Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy holidays from the middle of the ocean (Tubuai - week #11)

Ia ora na!!
Its been another interesting week! The first half was still spent on Tahiti, then Thursday we headed back to our tiny island Tubuai. Tahiti was a great experience, going on splits with other missionaries and getting to see how things work in other areas.

MTC district together again for mssion Christmas Party
For a lot of our time this week (both in Tahiti and Tubuai) we spent a lot of time doing street contacting and door-to-door... its been a while since we've done it, and man is it hard. In Tahiti there's been some real stingy contacts... first example: Elder Mariteragi and I, we came to a house with a huge gate in front of it (a lot of houses in Tahiti are like that). We can't see past it, so we shout over it to get someones attention. Suddenly the electronic gate slowly opens, and there's an old lady sitting there in a chair. All she does is look at us, wag her finger at us and then close the gate without a word said. Man did we laugh hard or what after that, so wicked. A lot of other houses there consisted of young French surfer dudes on vacation, who simply said "yeah brah i'm on vacation! Get lost!" It was a little tough, but you just gotta know as a missionary that, even though the message we have is easily the most important message in the world, there will be a lot of people who will reject us right off the bat. It's too bad, but just gotta faaoromai (persevere).
When we got back to Tubuai, we were disappointed to find that the drought has not yet ceased, and all of our investigators are at Tahiti for vacation. A lot of lessons have been cancelled for this next week to come, so it looks like for now we'll be spending most of out time looking for new investigators until the new year. Also, because Elder Maples, our zone leader here on Tubuai, has finished his mission, his companion Elder Randall has no companion, so we've been going around as a trio on the whole island to accomplish the work in both areas. A whole lot of biking, let me tell ya. Even if this island is tiny, its still big for us! I have no idea how they did it before with just two elders on the island. Not a whole lot of other news for this past week. Yesterday I did give my first 15 minute talk in French during sacrament meeting. Cool experience, I'm pretty sure I did well.
This week I feel like I've been making a real break through with Tahitian as well. We've had some good contacts with people in Tahitian, and I swear the gift of tongues worked its magic with these people. I understood everything, and my tongue was loosened and the words just came. So cool, its after experiences like that when you feel like a champion. Then after, we go and talk with some members in Tahitian, and suddenly I understand nothing again. Haha, weird how that works. We got some good potential from these contacts however, and we'll pass by them again this week to see if they will continue to follow the lessons.
Life is good, good. We're pretty stoked for Christmas to come, its been such a good time of year here... a little different because there are no Christmas trees or snow, but its been great. I want to testify that this is the time of year when we can really celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our Savior, the Son of God, was born in such humble circumstances, and left His heavenly home to dwell here on Earth as a mortal man, to atone for the sins and pains of the world. I know He is our Savior and Redeemer, and in humility He was born among us on the earth.
Remember the Savior during this fantastic time of year! Faaitoito, e ia oaoa i te Noela!

Elder Ball

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