Monday, January 27, 2014

Stand tall, it gets a little better (Tubuai - week #16)

Ia ora na!

This will be a little short, because again it's been a little bit of a less active week. First of all, life is good with Elder Teihotu. He's a good comp and very diligent, a good teacher as well. Thanks to him I've been able to pinpoint some of my weaknesses and become a more effective missionary.

I'll start off with some good things to say before i mention the difficulties. We found a new investigator this week, who is the aunt of our other investigator C-. Her name is H-, and she lives with an inactive member named T-. They have 7 crazy, savage little children who are totally hilarious. H- loves going to church with T-.and some of the kids, and she has seen the spiritual difference between this church and some others. She and T- have such a desire to change, so much that they even scheduled their marriage in February. She wants to be baptized, plain and simple! But the thing with her is, she has family opposition... that same grandmother of C- that i mentioned in the last email? Yeah, that's H-'s mom. Shes already threatened H- that, because H-and T- live on family property, they will be rejected and thrown out in the streets if she's baptized. And because they'll be thrown out in the streets, H-'s mom will call the social services and say that there are children living out in the streets. After that, she'll take their children. H-and T-.know that will happen, cuz its already happened before. That's the situation, and I'll leave it at that. Either way, they want to learn from us, so we'll teach them, help them feel the Holy Ghost, pray for them and her mom, and they'll decide for themselves what shall be done.

As I said, there have been some difficulties. C- decided that, because of his Grandma, he doesn't want to get baptized anymore. All in all, he doesn't want to start a world war, as he would say. Its been sad because he was really enthusiastic about it before. However, we've found with him that he hasn't been keeping his commitments to pray and read the scriptures, excepting our lessons with him. What we gotta do now is really help him know that through these things, he will have really powerful, spiritual experiences that will give him a testimony that these things are true. That will be the motivation for him to overcome the oppression, to stand tall despite the wall in front of him. He's been doing great with the word of wisdom, he's completely given up smoking for three weeks now. I don't know how he has done it without praying, but his willpower really is strong. We're still stoked for him anyway!

Things are all right with our other investigators. Not too many lessons this week, lots of talking with members and committing them to share the gospel with their friends, and to our dismay when we do our follow ups, not a whole lot of action done. It's been tough, but also a good experience to really encourage the members and show them how they can be a help in the Lord's vineyard. I know the members much better than before now, and things are great in terms of trust with them. Just gotta faaitoito!

To wrap up I thought I'd just bear my testimony of the love our Heavenly Father has for us. In our life, we have all sorts of weaknesses and imperfections, and as a missionary, a servant of the Lord, I've found that I have plenty. While teaching the perfect gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and bringing others to His perfect, restored church, one cannot help but feel a little imperfect. But Heavenly Father knows this, he does not expect any of us to be perfect. All he expects of us is to do our absolute best in striving to be like Jesus Christ. Through His help and His guidance and His love, we can overcome these weaknesses. The Lord said to the prophet Moroni: "I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them." Faith in our Heavenly Father and humility before Him are what it takes to overcome these weaknesses, and do our best. I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, and he is willing to help us if we are willing to turn to him.

Anyway, that's about it for this week. Its kinda hard to remember everything that happened this week, felt kinda like a scramble. But with faith, hope and charity, the odds can be overcome. Things will get better! I love you all, and a faaitoito!

Elder Ball

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