Veisau Mada.

Bula Vinaka!

So, we got transfers this week, and I’ve moved again!  I’m now in Suva (my ward is Suva 3rd), the capital of Fiji.  It’s international, with a blend of many cultures, and it looks a bit like Honolulu, Hawaii.  It’s right on the coast, with shopping and restaurants.  My last few days in Lautoka were emotional.  Sister Taufa and I thanked each other for the smoothest transfer yet.  We both agreed, it felt like a vacation.  A really spiritually jam-packed and hard-work all the time vacation.  I couldn’t say goodbye to most of my friends, my Lautoka family.  I was placed there for a reason, I was taken out for a reason.  I’m not sure what those were, but I’m grateful for the time I did have there.  I expect to see a lot of photos of Sister Taufa at baptisms.

While reflecting on my unexpected departure from Lautoka, an area that I loved with a companion who I love, I ended up in Nadi on a bus that tours Fijian resorts.  I was on an exchange with the STL’s, and we meant to take a different one.  I saw beautiful, vivid colors of reds, blues, and greens.  The sky was filled with rolling clouds and perfect rainbows.  I had time to sit and relax.  I can testify that the Lord loves and knows each of us.  No matter what.  He gives us personal gifts along the way, we just have to search for them.

I spent a lot of this past week figuring out my new area, and meeting new people.  My new companion (Sister Faatuga Moe, a Samoan from Australia) and I got to go to McDonald’s together, that was a treat.  For the first time in a long time I ate a deliciously gooey apple pie and then spent the rest of my evening walking around the area.  It felt like one of the fanciest restaurants I’d ever been to until I headed right into Suva town today.

We walked past USP all the way to Suva Point and took the route along the sea wall.  We also found a member who hasn’t been to church since she moved to Fiji from Phoenix.  We just found her walking down the street.  She’s Tongan, and she has two beautiful daughters, both of whom love playing all the time.  When she found out I was from Phoenix as well, she was ecstatic, and we agreed to come back and share stories.  (Maybe on Christmas.  We don’t have any plans yet besides eating lovo and skyping home.)

Have a merry Christmas!  Enjoy every moment you get to spend with your family and friends.

Loloma, Sister Hawkins

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