Fiji! Wow, I was lucky to have that experience. After I graduated from high school, I went to Fiji on a trip to work in some small villages (Dranikula and Galoa) and build septic tanks. I know I've mentioned it before, but I think you are the most in-tune with the spirit when you are serving others. I was in Fiji for a couple weeks, so I have several experiences I could type up. Unfortunately, I just don't have time for that, so I will try to touch on the main ones...
The first one is about a trip we took to the temple in Fiji after working. We brought along the only member of the Church who lived in the village- Lasaro. He had never been to the temple before, so it was exciting.
It is now Thursday. Another good day. We're almost finished with our group's bathroom. I painted today so I have pink and green all over me, but it's been good work. I had plenty of lemon leaf tea (everywhere I go- 'Asayla! Come have some tea!' especially 'Nana' (mom) from our group) We left early again today to go to Sauva to go to the temple.
|Lasaro and I in the village|
Lasaro came with which was cool because it was his first time. (he said after that he felt excited and happy). I say with him again and we listened to my ipod. We chose churchy songs to listen to since we were going to the temple- like Josh Groban, Christain bands and 'only hope' by Mandy Moore which he knew and the song 'I can only imagine'. It was nice.
The temple was very pretty. It's very small, but looks like many other temples. The font was cool because it was small and the seats where right up next to it. Mikah and I got confirmed first, so everyone was already waiting. I loved walking in and seeing Lasaro smile at me. He looked very happy.
We opened with 'I am a Child of God'. We've sung it many times on this trip, but boy did it sound beautiful in the temple. Maybe it was an echo or the added voices of the temple workers, but to me it sounded like a choir of angels backing us up. It went well. We did about 20 names then went outside. The air felt beautiful- somewhere between hot and cold.
Allison and I walked around the temple and then sat on the stairs and talked until everyone else got done. Afterwards we went to the stake center where 'sister Sara' had made us dinner- delicious- this food is really growing on me....
I loved the drive there and back while listening to songs like 'you are loved' because everywhere we go, people wave at us and say 'Bula!' and we see communities spending time together- especially playing sports like rugby. I love it. Well tomorrow is a new work day so I best get some sleep. MATAKA- MODA
Love Always,The temple trip was fantastic, but I felt like every moment of every day was a testimony-building spiritual moment. One of those, I have already blogged about here. I also had some 'real' mission experiences. One specific one was when I invited one of the guys who was working in our group, his name is Ili, to come to church. He did. And then he agreed to let the missionaries come speak with him. This next entry is from that day (which also happened to be our last one in the village...)
"Final Bula Journal,
It's Wednesday now and we leave back for the USA tomorrow :( Today was way good though. We worked on Lasaro's bathroom (even got to sign and flush it). Some of our 'family' was there too like my brother Kaju. We have like 2 families since we've worked at Romeo's and Lasaro's. Romeo's mom is definitely our 'nana' tho.
|Us with 'Nana' (in the middle) in front of the bathroom we built them|
We didn't do a ton of hard work, but I did walk with Lasaro clear though the village, across the road, along a path, through something that was a mix of a pasture, weed-patch and sump, past a random cow, past random piglets and past caged pigs and a boar to get gravel for the cement. Most of the other work was simple. We even had extra time so Allison, Connor and I helped shave palm branches for brooms. I left early from that tho because I went with Lasaro and the missionaries (brother ili and brother Mcmillian) to Ili's house for his first discussion. It was a cool experience.
|Ili, Me and the Missionaries at his Ili's lesson|
Ili chose to do it in Fijian, so I couldn't understand it other than the Godhead, Jesus Christ and a couple references, but it felt way cool. At the end they bore their testimonies and asked me and I just explained that even though I couldn't understand them, I could feel it to be true... It was really cool and Ili thanked me for coming with him. I have him a book of Mormon that I signed my name in and wrote Moroni 10:4-7 in.
Later after lunch and work, we all went down to the beach and swam one last time in the ocean. (the Fijians came too) and then we took a boat out to the middle of the ocean where there's this random tree. It was cool, but it was killer with the coral.
|The tree in the middle of the ocean|
After that. the bus came and since the kids will be at school tomorrow, we had to say goodbye to them all. I gave 'Luggy' a dress that Wendy and I had gotten for amp and some of my tennis shoes and her mom gave ma black sulu. I gave Lindia and Maryanna and little margreta (although I think bill stole it) and Toreka stuffed animals and/or bracelets, but then we had to go. Luggy also slipped me a ring (was cool looking) and earings that are way nice minus the 2 stones missing (which in this case makes it that much better). Aw I love the kids so much....
|Me and Daniel with my kids. (my BFF Lugy is in the Blue)|
I'm going to miss them so much tho- how they reach up to the bus, how they climb all over you and play games and hold your hand and call your name and give you the most humblest yet greatest of gifts. That's what love it.
I've loved the work here... I love the people too. That was the other part I talked about tonight- what Pres. Hinckley said: "You can never love God until you serve him by serving his people". I love these people. I really don't want to say goodbye tomorrow. It's going to be so hard. Especially Lasaro, Ili, Kaju, Romeo, Balo, Mojie, Nana, Michael, Ruby and...Melba. I've really gotten to know some of them so well. Aw... well it's late and once again the girls are already asleep so "G'NIGHT!" ...
Motha/Domine eeko!That quote by president Hinckley really sums up my feelings about that trip nicely. Serving with people is exactly what brings us closer to Christ.