Hey there!! So there have been lots of changes in our mission and our P-Day is now on Wednesday!!
These 4 areas are incredible and we stay super busy, of course. We are grateful for the car and how much help it is with the work. We cover 4 wards right now, which just means we have to be very very smart with our planning and using all of our driving time wisely, too! We do most of our studies in the car driving to and from, but we love it and we love this work. The only downfall is that the days are going by way too fast!!! Ahh! I am no longer a trainee, which means I’ve been in Samoa for 12 weeks! Almost unbelievable. We are still living in the area we got transferred to after Christmas, which is still backside and really nice because it’s so peaceful there.
We had stake conference two weeks ago and it was quite the experience! We had 8 investigators come with us, and our ward rented out buses and went around the village picking the whole ward up. It was so fun, everyone was sitting on each other, people were half out the windows. I was sitting on a member’s lap, with my back out the window and two little girls on my lap as well. But it was a nice bonding experience, haha. And then Conference was basically a big picnic because the chapel is pretty open and so many people were there that we overflowed the building. It was incredible! And so beautiful to see because not too many people come to church on Sundays.
I have to say, we are teaching some really incredible people right now. Leone, Soveta and Tavita just got baptized this past weekend and it was such a beautiful sight. Soveta lives across the river (we used to have to cross it everyday to teach him) and this past Sunday after his baptism it was pouring raining and the river was flooded, so he couldn’t come to church and he missed his confirmation 😦 We visit him throughout the week and he loves the Book of Mormon. He’s incredible because he’s 14 years old, the same age Joseph Smith was when he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We shared that with him when we taught Lesson 1 and he was amazed.
Right now we are teaching Sami (which means ocean) who he is 21 years old. His parents fa’asa (which means not allowed) his baptism for years and years but now that he is 21 he is allowed to make his own decisions! He reads the Book of Mormon all day long and each day he spends the first 30 minutes telling us what he has read and learned and his book is all marked up. He’s already converted… He wants to serve a mission, so he practices sharing his testimony and even asking us questions! He is incredible, and already apart of the Lords army, sharing his testimony with the people he plays volleyball with.
In our other area, Safotu, there is this girl, Linda, who’s mother is a member but her father is Catholic and doesn’t allow the mother to attend church. Linda’s baptism is fa’asa also, but he allows us to come over and talk. She comes out with us (she’s 16) and it’s just incredible. She is sharing her testimony and watching us prepare her own friends, other members of her village prepare for baptism when she herself isn’t even baptized yet, or even close to being allowed to. I am really amazed at the humility of the people here. They are so in tune with the spirit.
I know I sound all over the place but there’s so much I wish I could share and just not enough time… But there is also this 13 year old girl, Selestina, and her parents have fa’asa her baptism because they are Catholic as well. But she has been visited with over 4 sets of missionaries and when we came for the first time we were following up from what we knew from the teaching record in the area book and she was invited to read Moroni’s promise and then pray about the Book of Mormon. We bore our testimony of the Book of Mormon and what a blessing it is in our lives, and we talked to her about it, and she said she hadn’t prayed — she always forgets, but she promised she would this time because she said she felt like we really did know that it was true and she wanted to find out for herself so we would stop wasting our time teaching her if it wasn’t true. So we came back the next day, the mats were already out for us to sit on and she had been waiting since she’d gotten out of school for us to come. We opened the visit with a song and prayer, and I asked her if she had had an opportunity to pray about the Tusi A Mamona, she said “I prayed…and I got my answer from God.” then she paused and looks up and goes, “It’s true. I know it is”. She was in tears, I was in tears, soa was, even her deaf grandmother was hahaha. But then when we asked how she knew, and she said she waited for the Holy Spirit, she knew it would come, because it was promised that it would. She said there was a whisper to her that it was true. And that it was a testimony of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the testimony of this young girl, her desire to know if this was true, and why we cared so much to share it with her.
I am so grateful for this gospel, for the eternal truths we can receive through the Book of Mormon and the love that our Heavenly Father has for His children. We started a Book of Mormon challenge with her to read the whole thing. I just know that as people become converted to the Book of Mormon, to Jesus Christ, that they will not fall away. There are many people who cannot get baptized because of their parents, but we still fast and we pray, so in a way I’m not worried. I know they are converted to our Savior, the Redeemer of the World.
I know this Church is true, and that Christ lives. And I love you!!