Na Loloma.

August 7, 2016

Bula Vinaka!

Reflecting on refiner’s fires and the purifying effect of trials and challenges this week.  Also feeling very grateful for the love and support of all those in Fiji and all of the lovely people on this blessed earth that make sacrifices for others.  That includes members, the people we teach, church leaders, and my family.  Thank all of you for everything you give that makes this journey worthwhile and easier.

Missionary work is more than just going out and teaching.  It’s building unity between all those around us, helping them feel loved, appreciated, valuable.  It’s being able to recognize the talents and abilities of others and how they can be used to bring more and more people together.  It takes sacrifice, humility.  If we want to share the gospel, it helps when we can listen, say we’re sorry, say thank you.  Missionary work takes patience, and lots of hard work.  But it gives so much more than it takes, the blessings are constant and bring joy.  That’s why missionaries are happy (almost) all the time with “great big cheesy smiles” on their faces.  Because missionary work is all about the spirit and unity, and the spirit and unity bring unimaginable joy.

We felt some of that joy this week as we held our Zone Training Meeting this week.  It was so good to get to meet all the missionaries of Lautoka Zone and watch some awesome training that they shared.  Learning from each other, doing role-plays, and sharing about our experiences is one of the best ways to practice before we go out to teach.  The things we learn together as a zone help us prevent mistakes and problems before they happen and help us to learn new teaching skills.  Plus, it is really fun.

Our members are doing really well.  It’s a strong ward here in Nadi.  They bring friends all the time to the sacrament services and to activities.  There’s one family that has contacted and invited everyone on their street, and we’re now teaching three families there.  There’s Humanitarian EFY groups from the States, New Zealand, and Australia that come and do service for a few weeks at at time here, and they really bring crowds to come and meet them.  They’re a testament to the power that strong youth can have, especially here in Fiji.  Everyone is grateful for how strong their testimonies are, what good-looking, well-groomed people they are.  It’s helped bring even more people into Nadi ward.

I’m also grateful for this time that I’ve had to be a Sister Training Leader.  The mission is full of great, dedicated, fun, sisters right now.  They’re prepared, they’re sweet, they’ve got strong testimonies.  There’s going to be some awesome things coming out of the Fiji Suva Mission, I’ve been here a year, and it’s been wonderful getting to watch Fiji grow and blossom.  It’s a beautiful place, with beautiful people, and it’s been filled with lots of experiences and blessings.  I love you all tons and tons.

Can’t close a lesson without a commitment, so, to all of you, go out and do something nice for someone.  Vinaka vakalevu!

Sister Hawkins

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