Hello, hello my wonderful family and friends!
This week was pretty great! Especially with General Conference. I was so grateful to watch conference because I got so many answers and learned so much! It was really great for our amis too.
I especially loved Elder Ballard’s talk when he committed all the members to read Preach My Gospel. We actually just had a meeting this past week with all the leaders in the mission because we are starting this program in our mission where we are all going to read and study one chapter of Preach My Gospel every week until July when the new mission president comes in. So what a coincidence that Elder Ballard challenged all the members to read and study it too! If yall want to join me, we studied the Introduction this weekend and are studying Chapter One all of this week! (Chapter 2 next week and so on..) I’m excited because I know it will be great for all of the mission to study it together. It’s SUCH a great book that is so full of inspiration and tips to help us. I also loved Elder Nelson’s and Elder Holland’s talks about having the courage to live our religion and to not hide our faith. So many great talks and I know that they were all inspired for us today in 2014.
Life is Mahina is pretty great! The area is starting to pick up, so that’s been great. A lot of our amis have been progressing but we're definitely in need of finding some new amis. Contacting hasn’t been too successful so Soeur Faana and I made a plan of action this week and we are really going to get the members in to work with us. We are going to start doing Family Home Evenings at the member’s houses and they are going to invite all of their neighbors and friends. We tried this in Papara and it wasn’t too successful, but I think it will really work in Mahina.
There are a lot of different activities and events happening with the 170th anniversary of the church in French Polynesia coming up in May, so it’s been great to invite literally everyone we meet to these events. On Saturday, we will have our missionary concert in Mahina, so we've been inviting everyone possible. It’s been really effective and so many people have been touched by the songs and hymns so I’m really hoping its successful for us. Besides that, President has assigned two sets of Soeur Missionaries to be at the temple with an exhibition to explain how the missionaries came here and it’s open for the public to come and see. It’s pretty cool and different (because it’s never happened before) so we are going to start inviting everyone to that as well.
We also are going to try and start an English class in our area so hopefully that brings in new amis as well.
For the moment, we have 3 baptisms fixed for the end of April. Juliana and Teriihiro are a Mother and son that have been so great. When I got here, they had already taken most of the lessons but the only obstacle is that Juliana works on Sunday. It’s been hard trying to get someone to replace her for work, but she’s been working on it.
Our other ami, Manaiva, has a few problems with the word of wisdom, but we've been working with her as well. It was actually one of the coolest experiences ever when we commited Manaiva for baptism. She takes the lessons with her aunts Esther and Christelle. Esther has taken the lessons forever and Christelle just started to join in too. The first lesson I had with them, Esther told us that she would never change her religion (She’s Sanito- RLDS). We were originally supposed to teach the Word of Wisdom but of course when she says she'll never change her religion, we taught the Restoration again. It was a great and powerful lesson and we committed them all to read the Book of Mormon and pray. When we came back for the next lesson, they had all read and they had all prayed. And guess what??? THEY ALL KNEW IT WAS TRUE. Soeur Faana and I almost fell out of our chairs. Most amis have a hard time recognizing their answers to their questions or they don’t have much of a burning desire to know so we were shocked to have Esther and Manaiva (who are eternal amis) and Christelle who just started the lessons tell us that they knew it was true. So of course when they all said that, we committed them all for baptism. Esther wanted more of a confirmation (it was all in Tahitian so I didn’t understand it until Soeur Faana explained it after the lesson) but she's close. Christelle doesn’t want to disrespect her parents by changing religions but she really wants too (that’s big here- tradition). And Manaiva was a little hesitant but she said she would prepare herself! Christelle is going to talk with her parents so hopefully we can figure out how to help her situation this week.
Another ami we started teaching is Heinono. Her husband is a return missionary who went to Canada on his mission and has only been back for 1 year. She is pretty shy but she wants to be baptized and has been praying to know if it’s true. We committed her to search during conference for her answer because we promised her it would come during conference. We think that the reason why she hasn’t recognized her answer up until conference is because she hasn’t been searching for it. A lot of amis (and even us) ask questions in our prayers but after that we expect the answers to just come to us. The trick is that we have to search and read and be open to receive our answer. We are excited to meet with her again because if she searched for her answer during conference- I know she that got it.
Overall, I’m doing great! I’m doing a split with Soeur Kuhn who just got here like two weeks ago so I’m excited to work with her this week! It'll be fun :)
Love yall! Hope yall are doing great!
I totally forgot my USB adapter to send pictures so I wil send them next week! Sorry!!!