Blog Description

A collection of letters from our favorite missionary. This blog is compiled by his sister and is made up of pictures and images sent to the fam.

Friday, April 3, 2009

March 29, 2009 E-mail

Sorry about not emailing last week. I do have e-mail here in Rakiraki. I was just in Suva at the hospital last week. So now I have officially given Mom a heart attack, I am not going to tell what was wrong with me till the end. Ha ha suckers!

So Rakiraki... Wow! I'm not in Nadi anymore; that is a good way to put it. Most people speak a little English, but I hardly ever get spoken to in anything but Fijian. The other problem is that here they speak a different dialect than normal Fijian and it is weird.

You omit all the letter T's and add a glotel stop which is basically a puff of air you stop in your throat. Then a whole bunch of words change. For example:
hear=rogoca (standard) =amania(rakiraki dialect)
So I am tripple translating in my head and it is very hard. I am coming along all right. People always tell me I am very fast at learning, but I still don't know a lot of things that they say. My companion is a HUGE help. He speaks very good English and has a good knowledge of Fijian as well, so he helps me out.

We get along great. He likes to cook and I like to eat, so we do just fine. I am learning a lot from him, so it is a good thing.

Our branch President is absolutely nuts. He decided that the chapel is nicer then his house and that he does not like to pay rent, so he moved into the chapel (don't get any ideas Todd). And no one has the guts to tell him to get out. He runs the church like his own personal playground. It is no good. However either me or my companion is going to be called as first counselor so we can make sure things happen how they are supposed to.

We had a solid six people in sacrament yesterday and as I broke the four pieces of bread I realized we were gonna have some extra and we each got some large pieces of bread for sacrament.

Me and my companion do everything in the Branch. We teach seminary, institute, Sunday school, priesthood, and do ALL the home teaching. There are actually alot of members here but almost everyone HATES the president, so they don't come.

I walk and ride bikes way way far. The last two hours of each day are either spent walking or riding bikes home. Sometimes we will be so far out that it takes three hours to get home.
We serve in the villages and farms. There isn't a ton of people and they are mostly spread way way out because everyone here is either a farmer or fisherman.

I eat lots of things: suck out fish brains and eyeballs daily, eat raw shellfish, sea turtle, gross sheep, goat, cow parts, and many other things. Butchering deer is gonna be easy when I get home. If it ain't bone, you eat it. If it is soft chicken bone, you eat it anyway.

Our flat that we live in is a tiny, dirty, crappy place. The whole thing could probably fit inside my bedroom at home. We have no washing machine and wash by hand. Although I complained and requested one so we will see if we can get one. The work is very slow here and a good week is 14 lessons as opposed to Nadi's 28, so it is very different. I am trying though and hope to have some good things happen.

There is a lot of potential here because the people are awesome. Since it is village life, people are much more personal and nice to everyone cause there is less people. So last week I got to take a trip to paradise- a place called Saioko. It is deep in the jungle and right on the ocean. It is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. They have a little tiny chapel up on a mountain top that you have to hike to. We went up and scoped out a baptism spot for a village member: this totally awesome waterfall in the jungle. It is so so cool! So we taught like ten lessons in one day and then had a baptism the next in the coolest waterfall ever! My Fijian was pretty good up there., although I still did not know a lot of what was being said. The work is good up there and they have a strong branch. There is a place in the mountain where they get Fijian water and the village has constant running Fiji water. It was awesome and tasted so so good. And I got to Bath in Fiji water. Not many people can say that eh?

Well now, on to my trip to the hospital. So the past few weeks, my ear has hurt a little bit and has slowly been blocking up. Then Saturday night in Saioko, it closed off completely and I couldn't hear anything. Then began the most intenst pain I had ever had in my life.
I did not sleep at all that night and the next day I had all kinds of pain in my head and face and thought I was gonna die.

I was popping percocet (left over from my ankle in the MTC) like candy and it was not doing anything. I was trying to be tough cause we only get to go up there (3 hour drive) two days a month and we still had a lot of people to teach. But I could not even handle it so I layed in the back room while my comp and the other two missionaries we were with taught. By one o'clock my face was swollen up and I couldn't open my mouth. My jaw, teeth, eyes, and head felt like they were gonna split in half. My companions decided we better get to cell phone coverage and call the mission nurse.

So we called her and she informed us that we were to get in the truck and drive to Suva hospital immediatly. So we took the 5 hour drive to suva at speeds probably not safe for the roads we were on.

By the time we arrived, I looked pretty handicapt with a swollen face and one ear poking completely to the side, and I was then certain that I was gonna die and that there was a twelve foot worm in my head eating my brain.

Good news. It was only an ear infection that I didn't take care of, so it spread to surrounding tissue, including my face, jaw, teeth, eyes, ect. ..and the sinus cavity behind my ear (i didn't know there was one there).

So I got some intense antibiotics and some wonderful pain killers that are by far the strongest things ever. I don't know what they are, but we should get some in America.

Well I had to spend until Thursday in Suva, but now I am back in home sweet home, Rakiraki (pronounced kinda like re-key-re-key). I had an awesome ENT who went to medical school in America and he took great care of me, so no worries.

I go back to Suva again Thursday to make sure it is gone. Apparently the bug I had is a particularly hard to kill bad one that spreads real fast. So I spent a few days deaf and handicapt and decided I like my face more normal. Which by the way I am normal looking again. Unfortunitly due to intense pain I never though to take any pictures. Dang.

Well I am doing good and love you all.
Oh yeah, send everything to:

Suva GPO Box 215

It will get to me eventually and is probably the best way.
Oh yeah, Mom- thanks for the package. Candy was awesome. The Hindi stuff won't do much good, cause it is pure Hindi and they speak Indo-Hindi, or something like that. One lady looked at it and said they are very different.

Elder Lalaga

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