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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Excitement, Emotion, and Exhaustion

It has been a rough week, an emotional week, an exhausting week, but a very good week!
We landed in Fiji on June 15th, and the first thing we noticed when getting of the plane was... Drum Roll?????

Burger King!

Yep we stopped, and had some Burger King at the Nadi Airport before boarding our last flight into Suva. 
After a 3 and a half hour layover in Nadi we had a 30 minute flight to get to our final destination in Suva. 

I had rented a car over a month ago, and was ready to get the car and go to the hotel. After finally finding the car rental area I found out the Hertz guy (company that assured me I would have a car) was not there. 

There was however a very nice lady from Avis who was working that night, and she was very apologetic, and she offered to call the man from Hertz to see what was going on. 

After talking to him he informed me they have no cars in Suva, but they did in Nadi...(3 hour drive). 

Then my wife was talking to this lady from Avis, and while I called the hotel to arrange a shuttle. 

The Avis Representative was named Asma, and she was so kind. 
Not only did she offer to take us to our hotel, but she offered us a car for our time in Fiji. She said she could put us in a 8 passenger van until she could find something else. 

After going to the lot, and filling out the paperwork, we were able to drive away in a brand new Hiace van. 
This thing is HUGE, but is also very nice. 

The funniest part about it is while we are on the road people think it's a taxi, because this is the primary vehicle used for public transportation. 
Everywhere we go people are trying to flag us down, we all just laugh, smile and wave back. 

After having all the issues with the rental car, we then went to the hotel. I had booked our room 2 months in advance to make sure it would accommodate all of us. 
We get there to check in, and they have 4 people in a standard queen room...
Thankfully we were able to get the room I had initially booked, within about 5 minutes, and the price was the same I had already paid. 

We just took in the beauty of Fiji for our first 4 days, and there is a lot of beauty to take in!
We have been to town to check out all of the markets, and shops downtown, and we were able to go to a steakhouse that is on a ship in the ocean to celebrate Ezekiel's 18th birthday. It just so happens that it worked out that Ezekiel's Birthday landed the day after we did! 

On Saturday I got to check off one of my bucket list items, and that was going to the island where they filmed "Cast Away"! Crazy I know, but it is one of my favorite movies. It was a full day cruise with a boat ride, some snorkeling stops, swimming in some of the clearest most beautiful water I have ever been in, lunch, and a great day with the family. 

It was very refreshing to get some down time with my family before we got started with conference time. After loosing my grandpa last week I just had some time to unwind and decompress. I have been pretty edgy, and irritable for the past several days, and the family time really helped me. 

The night we landed we found there was a McDonalds about 5 minutes from our hotel, yep it was about midnight and we drove there to find it was a McDonald's just not a 24 hour one... so sad.

Room service it was! But you better believe we hit McDonald's the next morning! 

Anyone who is from America, and likes fast food has no idea the struggle we face lol!

Burger King was our first fast food in about 16 months. 

Sunday we had our first service with Brother Setoki, and we were able to preach, and have a great service. After the service we had some time to set down, and have lunch together. 
We talked about the organization, and ways we could help equip them for the future. I have committed to helping the Fiji Churches grow, and we were able to come up with some ideas for the future. 
This week I will be meeting our ministers in Fiji to see where some of our biggest needs are to help them progress further. 
This coming week we are preparing for our first National Conference in Fiji! 
Stay tuned to find out more!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support,
Bro Marshall

Here are some pictures from our first few days in Fiji!

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