Monday, May 26, 2014

Exodus to Fiji, and the famous look....

Well,  I got to talk with family on Saturday from LAX, so I said that after emailing on Friday another ceiling panel was knocked out. Now, I know the story of why the MTC is missing 2 ceiling panels.

Saturday was the day for flights after a little class time.  We got onto the plane later, which the plane was so cramped. If you have ever been on a Southwest flight plane, it was smaller. Once in LAX, they were partly under construction. This meant I had to walk from terminal 3 to terminal 4, then to the international port. For those of you unfamiliar with LAX, it is huge. The walk from the terminals was probably .75 of a mile. Then to the international spot was an extra .4. When we were first getting on in sSalt Lake, they tagged Hopuu's bag for having liquid. Shampoos and toothpaste. In LAX, they tagged Elder Thomas' bag for toothpaste. Well, somehow I got through both with my toothpaste. Oh, and did I mention that my bags were the 2 big ones weighing in at 49.5 lbs, the second 46.5, which luckily those transferred port to port, and my last bag, my carry-on, was about 45 lbs. They give us books(like we have space for them) in the MTC. So, after beefing up my shoulders from my carryon, and after a long flight of 8 hours, and completely skipping the 18th, which will from now on be non-existent-day to me, I landed in Nadi, Fiji. We went through customs, and shortly thereafter received our bags once again. We then had to get on a bus for a 5 hour trip to Suva.

Once in Suva we were greeted my the APs, the Suva ZLs, and the president.  They took us to the mission office. Once there the APs were in awe of how I got Beef Jerky through customs. They ate it........ We spent 2 days there pretty much. I stayed in a Flat with two other missionaries named Elder Peterson and Elder Mueller. Elder Tu'i accompanied me. Not the greatest flat since they had a cockroach running around. Caitlin, it is the primary reason you would not like it here, Caden you too. The number of spiders is crazy, and you see a roach every once in a while. I purchased my sulus the first day here, and they locked up my passport and suit in the mission office for safe keeping.  The sulus were easy to get used to.

The last day in Suva is when we got our area assignments. As the 10 of sat around in a circle opening our letters, kind of in a scenario similar to a mission call. Nearly everyone was completely split up. Talimai to the Suva North. Walker to Nausori something. Palelei to a place on the other side of the Nausori zone. Thomas, who has to drive a truck in his first area on the outskirts in the Nausouri Zone. All of them too far apart to be in  the same district, but those are the south east of Viti Levu. Makavaha and Sister Tago were given a place in the northern Islands. That is the bush places. That left Hopuu to the Tavua Tu'i to Nadi, Sister Iaulualo to Lautoka 2nd, And me to the Lautoka 1st. These are on the west side of Viti Levu the "Burning West". We are in the same zone, but the only 2 out of 10 in our intake in the same district, were me and sister Iaulualo.  I am in a walking area that is English speaking, although the Fijians help me practice the language whenever I want to.  So far it has been a low 71 degrees here in the West.   I am in a Larger flat, (it is the largest non ZL or AP or Senior Couple Flat.) It has two showers and a washer. We have killed once mouse in it so far as it ran in. Our flat is like pure white too.

In this place, so far, the Indian families that I have met, I am their favorite person already. Lautoka is very cityish. Not really a bush at all. There are some trashy slum looking places in parts, but most of the rich people in Fiji live here.  

Now as for the place itself, Cameron you would love the nicer clothing shops. It is very much your style. Caitlin, you would love the resort across the island. The places I see normally, are crowded with people, and have trash laying around. Caden, the food would be your pride and joy. They put onions in like everything. That and I am pretty sure you would be able to sit down in their tradition far better than I can. I always walk out with a limp. My companion is Elder Pence, from Rigby, Idaho. He has been hear for nearly a year. He had to be home after 3 months for 3 months, for shoulder surgery. I love the guy. Best Companion yet.  He has shared one Fijian custom with me.  He told me that for marriage, the man goes to the father with a number of whales teeth, among other things.

Now, I just looked back up at my subject name and remembered, the famous look. While in Suva, I ate at a members house. The entire family claimed that I looked like I could be an actor. Not that I looked like a famous person, I just had that countenance about me that looked like I could be one. Well here in my area, the first members I talked with claimed the same thing. I guess I just have one of those faces.... haha, I laughed, especially the second time. Well that is the most of what I will share this week.

 Until next week!

Elder MacLeod

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I'm in Fiji!

Hey this has to be brief.  I am here.   Fiji is pretty humid, but it has not been thus far hot. I wouldn't worry about that. I do not know when I will next be emailing. Might be a week.  If so, I got a lot of stuff for it then. It would be a lot less if I had time now. For now, I have orientations, and an interview. Tell everyone I am sorry I didn't get to call, but it makes the call in December so much sweeter.

I took some pics of Fiji of the industrial side, and the "resort get-away" Fiji.  I will send when I can.  Mostly, it has thick leaves and trees. No wonder I saw every dude on the street with a machete. Until next email, ENJOY YOUR WEEK!!!

Elder MacLeod

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The last MTC week and the last of Branch 52

This week was quite interesting. I would have to say it was the best week. I called home on Mother's Day, which is the first time the MTC has done so ever. I got to call home Wednesday twice. Mixed in with some crazy old dude who reported me and my companion for dumb stuff (which was the first offense so it will be glossed over) and having a near miss with being in heaps of trouble. 

 So, I will start with what I told my family, noqu matavuvale, about, beleta, Friday, Vakaraubuka. On Friday, we went to the gym.  There were not very many of us since all the internationals had just left to temple square for half the day. When we were there the gym instructor asked if he could play with us. We told him he could. About 45 minutes in, he hits the ball straight in playing volleyball, and knocks out a ceiling panel. It came falling to the ground, and shattered the dry dust from the corners. He luckily did not have to pay damages. Now there is just a missing ceiling piece in the Provo MTC, though.

Saturday was pretty normal, Sunday was pretty good. Monday was the next eventful day. On Monday, we had just finished Gym time as normal. We went back to the residence and I went to take a shower. The workers in the building were using some kind of chemical to clean the bathroom on our 2nd bathroom on the floor. They asked me to use the other bathroom and I thought little of it. As I was getting close to finishing my shower the fire alarm goes off. I was thinking it was just a fire drill, so I dried off as fast and best as I could. Threw on my pants, put my collared shirt (unbuttoned on) and grabbed my tie and jacket as I went out the door. As I got to the bottom floor, the guy asked me what floor I was on. I told him I was in the third floor bathroom, and he asked if I saw a fire in there. Apparently the guys in the other bathroom set off the fire alarm.

Tuesday devotional we had Elder Perry. That makes Week 1- Anderson 2-Uchtdorf 3-Oaks 4-Christoferson 5-Holland and 6-Perry. 6 weeks here for 5 Apostles, and 1 of the First Presidency. 

 Wednesday was hospital day. (Connor had to go in for his colonoscopy.) I was put out by anesthesia at about 10:45. I woke up, and they gave me "REAL" Dr. Pepper. At the bookstore, they have decaf. They put it in a cup so I wouldn't get in trouble. Which is not huge trouble that I am talking about. Well, I didn't really feel the after effects of being under, but no expectations were placed on me for the rest of the day. I went to the clinic to get my results, and then was sent to meet with a district president, which if you don't know, these are the presidents that handle reassignments. While talking, we both had concluded I should be fine on going to Fiji. Well we had to call up my mom regardless. After we established the same thought with her, I was granted another 25 minutes to talk with her. After which I went to the front desk and used the calling card and calling pass they gave me Tuesday, and called my sister. Only 5 minutes, though. Later that day, at 8:10 pm we decided to go to the Gym. Most of our district skipped study-time, that I personally didn't have to go to, to go to the gym. Well, I went in and was playing a while then Tui and Hopuu got there. Talimai got there a little while later , but since he is Talimai he gets tagged right away. The gym instructor there recognized him, and then recognized Tui and Hopuu.  The  Sisters were noticed as well, but since, and this is sad that it is this way, I am white so they didn't tag me and my companion. It seemed like we fit in with the crew there. After Gym, we were talking and we lost track of time, so we got reported for being out past 9:30, and it was like 9:39. It was mostly cause it was a grumpy old guy, but you gotta remember that I had no expectations placed on me for the day, so they will gloss over it.

 Later that night, we had gotten to bed, it was about 11:00 when Tui came back in and turned on the lights which woke me and Palelei up. Yet he closed the door and left the room after that. So he didnt even stay.  He just turned on the lights and left. Well, we as a zone have gotten in a lot of trouble lately, so we decided we were not going after him this time. Well Security saw the light on, so he came to check it out.  Pretty much 30 seconds after Tui left, so I thought he just closed his key in. Well Palelei answers the door and it is the security guard. He asked us why the light was on, so we explained what Tui had just done. He pretty much did not let us go to bed till around 12 when he finally found Tui. We had to tell him the places he would be. Third time was the charm. We said the bathroom, he came back, we said the vending machine, he came back, then we said check room 329, and he was in there. So I would say he got justice that night for being insensitive with the light. 

 The next day, everyone caught in the gym had to meet with the district presidents. Our teachers were also notified, and Crummp was so mad he stormed out of the room to cool down. So now Tui can't have anymore trouble or he will be sent home. That was my last week of the MTC, though, because I will leave tomorrow at 3:15. I get on the plain sometime later, and land in LA at around 7:50. I take off at about 11:30 and land at 5:50 in the morning on the 19th in Fiji . I do not know what time that will be in the states, cause the 18th does not exist for me. Until Tuesday, since Monday will be transfer day and Tuesday P-day. All the mondays after that are P-day though.

This brings at end to Branch 52.  10 go to Fiji, 3 go to tonga on the Monday after we leave, 2 go to Tonga on the 28th and 1 to Keribus in June.  The first 10 are in my district.  The next 5 are the Tongan district.  And the last is the Fijian going to Keribus.  My branch dies after we leave because the last three are joining a new branch.

Enjoy the weekend – Elder MacLeod

Friday, May 9, 2014

Departure dates mothers day, and cistis

So this week has been one of the informational background.

Matai (first), I will start with the normal stuff..... metaphorically speaking. This week pretty much later that day the I emailed last time.... My companion wanted a(n) companion inventory. Now, all the missionaries know this is like a review of actions for the day or week. He pretty much used the time to say "I think you should get up on time, cause you are holding me back from the language learning." (which everyone is still on the same page, as to we can all speak a conversation to someone, just not a pretty polished one) yet, I had a head cold last week that gave me such bad headaches that I was bleeding. Honestly, can you find a problem with me besides me being sick?  If so, I can fix it. But nope, he wanted to complain about that.
This week we had scheduled with a gold tag, which is where you teach a hired employee, that is an investigator.  The gold tag is in English... Super extremely easy...   As for the class room, it just takes time with the language.  So, if I had been called on and English mission, it would be pretty easy for me at this point.  I can at least speak the language some.  ( Au rawa ni vosa vakaviti)- I can speak Fijian. Since I have to swap out words and forget English. It would make no sense to say the line "I can at least talk in it." That would be Au rawa ni lailai vosa ena koya. Which grammatically makes no sense. That sentence would now be " I can little/small speak/word/talk on/through/in/at it-as referring to a person."

We also got our flight plan this week. We are all scheduled to leave next Saturday on the 17th. So, I will be passing through a day of no existence to me. I will not live through the day on the 18th. I skip it completely.

Also, we have been told that for the first time ever the MTC will be making calls home on Mothers Day. I have been assigned the time 2:15 to 2:45 which my leaders said I can go over a little bit since the next crew will not be in till 3:00. So, just be waiting at 2:00 to 3:00 on Sunday. I would like to know if I should call the house phone so everyone can be on at the same time or just call mom's cellphone?

Now, as for doctor results. (Connor has had some stomach issues at the MTC and they are doing testing to make sure everything is okay before he leaves for Fiji.) We have come to a partial conclusion. I did some tests where some things came of positive. One was Blasticistis, which you get from drinking dirty water.  So, mostly those in a smaller country get it. Which I do not know where I would have been to drink dirty water, so I don't know on that one. So, I have 9 pills to kill that, but blood came up positive, which no one physically saw any, and there were no white blood cells, so it is probably nothing, but I have to get a colonoscopy just to make sure I do not have crohn's disease. Which they say I most likely don't, but they want to run the test anyway. My disease, known as blasticistis, is coming to its end!!!!!!!

Anyways, my hair looks like it is back to normal now. I am going to get my first haircut of my mission today. It will be back to the normal cut, though. Since I did pretty much have my head shaved at the beginning. (for those who didn't know) Until next week, which will be the day before I leave, then I think My P days will be on Mondays so Friday to monday, and I will being the farthest forward into the future. During then I most likely won't be able to instant chat anymore. Just cause it would still be sunday back home.


Best title ever! Or at least fitting, cause the dots.... anyway,

This week has been one of the laguage of *cough* the language *cough* *cough*.

Well that explains it. I got sick Saturday with a head cold. It was giving me some major headaches, bad enough that I was bleeding from them. I was unable to really go anywhere, so this week I mostly sat in bed, which you would think nothing happens, but this is the polynesian island zone.

Elder Talimai nearly was sent home cause he removed the fire extinguisher from the wall. Honestly, I don't know.  The zone has always been doing mock rugby in the hallways. This week Elder Hopuu from Tahiti does jujitsu, so they even were wrestling in the hall. Which the security guard caught them everytime, so we get in a lot of trouble as a zone. By we, I mean me and my companion get counseled on it every Sunday.

Just yesterday, I got up to go to dinner. Afterwards, we went to one of the piano rooms and my teacher randomly checked our classroom and found Hopuu the only one in there, the other three tongans were off on their own. So he found the rest of us, and as usual, I was the only one actually with my comapnion. He then lectured us again on staying with your companion. It was one of those good, better, and best situations, though.

So, let's go to the head cold besides the bleeding headaches coughs, irritated eyes, and overall fatigue. There is a good side to it. I did not have to conform to a schedule for the week. I was also drinking way more water then I usually do, so I was actually hydrated the whole time. The rest of the people in my zone kept thinking I could eat a lot, though. I had no appetite, but they saw fit to pack me dinners in a box that is 3 times the size of the dinner I would get myself. I just gave it to them every night to keep them quiet and make sure we didn't run into security again.

That's all for this week. Just gotta think about when there is so much at stake. See yas

 This picture is my whole zone now minus me and my companion since we are taking pics, with Bro. Coombs.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

On the 3rd week...

So let me explain this week, I am sorry that nothing exciting happens in Provo. I mean I had a 43 minute flight here, so it is not really very different then home.
I at least brought my journal this time, so that I have a better recall of the week. So, on Saturdays we are to have TRCs where a member speaking our language comes in to pose as an investigator. Tomorrow will be the first one, but I have long since dreaded the day from last Saturday. On Monday, we lost district A.  Tuesday we lost District B and C. This left only districts D and E.
I did not get the package that was sent to me until Monday. It came Saturday, but instead of bringing the note to me, my district leader put it on my bed so I couldn't go get it. Then it was Sunday. It was nice to receive the pictures. (We sent all the new family pictures that we had done before Connor left.) Elder Talimai saw a pic of Caitlin in the book and went crazy.  He was like "Hey Elder MacLeod, your sister is my height , right?"  So I would not really answer his questions, but he would always be like, "No No No No No You sister is my height.  He is Tongan and doesn't have the best English, and he always sounds a bit drunk.  But he is super funny!  I would not worry about me running out of space though cause my carry on is pretty open.
Wednesday, well, it was somewhat frustrating but also funny. So Palelei and I left our classroom on our way to dinner. We got to the card swipe and he realized he didn't have his card. We went back to the classroom quickly, then as we  came back, he decided to run up the stairs. As he did, he tripped and ripped his pants inside crotch seem. Mostly cause he was wearing super tight pants as it is. We went back to the room where he pulled out a pair of pants that were slightly bigger, that he should of worn the whole time.  My companion is Australian.  He calls things different words than what I am used to.  Like napkins are serviettes, drinking fountain is the bubbla, and soda is fizzy.  So I am always laughing at his words.  His goal is to make me lose my American accent, and replace it with an Australian one.
So in the other mission world, I am turning into quite the volleyball player. Since that is one of the sports we are actually allowed to play, and it is big in Fiji, I have only been doing that during Gym time. I have been on the champion team through 6 gym times in a row now.  You know its the Lord making us stronger..... just cause he loves us.

Elder MacLeod