Where There's a Will, There's a Way

  Iaorana tatou! We had a great week in Pirae. The secteur sometimes just feels like a larger-scale and more crowded version of Mahi...

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Iaorana tatou!

We had a great week in Pirae. The secteur sometimes just feels like a larger-scale and more crowded version of Mahina: a mix of rich neighborhoods up in the mountains and poorer neighborhoods in the valleys in between. We spent a good part of the week looking for new investigators. President Bize has more or less told both Soeur Ni- and I to avoid straight-up door-to-door tracting because it's not very effective in our area, so we're trying to find other ideas, such as searching for the old investigators that we still have phone numbers or addresses for, like I did my last few weeks in Mahina. We were able to find several new investigators and potential new investigators. Yesterday we had our first concert of our annual island tour! It's become tradition for all ~100 missionaries on Tahiti to come together and put on a concert in each of the stakes of Tahiti. For a rag-tag choir with very different levels of musical experience, it came together really well. I'm excited because the concert the night before I come home will be my good old home stake, Mahina!

My favorite part of this week has been To-. To- is an investigator who lives with some members in the ward, and the sisters started teaching him a few weeks ago. On Wednesday he told us about how he got a testimony of the Book of Mormon. If you haven't tried this trick yet, I suggest you do. He prayed for a question he had and then opened the book and bam, the answer! That experience helped him have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and a desire to be baptized. We had a great lesson with him, about the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ and repentance all mixed together. And we invited him to prepare to be baptized on June 24th! He more or less said "I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it, it's a big decision, but I like to play so I'll take the bet." Basically he meant that he knows it won't be easy but he's willing to try. Where there's a will, there's a way. That's something we get to know pretty well as missionaries. When investigators have the desire, when it starts to come from them instead of us pushing them, they truly can progress and will have the courage to overcome the inevitable obstacles. On Saturday he came with us for the baptismal service of another ward, and yesterday at church he told us that he had again tried the pray-and-open-to-a-random-page trick. He's still nervous about the June 24th date which seems a little soon to him I guess, but he prayed about it and opened to many scriptures that comforted and encouraged him.

The scripture from his first experience was Alma 34:17 "Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you." I love the phrase "begin to exercise your faith unto repentance." That means act! That means try! Simply believing isn't enough, because faith without works is dead. Faith needs to be worked on, nourished, and exercised, and that to help us repent, rely on the Saviour and become somebody better than before. We need to do our best. "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." (Doctrine and Covenants 123:17) Where there's a will there's a way, and the best way is to trust in God. Do our best, stay tuned and trust God.

Je vous aime!
Soeur Ladd