Monday, May 22, 2017

"Perseverance Really Pays Off"

Iaorana tataou!

E mea maitai rii teie hepetoma no te mea aita e hoa na te ekaresia e rave rahi. Te vai ra te mau hoa tei hinaaro ia bapetizohia, tera ra, E mea ohie ore ia imi i te mau ta'ata no te haapii ia ratou. We have a challenge for the mission where we have to find fifteen new investigators per équipe for the month of may. Were finding them all right, not too hard, but keeping them is hard. I don't know what the curse is lately, but the investigators that we find dissappear a week later. There are super potential ones too. 

Actually, there is an investigator that we gave up on, we would fix a lesson and she wouldn't show up. Then we would pass by one or two times a day for the next week trying to refix a lesson, then finally we see her, set up a lesson, and she doesn't show up. So we let her go, but then one day this week we had nothing to do and we were down the street so we stopped by. And what do you know, she was there! So we did the lesson on the restauration and a friend who was there ended up joining in, so we taught them both. And this new person showed more interest than our investigator. So they invited us back, and accepted to pray to know if our message is true. I just hope there will be a next time, haha. So I guess perseverance really pays off. Never give up on a good cause because it will always be worth it. 

Also, we did our weekly lessons with Paul and David, our two investigators that could be really potential. This time the brother of Paul, Fetu* showed up. He surprised us by basically telling us about all of our missionary lessons in detail and then going into other topics like patriarchal blessings. He really wanted to get a patriarchal blessing and the priesthood, but knew he needed to be worthy first. So we encouraged him and told him what he needed to do to get those things. He knew all this stuff thanks to a member friend who talks often about the Church. Now THAT'S a missionary! We'll see how the second lesson goes. Hopefully he will be able to bring Paul and David along with him. Normally he should've come to church, too, but we had a surprise conference for the Pacific that cancelled our normal chapelle. 

We did the baptismal interviews for Sefina and Hamuera. They're good to go! Hamuera prophesied that I would stay here just long enough to baptise him and then I would go. Normally, there was no doubt that I would go, but he was sure. We got the calls on friday (or rather didn't) so I'm staying here. The thing is, the next transfer is in three weeks. Things are a little weird because the next mission president is coming in, so we have a small transfer and then a long one. So I'll really stay here just long enough to be there for the baptism and then I'll go. I don't know how Hamuera does that. At the conference too, there was a moment where he leaned over and whispered "now she's about to talk about tithing" and then not three seconds later she started talking about tithing. What?! haha.

Anyway, voila some fun stories of the week. I'm super excited to stay here a little longer and I hope I'll be able to do a few more miracles before I leave. The work's still going a little slow, but that's okay, because I'm seeing the blessings constantly.

Okay, bonne semaine!

Elder Lewis

Sunday, May 14, 2017

"It's the Holy ghost that teaches, that touches ones heart, that testifies of truth. I'm just the mouthpiece."

Here are some of the updates on our investigators that are close to baptism:

I think it's still going good for Sefina and Hamuera. Last week they got in an argument and didn't come to church. We saw them afterwards, gave them some advice, and gave them a scripture to read everytime they were about to argue- Moroni 7 . They said it worked. Yesterday they didn't come either, but we found out that it was because they watched beach soccer (Tahiti lost against Brazil 6-0-yikes!) and had to go to the presqu’île.

Things are going better with Hehu. He understands more and is more willing to keep the commandments, almost ready for baptism.  We hope that continues. 

Palila won't be getting baptised like we planned. I know one day she will be, but there is a bigger problem than we thought. It's sad because we know she wants it and she knows it's true. She just can't get all the blessings right now. We're not giving up, that's for sure.

We found a new investigator, Oliana*. She's almost nine years old. She lives with her grandparents who are inactive but coming back to church. We did a first lesson and she accepted baptism. She'll be baptised on her birthday, in june. I don't know if I'll still be here to see it, but I'm excited for her! I think she'll be the example that will bring her whole family back to church.

Jacqueline wants to wait for her marriage to be baptised. She picked her birthday as a date, too. In August. We looked at a calendar and saw that it's a monday. Well, she doesn't want to get baptised on a monday, so it looks like we'll be able to figure out a better date. We're also going to start lessons with her daughter this week, so I hop that goes well.

And here are some other cool stories of the week:

We had another faatamaaraa with Matua and Patrice* and Matua showed up. He still wasn't entirely himself, but at least he was willing to talk to us again. We just shared a small message on charity. We wanted to end with a song. I think in english it's "a Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. The thing is that no body knew the tune except for me and my compnion, so we sang for the family. There's also a part where it gets high and Elder Malca abandoned me on those parts to do a solo. For anyone who knows me, they're probably cringing at the fact that I sang, and I can assure you it was just as bad as you think. Yet, the spirit was still there. That's a testimony that I'm just an instrument in the hands of the Lord, a tool to help people in their lives. It's the Holy ghost that teaches, that touches ones heart, that testifies of truth. I'm just the mouthpiece. Despite my bad singing, my bad french (and tahitian) and my lack of other talents or skills, the Holy Ghost can still touch the hearts of people and testify the truth of our message. 

Wow, that's actually all for this week. I don't think we did anything else notable. It was pretty fun though. Here's a last thought before I leave:

Joseph Smith said that if we don't learn anything in this life, we're no different than animals. They have no knowledge of God or of His plan, they just know how to eat and drink and survive. For us, we need to spend as much time as we can learning the gospel and becoming familiar with the great Plan of God. The more knowledge we recieve in this life, the greater the advantage in the life to come. I think that there are so many things to discover through scripture study and prayer that we don't take the time to do. We would rather live like animals, living a simple life with out a lot of knowledge. My engagement for you: Discover a principle of the gospel that you had never thought of before in your scripture study. If you really want to know the mysteries of God, you will receive. I know that that will help you build your testimonies of God and His plan for us. 

Okay, see you next week!

Elder Lewis

Monday, May 1, 2017

Dream Trip

Wow, I've had such good weeks here in Tavararo that I forgot how it feels to have a bad one, Until this week. 

We lost Matua. We had a faatamaaraa with him and his wife but it got cancelled because he doesn't want us to come anymore. That's sad. He was starting to progress. We'll keep trying, one day he will accept again. 

We fixed the baptism for Palila*. She definitely wants it. The thing is it's fixed for pretty soon and she still has a lot of stuff to take care of before that date. We're praying that everything goes well and that she'll be able to make it for the 20th. We also fixed the baptism of Hehu*, the twelve-year-old for the same day. That one isn't super sure either because we still need the parental permission and we need to make sure that he really understands the gospel and is willing to obey God's commandments.

We started teaching this guy more regularly. He didn't show much interest in the lessons at first but now he's accepting us more. He just doesn't quite understand, and that's a little frustrating. We spent two entire lessons talking about prophets. We tried explaining their importance, that God communicates to us through them, that they are the ones that wrote the scriptures, etc. and he kept coming back to the fact that Jesus is his only prophet and that he believes in the other prophets but not really. In the end we gave up trying to explain that and went on to a more basic topic, faith. That went a little better. At the end of one of the lessons I said the prayer. I guess I said something that he didn't like very much becuase the next lesson he had Elder Malca say the prayer and specifically told him what NOT to say in the prayer. He also had Elder Malca end the lesson with the prayer(because he didn't want me doing it). Haha I don't know if that was a very spiritually uplifting experience or anything but it's kind of amusing. We'll see if that leads anywhere.

We found a solution for Jacqueline so that she can be baptised in two weeks. She wanted to get baptised as soon as possible and we were really excited. But when we talked to her she said that her husband who is an inactif coming back didn't want her to rush things. She said that she wants to get baptised on her birthday, which is in August. Nooo! Hopefully the spirit will tell her that she needs to do it sooner.

Okay, now for the DreamTrip. We were eating dinner with a family and little did we know but they invited this DreamTrip guy to come buy. So instead of us giving our spiritual message, everyone left the table to hear this guy talk. What is Dream Trip? It's this club you can join to go on trips for a lot cheaper. There are a bunch of discounts and you can invite friends and stuff. We thought the guy would just talk for a little bit and then we could share our message, but he kept going. He talked really fast, and I feel like people talk really fast when they try to sell things and that makes people think they're getting a good deal.  So this guy was trying to sell this DreamTrip and everyone was just consumed in what he said. They were awed at how cheap it was. We were just waiting to give our message (which never happened) so we listened a bit. It wasn't bad, actually. 

But my companion and I couldn't help but but compare this DreamTrip to the gospel. Yeah, I know, we're definitely missionaries. We compare everything to the gospel. But everyone is so excited about this cheap voyage. Why don't we have investigators like that? What's the difference between this guy sellng a trip and us offering Eternal Life? Maybe it's just the way we present it? It's sure that if everyone knew all the blessings of Eternal Life they would be rushing to get it. There's no fee, it's free. It doesn't last two weeks, it lasts the eternity. You don't have a limit to how many friends and family you bring, everyone is welcome. I wish people took more seriously the gospel. I wish they had a desire to have the gospel blessings like they do for temporal blessings. 

Anyway, Eternal Life is definitely worth it. I'm glad to be here helping people to have these blessings and I've seen the gospel change the lives of everyone that it touches. If that testimony isn't enough for someone to accept it, I don't know what is. 

Elder Lewis