Fiji Suva Mission

Fiji Suva Mission
July 2009 - December 2010

Nasinu 1st Ward

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two Months Out

A warm Bula Vinaka to all of you!

This weekend will be the 2 month mark for our mission. It has been a
challenging, rewarding, growing, life changing two months. We have
seen and learned so much and yet wonder what we will take home with us
at the end of our 18 months. Fiji is a unique place. For those of
you who think we are in paradise, you either have never been to Suva
or you have never been in Paradise. Signs of 3rd world country are
everywhere, poverty is in abundance. There are as many Hindi people
as Fijians. Black skin is the norm. When we do see polongies
(whites) they seem out of place. So far we have found nothing we want
to spend money on. We bought a mixer to make chocolate chip cookies
for the elders and the first time we used it it began smoking and the
engine burned out. To get the store to do anything about it was
short of a death threat. McDonald's suddenly runs out of diet coke.
We decided to make tacos and had to go to 4 stores to find tortillas.
Driving has been an adventure. We have only gotten lost about every
day and had near accidents frequently. Dave loves to drive down the
wrong side of the street on occasion. I think it is just to see if i
am awake. It basically takes both of us to drive.
Yes Suva is different and challenging but it is growing on us. The
people here are wonderful, friendly, helpful and kind (except the taxi
drivers). We have been to two fijian feasts, Church and FHE with the
members here. They are so humble and live in very humble
circumstances. I would be embarrassed for them to see our home in
Draper. We realize that we have so much but we are no happier than
the people here. We went to FHE at the Taito's. She is our RS
president and he is a counselor in the Bishopric. Their home is
small, humble and very rustic but there is a special spirit in their
home and we loved being with them. They have three daughters and a
son. We have grown to love them. Their 7 1/2 year old reminds us of
Cora so much, same personality her name is Tahana,
One of the most beautiful sights we have seen is in the temple. The
black skin contrasted with the white clothing is amazing. The spirit
in the temple is so special. We love being there. We love
interacting with the members. They are so gracious and kind and seem
to love having us in their ward. Dave has been working closely with
the Bishop and loves his association with the men he works with. They
are so inexperienced and they seem to thrive on Dave's knowledge and
experience. He did a training meeting with them a week ago and saw
the fruits of his labors as he saw the bishopric implement the things
he taught them.
We love working with the missionaries. We both have the opportunity
to interact with them on a regular basis. They love to come to the
office, especially when they hear that i have made Chocolate Chip
Cookies. We are on a campaign to increase the quality of living with
the elders. They live in pretty rustic circumstances but we are
trying to help them keep their flats clean and are teaching them that
cleanliness leads to healthier, more spiritual missionaries. We did
our first Zone Conference presentation and stressed upon them that
their bodies are the temple for the Holy Ghost and that their Flats
are the temple for their bodies. We feel like we are making a
difference as we challenge them to improve their cleanliness and then
see if it makes a difference in their spirits.
Out side of Suva, the countryside is beautiful. We travel outside of
the city on the weekends. Most of the places we have been are pretty
close to paradise, humble but beautiful. Many of the homes are
simple with very little furniture or very worn furniture. They
usually sit on the bare floor. Although their living conditions are
simple their spirits are strong. Two weeks ago we went to Korovou, A
beautiful part of the island. To get to the missionaries flat we had
to take a rough dirt road. Their flat was just a simple square tin
shack with no floor coverings and a very antiquated kitchen. Just
beyond their flat is a beautiful chapel set up on a hill. It was
surrounded by simple humble homes much like the missionary flat. It
was a beautiful area. The next day we headed up the other side of the
island and saw some of the resort areas, Now we are talking
"Paradise" Beautiful beaches, palm trees and views of the ocean. A
great place for any of you to vacation if you want to come see us.
We are going to the island of Vanuatu this weekend. It is even more
rustic than here. We are looking forward to being able to experience
the blessing of visiting the outer areas of the mission. The
missionaries love serving in their areas. We will meet the President
and his wife on Saturday so they can show us around. I am especially
interested in seeing the medical facilities. One thing i can tell you
is that they are not IHC facilities.
A week ago we had to make a very difficult decision for one of the
missionaries. He needs to have his wisdom teeth out but after having
x-rays found that he needs all four teeth out and on the x-ray was a
darkened area in his jaw that indicates some type of growth. He needs
to go under general Anesthesia with the possibility of having part of
his jaw cut out depending on what they found when they got into
surgery. He will need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days.
The Elder is Fijiian with little money so he had no other choice but
to go to the government owned hospital. A very scarry option. I was
sick about it and laid awake all night worrying about letting him have
surgery there. That hospital goes against everything i was ever
taught in nursing. I just couldn't feel at peace so i asked the
Mission President if I could look into other options for him. He
agreed. I prayed for this elder all night and the next morning we
called the hospital to see if we could pick up the x-rays and take
them to another doctor. When we got there to pick them up the
assistant to the doctor doing the surgery met with us, showed us the x-
rays, explained the procedure and reassured us that the Doctor was a
very good doctor and taught at the Medical school. We suddenly felt
at peace about everything and at that point Dave and I both received
the confirmation that the missionary would be safe and well cared for
in spite of the hospital. That day we shared our experience with the
missionary who in turn felt very relieved and very much at ease. I
reassured him that I would go with him and be there when he came out
of surgery to make sure he was okay. He should be having the surgery
next week so it will be a new experience for us to be with him at the
Hospital. We really feel that we had a direct answer to our prayers
and I realized that we are on the Lord's errand and that he would give
us guidance as we make medical decisions for these missionaries.
Another of our Fijian missionaries has had severe headaches for about
three months. We have tried everything to get him some relief but
without success. I finally got permission from the AMA to bring him
to Suva for a CT scan of his head. The radiologist saw a suspicious
area on his right side where the headaches were. We are waiting
anxiously for his doctor to get back in town to evaluate and consult
with the radiologist. We have grown close to this missionary as we
have taken him to appointments, and prayed for him. We feel at peace
but we are still concerned about him. Hopefully we will get some
answers next week. Just an interesting side line is that his
companion is John Groeberg's grandson. He has a pretty tough act to
follow in his grandfather's footsteps but he is definitely measuring
up to the challenge.

We love working closely with the AP's and Sister Erickson who is a
single sister working in the mission office. I have grown to love
her. She is a widow and came out on a mission on her own. I admire
her willingness to serve and everytime we get discouraged we think
about how lucky we are to have each other as companions. We have
practically become a threesome with sister Erickson and love including
her in the things we do.
We love serving in this crazy city, We try to laugh a lot and we
definitely pray a lot. We are grateful to be able to be doing this at
this point in our lives. It is challenging but we know that the
blessings will be worth it all.

Thank you all for all the love and support we feel from you. We are
grateful to have such wonderful friends and family.

We love you all and we Love the Lord.

Elder and Sister Seare

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