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Young Fijian Woman Gives Back to Her Country

While serving a full-time mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand, Sukannika Qaqa, a young Fijian woman says she, "gained a better understanding of herself and her natural abilities and talents."

She discovered that she easily connects with people from differing backgrounds and never feels uncomfortable discussing the gospel of Jesus Christ or other topics with them.

In the last days of her 18-month mission, she wrote down her life's goals and what she wanted to accomplish with the rest of her life.

"I knew deep down in all surety that the gospel of Jesus Christ could help me find answers to all of my questions," she says.

Sukannika listed continuing her education as one of her goals.

Drawing from her mission experience and the service she gave to others, she found herself asking, "What more can I do--for my family, my church and country."

She wanted to give back, but the questions remained, "What can I do?"


Upon returning to school in Hawaii, she felt herself being guided toward political science as a major.  She had always shied away from politics but now saw it as an opportunity for giving back.

His Excellency Ambassador Solo Mara and Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Esala Nayasi of Fiji, visited BYU Hawaii and expressed their "openness" to having students from the university come to Washington D.C. for internships.

Sukannika felt that an internship was the right answer for "giving back."

She applied and was accepted to the program and feels that through the many responsibilities and activities she had the opportunity to participate in, her personal growth and understanding of others, and herself, has increased substantially.

After her marriage in August, she hopes to graduate in December and work on getting into graduate school.


She says, "My greatest wish is to be able to teach and share with my future family all that I have learned and come to understand--including my knowledge that if I follow the Saviour and His plan, everything works out."

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