Faith and Works

Iaorana tatou! Felicitations to Jacob and Emily for their engagement! We had a good week, starting with an interesting trip to the motu ...

Iaorana tatou!

Felicitations to Jacob and Emily for their engagement!

We had a good week, starting with an interesting trip to the motu last Monday. (motus are the little islets around the big islands) A member from one of other wards took our district on their boat out to the motu. The water was of course ridiculously clear turquoise. Well actually at first it's deep blue and then when you get out far enough it turns randomly turquoise. Something about the reef and sandbars I think. We explored the motu, found the coolest tiniest little hermit crabs. We waded out on the sand bar (since we are allowed to go in the water up to our knees). Then our way back... the boat's motor stopped! And we had just one little oar (very prepared). We laughed and Elder T got paddling. And... it worked! Somehow (aka the wind aka Heavenly Father's tender mercy) we moved steadily toward the shore and soon made it home. It's funny because I always tell our investigators how faith is like a rowboat or a canoe. If we paddle on only one side, we'll go in circles. For our faith to work we need to paddle on both sides: belief and action. Faith without works is dead.

I tried putting that to the test Wednesday. We were supposed to meet a member at the chapel but it was raining, and the chapel is a fifteen minute bike ride away. But I was stubborn and figured that rain on Raiatea can stop as suddenly as it starts, so I prayed that it would go away and we'd stay mostly dry. But since faith without works is dead, we didn't wait - we put on our rainjackets and got pedaling. And we got drenched. Ah well, we didn't catch a cold or anything so my prayers half worked.

On Saturday however, I put my faith to the test again. Friday we had seen our investigator D, who is so so ready for baptism but still struggles with alcohol, at a friend's house, drinking again. I really wanted to be able to talk to him on Saturday so that maybe he would come to church on Sunday despite a misstep on Friday. And we were indeed able to talk to him on Saturday, and he was sober! That definitely brought us some peace for his situation.

Yesterday President and Soeur Bize arrived for our zone conference tomorrow. They gave an awesome fireside for our ward, and I wanted to share one thought. Near the end of his talk, President Bize talked about eternal life - life in the celestial kingdom with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our families. In John 14:2, Christ teaches, "In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Imagine arriving in the beautiful mansion prepared for you in the celestial kingdom, looking across the street, and noticing that the lights are off in the mansion on the other side. That was the mansion prepared for your friend, your family member- but you didn't open your mouth to share the gospel! Well, maybe President Bize explains it better, but that thought makes me want to make sure that every mansion is filled. We're all one big eternal family after all.

Je vous aime!

Soeur Ladd