Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Trainer Leader Assignment

21 April 2016 
Dear Elder Mumford, 
One of the highest compliments that can be paid to a missionary in the Fiji Suva Mission is to receive an assignment to train a new missionary.  President Monson has taught us that the trainer is the most critical and influential call in a mission.  As a result of your diligent missionary work, you have been called to serve as the trainer for Elder Nabaruru. 
As a trainer you should: 
• Recognize that your assignment is a sacred trust from the Lord and me. I ask you therefore, to set the highest example of obedience and effective proselyting and to do everything in your power to help your companion begin his mission on a positive note. 
• Help him adapt to missionary life.  Follow the Missionary Handbook. You should follow the daily schedule diligently so that he can develop the basic missionary skills by cheerfully and patiently applying the principles taught in “Preach My Gospel.” 
• Hold daily and weekly planning sessions to help him learn how to plan to help investigators progress towards conversion. Re-reading Pages 147 to 150 of “Preach My Gospel” will help you with this. 
• Make sure he participates fully as a contributing member of the companionship. From the very beginning give him the opportunity to take part in each phase of the work, even if he is somewhat hesitant. 
• Report to your district leader and to me in your weekly letter on his progress. 
May the Lord’s choicest blessings be with you as you fulfill this sacred assignment and begin the task of training Elder Nabaruru. 
With appreciation and love,   
LaMar L Layton, President Fiji Suva Mission 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Life on Rabi

Well the first picture is of me with some good old pink eye. Funny story about that is literally it was like a pink eye disease that took over Fiji. Like literally everyone and their dog got pink eye.....missionaries, Fijians everyone. It was crazy hahaha

This is weird named toilet paper lol

The next two pics are of me and my good Elder friends and my comp all eating pizza as usual.  My love for pizza hasn't stopped. 

This is me looking swaggy with shades #SWAG haha

So our favorite treat/thing to eat on Rabi is PIE... custard pie to be exact. It is just the most heavenly thing in the world and nothing is healthy about it.  And none of it tastes like fish or rice, so that's always a plus. But anyways one of the ladies in our ward that runs the store makes the best pie so last p-day we spent the whole day making and eating pie with an old lady #CRAZYP-DAY haha So ya.. we ate some pie then we went to a house for dinner and they made pie as well So definitely not the healthiest day ever. haha The one picture is how we preserved our pan of pie. Because there is no fridge we didn't want it to go bad and there is no plastic wrap here so we also had to figure out how to protect it from all the bugs. So we wrapped it in a old mosquito net and then put it in the window sill so it could keep cool overnight. Yup this is #Rabi Life hahah

This is the cutest baby in a bucket!

And then us hanging out with the cutest baby in the world. He is so funny!

And then another surprise happened last week. After zone conference, the AP's came out on transfers in Rabi! That was pretty exciting because Rabi is pretty far from Suva but man we showed them the true Rabi experience for sure haha. So me and Elder Johnson, one of the aps, were on splits in the farthest village from our flat. So we were prosylyting there and we missed the car...... so after the three lessons we taught, we had to walk a full 12 miles back home in the dark. Literally the longest walk of my entire life! Just walking over mountains and on sand and wow it was so tough. After, the AP's said that that was the hardest they have ever worked for 3 lessons haha Thats the Rabi life! But man it was so good to have exchanges with them. They are such great Elders and really have their head on straight. I just learned so much how to be a better missionary from them.

One thing that I'm really working hard on is prayer. Just making my prayers a conversation with God. So every night I have a little prayer cheat sheet I use to think about what happened that day, what I'm grateful for and what to pray for. Man it has made a world of difference. I've started feeling more and more connected with God in the work and I love it. If any of you need help just pray He will answer!

Well last of the always Rabi work is pretty crazy. This week it has literally rained all week non stop causing severe flooding, like in some parts of the island it was up to people's chests! It was just muddy and rainy and crazy and wow. But miracles happen when we work hard. We tried our best to push through it, and we got 19 lessons! Amazing... it was just a week of blessings for hard work! So awesome!

This is a picture of me, Elder Alonzo and our favorite member. Me and Elder Alonzo have been together out on this island now for 6 full months. It has just been awesome. I mean 6 months isolated on an island would be long with anyone, but we have become such great friends. We just feel like brothers doing the Lord's work and it's been awesome! I'm really going to miss him, but today we just got the call that Elder Alonzo is moving to train a new missionary somewhere else, and I will be staying and training a new Elder here in Rabi! Crazy stuff, because we are both training! I'm so nervous for the responsibility of training but I know that God qualifies those he calls and he will help me lead this Elder on the right path! I love this work and know it's true and I'm so excited to keep pushing the work in Rabi more and more!

Oh and the other picture is how we taught one of our investigators who we saw walking to his farm. But we really wanted to teach him so we just had him sit on the side of the road with us as we taught him the plan of salvation. Hahaha.  We teach absolutely anywhere!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hey guys!

Well I get to email this week which is nice. So much has happened these past two weeks. Lots of ups and downs, goods and bads. But I love this work so much. I really do! So last Sunday, which was Easter, was honestly such a tough day. I mean everything is super great about the message of Easter and there was definitely a special spirit in sacrament for all of that, but man after it was tough. Throughout the day we ended up losing all three of our investigators that were actually progressing towards baptism... One moved away and the other two kids... their dad, who lives in Suva, told them they aren't allowed to be baptized. Man I was so mad! A guy that doesn't even live with them is holding them back from getting one of the biggest blessings they will ever have in their life. Just heart breaking.... so these last two weeks have just been trying to rebuild back up the work.

We have our two awesome less actives who are on fire coming back to church and taking the lessons again. One of them is our ward chorister now because she is just a killer singer, so its a pretty good calling for her. Then the other lady is this old lady in the 70's who was willing to come back to church but was shy to accept a calling in church. So we prayed on a calling for her and felt like we should offer her a responsibility to decorate the church with flowers every Sunday because she has heaps of flowers by her house. We were super scared to give her the calling to see how she would react, but we gave it and she literally brightened up from ear to ear. She ran over to her friend's house next door, who is also a member, and started planning the flowers. Sunday morning they came to our house around 6 AM and woke us up so that we could open the church for them to decorate it with flowers. They decorated it so beautifully and it just brought such a special spirit to the meeting. She told us she was so happy and felt like this really gave her the opportunity to give something to Heavenly Father. She said she wasn't a good speaker or teacher but she could decorate with flowers so that's what she did. Man just a great example of the need to feel important in church! So those two returning members were awesome!

Yesterday at church we had a miracle and one of the most unexpected thing ever. We were in the chapel waiting for church to start when this guy came wandering in. We always see him when he rides the car around Rabi, and he seemed kind of crazy and talked to himself a little, but he showed up at church and sacrament meeting. So right after church, I just basically pounced on him and asked him heaps of questions about why he came and if we could teach him. He agreed and we set up an appointment later in the day, then taught him a great lesson. He is definetly a different guy but he is awesome and just like the rest of us has questions that the gospel can answer! Another testimony to me about how God loves all his children, no matter who they are and is preparing them to accept the gospel! This church is true and God is working out here in Fiji.

This work is hard but with the challenges comes the blessings. It's all about just focusing on those blessings and being positive. I love this work and know without a doubt its true. I love you all so much!

Elder Mumford

These are from an email of my companion since I couldn't get pictures to send this week. 

Had an awesome district service moving 7 50kg bags of cement up a quarter mile hill. It doesn't sound so bad but they don't really have sidewalks here in the villages AND it rained really bad all day but it was fun! Had some good papaya bread and juice after! I haven't had juice in awhile so you know I had to take a selfie!

Its also been raining a lot recently so that picture was the last day I wore my sandals. Your shoes just get stuck in the mud and flings it all over so right now I'm barefoot. Pretty nice actually!

There's a picture of Alice (Relief Society president) making us some donuts. Man, idk how she takes care of 4 kids on her own as her husband is away working all the time and always insists on feeding us. Whenever we see her before dinner, she never knows what to cook and says she'll just cook "whatever the Lord wants you guys to have". If its donuts then I'll take it! But her faith is so strong and she's so optimistic that whenever we're tired, we go talk to her and she makes us feel good for our hard work haha.

Idk if you ever had dried fish before where they salt it and let it sit outside but its really nice. We just started teaching this lady and her husband who last week just invited us over because they always see us walk up and down her road.

This kid showed us her book of the story of Noah's Ark and this is a prime example why missionaries are only allowed to read church books. If you look in the picture, you see eels going to the ark. HOW DID THOSE EELS WALK TO THE ARK?

Me with Kenye, Teina and Mereta about to decorate the church

The light skinned girl, Metang, showed me what she can do with her eyelids lol.

My companion E. Mumford happily washing his muddy feet in a puddle #TheLife