Over the past several weeks we have been involved in numerous activities and projects. This post will try to share a few of our interesting activities. Here we go: Church and baptism in a Fijian village On Sunday, June 30th we were invited to attend a church meeting in the village of Marata which is made up of five small villages. The membership is so small that it is defined as a unit, smaller than a branch. Usually on Sunday meetings in a village like this the members sit on the floor for their meetings but on this Sunday they brought chairs because they did not want their visitors to be uncomfortable (and because we are old). It was one of the most spiritual meetings that we have attended in a very long time. We were asked to talk and bear our testimonies and we were very happy to do so. The meeting was in Fijian but we gave our testimonies in English. Even though there was a language barrier, you could feel the spirit that was present that the special place and event we were apart of. After the Sacrament Meeting, there was a young man (14 years of age) who was baptized and after the opening remarks and talks on baptism, the members escorted the young man down to the river where the baptism took place. We had never seen a baptism in a river before and it was very special not only for the young man but also for the village people. It was the first baptism of an LDS person from that village. Here are some pictures of the Marata village, church meeting and baptism. The first picture is the road to Marata and you can see the village ahead, it lies on the side of a mountain (Fijian mountain).
Senior Missionary Farewell Dinner When a senior missionary couple leaves the mission and returns to their home, we get together and have a farewell dinner. This is a special time as we talk about their experiences and the couple talks about what they are planning when they get home. This particular farewell was for Elder and Sister Terry who were the mission office couple. The are returning to St. George, Utah. The Terry’s are the couple that is sitting at the far end of the table.
Celebrating July 4th in Fiji… Obviously the country of Fiji does not celebrate the 4th of July as we do in America but the couples who are serving from the US did get together and had a 4th of July picnic. There is a beautiful park by the sea wall that is very picturesque and we had a great time. This past several weeks we have had new couples enter the mission and this was the first time we all got together to socialize and have some fun. The couples are from Star Valley, Wyoming, Cheyenne, Wyoming, St. George, Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Cedar Falls, Iowa. After our picnic the tide was out so we had an opportunity to take a walk on the ocean floor and look for treasures of the sea. We did find some interesting sea shells and watch some mud crabs and other sea creatures work their way on the ocean floor. Sorry about the shadows of the picture but had a Fijian lady who was not to familiar with how to take pictures… Here Elder Martin (Salt Lake City) is looking pretty dapper..
.Sister Martin, Sister Allredege (St. George) and Sister Decker talking about something but they are about .5 km in the ocean.
In the background is the sea shore where we started walking on the ocean floor.
Well, we only have a few weeks left in this beautiful country and mixed emotions about leaving this beautiful country and wonderful people. We are anxious to come back and see our children and grandchildren but sad to leave this beautiful island. Our mission ends on July 19, 2015 and we are going to take a holiday to Australia before we return. Our plans are to be in Australia for about 9 days and then return to Fiji and spend a couple of days touring the Yasawas and Mamanucas which is a string of islands on the western side of Fiji. These islands are the islands that everyone sees when they market fiji for tourism purposes. White beaches and blue waters of the pacific. We will take lots of pictures but want you to know that it is not the real Fiji. The real Fiji is in the villages and highlands of this beautiful country. Until we blog again, have a blessed day and check in later for the next experience…glad you stopped by…