No More 7’s.

Bula Vinaka,

The rugby sevens were on this weekend which made proselyting on Saturday tricky business.  Every house we walked by had the television on.  One whole Fijian family would be home, gathered around the screen cheering on their rugby heroes.  We even went to go teach an investigator who looked genuinely happy to see us, a little afraid when it looked like we were going to come home, and super relieved when we told her we’d come back after they had finished.  We ended up walking around talking to anyone and everyone who would listen and had a lesson with one of my favorite people ever, our investigator from Kandavu who is getting baptized in April.

The cyclone is finished for the most part in Suva.  Fijians are resilient, nothing here was totaled (Suva), and their houses are like living organisms.  It takes work to get them to regrow, but Fijians can work wonders with tin and plywood.  The elders did have a few really intense service days while we sat and talked with the maramas and sewed quilts and things.  Town has been flooded with people from all over.  There’s also quite a few stomach bugs going around, and we’re boiling the water.  Sister Mitchell and I both got sick this week.  I got a fever combined with a few other things which turned into a boil and a heat rash and maybe an infected elbow.  At least, it was, and then I put it in salt water for awhile and it looks better.  I’m feeling much, much better today.  Not discouraged, a little tired.  It comes from doing everything you can all the time to help the people we love.  It’s worth it.  We’ve been looking for an air-conditioned buildings all P-day.  Everyone is still talking about the cyclone, we’re still looking for ways to help.  It’s a challenging time.  Feeling the love and the unity here has been amazing as we pray and work for our people here that lost everything or most things.  Their faith is overwhelming and I’m so grateful for it.

This week we were able to help someone prepare for her baptism, and she is still so golden.  I love her so much, and she serves us all the time.  Every time we go over, she tries to feed us or provide encouragement or support.  She told us to go and knock on every door because there’s got to be other people like her and she’s so happy we found her.  She told us to go visit a few of her friends as well, and then asked that we help them all get baptized on the same day.  The hardest part was saying goodbye to her, but we know we’re going to meet again in a few weeks.

This area is progressing so much.  All the numbers are picking up, we’re adding more names to the lists.  The people we work with are some of my best friends, and my favorite thing is watching them change and grow.  It’s a beautiful area too.  We see the ocean every day as we leave the flat, and the sunrise and sunsets here are vibrant shades of pink and orange.  We’re blessed enough to still have fruit o the trees and healthy plants and flowers.

It’s almost Easter, so we get to start sharing Easter messages.  Sharing holiday messages is one of my favorite things to do here in Fiji because the people have such strong faith and enjoy talking about the blessings in their lives that come from Jesus Christ and the time they get to spend together as families.

It’s been an unforgettable time here in Fiji, and I’ve learned so much from what’s happened.  I can’t wait to see what miracles the rest of this year holds.

Loloma Bibi

Sister Hawkins

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