It seems as though with each deliverance of good news there is bad news to follow. I will start with the bad of course. My ministerial certificate expires on January 12th, 2016 and you all know what today is ): I've spent a year of my life in divine and selfless service to other people in a hopeful attempt to teach by the spirit, lead by example, and invite others to partake in the restored gospel that encompasses the Savior Jesus Christ and his sacrifice given to each one of his brothers and sisters. The plan is brilliant and immaculate, and I know that I would have a very difficult time giving my perfect and glorified son to others who didn't even love him or myself. And that is what captures the essence of the gospel; everything was given to us through our Father who loves us. I know that my identity is a child of His, and because of that, there needs be no insecurity and negligence in any positive thing that I can be apart of. Our Heavenly Father has blessed me with inspired people whom you can all thank for changing me and molding me into the missionary I am right now, and I knew the second I read Rancho Cucamonga, that that was exactly where the Lord needed me. I have a second home within my mission boundary, and I witness miracles happen every day within it. I've been able to expand my everything as I've been here in California and I am having a hard time believing that so much has happened all within one year. I'm so pleased with the decision to serve and the Lord couldn't be more merciful to me than He is now.
We had a great week in the Tongan ward where we taught 20 lessons throughout the week, which has only happened one other time on my mission. And if you thought that was good news, you are going to freak when I tell you this. Bishop 'Iongi had a prompting to visit the Liava'a's, so he fasted that evening/morning and went over at 3:00 on Saturday. After a 2 hour talk with Agnes, Bishop followed the spirit so distinctly and the result of the visit was this: Agnes Liava'a is now allowing Siosi and Latu AND the two un-baptized daughters to be members of Christ's eternal church come the beginning of February, and Agnes has also made the decision to come back to the church as well (: (: I AM FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've been fasting and praying for this to happen since I got here!!!!! You've no idea the amount Agnes has changed since I first met her!!!!! Best news ever. It makes me ponder in the best possible way, why? Why is the Lord blessing us so abundantly? I just can't believe that all this is happening while I am here. I'm sure it's no shock to you that I say that the Tongan ward is my favorite ward ever, but my goodness, I can't say it enough! Things are just so good here. And to think that had I not chose to serve a mission, this is what I would've missed out on; I would never hesitate to tell anyone to serve a mission because of my experience out here. I feel so privileged and outrageously honored the Lord has let me serve here, the ward is so awesome. I'm beyond excited for the Liava'a's, I love their family so much and this is far from what I was expecting from being here. I didn't know that I would get to see them baptized while I was here, but I do, and my happiness exceeds all down-trodden emotions I may have had while serving a mission because of experiences like these. I love love love the Liava'a's so much and am so excited for this and their entire family. Oh my goodness, I would love to rejoice with you, but I know you'll be just as excited as I am as you read this fantastic news. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing your excitement for them!!!
Also, this is Po, and we stopped by on a day she just so happened to really need us and she got us a basket of so much stuff. I told you they're the most thoughtful people you will meet. (: MATE MA'A TONGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion