Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Last Transfer - 24 January 2016

This is transfers week for the mission. I will remain, but this signifies the end. I am reminded constantly, and it is upsetting. I am trying to focus and work hard, but I am repeatedly reminded that "the end is Nye at hand." I just ignore it for now, cause it is easy to just give up and coast through the end, but I ain't about the coasting life.
I did not take much pictures this week, but I have the picture for my last planner. There were exchanges for much of this week. I was in Ba for half the week on exchanges. Lots of traveling again. This week we go to Lautoka again. There is a missionary broadcast for us to attend.
The temple is having an Open house currently. Lots of good comments. We already have one referral from it.
Other things involved dedicating a grave. Now I have done something for a house, and a grave.

Elder MacLeod

Roaches Emerge - 17 January 2016

To start this week off, I was hardly with my own companion, because of Train the trainers and exchanges. On one exchange I killed 3 mice in one day, but the next morning killed another, to make 4 within 24 hours. The choice of weapon was 2, 500mL, Fiji water bottles. The first was smashed, the next I barely got which smashed his limbs to where he could not move, the next smashed on the run, then finished off, and the last was in a little empty ice cream container that I flipped over to expose him, then one fatal strike. Water bottles are effective for internal bleeding purposes, no external nastiness.

At another time, (yesterday), we were with the Ba elders, and we were in one room, then we came out, where my companion said, there will probably be 15 roaches in the kitchen. I thought that was an exaggeration, and that maybe 5, then we checked only to find far more than 15. We used a lynx body spray (the variation of axe here) and matches, a wooden spoon and a broom, with a cloth. You will see that there are matches and roaches everywhere. Now they were poisoned, but they were not dying fast enough.

In other news I recently took a picture at the Fiji Water plant. It is within my area. I am sure many of you have seen Fiji Water, here it is cheap. When we tell the Fijians the price in America, they are very surprised. This last week I have spent a lot of time driving these road-trips for meetings and exchanges. I took a picture off the side of the road out to the open ocean. Very nice looking place this side of Fiji.

Elder MacLeod

T.H.E the hardest ever? - 10 January 2016

This last week we had a baptism. We saw many people, an we are seeing things pick-up for us in the district as a whole. Next month will be so packed full, that time will be gone. This means that every second will count while we are here. This week we have the Train the Trainers meeting, among other. Next week the Temple open house will be for Government officials, and the following will be for the general public, coupled with transfers for the group just ahead of me to go.

Then Feb 6 will be the last day of the open house. The mission will all return to their areas, then Feb 19-22 the mission will all be in Suva except the Rotuma elders. We all would then return to our areas, where it would be a full week, then a ZTM week, followed by the last week for me. A busy schedule, but the time we are back will not be very plenty, so we will have to work smart.
This was a very good week in terms of all around good. Un-stressful, just going forth to do work. I also received my package. It was a nice package, when I had first seen the pillow, I thought it was store bought til I read the letter. Going to have to keep that one. Thanks for the good week!
Elder MacLeod


One dead Frog, overshadowed by a Black-out - 27 December 2015 and Ula, the safe side - 3 January 2016

One dead Frog, overshadowed by a Black-out - 27 December 2015

This week was of course skype week, but as we were back in Tavua later in the week, a frog curiously waited as a giant black round think, called a tire, rolled up at a very slow speed. He sat in awe and wonder as it covered. A loud pop followed, which was as that of a plastic bottle exploding. "What was that," said one missionary to the other;" I think it was the frog," came the reply. The door swung open, "I must see," said the first missionary. "That's gross!" said the second. "Yeah smells too," said the first.

They rushed into their flat as they went to make call-ins. As the missionary was on the phone, he heard he fan get slow, then turn off. His companion in the other room, confused at the flicker of the light. As the first spoke the lights slowly dimmed til it was dark. "Hello?...... Hello? What just happened?" The phone service went out. When it came back a call was made. Many more calls were made to find that the power in all of Fiji went out simultaneously.

Anyways that was about 30 minutes in a nut shell. I think I could write a book eh?

Sorry only one picture this week. One from last week as well. The one with lots of missionaries.
We are in Lautoka today for p-day.

I am sitting in my first area. We will be decently quick today

Elder Macleod

Ula, the safe side - 3 January 2016

I had a funny title cause of something funny, but I forgot it so I will go with this thing.
Well as those of you that look at weather everyday, Cyclone Ula came by hear. It was on the south side, but we are on the north side. Those in my last areas were flooded a bit with hard rain. I was transferred just to miss the storm. Lots of people in Nausori had roofs ripped off their homes. It flooded a bit because of the rain fall to the Rewa river.
For us on this side. The rain stopped just before where we were.
In other news new years is now over. I just got used to writing 2015 on papers, now I have to change it a bit. Luckily if I mess up, it in the same shape. We are going to Lautoka again today. Last week on exchanges,

I saw the first person I baptized. I had heard that missionaries were stopped, by her new fiance, from coming in. I waltz right on in, committed her to prepare for the temple opening, and invited her again to church. With tears in her eyes she remembered to the almost 2 years back, she was excited to still have a chance to got see the temple open house. She agreed, and said she would contact a member about going. I also asked if the current missionaries could come and visit often, where she agreed.
It was nice to see some old faces. The members of the ward have remembered me for all this time. That is uncommon here, since normally your companion will leave, and someone will say," who was the elder, that left to such and such place? What was his name?" then you tell them and they act like they knew all along, but they forgot. I had one member say," hey my husband and I were thinking and talking about you yesterday." It had been a year since I had seen them.

Elder MacLeod

Broken Glass, No Books, and a Fresh Start - 20 December 2015

This week was crazy. First thing to know is I was transferred to train a missionary for my last 3 months. I am in the west again in Tavua\ Vatukoula.
The week started fast. We went to Coloisuva, where, while we were gone, some one bashed in a window, and stole my bag, Elder Ita's, and Elder Trail's...... The USB converter hub was inside, but I have back-up methods to that, and all my books were taken: English mini-hymn book, Fijian hymnbook, fijian bible, my Fijian book of Mormon, a lectures on faith book, lots of pamphlets, and some string...... Hopefully they read it all right? The other missionaries lost more valuable money-wise stuff, than I did. I found another Fijian bible in the flat, and am now using it.

I got a call on Tuesday for me to be transferred to Tavua, to train a new missionary. This will probably be my last companion, since he finishes training when I go home. His name is Elder Akaiti. He is from Australia, and his families come from Cook Islands, and Samoa.
There was not much help left for us in the area (I came in with my companion replacing both missionaries, we call it a white wash here), we went around and found a few of the old people being taught, and set 3 baptismal dates in the last 2 days.
Elder Macleod

Jurassic Farts and Pink Panther - 13 December 2015

This was quite the week. My companion got a book from home titled Jurassic farts. I read a little. It written, and I feel this is a pen name, but P. U. Ripley........ It mixes science and Dinosaur theory with farts as a technique for defense, and for how extinction came to be. It has electronic sound buttons correlated with the page numbers.
In other news, I found the pink Panther is well.....

We had a talent show after our ZTM. I took pictures, my sd card was close to finished on memory, so only one video of it. The best one was missed , I took a picture of one Elder from the best skit .

 Later on throughout the week we saw the Zone pick up on missionary work. If I remember correctly it was reported that everyone has a baptismal date set. I have a picture of our own personal board of people we teach the lessons with corresponding dates of return or baptism. The greens are set baptismal dates on the side, the purple are dates given for return, or for what we are projecting for baptismal date to give them.
Elder MacLeod

Mission Tour - 6 December 2015

This week was with mission tour and putting in more than 2 cents where ever we are for our week. I may not have said anything during mission tour or MLC but we did work if our off time. We currently have 5 baptismal dates set. We are working on setting a 6th, 2 are for this months, 3 for next month, possibly another to be set next month.

That is work wise for us. Other things are the normal run here then here, trying to make sure nothing falls apart.
I finally saw my MTC companion for the first time in ages I got a selfie with him at our combined qito. 

On Friday, we did these little games after dinner one called big buhda. It was funny to see them do, we then shared a thought with them before we left. I will show you all big buhda when I return, as well as some other games. Moce jos
Elder MacLeod


Wa-wa-winning! - 29 November 2015

This week seemed to be a fast one. We are now prepping for Elder Nielson of the 70, who comes to speak to us soon. Wednesday.
This week was really fun though. It was lots of running around, all the way down to the end, where we nearly were upsetted. Yet we still pulled through with excitement hitting our goal barely.

One of the fonts were being restored and we were not informed, so this caused for frustration on some things, but that means next month will be good as well. I have lots to do today. We have a combined qito with Suva zone today, and we need to transport people. I have 1 hour and 10 til then.
We will also have MLC with elder Nielson, I get to take part in a pretty hands on setting with a general authority. There will be a total of 16 missionaries in this meeting. No crazy stories this time. Maybe I can have something next time.

Elder MacLeod

Tuis Family and the Bishop 

 Elder Boyack and food

Shadow - 22 November 2015

I found Joe! ( Cam will probably be the only one who gets this)
We have been without our vehicle this week, and it has cost me a lot for the administration that is required. It is all good. 
This week I took a missionary with me to the hospital. If you recall while I was in Nakelo I talked about when they gave me an IV drip and morphine in February or march. Well a missionary had caught a similar virus, while they had a baptism, so we did an emergency split. It was like an exchange within an exchange. I was already with another. Well we got it all taken care of, and he is doing good now.
The rest of the time was spent working really hard. We had set a goal for a baptism, but the mother said it was not her choice. Respecting the guardians wishes, w turned to the next possible person. (Side note: Goals set are in this mission a promise, accountability is the principle, just as we are accountable to God in Judgement day, we are held accountable in our mission for helping others.) We have worked really hard to get back to try to hit our goal, and we now will hit our goal this week, with the next most progressing.
Have a(n) great week!
Elder MacLeod

Dove - 15 November 2015

Sorry not much pictures this week, I was so distracted I did not take much pictures.

This was a fast week. We were in Navua at the start for an exchange. I was with Elder Harris on exchange. We wandered a while and found one new investigator for them. 

We met with a guy who would not come to church because of transport. Now this instance would not be out of the ordinary in Fiji, just his plan for transport. He stays far, but there is a bus that comes at 7:45 He did not feel like making the 30 minute walk to catch the bus, probably only 20 minutes. Now for those of you who remember I waled 6 1/2 hours to get to church in my last area. I was upset, but I held my tongue haha. He is a member of the church, but says he just goes to the church in their village cause it is close. This is a common issue for us. Many times it is said that the organization does not matter, cause we believe in the same God. This has to be rejected by what the scriptures says. Read 1 Corinthians chapter 1. This is one of my favorite scriptures for this. Paul taught against this mindset. 

Well to continue to his transport plan.... He had a plan to get rich. The church has its schools and the temple using a security company outside...... He told me that this was not smart for the church, cause then the money goes out of the church. Then he told me he would make his own security company cause he has experience. Then that he would hire only members who need money to get to church. He said then the money would just flow in the church by tithing........ Oh how wrong this proposal is...... It is not to be a basis of benefit on money. The cause of his frustration was that he had a plan to get rich, and the church did not follow the proposal, cause that is not what the church does. We have an issue with people always referring us as a rich church. I am sorry to rant...... hahaha....... 

There are good things to this mission. Anything in the bible is accepted as binding for the people. This makes it so someone who has studied well has an edge. Issue is, that is not how we teach. This mission is strange to the point that when someone testifies of our message as true, it is usually an alarm, or a red-flag to us.... We have to reiterate the principle of praying for the answer. We will ask them how they know it is true. They will normally respond by saying that we are the sent of God, and because we bring the word of God, but among the culture that is every churches clergy. They are all referred to as the same. Unless we hear them say that they prayed and know it is true, we don't want to move along, cause then the testimony is not specific to us. It is a declaration that anyone who comes in is true.

This is what we deal with on a regular basis. have a great week though. I am off to help people understand to pray for answers, and explain that God has not changed, though they believe this, they do not understand it....

Elder MacLeod

Tetris - 8 November 2015

The transfer week finished, it was a game of tetris. Missionaries have so many bags.... We got them all to fit somehow (picture below).

This was a quick week, my new companion is Elder 'Ita he is 4 1/2 months after me in the mission. Which means he has 9 months I think left. He is way better at teaching people than I am, that is for sure.
The week was busy with lots of transfers and such, we balanced it all out, and had very little to do this transfer. This was the biggest transfer, but we hardly did anything haha. We finished last time at 4:00, this time at 2:00. We then were able to do some planning, and see some people before the end of the day.
We have our moments of funny stuff through time. We have had the Kadavu elders staying with us for the time while they await to go to a zone conference. I also learned from the new intake, that they read my blog.... They actually did not read anything, they just looked at pictures, and their descriptions...... Thought it would be like so, cause I would skim what I have to say as well. Pictures are far more interesting.
Here is a picture of our zone as well, before the transfer. It will be slightly different now.

Elder MacLeod

Passing on the right... - 1 November 2015

In the states this is fine when the lanes permit. In Fiji, it is frowned upon when the leading car is turning. This is demonstrated yesterday. We were just rolling along, going to drop Bro Nawaqasema back at his house after some good visiting, when we flipped on our turn signal. We came to a stop, and awaited the oncoming traffic. We turned slightly to the right to pull into the drive way, when suddenly we were hit by some one trying to pass us on the right. We were shocked by what just happened. We pulled to the side of the road. I started filling out information for the accident immediately.
The other guy called his father. He stayed away from us for the most part. He tried to act in the right, but in all laws I know you can not pass when someone is turning. He tried to say we need to make space on the other side, the officer that took our statement said no they do not. He was trying to say we were making a U-turn. We were pulling into a driveway. He has let everyone go with no citation because our stories puts us in the right, but he won't budge from his, so he ruled it as no one at fault. Only here can someone get away with passing on a turn..... It is alright. If he were to be charged, then Robinson would have to stay, and miss his flight, for evidence stuff.

Any way, we had a busy week, that just topped it off haha. We now have transfers this week, and our biggest van for transfers is in the shop for repairs, and the new group arrives Wednesday. This is causing a bit of stress to the Assistants haha..... No good. We should get it back. They will be fixing just the bumper for now, then after transfers we will be fixing the body, with the door.

I have practiced drawing a little more. I drew a picture of me from before, in our family pictures.



Hope you all had a great week. I get a new companion this week.
Elder MacLeod

 3rd baptism while with Elder Robinson

Fiji - 25 October 2015

I learned from our assistant today that he titled every email Fiji, cause he did not want to make titles.........

I got a pic in the evening one day... 

This week was a normal week. We had more time to ourselves, but then again not really. We had little planned, and hoped to go around with full-time, but then we were called to do a hand-over ceremony, and do other things. I have accepted the fact long ago that what ever I plan, is not the plan. It is just the back-up to some plan already there that I just can not see.......
I have fun though.

Sorry I have less and less to say these days. I will be going to finally cut my hair today!!!!! YEAH!!!!! It is so long that I had to do my hair slightly different to keep it looking shortish.... I will send a picture of it at its longest since me being a small child.
Have an great week!
Elder MacLeod
Handover of a meeting house

Behind the Scenes - 18 October 2015

I have learned all to well that to every performance, there is a crew behind it. Dealing with much stress, and issues even while it goes on to make sure it was a success. There are the performers who have to worry about their part. They have a hyper focus, and are exhausted, but the crew that did all the other stuff is normally about ready to tear their hair out. 

This week, an Australian Documentary crew came do documentary the culture of the church. It will be on PBS in the states I believe. Anyways, they came to be filmed with some missionaries. In the mission it was picked out which Sisters it would be. Problem is they are in 2 different zones, and both training brand new missionaries. Transport and accommodations were planned To move one sister from in a valley to the next zone, put one in the valley, and put the stars together. This had to be moved around for the upkeep of work with experienced missionaries. 

The first couples days were fine. Everything went to plan. Then drama hit. This is where making everyone happy is hard. The one in the valley got sad for missing her baptisms, and was missing her companion. The one she was lift refused to leave the valley again cause it was detrimental to the work. We needed the two together on Sunday to film Gospel Principles class, problem is one complained that she needed to see the confirmations, but she was unable by these means since her temporary companion refused to leave. From the other zone, no complaints came. They were doing great, so Sunday we made travel arrangements with the other zone, and left out recent converts confirmation to the members. We got up picked everyone up, and put people in a way that every one was happy. Our members asked us if we slept in and such, which is unfair to our side, but all the missionaries were happy with the outcome. We sacrificed our time for them, and that is our calling. I sat there the night before thinking about the problem, and laughed about how ridiculous it was, then we decided what action to take.

That was the weeks drama event. There were other tings like Train the Trainers and District Leader Training. Lots of shuttling people, since we have the vehicle. Hopefully we will make it through with enough Ks. We are busy again today, we have to take the missionaries out to Navua. I will email til we go, it may be cut really short.

Elder MacLeod