Monday, January 23, 2017
Another hot and wet week here on Pohnpei. Language is coming more and more every day. It's been like this: I wake up, exercise, get ready for the day, do personal/companion/language studies, eat lunch, and head out to teach. First lesson. I listen so hard, but most of the words are gibberish. I have no idea what they are saying. I look to my companion, but she is busy listening/bearing testimony, also in a language I don't know. So I try to say what I know, but it's mostly English. I go home. We plan, I shower, and sleep. Next day is the same. And the next. But then, one day, as I am teaching, I suddenly can say a little more. And then the next lesson, I can understand basically what they are saying. Suddenly, I am saying a little more in Pohnpeian. I can bear a simple testimony and pray in Pohnpeian. I can communicate a little better. It's still a work in progress, and I say things wrong all the time, but I know that the more I speak, especially in lessons, the more I remember and the more I learn. I know Heavenly Father has blessed me sooo much to learn this language as fast as I can. There's no way I have learned this on my own.
This week my Christlike attribute was humility. Don't know if I said that last week... but yeah. So at Zone Conference we watched the bible video about the prodigal son. What stuck out to me was that Jesus says, "When he came to himself" he went back home. When the son was at his lowest, and realized how bad of state he was in, that's when he had the desire strong enough to change, to return to his father. I know it's the same for us: we have to humble ourselves, and realize how much we need our Savior, and repent. We have to humble ourselves and return to our Father. I know that when we do, Heavenly Father is watching and waiting for us to return to him. I love that story. (Luke 15:11-22)
I also read the scripture that I mentioned in our interview, 2 Ne , about the axe. I know that we are tools in our Heavenly Father's hands. We may be doing the talking, but it is the Spirit that is doing the teaching.
This week I will focus on Knowledge.
Because my companion is a Sister Training Leader, I am with someone new at least once a week, typically twice. Monday I stayed in Sekere with the other STL, Sister Russell. Thursday and Friday I went to Mand. Mand is BEAUTIFUL!!! I will have to send pictures next week, because I don't have an SD card slot in this computer. There's lots of waterfalls and rivers and stuff. Super cool =)
On Friday, I went back home to Sekere. But we stopped and got this thing called an ice bar. It's like frozen coconut milk. SOOOO GOOOOOOD!! I don't know if I like that or fried bananas better... hard to say. The ice bar is super messy though.
Tender Mercies for the week: One day, I started off my personal study reading from 2 Ne 24. Before I started reading, I wrote down questions I had. Then right before I started to read, a question an investigator had popped into my mind. She had asked about Jews and Gentiles, and how they were different. 2 Ne 24:1 answers this: It says that strangers will be joined to the house of Jacob in the promised land. Gentiles can receive all the same promises that Jews can.
Another tender mercy we had was during miracle minutes. It wasSaturday night, and we decided to go invite one more investigator to church, Cartwright. We got to his house, and he was laying in the "attic" of the nahs/hut thing. He saw us and we invited him to church. A little back story: Cartwright has told us that when he promises something, he keeps that promise, no matter what. That's why he didn't want to be baptized yet, because he doesn't think he can keep his promise with God to stop smoking/drinking/etc just yet. So anyway, he said he would come to church. I said, "Promise?" "Uhhh... No, I can't promise" "Why not" "Because.... if it rains I can't come because I don't want to walk in the rain," "Do you want my umbrella?" "No, no" "Ok.... How about if it doesn't rain, you will come to church." "Ok. Promise?" "Uhmm... Ok. I promise" "Awesome! I will pray for it not to rain." Then we prayed with him, and as we were about to drive away, he said, "This will be interesting, because I will pray for it to rain, and you will pray for it not to rain. We'll see who God listens to!" I said, "God wants you to go to church, so it won't rain!"
Guess what. Sunday morning, it rained. I was thinking as we were driving to pick up other investigators to walk with, Why would Heavenly Father have it rain? Is it to test my faith? But then, as we were driving, we saw Cartwright in the back of a recent converts truck, on his way to church!!! Even though it rained, he came to church! He went to the Panasong ward, because they speak Mortlockese/Chuukese more at the Sekere ward, but he went! We were super happy, because it's the first time he has ever gone. I hope and pray he will continue to make steps to change. Last night we tried to follow up, but he was busy, so we will see him tonight.
It is soooo important to communicate with your companion! If you do not communicate, you cannot stay close and you cannot teach with unity, and you cannot teach with the Spirit. Satan is doing his best to thwart this work, and he can so easily put a bug in your ear and drive a wedge between you and your companion. Don't let him!!! Talk to and love your companion. Pray with them, every day. A member from my home ward sent me an email: he said, "Personal Purity is the key to Pure Love." If you have problems with your companion, or anyone, don't think, "if only they were this way, I wouldn't be frustrated with them" or "If they would just do this, we would be fine"; instead, look for what you can do to change. What can you do and say to help your relationship improve? I know this applies to any relationship, not just while you are on your mission.
I know this has helped me when I have been frustrated. Satan is trying so hard to stop this work, but the work of the Lord will go forth boldly, nobly, and independently until it has penetrated every continent!
Kasalel kumwail!! Kitail nek tupene!