Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hello family and friends!

Here are some updates on the 2 investigators that I talked about last week--Soni and Niutei. Soni and his 2 younger sisters, Moala and Koela, were baptized on Saturday!! It's been very rewarding to see the change in Soni's life from the time we started teaching him to his baptism and I'm even more excited for him to receive the priesthood next week and get his temple recommend, as well as Moala his little sister, who is apparently 13 but looks like she is 9.  But anyways, when we first started teaching Soni, it was pretty hard to find him to teach because he was always out drinking and smoking with his friends or working. Regardless, we kept teaching and committing him to live the commandments, with the help of his fellow-shipper who helped us find him quite a bit. His mom, Lia, is the less-active woman who hadn't been to church since she was a little girl, but has recently come back to church with 3 of her kids who were baptized on Saturday. During one visit awhile ago, we asked how Soni was and she went off about how he was never home because he was always out drinking with his friends and would come home completely wasted quite a few times a week. But she realized as she explained that she couldn't think of a time that he had come home drunk that week and the week before that it was only a couple times. We were really excited to hear that because it had been the week before that we committed him to live the Word of Wisdom. After we explained to her that we had been teaching him next door and because she hadn't known this until that moment, a look of shock and happiness spread all over her face. To her, it was a miracle and she looked so grateful. It made sense to her that the gospel was helping him live a better life, which is what she wanted for him. Since then, when he isn't working we can almost always find him at home with his younger siblings and cousins, helping her mom take care of their crazy kids. Although he couldn't keep the commitments perfectly at first, when he finally did he said that it was really hard but that he was happy and free.
Niutei unfortunately didn't come to church this week because he was apparently to shy to come to stake conference with that many people and we are pushing back his baptismal date. But we had a couple awesome teachings with him this last week. We learned that the only reason he started listening to us was because he felt bad for us. And look what came from it! We had actually been teaching his younger sisters and their friends for awhile and one day when we visited, he was there and asked us what we were doing and if we could share whatever it was with him too. The first time we sat down with him and invited him to be baptized, he knew that the invitation we extended couldn't be denied--When you know that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. But he didn't want to make any big decision, but instead just learn more. After inviting him to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, he read it and came back with a chapter that was all marked and highlighted, EVEN THOUGH it was an unplanned lesson on a P-day because we happened to run into him in the street and he HAPPENED to have his Book of Mormon with him. He knew the Book of Mormon was true, he knew the church was true, and when we re-invited him to be baptized, he said yes with no pause or hesitation. From that point, his desire to learn has grown and his willingness to keep his commitments (besides attend church last sunday.. ahem) has increased. Which is awesome because he is the youth leader in the Wesleyan church which is huge and he is willing to give it up. After all this, we come to find that the only reason he started listening to us in the first place was because his younger siblings kept lying to us and he felt bad. But when we started teaching him the lessons, he felt something and he knew that there was something bigger to it all and he had a huge desire to learn more. It was so cool I got the chills listening to him. His fellow-shipper was able to explain how faith, repentance, and baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is just the beginning. There is SO much more to learn and there is so much more we all continue to learn after we are baptized. And this statement is very very true.

Love you all!
Sister Petalisi

Papi a Soni, Moala, mo Koela

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