Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Letter from March 21, 2016 received March 29, 2016

 This was my letter from last week.

Hi all!
The internet really hasn't been working well on this island... Ah
well, I guess it just means we can't get transferred right! The
Saturday before last (the 12th of March) We had an incredible event in
the place we hold church. Our Investigators who couldn't get baptized
because they hadn't married got married then baptized. We bought a
big truck and picked up all of our investigators and members who
wanted to come. When we arrived and organized ourselves we started
into the marriage service. We opened in song and Prayer. Elder Tonini
gave us a spiritual thought and gave the couple a gift of a copy of
'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' and a picture of the Fiji

Then I gave advice to the  couple. Man I felt under qualified
seeing as I have never married (I haven't even dated much!), but the
gospel has the answers to all the important questions of life. I
reminded them the importance of Family Prayer and Scripture study. I
reminded them the duties of husband and wife in the home, and
encouraged them to be teachers to their children. Then I invited them
to stand up and hold right hands, then I performed the marriage. They
wanted to exchange rings so we gave them some CTR rings to use, they
exchanged them and sat down.

Then I looked at my watch and by my calculations the ocean was about to be high tide,
so I didn't even sit
down, I transferred into teaching about baptism, then all of us went
to the ocean. The ocean was beautiful and all ordinances went
smoothly. Ruoi and Maomao (who were just married) along with Teema and
Abinoa got baptized. Then we came back, had a big party lunch and
played games until the early afternoon when the car came to bring
everyone home. The next day all 4 got the Holy ghost and our two men:
Ruoi and Teema, got the Aaronic Priesthood. Speed bump to the middle
of the week. We are now teaching Teema's niece and he has become the
best member present that I have ever seen. After the lesson Teema
asks, 'Is there anything that you want me to do on Sunday?' We invited
him to bless the sacrament, and asked him if he knew the verses to
read so that he could practice. He told us from memory (we had never
told him), but then he said that his eyesight is really poor, so asked
if it was alright if he wrote it down so he could see it in bigger

Skip to Sunday, we arrive and he hasn't written the prayer out
yet. We hurriedly start writing it and he whispers that we don't need to
do that. We think he's joking so we keep on frantically writing. He
whispers again that we don't need to write it out because he has
MEMORIZED it. He then said the prayer perfectly and professionally out
of memory. Wow, he's the man. Also, for that same Sunday his
motorcycle was broken so he couldn't make it to church. What does he
do? He hires the same truck we used for his baptism and brings his
whole house to church. Remember, it still hasn't been a month since
our first lesson with the guy.

Now, let's jump back to that Saturday baptism. The driver of the car
that came to pick us up and bring everyone home was a guy that I've
seen before, but don't know. We always see him driving and he waves to
us, but I've never hired his car, so never spoken to him before. I
walk up to thank him for coming and we trade your standard small talk
when he asks who the stake president in Tarawa is. That's not your
standard question for a nonmember. So I ask him if he is a member and
he says he went to the church high school in Tarawa, Moroni.  He
introduces himself as Kiritimati (Christmas). He was baptized at
school and really likes this church, but since he came back and there
was no church on the island he has gone less active and has Word of
Wisdom problems, but he really wants us to visit him. So we set up a
time and visit him on Sunday, the day after. We come, but we were a
little late and it was starting to get dark. We had other things to do
so we rescheduled and left. His family and especially his daughter get
super excited for us to come. She came to our Seminary class and
brought a Bible, and couldn't stop telling people that we were going
to come to her house (all the kids got super jealous, it was a
problem). So we visited them at the scheduled time. Kiritimati wasn't
there nor was his daughter, but his wife and a visitor were.

We made small chat for a few minutes (maybe 3 or 4) and all of a sudden the
minister flies up on his motorcycle. He comes in shouting and says'
What are you doing here' We casually answered. He marched in and
proceeded to yell at us for over an hour. The family was scared out of
their minds. He kept on asking us to never visit his people again, a
promise that we cannot keep. In the end we promised to keep on
respecting the free agency of everyone and left. The next day we ran
into Christmas. We said hello and he cutin and said that he would
visit us in our house, and asked when church was. The next day his
daughter biked to our house at 7 and repeated the question. And on
SUnday his daughter and nephew came to church. The story isn;t done
yet, but I am happy to say that even though there is persecution (and
no food) the faith of people hasn't been diminished. 'No unhallowed
hand can stop the work from progressing!' Life here is great.
Elder Morley

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