Monday, October 28, 2013

Life is tight on Tubuai (Tubuai - week #3)

Ia ora na!
Yeah, not a bad week! Definitely some great accomplishments for me and Elder Firuu, some fun things and good personal strides of success.
First of all, two new baptisms fixed for November! We got it for Tatu, November 16th, and Keali for the week after. The lesson with Tatu... That was such a great lesson! We went in with President Noel, the Branch President of Mahu, with nothing planned because he had already received every lesson. We wanted to just talk with him and see what his worries were. He ended up wanting to learn about baptism again, so we taught him and explained it to him. He then said he was afraid of it, and that he didn’t want to sin and fall again. Perhaps a great moment of spiritual worth for me, was when I really felt prompted to share a scripture that I had read a week earlier, Alma 7:14-15 I believe? I didn’t really remember it; all I knew is that it talked about baptism. It ended up talking about fearing not, and trusting in the atoning sacrifice of Christ to cleanse us of our sins, through repentance and baptism. Man was that perfect! Elder Firuu and I worked together so well to testify in that lesson as well, the Spirit was strong, and all in all it convinced Tatu to go with it, and fear not. I’m so happy that I was just able to be an instrument in the Lords hands, and be guided by the Spirit to say what needed to be said.

Keali is the 9 year old son of an inactive member, M, who we've been working on to come back, and he’s been doing pretty good coming to Church. We're hoping to help him get ready and worthy to baptize his son, and bring the family back into full activity. That would be awesome, and definitely a blessing to see. It’s such a blessing now to have these baptisms fixed, it’s amazing!
We're finding a lot of potential here, thanks to the references we're receiving! We found the F family, F and his wife H, and we started the lessons with them last week. Such humble, nice people, who let two funny-dressed kids into their home to teach them about God. We have hope for them, they aren’t too familiar with the LDS church, but that a good thing that we're there right?
The Tahitian is coming, slowly but surely. I’m starting to understand a little bit more if I listen super carefully. The speaking is getting better as well, still miles ahead of my understanding. Eventually it’ll even out.
Sleeping Man Mountain in Tubuai.
Today we got to go and hike the mountain on the island! We didn’t get to the top, but it was fun nonetheless, and were gonna go a little earlier next week so we can climb the whole thing. This island still continues to amaze me with its beauty. There are tons of cool things. Like random tortoises... yeah, don’t mess with em. I picked one up, and it totally bit my thumb and wouldn’t let go. I got a good penny-sized chunk of dead flesh just chillin on my thumb now, gnarliest blister I’ve ever had. Yeah, lots of fun things!
This week I had the time to read the book Our Search For Happiness by M. Russell Ballard. Reading that book was excellent. From such a point of view, it made me realize how much of a blessing this restored gospel is. The true priesthood of God, which is the heavenly power held by prophets of old and Christ and his apostles to perform sacred ordinances, like baptism for instance; it is on Earth again! It’s thanks to this restoration that we have the knowledge that God has not ceased to communicate with His children. He loves us, and has from the beginning of time. It was man, not God, who decided that no one could communicate with Him after the death of Christ and the apostles; that all changed with the humble prayer of a 14 year old boy, who truly believed that he would receive an answer, and did. This gospel brings comfort, joy, and an eternal perspective on things. It helps us understand why we are here, where we come from and where we are going. It gives us a greater sense of self-worth and of our true potential. It helps us avoid danger and the heartache of bad decisions. I am so happy to be part of this Church, and to share the truth with everyone as a servant of the Lord. I know this Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ, restored to the Earth by a prophet.
Well, that it for this week! I love you all and whether you are a member of the Church or not, I encourage you all to read the Book of Mormon. If you want to understand who God is, what Christ has done for us, or find guidance to make life better, read it. Plain and simple, it’s through reading that book that you can find answers.
A faaitoito!
Elder Ball

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