March 2017 blog
We have started to go to a small village, Vunavesi, to help the elementary students with their English and writing skills. There are 12-16 of them in grades from 1 to 6. There are also 5 secondary students in grades 10-12.
When we were asked to help by the members of the branch, there was only five or six students there. Imagine showing up prepared for 5 and having 17-20.
Impromptu School at Family Home
The group leader is always there because we meet in the same building they have for church and he has the keys. Some of the ladies that have children being tutored always brings some treats and makes some lemon tea for us. We tell them each week that they do not have to do that, but they keep bringing it. After an hour of instructions for each group, we have a movie for them. They have do not movie theaters in their village and have very few televisions. We don't even have a theater in our town. We take our TV and computer or USB drive for the movie. They are movies we have seen many times, but for them it is exciting and different. They laugh, giggle, and are genuinely surprised as the movie plays out. We have watched, "Swiss Family Robinson" and "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief", "Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters". Jackie gave a short lesson on Greek myths to prepare them for the things they will seeing in the movie. We show Disney cartoons sometimes and go adventure movies; "Goonies", "Here Comes the Boom" are just a few.
We have started to teach a part member family. The father is a member but inactive. His wife and kids are not members. The children's ages are 8, 6 and 4. We are not actually called to teach the gospel, but do so to assist the missionaries in preparing them for their lessons and the all important "baptismal challenge." We visit them once a week and have spent one morning a month ago, painting his newly built home. When he gets some more paint we will put the second coat on and be done.
When visiting a family
There is another inactive family with two children that we have been visiting. The little girl was accidentally run over by her father. She broke her femur, thigh bone. They didn't take her to the hospital. A village elder, "Doctor" came and put some local herbs on it and told them to not move her or let her try to walk for a month. The elders came by the next day. When they heard the story, they asked if the parents wanting a blessing. The father was very appreciative that they would do that. After the blessing the girl have very little pain, and was able to sleep at night. She is progressing more rapidly than we would expect. The family said they would come to church this coming week for the first time a over a year. We will wait and see.
Let's read together
President Layton, asked all missionaries to start reading the Book of Mormon and focus on "heroes" we find within those pages. We are to see what legacy that they left. Here is his quote; "As you read through The Book of Mormon we want you to find men and women who became heroes and think about their legacy. A hero is a person who, in the face of obstacles, combats adversity through impressive feats of ingenuity, bravery or strength, often sacrificing his or her own personal concerns for some greater good. What legacy did they leave with their own family, those around them and future generations." Young Women in Branch
We have been so blessed being here and we see His hand in the progress of the church in this area. This last transfer cycle (6 weeks) the missionaries had 186 "saints" return to activity or be baptized into the church. "Saints" could be those that return to activity and receive a calling the branch where they live. The goal for the mission during that cycle was 144. It was the largest number since President Layton arrived in July 2014. He and Sister Layton go home in July.
We hope you feel our testimonies through this blog, either in word or pictures. We love you all and pray for each one daily.
"WHAT LEGACY ARE YOU LEAVING?
Elder and Sister Roberts
Fiji Suva mission