What a week! I can't believe it's P-day again. So much has happened and I don't know where to start. I guess I'll start with Merry Christmas! I wish I remembered how to say Merry Christmas in Fijian. Unfortunately it's about 18 words long. But Merry Christmas! It doesn't quite feel like Christmas here yet. At least not the Christmas that I'm used to. But it's such a blessing to be at the MTC for the Christmas Season because there are no distractions from the true meaning and message of Christmas. Our Savior Jesus Christ.
The Fijian is coming along. It's exhausting to study so much all. the. time. But, it is motivating to see daily progress. My companion and I are teaching 100% in Fijian now. Although I truly admire the teachers who play our investigators for not cracking up at our desperate and hilarious Fijian mistakes. But being able to teach lessons completely in Fijian, however crappy the Fijian is, is a huge milestone for us. I also was able to memorize my purpose as a missionary in Fijian and D&C. I'm so excited to actually get to Fiji and be able to teach real, live, adorable, FIJIANS! Yay!
We had to say goodbye to three of our Elders this week. So sad. They will be missed. But we welcomed 28 new missionaries going to Samoa, Kiribati, and Marshall islands. There are 3 sisters and the rest are Elders. And they are HUGE!!! Most are from Tonga and Samoa. All of them are like 6'8 or so and at least 250 lbs..... except the five or so white elders. More guys. It was a little intimidating to do the orientation and tour last night but they are gonna be a lot of fun.
I also got to see a few missionaries from home! I saw Jake and Kaitlin in the cafeteria the first day then I saw Karley Williams last night. So many missionaries came yesterday. Which is awesome because and I feel like this place was deserted. But guess where Kaitlin is staying?!? Right. Next. Door. So that's a blessing and so much fun. Literally, she couldn't be any closer.
We had a big Lice scare this week. Yep, Lice. I'm still scared. So in class , no one was in District B was in class. We asked the teacher where they were and he said that all of the elders were sick and the sisters went to the health clinic. Because Sister Uate had Lice. I'm seriously freaking out on the inside, because what's mine is everyone else's. And sister Uate uses my straightener every day. And my clothes and everything else. Then sister Pauga is like "Oh, ya that's right." Turns out she found one crawling in her hair and Sister Kaititi found one a few days before that. How in the world do you find lice in someone's hair and then just go on with your day? Maybe it's a difference in Culture. But she did a treatment and no one else has said they think they have lice yet so I hope it will be ok.
Miracle of the week:
we got back from Gym and realized that all five of us had forgotten to take our keys, which never happens. I was a little bugged that we had to go to the front desk to get a key. But when we got there guess who I saw? Joel Mortenson. I don't really know him, but luckily I recognized his name and asked if he knew Melissa, who I have been worried about all week. It was the right Joel Mortenson and I got a much needed update. Such a blessing!
Biggest blessing of the week:
(IF YOU DON'T READ ANYTHING ELSE...... READ THIS!)
Sister Iro. Hands down. Last sunday I was really, really worried about her. I didn't know how to help her or get through to her but I knew she needed help. I tried to be her friend and bought her a simple pair of $2 headphones for the gym and left them on her dresser with a sticky note, because I knew she wanted some but couldn't afford them. But I knew I needed to do more and it was all I could think about. I prayed and prayed that I would know how to help her and have the opportunity to help her. The next day, everyone else was gone to Gym or to run errands and it was just the two of us in the room. I sat down and started asking her about her emails and such. Then we started talking about her family. And the church. And her life. And her struggles. She spilled her whole entire heart to me. For at least an hour. Just the two of us. I was choking back tears the entire time. And about half way through I was flat out BAWLING. I have never, ever been so touched by a story. She is my hero. I wish I could have recorded her story and kept it forever. She has been persecuted so heavily by her family for joining the church. She is beaten, and starved and mocked, and punished for her beliefs daily. She kept saying..... "I am crying..... just crying..... so much.....I am crying." My heart melted. She had to walk 40 minutes each way to church by herself. She told me about her conversion almost two years ago and the miracles that she has witnesses in her life. She told me about when she received her mission call and she had no money or posessions to be able to go. She told me that she cried and cried and begged her mom to let her borrow $30 for a suitcase so that she could go. And that her mom's heart was softened. And she told me so much more. She said that her biggest trial here is that her heart aches for her family every time we talk about our supportive families and how the gospel blesses families. She has a tremendous amount of faith and courage. And I felt Heavenly Father's love for her. Pure love. She told me she could too. And that she has been so blessed being here.
But I am the one who has been blessed. I think Heavenly Father knows we needed each other. She is a daily reminder to me that I am blessed beyond belief. A reminder that through the Lord, we can do all things. A reminder that the Lord loves us individually and hears and answers our prayers. Every day, she makes me cry. This morning it was because after I got off the computer this morning after checking my 5 or 6 new emails, she logged on and stared at an empty inbox. Completely empty. She has never received an email. Yesterday it was when I was laying in bed thinking about all of the things I have to do and how hard it all is. And I hear her tiny, beautiful, broken english voice from the other end of the room quietly singing. "Because I have been given much, I too must give." I was so humbled. She went on to sing "I have a Family Here on Earth." And "Love at Home." along with a few others. Wow. I'm so glad we have each other.
I'm so sorry..... this is quickly turning into a novel. So I'll leave with one last thought. , Elder Rasband spoke to us about Spiritual Gifts. He challenged us to think of the spiritual gifts we have been given and to find ways to share them with others. Yesterday, when my companion was sick, I was able to really ponder it out and study a lot about Spiritual Gifts and the Spirit truly taught me so much. I think the greatest gift that I have been given this Christmas is the little black name tag I wear over my heart everyday. It's the trust that my savior has given me. He has trusted me to represent Him. To spread His Gospel to the people of Fiji. I can think of no greater gift.
Merry Christmas! I love you all!
Saying Farewell to one of our missionaries that left for Samoa morning.
Aimee and her companion Sister Pauga, Sister Training Leaders
Aunt Lael sent me cinnamon rolls yesterday and we LOVED them. The sisters were so funny. It was like a little feast. They've never had them before and literally licked the wrapping clean. Ha. So they were definitely appreciated.