Dear family and friends,
I am reporting to you live from Leimatu'a, Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific, and planet earth. It's nice and humid down here and the stars are all different than what you guys are seeing, but we still have the same moon and sun. Today I will report on experiences and interesting things that happened this week.
First off we had a miracle and 2 rejections. First the miracle: So last week we had given this old man a blessing for a sickness he had; it was some flu-type thing that was going around. This man has also had chronic seizures for the past 20 plus years and was kind of a wreck. He lived off his medicine and couldn't really talk well or move and was often in pain. His family always had to stay home and care for him. Well anyways, we gave this guy a blessing and left and went about our work, not thinking much about it. We came back a couple days later and found out that the man had gotten better after the blessing, and hadn't needed his seizure medicine. He was walking around and talking, although it was still hard to understand. He’d been doing it ever since we left. When we heard that, I was like, “Whoah... wow... and I realized a couple things. First, this miracle had nothing to do with us; we had no idea it even happened until a couple days later. Second, this old man must've had some serious faith in Christ. We had often visited him previously because we though he needed a friend and we would read parts of the Book of Mormon to him about Jesus Christ. (I didn't know what he needed and my comp couldn't understand his mumbling either, so we figured everyone needs Jesus.) I can't remember how many times we came, but he always had a smile for us when we left, so I figured it was a good thing and then, Bam! He was all better. It's crazy but I believe that's how God works, so I’m just thankful I got to see it. Hopefully he can start coming back to church. We got his older brother’s family to start coming back to church, which was awesome! I’m really happy about them; it's been a lot of work getting them to come back. They have all already been through the temple and they have been members forever, but I don't think they ever had a real testimony. We started off with the basics and would give spiritual thoughts and pray together and eventually we got the wife to start reading The Book of Mormon and she's been progressing really well. Her daughter started coming and then when the husband saw his wife coming back he decided one day that the family was going to come back! We’ve been working with the bishop and we are doing family home evening today to help them out. Yesterday was the most people I’ve seen come to sacrament here, which was good.
Now for the rejections: So we had two instances where people totally rejected us.The first one occured the same day we found out about the miracle. We planned to go to this one lady's house and when we knocked on the door some guy, who didn’t even open the door, told us to go away; they already have their one church and minister and they don't need another one, so we should just go away; they don't want us. That was like, hmmm.. okay. My comp was super mad and wanted to go bring down the fire of God on him, but I told him to imagine Jesus Christ in that situation, what would He do? So we tried to just love the guy and move on. The second one wasn't so dramatic, but was much more sad. There is a lady who was born in the church and her parents are super active and strong in the church, but she married a non-member. Here in Tonga when a girl marries a guy, she joins his church, whatever it is. So we tried to talk to her and get to be friends, but she told us right off the bat that the husband gets mad when we try to work with him or her and she's changed to the other church and she likes it and she doesn't want us or the parents to work with her; she's happy where she is. That was kind of sad. It’s like you know the truth yet you don't want it.
Last is my determination to be the best! And a funny story about an old woman. So sometimes I sing to myself the Pokémon theme song, just the beginning; it’s really quite inspiring when you get into it. "I want to be, the very best, like no one ever was." Imagine that, you have the dream to be the best, like no one else, to go the farthest, to achieve the most, to be a legend. When people talk about that thing, you will be the one they mention, because you are the best like no one ever is, or was. And when you have the dream you apply yourself and do all that you must in order to succeed. Determination at its finest. Hahah, but seriously, I intend to give this my all and I will become best friends with my comp, I will give the most service I can. I will help the most people, and hopefully I’ll turn into something good at the end, but it's not about me; it's about the people I serve and that's what I want my mission to be. If the first person is serve is my comp, so be it. I will do all I can and God will do the rest.
Okay, funny story about an old lady. So we go visit this old lady all the time. She has one leg, can't walk and stays at all home all day; we like to share spiritual thoughts with her and share our message. Sometimes I don't think she wants to listen to us and one time we visited and she was lying down and said she was sick and had a boil on her butt and couldn't sit and so we couldn't enter and talk. We are about to go and I ask if there is anything I can help with. She says no then I ask if she has food. She sat up right away and told us to come in, nay not once, but 3 times invited us to enter. We were busy so we said no, but we brought some food later for her. I’m not so sure about the boil on her butt; maybe it was a load of crap, but whatever. We still love her.
That's my report. Thank you all for the love and support. This mission has been really very, very difficult for me, but I’m learning a lot and refuse to give up. I love you all.