Ni sa bula vinaka!
I want to tell a story real quick. So earlier today, me and my companion were sitting and doing our studies. All of a sudden, there were sirens that started going off. Like those way loud scary ones that you hear on horror movies. Yeah. So I go outside to see what's going on. My neighbor was outside and I asked him what was going on. He said "I think it's just the Tsunami warning siren." Oh my heck I started freaking out. Here was this guy with his shirt off, listening to a Tsunami alert, and he just NON-CHALANTLY said it's "JUST the Tsunami alarm" like it's no big deal! So I called mission office headquarters to see what we should do. Turns out they were just testing the system to see if it worked. Haha. Literally a "False alarm".
Another week has come and gone way quickly here in Fiji! Time is flying by! Every day is a blast. This area is the best, I LOVE it here. Since I love Fiji so much, I figured I'd tell you some random facts about this place and the culture.
1 - The people are literally the nicest people on Earth. You can't pass a single person on the street without them saying hello. When you walk by houses, if the people inside happen to see you, they call out to you to come in and have some tea. (It's not REALLY tea, we can drink it)
2 - When passing on the street, it's custom for people to ask where you're going or where you came from. You usually just point in a general direction, or say "Rai vaoqo mada" which directly translates to "look this way please" but just means "Is it ok if I go this way?"
3 - The people WORSHIP rugby. The Rugby World Cup just ended yesterday. But everywhere you go that's all people talk about. New Zealand just beat Australia in the Final. My companion is from New Zealand and almost ALL of Fiji was rooting for Australia, so he's been giving them a hard time ;).
4 - Almost everyone is poor. The houses are so small. Rarely ever any furniture in a house. Just a kitchen with basic appliances in there, a mat to sit on on the ground, and some mattresses in another room. It is SO humbling to me. These people have almost nothing, but they give it all when they can. They feed us SO much food even though you know they don't have much. They walk for an hour and a half to get to church.
5 - Even though they're poor, they all have TV's. (to watch rugby) Haha.
6 - McDonald's is one of the most expensive restaurants here. Like $7 for a dollar menu burger.
I love this place so so so much. The people are so hilarious. It's so beautiful here. The members are way strong. The people are so open to the message. The food is actually really really good. I cannot say how much I love this place.
I just wanted to say how much I love being a missionary. I've already had so many amazing experiences. My testimony has been strengthened tenfold, and I know so much more will come. I want to end with a quote.
"If you really love someone, you'll forget about yourself."
I know this to be true. When you truly love someone, you'd do ANYTHING for them. I have experienced this on my mission for the people here. Seeing how much they're willing to do for me, a total stranger, makes me love them so so much. I am willing to do anything for these people. Including leave my family for 2 whole years of my life to share with them a message that I KNOW will make their lives happier.
I love you all so so much, and miss you tons. (But not enough to leave this place ;) Stay strong and strengthen your testimony! Build your house upon the rock that is Jesus Christ.
Taumana na vakabauta!
|The Road to Togoru - This road is near a small village called Togoru. We walked about an hour each way.|
|Walking along the beach to an investigator's house|
|A less-active member's house right on the beach|
|A member chopping up coconuts for us to eat|
|My first all-natural coconut!|
|Low tide, so a sand-bar appeared. Some kids were playing rugby on it.|
|Ward activity in Navua (not my area)|
|Elder Burgener and Elder Levasa|