Monday, October 24, 2016

Paradise Island Savusavu Carnival

We had a Savusavu Carnival a week or so ago and one of the young sisters in the branch was a queen contestant. There was four days of the carnival. Wednesday thru Friday, it was just and evening event with local and historical entertainment and, of course, the judging of the queen contestants. They problem was that they had lights on the stage but much of the Fijian entertainment was done in front of the stage and there were no lights. Saturday things began with a parade through the entire town and ending at the site of the carnival. It was hot and humid and we had to go home to cool off after the parade and then we came back for the final night of activities. Our girl did not win but she represented herself well. She had support of her family and we spent some of the time at the carnival with them.
We love being here and are learning about the people and the culture every day. The gospel is growing in Fiji and the humble saints are learning the gospel, “line upon line, precept upon precept.”

We Love you all and hope you enjoy the blog.

 Elder and Sister Roberts (Kurt and Jackie, mom and dad, grandpa and grandma)

Jackie and Makalesi, she is being tutored in English
Our contestant being carried (traditional)

Former Branch President's Family

Missionaries returning home Celebration

Just a small interim blog to show some of the activities we can be part of here in Fiji.
When missionaries are leaving, the branch holds a big party for them. The ladies spend a lot of time making a special lei for them. Food is served and the party begins. The missionaries are expected to give a farewell talk at this party. We were a bit concerned that we had not seen the Fijian people have a party or having fun. We were very happy to see that they do have fun and can party with the best of the islanders. Even the small children join in with the dancing, singing and of course the eating of the food.

Here are a few pictures to try to show the feel of the farewell and the fun spirit of the Fijian people.

Elder Lautogia

Elder Court (his lei was still being made)

All the missionaries in the District

Monday, October 17, 2016

Goals, Activation, Serving, Faith

The work here in Fiji continues. Each month the mission sets goals for number of baptisms they think they will get. The zone leaders meet with the president in the Mission Council Meeting once a month. After discussion and prayerful consideration, they set a goal for the mission of the number of baptisms. This goal is based upon feedback from the different zones. Each week of the month the districts meet to discuss progress and ways to be more effective. Each set of missionaries in the district report on those they are working with; what lesson they are on, have they attended church, have they been given a calling, have they given a baptismal challenge and what date they think the baptism will take place. The district leaders then report to zone leaders who report to the president and the mission council.

We are on the North Island of Vanua Levu. Our district is the southern portion of that island. The branches that we are responsible for are Rabi, a small island that is a 45-minute boat ride on a small 14’ fishing boat across the channel between the two islands, Tukavesi, Nabua and Savusavu. Each branch has 2-3 groups that are attached to them. A group is like a HP group in a ward, but they meet on their own except for fast Sunday, when they meet with the branch they are attached to. We try to get to all the places on different Sundays but as you can guess, it is difficult to meet with all of them on a regular basis. But the members are very humble and try very hard to live the gospel in their lives.
We found out that there are over 270 members in the Savusavu Branch. We live in a nearby “village” to Savusavu. As you can see we have plenty opportunities to work with the less actives of the branch. Our problem is that we don’t know who they are. We have requested a printout of the branch members from the clerk and the branch president. We are planning to go through the list and color code those we know, have been working with, and the members that are active. We will then ask the members for assistance to help us make contact with those that have not been to church in a long time. It is a daunting task but we know the Lord will bless us if we stay focused, be diligent, have faith and learn to listen to the spirit.

The Elders need a place to burn some old foam mattresses. We were the only one with a yard.

As you can see, they even have a lumber industry here in Fiji. They have large pine forests on our island. If you get behind one of them, you have a very hard time getting around them. I also put in a picture of one of the many bridges that we have to cross to travel to the northern town of Labasa on this island.

A big yacht at the dock.

We are entering the yachting season. Most are sailboats, but this was huge.

Narrow one-way bring on many rods of the island.

Right of Weight!

Painting a members home.

Today we had the privilege of helping a less active member paint his home. He built this home himself and needed some help with the exterior painting. We bought a tray, roller frames and covers. He already had the paint, it was Swimming Pool Blue. He had never painted anything before and was asking for our help to be the “experts”. The Elders came, so we had 4 painters and one foreman, Sister Roberts. We were able to complete all four sides of the house in about 2 ½ hours. His wife made us lunch. Not sure what it was but it was rice, potatoes and some kind of seasoning. It might have been curry but the mild kind.