Weary Not

Iaorana tatou! Good news: my mosquito hunting skills are improving. I've probably killed at least 10 of them just sitting here reading...

Iaorana tatou!

Good news: my mosquito hunting skills are improving. I've probably killed at least 10 of them just sitting here reading emails.

This transfer and Soeur M's training are going too fast! Only three weeks left. I hope I'll stay in Uturoa a bit longer though; I'm not ready to leave Raiatea!

R is ready for hs baptism this Saturday! He still has trouble coming consistently to church, please pray for him!

Mami R is so helplessly forgetful it's almost funny. You know when I said the other week that she was really surprised by some ideas of the Plan of Salvation, such as premortal life? Well last Tuesday, come to find out she forgot about the Plan of Salvation, we reviewed it with her. And once again she was shocked by all these new ideas she had never heard of! On Thursday as well, we stopped by to ask her daughter and son-in-law to come with us for another lesson. They were reading together some scriptures and brochures we had left them. When we came back for her lesson a few hours later, she had almost completely forgotten the scriptures they just read! Elder P suggested that we use more images because sometimes people with Alzheimer's like her have a better time with visual memory than audio memory, so we're going to try that. Wednesday was Soeur M's birthday! Such a coincidence that my daughter's birthday is two days after mine! We ate breakfast with Frère et Soeur M, and that evening I surprised her by asking a member to make her favorite cake. As it was when Soeur D had her birthday last April, it is hard to surprise your companion!

On Friday we had an activity for our Plan Sauevetage ("Rescue Plan"?). I'm not sure if we have that in the states, but basically every Tuesday night a bunch of members meet at the church and then split into groups and visit inactive families. A lot of wards in French Polynesia do this. Uturoa really needs it because over half of our members don't come to church. Anyway, on Friday we invited a lot of the families that we visit for a presentation about the temple. The Spirit was strong and I'm sure the families were touched! I was able to help out as our ward's designated pianist.

But the definite highlight of my week was GENERAL CONFERENCE! Like Christmas morning for personal revelation. As a missionary I noticed how they basically taught all of the missionary lessons throughout sessions. Some talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, several talked about the Plan of Salvation, another taught the doctrine of Christ. I definitely received answers to my questions, and some I didn't know I had! There were so many good messages I don't know which to share. For example our prophet gave this beautiful thought: "We are blessed to have the truth. We have a mandate to share the truth. Let us live the truth that we might merit all that the Father has for us. He does nothing save it be for our benefit. He has told us, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”" I was also very touched by the music they chose, I thought it went perfectly with the messages that were shared. Such as, "Do not weary by the way... There awaits a brighter day to all, to all who weary not."

On Friday it was our turn to give the lesson in district meeting again, and we were asked to speak on "how to find joy in missionary work." The messages from general conference really support the ideas that we shared, and can be applied to non-missionary life as well. First, remember our purpose. Keep an eternal perspective. Second, have charity and love. Third, trust in the Spirit. Fourth, become closer to the Lord. And finally, choose to be happy. I'd like to talk a little more about this last one.

I've often heard this phrase and I believe it's true. But sometimes, I would get frustrated by it. Because when I'm discouraged I know I should just choose to be happy but that doesn't seem to happen as quickly as I'd like it too. I feel like I should just flip a switch and smile. But as it turns out, it's not as simple as that. It takes a bit of time, but still consciously doing things to become happy, like being grateful and serving others and a good bit of prayer. And we pick ourselves back up again. We still choose to be happy, but without the further discouragement of a faulty light switch of cheerfulness, if that makes any sense. As President Uchtdorf shared in last year's conference, “But, you can’t just flip a switch and go from sad to happy. No, perhaps not, but God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy! So if we trust Him, He will help us to notice the good, bright, hopeful things of life. And sure enough, the world will become brighter. No, it doesn’t happen instantly, but honestly, how many good things do? Seems to me that the best things, like homemade bread or orange marmalade, take patience and work." And as President Nelson shared yesterday morning, The circumstances of our lives do not have as much influence on our joy as the focus of our lives. Jesus Christ is our joy.

I know that we have prophets and apostles in these latter days. As we heed their counsels, we will be blessed to know how to know and follow the Savior.

Je vous aime!
Soeur Ladd

If the Way Be Full of Trial, Weary Not

More General Conference links found HERE