Week 41/42/43 – Lapaha

Internet’s been down for a while and we had zone conference yesterday so P-day got switched to today. Elder Hirinuki and I are staying in Lapaha, thank goodness. Sometimes people stay in the same area for eight months, sometimes just one month so transfers are always uncertain. Hopefully I stay here a good while because I love the work here.

We have a big teaching pool of around ten investigators but many times we don’t teach all of them in a week because they’re busy or not at home. We have an even bigger list of about twenty people we want to start teaching – either referrals from members, family members of investigators, or certain houses we feel like we should knock. Then there’s a huge list of less-active members we keep track of. That is pretty much how the work goes here. In one week we try to teach all our investigators at least once, contact as many potential investigators as we can, and visit the less-active members.

The progress is slow but significant in this area. In just one transfer we got acquainted with almost all the active and less-active members of both wards and we’re even familiar with many nonmember families. A lot of times we get to know two different people but don’t find out until later that they’re closely related, which is often funny. It seems like everyone is related to each other here, which is fairly true for most villages in Tonga anyway.

We haven’t had any baptisms yet but sometimes I think it might be because we haven’t invited enough people to be baptized. Preach My Gospel says something like “there is power in the simple invitation to make sacred covenants with the Lord that often persuades the investigator to accept”. A lot of times we want to wait until the third lesson to extend the baptismal invitation but really it’s appropriate in any lesson, or whenever the Spirit guides you to do it. I’ve been thinking recently about how I usually want someone to come to church once before they accept the baptismal invitation but maybe making that commitment is the motivation they need to leave their current church and join the one true Church.

Hope everything is good back home. Don’t worry about me, I’m in the best place on earth. Ofa lahi atu.


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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