Monday, February 8, 2016

Baptisms, Weddings, and the Other Side of Missionary Life:Disappointment & Rejection

August 31, 2015

Hello Hola Bonjour,

So this week has been pretty good but also really hard.

To start off: on Monday we had another lesson with Elie and we brought a member (Hina) with us who is fluent in Tahitian and who is preparing for a mission, so it was gonna be me and her teaching in Tahitian bc my companion is working at getting her Tahitian back. So the rules our mission president told us is that we aren't allowed to leave the house until 10 because our studies are super important. We left at 10, picked up Hina, and drove up the mountain to Elie's house. The first thing Elie told us is that we were late and to start the lesson. The Spirit was definitely not there but began anyway. Half way Soeur Spackman spoke up and asked her what she wanted out of the lessons and if she ever wanted to get baptized. Her response..."no." She just liked listening to our message and was trying to support us on our mission. In the end we had to put Elie on standby, because 1. she wasn't progressing 2. wasn't willing to change around her life 3.had no desire to be baptized. It was disappointing for sure, but we planted a seed, so maybe one day she'll be ready.

Next: Not even an hour after Elie's lesson we went to Matai who is a converti recents and before we even got out of the car she came to Soeur Spackman's window and told us that she didn't want us coming back to teach her anymore, turned around and walked back inside without an explanation of why. So apart from our first disappointment with putting an amis on standby we also get rejected. We later found out from bishop that Matai may have felt pressured by her family, because they don't like the missionaries, so she started going back to the Adventist church.

However: Two days after that Soeur Spackman and I got to help our paroisse (ward) set up for Martine et Simeon's wedding. So we helped braid coconut branches to decorate the fences and the reception tent. And in French Polynesia it is law that Tahitians have a civil marriage first and then (if they are members of the church) they can go to the temple for their temple marriage. BUT at their civil marriage I got to experience my very first foreign WEDDING CRASHER...the belle fille of Simeon. We later learned that the tears Simeon and Martine were crying were not happy at the time but sad, because Simeon's belle fille was there to tell him how upset she was that he was getting remarried. BUT apart from the upset at the wedding the reception at the church was great...there were tons of carbs to eat which is big (which rice and pasta and bread) here.

The next day: We had FOUR BAPTISMS. Stanley, Martine, and two little kids from the Toofa family (their new to our ward in Fare) were baptized in our ward by the elders from Haapu (Elder Tama and Elder Toame) so we had to drive over to Haapu to pick them up.

But: The baptisms went great. It was hot and humid like always, and I played the piano for the program and Soeur Spackman directed the music. So as a little reward for the baptisms me and Soeur Spackman and the elders got pizza! BUT on our way back to Haapu to drop off the elders we got...A FLAT TIRE. and someone decided it was ok and we didn't need a flashlight in the car, so the elders fixed the flat tire by the light from inside the car and the hazards that we had flashing from the head and tail lights.

Last: On Sunday we finally had a lesson with the Toofa family who had just moved to Fare. BUT when we drove by we saw Toofa (the dad) with 3 French police officers, and we later found out that while we were all at church a drunk neighbor had climbed that huge muddy hill they lived on and TORE DOWN all four of their (tin) walls of their makeshift house. So that night they slept without walls around them and with only one big mattress to fit 3 kids and their mom and dad. We got to do a "get to know you" with Toofa and his "wife" concubine and found out his "wife" prefers Tahitian which is awesome bc we are really trying to stick with our Tahitian.  But Toofa the dad was super intimidating at first. He had literally memorized the entire Bible in Tahitian and had taught a lot to his kids when they were young and was starting to memorized the Book of Mormon too. He, however, was being super difficult and kept saying "give me a reason why I wanna be baptized." SO we read 2 Nephi 31 with him which explains a lot of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Soeur Spackman was getting a little more frustrated than I was and said "you KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know that you know it's true and that is what the Holy Ghost just manifested to me. You KNOW it's true. so WHEN you OPEN your HEART and let the Holy Spirit soften your heart to it's truthfulness and you accept the fact that the Book of Mormon is true will you be baptized on SEPTEMBER 19th by someone holding the proper priesthood authority?" He laughed and then told us that he knows he's going to be baptized but he needs to save his youngest son first (and get married) before he can be baptized. he then told us a dream his "wife" had about their youngest son and how all of them were in the church but their son was surrounded by the worldly things in life like drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. But we emphasized that the best way for him to help his son is for him to get baptized (and married) first and then be the one to baptize his son. Toofa and his family are so great and golden and I know they all will someday be baptized and later sealed in the temple.

That was pretty much the events for this week. Thank you again for your prayers. They really do mean a lot!!

Until next week!

Ua here au ia outou!
Tuahine/Soeur/Sister McKenzie Morrill :)

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