Monday, April 25, 2016

"This is Really the Lord's Work."

Iaorana tatou!

This was a pretty successful week. We've been finding ways to better engage people and help them to really change their lives, and it's working! At church we saw an investigator who we never thought we would actually see there. That was cool. We're seeing people that, even though they're still far from baptism, are still improving their lives and understanding Gospel doctine and God's plan for them.

I had my first moment where I felt like I was doing normal missionary things. In French Polynesia, missionary work is way different than what I learned in the MTC. But one night, we went to visit a reference we got. His daughter has taken the lessons before, and we went and talked to him. He said he wasn't interested, but we got him to let us share a message. We asked if we could come back and he said he would talk to his wife and get back to us. He probably just said that to get us to leave, but you never know. Man, it's nice to do something different than teaching lesson after lesson each day. Especially with people who don't actually want to change.

We've actually been able to do service projects this week! It's always hard to do those with Tahitians. From moving an old car to doing coprah we've been able to help people here. It also has helped us better teach investigators. They trust you more. Doing one service project, random people in the neighborhood started to come and just help. By the end, instead of just three of us we had eight or nine who just helped. And when that was finished, they helped someone else on another one's project. 

We taught an inactif this week. He got mad at us for not coming one week (not really set lessons) so we've been coming more. In this last lesson, we asked him how he could persevere better. He gave answers like "Read the scriptures more" and "serve others." we were looking for things more like "stop smoking"  and "pay tithing." He then told us that he stopped all that bad stuff three months ago and started all that good stuff. He had talked to the branch president about getting the priesthood. He told us that all we could do to help him was keep coming back to teach him and his wife, that he really just needed more of the gospel in his life. Woah! that was unexpected. So it all started form when we found him a few months ago and taught him a little lesson that he changed his entire life around. Such a blessing to see that and to know that I helped a little bit in that process!

Biggest news of the week: Mahana*, the wife of the inactif I talked about last week, accepted the baptism! We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and at the end we engaged her. Without hesitation she said yes. Due to some weird things that happened, we don't have a date yet, but hopefully this week we'll get that set up. It's really cool to see someone who acts on the spirit that was felt. A lot of people here don't act on the impressions that they receive, or don't even make the efforts to try to find out for themselves what is right.

Okay, I don't have my notes, so I missed a lot of stuff. Just know that the work is starting to pick up and we're getting closer with a lot of people. We have about four investigators with which we're talking about baptism. I'm grateful to be a part of this change in peoples' lives and help them to come unto Christ. It's such a blessing to be a servant of the Lord and help save souls. This is really the Lord's Work. This Church is really His Kingdom on the Earth. I love the Gospel and I'm so thankful for all the blessings that I have received thanks to its teachings. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's love for me in sending his only begotten son, and Jesus's love for me in doing His atoning sacrifice so I can return to my Heavenly Father and have eternal life. 

 Na reira, ua here au ia outou e ua mauruuru vau no teie 'ohipa! Until next week!

Elder Lewis

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