Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas

It feels like there isn't anything to tell you because we talked about it all on Christmas! Which was AWESOME. I can't even begin to tell you guys how awesome you are and how much i love each of you! It was so fun to see all your smiling faces, and made me super excited to come home!(: 2 1/2 weeks! AHH!!!(:

This week was way good though! Christmas was fun! We went to members, less actives, and non-members. It was interesting to see the different way each celebrate Christmas. It was a good Christmas gift because it showed me how grateful I am for my family and what I want my family to be in the future! It was an awesome Christmas.. And very interesting. But I am grateful the Lord has funny ways of showing things to us! haha!

NICHOLAS GOT B APTIZED! It was an awesome baptism. 1st of all he almost gave me a heart attack! we lost our phone last week and haven't gotten a new one yet! So we went to the baptism praying that he would come. We get to the chapel at 10:45 the baptism was at 11... so we wait.. 11.. not there. 1115... not there.. 1130.. not there... after have a freak out.. at 1145, he came! And it turned out to be an awesome service. When he shared his testimony he was talking about all of his doubts he had, and then before he could even ask us, we would answer them. Missionary power. He talked about how he still h ad doubts, and when he prayed about them, that all went away! It was awesome, and of course had me in tears b y the end!(:

Sunday we had 2 farewells... and elder who will be serving in Fiji and a sister who is going to Marshall islands. The sister her name is Janet.. haha! She has been someone who has gone with us ALOT! She has taught me ALOT! She has kinda been like a big sister to me! I am going to miss her a lot! But as they shared their testimonies, it reminded me of when I started my mission. Almost a year and a half ago! haha... But, it made me realize how awesome this has all been. I am not going to get all sad and stuff, I'll save that for my last email, but I will say, as I look back, this has been the most amazing thing I have ever ever done in my life. And I am so beyond grateful for it! It has been a blessing because I have seen so many blessings! Heavenly Father is real and does love each and every one of us. And as I come to my last 2 weeks.... I am going to make sure everyone knows that!(:

I love you all so so so much! Thanks for being an awesome family who raised me in this wonderful gospel. I can't even tell you how much blessings have come to all of us because of it! Heavenly Father loves us! And i know he loves you! So as you start this New Year, don't forget that! Have fun, be you and do all you can to be just a little better! Because thats all He asks of us! Talk to you all in 2015!(; haha!

Sister Rich

Pictures 12/21/14

This is my favorite elder!!!(:

 And this is my 2nd favorite(: haha

Service... Sugar Cane and Bu! 

The lovely Sister Bauro

Our investigator

A Boat

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trunky Bug

Well.. Just when I thought I wasn't going to get it... the trunky bug hit! And it was a lot worse than I thought it was going to be! haha! I can't even begin to tell you how much I NEVER want to get that again! This week was a long week, and not much done, due to my bug.. haha but, I am grateful now that I got it, because I realized how much I love this work and how much I don't want to leave.. (sorry family) It was almost like a change in me. (like in Russell terms.. like when Spiderman got sick from the bug bite, but then he changed into this awesomely strong hero) That’s what this sickness is! It changes you for good. Let me kinda explain what I mean....

So this week I just kinda felt like I was off.. Like the spirit wasn't as strong as it should be. Which caused tempation to sleep, not study, and be lazy, a lot stronger than it has been my whole mission. Lessons were hard to focus on, walking was exhausting, and the days seemed to drag on and on and on! But, I did the only think i know could help me to get this stupid killer bug gone! haha And that is pray. Last night, as we were turning our numbers in, i realized how unsuccessful this week had been. It was kinda more like I was just going through the motions more than actually doing it. (Because of me being unfocused) And as I slept on it, I woke up this morning and got on my knees, and prayed and asked Heavenly Father 1st, for forgiveness for wasting a week of work. And 2nd asking him for the strength and the spirit to be able to finish strong. As I was in my prayer i just felt the spirit so strong and as I got up I was changed. My appreciation for this work, for heavenly father, and for the life that I have right now, is the greatest thing EVER. I had a little freak out this morning, as I looked at the calendar, and to see that I only have 24 days left to give it all I got, is so scary! Because that is NOTHING! I know I don't have that much time left and that really scares me. And so I can't waste any second of it. I am kinda glad I got the sickness, because in order to be the amazingly strong "hero"/missionary/RM I need to be, I had to go through the "Change"! 
As I did my studies this morning, I was reading in D&C 128:22 it says, " Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? GO FORWARD AND NOT BACKWARDS. Courage, brethren; and on to victory! Lets your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad." So as I finish stronger than ever, i am going to go forward and not back. This church is true. This gospel is true. I know with all of my heart. Because just like Alma the Younger, he had to have a change of heart to reach his full potential. So, I KNOW this change of heart will give me the courage to sprint to the end. And what better time to have all this happen, than at Christmas. The season of blessings and miracles!!!(: I just love it all. I love Fiji. I love the people. I love the language. I love the gospel. I love the church. I love the scriptures. I love prayer. I love my family. I love the sun. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love my companion. I love smiles. I love sitting on the floor. I love eating with my fingers. I love not doing my hair. I love taking cold showers. I love being a missionary. But, I LOVE SHARING THE GOSPEL. And nothing can now stop me from doing that. 
I love you all so so so much! Sorry this week was kinda bland. But this next week will be one with a lot of miracles, I can just feel it!(: 
Sister Rich

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pictures November 29, 2014

The happy couple!!(: 


Service! yes... I am actually doing something!(:

So at our service, there was this HUGE hammock! So of course.. we lay on it! Then there were about 5 of us on it, and then when sister alaga got on…. it BROKE! This is a picture of the action! haha(: 

We tried to jump.. but it didn't work... haha hence the laughing! 

My companion is the best! 

Climbing a tree.. no big deal! 

Me and Sister Alaga decorated the christmas tree in in the office(: 

A week of every Emotion you can think of!!

A week of every emotion you can think of. There were Happy moments. There were sad moments, there were spiritual moments….. and there were disappointing moments. But all together, this week was full of miracles and blessings! So of course it was AWESOME. But what week isn't awesome as a missionary?! 
So I will start with the happy and get to the sad.
HAPPY!    VILLIAME AND KALERA GOT MARRIED!!!!! It was a big step for them. I don't know how much I have talked about them.. But, Villiame is a less active! He has fallen away from the church, but his mom has always been active, ever since her baptism. But he has been busy "being a boy". But now, in the words of him.. "I am now a man. No more Law of Chastity!" It was a simple and very humble wedding. Just them,  Kaleras sister and me and Sister Alaga! Sister Alaga was the witness(: But, they were SO SO SO happy and you could just see how happy Kalera was. She kept telling me and Sister Alaga that she feels changed, she feels clean! Its amazing how one little thing can make a HUGE difference in some ones life. 
Spiritual: MARK AND WILLIAM GOT BAPTIZED!!!! My 2 little brothers got baptized finally! It was one of the best baptisms. They were so cute! The water was so cold, but they endured that. They were so happy and so were their parents. Mom and dad were able to come and dad even bore his testimony for the 1st time in a long time. He said in his testimony, that this is what he needed to help them change. So as Christmas comes, a lot of change will be happening!!!(: 

Sad: transferrs..... Sister Alaga is getting transferred!/: I am so SO SO sad... She has become my bestfriend, and I am heartbroken she is leaving me. But she is leaving me and going to people who need her more than me. And to make it even better she is going somewhere, that still holds some of my heart. NADI!!! So I am happy she is going to a place that I LOVE and I know will love her back! I am getting another Samoan sister as my companion. Her name is Sister Levave! I have only met her a few times, but Heavenly Father has a way of making the people you don't know become your bestfriends! SO I am excited that she will be my last companion in the mission!  YES... my last companion! because… 
Happy/sad: THIS IS MY LAST TRANSFER! haha! 

Disappointing: Our investigators were kinda slack this week! We were super busy, but it will be good to get a new eye on the area. But I don't want to end on a bad note... so 

HAPPY AGAIN: UNA CAME TO CHURCH! Una is a less active who loes in the middle of pretty much no where. It takes us about 30 minutes to walk  there.. so we have to go on our long days. But we finally made time to go and see them and bring her to church yesterday! Let me just tell you I LOVE KIDS. And the kids in that village are THE BOMB! I love them so much! Even the ones who aren't her kids wanted to come to church with her. SO she came with 8 kids and she only has 3. As soon as they saw me they all ran and hugged me and everyone was all "Sister Rich has a lot of friends!" haha! But having Una come to church was the best part. It was one of those "This is why I LOVE being a missionary" moment! haha! 

So this week was a roller coaster, but it was a week full of love and laughs!(: I am officially the next group to go home. Which means I am one of the oldest in the mission! haha! AHH!! Time is flying by... and I don't know if it is a good thing or bad thing....(: 
Loloma levu! 
Sister Rich 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pictures 11/23/2104

Baby Isabel

My little brothers


My companion likes to eat(; 

Kirabati family for lunch! 

Bug spray Gone Wrong

Is it really the last week of November? Where did this month go?! I think as I get more familiar with a place and love it, time goes by faster and faster than ever. Especially this time of the year makes it go by fast, because there are ALWAYS things going on!(: But it is a good thing!
Ok so I will start with my funny story from today! So this morning we woke up to clean. My companion cleaned the rooms and i cleaned the kitchen.. but it wasn't just a wash it was a deep clean. I got in the cupboards and everything. Due to mouse problem we have... haha(; But I think we finally got rid of the mouse(: Anyways, so I had to clean everywhere I could because the mouse was eating everything and pooping everywhere. But then I had all my cleaning supplies by me and i was taking all the bowls out of the cupboard and all of a sudden I see a HUGE cockroach. I grab my handi-dandy-bug spray and spay all in the cupboards to kill it. Then i close the door and walk away for a few minutes hoping it dies.. in the meantime I go into the bedroom and start talking to Sister Alaga. She is cleaning while I am dancing and laughing at her. Then she says "Go finish your job." So we laugh and I go out to the kitchen.. Then when I get out to the kitchen there are like 20 cockroaches running around on the floor.. I scream and Sister Alaga comes out of the room and she goes "what did you do?!" me "I just sprayed the bug spray" she grabs the bug spray and if I spray that bug spray it doesn't just kill on. It is poison so it will kill all the bugs who breath it. So since I closed the cupboard door it spread and all the bugs in the house were posioned. Sister Alaga and me just started laughing because there were SO MANY cockroaches. And they were all running and dying... it was kinda sad. But kinda funny and kinda smart of me too! So it was kinda an adventure after that cleaning because I found a lot of dead cockroaches in the cupboards.
For another story (spiritual) we had an AWESOME Sunday! We had 4 of our investigators come to church! And what made it even better was it was the primary program! It was so so SO cute! I loved every second of it. Especially the song Families are of God? Such a good song. Just like you mom, I got all teary eyed hearing it! But it was a perfect Sunday for them all to come!
We have this AWESOME new investigator, I don't know if I talked about him last week, Nicholas? Well we had an awesome week with him again this week. We were able to commit him to be baptized. But he had basically already told us he wants to be baptized. But we still asked and he said YES! He actually wants to be baptized or as he says "born again" on the day he was born, December 27th. So it will be a best late christmas present ever! Sunday was funny to us, because we went to go and pick him, but when we went to his house he was still asleep. So we decided not to wake him. We took our other investigators and left. Then we sit down in relief society and look out the window and there goes Nicholas going into priesthood. Haha! He got ready and came by himself and actually almost beat up! he was so awesome and LOVED the primary program! He is an awesome investigator!(:
Another great thing about yesterday is my boys PASSED THEIR INTERVIEW!! Which means Saturday we are having a baptism! I am so so SO excited! Their names are Mark and William. They are brothers, 10 and 9. They are seriously like my little brothers. I treat them like they are. They are so excited to be baptized and I am too.
So it was an awesome week as every week is awesome as a missionary. But, I cannot even explain the joy that comes from this work. That has been something I have held onto my whole mission. It is amazing how Heavenly Father works, but what is even more amazing is that he is letting me be apart of his work! And I think that is what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving. The chance that Heavenly Father gave me a chance to serve him and the amazing, wonderful, beautiful people of Fiji. I love them so much as I love each and every one of you!(:
Sister Rich 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A whole Bucket of blessings!!

Hello Family,

This week was another week to remember. Not much happened, but at the same time, SO MUCH HAPPENED!(: haha . But, I learned so much as the dys went on and on.
So I will start with the 1st thing that popped in my mind... Mission Tour. I don't know if you remember last year, we had Elder Pearsons come and speak to the whole mission. This year, we had Elder Haleck. And it was just as awesome. Sister Layton and sister Haleck, gave an awesome training about teaching techniques, and how to simplify your teaching. It was a really good training and a GREAT reminder of why I LOVE teaching kids. Because the gospel it is such a simple thing. It doesn't have to be complicated and confusing. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Most of the answers are simple, but it is us who make it confusing and something so much more than it has to be. It doesn't have to be a 5 min speech to be true, you can give a simple one sentance answer and it will be more powerful then you 5 min speech. Which seems to be pretty easy fopr me because I have the sttention span of a child anyways, so things are always simple..(: haha Then we had president and Elder Haleck talk to us about making the most of your mission. Not regreting any second of it. Which was indirectly an answer to my prayers. As i approach the last few weeks on my mission... ever single emotion you could think of goes through me... i think of the last year and a half and everything that has happened, and I can't even tell you the joy I feel as I look back. As he was talking to us, I felt the most love just knowing that even though it was hard, i made it. Being a missionary has become who I am now.. It isn't just something i am trying to become. I am a missionary. and it is the best thing I have ever done in my life.(:
If you remember last year, i got the amazing chance to be interviewed by Elder pearson, but this year, i got to be interviewed again.. haha by President Layton this time. It was maybe one of the best interview I have ever had.. I had to realize what i did in Mission Tour to be able to have President just confirm everything I felt. President Layton is a man called of God. He directly answered my prayers. Even though I knew the answer already, I guess i just needed to hear it be said!(: It was another mission tour I will never forget!(:
Okay now the most important thing.. NEW INVESTIGATOR.. Meet Nicholas.He is 21 years old, from Fiji (; and he is IN LOVE WITH THE GOSPEL ALREADY! On Saturday we went to teach one of our recent converts. At this time my companion was on splits with the young women in our ward, so  I was with a cute little young women named camari, we go to teach our recent convert and he is there. We just immediately start talking and he starts asking questions about the gospel and the church. I simply answer them..(; (applying what i learned from mission tour) and it worked. We taught Ive, our recent convert, Nicholas, and a few other people who were sitting in and we passed out pamphelts to them. But Nicholas just ate up the spirit and took it all in. He committed to coming to church with Iva and he even started reading from teh Book of Mormon! YES!!! Anyways, so long story short, Iva called us yesterday mornign telling us she couldn't come to church. We were super bumbed because we thought that Nicholas wouldn't come either. But, we were wrong... God totally had his hand in there and Nicholas shows up and we went to church with him. And he loved it. He was singing and just soaking in the spirit. Then we walked home after church and he was askign us questions and we just walked and talked. He is so awesome! I am so excited to teach him! #proudmissionarymoment
So for this week not much going on. Just meetings and meeting this week. But, still saw the blessings in this work. Which means this work is true(: Another week gone by and I can't tell you if I am excited it is going by fast, or sad.. But I can tell you that this church is true and I know with all of my heart! I love you all so so so much! Au lomani kemuni kece. hum tum aap se pyaar carta hey. ofa atu. i tangiriko. i could say it in any language(: But I LOVE YOU!
Sister Rich 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pictures 11/09/2014



The Ratunigaloa family(: They climbed the coconut tree so we could drink!!  Next time they are going to teach me to climb(:  

My beautiful young women

Baptism of Salayawa!

our mouse friend..


The Sun is Shining! The Birds are singing!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the work is awesome!(: 
This week was an awesome week. We were constantly going and seeing people. It was awesome. I loved it. it was raining some of the week, but once the sun came out it was so pretty. It made me realize how mu ch I LOVE FIJI. Today when we were riding the bus, i turned to Sister Alaga and said, "isn't it weird that one day we won't be in Fiji anymore?!" Then we had a whole conversation about how lucky we are to be here. Which is so true. I am the luckiest person in the world. I am in Fiji, serving Heavenly Father, and serving his most loving and caring people ever! I AM THE LUCKIEST MISSIONARY EVER!! 

And to make me even more lucky the work is going awesome right now!(: This week we had the funniest things happen to us. We were able to pick up 2 new investigators. One from a part member family, who we have been trying to get since I came to Makoi. And the other is a referral from bishop. All her kids have been blessed in the church, but they don't go to church. So we contacted her and she was more than happy to let us come over and share the gospel with her again. Heavenly Father is awesome.(: 

So one night we got a call from a guy we didn't know. He said one for the previous missionaries had given him a pamphlet and all that stuff, and he wanted us to come and share more about the church. me and Sister Alaga were a little hesitant at 1st, just because it was a random guy we didn't know. So we invited 2 members to come with us. As we got there we were all a little scared and didn't know what to expect. But we walked with faith, not by sight.(; haha And the lesson turned out WAY GOOD! He turns out to be Hindi! So he has no knowledge about Heavenly father or Jesus Christ. We basically had to just explain what WE do as missionaries and then he started asking some questions about what we believed. We explained some things very simply. And what I have learned from these Hindu people is they have the best questions. They really ask the questions of the soul. Which makes it so easy to share the gospel and have the spirit there. Even though he didn't invite us back and said he will call us when he wants us to come over again. I think it was my favorite lesson this week.(: He will always remember the mormon missionaries who were able to tell him that he is a Son of our Father in Heaven. 

We also had a cool lesson with our less active family we have been working with. They have a Word of Wisdom problem. So me and Sister Alaga have been prayerfully trying to decide how to approach it. We were clueless the 1st few weeks. But this week we both decided we needed to address it. And so we went for it. And let me just tell you, that was the best lesson about the Word of Wisdom EVER! We were able to commit both of them to stop drinking and smoking. We are going over there tonight to have Family Home Evening with them, and I am so excited to see what has happened since we saw them last!(: 

Other little things that happened this week... yesterday I was doing the dishes and i went to go and put the plates away and Sister Alaga was in the room. I open the cupboard and there was... A DEAD MOUSE!!! I was able to control; myself after tripping over the tape that was on the floor.. haha but atleast it was dead.. then I waited for sister alaga to come out and I told her to open the cupboard and i was dying laughing...(: I am the best companion! haha! We  had a little funeral and all(: 
So we heard of the AWESOME lesson to have with people. So we decided to do it yesterday...(: We put flour in a container and put 1 piece of candy in it.. then we told them they had to find the "prize inside" but they couldn't use their hands or feet. they had to use their face. I hadf to record it because it was so funny. we were dying laughing. Then we shared the lesson about the Holy Ghost. The kids loved it and the parents were dying laughing. After the youngest daughter, tawamua, was crying because she was scared.. then she wouldn't touch the flour after that! It was so much fun!(: 
and last thing... So i don't know if I have talked about Ipa before. But she is this young women, who since I got here has been like my bestfriend! haha! We always have so much fun! She reminds me of Mila.. So i love her. She is only 15 but she is like my bestfriend. Anyways, she is going back to Rabi.. her island.. and wont be coming back until after I leave! I was so sad when she told me! So no more Ipa! Makoi is going to be sad without her! haha(: But i'll see her again one day!(: 

Anyways, thats it for this week(: It was such a good week! The best thing in this world is being a missionary. How lucky am I to be able to be in FIJI!!! FIJI!! haha(: I love this place so much!!! tr really is home(: 
I LOVE YOU GUYS!! I am trying to send pictures... Sorry no pictures lately! Computer problems... haha(: 
Sista Rich 
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