Monday, March 21, 2016
We taught Purotu once again. We're still pushing for baptism each lesson, and with our lesson on the Atonement, I snuck in Moroni 8:25. Hopefully that will help her as she progresses towards baptism. It's always really cool to see how people seem to change when they really understand the Atonement. They go "Ohhh, I didn't know that", or "That makes sense now". The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important moment in history on this earth, and It's a good thing (at least in my opinion) if everyone knows "to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."
Here's a story: When we were taking over both sectors in Takaroa we taught Elise*. Elise thinks she's our mom. She tries to do or laundry, buys us food and supplies all the time, feeds us several times a month. And she's an investigator. We mentioned to her during this lesson that we would start the lessons with Doug*, an inactive. She went nuts, saying that this young man had nothing good in him, that he did lots of bad stuff including stealing all the time, and that he would never change. Then She promised us that if we could get him to repent, she would get baptized. You can see that she doesn't really know how it works exactly.
Anyway, we finally taught him, and he was definitely in the state of repentance. He's realized some of the mistakes he's made and is ready to change. Also, when his girlfriend (the sister of Moeava) comes back here from Tahiti, she'll start taking the lessons. Apparently Doug made sure she brought a Book of Mormon with her in Tahiti and she reads it every day. So I guess that makes two potential baptisms-Anne, his girlfriend; and Joana. Haha No, I think it will be more work than that, but we'll get there.
One of the coolest experiences this week was with Luc. He's an inactive that we just decided we should visit. We had never done a lesson with him, but we started. When we set up a lesson he seemed really depressed, and we tried to help him, although there was nothing really that we could do. Then for the lesson, he opened up. He told us about the mistakes he had made and how he had fallen. We read Alma 36, and after reading verse 16, he said that that was how he felt. He was ready to change, too. I've never seen someone who has felt so much Godly remorse for the mistakes they have made and have been so ready to repent. He's going to talk to the branch president now. Repentance is real! Use it! It's so cool to see that change in people.
We taught Mafatu, maybe for the last time before he leaves for his Tournament. We went through the baptismal questions, and he's just about ready to get baptized. When he comes back from the tournament, we'll talk about baptism and set up a date.
We taught Akamai*, our new Tahitian-speaking investigator. He kind of went off on a tangent, saying the same stories as last time, like how there's a cross in the stars and that's where the Lord is. He even came by that night to show us the cross. We still don't actually see one, but we'll keep looking. He was pretty excited about that one.
We're starting to practice songs for Easter. The Sanitos are throwing a party thing with a bunch of religions involved and the four missionaries are doing a quartet for one of our songs. That's going to be fun!
Companion is great! I don't know what else to say about that. We work together, we work well. We live in a house. It's way bigger than I'd like. It's almost the size of our main level at home, but for two missionaries, and it just gets messy. It actually used to be a store. The downside is that there is still a bunch of store stuff filling the house. We spent ten hours one p-day cleaning it out. Other than that, it's not too bad. We don't have a fridge, just a freezer, and no gas for our stove, so the only cooking we do is with a microwave. I can send pictures, but it's not that interesting. We do have banana trees, a papaya tree, and a coconut tree. No papaya fruit on the tree, barely any bananas that are no where close to being ripe, so I guess we eat coco sometimes, but that's about it. The ocean water is warm, definitely warm. And I love Takaroa a lot more than Tahiti. I miss clean water, greenery and stores at Tahiti, but if I could I would stay here (or at least on any island) for my whole mission.
That's all for this week. The work keeps moving on. It's so cool to be part of helping these people come unto Christ. à prochain!
We rode by and saw a french military boat dock. We spent the next few minutes making french jokes. Do you see Napoleon Bonaparte?
|Nice hat, isn't it?|
Monday, March 14, 2016
Ua haamaitaihia maua teie hepetoma! Ua maua i paraiiho Te Atua i te mau mahana atoa. E ere faamana'o ore ona ia maua. We've been blessed this week! God is with us every day. He never forgets us. We've seen some good things happen here this week, and that's not thanks to us.
First, some updates:
We still haven't talked to the father of Moeava, and it doesn't look like it's going to happen soon. Some people lack faith, and don't think it's a good idea. Also, there are some more things that we need to do to help him be more willing to accept. Faaitoito ia maua! Thanks for all the prayers and help with her!
Purotu still hasn't prayed to know her baptismal date. We're still trying to figure what's holding her back. Meanwhile, we had a lesson with her this week. We talked about Eternal Life, and the road it takes to achieve it (see 2 Nephi 31). We talked a lot about God's plan for her, the happiness she'll receive after this life and other blessings, and our purpose as missionaries to help her receive Eternal Life. The Spirit was strong, the only one who really taught in the lesson. We're just hoping she'll act on that.
Okay, and now for some good stuff that happened this week:
We got three references. One was for this old man who speaks almost only Tahitian. We went with DMB who talked with him for about seven seconds in Tahitian and we set up a lesson with him. I'll talk about him later. We also got a reference for a woman and her husband. We set up a lesson with her. When we came by, her husband wasn't there, but her eight year old son was there and seemed really interested in the lesson (mostly the pictures, but he also gave some input). Aimee*, the wife and mother, is quiet, and isn't familiar with religious stuff. Her son, onthe other hand, knows quite a bit, and he answered some harder questions. Definitely some potential there.
Two nights later, we hade a dinner appointment with a member who said he invited a nonmember couple. We would be able to give a quick lesson, gain two new investigators, and eat. That night, the guest came in (her husband couldn't make it) and guess who it is? Aimee! So we gave another little lesson. What are the chances? We still haven't taught her husband, but hopefully this week we can.
This week we were able to participate (and by participate, I mean give entirely) a lesson-soirée thing for the Priesthood. We watched some films and talked about them. It was really good. I think everyone left edified. Also, probably about a fourth of the people there are people we teach, members or investigators. Sweet!
One day this week, Elder Terry got super sick. We ended up staying in most of the day. C'est dommage because we had a lot of good stuff planned. The thing was that when he got sick, he started having hallucinations. The whole day. I ended up taking care of a sick guy trying to get me to massage his calves and convinced coke would make him feel better. That's an experience I won't quickly forget. At the end of the day, We managed to get in a lesson. I went on splits with Elder Nelson and the two of us along with DMB went to visit this Tahitian speaking reference. It started out all right. I spoke slowly in french, speaking tahitian when I could, and when this Tahitian couldn't understand, DMB would translate. The problem is that once a tahitian starts talking in tahitian, they generally won't switch back. I was left to rely on the few french words thrown in there and the few tahitian words I know. I kind of got the idea of what he was talking about. The big idea is that he feels really close to God. Everytime he goes fishing, he prays for protection from sharks, etc and he loves talking about the gospel. He's also catholic. I think we could make a lot of progress with him, but I don't know how much we can do in just french. Time to start studying! That's also the second time I've taught an investigator in tahitian so far on my mission.
Also, do you remember the story about the mami obsessed with finding the five elders who proposed to her? We were eating at their house this week when we get a call from an ancient elder who's trying to come back. Somehow he got our number and tried to get us to help him find a place to stay. Anyway, he called and mami said "Ask him who his branch president was!" So we asked, and sure enough, it was the branch president from some elder who proposed to her. You wouldn't believe how excited she got. Finally we got the name of the elder, and he was the companion of one who proposed to this little mami at whose house we were eating that night. What are the chances?! That's another thing I'm not going to forget.
Things are good here, and the work always progresses. God lives and loves us! He's always watching out for us.
Monday, March 7, 2016
The Forecast for Takaroa is hot and sunny with a high probability of missionary work. I'ts actually really weird. One day, in the middle of that stormy weather, we were talking with this guy who said that the weather would be fine the next day. We didn't believe him, but sure enough the next day there wasn't a dark cloud in the sky, the water level was back to normal, no more wind. Weather is weird.
This week our amount of lessons suffered and we only saw a few investigators, but with what we did have, it was really good. We taught a lesson to Purotu. Like from the beginning, she's had a testimony. We taught her about the Book of Mormon. She mentioned stories of receiving an answer to questions, like recieving the answer to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, of the Missionaries, of this religion. The answer was yes every time.
Me: On peut voir que tu a eu beaucoup de bénédictions grâce a l’Évangile. Est-ce que tu veux tout les bénédic-
Purotu: Je sais que tu veux que je me fasse baptisé. Je ne sais pas...
Me: Maintenant Je veux que tu prie pour savoir le date pour ton baptême. Vas-tu le faire?
Purotu: Parce que je sais que c'est vite.
Well, we encouraged her more to pray. She knows she needs to, it's just up to her.
We also taught Mafatu, where we encouraged him to stop smoking from that moment on. That's all he has left to do, stop smoking, only a few a day. But now he has real motivation: He's part of Takaroa's futsal team that's going to perform on tv at Tahiti in a few weeks and he wants to do his best for that. So he agreed to stop. Yes!
We also taught Nunui*, one of our investigators that we haven't seen for a few weeks. It was a really good lesson, ending in him accepting our invitation to start preparing for his baptism. Hopefully we'll see him more and help him to progress.
We've gotten a bunch of references or at least names of nonmembers on the island, so the work should start to pick up soon even more.
This Sunday We had District Conference and President Bizet came! It was super good. He's going to do a soirée familiale tonight, too, and all of our investigators are going to that. It was not good when in our meeting for the leaders, President asked me a question that I didn't hear, ending with him telling me I should be able to speak better french than I do and that I'm way behind everyone. Oh well. There's something to work on. Everything was good today, however. Elder Terry and I ran into him and ended up throwing pick-axes into trees with him.
Some things I realized: I've had crêpes about two meals a day for the last three days. I'm getting fat. Also, my english is getting terrible. I hope that's a good sign, that I'm doing well with french, but I don't know.
I can't remember if there's anything else important that I'm missing, so if that's the case, I'll get it to you next week. For now, faaitoito. The church is true!
|Elder Lewis, Elder Terry, Tepeva (soon Elder Temahaga) ElderClements (he baptized Rava. I replaced him in Temarua), Elder Nelson|
Kendama-ing and futsal-ing