Week 40 – Lapaha

We woke up around 3:00 am a few nights ago to the barking of dogs right outside our room. They were so loud it was impossible to go back to sleep so we went outside to check it out. The lady that owns the property we live on was poking a long pole into the bushes with the dogs barking next to her. Turns out the gate was left open and a pig got inside the fence, then ran into the bushes after the dogs scared it. The funny part was the pig must’ve been in such shock it didn’t budge even with the lady jabbing him in the head. Eventually it escaped the bush but fled to an even farther corner of the fence. Emelita picked up a big rock and chucked it square at the pig’s head. It squealed but didn’t give up. Then the dogs ran over and each locked on to an ear, spinning the pig in circles while it squealed like crazy. It was hard not to bust out laughing. This went on for another half hour trying to get the dogs away from the pig so it could finally leave. Thankfully it started raining and the dogs got bored so we went back to sleep. Now the owners chain up the gate every night haha.

The work is still going awesome. We had a couple not-so-successful days at the beginning of last week and I told Elder Hirinuki my enthusiasm for the area was starting to wear off. But then the last few days the work was super productive and I told him nevermind, I love this area again.

That’s all for this week. Happy Easter!

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Week 38/39 – Lapaha

General conference is over! My brain was pooped after listening to all sessions in Tongan but I still learned a lot. Elder Joaquin Costa’s talk was awesome for investigators and recent converts. Elder Oaks’ talk was helpful for knowing how we should teach the Godhead. There were a lot of talks that applied greatly to missionaries, especially Elder Palmer’s, about helping a disobedient missionary feel God’s love for him.

We talked to a less-active member a few days ago that got me thinking about humility. What can I do to be more humble? I couldn’t think of anything that wouldn’t seem forced. Of all Christlike attributes humility is probably the least likely to develop just from “fake it until you make it”. While I was listening to conference the answer came to me: work. The work is what pushes you to your limit and forces you to recognize your weakness and reach out for strength. Prayer is the way we show childlike submission to Heavenly Father and admit that we need His help in order to accomplish the work. I still struggle to find the desire to pray sometimes. But as I think of the vision God has for me as a missionary, I feel a stronger need to ask for strength and counsel. For a long time I saw prayer as a duty but it is really a gift. Matthew 7:7 –

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

The Lord promises us that any righteous desire of ours will be given, if we just pray and ask for it. I believe that is how we can become more humble, by first recognizing that we can never live up to God’s vision for us without Him, then simply asking for His help.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to preach the gospel. Christ’s teaching is true: when you lose your life in the service of others, that is when you will find it. I am without a doubt the happiest now than I ever was before the mission. It is scary to think that someday the badge will come off, but thankfully God always calls us to some other work. Tau toki sio, eh!