Thursday, September 15, 2011

Devastation to Great in One Week!!

Malo le Soifua!!!                                                                                                      Sept. 12, 2011

Ua?!? Hey everybody what’s up?! How is everything going? I hope all is good and you guys are enjoying Zions or wherever you are ha ha!! Well I guess when the time zone switch happens here in Samoa and we change days going a day earlier than all of you, then we you can email as well again on Sunday though that will be cool, different for you but cool!!!

Well as the title of this email goes, it is just a coincidence that right after I tell you about this success that is starting and maybe we will get some other work started other places...well there are no real words to describe it!! The next day we had planned, this being Tuesday, to go to Manufotu's family and also start lessons with Toala Lepau and his wife as well. First off we visited Lemau and Tinei to see what their story was with their marriage and if they had talked to the Bishop on Sunday to get the process started with him and then next to the Stake President. Well while we were waiting with Tinei for Lemau to come back from an errand, Toala Lepau, whose house is right next to them came over and said that his wife did not want to start the lessons and didn't want us over, so that just fell through!! He apologized because I think it was he who wanted to talk to us!! Well that was a bummer and then we were hoping for better news with Manufotu later, actually praying hard in my heart and wanting to teach them!! After that, we talked to Lemau and Tinei and they may want to hear the lessons again just to be ready. We then left to go over to Manufotu's house. We had seen him earlier with his wife washing clothes in the river and he said for us to come back later. When we got there he was coming back from working a little at a different house. We all sat down and started to talk and he apologized for being busy the last two weeks and I said no problem, funerals are important but then he kept going saying that when his father found out over in Apia, he forbade him to not continue the lessons, but to tell us to not teach them anymore!! So respectfully he declined us coming back to teach lessons but said to continue in just regular comings and goings to just see them. ARGHHHHHH Devastation!! Doesn’t describe it!!! Shoot they were such a grand family and I thought for sure it was going to turn out. I was pretty bummed that whole rest of the day and a couple after. But as many elders have been helping me and telling me to keep going and also with that, I have been thinking and reminded that some missionaries are planters of the seed and others will reap. Right now my comp and I are doing as much as we can to spread the word and strengthen others in Sili and hopefully after we are gone or down the road someone else will be able to gather them and help and baptize!! Keep the faith and do all I can.

Well also as the title says, other things are great and that’s because we gained a grand investigator and you know what scripture comes to mind, that how great shall be your joy with one, because on Tuesday we lost 7 all together but then gained 1. But I love it and am so humbled and blessed as the Lord blessed us to gain one instead of having none. Her name is Tina and she is in Sili Lua too. It has been awhile for that ward to gain a baptism and right now she only has two lessons remaining. We received the referral the week earlier as you all know but as she was sick we didn't get an opportunity to meet with her. So we went back on Wednesday and started talking with Isaia the dad of the family, Tina's husband’s father, and he called over Tina and I asked what her feelings were and if she wanted to start lessons and she agreed and I asked about when we could have an opportunity and she said right then!! Great, awesome!! So we got right into the first lesson. It went awesome and she accepted all of it, the only hold back was Isaia. He kept trying to teach me or think to correct me on certain things. Now it wasn't just help he was giving, but literally going kind of away from the lesson and talking just to me. I just listened, and tried to get back and finish the lesson. I tried not to get frustrated as well as that would have made the spirit leave right away. He is a smoker and less active guy so I have tried to talk to him about the word of wisdom and finally just got bold and told him to do it and repent as I felt prompted because he is not being serious. Also though that whole area has many older men, members of the church too and nonmembers who smoke nonstop, off the chain. Ya, so it’s frustrating to go over to members’ houses and they not understand the seriousness of this commandment as with the rule they have to go to church, just don't understand as I said but it is just my job to try and help them to stop and become worthy again. Anyway back to Tina, we finished the first lesson and the next day we had the second lesson and it went better this time as Isaia helped more than taught me so that was better and he accepted that his smoking is something he needs to work on and I also let him know his family wants him to stop as well. Tina let us know also after the lesson that she would be coming back next week to stay. Oh details first, ha ha, she told us at the first lesson she was going to Apia and didn't know is she was coming back for awhile, but I guess she changed her mind and is coming back after all to stay and she wants to be baptized too. So we just need to work with her and get the marriage set up and also her baptism for hopefully the last Saturday of September. Praying and hoping!! But it feels like all might work out and I have faith.

So this week we have a planned split with Peck, the zone leader on Tuesday, and when I told Alofa the ward mission leader in Sili Lua he said he wanted to come too so that will be a great day! I am going with Peck and Alofa while my comp is going to go with Faumuina to make some visits in Sili Muamua and see what they can get. It should be good and fun. I am excited because I want some fresh ideas for finding people and we need it, as we also went to Papa this past week and talked with the Pulenuu (mayor) and asked if it really was open for us to proselyte in Papa/Puleia and come to find out...ITS Not!!!!! Another disappointment!! And he said that we almost caused ourselves to be fined when we went to the house in front of his as his is off the road. (meaning part of his village). We can visit members but no one else and I asked if it could be opened and he said he didn't think so ever, as the rule has been there for a very long time, like before he was born.

Oh also Johnson and Liston who were in my zone at Faala were transferred this morning back to Upolu. Johnson is training and so is Nilsen from my mtc and hopefully one of those two trains Elder Boren as that would be Awesome. I am excited to see him but it may not be for awhile. Anyway also as Johnson was District leader and he left, Peck called and said that is now my new assignment. Great opportunity so I am excited!!

Well that is the update and the word!! Anyway I have got to go. I know this Church is true and the only true church on the earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know it is led by a living prophet and that President Thomas S. Monson holds all the keys to do so on this earth. He, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve are prophets, seers and revelators. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the church and also translate the Book of Mormon. That book is blue and it is True through and through!! I know it is another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus is the Christ and our Savior and Redeemer. He is our Advocate with the Father at the Judgment Bar. I know our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. Remember Keep Strong. His Grace is Sufficient. I love you all!! ou te alofa tele iate outou!! Keep me updated and some pix would be great. Thanks for everything!!
Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker

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