Monday, February 10, 2014

The good, the bad, and the embarrasing (Tubuai - week #18)

Ia ora na tatou!

Another week gone by, it’s been officially 18 weeks that I’ve been out here on Tubuai. Feels like it’s only been a month! This week had some shining moments, as well as some dull, as well as some glorious language mishaps.

First of all, things are still going with H---- and T----. They are seriously dedicated! Despite their poverty and their busy schedule, they still want to take time to meet with us. It’s excellent because they have scheduled their wedding for February 14 (yes, valentine’s day), but they haven’t even broken the news yet to H---‘s parents, for fear of them flipping out since she’s marrying a Mormon. This week Elder Teihotu and I taught them the principle of fasting, and how they can fast to overcome their hardships with drugs and H----'s parents. Saturday we started a fast, and the following Sunday night they agreed to talk to H----'s parents about the wedding. They made it through the whole fast, told the parents, and they turned out to be really pleased with the news! According to H---- that wouldn’t have been a normal reaction from them. Goes to show that Heavenly Father truly does answer honest, sincere prayers that are fortified through a fast. Fasting and prayer will be the way for them to trust in God. I’m so happy and impressed by their faith!

There have been some other great moments this week. On Friday we had a branch family night with the branch of Mahu, with the branch conference the Sunday after. We spent a lot of time during the week challenging the members to invite a non member to these events. I’d say about half of them kept true to their promise. There was a great turnout of investigators! The family night theme was centered on the Book of Mormon, and it was awesomely done by the District President. Even R----, one of our normal investigators, finally came to church! So cool to see so many investigators. Sadly, no one wants the lessons yet... But it’s a start! 

But as usual, there haven’t been tons of lessons. We've been spending time searching for some newbies, through the members and the door to door. We've found that we've just kinda been stuck in  routine... and getting stuck in a routine gets kinda boring. So we've been discussing possible activities and resources to find new investigators with our Branch Missionary Leaders. Beach activities, hikes, feasts, maybe piano lessons? Whatever the Lord finds the most resourceful. Gotta think some of these things through!

To finish things off, I’d just like to report the greatest language blunder I’ve made my whole mission. At the family night Friday, I was talking with an investigator, when I saw another dude investigator wearing a sweatshirt nearby. I asked her " who’s that guy over there?" And she says "Which guy?" After that I say "the guy over there wearing the... how do you say it..." and I say the word which I think means "sweatshirt". She just kinda looks at me, "wha...?" Trying to clarify, I say to her "It’s what you’re wearing right now!" because she was wearing a sweatshirt too. She continues to look at me and just kinda smiles. Unfortunately, my companion was just behind me talking to someone else, so he couldn’t help me. But the conversation ended when the dude came over and talked with us. Much to my dismay, the next morning I was just flipping through the French dictionary when I came across the word that I used to say "sweatshirt" the night before. Nope, it’s not "sweatshirt", but it most definitely means "panties". I totally mixed up the words for sweatshirt and panties. I can only imagine what that woman was thinking at the time. Gotta have moments like those on the mission, even after 9 months.

Anyway, that’s it! Glad to share these moments with you all. I love you all, and keep on living life well!

Elder Ball

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