Consider the Lilies

Iaorana tatou! One week down in Mahaiatea and I'm loving it! I told Soeur Lu- the other day that I'm pretty sure this secteur is a...

Iaorana tatou!

One week down in Mahaiatea and I'm loving it! I told Soeur Lu- the other day that I'm pretty sure this secteur is a dream. I mean it's not perfect, but our amis are progressing! Our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader are both involved! Our members are awesome! For example, being transferred into a new secteur I wanted to make sure that this time I worked well with the Bishop right from the start (not that my previous bishops aren't great too). In Preach My Gospel it talks about meeting the Bishop as soon as possible and asking him about what his goals and plans are for the ward. And on Tuesday the first thing we did after our studies was have lunch with the Bishop, and as we sat down he was like "So about our Ward Mission Plan..." I didn't even have to ask!

Unfortunately it wasn't all sunshine and roses, and we had a lot of fixed baptisms that will have to be pushed back a bit. There were a lot of things out of our control, such as complications with marriage papers or parent's permission, but I'm not too worried about it because we should be able to refix most of them. And our investigators are too awesome and so ready! For example, two of the baptisms that were pushed back were J- Y- and G-, who were supposed to be baptized last Saturday but now have to wait 3, maybe even 4 months because of some legal paperwork marriage stuff that needs to be sorted out. Please pray that their lawyer will be able to speed things up! They're super ready and accepted this trial with so much patience and optimism, and we're secretly hoping that this delay is a blessing in disguise - we're going to work hard with their children so that perhaps they will be baptized together as a family. Georgina's son, E-, is also on date for baptism but isn't married yet either.

Saturday was pretty cool. We had just a few more lessons and new investigators left to meet our goals, but one by one every single lesson we had planned fell through. But no big deal, we had several references we hadn't yet contacted so we set out to find them. Nothing. Well actually, we found all the right houses (and if you remember my email from a few months ago, finding the right house in the first place is quite the struggle) and they all were pretty obviously probably there but nobody answered - door and window open, car outside, one of them we even called, heard their cell phone ring, but still nobody came out. That's what we get for trying to contact them Saturday afternoon when they're probably sleeping. Oh well. So anyway, at this point I was getting a little exasperated but we still wanted to reach those goals and find people that were ready to hear the gospel! So we prayed a little harder and went out contacting. I love it when people say "Oh that neighborhood is all Jehovah's Witness" and then you try contacting there anyway and the first two people you talk to are Pentecostal and Catholic and both accept a return appointment. We also talked to some teenagers who also accepted a follow-up lesson, hopefully not just we're the first American 20-year old girls with blue eyes and funny accents they've ever met. Benefit of the doubt. So yeah, we reached our goals AND found some new people to teach that we wouldn't have met if our lessons hadn't cancelled!

Soeur Lu- is adorable and basically my Christmas music and Harry Potter-loving Sudanese-Nebraskan twin. 

My message this week is on 3 Nephi 13. We read this chapter with one of investigators last week. He has a farm full of flowers, and he's a bit busy with that for the moment, because his flowers are in high demand starting with Toussaints, a Catholic/French holiday tomorrow, all the way until at least Christmas. He also is super ready for baptism and was supposed to be baptized next week. But during our lesson on Tuesday he actually asked for a break from the lessons for a few weeks until his work slowed down. So that's why we shared 3 Nephi 13, which says "Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? ... And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; ... Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Being a true disciple of Jesus Christ takes a lot of sacrifice. In fact, sacrifice is one of the first laws of heaven. God has commanded us to put Him first, love Him with all our heart might mind and strength. And then love others as ourselves. Not ourselves, then others, and then God. But I know that if we do so, He will protect us, provide for us, and pour out more blessings more than we can receive them. He knows what we need temporally and spiritually and if we are not of little faith He can show us what that is. Long story short, A- decided to continue lessons despite his work, and even was able to finish his work on Saturday so that he could come to church for the very first time on Sunday. And I know he was blessed! When we asked him at the end of church how he felt he replied, "Joy." That is the blessing of acting on faith and putting Heavenly Father first.

Love you all!
Soeur Ladd