Monday, January 30, 2017

"Four hours of soirée familiale (family home evening)! Now that's a challenge for you all."

We've been focusing on teaching inactifs this week, mostly the family AINA. It's a mother, father, two kids, and the father's brother and sister, all of which are inactif. We had been encouraging them several times a week to come back to church but they weren't ready. Finally we invited them to just read a verse a day as a family. They accepted.

A few days later we came back for a soirée on tuesday and they had completely changed. They had taken our engagement even further and read a chapter each morning and each night as a family. They had seen the difference immediately and gained testimonies of the power of the LdM. It was so cool. The night before they had soirée familiale and ended up going until 11:00 at night just talking about spiritual stuff. Four hours of soirée familiale! Now that's a challenge for you all haha. And then we invited them to come to church and they accepted. And they came and had a good time. Even the brother came who is a raerae. That just shows the power of the Gospel in our lives. It brings a joy that we can't find anywhere else.

This week we did a sondage with some members and some missionaries. We split the secteur into four parts and did one of them this week. In the end we found eighteen people who accepted the lessons. Wow. Hopefeully that will get the work moving a little more. 

So we had a baptism on Saturday. The stake president talked with Enu and got him to keep his date that he had chosen- the 28th. So we got everything together, did an interview, and a few days later he was baptised. I can tell that he's going to stay strong in the church. He was definitely ready.

So those were the little miracles of the week. Not much else happened, but next week will be even better. Bonne semaine!

Elder Lewis

Monday, January 23, 2017


Quite the week! Faaa is way different than any other secteur I've served in. Lot's of people, lots of mountains, and so far lots and lots of rain. People are also more open and willing to talk, so that's great for missionary work. 

Last monday was ridiculous. The transfers were so big that we didn't finish them until tuesday, so we spent most of the pday doing a tour de l'île. On tuesday we started the missionary work and got in almost as many lessons as we would in a week in my last secteur, so that was just awesome. 

Because of the rain we didn't have a whole lot of success but we did manage to find a couple of new amis. We contacted these two women, one who is an inactive member and the other who is catholique and has three daughters. The conversation turned into a really good lesson and they invited us back for some maa tahiti and another lesson. There's definitely potential with them. 

On Sunday church was cancelled because of the rain. Instead everyone got into normal clothes and did service projects. For us, there is a store at the bottom of a mountain and all the rain coming down the mountain caused mud to pile up around the store, probably about eight inches high. And that wasn't the worst of Tahiti. Apparently there are people riding canoes to get around papeete because it got super flooded. In the evening we were able to get together with some other missionaries and hold a little sacrament meeting.

Actually, one of our investigators, Enu*, came to church to announce to everyone his baptismal date. He wanted to get baptised this saturday, but because church was cancelled he wasn't able to announce. So now the date is the eleventh of February. Cool! This is a guy that has followed the missionary lessons for several years, and he's finally ready.

We ate octopus at a faatamaaraa this week. First time eating it. I can now add that to the list of strange foods I've eaten here. It wasn't bad. Now I need to try dog. Hopefully there are some people here who know how to make that. 

One of my favorite parts of this secteur is the members. Everyone here is so concentrated on missionary work. The goal for this year is forty baptisms for the ward. And that's after it got split twice in the last year. I didn't know what to do because I'm not used to members helping as much as they do. I have a good feeling about this transfer. 

Love you all! Have a good week! the Lord lives! 

Elder Lewis

(Last Week's Letter That I Never Sent) 1/16/2017

We finally did a lesson with Kahoku by himself. To make things short, we got his baptism refixed for the fourth of march. 

With Kalili we were almost able to fix her baptism. She's planning on getting married in June, and the baptism will follow. It's not soon, but the most important thing is that she does it and that she's ready to do it. 

On wednesday we had interviews with President Bize. In our interview we talked about the transfers, because they're going to be huge this time. He said lots of "maybe"s but we thought by the end that Elder Eperania and I would stay together but go into a different secteur 

We got transfer calls friday night. The assistants told us that Papehue is getting whitewashed with sister missionaries, which we expected, and that Elder Eperania and I are whitewashing a secteur in Faaa. We were pretty excited to serve together again.

The next morning we got another call from the assistants saying that they messed up on the transfers. Actaully my companion is witewashing the secteur, but not with me. I'm going to the secteur next door with another companion. So that was a little disappointing, but the Lord knows where he wants us. So now I'm going to Tavararo in Faaa. That's the best baptising secteur in the mission right now. I would've prefered to go to an island, but that's good also. My new companion is Elder Fawson from Missouri. 

Anyway, that's about it for this week, not much to talk about but it was good. I'm sad to leave Papehue, but ready for another little adventure. 

Bonne semaine tout le monde!

Elder Lewis

Monday, January 9, 2017

Fight to the End

Each week here starts out awesome and I think that the rest of the week will be like that, but then everything goes kind of down hill. But that's okay, as long as we're trying our hardest. This week we had a few good miracles. We went to try and visit a person that we had contacted a long time ago. We had thought that she was pretty potential, but then we never saw her again. It was the same this time, so we decided to ask her neighbors to see when she might be home. We found this guy that talked to us a little bit, not much about religion. He's a DJ and did the music for a New Years Ball for another stake that went until six in the morning. Normally everyone is out at danses long before, but because no one was drinking, they had energy until six a.m. Haha way to set the example, mormons! Anyway, he said that we could come back, so we did. Before we could even talk about religion the second visit, he asked about a book that the mormons have. So we gave him one and explained it, and right there in front of us he read the intro and the first four chapters. He was super interested! We came back two days later and he had almost finished the first book of Nephi and had remembered perfectly the story. It's pretty interesting, he's studied with témoins de Jéhovah, catholiques, and muslims. He's been looking for the truth, and now he's found it!

We also started teaching (or trying to teach) a short fat Tahitian papi who only speaks in Tahitian and keeps asking for the phone number of the temple president. He wants to get baptised (I think) but can't read, and it's a little difficult. 

Kalili* came back from Hikueru this week. Normally her baptism was fixed for this week, and normally she should've gotten married at Hikueru, but that didn't happen. We had thought that she would've fallen a little bit at Hikueru, but actually it worked out well. She had gone to the Chapelle each week, and had pretty much been immersed in church stuff for the past month. One of the first things she told us when she got back was that she and her Tane had made the goal to come to church every week without missing, and that they would pay their tithing fully. Woah!! The mariage might not have worked out, but there was some change that took place, and now she's closer to baptism.

Oh, also we met the weirdest religion the other day. We didn't even mean to talk to these people, but when they saw us outside, they invited us in. They offered us some water, and we accepted. Then, after we drank it, they just stared at us for twenty seconds, and then one of them asked "don't you feel dizzy?" We then asked why they had asked. They responded "because you just drank holy water."  Is that how you say it in English? L'eau béni. Anyway, they then started talking about their religion, the five gods that they pray to, the cleansing bath that you take before entering into their religious building, their prayer to bless the food which is in English and includes the phrase "We ask to the five gods to take out the nuclear poison out of this food". They asked me to translate that prayer and I had now idea what to tell them. That was one of the most interesting experiences of my life, that's for sure. 

Other than that not much news. Transfers are next week. We should be getting the call on Friday. It's not sure, but it's almost sure that we're going to whitewash the secteur. I bore my testimony in Tahitian yesterday at the Chapelle. My compagnon rated it a six out of ten. The members laughed at it afterwards, but one thing that was cool was when afterwards our old DMP came up with a lit up face and told me I did a good job (in tahitian of course). If you remember, he has refused to say one word to me in French since I've been here.

Anyway, love you all, have a great week, until next time. I'll leave you with a scripture:

2Timothée 4:7

J'ai combattu le bon combat, j'ai achevé La course, j'ai gardé la foi. 

I hope that we can all say that when we meet our Father at the end of this life. I hope that we can use this verse throughout our lives to persevere, to not give up. Keep the faith! Finish the race! Keep going, even if you don't think you'll make it or if you're losing hope. The prize at the end is priceless. 

Elder Lewis

Monday, January 2, 2017

Maitai te Noela e ia Oaoa Teie Matahiti Matamua

Iaorana everyone!

Nothing super interesting has happened the past few weeks. Normally the works slows down around the holidays, but for us it's been pretty much the same. I hope that's a good thing, but maybe it's just because we don't have that many Amis.

We should have had a baptism on the 24th but like I said before it fell through. But now we've been teaching Kahoku with increased frequency and he's ready, we just need to remix the baptism. It's a little hard because his mom descended for the vacations and, well, I'll tell you a little about her. She's Adventist but has been around lots of religions, and has basically just taken some doctrines out of different churches. For example, she believes that we shouldn't celebrate Christmas or the new year, but we can celebrate birthdays, or she believes that no one can see God except for Jesus, or that you can't get baptized in a church building, or that like the divinity has three members the devil has two "councelers"-the pope and the president of the US. So now Kahoku is convinced he'll get baptized in a river. That's another thing- there aren't really any rivers in Tahiti. Sooo, hopefully things will work out despite the influence of his mom.

At the end of one of our lessons with Kahoku his beau frere was there and we started talking. He has lots of questions about religion too, and our message can answer all of them. He's Catholique but doesn't believe it's true, and has searched other religions as well and hasn't been satisfied. Our church is the only one he hasn't looked into. I'm thinking another golden ami, but we'll see. Little experiences like that are always cool and motivating. 

For Christmas we had church combined with three other wards. It was packed and hot, but the messages were all really good. After that we skyped, and later had a Christmas/birthday party with some members. Super fun.

For New Years we didn't have much planned. The rule was still be back at the house by nine. We ate with some members which wasn't too exciting, so we left at around eight thirty and ride our bikes around for a bit. At basically each house there were people outside blasting there Tahitian music and getting drunk. We rode our bikes until until we made it to the family that we ate with for Christmas. We talked with them for a little bit and right as we were about to go home we got a text from the assistants saying we could stay out until 10:30. Yeah! If it weren't for that, the new year wouldn't have been to exciting. So we ate with the family, played some games like werewolf and chubby bunny and at ten thirty we went home and slept. Then at midnight we woke up, watched some fireworks, and went back to bed.
Well, that's about it for the week. Now that the fêtes are finished, the work should pull along a little more smoothly. Despite the slow work, we still have a few potentials and I'm hoping we'll be able to help them even more. I hope I'll be able to witness them make covenants with Père Céleste. For now it's just rely on Him, listen to His spirit, faaitoito and keep working. I have confidence that e Lord will bless us. 

Elder Lewis