Faraway Heaven

Iaorana tatou! Happy 4th of July! We celebrate that here too. Or at least, 7 American missionaries do with their French, Tahitian, and Kiw...

Iaorana tatou!

Happy 4th of July! We celebrate that here too. Or at least, 7 American missionaries do with their French, Tahitian, and Kiwi companions. Our district is having a barbecue later ;) It's been a long week! But that's okay because I live on Raiatea. (Ra'i means heavens or sky, atea means far away.)

As I guessed, we did a lot of tracting this week. Soeur K and I are learning a lot about OLB - ouvrir la bouche, our mission's codeword for tracting and street contacting.

For example, Friday I was really trying to focus on "forget yourself and go to work." We were both pretty exhausted from a week of OLB and mediocre success, but since we didn't have any lessons fixed, we decided to just go out again and talk to whoever we could. We walked a ways down the road, and picked a street to do porte-à-porte. We started at the top so we could work our way down. When we got to the top though, we almost skipped the last house. Not sure why, but it just seemed rich and standoffish. Finally though, we looked at it and hesitantly yelled "IAORANA!" (Door to door tracting here doesn't actually include knocking. We stand at the gate and yell until someone comes out.) A dog came out to greet us/bark at us, but after a moment we heard someone. Long story short, the man invited us onto the terrace, and after talking to him for a bit, we find out he's inactive and his wife isn't a member. We shared a short message about the Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back another time and teach his family; he said sure, but he wasn't sure if his wife would be interested. So we just gave him our number and said to call us if they needed anything. As we were leaving, I felt like I should say something to his wife, who had been folding clothes on the other side of the terrace. Again I almost didn't, but I walked over to say goodbye and after the customary kiss by the cheek I told her that we'd talked to her husband for a bit but wondered if we could come by another evening. She said no problem! We'll visit them for family home evening next week and see how it goes.

Anyway, that pretty much sums up our week, biking around town and talking to whoever might listen. We do have a few potential investigators, the only problem is that everyone is busy with Heiva! It's a month-long festival every July. Traditional dancers, a carnival, sports. Apparently more important than listening to the missionaries and finding eternal life ;D

I was thinking a few days ago about Doctrine and Covenants 4. As a missionary, we recite this short chapter every morning as part of companionship study. In verse three it says, "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work." I used to think that that line just meant, if you want to be a missionary, be a missionary. Simple as that. But what it actually says is if you want to serve God, you have to do missionary work. See the difference? I didn't. If we want to serve God - as a priesthood leader, as a teacher, as ward pianist, as a Latter-Day Saint, as a human being - then we are all called to the work. We are obligated to share the gospel. The good news! Maybe that's obvious, but I hadn't thought about that wording before. Before that, in the second verse it says "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." Let me tell you, serving with ALL your heart, might, mind, and strength, is not as easy as it might sound. But I'm convinced that if we do, we will find ourselves with more heart, more might, more mind, and more strength than before. When you feel like you have no strength left, stick to that promise. 

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)

Love y'all,
Soeur Ladd

Nice view of a motu (mini island close to the shore)

Flying past Moorea
A street in my secteur