Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oct. 26, 2014 My First Baptism!

Life is great! I'll try to answer as many questions as I can, but first the big news of this week! We had a baptism on Saturday! I wish I could send pictures, but I still don't have an adapter. I know they're sold here, but I haven't found one yet. I baptized Tamwemwe. She has two children that are members, and has been very prepared by them. Since we are white washing this area most of the lessons were taught by the previous elders. But I could tell that she was ready for baptism. I am confident that she will stay strong.

 They have found out that I play the piano, so I have had to quickly learn how to play hymns, so they wanted me to play for the opening, closing hymns and the musical number, and do the baptism. After practicing with the singers for the musical number I am all the more impressed with all of the conductors and accompanists out there, it was very hard. When it was time for the actual baptism though I was busy getting things to work out, so one  of the sisters played. As a result the meeting went very well. (Just kidding I would've been fine).

Elder Morley,  Tamwemwe, Elder Karekataake
The actual baptism was incredible. It took me 2.5 tries, so I'm improving little by little. On the first time I pronounced the kiribati words so bad that they were wrong. Words like kariaiakaki should not be a hard thing. But they caught me before I put her under the water. The next time I got the prayer right but when I dunked her I forgot to put her hand under that was holding on to my arm. Then the last time I got it perfect. There is an incredible spirit at baptisms and it definitely strengthened my testimony of baptism. As soon as she came up out of the water on the time that I got it all right the spirit was suddenly  there a bajillion times stronger than before. The church is definitely true.

David's first baptism in Tarawa.
This is an outdoor font, without lighting
We are moving forward with our other investigators. Some are really close to being ready, but there are more that are having trouble keeping the commitments which is sad. Especially since coming on my mission I have loved my times to pray and read the scriptures. There is power in those simple acts that cannot be gained any other way. I will continue to help them understand that, but until they choose for themselves there will be little progression.
I have two favorite things everyday. In the morning I read a chapter of the Book of Mormon. I read it once all the way through. Then I read it or skim it again and highlight the little words and things that stick out. Reading it twice really helps give an understanding of the whole verse. So I mark little things that help it to make sense. Seeing the promises and words of the prophets helps me so much. Plus it's kinda like magic. If I read in the morning I have the ability to be happy or at least peaceful all day. It is so weird, I think about the life that I live here and can't imagine myself or anyone in america liking it. But I also can't think of a bad day, there are some bad moments but the days overall are always positive. I can walk down the streets and just grin at the people on the street when I say Mauri (hello). The second thing that I love is teaching lessons. Life here is more strenuous than that in america. So I am often exhausted. But When I am teaching (or listening to ) lessons I have energy.

If we teach a bunch in a day I am energized and excited. If we don't teach much in a day I find it hard to stay awake. The random miracles of teaching the gospel are incredible (another one is, If I'm trying to be obedient and love my companion I don't sunburn) Who would've thought. I also love teaching because I get to practice the language in a controlled circumstance. My companion will say in kiribati, 'and now I turn the time to Elder Morley' and will whisper whatever I am supposed to teach. I can't say no, so I try. Often it is on something that I have never taught before so it is a constant adventure. I don't teach with eloquence but I teach very simply. Almost every point of doctrine has to be boiled down to it's very simplest point, because that is all that I know how to say. But the spirit is there and I improve in my speaking and understanding everyday.
Have a Great Week!

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