Monday, July 11, 2016

Surprise!

This week was fun. There were some days where we had no success, some days where it worked out all right. We had a baptism this week. I'll start form the beginning.

We taught our last few lessons with Ahomana before he left for Tahiti. We were able to teach him most of the lessons and watch as his testimony strengthened a ton. The last lesson we taught, the spirit was super strong. I'm happy with what we were able to do, even if we don't see it through to the end. We got a picture with him before he left. He's back in Faaa right in Elder Terry's new sector, so maybe he will be able to continue and get baptized there. 

The Heiva started this week. Activities each day: basket, volley, beach soccer. Friday and Saturday were cultural days where we saw Tahitian dancing, there was a contest for Mr and Mrs Takaroa, as well as bike and running races. It's nice to participate in these. Stay active, have fun, eat well (there are lots of food stands, we'll be eating there throughout July) and gaining new investigators. So far we've gained one investigator, a nine year old girl who will only do lessons if Moeava is there. The problem with that is that Moeava has stopped lessons for a while. We  talked to her, and she agreed to be the "member integrator" for Hinatea*, but she doesn't want the lessons. 

Nunui is getting closer for baptism. He's having his marriage in Tahiti, so I'll miss that, and it looks 
like I'll miss his baptism too (I'm probably leaving at the end of July). Right now we're just helping him to remember all the commandments, and after that, he's ready.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned Teiki*, our new eight year old investigator. He's the grandson of Akamai. We started lessons, but he was timid, so we just stuck to becoming friends with him. We talk to him as he's octopus hunting, we give him popcorn at the Heiva, just hang out with him. He's opened up a lot more, so we tried the lessons again. This last time, we taught him how to pray. It's a start! It will take some time, but he'll come along.

Saturday is where things went crazy. Our first lesson was with Louis at 8:00. We go over there and find him sitting on a chair outside talking on a phone crying with his wife standing next to him. Right as we came up, he hung up, stood up, shook our hands, and said "├ža va?". He acted like nothing really happened. We were thinking that he had just received bad news. His wife explained that they weren't tears of sadnes, but tears of joy. He had just talked with his pure catholic dad about him getting baptized, and his dad said he would support him. I said last week that the big block was his wife, but a smaller one was his dad accepting, too. Oceane*, his wife, said that they'd take it slowly, but it was a step for Louis. So we went and did the lesson with Louis. Towards the end of the lesson, he had one of his kids call his wife over, because it was urgent, and as his wife came over, he kept talking, not acknowledging that she was even there. The whole time I was thinking "What is it? What is he going to tell her? I figured he might just straight up tell her he was getting baptized, whether or not she agreed. Finally he told us that  yes, he was getting baptized. Today. Not tomorrow not monday, not tuesday, today. His wife said that when she saw his reaction to his dad, she was afraid, and realized that what Louis wanted to do is good. So she accepted. 

Then Louis told us that someone had mentioned that Pres. Bize was coming today (yeah, it was us #TGforeknowledge) and he only wanted that Pres. Bize baptise him. Back in February, Pres. Bize had come for a conference and talked to Louis, back when he still hadn't completely opened his heart to our message, and gave him some inspiring advice that Louis quotes all the time now. Ever since then, he's wanted that Pres. Bize does the baptism. So last week, we threw it in there that he would be coming. Anyway, we raced up to talk to the branch president, and we confirmed that we could do the baptism that day. We called the mission president and told him to bring his baptismal clothes. The rest of the day we rushed around between doing lessons and setting up the baptism. President Bize arrived, and an hour later we had his baptism. Louis bore his testimony at the end, and It was awesome! Definitely ready. And it was also cool because he didn't know the programme, he didn't know what to do, he just wanted to be baptized. And he didn't want to wait.

So now, Louis is baptized, his wife is coming back and following her husband, their three kids who are over eight will start the lessons. At least one of them has wanted to be baptized for a while, but couldn't. He was at a youth conference, and the baptism became a part of the conference. So he saw his dad baptized, a total surprise, and now he can, too. So many miracles happened right there. I'm so glad I got to witness all that happening. 

I know that God has a plan for us. We need to search for it, and we can find our purpose. I know that I'm supposed to be here right now, helping the people of Takaroa come unto Christ. I know that there is one way that we can be truly happy in this life and the life after, and that is through the gate, which is baptism. Then we are on the path that leads to Eternal Life. Then we will be able to recieve all the blessings that Father has in store for us. Then we will see God's plan for us unfold before our eyes. I was able to witness someone enter this gate and start on the path to happiness. I know that through Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we can all be saved and enter God's rest. I'm a missionary called of God to help people achieve theses blessings, and I know that what I'm doing here is right. 

Anyway, that's it for this week. We're making progress, more baptisms on the way. This work is great.

Elder Lewis

Last lesson with Ahomana

Go team Nanako! for the Heiva


Michel won Mr Takaroa friday night, baptised saturday night



Baptism pics



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