Monday, February 8, 2016

Reality of missionary work - free agency!

January 18, 2016

Ia ora na tatou!
C'est moi, encore! J’espère vous êtes bien et dans bonne santé!
This week has been a big week of prayer and strengthening my faith. Not gonaa lie to y'all; this week has been super hard.
As missionaires we are encouraged to write home to friends and famille and tell stories about how great missionary work is. And it is!! I am so glad that I have chosen to go on a mission, because not only have I grown as an individual, but I have introduced people to the gospel for the very first time and seen the light in their eyes when they finally gain a testimony of the truth. I've cried with them and prayed with them and done all I could have for them.
There is that side of missionary work, and then there is the other side. The side all missionaries don't want to relive. Hard weeks.
This week was hard. We lost about 4 amis. why? No idea. We brought membres with us as much as we could, but the second or third lecon with those amis they told us that they weren't interested for the moment. And that happened to us the entire week. We spent our days doing OLB (ouvrir la bouche) and porte a porte, trying to find new people. We only gained one amis this week, which is rare in our mission, and we were rejected by every house in a number of quartiers. It was hard. Soeur Lasso and I went up into the mountain to find houses up there. We parked our car and started our trek. We actually found a quartier up in the mountains, but even before we could open our mouths to share our message they told us to go away because they saw our missionary plaques. It's hard getting turned away and chased away by dogs for wanting to share the truth and love of Christ. But that's the mission. There are ups but also downs.
Even though this week has been trying, and I've relied a lot on prayer and fasting. I've come to notice the little miracles and blessings wedged in between our trials during the days:
1. We've planned the bapteme for Fr. Vito who will be baptized this coming Saturday. He will be baptized by his son Nohoarii.
2. Throughout this week we had lecons with Vairea who is still kind of a new amis. AND I absolutely LOVE her. She's Catholique but non practiquant. She has cousins that are membres and one who is a return missionaire. We visited with her and have taught a lot of lecons. She told us she really wants to get baptized...YES!!! BUT...the one thing that empeches her is her famille. He famille is still very Catholique, and her mom said she would not be happy with her when she gets baptized. She doesn't have a lot of support from her husband or kids. During our last lecon with her this week Soeur Lasso and I had the impressions to tell our experiences of people we know we are converts and had a rough time with famille afterwards. But along with those experiences we told her that after the trials of those people that were baptized they immediately started seeing more and more blessings in their lives. We told her that after she is baptized, yea her famille might not follow her right now, but they'll watch her as she changes her life and becomes more like Christ and then they will eventually have the same desire to follow her and be baptized. Of all the people I have taught, I've never connected with an amis as much as I have with her.
3. My other fave amis right now is Raitea! He is only 15, but I can see the potential and the tiny desire slowly coming into his eyes. Our last lecon we had with him we taught about Le Parole de Sagesse et Jour du Sabboth. Yes, the lecon was great, but it wasn't my favorite part. At the end of the lecon we asked if he would say the priere, and he did. Raitea's said many prayers since we have been teaching him, but this one was different. For a while we had been engaging him to pray for an answer about whether or not the bapteme is the right decision right now, and he's always forgotten to ask that in his daily prayers. However, as Raitea began to pray his voice sounded different; he sounded more in tune with the Spirit. And without us asking he asks "je te demande Pere-Celeste, si le bapteme est le bon choix pour moi maintenant." He asked that...without any hesitation in his voice. He continues to pray and pauses for a little bit....I open my eyes a little bit to see if he was ok, because he'd paused for a long time, but as I do I see him wiping his eyes. He goes on to eventually finish the priere by just thanking our Father in Heaven for everything again. I have no doubt that Raitea received an answer right then and there, and maybe he was surprised but I know he got a reponse. The Spirit was so strong during his prayer, and Raitea was so much more comfortable after he prayed. Along with Vaireia I know I must have known Raitea in the pre-mortelle life. He's someone I can get through easier than other amis.
Yes, this week has been super difficult, and I've had a great opportunity to grow in faith and trust in the Lord. And I've also been blessed to have two amis I know have the desire to get baptized and willingness to change. I've seen them change even after a few lecons, and I know they're ready. Through this hard week, I've been more aware of the tiny miracles and blessings I've seen along the way, and Vaireia and Raitea are two of those.
Though missionary work is hard, it's also filled with tender mercies and blessings. Even if you yourself don't see the blessings, you never know who at home is being blessed for the sacrifice you are making.

Je vous aime beaucoup! J'espere vous allez passer une bonne semaine!
Ua here au ia outou!!
- Soeur/Tuahine Morrill :)
p.s. heard Bama won the National I'll throw out a ROLL TIDE right threre

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