Monday, June 17, 2013

Ia ora na! (Greetings!) Week #7 in the MTC

Ia ora na, to'u mau hoa!

This week has been a solid week. Tahitian is going great, lessons are going somewhat great, and in 4 weeks we are finally gonna be in Tahiti! As much as I have loved the MTC, I'm way ready to get outta here and into the field.

As I said, the Tahitian has been going great. I'm really starting to nail the pronunciation on most everything, and I learn so much vocab every day. Everybody in the zone says that I'm the best at Tahitian, but I have no idea what they're talking about haha. We haven't even taught a lesson in Tahitian yet (today's the first one) so I don't see where they're coming from. Besides, if I were it would be thanks to the gift of tongues and the help of Heavenly Father. Something that I've seriously noticed is that the more I practice Tahitian, the more I understand French! After I got really tired of studying Tahitian, I decided to read from the Book of Mormon in French, and surprisingly I could understand everything in it! It was the craziest thing, and reading it aloud I was able to pronounce everything super well. The gift of toungues is real, and all we gotta do is work our hardest, be obedient and pray for help and it will come.

We had four other French lessons this week. Perhaps the biggest lesson we learned from one of our lessons was just on Saturday. We gave a super (and I mean super) good lesson on the Plan of Salvation to Frere Coulson. Everything was smooth, and the Spirit was definitely present. Then, at the end, I have no idea why but we didn't even give him a commitment. Maybe we wanted to finish up quick and duck out before we could ruin the lesson in any way? Haha either way, at the end Frere Coulson gave us our feedback and started with positives, saying how great the lesson was. Then he gave us our criticism, and straight up said "What were you THINKING? You just wasted and incredibly good lesson!" I felt pretty stupid, I gotta say. I'm pretty sure from now on Elder Lovelock and I won't  ever forget to commit him on anything. That lesson would have been perfect for committing him to baptism, but we'll get him on that next lesson for sure. Commitments are important, probably the most important goal of the lesson!

Elder Lovelock and I are starting to get much more unified in lessons. His French has improved so much since the beginning, and he doesn't need written lines anymore, as he can say things off the top of his head now. It's great stuff, and being more unified definitely invites the Spirit much more.

So something that I forgot to mention last week was that I was assigned to be district leader. Basically what I do is preside over the district during district counsel on Sundays, get mail and attend Branch Counsel to get the inside scoop on the zone. I had no idea that so much drama went on in our zone, and I have been really oblivious to the butting heads in some of the districts. For one thing, I'm really grateful to have such a chill, patient district with absolutely no problems with one another (so far!). Also, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be more aware and receptive of any possible problems that may arise, so that I can serve and help those in my district. Since being assigned district leader, my love for my district has definitely increased, and I've been more aware of one another's feelings. It really isn't a hard assignment, but it really is a joy.

Last Tuesday we had the first devotional ever held at the Marriott Center. It was fantastic, and Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy spoke. His testimony is truly sincere, and I really felt his love for us. It was such a great experience, and I'm looking forward to the next devotional tomorrow.

The district and I made some new Tahitian friends! Elder Noho is going to Chicago, and he's one of the funniest guys ever, who has absolutely no stress and is receptive to the Spirit. I've practiced my Tahitian with him quite a few times, and when I mess up he just lets out the biggest, heartiest laugh. I love it! We also met another Tahitian sister going to Fiji, I cannot remember her name. All the missionaries going to Fiji are basically just accross the hall from us in our class building, and she comes over and talks to us all the time. Sister Trammell is in that room as well, and it's great to see familiar faces from the home stake from time to time.

Last night for film we watched The Testaments, that movie about the Nephites and how Christ came to visit them. The acting definitely isn't on par, but the Spirit really was! It was great because in my personal study I have been reading that same moment in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, and I've been having that same strong spiritual feeling I talked about before every time I read from it. It's amazing to think that the Savior loved these people so much that he decided to stay longer, just as he was about to depart, to bless every one of them. Jesus Christ lives, and he loves each and every one of us. He extends his love and mercy to all who are willing to recieve it and believe on Him.

Well, it's about time to wrap up, I'll put a couple pictures up.

1. Provo temple on a beautiful Monday morning. I'm really starting to grow attached to this temple, right next to the beautiful mountains.

2. Getting caught up in Tahitian! Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel study.

Thank you everyone for you prayers and love! Feel free to send me some letters, I really want to hear from everyone, family and friends alike!

Ua here au ia outou,
Orometua Popo
Elder Ball

He’d love to hear from you:

Elder Casey David Ball
MTC Mailbox # 174
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

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