Week 24 – Talihau/’Utungake

When I wrote last week’s post I felt like I couldn’t think of anything meaningful to say, so I just recorded my thoughts on what I had been reading in the New Testament. It turned out to be more relevant than I thought, because something that seemed impossible occurred. In the last week of the transfer we received two new investigators and baptized them at the zone baptism on Christmas Eve. The reason I consider it a miracle is that both of them don’t even live in Talihau, they just came to visit for an extended period of time, and they were both so spiritually prepared to receive the lessons and the ordinance of baptism.

One is a teenage girl named Lute who told us she had wanted to join the church for a while; we just had to teach her and make sure she was ready to be baptized. It was amazing how readily she accepted the truth in our lessons. She knew nothing about Joseph Smith or Thomas S. Monson before we taught her but she was already testifying about modern prophets in the next sacrament meeting.

The other is a man named Seniale who was not so immediately enthusiastic as Lute to be baptized. In fact when we started teaching him he wasn’t going to church and wasn’t in line with the Word of Wisdom. But he showed us his exercise of faith by listening wholeheartedly to our message and surprised us both by accepting and preparing for baptism so quickly. The members Lute and Seniale are staying with played a huge role by inviting them to church the Sunday before we met them and referring them to us for teaching.

Sometimes I wonder if I would accept our message if I was an investigator. I suppose I would be hard to convince because I’m pretty skeptical. I want to know the truth, not just hope or believe. But I know it’s not us who do the convincing; it’s the Holy Spirit. As a missionary you have to learn to trust that the Holy Ghost really will witness of the truth to your investigators, if they show their faith and act. It can get discouraging when you feel the Spirit in your lessons but the investigator remains unaffected. However it is such a welcome reaffirmation when someone actually listens with an open heart, allows the Spirit to testify to them, and shows you their faith by accepting commitments.

This was my last week with Elder Kau so we’re both really thankful we were able to experience this miracle together before we part. Thanks to Elder Kau for being a great comp, and see you again, Vava’u.

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Author: Elder Patrick Watts

I am serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission.

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