Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Bus Stop Boys

A couple weeks ago, the elders met a group of boys at the downtown bus terminal (all busses go in and out of that terminal location).  Few people own cars and nearly everyone moves about from village to town and back by bus. They had moved to the Ba area to work in the sugar cane fields and were headed back to their temporary home after another grueling day (all sugar cane here is cut manually with huge Machete type knives -- only with a much wider blade than a machete).  The missionaries struck up a conversation with them and they were very receptive so they made an appointment for the next Sunday and asked us to transport them to the village.

When we arrived, these young men welcomed us to their little shack they had constructed to sleep in.  They have no belongings except one kerosene lantern, a toothbrush, a pair of work clothes, and a T shirt and shorts to wear when they are not working.  They had cut grass and laid it on the dirt floor of the shack for cushion and then spread old tarps over the grass.

As we sat with them, they were so excited to hear the gospel and were very vigorous learners.  The elders were teaching in Fijian so we understood little but generally we could tell what was going on.  They told us that they had taken turns during the week, each reading in the Book of Mormon at night by the single lantern.  While the lesson was going on, Mom was helping to illustrate a point the elders were making by showing a picture in the Gospel Art book.  You can't believe how enamored the boys were with the art.  They own nothing, have no entertainment whatever, and so this book of gospel picture illustrations was like a treasure.  The oldest boy would not share it when others tried to take it from him, he just kept staring at each picture during the whole lesson but kept an ear out for what was being taught. It was very spiritual, invigorating, and humbling (as usual) to see how much the gospel can mean to thirsty souls looking for meaning in life.

Here's some video footage of the boys and their "home" during the lesson:


emily a. said...

What a neat experience. That video was such a treat to watch. Reading about how memorized they were to see a picture reminds me of what really matters as I'm on the computer and the Today show is on in the background.

Matt said...

So great to see video! Thank you for sharing.

Ditto Family said...

So you are allowed to transport them? I thought you couldn't drive others. So special to see the video. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

Julie said...

Love getting to travel to Fiji and glimpse into your life in the mission. How humbling and exciting! We look forward to the day we go out and serve and this blogs makes it a little more real. All the best to you both as you work in the field that is ready for harvest :)