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Monday, January 13, 2014

More Raiatea

13 January 2014 Uturoa Raiatea

Well I survived the transfers and will stay here super nice :]

I’m going to try and answer all your questions.

We know the name of the new mission president, but that’s about it. It sounds like you know more than we do because I didn't even know his first name (editor’s note: the new mission president is Pierre Bize. He will begin in July). It’s funny because his last name, pronounced "beez" is the name for the greeting you do when you kiss the cheeks of the person you’re saying hello to. Kind of funny, I’m sure there will be many jokes about that to come, the Tahitians think it’s a riot.

Interesting customs? I don’t even know...

Apart from mowing lawns and cutting brush with weed whackers nothing jumps out right now. Ill keep my eyes open.

Funny stories?  I’ll have to take a rain check on that one. Elder Tumarae provides the entertainment in my life. Sometimes I can hear him smacking his belling in the shower.

Oh! This week we got an air conditioner installed in our little house! So we called the mission office because our ceiling fan broke. A couple days later the office couple called and told us they were sending an air conditioner, and that it would be installed the same week! Oh man we were excited, it was installed Wednesday, and Elder Tumarae’s favorite saying now is "dangereux la clime" Dangerous the air conditioner! We’ve already slept through the alarm this week because of it; the trials I’m facing right now are very hard! Neither of us even heard it go off we were so deep in sleep in the wonderful winter wonderland of our house.

Our new air conditioner

The work is progressing well. Right now we are doing family nights by neighborhood, as well as by family, and they invite investigators and inactives and we fix lessons (ed. make appointments). It’s working really well. It gives us lots of exposure and shows people that we are normal people not weirdo strict preachers. Although sometimes the family nights can be very awkward. Well maybe it’s only me that thinks they are awkward. Sometimes we will have zero participation, its a little bit like the gospel principles class, so you just talk until the activity then everyone wakes up. Everyone kind of just glares at you till its done, then after everyone says how great it was and how we should do it again. Which is funny because there body language always give me the opposite impression. We did one last week where I kept asking for experiences, even the members didn’t volunteer any. Just me standing up in front of a lot of people reading scriptures and talking. Really odd, but it works so I’m not complaining.

Lucky them, I wanted to train, but since Elder Tumarae and I kind of just got put together I knew we wouldn’t be split quite yet. And we are really making the difference in this secteur (ed. Area) right now, well, the spirit is really making a difference in this secteur right now! We fixed three baptisms this week. which is good since this ward only had 6 baptisms for the entire year before we did the last 3 in December. You could say we’ve increased baptisms by 100% so far, so the work is progressing! I hope I can train next transfer in February.

Do you ever get to play the piano? Yes. I get to play the piano. They have 2 pianos in our ward and sometimes in between meetings I sneak off and play them!

Which islands in your mission have missionaries?
We don’t have missionaries, in the Cook Islands, in fact that area was given to the Fiji mission, I think. We have elders on Takaroa and Makaemo in the Tuamotus right now. Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, and elders on Tubai, and Rangiroa in the Astrals. Of course missionaries on Moorea and Tahiti, and for the isles Raromatai, Also missionaries on Raiatea, Tahaa, and Pora. Those are all the islands that are open right now, maybe more will be opened up since we have so many missionaries. Close to 200 now. I think President Sinjoux’s goal is to fill the islands that already have missionaries, and open new areas little by little. They just split a secteur here on Raiatea, and now every single ward/branch here has a set of missionaries. That’s the first time this has ever happened here, since only a few years ago it was one set of elders for all of Raiatea. Big change!

Sorry for the short letter last week!

I've kept Morfar and Papa in my prayers; I hope they are doing well! (ed. These are grandfathers. They are both doing well after their surgeries and some recovery time).

Thanks for the little note on Faith. I started a study on faith when I was in the MTC, because whenever people ask the question what is faith, we always get the same response “to believe in something you can’t see". I didn't really like that response, and I started searching for what exactly faith is. What I found was interesting.

That answer is a good place to start, but it is so much more than a belief. Faith is a principle of power, and it has to be built up over time. In a sense, I found that you have to build and grow your faith. It is in some way like the priesthood, it is an intangible substance or power per say, that you can have the capacity to possess and collect. And it comes from doing all the little things like reading scriptures, praying, and going to church and following the commandments. All these little things contribute to the growth of our faith, it’s almost a reliance on things you can’t see, that motivates your actions until the things you can’t see become visible. Like the story of the Brother of Jared, he had so much faith the veil couldn't hold him.

When we have acquired enough faith we start to see miracles happen in our life. These miracles in turn grow our faith even more. It’s kind of like rolling a snowball around on the ground. You start with next to nothing but in time it grows and grows until it is enormous and immovable.

After you have acquired enough faith you can start to use that faith to receive answers to prayers, effect the flow of actions around you, at this point it’s no longer just a belief in the unseen, it’s an assurance that your actions prayers and commands WILL produce results and changes, you begin to have the capacity to know that your will is in line with the Lords, and whatever you ask will be given.

Hebrews chapter 11 and Ether Chapter 12 are very good chapters to study concerning faith. Paul goes on to teach that all the miracles of the old and new testament were, in fact, performed by faith. When you've acquired that much faith, you just act and you have the assurance that your actions won’t be in vain. That’s a little bit of what I've found concerning faith :]

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