(I think I meant to send this 2 weeks ago with the pictures and maybe it didn't send?)Hello!
Well here's a quick update of this past week-- It is starting to get HOT AND HUMID. Oh my I don't know if I'll make it this summer. But I'm sure God is looking over this island too and remembering that there is a little palangi who isn't quite used to the climate yet.
One of our investigaters, Tevita, was baptized! His story was very beautiful and inspiring. He moved back with his wife and little boy to stay with his wife's parents, who are less-active, a few weeks ago. We have been working with them since we found their house a few months ago and the wife is preparing to go through the temple! I am praying for the day that they will be able to be sealed. But when Tevita and his wife moved to Pea and we found out that he wasn't a member, we started teaching him. After we taught him, he had a strong desire to be baptized and change his life. But the only thing holding him back from being baptized was his addiction to smoking and drinking. When we committed him to keep the word of wisdom and he couldn't keep the committment, he said it is really hard for him and he was really sad that he couldn't do it but he knows there will be a day that he will be able to change his life. We told him that as much as we want to help him overcome this problem, really at the end of the day it's just him that chooses whether or not he is going to stop. And if he can't stop his drinking and smoking, he can't get baptized on the day we set. And that's all it took. His desire to be baptized and follow Jesus Christ overcame his addiction to smoking and even though it was really hard for him, he was SO happy after overcoming his weakness. It was amazing to see how clearly he understood the messages we were trying to share with him despite our lack of fluency in Tongan. At the end of the lessons, he would always share a beautiful testimony of the things we taught and it was SO awesome because I know it couldn't have been anything but the spirit teaching him the things we were trying to. At his baptism, he shared his experience with drugs and alcohol and keeping the word of wisdom and also his testimony of God and how he has a plan for him and his family. He has a vision for his family and he wants his little boy to have a life better than the one he had growing up. The gospel truly blesses families.
We have been also teaching an old lady named Tupou for awhile now. She is staying with a member in the ward who is less-active and helps us with our lessons. Tupou's husband has already passed away and this week we taught her the Plan of Salvation. Man it was so powerful and real for her, by the end of the lesson she was just balling and could barely speak because she wants to live with her husband again. But she expressed the guilt she felt because she knows the church is true, but hasn't been accepting of baptism. The next day when we went back to follow up on her last lesson, the member she stays with told us that right after the lesson she packed her bags and walked out (apparently she is in Ha'ateiho and staying with someone there.) haha She's a crazy lady but we are hopefully going to find her.
Well I love you all!! Hope you all are doing well. The church is true. Ofa atu <3