This, as always, has been another whirlwind week! (Luckily no
cyclones). We are making big changes to how and where we work on this
island, which is always an adventure. We now have a goal to go to
Ribono, the little islet, every week. Last week we went and again
realized how much potential this area has, and how it needs to be able
to have church there. So now our main goal is to start church there
and continue building the saints and members there. The only problem
is that it is so far away! Biking fast we can get to the end of the
island in 1.5 hours, and then need to either hire a boat (pricey and
takes time) or walk (exhausting and only can happen every other week on
the lowest tide).
So even though it is difficult we want to get there
every week. Right now we have only been there twice, and it is hard as
people travel around a lot, but we have still been able to make progress
with our investigators. The most significant of which is Tawaia and
his Wife Tokarei. They are the couple that first asked for us to come.
Tawaia is super smart and really wants to be baptized, also he is very
educated with the scriptures as he was training to be a catholic
brother. Our first visit we gave him and his wife a book of mormon
to read, then we visited him once and he was only a few chapters in.
(He came to the main island at Easter and we taught him then). But
this last week we asked him and he said that he had just started
Mosiah (he finished the Isaiah Chapters!) and that there were two
verses that really stood out to him. One was about the importance of
commandments and the other was about baptism (2 nephi 31:5).
Well, baptism and the Holy Ghost was the lesson that we had prepared for
him. We believe, and he said even before we could bring it up, that
the Holy Ghost worked very strongly with him and with us for this
lesson. That the doctrine that stood out to him was the same as the
lesson we prepared is too much for chance. It lead to a very powerful
lesson where the spirit was so strong and we were all touched and
influenced by it.
We have a few investigators that are so smart and so
ready to accept and believe everything we tell them. He is one of them.
We were able to give him a lesson that is usually broken up into 3-5
pieces in one chunk and he was hanging off of every word. He also
totally believes every thing and gets excited by it. After his time
being Catholic his favorite doctrine that we share is that receiving
a testimony is only between you and God. You don't have to rely on the
Father or any one around you to know the Truth. When you pray you use
more faith because your prayers go straight up to Heavenly Father. Not
through Mary or someone else then up. He brings it up every time. Also
we can teach him so fast with his wife because he re-explains
everything back to us and then outside of lessons back to her. I feel
so blessed to have this time to work with him and build the church on
this tiny island that hasn't really had the chance to accept it or
This week we also had the opportunity to baptize Bakatokia. I haven't
said much about him, which is sad because he is/was a very solid
investigator. Now he'll be a solid recent convert! He is another super
smart super receptive investigator. He hasn't had any religion growing
up (he's 30ish now). He used to be a seaman but had to come home
because of drinking too much. We had no idea that he had a drinking
problem. As soon as we taught him the Word of Wisdom he said that he
had problems before, but wouldn't have any now. And he held true to
that. Dropped that and smoking cold to be baptized. His baptism was
incredible because you could just feel how ready he was. How totally
converted he is. We found two speakers for his baptism to speak about
baptism and the Holy Ghost. Then after the baptism gave him the time
to share his testimony. He basically quoted the page on baptism from
the Gospel of Jesus Christ booklet, but said it with such power and
purity that you could tell how fully he believed it and was ready to
live it. I love seeing the changes in people's lives as they come unto
Christ. I love seeing the light come into their eyes and countenance's
as they accept the truth and have the faith to believe and act on it.
This mission is truly incredible.
I love you all!