Monday, July 3, 2017

More Miracles

Well, We don't have much time today for emails, so I'll try to be fast. As usual, we've seen more miracles this week than we deserve. It's been a little hard this week to find new investigators, but We have found a couple good families, and each day we see their testimonies growing, and we're going to focus on that. It's no use trying to help someone that doesn't want help. It's sad that they don't want it, but there's nothing we can do. However, if we can make families eternal, it's totally woth every minute.

The lessons are so cool with Manava. In our last lesson, we came and she told us that she had a surprise for us at the end. We taught the lesson (in depth plan of Salvation) and at the end we started closing our books and she said "That's all?) So we re-opened our books and started going into even MORE detail, I'm talking the book of Revelation and the Millenium and stuff like that. And She just soaked it up. And at the end, she presented her surprise. She and her friend (the member integrator) had spent the five previous hours making cakes for us. Yes!! You can't say no to a homemade cake, even when you're about to go to a pizzeria right after for dinner.

Poenui got an answer to her prayers. We haven't actually talked to her about it, but we heard from her friend that she couldn't stop crying because she felt so stongly the spirit. It's really interesting-she prayed the night that we first engaged her to do it, and she said that she didn't get an answer. We thought that she just must have not recognized the answer, so every lesson we talked about praying and finding the answer. And she's prayed a lot. She had prayed four times the first night alone, and plenty more sine then. But she felt nothing. And then this time, and she really felt the spirit. I don't know what changed, but she knows it's true now. Maybe it was that the spirit was trying to really test her faith, or maybe something else, but it's really cool that she got her response. And she already asked her dad, and he said it was fine if she wanted to get baptised. Everything worked out so well!

On wednesday we all said goodbye to President Bize, and on thursday the new president came, President Fox. We saw him at the missionary concert last night, but didn't really have the chance to meet him. We'll do that tomorrow. It's weird having a change like that, we'll see how that goes.

I have more things to say, but I've got to go. I'll try to write later, if not, next week. I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Lewis





Monday, June 26, 2017

On Baptisms, Soldering Irons and Not Being Mormon

Wow, when you've been doing this for so long, you don't know what to write about. Back at the beginning all the little things seemed super exciting but now that's just average day stuff. Well, this week was pretty good. We seem to always be doing something or other, yet it doesn't seem like we've accomplished a whole lot at the end of the week.

The highlights for this week were the lessons with Poenui and Manava. They both accepted baptism for the 22 July.  When we engaged Poenui, she told us that she wasn't ready because she smokes. We didn't even teach her that that was bad! I guess when you hear the word of God you just naturally want to change and become pure. You don't neccesarily need someone to tell you that you can't be saved if you put bad things in your body, you just understand that it's against the will of God.

For Poenui, she's still waiting for a solid response to her prayers, and she told us that she prays a lot to know if it's true. But she believes that it's true, and I'm sure that that seed is starting to sprout and pretty soon it will be a big tree. I also hope that at that point her testimony will be strong enough to convince her dad to accept her choice. We still haven't talked to him about it. 

I was also able to go back to Faaa on saturday to baptise Iriata*, the daughter of the family that we found my last week in Tavararo. That was a cool experience. Her parents are getting baptised at the end of July.
In church yesterday it was a missionary work themed program so Elder Rice and I gave talks. For the second hour our DMP told us last minute that we were doing the lesson and then he left somewhere else. It wasn't the best lesson, but it worked. Poenui had answers to all our questions. She's been studying, that's for sure.

Eperona is a pretty interesting guy too. He has some pretty profound answers to questions too. I think he knows some doctrine better than a lot of members. His answers do make you laugh, though. He talked once about us being either in the gang of "bad boys"(yes, in english) or in the gang of Jesus. Interesting analogy, but it's true.  Anyway, we were also given the lesson for the third hour, so we talked again about missionary work. So we ended up teaching all three hours of church yesterday. What blessings!

Now for a couple of funny experiences:

The wire in our fan came out a few weeks ago, and my companion has been meaning to solder it back. But, because we're missionaries, we don't have a soldering iron. But also because we're missionaries, the word for soldering iron is not naturally in our vocabulary. So my comp asked the french speaking elder in our house how you say it. He told him it was "une poste à soudure". So Elder Rice asked around for that, and finally he found someone that said he could bring one home from work. So we pass by and the person shows us his poste à soudure and it was a welder! I guess they didn't question the missionaries wanting a welder, they just got it for us. That was pretty funny. Now we know the difference between a welder and a soldering iron in french haha.

Also in a lesson, a member went off a little and as he was talking he said "C'est mon livre qui est mormon. Moi, je suis membre de L’Église de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours." hahaha that's Lds pride right there. We are NOT mormons everyone.

Alright, that's about it for this wek. Bonne semaine!

Orometua Lewis










Tahitian art is pretty cool.

Just an innocent box of lessive next to a teenager's backpack. Wait...


A goat

Marriage and baptism of Vaihiatua









Monday, June 19, 2017

Mataiea

This secteur is definitely not at Faaa. Not as many people, a lot greener, and missionary work isn't the same, but we're making it work. I came into this secteur having for investigators to teach. Not a whole lot. But we've had some cool experiences with these investigators.

We had one lesson with an investigator who loves to talk. A member came along who also loves to talk. We didn't even start teaching until forty minutes after we got there, and then the investigator kept talking. Then when she was done, the member started talking. The conversation was a little weird, so I wrote down a few quotes. In the end though, the investigator really like the lesson, so it's all good. I don't know if she's really potentiel, but we'll see. Here are a couple of quotes from the conversation:

Investigator: Les missionnaires sont là pour expliquer les bêtises qu'on ne doit pas faire.

Well, that's missionary work in a nutshell haha!

Member: La religion est une cuisine spirituelle.

I have no idea what he was going for there. I was completely lost. Always comparing things to food.
We also had another investigator that accepted baptism before and got an answer to his prayers to know if the LdM is true, but he doesn't think he's ready to choose a date. We'll see how that goes too.

The best part of the week was sunday. At church we had three investigators come to the secnd hour. One of them we already talked to, and he already told us that he wants to get baptised. He lives in Temarua (my first secteur) and has talked with a member from my first secteur whose parents live here. That's how he got interested. So we were going to refer him to the other missionaries, but then on sunday he said that he was living now with this member in our secteur, so we're going to be able to start teaching him. He's super cool. His name is Eperona*.

Another person that came was an investigator who we started the lessons with this week. She asked her member friend what to do in order to take missionary lessons, and her friend called us right up. She has tons of good questions, and she told us when she came to church for the first time that she had had a really spiritual experience. She's super nice and sincere. She lives alone with her two kids, and I just know that this gospe will help her a ton in her life. Her name is Manava*.

The last person came with her friend to church and she chose the topic for the lesson (Our DMP told us to do the lesson last minute and then left). She chose the topic of baptism. After the lesson we asked her if she wanted to continue, and she said yes. Her friend and her were scheduling when they would do it and her member friend suggested that they do it before they go to institute on tuesday! What! She's already going to institute! Her name is Poenui*.

So those are our three new investigators that already have a desire to live the gospel and come unto Christ. I can see that they want to be happier, and the Lord has led them to where they can be happy.

That's all for this week. It still amazes me how much God blesses me each day. This is a secteur known for members not helping the missionaries and for very slow work, but in one short week we've seen the opposite.

Okay, bonne semaine tout le monde!

Elder Lewis





Zone pic

 Elder Roi before he leaves for Côte D'Ivoire. He was a mini missionary with me when I started my mission

Me, Elder Frazer, and Mercier


Carambole

Me, Elder Madsen, Hamuera, Sefina, and her sister

DMP



Elder Fareata




Us with Paul and David

Getting the MTC crew back together






Tahitoa and Jacqueline

 The mariage of Nohoarii and Kalea


Taie roulotte

The baptism