I prepared you for a short email this week and that's exactly what's gonna happen again because today has been crazy! There were a lot of changes made in the mission this transfer and it's simply been a crazy day. We sent out a group of 9 missionaries home. They're all home by now except the two sisters from Tonga and one of the sisters from the Philippines. Sister Manumu'a and Sister 'Otuafi taught me some things in Tongan to add to my testimony before they left and I love learning Tongan, but even more when it's something sacred and meaningful to the Lord. I feel such power come into the language when it's in reference to Sisu Kalaisi (Jesus Christ). And since I'll be here with Elder Hancock for another 6 weeks, I'll be able to add more to my vocabulary throughout the weeks! I'm grateful that we feel important to the ward, it's honestly a really nice gesture that they're happy to have 2 palangi's serving in their ward ha.
This past week was so busy, I cannot believe we've reached September, Blair's birthday, and now Labor day. This week I know is Shelby's, Kaylee's, Martina's, and Kylee's birthday, so tell them all that I said Aho faka fiefia! The weather here was so nice, we didn't reach higher than probably 85, and it felt great. Now it's back to pretty hot, but it'll cool down a little bit over time we're hoping.
This week Elder Enrique Falabella will be visiting our mission for 2 days and we are all really excited about it! We fasted yesterday for our mission to have more faith in Christ and we have been asked to read Mosiah 2-5 and Alma 17-23 in preparation for his visit. I love learning about Ammon so much, he's easily my favorite scripture hero. King Lamoni was so impressed with his kind heart and willingness to serve that he mistook him for the Great Spirit! I think what made Ammon such a good person was the fact that though he was once a son of Mosiah that was destroying the church, something significant within him changed and he got to experience what the retroactive Atonement of Jesus Christ feels like. That's what is superb about the gospel, it won't change us against our will and it is an act of love tailored to each one of our needs. I know I often need the strength to endure challenges, setbacks, and infirmities that I will claim due to of a lack of trust in the Lord. That's why I am excited that we fasted yesterday, because I have faith and am designed to change and become better, and I get upset when that is not already occurring within other people I care about. I've learned that if you are not moving forward, you are undoubtedly moving backwards, because Satan is the one who promotes the luxury of being stagnant. I'm grateful that my mission has pushed me so be a thousand times better than the person I was when I left.
I am grateful to hear from everyone and hopefully will have more time to email next week. But maybe not, because next week might be the only preparation day to catch up on some sleep, we will see. I love you all and wish you all a great, great week.
- Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion