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