah in the fact that the weather changes CRAZY fast. Like from scorching hot to pouring rain then back to hot in a matter of a couple minutes. It's summer here though, so it's hot pretty much all the time. Even while it's raining you're sweating. Haha. Sometimes I miss the cold snow back home and wish I could go skiing. But then I'm sure most of you in Utah would do anything to swap places and be here in Fiji, so I'm trying to be grateful for my time here. It really is an amazing place.
Thanksgiving week! They don't have Thanksgiving here so we didn't really do anything. The most anyone really talked about it was on Thanksgiving day, during studies, an Elder looked up from his desk and said "Hey... It's Thanksgiving today." I then said "Oh yeah... It is, huh." And that's about it. That night I thought a lot about my family back home, and imagined them sitting around the table eating Turkey and mashed potatoes. It made me happy. I'm so thankful that I have such an amazing family! I love you all so much, and think about and pray for you every night.
I had a really cool experience this week with a taxi driver that I got talking to. He's Muslim. Oh, I don't know if any of you are confused about this too, but Muslim is the person and Islam is the church. So if you associate with the Islam church, you're a Muslim. He explained that to me. Haha. Anyways, we got talking about our religions. He told me about what his beliefs are and tried to explain why they believe what they believe. He told me that he loves learning about religion. He also said that he never just believes what a preacher says, he always researches what they said so he can know for himself. Then I told him about our church. I told him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. I then asked him to research to know if what I told him was true. He was excited. I gave him the our phone number and a Restoration pamphlet and he said he'd call if he has questions. Who knows if anything will come of it, but it was a cool experience! Maybe one day, 5 years down the road he'll read it, pray about it, and want to get baptized! Planting seeds.
Ok now for the super exciting part of my week. MY FIRST BAPTISM!! It was this last Saturday, the 28th. I was SO excited all week. It's a family. Well, the mom, whose name is Iri, and 2 of her kids, Rusiate and Rusila. It went SO well. It was such a spiritual day for me! I was so happy, I'm still like beaming from it! I've become like best friends with the kid Rusiate, and he follows us around everywhere. He's only 14, and he keeps saying he wishes he could go on his mission right now!
Also that same night was the Ward Christmas party. I know, pretty early huh? But in Fiji, it's tradition to move back to your parent's village during Christmas-time, so they did it early. It was a BLAST. SOOO many people showed up. Lots of our investigators too! It was really such a fun time. Missionaries aren't really allowed to dance, so I wasn't able to hop into the circle when all the members urged me to come dance. But the song was just TOO good for me not to at least show off a couple of my moves. ;)
All in all, another good week! Time just keeps going by. It's really surreal. It's already December! I hope all of you are having tons of fun and making the most of every second. Life's a gift, treat it like one! Me being a missionary, I'll end on a spiritual quote. "Reading your scriptures is like brushing your teeth. You can't skip it 6 days a week and then say you'll brush 7 times ."
I urge all of you to re-evaluate your scripture reading. Read every day! Even if only for 5-10 minutes! It is the foundation of the Gospel, and is the true word of God. It can help you solve ANY problem you may face. READ!
I love you all so much! Thanks for taking the time to read about my experiences here on my mission! Keep on keepin' on! Au lomani kemuni!
- Elder Miller
An 8-year old baptism
My companion on the left, then Iri, then Rusila, then Rusiate, then me. I baptized the kids and my companion baptized Iri. Amazing day!
These kids followed me around EVERYWHERE at the party. Haha
TONS of food. Also, at most Fijian parties, they have this middle mat. Where little kids and their moms sit to eat food
The ward Christmas party. This wasn't even all the people!
A Fijian dance
Some Fijians dressing up in leaves... This mom was going crazy. Haha
We thought we were pretty cool at the time...