Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Bapstims and A Wedding!


Ready to hear about our weekend? It was my very first baptism where I got to see the person be baptized where I taught them from beginning to end and it was awesome! They also got married before the baptism and of course that was great as well. The reception was after the baptism and it was just a weekend of celebration. The Tongan people know how to treat people, that's for sure. They put a bigger emphasis on the wedding/reception than the baptism, but it's alright, Chris and Jasmine couldn't be more pleased with being married/baptized. I expected this to be the most spiritual experience of my mission, but in all honesty, I think teaching them and getting so serious about baptism prior to it was the most humbling for me. A wedding/baptism/reception was planned all in a matter of 2 weeks and to see it all come together was such a neat experience. I feel very honored to be apart of this work and to witness a weekend like this. Chris even received the priesthood right after his confirmation! They're a great couple who are already looking forward to the temple in a year. You would love them!

So now that Chris and Jasmine are baptized, it was kinda like "well.. now what?" Our investigator Rose has been having a hard time coming to church, but her life has been hectic recently, but this Tuesday we should get back on track with her and her baptism continues to be scheduled for December 13th. I really think it'll happen! And here's another cool miracle:

One of my favorite people we're teaching Siosi and Latu Liava'a, their mom is bitter towards the church right now, so I've never met her. But this week, we went over twice and I'm not sure what was different, but we talked for about an hour each time! She seems to really like us. She even made us half moon pies and invited us over for her grandson's birthday party this weekend. I'm going to return the favor by making frosted flake treats! It's so cool because I've been praying for her heart to be softened and even fasted for her on Wednesday, and look what's happening! Also, there are 5 kids in the family that haven't been baptized, and one of the daughters asks if we could come over and study the book of Ruth with her! How cool! I love that family and want to see them be baptized so bad! Now that I've had a baptism, it makes me want to work harder, so I'm really hoping to see further progress with them, I'll keep you updated. 
We're gonna have such a bomb thanksgiving, I'm so pumped. It's no excuse to be lazy that day, and it definitely won't be because we're eating with our recent converts Chris and Jasmine and the fotu's who have less active children, and our investigator Rose, who is going to feed us Tamale's! I'm excited, I already need a break from Thanksgiving food. We've had so much ham, turkey, and potatoes these past 2 weeks ha. I don't think anyone in the world is going to top the Thanksgiving we're about to have!

I love the Tongan ward so much. They're such great people. I feel like I say that a lot, but I really mean it everytime. I feel like we've built good relationships in the ward. They're all easy to get along with, but it's nice when you feel like you're worth a little more to certain people, you know? My mission is just going better than I had anticipated to be honest. I haven't had many baptisms, but I just feel so good about what I'm doing out here. I look forward to many more miracles this transfer. I can't really ask for much more (:

Just to give you an idea of the ward, half the people we work with are less active. I think a big part to do with it is the fact church starts at 9:00. Tongans LOVE to sleep, but next year we start at 1:30, so our attendance will definitely boost ha. For that reason, we go wherever the ward goes, we go pretty much. We get invited to basically every activity and if we find people through our own efforts, unless they're polynesian (which all the poly's in the desert know each other), we give them as referrals, so we don't spend much time finding new people to teach unless it's through the members.

I'm just excited to tell you all about this ward over skype. Can you believe it's almost December?! We're starting to see more decorations, and it's weird without the snow, but I still get to see my breath in the mornings ha, so that shows I do get a minor portion of the cold? I'm a wimp ha! I'm wearing a coat half the time here.

But yes, my mission is the best. I love it so much. Things couldn't be better! Have a great thanksgiving. Drive safe to Brigham. No'fua!

- Elder Bennion

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