Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The end and the Beginning

Well, this is the End. I'm packing up for Tahiti. This is my last day here, and then I'm off. This is the part where I start looking back on the person I used to be and the things I used to know and see how much I've changed. It's great. I've really grown a desire this past week, more than any other week here, to tell the whole world what I know. I want to tell everyone about the Restoration, about Christ and His Atonement, about the saving power that He has for everyone. I think that with that desire, it doesn't matter so much that I don't know the languages perfectly. God will help me out.

I had some really cool experiences in this past week.  I was able to give a blessing of comfort and counsel. All the departing missionaries in our district wanted them so we all got and gave them. It was really cool to see the Lord guiding them to say certain things. I'm convinced they we wouldn't have said those things without the spirit. Then Elder Edmunds and I gave soeur Rakotomalala a blessing for the sick. Again, way cool to see the Lord directing me as I spoke. Afterwards, I could see the difference in the way she walked. She wasn't as bad off as before. The church is true! E mau parau i te Ekalesia!

Also, this was my first time giving both blessings. I don't know if very many experiences here, if any, can compare to what I felt then.

I was reading in Mosiah yesterday. I've read the Book of Mormon a lot of times, but somehow I seemed to have missed this part every time. It is the story of King Noah and Abinadi. Abinadi preaches of the wickedness of the people and they hate that he's talking bad about them. They try to kill him, so he disappears. 

Two years later he comes back disguised and continues to preach. They catch him this time, and put him before the King. Now this is the part I seem to miss. I remember him Saying that they couldn't touch him until he had finished, and then he talked about the law of Moses and the Ten Commandments, but that was it. This time I carefully read all of it. It's probably one of the most powerful scriptures I've read on the Atonement. He tells all these people about how Christ would come, and Atone for us, and be crucified. My favorite verses are in chapter 14:

He is despised and rejected of men; man of sorrows,and acquainted with grief; and we 
hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 4 Surely he has borne our griefsand carried our sorrows;yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 But he was wounded for our transgressionshe was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
This is an awesome scripture, showing a little more about how Jesus Christ felt and how we treated him in all of his struggles in the Atonement. I'm surprised not all of the priests and King Noah were converted right then. It was so powerful.

Oh! Today it snowed! Like actually snow, and not the rain/snow stuff that we've had. I guess it's our parting gift before we leave it for two years. It's funny to see all the people here who haven't seen snow before having snowball fights and just enjoying the snow. It's a complete new experience for them.

Other fun stuff this week: We had a devo from some media guy in the church (I can't remember his name) who showed us Christmas videos, ads, and memes that the church will put out soon.

I lost an OJ bet (there's a picture). I guess that wasn't really fun, but it's different.

We've had a Tahitian teach us. He makes learning way fun, and tells us about Tahiti so we know what to expect. He also taught us the Haka. I learned it before, but forgot most of it. It's also way cooler when a Tahitian teaches it to you and when you understand what you're saying. 

I can't believe I'm leaving. It's kind of like Christmas- where you have the anticipation of waiting for it to come and you're super focused on it coming, but when it actually comes it's a surprise. That's how I feel. I've waited two months wanting to get out of here and now, all of a sudden, I'm leaving. I think I'm ready, though. I'll have lots of new experiences.

Awkward picture of Elder Edmunds, our teachers, and me

All of our study materials

Elder Edmunds fell asleep. Again.

Is Elder Prete smoking at the temple? Maybe

Last Sunday with Soeur Banda

Almost our entire district

Scriptures in Malagasy. You can't read it, but look at where verse 19 starts and ends.

Need I explain this picture?

Who needs a leaf pile when you can have a leaf line?

Got Elder Prete in Infield Orientation

Our first day at the MTC! I don't know if you can see the dork dots

Yeah. You know what's up

Soeurs Jimmy and Rakotomalala

I think I'm being attacked

Ninja selfies. You can see my dork dot

We found Waldo.

I lost the OJ bet. Ugh.

This one's for France.

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