Ia ora na tatou!
What a week. Probably our best so far.
I’ll start out by saying that yes, I’m gonna be famous. Several other missionaries and I have been chosen to be in a church film about the beginnings of missionary work in Tahiti. On Friday and Saturday we spent time out on the beach doing some sweet film shoots. We get to dress up in ridiculous 1850s outfits and act as some of the first missionaries. We get to do cool manly stuff like build a boat and carry heavy bags and preach the gospel to people. We even got to go in the water a little bit, which was super sweet. A couple other elders got to do some baptism scenes in a river which was cool too. All in all, people are gonna be turning heads every time I walk by, "Hey you were in that movie!" Tahiti's next celebrity.
But not really. The film is gonna be used for missionary work mostly, to teach people about the beginning of the church here and kind of attract people to the church in that way. It really is a cool experience, and pretty low budget but hey what do you expect when it’s us as the actors? Definitely a fun time and I’m kinda excited about how that's gonna turn out.
As for the work we did (yeah sorry it wasn’t all playing around on the beach this week) it’s been the busiest so far! We had so many lessons this week its nuts. We've been going on splits with the members a lot to be able to fit in all these lessons. Among the lessons that we've had, a great one was with Hendrick and his family, one of the families that President invites to his home for family night often. At the end of the lesson, Hendrick said that they've discussed as a family, and they have decided that they all want to get sealed in the temple. Now if that isn’t music to a missionary's ears, nothing is. They all want to get baptised together, and soon we'll figure out a date for them. There's 7 people in that family. They really are a miraculous family. If they are baptized, i have a feeling that most of the neighborhood will follow. The neighborhood would be rid of drugs and alcohol, which would definitely be one of the coolest things ever.
On Sunday we had a sacrament meeting based on the theme of missionary work. So of course, Elder Twede, our DMP Diego, and I gave talks. It was definitely a blessing to have the opportunity to speak to all the members of the ward. We talked about the imortance of Preach My Gospel for every member of the church in doing missionary work, and we committed everyone to start reading it and applying the teachings inside. That is a book that, if everyone read it, would unite members and missionaries in the work forever. So, in addition to the scriptures, read it, all of you! Your life will be blessed if you do just that.
As the days go by here in Tavararo, the amount of criminal activity never ceases to amaze me. Every day we pass by seriously conspicuous drug deals in broad daylight. It's pretty funny, when we pass on our bikes the dealers start to freak out a little because at first they think we're the police, then they see that it's just us and wave to us. On our way to one lesson, we were passing in an alleyway behind a store where there was a huge group of people gambling for marijuana. They started to get scared at first, but then continued playing when they saw that it was us. After the lesson, we pass by the same alleyway and there’s a ton of cops searching the area and some dudes laying on the ground in handcuffs. Busted. The druggy lifestyle here really is pretty sad, because kids start getting into that stuff at like 12 years old. Simply put, they all need the gospel!
Thats about it for this week. To finish I’d just like to bear my testimony about the fact that we are all children of our Heavenly Father. This week I've thought a lot about that and who I really am, what I’m really worth, and our life before this one. I feel so much peace to know that I chose God's plan to come here to Earth, despite the knowledge that this life wouldn't be easy. Thanks to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, now I know what needs to be done in this life to return to God's presence. Unfortunately, there are so many other children of God who have chosen to come here, but have no idea how to return to him. But thankfully, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know. Let each and every member reach out to their neighbor and share this knowledge that could save their life. "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10).
I love you all, and have an awesome week!