Ia Ora Na To'u Utuafare e Mau Hoa!
Life is pretty dang golden here.
First of all- THANK YOU for the package parents! I got it and loved every bit of it. Thanks for all of the vitamins mom- I promise that I'll take them (even though they're all MASSIVE. The only thing I was thinking when I was taking them was thank goodness I'm not Briana because there is no way she would able to down these hahaha.)
The work is going really well and I love seeing the progression in Papara. This past week we started something new where we had a sporty activity at the church in an effort to reactivate and get our amis involved. We didn't have a lot of members show up but we did have a few amis and inactive members show up who LOVED it. They all kept asking us when the next one was. So we took it to our meeting with the Bishop and the leaders and we are going to do an activity every week in order to reactivate and integrate our amis. We're excited.
I'm dying to have a "Texas Snowball Fight" (where you take panty hose, cut it into sections, fill it with flour, and tie it off) here like we do in Cypress Ward. I feel like the Tahitians would LOVE that. We might do that next week but we'll see...
We had our baptism too for cute little Heipoe and Regis. They are always SO fun to be around because they love to giggle and laugh and joke around. Which works perfectly for me because I'm secretly still 10 years old inside as well.
So Heipoe and Regis got baptized on Friday and then because of the special conference last week with Elder Callister, they got confirmed with Famille Tauhiro yesterday. We had 5 confirmations and it was definitely one of the best Sundays EVER. Famille Tauhiro is seriously one of the greatest families I've ever met. They have been so strong despite all of the trials they've had since they've gotten baptized. Titaina has no support on her side of the family and so that has been hard for her, but they're staying strong. They bore their testimonies during our Sunday school class yesterday and it was so powerful for all of our other amis that were there as well.
Baptism of Heipoe and Regis.
It definitely is such a great joy to hear the testimonies of recent converts because you get to see how far they've come. It's not anything that WE said or did, but they gained their testimonies by everything that THEY did- by their experiences. It always comes down to actions. We all have our free agency. We can't force them to pray or read their scriptures. It always comes back to them and their choices and what THEY did to grow their faith and to gain the testimony that they have. (Ether 12:6)
And speaking of free agency, we had quite a few good experiences tracking this past week. We did quite a bit of it (OLB as we call it) and I have really come to love it. I love watching and imagining the thinking process that people have when they see us and talk to us. In Tahiti, almost everybody has a gate. So you walk over to the gate (or the end of the "driveway" or path if they don’t have a gate) and you yell- "Ia Ora Na!" Sometimes people come, sometimes they don't. It’s fun trying different techniques to get them to continue talking to you and then eventually to accept a little discussion or that we come back during the week. We met quite a few different people and I've loved meeting so many people who are already prepared to receive the gospel.
We found this hidden beach when we were tracting.
We met one Mami and when we asked about her family, she told us that her husband passed away 7 years ago. We started talking about how she can see her husband again and she was so shocked. She responded- "Is that real?" and couldn't believe that we could be sealed with our families for all of eternity. I LOVED it because I feel like that's how everyone should react when they hear about eternal families. It is SUCH a blessing to be sealed to my family and it is SO incredible that families can be sealed for all of eternity. She is pretty active in her Protestant church so that was kind of a block, but she did give us her number and we will definitely be trying to see her again.
Well I think that's about it for this week.
I really am grateful for all y'all! Keep the mail coming :)
Cute little Sandy just turned 4 on Friday.
Somebody burned a 38 into the hillside behind our house. Soeur Kavera told me it was a gang.
Heiope loved, loved, loved my plaque. It was so cute because she started to pretend to be me and it was hilarious to watch her imitate me.