Made it to Fiji. We landed in the Nadi Airport. The runway was still dark despite the fact that it was early morning, so it felt like an adventure. It took me a while to navigate through customs (it took me a while to figure out the paperwork.) I was greeted by Elder Day and Elder Ransom, who came bearing delicious cream buns, apparently a Fiji missionary staple. They loaded me and my luggage onto the next available bus, and I hopped off in Suva three to four hours later. The drive was pleasant since the Fijian countryside is filled with many, many kinds of trees. Scrubby ones, spruce, something that looked kind of like a mangrove. The palm trees here are inspiring. Arizona palm trees look rugged, dependable. Fijian palm trees are sculpted, aesthetically pleasing (if there ever was such a thing). I especially love the ocean here though. The ocean broke and churned about a mile from the shore and then slowly made its way to the sand.
Spent my first evening in Suva finding people to teach. One girl we taught prayed for me, saying, “please help Sister Hawkins learn Fijian.” That was nice of her and also mildly entertaining. We had a dinner appointment with a member from Kiribati, and she fed us some delicious fish, She also baked a chocolate cake because, “Relief Society Members know how to bake cakes.”
We got assigned to our area on the second day, and I was sent to Nausori. We spent the day proselyting, and most everyone we talked to tried to feed us. I tried lemon leaf tea, scones and juice. There was some form of curry at every meal.
We celebrated the Fourth of July with Kitione’s baptism. He’s a little shy, but very nice. He made a good choice and even though I didn’t personally teach him, I was still very happy for him. Later that day, we took a member present, Sister Sharma, to our lessons. On the way there, we found goats, logs and a few new investigators.
Spent the past week or so simply jotting notes down, I’ll try and write more detailed stories next week. The weather is currently mild and I find it very hard to believe that this is winter. Our flat is in Nausori, the city, but our area includes some fairly dense brushy areas with houses intermixed. The houses here are painted every sort of color from bright blue to mint green. The people here are friendly, sincere and someone is always trying to feed me. The food is delicious, carefully prepared, and I’ve had lots of curry. I really like the ika (fish) in coconut milk we had yesterday. It had plenty of sweet and tangy greens in it. The work is going pretty well here, and the people are always willing to listen to us, I’d like to learn more about the Fijians. They’re wonderful people.