Monday, August 7, 2017

That They Might Have Joy

Teie taime, e papai vau i  roto i te re'o tahiti no te mea, e mea fiu ia parau i roto i te re'o marite. Aita vau i rave i te mau mea e rave rahi e te faahiahia i teie hebedoma, e'ita ra vau ia hinaaro ia papai i te hoe rata poto roa. No reira, teie to'u mau mana'oraa 

Okay, I'll stop writing in Tahitian so that you can understand me. Not much has happened this week. We're still working with the same investigators, and there isn't much news from the last time except that we've pretty much lost Manava. It's super hard to contact her. I think it's still good for the mariage this month, but it's not looking good for the baptism.

Other than that, the theme recently for missionary work is helping people have joy. That comes through repentance, baptism, and the temple, so we've made a bigger effort to bring people to the temple because we know that they will experience so much more joy in going to the temple than any other activity. It is the house of God, after all. 

So this week we were able to go to the temple with some recent converts and we're setting up a time to go with Maeva. It was cool to see the change in the new convert as she went through for the first time. Afterwards she told us that she wanted to come every week, and that she didn't want to leave the temple. That's the joy that comes from the temple. Here's the deal: are you sad, upset, or worried? Go to the temple, and you will find peace and joy. Take advantage of it, it's really worth it. 

Well, I don't have much else to write this week, so I'll leave you with a scripture and my testimony:

2 Nephi 2:25, 26

Adam tomba pour que les hommes fussent, et les hommes sont pour avoir la joie. 

Et le Messie vient dans la plénitude du temps, afin de racheter de la chute les enfants des hommes. 

God placed us here on earth so that we could have joy, and because of the great Atoning Sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can not only have joy in this life but eternal joy after this life. I know why I am on this earth, it's so that I can be happy. I know why I'm here in French Polynesia, it's so that I can help people have the same joy that I have felt from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I love you all and have a good week! 

Orometua Lewis





 Conseil des dirigeants. 2nd photo is with the cook, Julie, who is retiring after many years working for the mission. The Elders and Soeurs love her food!


Thursday, August 3, 2017

"I didn't think I'd ever have to use the How To Begin Teaching points in English"

Iaorana tatou!

Well, the highlight of the week was the baptism of Poenui. It was good, and her dad showed up! We talked to him. He's super nice, and said he would come to the confirmation also, but he ended up getting sick and not being able to make it. C'est dommage, but we're going to keep trying. Poenui's awesome, and I'm sure that she'll stay strong when she goes to England next month.

Things are going really well with Fetia*. Every lesson she tells us that she prayed to know if it's all true, and every lesson she says that she didn't get her answer yet. So we really focused on helping her recognise the response. At one point we asked her if she believed it was true and she said yes. We asked her why, and she started telling us a story that happened and ended up saying "I already know it's true." Woah. I've never had an experience like that. Basically she already got the answer to her prayers about two years ago, but she just didn't realise it until we asked her that question. You could really feel the spirit when she was talking. So know she knows it's true, and we're moving on with the next step.

We visited and inactive family last week and they directed us to some chinese guy named Alexandre* who wanted to do the missionary lessons in english. We didn't really know at first if he really wanted to do the lessons or if he just wanted to perfect his english, but we visited him anyway. So this week we got hold of him and did a lesson. It turns out that he is from Laos and went to france when he was really young as a refugee. Then later he made it to Australia, New Zealand, and finally here at Tahiti. He has a really cool story and we explained that the gospel can help him in his situation. 

It was hard to teach him, that's sure. We had google translate off to the side to help us out. I didn't think I'd ever have to use the How To Beging Teaching points in english, and definitely not the one that says that we might not speak the language well, so if you don't understand, ask questions. I also realized the importance of the spirit in teaching. You can't be too focused on what you're going to say or the spirit can't guide you.  Another thing I realized is how hard it must be for these people to try and understand a young missionary's thick accent. Te haere. It's also a good thing I memorized scripture mastery in english. I didn't think that would be very useful. 

But in the end, he said he felt something warm in his heart, and we know that was the spirit. I really hope that we'll be able to show him the importance of the gospel and how he can have an eternal family if he follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Well, those are a couple fun stories, I wanted to write more, but I got to go. See you next week!

Elder Lewis

Monday, July 17, 2017

Heiva Week...

Well, this week flew by fast. There wasn't a whole lot of interesting stuff that happened either. Heiva is going on so work is slowing down a ton. I'm not sure how much we're going to accomplish during July but we'll see what we can do. Last year our mission President encouraged us to take advantage of it to find new amis. Last year I was on Takaroa and it was a little different, but we'll so what we can do on Tahiti.
There were just two really cool experiences this week:
One of my first days at Mataiea my companion showed me an inactive family. The two parents served missions, but do to some problems with other members, they stopped coming to church, and they are pretty sensitive. They have two daughters who aren't baptised, but they won't let them take lessons because they don't want anyone to force them to get baptsed. So at that point that we met this family it was my goal to get to the point where they trusted us enough to let us teach their kids.

So last week we were trying to find people to visit and I had a sudden impression to visit this family. We passed by their house and invited them to come to the concert. It didn't seem like they would show up, but the whole family came! Afterwards they wanted to talk to us, and I was excited because I knew they would let us teach their daughters. So we went up to them and they asked us for the number of an elder who is from france. Well, we almost got in.
On monday night we were going home and we got a phone call from the family again. This time it was for the daughter! She said that her daughter had a lot of questions that needed answers. So the next night we passed by, and we answered all of her questions. It was about life after death, but we ended up teaching the entire plan of salvation. This girl is only about eleven years old, but I've never gone that in depth of the Plan of Salvation with anyone ever in my life. She's so smart. So we're coming back tomorrow. We just have to be careful so t doesn't seem like we're trying to force her to do anything.
The other story is with Manava. We finally found her again. It was the spirit that led us all the way. When we talked to her again she said that "ça fait du bien de vous parler encore". I don't know how to translate that well, so good luck. We had a good conversation with her. We'll see her again this week. It turns out she's getting married in August, so the baptism might be good, just pushed back.
So the moral of the stories: Always listen to the spirit! It's definitely hard sometimes to know when the spirit is talking, but if we're always ready to act, even on the smallest promptings, we will do good.
Also I was able to go back to Faaa to see the baptism of Paul. So awesome! Those were some of my favorite experiences working with him, preparing him for baptism.
Alright, that's the fun stuff for the week. Je vous aime et bonne semaine!
Elder Lewis





Monday, July 10, 2017

"If we can make families eternal, it's worth every minute."

Well, We don't have much time today for emails, so I'll try to be fast. As usual, we've seen more miracles this week than we deserve. It's been a little hard this week to find new investigators. But we have found a couple good families, and each day we see their testimonies growing, and we're going to focus on that. It's no use trying to help someone that doesn't want help. It's sad that they don't want it, but there's nothing we can do. However, if we can make families eternal, it's totally woth every minute.
The lessons are so cool with Manava. In our last lesson, we came and she told us that she had a surprise for us at the end. We taught the lesson (in depth plan of Salvation) and at the end we started closing our books and she said "That's all?") So we reopened our books and started going into even MORE detail, I'm talking the book of Revelation and the Millenium and stuff like that. And She just soaked it up. And at the end, she presented her surprise. She and her friend (the member integrator) had spent the five previous hours making cakes for us. Yes!! You can't say now to a homemade cake, even when you're about to go to a pizzeria right after for dinner.
Poenui got an answer to her prayers. We haven't actually talked to her about it, but we heard from her friend that she couldn't stop crying because she felt so stongly the spirit. It's really interesting-she prayed the night that we first engaged her to do it, and she said that she didn't get an answer. We thought that she just must have not recognized the answer, so every lesson we talked about praying and finding the answer. And she's prayed a lot. She had prayed four times the first night alone, and plenty more sine then. But she felt nothing. And then this time, and she really felt the spirit. I don't know what changed, but she knows it's true now. Maybe it was that the spirit was trying to really test her faith, or maybe something else, but it's really cool that she got her response. And she already asked her dad, and he said it was fine if she wanted to get baptised. Everything worked out so well!
On wednesday we all said goodbye to President Bize, and on thursday the new president came, President Fox. We saw him at the missionary concert last night, but didn't really have the chance to meet him. We'll do that tomorrow. It's weird having a change like that, we'll see how that goes.
I have more things to say, but I've got to go. I'll try to write later, if not, next week. I love you all! Have a good week!
Elder Lewis


Random pics with my old DMP of Tautira


The baptism of Sefina





The baptism of Oliana




This was my last sunday. We took a picture with all of our investigators at the class of gospel principles.

Monday, July 3, 2017

More Miracles

Well, We don't have much time today for emails, so I'll try to be fast. As usual, we've seen more miracles this week than we deserve. It's been a little hard this week to find new investigators, but We have found a couple good families, and each day we see their testimonies growing, and we're going to focus on that. It's no use trying to help someone that doesn't want help. It's sad that they don't want it, but there's nothing we can do. However, if we can make families eternal, it's totally woth every minute.

The lessons are so cool with Manava. In our last lesson, we came and she told us that she had a surprise for us at the end. We taught the lesson (in depth plan of Salvation) and at the end we started closing our books and she said "That's all?) So we re-opened our books and started going into even MORE detail, I'm talking the book of Revelation and the Millenium and stuff like that. And She just soaked it up. And at the end, she presented her surprise. She and her friend (the member integrator) had spent the five previous hours making cakes for us. Yes!! You can't say no to a homemade cake, even when you're about to go to a pizzeria right after for dinner.

Poenui got an answer to her prayers. We haven't actually talked to her about it, but we heard from her friend that she couldn't stop crying because she felt so stongly the spirit. It's really interesting-she prayed the night that we first engaged her to do it, and she said that she didn't get an answer. We thought that she just must have not recognized the answer, so every lesson we talked about praying and finding the answer. And she's prayed a lot. She had prayed four times the first night alone, and plenty more sine then. But she felt nothing. And then this time, and she really felt the spirit. I don't know what changed, but she knows it's true now. Maybe it was that the spirit was trying to really test her faith, or maybe something else, but it's really cool that she got her response. And she already asked her dad, and he said it was fine if she wanted to get baptised. Everything worked out so well!

On wednesday we all said goodbye to President Bize, and on thursday the new president came, President Fox. We saw him at the missionary concert last night, but didn't really have the chance to meet him. We'll do that tomorrow. It's weird having a change like that, we'll see how that goes.

I have more things to say, but I've got to go. I'll try to write later, if not, next week. I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Lewis





Monday, June 26, 2017

On Baptisms, Soldering Irons and Not Being Mormon

Wow, when you've been doing this for so long, you don't know what to write about. Back at the beginning all the little things seemed super exciting but now that's just average day stuff. Well, this week was pretty good. We seem to always be doing something or other, yet it doesn't seem like we've accomplished a whole lot at the end of the week.

The highlights for this week were the lessons with Poenui and Manava. They both accepted baptism for the 22 July.  When we engaged Poenui, she told us that she wasn't ready because she smokes. We didn't even teach her that that was bad! I guess when you hear the word of God you just naturally want to change and become pure. You don't neccesarily need someone to tell you that you can't be saved if you put bad things in your body, you just understand that it's against the will of God.

For Poenui, she's still waiting for a solid response to her prayers, and she told us that she prays a lot to know if it's true. But she believes that it's true, and I'm sure that that seed is starting to sprout and pretty soon it will be a big tree. I also hope that at that point her testimony will be strong enough to convince her dad to accept her choice. We still haven't talked to him about it. 

I was also able to go back to Faaa on saturday to baptise Iriata*, the daughter of the family that we found my last week in Tavararo. That was a cool experience. Her parents are getting baptised at the end of July.
In church yesterday it was a missionary work themed program so Elder Rice and I gave talks. For the second hour our DMP told us last minute that we were doing the lesson and then he left somewhere else. It wasn't the best lesson, but it worked. Poenui had answers to all our questions. She's been studying, that's for sure.

Eperona is a pretty interesting guy too. He has some pretty profound answers to questions too. I think he knows some doctrine better than a lot of members. His answers do make you laugh, though. He talked once about us being either in the gang of "bad boys"(yes, in english) or in the gang of Jesus. Interesting analogy, but it's true.  Anyway, we were also given the lesson for the third hour, so we talked again about missionary work. So we ended up teaching all three hours of church yesterday. What blessings!

Now for a couple of funny experiences:

The wire in our fan came out a few weeks ago, and my companion has been meaning to solder it back. But, because we're missionaries, we don't have a soldering iron. But also because we're missionaries, the word for soldering iron is not naturally in our vocabulary. So my comp asked the french speaking elder in our house how you say it. He told him it was "une poste à soudure". So Elder Rice asked around for that, and finally he found someone that said he could bring one home from work. So we pass by and the person shows us his poste à soudure and it was a welder! I guess they didn't question the missionaries wanting a welder, they just got it for us. That was pretty funny. Now we know the difference between a welder and a soldering iron in french haha.

Also in a lesson, a member went off a little and as he was talking he said "C'est mon livre qui est mormon. Moi, je suis membre de L’Église de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours." hahaha that's Lds pride right there. We are NOT mormons everyone.

Alright, that's about it for this wek. Bonne semaine!

Orometua Lewis










Tahitian art is pretty cool.

Just an innocent box of lessive next to a teenager's backpack. Wait...


A goat

Marriage and baptism of Vaihiatua