Happy Father's Day!!! Well I had an amazing week! It was the best farewell anyone could ask for. I told Lasarusa that I was being transferred and couldn't baptize him. He was very upset and said if I didn't baptize him, no one would. I called President Ostler and luckily he is an awesome man and let me stay until the baptism. However due to some flight issues, I just barely landed in Suva today and tomorrow will be flying off to Taveuni. But the baptism was amazing. We had a huge Lovo and made a branch activity out of it. The food was great and we had a great turnout. Forty people came. We went to the most beautiful beach ever and did the baptism and played volleyball on the beach while all the members snorkeled. The baptismal service was amazing, the most spiritual one I have ever been apart of. The baptism went so good and everyone loved it. Afterward, two of the members bore awesome testimonies and the spirit was so strong, leaving so many people in tears. They all also expressed so much gratitude and farewell to me! I got all choked up and couldn't talk when I was trying to give my concluding remarks. When we sang come follow me (Muri Au Mai), there weren't very many dry eyes. It went so so well! One of our investigators was so touched by the spirit; you could just see it in his face. He just buried his head in his hands and I am pretty sure within the next couple weeks, he too will be baptized. He is ready for sure.
On Sunday, we had 41 people in attendance at sacrament meeting. I think my first week we had 12, so it was so good to see the intense growth and progression. I started out with an empty building and by the time I left, we had all the 30 chairs full with more sitting on the ground, a white board, a pulpit, a book cabinet, and flowers to decorate with. It was so amazing to witness the amazing progress. It was such an amazing meeting! Everyone was crying and evidently they all just thought that the topic they were assigned to speak on was nice things about me, which they all exaggerated on to make me cry too. Anyway it worked and I was so choked up I couldn't speak and just cried like a little girl. Then Elder Farley thought it would be a good idea to sing "God be with you till we meet again" in Fijian. I just lost it and sobbed. I felt like the biggest wuss ever. I love the people so much! It was so so hard to leave. But I know the work will continue to explode. There is so much potential in Kadavu.
Dan (the intellectual one) is so close to baptism and is going to be baptized soon. He also happens to have a boat and has been providing transportation for the people in Tavuki. Sera and Lati are also awesome and Sera asked us to baptize her. Now they just need to get her husband to jump on board. I think the future in Kadavu is beaming brightly.
Well I have given it my all in Kadavu and I know things will continue to grow. I am excited to go to Taveuni but it is hard to leave Kadavu. I had a meeting today with President Ostler about Taveuni. It was just barely made into a district and has a new District President and new Branch Presidents as well. I am supposed to go down and help them learn how to be a Branch and a district. I think I will be working with leaders a lot and doing training with them.
There are 3 branches in Taveuni as well as an Annex. I am supposed to figure out how we will distribute and use our 3 companionships there to cover them all. I also have a branch on an island of Rabi that I am supposed to go visit often and continue running. Rabi is an island Fiji gave to the Kiribati people because Kiribati is sinking. It is all Gilbertese people and they don't speak Fijian, they speak Gilbertese and the Branch President there does not know English, so that will be fun for me. I am excited to go over there and see how things are going.
We are also going to be getting some senior missionaries who are going to be doing lots of training. I am supposed to help prepare for them. It should be fun and I think I am going to be very busy because I have the entire island to be running around and trying to help out 5 different branch units. So I have a big adventure ahead of me and I am very excited. Taveuni is supposed to be beautiful, but it's still an outer island so I get to live the primitive life still. I am excited about that. Well I think that covers everything. I love you all. Pray for the people of Kadavu they send their love to you. As do I.