Monday, December 19, 2016
Ia ora na! Recently it's been haere maru haere papu here in Papehue.
We did some contacting and found this very accepting témoin de Jehovah. We did the first lesson, and she seemed to really like it, although there seemed to also be a miscommunication going on. To make things short, we left not knowing whether she was a member of the church or not. Yeah, that's a little weird. So we came back a few days later where we went over the first lesson again because she forgot how to pray and she forgot lots of important points, and we had her end with the prayer. She prayed to Jehova, but it was a pretty good prayer. It was in this second lesson though that we figured out that she thought we were témoins also. I feel like we must have mentioned that we were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints at some point. But anyway, that explains the miscommunication of the first lesson. She never got that we are Mormons. Anyway, I think she figured it out when we came back on Saturday and her father started yelling at us and saying that we could never come back again. Quite the adventure. We're going to keep trying to teach her, but it will be a little harder now.
The baptism of Kahoku isn't good for this week. It's hard only being able to teach him once a week. He's not quite ready to be baptized, there are still some things he needs to know before he contracts an alliance with God. He still has the desire though, and I think that if we push it a week or two he'll be ready.
Yesterday we had a stake concert where each ward sang some songs for Christmas. The Christmas season isn't quite the same as back home, but that concert helped me get in that Christmas spirit. I've just been thinking recently about how much we expect good gifts from our parents and we want people to do things for us. We tend to ignore what we've already been given.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth on Him might not perish but have Everlasting life."
Our Father has given as a great gift, his Son. Imagine how hard that must have been. I definitely wouldn't be that willing to give up my only son. And He did that so we have a way for the greatest gift, eternal life. What could make us happier than eternal life?
Anyway, there's not a whole lot going on but the work continues. I'm very grateful for everything the Lord has done to help me in this work. I know He lives. I know he sent the Christ into this world to be our Savior. This work is our Father's work and glory. Merry Christmas everyone! E mea maitai te Noela!
Monday, November 28, 2016
Well, here's the parau api of Papehue:
We also started lessons with a guy named Kahoku*. In fact, we first found him a month ago and invited him to our cours d'anglais. He said he would come, but never showed up. Then, last week again, we found him again and set up a time for a lesson this time. We taught him this mahana toru and because we ran out of time, we only taught him until the Great Apostasy. It was good that we left him on a cliff hanger because he was super interested in what else we had to say. At the end, he asked us if he could do a soirée familiale with him. We never even talked about those with him. During the week, we also got this text from him:
Bonjour Lewis, c'est moi Vaiarii, je voulais te demander pour lundi si tu peux venir avec une femme membre de l'eglise.
Hahaha sweet, he's integrating himself! I think we'll just talk about eternal mariage the next lesson.
We had our second lesson with him this morning (yeah, pday, but totally worth it). We finished the Restoration. As we were going over the Priesthood, he told us a story that he had had during the week. He and his brother were sitting and talking when suddenly his brother got a big fever and started going crazy a little. Kahoku couldn't control him, and a thought came into his head to call his friend's dad, who is a priesthood holder. He said that within five minutes after the guy said a little prayer, his brother was back to normal, no fever, no convulsions, nothing. Kahoku then testified to us the importance of the priesthood. Wow.
At the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptised. At first, we didn't think that he quite understood the question, because he asked if there was anyone getting baptised the date that we gave him. But it turns out he was just curious if others would get baptised the same date as him or if he was the only one. He didn't even give baptism a second thought, it was just logical for him. He said that he just wanted to repent before he was baptised. Can do! Anyway, the 24th of December Kahoku will be baptised. That's exciting!
Our protestant friend Simon* chose the topic for our lesson this week. The life of Christ between the age 12 and 30. Not really spiritually uplifting, but interesting, I guess.
This week we found out two things about our DMP: That he's a seventy, and that he's being replaced. Yeah, I guess it just never came up that he's a seventy. Because he can't really work with us-he has a lot of trouble walking- we got a new one, an RM. Hopefully we'll get some missionary energy in this ward!
Well, things are doing better here. I hope it continues. Here's a scripture;
1 thessaloniciens 5: 16 Soyez toujours joyeux.
There are good and bad times, easy and hard times, fun and boring times. No matter what time we're in, we need to keep the commandments of God, including this one. If you're not happy right now, repent, and be happy!
Monday, November 14, 2016
I could say that these past few weeks have bad, we've been having only a few lessons here and there, and I just had my lowest stats for the week on my mission, but it's good that that doesn't determine success. We have seen a few cool things recently. A few little stories that I hope will help you with whatever situation you're in.
A few weeks ago we had a reference for this guy, and set up our first lesson where we found out he was a protestant deacon. He said straight up that he wasn't going to change religions (we'll see about that) but he wanted to talk about God. This week we had the first real discussion with him and we talked about the Plan of Salvation a little bit. He started by asking a lot of questions, trying to stump us a little. He said that he was asking these questions to help us prepare for the things people would throw at us. He didn't think we were that bright, or knew the bible that well, but he was a little surprised when we answered all of his questions, or when we showed him a verse that showed that we lived before this life, even though he didn't believe in that.
When we talked about after this life, we used 1 cor 15 and talked about the Kingdoms of Glory. He was very surprised that there were scriptures to prove what we were talking about, and said that he would reread and study that chapter afterwards. I think that was when he started to realize that we knew what we were talking about. We also talked about mercy and justice and I asked him what his thoughts were on that. He thought for a while, and then said that he thought it was mostly mercy that would let us go to heaven. He then asked my opinion and I shared the story of the farmer who borrows money. He signs a contract that if he didn't repay in time, he would have to go to prison. Well, after the time is up, this farmer hasn't gotten enough money from his crops to repay the man. He must go to prison. But another man comes in and pays off the debt for the farmer. Now the farmer owes this man everything. The man says that it will be hard to repay, but it will be possible. So we talked about how in this story we are like the farmer. We can't enter into God's Kingdom, unless Jesus is there to pay for our sins. Thanks to Him, through hard work and repentance, we can receive mercy and God can have justice.
When we told this story, you could see him being enlightened and gain understanding of Christ's Atonement. That was really cool. At the beginning of the lesson he didn't really want to learn, but by the end he felt the spirit testify that what we said was true, and he accepted it. I'm sharing this story not to talk about how good I am or how much of the bible I know, because that's not true. Je me vanterai de mon Dieu, car avec sa force je peut tout faire. Looking back on this experience, we talked about a lot of different things and I'm surprised at how I answered them. It's definitely the spirit working through us!
We also have an investigator who is Catholic, but he wants to get baptised. However, he wants to get divorced from his new convert wife before he does. We've tried to talk about eternal marriage, but he wasn't interested, as he wanted to get divorced. Then, yesterday, he came to church. Normally he goes on the other side of Tahiti, but he felt like he should come to our chapelle that day. It was then that we found some good member integrators for him, we talked a lot, and invited him to a Fireside that night. At the fireside, they talked about eternal marriage. He was really interested, and want's to learn more. If he had spent the day on the other side of Tahiti, we wouldn't have been able to invite him to the Fireside, and he wouldn't have learned about eternal marriage. I just love to have those little miracles here and there.
Well, those are a few cool stories. God is really there to help His children. He loves us so much. I know that there is always a way to get though our difficulties and there are blessings hiding behind each trial. Faaitoito everyone! Bonne semaine!