January 4 – 10

This was the week of the jigsaw puzzle!

IMG_1524.jpgWe received a puzzle of a Greg Olsen painting of Christ with some lambs, and the young single adults put it together four times in five days!  When we lost power Thursday afternoon, they were so close to finishing it, Lini and Melem refused to leave, and sat in the dark until they had the last piece in. IMG_1537.jpg

But it didn’t stay together for long.  Mili, Hyrum, Savaira and Emelia got it started again.



Junior, Matt and Ruveni came and did their part.



We enjoyed looking at it for a few hours, then took it apart and started again.  It was fun to see so many work on it. Saturday night there were eight working on it at the same time.  When Elder Whitehead asked one young man what part of the puzzle he was working on, he said, “I’m finding Jesus.”  A good thing for all of us to do, isn’t it?

IMG_1536.jpgBut wasn’t all our YSAs were doing this week — Thursday they also passed out hundreds and hundreds of invitations to the Suva Fiji Temple open house, which starts January 20 for neighbors and VIPs, and January 25 for the general public.  It was a sweltering hot day, but they loved it, and were well received.  We are so excited about the rededication.  Everyone is practicing for the cultural celebration February 20.

And talk about being excited: Saviara and Jatin both received their mission calls! Both to the Philippines, and both leave on the same day, March 11.  Savaira has already been practicing some Tagalog with Elder Whitehead.  Mela leaves for Korea in a week, James and Hyrum will leave in for the US and Canada in a few months.  They’re all going to be great.

IMG_1522.jpgAnother thing that was well received was our first taste of a traditional coconut dessert called Frekei that  David brought in to share.  There are so many new things here to try!

Sunday morning we attended church with the Waila ward in Nausori.  We met lots of new YSAs, and gave out more handkerchiefs for the rededication. Many walk to church or ride in transports (large trucks with tarp awnings over the truck bed).  They sacrifice so much to worship.  I was asked to bear my testimony in Relief Society, and when I stood and looked at the women there, I was overwhelmed by the goodness and  I saw in their faces.  The meeting was in Fijian, but the Spirit is the same.

Sunday evening was our senior missionary FHE at the mission home. IMG_1550.jpg Pres and Sister Varea from the Suva Fiji stake came and told us their remarkable conversion stories.  They have seven children, three of whom have muscular dystrophy.  We are so blessed to know such humble, wonderful people.  Sister Varea told us of the impact institute had on her life.  We start classes again next week — we hope our classes can do the same for those who attend.

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