It's hard to express all my thoughts and feelings in an email once a week but I'm going to try my best to share just a little piece of the experiences I've had this week.
First off, we've kinda been the sister motel this week and it's been a lot of fun! After the sisters from 'Eua left, Sister Faux (who just finished) came back from Vava'u and stayed with us for a night. Then since Sister Medina's companion just finished she's been staying with us since Friday and we'll be together until we both get our new companions on Wednesday...at the TRAINING MEETING. Yeah...Sister Malu is moving to town and I'll stay and train in Veitongo/Ha'ateiho. I'm gonna miss my Aussie. I'm not sure who my companion will be yet, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a Tongan and so that'll be fun.
I'd like to share about one of our investigators, Taniela. Taniela is in his 30's and we found him from one of our members (we had set up a family plan and they committed to invite someone to listen on a specific day and that's where it started). The first lesson was very spiritual and uplifting. When we came back the second time, he shared with us that he's visited with a lot of missionaries before in Fiji and he's talked to a lot of Bishops but he has a few questions that none of them could answer. He then promised that the day he understands the answers to those questions he'll be baptized. He then went on to ask questions but when we went to answer he'd ramble off about something else. He told us he really wanted to know if what we were sharing was true but we were having a difficult time helping him understand 'cause he just wanted us to prove everything through the Bible and stuff. He had prepared to be a preacher in the Presbyterian church several years ago but then got into a lot of bad things and hasn't gone to church for years. Through the next several lessons we testified to him, we gave him commitments, we taught him that we need to use our Faith and God will reveal the truth of our message through the Holy Ghost.
He came to church last week. He started reading the Book of Mormon. And on Friday night when we talked to him, he shared with us that he prayed to ask God to know if it's true. He asked us to explain the Book of Mormon again to him. We read 3 Nephi 11 with him (when Christ comes). He said he believes it's true. Then we all started crying. He told us that he feels something really strong and that he feels like he's kinda shaking. We bore our testimonies. Sister Malu invited him to stop smoking, with tears in his eyes and even though we hadn't even taught the Word of Wisdom yet, he said, "Yes, I'll stop smoking. I'll stop drinking alcohol and drinking kava. And I ask that you allow me to come to all your church meetings". The Spirit was so strong.
It's so true that understanding doctrine really does change behavior faster than teaching behavior will change behavior (Boyd K Packer). This is a testimony to me that God declares his gospel through the weak. It's so true when they say that when you lose yourself you find yourself. From teaching people and serving others I feel myself changing every single day and I'm understanding better who I am. We're helping Taniela to stop smoking and he's excited to make any change to his life that he needs to. God is a God of Miracles.
I love this work.
Hope you all have a wonderful week full of tender mercies from the Lord.
Ofa atu ka moutolu,