Ia ora na ia outou!
Alrighty, I'm not really sure where to start off. I guess ill just say that this week wasn't much better than last week. In fact it was worse! But my attitude has changed. Ive felt better, and kind of different this week I guess you could say.
First of all, things aren't good with investigators right now. We lost our only fixed baptism, Vaitiare. She decided to split up with her fiance, and she moved back home with her parents about half an hour south, in Paea. She did it all without telling us too, so we were kinda surprised when we heard about it from her would have been in-laws at Church yesterday. The good thing is, she's not in concubinage anymore! Sad thing is, shes not in our area anymore. We haven't been able to get a hold of her yet, but were hoping that shes still clinging to the gospel and the desire to be baptised.
Ruta, Orama and Lani aren't looking so great either. The fear of being rejected by their Protestant families is starting to take hold of them. Its hard, were gonna keep doing our best with them and help encourage them to press forward. Not a whole lot of opportunities to meet with them this week.
Julie and William ducked out too. Turns out they were in it just to use the church gym for their reception. Apparently bishop made a deal with them that if they wanted to use the gym, they had to take lessons with us. So we taught em twice, and we taught them the truth. We were just kind of thrown in an awkward situation.
Still no sign of Tehaunui, we haven't been able to find him all week.
So after all that, I guess you could say were at square one. On the bright side, we cant get much lower than we can now! But in all honesty, its hard. Its so hard to lose investigators like this. So this next week, its mostly concentrating on Ruta Orama and Lani and the rest is just searching and motivating the members to help find people.
This week, Ive had a lot of time to think and to study. I realized that I'm out here on a mission to do the Lords work. This isn't my work, its his, so I gotta submit myself to him and just do my best. I remembered that before the mission I wanted to be tested and stretched more than I ever have before, more than any crazy school exam or any water polo game or whatever. And Heavenly Father is certainly making that a guarantee right now; this mission is the hardest thing I've ever done so far. So I've been praying super hard, acknowledging that this is definitely some hard stuff and that I'm being tested and getting what I wanted, all the while submitting myself to the difficulty and asking Heavenly Father for His help. Its been a faith-building, patience-growing week for me, and I'm positive that it won't stop there.
So I'm still pretty content, and growing more and more headstrong. Its hard to say it, but I really do love this work. Despite the difficulty, I would rather be here than anywhere else right now, because I feel the influence of the Holy Ghost every day, and that is something that I would never give up.
I love you all! Just some pics: me posing like an idiot in front of our house, Elder Martinson and I, Eugene the crazy homeless guy who does our yard work for free and who sleeps behind the chapel, a poisonous centipede on my arm, and a sweet view from the 'hood of Nahoata.
Peace out! Still livin life, keep the faith!
Elder Ball would love your letters of encouragement! Please write him (Put 3 stamps on your envelope.):
Tahiti Papeete Mission
Elder Ball, Casey
Papeete, Tahiti 98713